2015 Player Rankings: Running Backs Generated: May 20, 2018

Rank Player Team Bye FF Pts Rushing
Catches Receiving
1 Todd GurleyUpsideRisk LAR 6 282 1500 15 35 300 2 1800 17 0 0
07-28-15 Update:
Gurley will start training camp on the active roster and passed all his conditioning tests. It is a positive sign he could be ready for week one.

Gurley was the first RB taken in the draft and at 1.10 he comes in with much more expectations than previous two years when RBs were not a first round pick. His surprising risk is that he tore his ACL last November and is still recuperating with the hopes that he can play in week one. His knee has checked out fine at every review but he's still no lock to be 100% to start the season. He has to learn a new offense and get up to NFL speed while finishing up rehab. Gurley is a three-down back and Jeff Fisher won't be shy about using him as much as he can. There is no arguing that he has elite talent as a power back and is exactly the sort of runner that Fisher prefers. The only question is when he'll be 100% and if he can start the season.
2 Adrian Peterson FA x 234 1300 11 40 320 1 1620 12 0 0
After an abbreviated 2014 campaign and a tumultuous offseason, Peterson is back where he belongs - as the bell cow in a Norv Turner offense. Fantasy owners were cheated out of what might have been last year, but AP's absence allowed the Vikings to develop a quarterback - and now Peterson might not face as many eight- and nine-man fronts. Despite being on the wrong side of 30 - ancient for a running back. Peterson is rested, ready, and running with a chip on his shoulder. An offense that will lean on him, a coordinator who knows how to ride his horse... there are plenty of reasons to like Peterson as a top fantasy pick.
3 Doug MartinUpside OAK 6 229 1450 8 35 300 1 1750 9 0 0
Martin lost weight in the offseason and reportedly practiced better than he has in years. He's done enough that he'll retain the primary back job over Charles Sims. Martin's rookie season (319-1454-11) was outstanding but the last two seasons, he's been often injured and mostly ineffective posting only a 3.6 and a 3.7 YPC. The Buccaneers rushing schedule is lighter this year (though it was not bad in 2014) and QB Jameis Winston hopefully can influence defenses more than Mike Glennon and Josh McCown could last year. OC Dirk Koetter comes over from ATL where he used a committee that never ranked highly in carries but that would throw 100+ completions to RB each season. While no one expects Martin to repeat his rookie year, he should be a lock for improvement this year and has a bit of upside if the improvements noted in the offseason continue.
4 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 6 228 1300 10 45 380 0 1680 10 0 0
No analysis available
5 David Johnson ARI 9 225 970 8 50 560 4 1530 12 300 0
08-18-15 Update:
Johnson missed valuable time with a hamstring injury and the signing of Chris Johnson casts more doubt about that the rookie will be able to do this year.

Johnson is much bigger than Andre Ellington (6-3, 215 vs. 5-9, 199) but both share the same skill set. They are very good receivers out of the backfield and Johnson turned in at least 30 catches in each of his four seasons at Northern Iowa along with two to five receiving touchdowns. He's less impressive as an inside runner though and the Cards already plan to feature Ellington as the primary back. But Johnson will figure in, more so in reception point leagues and the reality is that Ellington is hardly that durable and may allow Johnson to get much more playing time than anticipated.
6 Lamar Miller HOU 9 216 1200 7 45 420 2 1620 9 0 0
Miller broke the 1000 yard mark last year when he rushed 216 times for 1099 and eight TDs plus caught 38 passes for 275 yards and one score. Miller enters the year as the starting running back but OC Bill Lazor's new offense last season still limited Miller who rarely had more than 15 carries in a game and his two biggest games were the final two weeks at home against the Vikings and Jets. Both Knowshon Moreno and Daniel Thomas are gone and the Fins picked up rookie Jay Ajayi who should be no less than the direct back- up and complement to Miller. The concern is that Ajayi could eat into Miller's workload if not eventually take the primary spot from him since Miller has only been average in his first three seasons. Training camp should help determine if Miller gets the #1 spot without losing production to the rookie. This is a situation to keep an eye on but it is a bit troubling that the Fins never gave him a heavy load until the final two weeks.
7 Carlos HydeUpside CLE 11 211 1220 10 28 230 1 1450 11 0 0
The second round pick from 2014 gets his shot at being the starter now that Frank Gore is gone. Hyde ran for 333 yards on 83 carries (4.0) but only caught 12 passes. But he assumes the job from Gore who would run around 260 times per season and catch 20 or 30 passes. There is a new OC but it is just the QB coach promoted up and there should not be any affect on the rushing game other than the intention to allow Kaepernick more room to run and therefore he could have some impact on rushing TDs potentially. Hyde did nothing last year to suggest he was going to become a star but also nothing that indicates he will struggle. Consider him with a bit of upside as a youngster taking over his first starting role but Reggie Bush will also be helping out and SF has not featured a 300 carry runner in the last nine years.
8 Le'Veon Bell PIT 11 207 1000 6 60 590 2 1590 8 0 0
07-28-15 Update:
Bell's suspension was lowered to just two games.

