2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs

These 2014 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings will be updated often throughout the summer, so make sure you check back from time to time.

Also, be sure to check out my other 2014 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2014 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material.

Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings - Running Backs (Sept. 3):
Top 10 | 11-20 | 21-40 | 41-75

  1. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs. Bye: 6.
    Jamaal Charles predictably fit perfectly into Andy Reid’s offense. He didn’t rush the ball as much – he saw his yardage on the ground drop from 1,509 to 1,287 – but he caught a whopping 70 balls. Don’t expect him to match his 19 total touchdowns in 15 games, but Charles is still a top-three fantasy pick (and No. 1 overall in PPR formats).

    Follow @walterfootball for updates.

    Projected 2014 Fantasy Stats: 1,240 rushing yards. 63 catches. 580 receiving yards. 12 total TDs.
    Projected 2014 Fantasy Points: 254.
    Projected 2014 PPR Fantasy Points: 317.

  2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings. Bye: 10.
    Adrian Peterson had a predictable down year following his near-record 2013 campaign. He still managed to gain 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns in 14 games though. The latter figure could explode if Teddy Bridgewater plays as well as DraftTwitter projects him to.

    Projected 2014 Fantasy Stats: 1,520 rushing yards. 33 catches. 220 receiving yards. 13 total TDs.
    Projected 2014 Fantasy Points: 252.
    Projected 2014 PPR Fantasy Points: 288.

  3. LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles. Bye: 7.
    AUG. 22: LeSean McCoy went into the locker room at the end of the first quarter against the Steelers to get X-rays on his thumb. The X-rays came back negative, but I’m not liking McCoy’s sudden durability questions. He’s dealing with a slight turf toe, which could cause him problems later this season. It didn’t affect him tonight, however, as he gained 24 yards on four carries.

    AUG. 21: LeSean McCoy has a “small version” of turf toe that he’s dealing with. Chip Kelly said it’s not a big deal, but with the top three running backs so closely bunched together, I think you almost have to go Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson over McCoy. I might even consider Eddie Lacy as the third player off the board.

    MARCH 28: LeSean McCoy is still a top fantasy running back, but you have to believe that his numbers (mostly receptions) will go down in the wake of the Darren Sproles trade.

    Chip Kelly did wonders for LeSean McCoy’s stats, as McCoy rushed for 1,607 yards and caught 52 passes for 539 receiving yards in 2013. McCoy has just 787 carries over the past three seasons, so he should be fresh heading into 2014. McCoy figures to be a top-three fantasy pick.

    Projected 2014 Fantasy Stats: 1,440 rushing yards. 52 catches. 460 receiving yards. 10 total TDs.
    Projected 2014 Fantasy Points: 250.
    Projected 2014 PPR Fantasy Points: 302.

  4. Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers. Bye: 9.
    AUG. 23: Eddie Lacy played just one drive in his third preseason game. He was completely dominant, gaining 36 yards and a touchdown on six carries. The Raiders bottled him up once, but looked pathetic trying to stop him otherwise. Lacy is an absolute stud and should be considered as the No. 3 pick in standard fantasy drafts if you’re concerned with LeSean McCoy’s injuries.

    AUG. 17: Eddie Lacy was on the field for one drive at St. Louis, but he made a huge impact. Never exiting the contest, Lacy ran hard, broke tackles and caught a couple of passes. He gained 25 rushing yards on five carries and hauled in two catches for 22 receiving yards. Lacy is a stud, and it’s conceivable he could emerge as the No. 1 fantasy back this year. There’s a good chance that he’ll lead the league in rushing touchdowns.

    The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, Eddie Lacy rushed for 1,178 yards, caught 35 balls and scored 11 touchdowns despite playing just 14 full games and missing Aaron Rodgers for a healthy chunk of the season. Lacy is going to post huge numbers in 2014 if Rodgers can remain on the field.

    Projected 2014 Fantasy Stats: 1,340 rushing yards. 40 catches. 310 receiving yards. 14 total TDs.
    Projected 2014 Fantasy Points: 249.
    Projected 2014 PPR Fantasy Points: 289.

