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
Yards per Carry
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
Yards per Catch
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.