Yet another Steeler is interesting this year. Bell comes off a monster season where he ran 267-1111-8 and caught 64-627-2. That was good enough to be #1 with reception points and #2 without them. He may be the #1 pick in some drafts despite having a three game suspension to start the year stemming from the "Blunt with Blount" incident. He was dynamic last year and his O-line returns intact. Bell was limited to only 1259 total yards and eight scores as a rookie but turned in 2215 total yards and 11 scores in 2015 along with 83 receptions. Bell was a incredible dual threat but temper those stats with a few realities. First, he misses his first three games and while, yes, you can get DeAngelo Williams to cover that time you will have to take him extra early. Like a starter spot. Because he is worth stealing and you have a big hole to start the year without him. Secondly, Bell went nuts last year for a four game stretch. The other 12 games had a pace for 1100 rush yards, 739 catch yards and a total of just four TDs. Those four games included games against TEN, NO and ATL who all ranked at the bottom vs. RB. In those games (plus home vs. CIN) Bell averaged 25 carries per game, 133 yards per game and scored a total of seven of his 11 total TDs. He doesn't face the AFC South this year but he does go against the NFC West. Bell is still a great RB and a boon in reception point leagues but don't over read into last year's stats that were greatly influenced by four games after LeGarrette Blount left and there were no other options beside Bell. Though it is not expected to be an issue, Bell also hyperextended his knee in week 17 and may not be 100% at the start of training camp.
9 Devonta Freeman ATL 10 194 910 7 63 490 2 1400 9 0 0
Freeman entered his rookie season with a lot of promise but he ended with only 65-248-1 as a runner and 30-225-1 as a receiver. He was held to fewer than 7 carries in all but two games and only averaged 3.8 YPC. This year Steven Jackson is gone but the Falcons spent their 3.09 pick on Tevin Coleman and both will compete for carries this year. It is likely that Freeman gets the starting nod over Coleman but that may not last long. The Falcons intend on using Freeman in many ways including as a receiver. That all sounds more like Coleman being the primary runner but both could see changing roles and workloads as the season progresses. But OC Kyle Shanahan rarely throws to his RBs. Last year in CLE RBs totaled 32-226-1 and the previous season in WAS, they only added up to 45-403-1.Those two seasons were both #32 in the league for RB completions.
10 LeSean McCoy BUF 8 192 1190 4 42 370 2 1560 6 0 0
08-19-15 Update:
McCoy injured his hamstring in camp and is expected to miss the rest of the preseason but be ready for week one.

