By Ricardo Guzman @rcky_guzman on August 8, 2014
Preseason is upon us and so is fantasy football draft season. You will live or die by your running back core. I've got your 10 underrated backs that will be a bargain on draft day.
Last year was a year that the "Muscle Hamster" would like to forget. After a slow start to the season, he went down with a torn labrum. He is currently going as the 23rd pick in most formats. That would leave him to fall to the second or third round. If you can get Martin in the third round, it's a no-brainer.
My top running back handcuff for 2014 is also my No. 9 underrated RB. Frank Gore showed signs of fatigue as well as wear and tear last season. With a talented backfield, Hyde has emerged as the front-runner to be Gore's backup. I could see him leading the team in carries late in the season.
Miller is being drafted around the 100 pick mark, leaving him to be picked to many fantasy benches. For what could be a breakout season, Miller should be picked up around the seventh or eighth round instead of the 10th. Knowshon Moreno will compete for touches. That will push Miller into fantasy relevance.
Rashad is trying to find his spot on his third team. He has been the backup to Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden. He is slotted as the starting running back for the G-Men as it stands. He will get the first crack to prove his worth in the fantasy realm, but he has stiff competition behind him.
Andre Williams is shooting up the rankings after his performance in the Hall of Fame game. While Jennings will have the first shot to impress, Williams definitely has the higher ceiling of potential. Like our No. 9 underrated RB, Williams could also be the featured back by season's end. By the way, he is going in the 13th round in 10 team leagues. Bargain!
The Titans lost longtime back Chris Johnson to the Jets in free agency. Although Sankey's average draft position is around 57, he is still an unbelievable deal in the fifth round. I don't see Shonn Greene taking too many carries from Sankey. He will be the main man.
No doubt the guy you would rather have is Reggie Bush, but Bell will get all of the goal line carries. This will be enough to make Bell a top-20 RB in 2014. He showed signs of being able to carry the load in 2013. Also, if Bush falls in your lap, you'd better scoop up Bell in the later rounds.
Ben Tate along with our No. 1 underrated back are "same face, new place" guys. His whole career Tate has been held behind Arian Foster. He had his chance to shine as Foster has been injury prone. Cleveland will enjoy having an actual featured back to carry the load. Grab Tate if he falls to you in the sixth round.
I can't explain how excited I would be to scoop up Ellington, if I could, in the fourth round. Ellington has the potential to become a top-5 fantasy running back. There have been talks out of camp that Ellington will get a high workload. That's great news for anyone able to draft him.
Gerhart tops my list of underrated running backs. Not because he has the most potential, but because he is the safest pick compared to where he is being selected. Currently ranked the No. 20 RB, Toby will get the tough yards that Jacksonville desperately needs. Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles will need a safety net to lean on, and it will be Gerhart. Reach for him in the fourth round.
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