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Top 5 Fantasy Football Running Backs To Target

[adinserter block=”1″]When I first started playing fantasy football over a decade ago my draft strategy was to take the two best RB I could with my first two picks. Even though the NFL has evolved, my draft strategy has not. I believe to win in fantasy football you have to have a consistent stable of running backs.

The problem with that is I feel there are only five consistent fantasy running backs in the NFL this year. Without a top five running back, your team could be in trouble. Teams today are going to less of running attack and more of a passing vertical game. The days of the I-formation are like dust in the wind. The spread offense is taking over. Therefore, unless you are happy with 10-15 points combined from your running backs, you should target these five RB’s with your first pick.

Adrian Peterson: I know it is a no brainer, but All Day shows no signs of slowing down. The former 2000-yard rusher not only has the power but breakaway speed to put in the end zone. He shows no signs of having surgically repaired knee. The change in the coaching staff definitely benefits AP. Norv Turner is the new offensive is coordinator in Minnesota. Some of the best fantasy running backs have come from a Norv Turner offense. Emmitt Smith. LaDainian Tomlinson, Stephen Davis, and Ricky Williams to a name a few. AP will also be catching more balls out of the backfield so he becomes even more valuable in PPR leagues.

Jamaal Charles: The speedster out of Texas, who last year was the #1 running back in fantasy, is ready to take the top spot again this year. He is the complete back. Do not believe me ask the rest of the NFL when he rushed for nearly 1300 yards and had close to 700 yards receiving. Kansas City will not be sneaking up on people this year but Charles running behind a good offensive line and steady play from Alex Smith under center, Charles could duplicate last season’s numbers.

LeSean McCoy: Chip Kelly and his high tempo offense needs a back with speed, speed and more speed. Shady McCoy has plenty to go around. The league’s leading rusher last season with over 1600 yards on the ground looks to be ready to do it again. He ran behind an offensive line that for most of last season were injury free. The Eagles released Desean Jackson in the spring and that could mean more touches for McCoy in the short passing game as the Eagles no longer have a deep threat. McCoy may not be an every down back this season as the Eagles traded for Darren Sproles. Sproles will get some action on 3rd down but look for Shady to see the bulk of the work including the goal line carries and an increase in receptions.

Matt Forte: Teams cannot put eight men in the box to stop this guy because the Bears have two outstanding wide receivers. Forte is the main beneficiary from having two pro bowl wide receivers. He may not be the fastest back on this list but he has the best hands. You could make a case for him to go #1 overall in PPR leagues. Without a bruising running back for short yardage situations, Forte will get the lion’s share of goal line carries as he looks to have a double-digit touchdown season. I traded up in a fantasy draft to get him as I think he will be an absolute stud this season.

[adinserter block=”2″]Eddie Lacy: This guy bucks the trend of underachieving running backs from Alabama. He had a tremendous rookie season even though people were taking cheap shots at the man in the preseason about his size. Running backs have the greatest improvement from year one to year two. The Packers have a tremendous offense and Eddie Lacy will be a focal point of it this season. I think he will end up a top three back this year as I think he will be a bit more involved in the passing game this season.

I know the names are obvious but without one of these consistent running backs this year, I feel it will be hard to win a championship this season.

Fantasy Football Index 2014

2014 Pro Football Focus Fantasy Draft Guide



  1. Nothing I love more than good fantasy football articles. With that being said I think that the top five running backs are pretty clear. I would love to hear your thoughts on the top 5 running backs to pick after the top 5 running backs have been picked.

    • I agree Jason. I am still not convinced about Lacy. I need to see him make it through a season injury-free before I label him as a “sure thing.” Quite frankly I think everyone else is a crap shoot after that. I really like Ryan Matthews this year. I know a lot of people are down on Marshawn but I am not convinced he is done. I’d take a shot on him after these guys.

      • As far as Lynch goes, I am of the mind set of cutting bate a little too early than a little too late. I think he will be good this year, but I don’t want to be caught holding the bag when the wheels fall off. I did that with Michael Turner a few years back. I am surprised at how high people are on Bernard. I had him last year and he was a great sleeper but I don’t see him as a second rounder and a questionable 3rd rounder.


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