McCoy leaves the Eagles after six years and he gained over 1000 rush yards in four of his last five seasons. Moving to the Bills will be a major change. On the plus side, he is still the primary back and clearly best runner on the team. They brought him in to be a workhorse and the new regime under Rex Ryan and OC Greg Roman (was SF OC) will want to grind out the yardage. On the minus, there is no passing game that will make any defense drop back and not load up against the run. McCoy is low risk in the sense that he will be heavily used but this is a team that combined for only 3.8 YPC last year. Greg Roman's SF offense ranked #31 the last two years in completions to RBs. Ryan's Jets only ranked #29 for the same both years.
11 Jamaal Charles FA x 191 1020 7 40 410 1 1430 8 0 0
Charles has lost weight and says he feels young again which bodes well for the 28 year-old as he starts his eighth season. Charles missed one game last year and battled knee and ankle issues at times but still ended up with 1324 yards and 14 TDs. His schedule is slightly better and the Chiefs might have a little more success in the passing game with Jeremy Maclin on board. But Charles will face the same heavy pressure that he always has and still produced elite numbers for the last five seasons. Expect another low-risk, high reward season.
12 Eddie Lacy SEA 9 190 1100 8 25 200 2 1300 10 0 0
Lacy's second season was a near mirror image of his rookie year - 1425 total yards and 11 TDs (2013) vs. 1566 total yards and 13 TDs. The beauty of Lacy is that he consistently produces good games thanks to his role as a receiver as well. He only had three 100 yard rushing efforts in 2014 and those were never more than 105 yards. But he offers a reliable source of weekly fantasy points. He ended around the #5 RB last year no matter what your scoring rules were. He doesn't offer the big spikes much but getting solid weekly points from your first pick is what you want. HC Mike McCarthy said he'll have his touches limited to keep him healthy but Lacy is a workhorse back and the Packers will use him as much as they need.
13 Matt Forte FA x 179 960 5 44 410 2 1370 7 0 0
No doubt Forte will miss OC Marc Trestman after catching 102 passes last season for 808 yards and four TDs. His 266- 1038-6 stat line as a rusher was the eighth straight season he ran for more than 900 yards. But the Bears ranked #31 in rushing attempts by a RB with only 302 team-wide. He'll play for OC Adam Gase whose offense topped 400 rushing attempts the last two seasons and gained over 1700 yards in both while scoring a total of 15 rushing touchdowns in each. Conversely, The Broncos only threw to backs 68 times last year so Forte is certain to lose some catches. Forte turned in around 50 catches per season before Marc Trestman took over for two years. It was troubling that Forte only managed 3.9 YPC last year but he is clearly the best back they have and HC John Fox said he's looking to use Forte as a workhorse. Forte enters his 8th NFL season and hits 30 Y.O..
14 Mark Ingram NOS 11 179 880 8 45 370 1 1250 9 0 0
Ingram signed a four-year, $16 million contract last March after finally having the sort of season the Saints envisioned when they made him a first round pick in 2011. Ingram gained 964 yards on 226 carries and scored nine TDs plus added 29 receptions for 145 yards. He's the primary rusher again this year and the Saints want to run more and pass less. Ingram stands to benefit from the new direction by the Saints but the addition of C.J. Spiller means a committee backfield. Ingram won't catch as much this year but his rushing totals should go higher.
15 Thomas Rawls NYJ 5 179 1080 7 34 230 1 1310 8 0 0
No analysis available
16 DeMarco Murray FA x 177 980 7 36 310 1 1290 8 0 0
Murray was a monumental surprise last season when he went from being the always injured RB (including college) to suddenly lasting all 16 games. The Cowboys fed him the ball an astounding 393 times for an NFL-leading 1845 yards and 13 TDs and he caught 57 passes for 416 yards. That was about 800 more total yards than in any other year. The Cowboys used him up and let him leave for PHI where his workload will take a definite downturn. RBs after such a monster season historically break down but the Eagles are going to take it easier on him since Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles will both be involved. But make no mistake - this offense was #5 in RB carries (418) and #5 in rush yards (1820) last year using mostly just LeSean McCoy. Murray may take a step down but he's only 27 and may have figured out how to maintain his health. He will be a slight risk to get injured - 2014 was probably just a "magic year". But he is still in an offense that will give him enough work that he should remain no worse than a RB2 and could end up back in the Top 10. But Murray will also lose receptions as well with both Mathews and Sproles there.
17 Chris Ivory BUF 8 175 1160 7 20 170 0 1330 7 0 0
Gailey has a history of committee backfields and all that Ivory can claim is that he should be the #1 RB of three or four who could end up playing. Both seasons in New York witnessed Ivory run for around 850 yards and have minimal work in the passing game. Ivory still has never rushed more than 198 times in a season and that remains a likely ceiling for him again this year. The Jets will want to run a lot so long as Geno Smith starts and doesn't improve. But Ivory's workload is likely capped and he hasn't been anything more than an average back at any time in his career.
18 Jeremy Hill NEP 4 168 1000 10 16 80 0 1080 10 0 0
The rookie with only 195 rushing yards over the first seven games of 2014 exploded down the stretch for more yardage than any other runner from week nine onward. He broke 100 yards five times while scoring seven times in the final 10 games that he played. He ended around 10th best overall despite the slow start and helped deliver many fantasy championships with over 100 rush yards in each of weeks 14, 15 and 16 last year. He ended with 222 carries but averaged 19 rushes per game from week nine. Small concern is a tougher schedule that pits CIN against the NFC West and AFC West but Hill has already broken out as a rookie and should see the 20+ touches per game. He lacks as a receiver and loses a little ground in reception point leagues but was very solid every week by the end of last year.
19 Jeremy Langford NYJ 5 167 910 5 45 400 1 1310 6 0 0
Langford was tabbed with the Bear's 4.07 but that was the 9th back taken this year and Langford sits behind Matt Forte while looking for any scraps. He comes off two stellar seasons at Michigan State when he ran for over 1400 yards each year and scored 19 and 22 times respectively. Langford is the most likely to benefit should Forte go down injured and at 6-1 and 208 pounds he makes a decent inside runner. There will be much more rushing in Chicago this year but Forte will soak up the biggest chunk and Jacquizz Rodgers is also there to figure in. Langford is little more than a very deep insurance pick for the Forte owner unless he really impresses in the preseason.
20 C.J. Anderson DEN 7 165 920 8 34 250 0 1170 8 0 0
Anderson took advantage of his opportunity last season and grabbed the starting spot. He is not letting it go. Though he ended with 849 rush yards, he had only 82 yards by week ten of the season. Anderson became a bellcow for the offense and scored all 10 of his TDs over those final eight games. A new offense of sorts is ushered in by Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison that wants to establish a power running game and that historically has not relied much on a committee. Monte Ball had his job torn away last year but he lost for reasons more than his injury. The Broncos want to run more and even Peyton Manning points to Anderson as the workhorse of this offense.
21 Ameer AbdullahUpside DET 9 165 900 4 35 330 3 1230 7 600 1
The Lions replaced Reggie Bush with this second round pick out of Nebraska who averaged over six yards per carry the last two seasons and over 1600 rushing yards in both. Abdullah scored 22 times in 2014. Abdullah did not have extensive work as a receiver in college because of the Cornhuskers scheme but has delighted the coaching staff with his ability and has drawn praises from OC Joe Lombardi. Joique Bell is the returning starter but he's 29 and coming off knee and Achilles surgeries. Abdullah is the future and that could start as early as this year. He'll be a complement to Bell at worst and could - and should - surpass him as the primary back sooner than later. The Lions wanted Abdullah for his big play ability unlike the slower Bell. The Lions have used a committee backfield even with Lombardi coming in last year so both RBs will see use. But Abdullah is the one to watch here and needs to be drafted after the first wave of starters are gone.
22 Latavius MurrayUpside MIN 5 161 950 6 30 240 1 1190 7 0 0
Murray was a sixth round pick in 2013 who never played. He was little used last year until week 12 at home versus the Chiefs when he went off for 112 yards and two TDs on just four carries and then suffered a concussion that held him out the next week. Murray took over the final four weeks of the season when he produced 68 carries for 258 yards and caught a total of 11 passes for 108 yards. Maurice Jones- Drew and Darren McFadden are gone and Trent Richardson and Roy Helu were added. That gives Murray the chance to hold the primary RB spot that could surprise. The Raiders have a better schedule this year but Murray has to hold off Richardson (check) and hope that Roy Helu doesn't catch too many passes. Murray is the one to own in this offense barring unexpected changes.
23 Ryan Mathews FA x 152 910 5 28 250 1 1160 6 0 0
Mathews was signed before DeMarco Murray and he seemed in line for big things - less so now. He plays a definite #2 to Murray but in an offense with 400+ carries, Mathews will have enough work to have fantasy value on his own and should Murray get injured (like literally every other year besides 2014), then Mathews will be significant. He signed a three-year deal with the Eagles for $11.5 million so he is not just depth. An ankle injury robbed him of ten games last year but his lone 16 game season saw him with 1444 total yards and seven scores in 2013. He won't be asked to carry a heavy load but he'll be there if they ever need him to.
24 Giovani Bernard CIN 7 151 650 3 50 500 3 1150 6 100 0
Safe to say that Bernard will never be a primary NFL RB at least so long as Jeremy Hill remains on the same team. Now two years into his career, Bernard posted nearly identical seasons with 170-695-5 and 168-680-5. He dropped a bit as a receiver in the new scheme installed last year when he ended with 43-349-2. Bernard remains a solid complement to Hill and will continue to figure in the same as the first two seasons. That falls short of a fantasy starter in most leagues but he does offer some weekly consistency and could see more passes this year if only because the schedule will be tougher.
25 Melvin GordonUpside LAC 150 1000 5 25 200 0 1200 5 0 0
Gordon is the first round back not coming off an ACL tear. He'll be the first rookie back taken in every draft and will likely rise in perceived value when he plays in preseason games. The 6-1, 213 lb. Wisconsin back replaces Ryan Mathews and will supply the primary rushing role. Gordon had only 22 catches in college and will see Danny Woodhead supply the receiving role. Gordon ran for 2587 yards with a 7.5 YPC and 32 TDs last year. He's easily the best back in SD since LaDainian Tomlinson. Any rookie is a risk but Gordon is by far the lowest risk and likely the biggest upside. Gordon surprised the coaches with his ability to catch and may not lose as much to Woodhead as initially thought.
26 Frank GoreUpside MIA 5 148 890 5 28 230 1 1120 6 0 0
Gore may be 32 and in his 11th season, but his ninth 1000 yard season should be nearly a lock for the back who has proven to remain rather durable. Gore spent all those years in SF as the primary back and even did a lot of receiving back four years ago or more. The SF scheme has been heavy on the run during his entire stay and with a questionable passing game, Gore has spent most of his career facing defenses that are looking to stop him first and foremost. Now he may never see another eight-man front. Andrew Luck has every defense on their heels and Gore should have more running room than he's ever enjoyed. HC Chuck Pagano also said that Gore was an every-down back who would be used heavily.
27 Isaiah Crowell NYJ 5 146 900 7 18 140 0 1040 7 0 0
The new OC John DeFlippo said he would go with the hot hand at RB but also that the offense would not change much from last year. And last year was a true committee in every game. While Crowell is considered a better runner than Terrance West, the Browns drafted Duke Johnson as a third down type so the real question is how much does Crowell get as the primary back and does West dig into his stats enough to matter? Crowell never rushed for more than 88 yards in any game last year and never had more than 16 carries. He has almost no role as a receiver. He is the best bet for early down rushing attempts and the CLE O-line is good. But a shaky situation at QB isn't going to force any defense to drop back on first and second down. Figure on Crowell with moderate to good rushing stats and scores but minimal receptions.
28 Matt Jones IND 10 146 900 4 28 260 1 1160 5 0 0
The Skins used their third round pick for this 6-2, 235 lb. Florida product. Jones is a big back that runs aggressively inside but he can also catch. His resume from college includes a torn meniscus in 2013 and he was only part of a committee backfield that topped out in 2014 with 166 carries for 817 yards and six TDs. He came out after his junior season and projects to be the third down back this year. Roy Helu posted 42 catches for 477 yards and two scores in that role last year. There is a chance that Jones digs into Morris' workload as the season progresses but he's not very fast and has plenty to learn running, blocking and catching the ball. Training camp should indicate if he can fill that role.
29 Danny WoodheadUpside FA x 142 400 2 65 600 5 1000 7 110 0
It is easy to forget about the 30-year-old Woodhead since he only played two games in 2014 before breaking his ankle and landing on IR. But his first season in SD resulted in 429 rush yards and 76 receptions for 605 yards and eight total TDs. The rookie Melvin Gordon may well end up with a huge chunk of the workload but if only in the first half of the year, figure on Woodhead remaining the primary receiving and third down back and allow Gordon to focus on running first. The Chargers completed 83 passes to RBs in 2014 and that was without Woodhead there. There were 112 RB catches by SD in 2013 that ranked #3 in the NFL. Woodhead will be obscured by Gordon in drafts but he's worth a later grab, particularly in reception point leagues.
30 Rashad Jennings FA x 136 740 5 30 260 1 1000 6 0 0
Jennings parlayed his one good half season in OAK to a starting gig with the NYG and the 30-year-old will once again start out as the primary in a committee backfield. He ran for 639 yards and four scores plus added 30 catches for 226 yards in Ben McAdoo's new offense. He was limited to only 11 games due to an ankle injury. While Jennings will get the most touches, he has a ceiling on what he can do and it isn't likely much higher than we've already seen. He's a 30-year-old journeyman RB who managed to land a starting gig late in his career.
31 Jonathan StewartUpside NYG 11 135 860 5 16 130 1 990 6 0 0
Stewart started his career with two very nice seasons that saw him score ten and then eleven TDs. But he's been stuck these last five seasons sharing with DeAngelo Williams and all too often being injured. Now that Williams is gone and Stewart is healthy, the 28-year-old has a chance to start his career over right before he hits the wall at 30. Stewart hasn't rushed more than 175 times in a season since 2009 and HC Ron Rivera said that Stewart's workload will depend on the success he is having in the game. What helps is that he was very effective in the final six games he played last year that included three 100+ rushing yard efforts. The Panthers also have an easier schedule this year and wind up playing at ATL and hosting the Buccaneers for weeks 15 and 16. This is clearly the best opportunity that Stewart will have to peak his career. He is currently as healthy as he has been in years.
32 Tevin ColemanRisk ATL 10 129 600 7 30 210 1 810 8 0 0
The 3.09 pick by the Falcons is 5-11 which is three inches taller than Devonta Freeman but they both weigh 206 pounds and at least on paper have similar strengths. OC Kyle Shanahan's new offense will want to run plenty and in that gives a big opportunity to Coleman who ran for 2036 yards for Indiana last year. Coleman has big play ability and could end up the bigger half of the backfield committee. But it is a group effort by design and Coleman will have to show a lot in training camp to displace Freeman as the primary. If you draft RBs later, grabbing both Freeman and Coleman could end up with gem. But there is risk that you'll just end up with two backs without the volume of work to make a big fantasy impact.
33 Arian FosterRisk FA x 122 660 4 30 260 1 920 5 0 0
08-04-15 Update:
Well Foster did not last long. He suffered a groin injury in his first day in pads and is expected to enter the season on IR/Designated to return.

