Updated Preseason RB PPR Rankings for 2014
Part 1—RBs 1-25
Labor Day weekend is Fantasy Football Draft Weekend! The following Preseason RB PPR Rankings are based on a standard 1 point PPR scoring system in a 12 team league. I can’t stress enough how important it is to fully understand your league’s scoring system, as it can have major effects on your draft preparation.
1. Adrian Peterson (MIN): The best running back in the NFL, now with the benefit of Norv Turner’s use of RBs in the passing attack. All Day says 2,500 yards rushing and 500 receiving this year…are you going to tell him he can’t? I’m not.
2. Jamaal Charles (KC): Averaging 5.6 yards per rush for his career. Toss in that catching another 70 passes is realistic since Alex Smith has no one else to throw to…seriously, have you seen the KC receivers lately?
3. Matt Forte (CHI): Caught 74 passes last year, and I see no reason why he can’t catch 70+ again; if he can stay healthy. Factor in about 1,250 yards rushing and you have a solid RB1 in PPR formats.
4. LeSean McCoy (PHI): Might see a reduction in catches with Sproles in town, but Chip Kelly will still get him the ball, especially in the Red Zone.
5. Giovani Bernard (CIN): Was used in almost 25 % of Red Zone touches last year, and I project him for 60 catches; while the Law Firm takes a back seat and watches Gio’s sophomore season. Update: The Bengals have released RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (8/29)
6. Eddie Lacy (GB): Neared 1,200 yards rushing last year after spending the first half of the season figuring things out (a problem with Alabama graduates for some reason); Rodgers is an equal-opportunity distributor, so he should catch at least 40 out of the backfield.
7. DeMarco Murray (DAL): Receptions keep going up; caught over 50 passes last year, and scored 10 TD. Averages almost 5 yards/carry for his career (4.95). He just has to stay healthy.
8. Montee Ball (DEN): Word around the campfire is that Ball is doing well in Pass Protection in camp this year…that is all you need to know. If Manning likes him, we like him; he’ll get plenty of opportunities to catch the ball…and Manning seems to be in the Red Zone quite a bit.
9. Doug Martin (TB): The injury to the rookie Charles Sims leaves Martin with essentially no one behind him; should do well in the passing game with McCown behind center and Tedford calling the plays.
10. Zac Stacy (STL): Rushed for over 600 yards in the second half last year and is the guy in the backfield for the Rams, although there is hype building for the rookie Tre Mason. He’s a three-down back, and I have him projected for 40+ catches.
11. Andre Ellington (ARI): Looks to be the main guy out of the backfield this season, and is exciting to watch. He has good hands; I’ve got him penciled in for 50+ catches this season.
12. Le’Veon Bell (PIT): Another back that can eclipse the 1000 yard mark and 40+ catches.
13. Marshawn Lynch (SEA): The job is Lynch’s for now, as Christine Michael has been running with the 3rd team most of the preseason, and Robert Turbin looks to have won the backup job. Look for 1000 yards and 10 TDs with about 30 receptions.
14. Arian Foster (HOU): Injuries are a concern, but we are only one year removed from looking at this guy as a top 2-3 RB in either format. Could catch 50 balls in O’Brien’s offense.
15. CJ Spiller (BUF): If he can stay healthy—a big if—the sky is the limit for Spiller. Can easily pull in 50 catches and rush for 1000 yards.
16. Reggie Bush (DET): The Bush/Bell tandem in Detroit may account for over 100 receptions, depending on how Stafford distributes the ball, and if Bush can stay healthy.
17. Joique Bell (DET): See above. There are going to be plenty of targets for the Detroit RBs, and Bell tends to get the ball inside the 5 yard line.
18. Shane Vereen (NE): PPR Gold. Vereen might as well be a TE or WR…he may not reach 500 yards rushing, but if he can stay on the field all season, he should catch between 60 and 70 passes.
19. Ryan Mathews (SD): Another 1200 yard rusher last season, and is a check-down option for Rivers as long as he is on the field.
20. Rashad Jennings (NYG): With David Wilson retiring, and behind a better OL than the Raiders (although still not very good), Jennings stands to approach the 1000 yard rushing mark—with 40+ receptions. He could be a solid RB2.
21. Chris Johnson (NYJ): Not CJ2K any more…but the Jets play several teams that are not good against the run, and he is more than capable of creating big plays if he gets the ball in space. Should catch 40+ passes. He’s a starter and a steal at his current 7th round ADP.
22. Alfred Morris (WSH): Morris is not much of an option in the pass game out of the backfield, but even in a PPR format, a 1200 yard rusher can only fall so far. Certainly a solid RB2 on any fantasy team.
23. Ben Tate (CLE): Another starter with a current ADP at the top of the 7th round, and the ability to reach 1000 yards rushing and 40 receptions.
24. Toby Gerhart (JAX): Whether it is Chad Henne or Blake Bortles in the backfield, both will have to check down often. Gerhart averaged 5 YPC in Minnesota, but is behind a much worse offensive line in Jacksonville.
25. Pierre Thomas (NO): Almost caught 80 passes (77) with Sproles in the same backfield last year. With Sproles in Philly, he might surpass 80 this season. Another steal at his current 8th round ADP.
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