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- LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills: McCoy declined last year in Philadelphia. He was the No. 13 running back last year, as opposed to his usual top 10 status. Earlier this year he was sent off to Buffalo, and he was unhappy about it. Fantasy owners should be too. The Bills as a team finished 25th in rushing yards, and 27th in rushing touchdowns. They have a good defense, but that may not be enough to keep them ahead in most games. We all know that when a team is down late in the game they go to the air. McCoy may improve the Bills rushing totals, but the Bills are just a step away from having both a great offense and defense. If I felt the Bills would win most games, I would rank Shady higher.
- DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles: After an amazing year last year it kills me to put this guy here. He was the top-scoring running back last year, I mean the guy ran for over 1,800 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. So what happened? He went to Philly, but they are third highest scoring offense in the league last year. Sounds like an improvement to me. They also signed Ryan Mathews, and Darren Sproles is still around. We may see these numbers declined with more competition around. We also know that head coach Chip Kelly likes to run a fast offense and will move players in and out to keep the offense flowing.
- C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos: After stepping up into the leading role last year, due to injuries to Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman, Anderson continued to improve each week last year. The Broncos have stated they want to run the ball more, but they also realize that as Peyton Manning’s attempts decrease, so do their wins. It’s a nice thought to want to run more, and it may happen. I see the Broncos throwing more because they are still stronger in that aspect. His attempts may increase, especially if Manning gets injured, but as of now I have to go off what I know and believe.
- Matt Forte, Chicago Bears: : Was he a receiver last year or running back? I mean the guy had 102 receptions last year. Will it happen again this year? I doubt it Marc Trestman is in Baltimore now, and there will be a new system in Chicago. However, I still believe he will be used a lot. The Bears are another one of those teams that won’t be ahead in a lot of games, and may have to switch to the passing game to bail them out. Then why does Forte get the higher ranking? Well, because outside of McCoy, he has more of an every down back role than the guys placed behind him. He’ll see more carries than Murray, Anderson, and maybe McCoy, but will out preform. I’m comfortable taking him No. 9 overall if he’s still available.
- Arian Foster, Houston Texans: I want to put Foster higher than six, but can you rely on him week in and week out? When he does play he’s great, and the Texans rely on him heavily. He averages playing 12 games per season, and despite playing only 13 games last year he finished as a top five back. If you do take Foster you’re forced to do two things. One, your next selection must be a running back, because when Foster does decide to sit out you’ll need to stay strong at running back. Two, you may have to take his handcuff Alfred Blue higher than you usually would, if not you’ll be missing out on decent numbers when Foster is out. I’m taking this guy at No. 6 because the risk is definitely worth the reward.
- Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks: This guy may be in his last year with the Seahawks. Some reports had surfaced that Lynch was contemplating retirement this year. Putting all of that aside the Seahawks are going to use him a lot like they have before. The Seahawks are a great team all around. Lynch will be used in the beginning, middle, and end of most games. The great thing about is that he’s on a team that doesn’t blow the doors off people, so you won’t see a lot of Christine Michael coming in and scoring garbage time points. I like beast mode at No. 5 this year.
- Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers: This guy was great last year. he rushed for 1,361 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, three of them reception touchdowns. He’s the main man in the steel city, but not until Week 4. I will admit he’s three game suspension will hurt his value, and why wouldn’t it? We know he’ll be a great back, but so will Foster. You have to factor in the time this guy will miss. If he was playing a full season, I have this guy No.1 easy, but he won’t, so by taking his I inherit the risk of starting 1-2 or 0-3 and every game counts. I’m going with Bell at No. 4, and looking to lock up DeAngelo Williams later on in the draft.
- Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings: There’s some bust potential here, but that’s why we handcuff right? Adrian Peterson is a freak of nature. He’s stayed relatively healthy this far in his career. Despite his ACL injury a few years back, he’s always in and that’s my favorite thing about AP, rarely will he leave you with a tough decision. I expect Peterson to play a full season, which means you can bank on a 1,000 yard season, because every time AP plays 14 games or better, he rushes for over 1,000 yards. If you’re waiting for this guy to drop off, don’t hold your breath, take Peterson at No. 3.
- Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers: I could’ve gone either way to the top two (we all know who’s next). I mean Lacy is in the better offense, but is the Packers offense too good? Is that even possible? Yes, and here’s why. Typically, when the Packers blow out a team, it’s because Aaron Rodgers threw for 400 yards and 5 touchdowns, and when teams are up 35-0, the second and third string guys come in. Now, it’s not like this is going to happen a whole lot, but one or two times are certainly enough for my next guy to gain some good ground, no pun intended. I’m taking Lacy at No. 2, but I’m not criticizing anyone for taking him first either.
- Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs: Like I said before, I could go either way on this one. I’ll also note that I am ranking these guys in the order that I’m taking them in. I’m not going to guarantee who will score more points, because it’ll be close. I give the slight edge to Charles based on the fact that he’ll be used more than Lacy. The Chiefs don’t have as many options as the Packers do. If the running game doesn’t work for the Packers they can beat you through the air. If it starts to fail for the Chiefs, they’ll keep going back to it because that’s their best option. Charles scored 19 points less than Lacy last year, but also played two less games. Like I said, I am picking Charles No.1, but that’s a gut feeling pick more than an analysis pick. It’ll be close, and I don’t think the point differential will be drastic enough to decide your season.
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