2015 Fantasy Football: Running Back Busts

1 of 2

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2015 NFL season less than 3 months away, it’s time to start doing prep work for your fantasy football draft. Over the next few weeks I will be breaking down every position with a primer, rankings, sleepers, busts, and rookies.

More from Bears Fantasy Football

Over the last two seasons there were only 12 running backs that managed 200 or more fantasy points in standard Yahoo leagues. It is arguably the most important position in fantasy football and there just aren’t enough good backs to go around. Finding two quality RBs gives your squad a chance to be competitive, three gives you a good shot to win it all. If you miss on your RB draft selections and end up with just one good one, you might as well start planning for next season.

Teams just can’t afford to miss on the running backs they draft in the first few rounds and I’m listing some players below that are being drafted higher than they should be and may not deliver on their projected output. Every year around half of the top-12 RBs drafted end up as disappointments and hopefully this list will help you avoid the 2015 RB busts. Just to clarify, “bust” doesn’t mean these players aren’t worth drafting, just that they are being drafted higher than they should be.

Running Back Busts:

DeMarco Murray, Eagles (Avg pick=12) – The track record for RBs coming off 449 touch seasons isn’t great. The fact that Murray also left the best offensive line in the league and may be splitting carries with Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles won’t help either. I still think Murray is one of the most talented RBs in the league, but his situation just isn’t as good as it was with the Cowboys. When you consider that last year was the only season in his career that he was healthy enough to play 16 games, it just adds to the risk of taking Murray in the 1st round. If he’s available outside the top 20 picks, I’ll consider it but no earlier.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Hyde, 49ers (35) – I was one of Hyde’s biggest supporters going into the 2014 season and thought he would take Frank Gore‘s job by the end of the season, but was disappointed in what I saw from Hyde on the field. I saw little difference between Hyde and Gore despite the age gap and Hyde’s presumed edge in athleticism. Hyde is the clear starter now, but the Niners aren’t the same team after losing two of their three best O-linemen (Iupati, Davis). It doesn’t help that Hyde has yet to participate in OTAs due to a leg injury. Hyde has the talent to be a stud fantasy player, but there are too many question marks with both him and the 49ers to take him 34th overall.

Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (72) – I have no problem with Stewart’s talent, but he’s missed 20 games over the last three seasons. Averaging almost half a season in missed games over a three year span is too much of a red flag for me to spend a 6th round pick on a player. It doesn’t help that the Panthers O-line might be the least talented in the NFL.