Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs (Part 2)

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tier 14: Longshots with Upside

The talent is there for each of these guys to be a fantasy stud if given a chance, but it is unlikely they will be given a chance this season.

66.) Latavious Murray, Raiders – MJD is old & slow; DMC is old and slower than he used to be. Murray is bigger (6’3, 225) and much faster (4.38) than both. Once the Raiders drop out of contention (which they will), Murray will get some chances and could surprise. Those of you in keeper leagues should keep an eye on Murray because he could be the future Raiders RB.

67.) Knowshon Moreno, Dolphins – He showed up to Dolphins camp fat and injured. Moreno had a great season in 2013, but I think Peyton Manning had more to do with that then Moreno did. It’s a different game lining up next to Ryan Tannehill than Peyton Manning. With his slow start due to injury and Lamar Miller looking good so far, I think Moreno will be relatively worthless in fantasy this year.

68.) Bryce Brown, Bills – For two games in 2012, Brown was the toast of the league with 347 yards and 4 TDs over 2 games. Then he started fumbling and went back to the bench, but Brown showed a glimpse of what he is capable of. His talent has never been the question, its just a matter of reliability. He’s currently 3rd on the depth chart, but if Spiller is traded or ageless F-Jax finally breaks down, then he could be really valuable on a team that runs more than any squad in the league.

Tier 15: Goal Line Vultures

If you like those 2 carry, 3 yards, 1 TD stat lines… than these players are right up your alley. They are never going to put up huge yardage numbers, but touchdowns are gold in fantasy and these backs could put up 8-10 this year if they hold down the goal line back job.

69.) Mike Tolbert, Panthers – 6 touchdowns and about 300 yards. If that excites you, then by all means draft him.

70.) Jonathon Dwyer, Cardinals – Could play a reduced Mendenhall role from last year. The Cards aren’t going to risk Andre Ellington on short yardage runs so Dwyer will have a chance to carry the ball. The Cards offense should be better this season and I could see Dwyer vulturing 6-8 TDs. He doesn’t have outside speed so his fantasy value is limited, but he is a beast between the tackles and could have some decent fantasy games if the Cards are protecting a lead.

71.) Chris Polk, Eagles – He didn’t play at all in the Eagles first preseason game, but has been one of the stars of the Eagles training camp. A big back (5’11, 222), he is a nice complement to LeSean McCoy and could steal some goal line carries. He will have to hold off talent rookie David Fluellen for his short yardage job, but from what I hear Chip Kelly is trying to find ways to get Polk on the field.

72.) Robert Turbin, Seahawks – Starter Lynch will most likely stay healthy and Turbin won’t have much fantasy value, but if Lynch were to finally wear down Turbin should get more carries of the two backups as the inside / goal line RB. He isn’t as explosive as Michael, but a more well-rounded, reliable RB. In keeper league, Turbin is worth monitoring as Lynch won’t be back next season.

Tier 16: Rookies of Interest

Another group of talented rookies, but these guys are even farther from seeing the field. They all have the ability to be fantasy relevant if given a chance but they would need multiple breaks to get consistent playing time.

73.) Lache Seastrunk, Redskins – I thought my 5th round prediction of Lache Seastrunk was low, but him falling to the 6th was a shocker. I watched a lot of  tape on Seastrunk and think he dropped because he tried to bounce everything outside. It worked at Baylor, though his best games were against the weakest competition. He will need to run with more authority and not just try to outrun everyone because it wont work on the NFL level. If Seastrunk can get tougher and learn to cut up-field before he gets to the sideline he could be something with the Redskins. Seastrunks’ skill translates well to the zone scheme, but does he have the stones to make his cuts inside? He could be very dangerous in Jay Gruden’s scheme but is a long-shot.

74.) Dri Archer, Steelers – More of a receiver than a RB, but is extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands and I think Steelers OC Todd Haley will go out of his way to get Archer involved in the offense. He will have more catches than carries and if your league counts return stats, Archer could have roster-worthy value. In my opinion Archer was the most exciting player in this year’s draft.

75.) Jerick McKinnon, Vikings – This is his 1st year as a running back after playing QB at Georgia Southern. So not only is he learning a brand new position, but he is making the leap from DII to the NFL. Supposedly McKinnon is having a great camp, but he has a long way to go before he can contribute in the NFL.

76.) De’Anthony Thomas, Chiefs – If your league counts return yards, then DAT is a sneaky value play. He may catch a few passes as well but is too small to get any carries outside the occasional reverse or similar trick play.

77.) Antonio Andrews, Titans – When Shonn Greene gets hurt, Andrews could take over as the power back. Andrews led all college RBs in all-purpose yards last year at WKU and might be more talented than Shonn Greene right now. He’s a long shot for carries but I like his game a lot.