Foster claims to be as healthy as he has ever been and he's been free of hamstring and other various ailments that seem to happen in the offseason and season. Foster missed three games with a groin injury last year but still ended with 260-1246-8 as a runner and 38-327-5 as a receiver. The Texans don't know who their QB is and Andre Johnson is gone. Foster is the only known weapon they have aside from DeAndre "who is throwing me the ball" Hopkins. He's 29 years-old and should have this year still left in his tank. The Texans did nothing to address a backup aside from adding Chris Polk so Foster is going to get the rock as much as he can handle. Small injury risk but more upside here to be the showcase of the offense.
34 Charles Sims TBB 6 122 480 1 50 500 3 980 4 0 0
In May, all the reports were that Sims would take over and be the #1 RB in TB despite a rookie campaign of just 66- 185-1 as a runner over only eight games played thanks to an ankle injury that required surgery. He only gained a 2.8 YPC average. But Martin had the first team reps in OTA's and now Sims is back to being a change-of-pace and receiving back which still offers fantasy value since new OC Dirk Koetter had over 100 completions to his RBs each season. Jacquizz Rodgers had two seasons with more than 50 catches while Koetter was in ATL. Training camp may change the roles but until they do, consider Sims as a third down back who might only matter enough to fill in a bye week.
35 Dion Lewis TEN 4 119 300 3 58 590 2 890 5 0 0
No analysis available
36 Justin Forsett FA x 115 680 3 35 290 0 970 3 0 0
Justin Forsett enjoyed a rare year of extraordinary measure. After six seasons in the NFL going through three other teams as nothing more than RB depth with no fantasy relevance, Forsett landed in the perfect spot. The Ravens started last year with the firestorm over Ray Rice who was released just before the season started. That left little to rely on and Forsett stepped up to run for 235-1256-8 and had 44-263-0 as a receiver. That is almost more than his six previous years in the NFL combined. And the Ravens did little to replace him waiting until round four to grab Buck Allen. This will remain a committee but Forsett will enjoy the primary position. And given that Trestman's offense in CHI recorded 83 and 108 catches by RBs over the last two seasons, Forsett's value in a reception points league could be even higher this year. One caveat here - the schedule takes a much tougher turn this year than last.
37 Duke JohnsonUpside CLE 11 115 450 3 58 460 1 910 4 150 0
The Browns grabbed Johnson with their 3.13 pick and the intention is to use him as more of a third down, receiving back who could grow into more carries. Johnson is the smallest CLE back at 5-9, 206 but brings in a nice resume' with three seasons as the Miami Hurricanes lead back. He ran for 1652 yards and ten scores last year while catching 39 passes for 421 yards and three scores all in 13 games. The Browns ranked #32 in the NFL for catches by a RB (32) though they ranked 6th with 96 the previous year. CLE wants to throw to RBs more and Johnson fills that void. He'll be worth drafting in reception point leagues as depth but as with all rookies - more could develop during the season.
38 Derrick Henry TEN 4 106 500 5 20 200 1 700 6 0 0
No analysis available
39 DeAngelo Williams FA x 105 500 4 30 250 1 750 5 0 0
07-28-15 Update:
Le'Veon Bell's suspension was lowered to just two games making Williams even less a factor.

