By: Mike Valenti

Ask yourself this question…How many running backs have an iron clad starting role and are capable of carrying the load?

Just how long is that list? Peterson, Martin, Spiller, TRich and Beast Mode Lynch…that’s about it.

Even guys like LeSean McCoy (concussions), Matt Forte (horrible line and injuries) and Jamaal Charles (injuries galore) don’t make the list under these qualifications. The point? This position is crazy scarce and requires a plan.

If you cannot get one of the Furious Five (yes I’m coining it) then you have some decisions to make. With that in mind I’m giving you some value guys. Certainly some risk but they will be cheaper and available later in your drafts. The middle tier between the elite and the sleepers is simply littered with risk and question marks and I’m avoiding it. Stack other positions and get some of these guys.

  • Daryl Richardson STL—while everyone will overlook Richardson for the sexier young guys like Zach Stacey or Isaiah Pead, it’s Richardson who has the job. Nothing spectacular, no “great” skill, he’s just solid at everything and actually plays.
  • Andre Brown NYG—Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Mennnnnnnnn, let the other guys take David Wilson, it’s Brown who is in a full timeshare with Wilson and will get the Goal Line carries. This is the Big Bull in Blue I want.
  • Shane Vereen NE—While I do love Steven Ridley, there is room for more Fantasy pleasure in New England. Mark my words, the Pats will lead the league in rushing and both Ridley and Mr. Sleeper Vereen will be studs. Vereen will see a lot of time on 3rd downs and be split out wide in many formations. PPR league folks please get the pen out.
  • Vick Ballard IND—Call him Daryl Richardson 2.0. Ballard isn’t flashy and has competition (Bradshaw) but he does have one big advantage in this spot…he has healthy feet and legs. Ahmad Bradshaw is a Warrior but his body has betrayed him and he NEVER stays healthy. Get Ballard later and cheaper and likely end up with a starter.
  • Giovanni Bernard CIN—What? No Le’Veon Bell or Monte Ball? No, they are too popular and going wayyyyy too early in drafts. Bernard is another PPR weapon and Cincy finally has realized that Green-Ellis has one awesome skill…not fumbling. Bernard is fast, versatile and has an edge. I think Cincy is going to be good, real good this year.
  • Danny Woodhead SD—Have you seen Ryan Matthews play? Gets hurt every 4 snaps and little Danny is his backup. Oh and Woodhead is already slated to share carries with Matthews before the inevitable ambulance trip. PPR weapon on third downs, plus opportunity equals the steal of your draft.

Hope this helps. There’s lots of risk at RB so stick to your convictions, do your research, load up on talent instead of risk, and good luck this season.


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