LeSean McCoy Should be Fantasy's #1 RB

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Over the course of the next two months as teams begin to pencil in their depth charts, commence position battles, and try to avoid injuries, both fans and fantasy football enthusiasts alike will be keeping a close eye to see how it all plays out for the start of the season.

While there’s certainly room for debate on who to take when your fantasy football league starts this year, there’s also a clear cut first tier of running backs vying for the top spot in 2014 (lets assume standard scoring). The table below lists several key rushing statistics that help show the opportunity each back was given in 2014 along with their productivity behind those chances.

2013 Running Back Rushing Statistics

Rushing Yards
Rushing Attempts
Yards per Carry
20+ Runs
100-Yard Games
Rushing TD's
LeSean McCoy16073145.1979
Jamaal Charles12872595.06412
Adrian Peterson12662794.58510
Matt Forte13392894.6959
Eddie Lacy11782844.1949
Marshawn Lynch12573014.26312

When placed side by side, its apparent Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy had an exemplary year leading the league in rushing attempts and rushing yards. The rest of the running backs are somewhat on a relatively even playing field with a slight edge to both Kansas City Chief Jamaal Charles and Seattle Seahawk Marshawn Lynch and their 12 touchdowns. Let’s look at the other side of the coin and how well these backs fare in the receiving game.

2013 Running Back Receiving Stastics

Receiving Yards
Yards per Catch
Receiving TD's
LeSean McCoy526453910.42
Jamaal Charles
Adrian Peterson29401715.91
Matt Forte749559483
Eddie Lacy35442577.30
Marshawn Lynch36443168.82

Jamaal Charles and Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte were sublime receiving options for their respective teams. Racking up a ton of targets and receptions, fantasy owners of each player were certainly pleased in 2013. Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy should garner plenty of attention at the top of fantasy boards, but who else is a viable candidate?

While Matt Forte makes a ton of sense looking at the numbers as a potential top guy, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has shown more upside over the course of his career. Peterson has the advantage over Forte with a career-high of 18 touchdowns to Forte’s 9 and besting him at career-high rushing yards with 2,097 to Forte’s 1,339. Furthermore, Peterson has averaged 13 total touchdowns per year while Forte has averaged less than eight. When forced to choose between these two backs, Peterson’s upside makes the most sense given his consistency and that he is the centerpiece of Minnesota’s offense.

Now lets get down to the nitty-gritty breaking down each of these player’s outlook for the upcoming season.

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