Williams gets to replace Le'Veon Bell for his three game suspension but aside from the Bell owner, what you'll get when PIT plays @NE, SF and @STL is probably not going to be a big fantasy score. The 32-year-old Williams missed ten games last year with ankle and hand injuries. He's been rarely used for more than about ten carries per game for the last few seasons and that is probably around what to expect for the first three weeks. He's mostly the handcuff to Bell. Other league mates will probably try to steal him if only to spite the Bell owner so he'll likely be drafted much earlier than his production will warrant.
40 DeAndre Washington OAK 6 104 440 3 35 300 2 740 5 0 0
No analysis available
41 LeGarrette Blount DET 9 101 600 6 8 50 0 650 6 0 0
Blount misses the first game because of a marijuana suspension but he's the only Patriot RB with a lock on any job. The 6-0, 250 lb. bruiser has no role as a receiver but he'll supply all the short yardage and inside running the Pats need. That limits his value to moderate rush yardage and TDs.
42 Theo Riddick DET 9 97 200 1 68 590 2 790 3 0 0
Riddick remains the back-up for Bell and won't have enough value to merit drafting. He only had 20 carries last year and gained just a 2.6 YPC. He was used in a third down role at times and ended with 34 catches but that is not expected to increase with the addition of Ameer Abdullah. Almost all of Riddick's stats last year came when Reggie Bush was out.
43 Shane VereenUpside FA x 96 230 0 55 550 3 780 3 0 0
Vereen comes over after four seasons in NE and by all reports his role as a third down back not only appears to be fantasy relevant, but that he may play a much more significant role than just passing downs. Rashad Jennings was nothing special last year with his 3.8 YPC and Vereen has already looked great catching pass from Eli Manning. He has value as a pass receiver in a reception points league but has the upside to be much more.
44 T.J. Yeldon JAC 8 96 350 2 45 430 1 780 3 0 0
Yeldon steps into a nice situation in the sense that the Jaguars ranked #32 last year with only 298 runs by RBs. Plenty of room for improvement here and the 2.04 pick from Alabama was the third back selected - only Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon went earlier. At 6-1, 226 lbs. Yeldon brings prototypical size and more pedigree than either Denard Robinson or Toby Gerhart. He is a junior entry but played three years for the Crimson Tide with around 1000 yards every season and never fewerthan 12 TDs. The Jaguars offense is suspect again this year and even if Yeldon proves to be a full-time primary back, he'll be limited in what he can do.
45 Jay AjayiRisk PHI 8 94 580 3 18 180 0 760 3 0 0
09-06-15 Update:
Ajayi starts the season on the reserve/designated to return list and should not be drafted.

09-04-15 Update:
Ajayi has been a disappointment and now has a broken rib.