  5. Matt Forte, RB, Bears. Bye: 9.
    AUG. 15: Matt Forte hasn’t been able to run the ball well at all this preseason. He lost five yards on three carries last week, and he dropped two more yards on four attempts against the Jaguars. In total, he has minus-7 yards on seven rushes thus far. Forte will still contribute in the passing game – he caught three balls for 22 receiving yards in this contest – but his inability to be successful on the ground is becoming a concern.

    Marc Trestman talked up Matt Forte’s pass-catching ability prior to the 2013 season, so that would explain Forte’s jump from 44 to 74 receptions. Expect more of the same from Forte in 2014, though I would expect his touchdown total (12 in 2013) to drop a bit.

    Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 1,080 rushing yards. 69 catches. 520 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
    Projected 2010 Fantasy Points: 213.
    Projected 2014 PPR Fantasy Points: 282.

  6. Montee Ball, RB, Broncos. Bye: 4.
    AUG. 24: The other thing of note was the return of Denver’s running back. Montee Ball played in his first game coming off an appendectomy against the Texans. The Broncos wasted no time getting Ball involved, giving him a carry on the first play of the game and having Peyton Manning target him thrice on the opening drive. Ball didn’t play into the second quarter, but he looked good in his limited action, rushing for 13 yards on four carries and catching four balls for 21 receiving yards. He should be drafted at the beginning of the second round.

    AUG. 20: Montee Ball is back to doing individual drills following his appendectomy. He figures to be ready for Week 1, so he should be drafted at the beginning of the second round in most formats.

    AUG. 5: Montee Ball will be out with an appendectomy, but he’s expected to be ready for Week 1. I’m not giving him a thumbs-down arrow for this. It’s obviously not an ideal situation, but Ball still figures to get most of the touches. Also, it’s worth noting that Ball could fall in drafts. You might be able to get him in the second round now.

    JUNE 19: It appears as though Montee Ball will be a bigger factor in the passing game this year. Per ESPN’s Jeff Legwold, Ball has “consistently shown he’s ready to participate in long-yardage situations as a receiver.” This is obviously huge, and it could propel Ball to becoming the top running back in fantasy this year.

    MARCH 28: Knowshon Moreno is gone for good. Shortly afterward, Adam Schefter tweeted out that the Broncos have lots of confidence in Montee Ball. Some other publications touted Ball as a fourth-round fantasy pick last year, which was foolish because John Fox doesn’t like to play rookies. That won’t be an issue in 2014, and Ball is a top-eight fantasy runner.

    While other fantasy sites were touting Montee Ball as a third- or fourth-round fantasy target, it was obvious that John Fox and Peyton Manning wanted to go with a veteran back instead. That turned out to be the case, but given that Knowshon Moreno is a free agent, it’ll be Ball’s time to shine in 2014. Ball could be a fantasy monster, as double-digit touchdowns are possible in Denver’s offense.

    Projected 2014 Fantasy Stats: 1,250 rushing yards. 33 catches. 210 receiving yards. 12 total TDs.
    Projected 2014 Fantasy Points: 212.
    Projected 2014 PPR Fantasy Points: 245.

  7. Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers. Bye: 7.
    SEPT. 2: Doug Martin will be more involved in the passing game this year because the coaches have reportedly changed their minds about him as a pass-catcher. Martin has been tabbed as a bounce-back candidate for several months now, though this news may make others catch up.

    AUG. 17: Doug Martin looks like he’s set to have a rebound campaign. He rushed for 24 yards on six carries and also caught a 4-yard pass. Martin showed some nice elusiveness against the Dolphins, evading and slipping through tackles. Charles Sims is no longer available, though he was never much of a threat to take much of Martin’s workload.

    AUG. 16: Rookie running back Charlie Sims will miss about three months with an ankle injury. It was always a ridiculous notion that Sims was going to take an ample amount of touches away from Doug Martin. Now it’s a fact that Sims won’t interfere with a player who will almost certainly rebound this season.

    JUNE 15 UPDATE: Both Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford have stated repeatedly that they don’t want to count on one running back making it through the season. Doug Martin will still be the featured back in Tampa, but he won’t be a workhorse. He’ll share some of his touches with his teammates.

    I warned everyone to stay away from Buccaneer players last year because of some inside info I knew about Josh Freeman. I didn’t think Doug Martin would be strongly affected by this, but I was wrong. Luckily for Martin, he didn’t handle much of a workload during the abysmal 2013 campaign, so he’s fresh. He may also actually have Carl Nicks back from his staph infection. Never forget the Walking Bucs.