Ajayi was the 5.13 pick by the Dolphins and that wasn't even their first pick in that round. Ajayi was considered a second round talent by scouts and he comes off a season with 1823 rush yards, 50-535 as a receiver and 32 total TDs for Boise State. He is a complete and very versatile back but he plummeted in the draft on the report that he had "bone on bone" in his knee and that his career would not be long in the NFL. He is talented enough that he is expected to challenge Lamar Miller for the starting spot at least eventually. At worst he's a nice complement in a backfield that has long been a committee and Ajayi is already an accomplished receiver as well. He is a must own for the Miller owner and worth a speculative steal in your RB depth. But he could remain below relevance and/or have knee issues.
46 Devontae Booker DEN 7 94 410 4 28 230 1 640 5 0 0
No analysis available
47 Chris Johnson FA x 93 600 5 4 30 0 630 5 0 0
Signed a one-year, $870k contract with the Cardinals There is no signing bonus so the Cards can release him at any time with no liability. Johnson gets his chance to continue his career but the Cardinals are never a big rushing team and Andre Ellington remains the starter. Johnson is worth a very late round gamble but he is unlikely to become a reliable fantasy starter again.
48 Tim Hightower FA x 93 410 4 28 220 1 630 5 0 0
No analysis available
49 Chris Thompson WAS 8 93 450 2 35 300 1 750 3 0 0
Thompson gets the easy path to the #3 spot with the injury to Silas Redd but that still doesn't equate to fantasy significance.
50 Bilal Powell NYJ 5 92 300 1 52 440 2 740 3 0 0
Powell projects as the #2 back and he has been as good as 697 yards back in 2013. But he has just six TDs in his four NFL seasons and will have Zac Stacy contending for work as well as eventually Stevan Ridley whenever he is healed from his ACL tear of last year. Powell is worth a pick as fantasy depth but there is no upside here.
51 Shaun Draughn FA x 90 300 2 49 420 1 720 3 0 0
No analysis available
52 James Starks FA x 89 350 2 35 300 2 650 4 0 0
Starks is only a backup and that is all he will ever be. He is used to rest Eddie Lacy but only gained 333 yards on 85 carries in that role in 2014. He's a handcuff of sorts for the Lacy owner but would not carry much expectations even if he had to sub for Lacy.
53 Christine Michael IND 10 89 460 3 24 190 1 650 4 0 0
09-06-15 Update:
Michael was traded to the Cowboys for a conditional seventh round pick. He'll be yet another body added to the running back crew that only makes the fantasy picture worse instead of better.

Two seasons into his career and Michael has done almost nothing despite getting the occasional hype in training camps. He's never scored in the NFL and has just 62 rushes so far. He remains deep enough on the depth chart that the Seahawks may end up parting ways with their former second round pick.
54 Spencer Ware KCC 9 83 460 4 15 130 0 590 4 0 0
No analysis available
55 Javorius AllenUpside BAL 9 82 400 2 28 240 1 640 3 0 0
Buck Allen is likely to displace Lorenzo Taliaferro as the #2 back and he has obvious upside. But he only had one decent season at USC and has to learn the new offense along with everyone else. At 6-1, 220 he has the size of Taliaferro and yet more speed. Forsett is just 5-8, 197 and is already 30 Y.O.. That makes Allen much more intriguing in this offense and for all the good that Forsett did in his magic year, that was all in a different offense with a different OC. Preseason will help determine how likely Allen is to steal significant carries from Forsett but again - the Ravens have a far worse schedule this year and OC Marc Trestman has been giving his primary back a big chunk of the workload.
56 Jerick McKinnon SFO 10 78 370 2 25 230 1 600 3 0 0
With Adrian Peterson out of the mix last year the Vikings had to accelerate the development of former college quarterback McKinnon, and there were certainly high points including a pair of 100-yard games. Now AP is back, meaning the upside to McKinnon is as a third-down back. He's not a pure handcuff, as the Vikings demonstrated last year the backup plan is a McKinnon/Matt Asiata committee. Also worth noting: McKinnon is still seeking his first NFL touchdown.
57 Reggie Bush FA x 76 300 2 34 280 1 580 3 0 0
Bush lands on his fourth NFL team and the 30 Y.O. RB comes off the worst season in his career. He fell from favor in Detroit and only averaged 3.9 YPC last year but he's not coming to SF to run between the tackles. He'll be the receiving back with a light dose of running. During the offseason, Kaepernick and Bush practiced well throwing passes to him and draw very positive reviews. The 49ers have only thrown around 45 completions to RBs the last few years and that seems low given the expectations for Bush. This will be a run-first team but Bush should become a new element in the offense. His value is far higher in reception point leagues. Bush spent the last eight years catching around 40 or so passes per season.
58 Paul Perkins NYG 11 74 420 4 14 80 0 500 4 0 0
No analysis available
59 Darren Sproles PHI 8 73 200 2 42 350 1 550 3 400 1
Sproles winds down his career at 32 years-old and his first season in PHI produced just 716 total yards and six TDs - all rushing. Now the Eagles have DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews for rushing yardage and scores. Sproles will add in as a receiving back but he's likely to see yet another incremental decrease.
60 Mike Tolbert BUF 8 70 280 3 25 180 1 460 4 0 0
No analysis available
61 Charcandrick West KCC 9 61 200 3 20 170 1 370 4 0 0
No analysis available
62 Wendell Smallwood PHI 8 61 320 2 20 170 0 490 2 0 0
No analysis available
63 Alfred Blue FA x 60 400 2 10 80 0 480 2 0 0
08-04-15 Update:
Blue gets a major bump with the groin injury to Arian Foster. He's the #1 in Houston and will get a chance to jumpstart his career as a starter now.

Blue is most likely to be the direct back-up for Arian Foster and as a rookie he ran for 528 yards and two scores though he averaged only 3.1 YPC. He'll have to hold off a cast of even lesser talented backs but his greatest value is as insurance for the Foster owner. Blue has been mentioned for more third down work and the Texan QBs are likely going to look for their closest target. The Texans were #1 in the NFL in RB carries (474) in HC Bill O'Brien's first season so there will be carries to share.
64 Kenjon Barner PHI 8 59 250 2 20 160 1 410 3 0 0
No analysis available
65 Josh Ferguson IND 10 58 320 3 14 80 0 400 3 0 0
No analysis available
66 Mike Gillislee NEP 4 54 300 3 10 60 0 360 3 250 0
No analysis available
67 Terrance West BAL 9 53 350 2 10 60 0 410 2 0 0
09-06-15 Update:
West was traded to the Titans for undisclosed compensation.

While West figured in heavily last year - 171-673-4 as a runner - he was mostly overtaken by Isaiah Crowell late last year and by all reports will see less action this season. Crowell is the early down rusher and newly drafted Duke Johnson is at least the third down back - more if you like selective hype. Going into your draft, figure on West being a #3 in CLE and as such not worth a pick.
68 James White NEP 4 53 50 2 35 300 1 350 3 0 0
White was an early favorite to replace Shane Vereen and spent the offseason showing off receiving skills. But the backfield is no less a mess than it has been in other years and Travaris Cadet is also in the mix for the job. Unless you want to buy the entire set of RBs, make Blount be the only NE RB you draft. White only ran the ball nine times as a rookie and caught just five passes.
69 Isaiah Pead FA x 52 200 1 20 200 1 400 2 0 0
No analysis available
70 Kenyan Drake MIA 5 52 200 1 20 200 1 400 2 0 0
No analysis available
71 Jordan Howard CHI 7 52 300 3 6 40 0 340 3 0 0
No analysis available
72 Darren McFaddenUpsideRisk FA x 51 200 1 30 250 0 450 1 0 0
McFadden lands in a great spot thanks to the Dallas O-line and only Joseph Randle around to handle early down carries. But McFadden is in his 8th season with little to show for being a starting tailback. He's only averaged 3.3 YPC over the last three years and signed a two-year, $3M contract with no guarantees. He will be in the mix for backfield rotation but he's already had a strained hamstring to start the season and the only time in his entire career that he last all 16 games was last season when he only rushed for 534 yards and two scores. He deserves to be drafted as depth but only to see what happens.
73 Robert Turbin IND 10 50 260 0 16 180 1 440 1 0 0
Turbin remains the primary back-up for the durable Marshawn Lynch and he's ended all three seasons in the NFL with around 80 carries for 300 yards. He still has not rushed in a score and has no value other than a handcuff for Lynch that so far has never been needed.
74 Marcus Murphy BUF 8 44 230 1 18 150 0 380 1 0 0
No analysis available
75 Rob Kelley WAS 8 44 300 1 10 80 0 380 1 0 0
No analysis available
76 Ronnie Hillman FA x 43 250 1 16 120 0 370 1 0 0
The smaller Hillman remains the #3 in this offense but he already topped out at just 21 catches in a season and that was with Monte Ball out. The new offense is slated to throw fewer passes and that should continue to make Hillman irrelevant in fantasy.
77 Tyler Ervin HOU 9 42 130 1 18 170 1 300 2 0 0
No analysis available
78 Alfred Morris DAL 6 40 240 2 5 40 0 280 2 0 0
Morris fell to a career low 265 carries for 1074 yards and eight scores during Gruden's first season and even as a RB unit the Skins only rushed 333 times (25th in the NFL). He still has minimal role as a receiver out of the backfield and only caught 17 passes last year. WAS drafted Matt Jones who will become the receiving back so no reason to expect any real change for Morris this season. He only broke 100 rush yards once all year and doesn't get any help from receptions. He remains just a first and second down runner and there is a chance that Matt Jones may dig into his rushing totals as well.
79 Khiry Robinson FA x 40 180 3 5 40 0 220 3 0 0
Robinson ran for 362 yards and three scores last year and added eight catches but his year was cut short by a fractured forearm and he never got back on track. Now the Saints have added C.J. Spiller to the mix and that shoves Robinson once again down the depth chart where he'll need an injury to either Spiller of Mark Ingram to offer any fantasy relevance.
80 Benny Cunningham CHI 7 38 160 1 20 160 0 320 1 0 0
Cunningham remains the third down back and he recorded 45 catches for 352 yards and one score last year. But the addition of Todd Gurley ensures that Cunningham won't provide more than a few catches each week and won't have draftable fantasy value.
81 Dexter McCluster FA x 34 60 0 24 220 1 280 1 0 0
McCluster's first season in TEN wasn't much different than the four he spent in KC. He only ran for 131 yards with a 3.3 YPC and scored just once - as a receiver. He led TEN backs with 26 catches for 197 yards and never produced any real fantasy value. No reason to expect more with the Titans drafting David Cobb to add to the mix.
82 Kenneth Dixon BAL 9 34 210 1 8 70 0 280 1 0 0
No analysis available
83 Cameron Artis-PayneUpside CAR 5 31 200 1 8 50 0 250 1 0 0
There wouldn't be much interest in the RB picked with the 5.38 pick (the 17th RB drafted) but Artis-Payne is a near lock to become the #2 back and the Panthers already felt that he can carry the entire load if Jonathan Stewart is injured. The 5-11, 210 lb. back only had one good season for the Auburn Tigers but he ran 303-1608-13 in just 13 SEC games. He also has almost no experience as a receiver which also fits into what happens in CAR. Artis-Payne needs to be drafted in larger leagues and is a prudent pick for the Stewart owners. The Panthers have a softer schedule this season and he'll contribute often as a relief and Change of Pace back. If Stewart reverts to his injurious ways of old, then Artis-Payne becomes a hot property.
84 Alex Collins BAL 9 31 200 0 14 110 0 310 0 0 0
No analysis available
85 Ka'Deem Carey FA x 29 200 1 5 30 0 230 1 0 0
Carey was the only other back to get any carries besides Matt Forte last year. Even then he only ran 36-158-0 and has no fantasy value. The Bears picked up Jacquizz Rodgers and drafted Jeremy Langford in the offseason so Carey is no lock to be the #2 again this year. Carey may even find it hard to keep his roster spot - no need to draft him this year.
86 Jordan Todman FA x 27 50 0 20 160 1 210 1 0 0
No analysis available
87 Andre Ellington FA x 25 150 1 6 40 0 190 1 0 0
Ellington had a golden opportunity to be the full-time RB in 2014 but Carson Palmer was mostly injured and the offense never really got on track. Plus Ellington only managed 201 carries while leaving the field for good in week 13 with a foot injury that bothered him all year. Even worse was his 3.3 YPC that reflected how poorly the overall offense did. The addition of David Johnson will cut into his workload but Ellington remains the primary back and more help could allow him to remain uninjured. His workload per game is going down though which will make him hard to rely on for more than a RB2 if even that high.
88 Matt Asiata FA x 22 100 0 15 120 0 220 0 0 0
Asiata enjoyed moments of fantasy glory last year, including a pair of three touchdown games. But with Adrian Peterson back on the field in Minnesota, Asiata returns to a backup role. He's failed to average four yards a carry in three previous seasons, so his only fantasy upside is volume of carries at the stripe - and this year those are going to AP.
89 Brandon Bolden NEP 4 21 100 0 10 50 1 150 1 0 0
Bolden is getting the lead for third down duties in camp so far and that could spawn fantasy relevance. The NE backfield is always hard to gauge but at least Bolden is showing up better than all other backs besides LeGarrette Blount.
90 Zach Zenner DET 9 21 120 1 5 30 0 150 1 0 0
The undrafted tailback from South Dakota State has made a name for himself by leading the NFL in rushing yards in the preseason. While not a lock to make the roster, Zenner has done enough to merit attention even if the Lions release him. History is rife with RB's that looked great in preseason and then disappeared but at least Zenner has done all he could to become an NFL player.
91 Denard Robinson FA x 20 100 1 6 40 0 140 1 80 0
Robinson did nothing as a rookie but last year finally got a chance to start when Toby Gerhart became a total bust. Robinson had four good games in a row that seemed to suggest that he was the answer at RB. But then he spent three weeks with marginal results and injured his foot which made him miss the final three games. Robinson will still figure in this year but the Jaguars spent their high second round pick on T.J. Yeldon to assume the starting duties and Robinson becomes the #2 in a bad offense. He's little more than fantasy depth you'll never want to use.
92 Branden Oliver LAC 20 100 1 8 40 0 140 1 160 0
Oliver ran for two 100 yard games last year but he was far less effective in the second half of the season and only ended with 160-582-3 (3.6 YPC). He'll be nothing more than a complementary back for Melvin Gordon and isn't even a clear handcuff since Danny Woodhead is back this year.
93 David Cobb FA x 20 100 1 6 40 0 140 1 0 0
09-06-15 Update:
Cobb was placed on injured reserve/designated to return.