    Projected 2014 Fantasy Stats: 1,150 rushing yards. 35 catches. 240 receiving yards. 10 total TDs.
    Projected 2014 Fantasy Points: 194.
    Projected 2014 PPR Fantasy Points: 229.

  8. Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals. Bye: 4.
    Giovani Bernard’s fantasy owners had to be frustrated when they watched their rookie runner take a back seat to BenJarvus Green-Ellis at various stages of the season. However, Bernard had 14-plus touches in every game beginning in Week 10, and he figures to handle more of the workload in 2014 under a new offensive coordinator.

    Projected 2014 Fantasy Stats: 970 rushing yards. 52 catches. 480 receiving yards. 8 total TDs.
    Projected 2014 Fantasy Points: 191.
    Projected 2014 PPR Fantasy Points: 243.

    Daily Fantasy Sports Games at FanDuel.com

  9. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers. Bye: 12.
    AUG. 21: Le’Veon Bell was arrested for possession of marijuana and DUI on Wednesday. Bell might be suspended for this, though that may come in 2015. Still, it’s not a good sign that he’s not focusing on football with the season coming up so soon.

    Le’Veon Bell suffered an injury this past August and initially wasn’t expected back until Week 6 at the earliest. Bell missed just three games and looked good once he returned to the lineup, rushing for 860 yards, catching 45 balls and scoring eight times in 13 contests.

    Projected 2014 Fantasy Stats: 1,060 rushing yards. 49 catches. 350 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
    Projected 2014 Fantasy Points: 190.
    Projected 2014 PPR Fantasy Points: 239.

  10. Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins. Bye: 10.
    AUG. 9: Alfred Morris received most of the carries when he was on the field during the preseason opener. He looked great, running with terrific power. He rushed for 27 yards on five carries, and it appears as though he doesn’t miss Mike Shanahan’s blocking scheme at all. It’s also worth noting that Morris saw a target thrown his way. His fantasy owners will be thrilled if he becomes even the slightest factor in the passing game.

    JULY 14 UPDATE: Alfred Morris was perfect in Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme, so you have to wonder how he’ll adapt to a new system. New head coach Jay Gruden has already mentioned that he wants to use running backs who can catch, so that’s not good news for Morris because that’s a weak part of his game.

    The bad news: Mike Shanahan, who had a penchant for turning late-round running backs like Alfred Morris into stars, is gone. The good news: Robert Griffin will be healthy heading into 2014, so teams once again won’t be able to concentrate on shutting down Morris.

    Projected 2014 Fantasy Stats: 1,200 rushing yards. 14 catches. 90 receiving yards. 10 total TDs.
    Projected 2014 Fantasy Points: 189.
    Projected 2014 PPR Fantasy Points: 203.

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings - Running Backs (Sept. 3):
Top 10 | 11-20 | 21-40 | 41-75

More 2014 Fantasy Football Articles:
Fantasy Football Rankings

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 8/27 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 6/4 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 6/4 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings - 5/18 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Dynasty - 8/22 (Walt)

2014 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 2-QB - 8/21 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 8/14 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 8/12 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 3-WR - 8/7 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 7/31 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 3-WR - 7/24 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 7/17 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 7/10 (Walt)

2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - PPR - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - 2-QB - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - TD - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Custom - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Spreadsheets - 8/28 (Walt)

2014 Fantasy Football Articles:
2014 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Training Camp - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football: It's All About Value - 9/1 (Kenny)
2014 Fantasy Football Sleepers - 8/31 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Busts - 8/31 (Walt)
2014 NFL Preseason Recap, Fantasy Football Notes - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Quarterback Targets - 8/30 (Walt)
FanDuel $1 Million Contest - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator - 8/30 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Round-by-Round Strategy - 8/17 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Running Backs - 3/28 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football: Overdrafted Players - 2/16 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football: First-Round Bust History - 2/14 (Walt)
Running Backs with Most Carries - 2/14 (Walt)

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 23

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12

Injured/injury risk
Potential bust
Potential sleeper
Rank higher in touchdown leagues
Rank lower in touchdown leagues
Rank higher in PPR (points per reception) leagues
Rank lower in PPR leagues