Cobb was taken in the fifth round and the 5-11, 229 lb. back comes in as a power runner that the Titans mistakenly thought Shonn Greene could be. Cobb was productive for the Minnesota Gophers and ran for 1626 yards and 13 scores just last year. But he has minimal experience as a receiver and he ran a 4.7/40 that says pretty much anyone can run him down in the NFL. But all he has in front of him and a starting gig is Bishop Sankey who was a major disappointment last year despite far more pedigree. The problem here is that Marcus Mariota could end up like Cam Newton and steal short yardage TDs. That would really hurt Cobb who will at least help out in short yardage. Be leery of this situation until Cobb shows he can play in the NFL and beat out Sankey for significant carries.
94 Keith Marshall WAS 8 19 100 1 5 30 0 130 1 0 0
No analysis available
95 Mike Davis SEA 9 17 100 1 2 10 0 110 1 0 0
No analysis available
96 C.J. SpillerUpsideRisk FA x 16 100 0 10 60 0 160 0 140 0
08-15-15 Update:
Spiller had arthroscopic surgery on his knee today and will miss the rest of preseason. He is expected to be back by week one of the season. He will miss valuable time with Brees but could still have just as good of a season.

The 27-year-old Spiller signed a four-year, $16 million contract to come to NO and there is optimism that he'll get his career back on track. Spiller excelled in 2012 with 1244 rush yards (6.0 ypc) and 43-459-2 as a receiver but spent the last two years under HC Doug Marrone and OC Nathaniel Hackett with much less success and a slight durability problem. Spiller should run better in NO where the passing game garners far more respect than it has in BUF. The Saints intend to make him the preferred receiving back for a team that ranked #1 in the NFL in RB receptions (132). But Spiller can be more than just a receiver and he could end up digging into Ingram's workload. Fortunately the intention is to run more this year so there could be plenty of carries for both.
97 C.J. Prosise SEA 9 16 100 0 10 60 0 160 0 0 0
No analysis available
98 Chase Reynolds FA x 10 100 0 0 0 0 100 0 0 0
No analysis available
99 Stevan RidleyRisk PIT 11 8 60 0 4 20 0 80 0 0 0
09-05-15 Update:
Ridley enters the season on the reserve/PUP list.

Ridley tore his ACL last year and may not be ready to play by week one. He could end up starting the year on the PUP and has no fantasy value in a redraft league.
100 Taiwan Jones BUF 8 7 60 0 2 10 0 70 0 800 0
No analysis available
101 Andre Williams LAC 7 60 0 1 10 0 70 0 50 0
Williams ran a respectable 252-721-7 as a rookie last year and added 18 catches but won't like come close to those stats this year with the addition of Shane Vereen who was all the buzz in the offseason. Rashad Jennings remains the primary back and short yardage guy and Vereen is a complement and the receiving back. That leaves Williams hoping for whatever scraps he gets.

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