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Fantasy Running Back Forecasts

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The following is Gridiron Experts 2016 running back player forecasts.

The following is Gridiron Experts 2016 running back player forecasts. We decided to leave our projections off this page to give you an opportunity to review a players history without being swayed purely by numbers.

Table Key: 

  • G -Games Played
  • Att – Rushing attempts
  • Yds – Yards
  • TD – Touchdowns
  • Y/A – Rushing yards per Attempt
  • Y/ G – Rushing yards per game
  • A/G – Attempts per game
  • Tgt- Passing Targets
  • REC- Receptions

Todd Gurley

Los Angeles Rams | Age: 22

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
2015132291106104.8851826211880

Todd GurleyDespite missing three games and playing on a team with a lackluster supporting cast, Gurley still rushed for 1,106 yards, 4.8 yards per tote and scored 10 touchdowns as a rookie. Gurley is a franchise-caliber back and the run-first Rams will run their offense through him. The only negatives on the second-year star are those six games in the brutal NFC West, and the lack of talent around him means that defenses will make stopping Gurley their primary focus. Gurley is absolutely worth consideration as the No. 1 overall pick in fantasy leagues, and only drops down a hair in PPR-formats. The “next Adrian Peterson” may already be here.

Le’Veon Bell

Pittsburgh Steelers | Age: 24

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
20131324486083.5661966453990
201416290136184.78518105838543
2015611355634.9931926241360

 

Bell’s suspension was reduced from four games to three, but he’s still a fringe Round 1 fantasy pick. If he were guaranteed to play a full 16-game slate, Bell would be our No. 1 overall player. The Steelers are one of the few teams that employee a full-time featured back and Bell’s receiving prowess make him a dangerous weapon. Entering a contract-year, Bell has a lot to prove beginning in Week 4. We still like the idea of grabbig him in your draft if you can get him near the bottom or Round 1 or top of Round 2.

David Johnson

Arizona Cardinals | Age: 24

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201516Att58184.6367.857364574

David JohnsonIn his seven starts in 2015’s second half, Johnson averaged over 120 total yards and scored six touchdowns in a bell cow role. Even before that every-down role, Johnson showed a remarkable nose for the end zone, scoring as a rusher, receiver and returner. Arizona is one of the most talented teams in the league, and as long as Johnson is given a chance to command an every-down role, he’ll be a top-3 running back.

Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys| Age: 21

The Cowboys as a team last season averaged 4.6 yards per carry and almost 1,900 rushing yards altogether. Behind a near perfect offensive line including Tyron Smith, Zach Martin, Doug Free, La’El Collins, and Travis Frederick, Elliott will have a field day working behind this unit. Because Elliott’s great pass protection skills, it’s possible that we see Elliott as the team’s three down back immediately and get receiving work as well as he had 55 receptions over his last two seasons at Ohio State.

Darren McFadden as the lead back last season had 40 receptions for over 300 yards last season, so the Cowboys will not be afraid to use their running back in the passing game. Let’s now look at some potential “rough” projections for Elliott in 2016.

When Darren McFadden became the starter in week seven for the Cowboys and finished out the remainder of the season as the starter, he had 202 carries in those 11 games. That averages out to 18.36 carries per game. But because the Cowboys relied heavily on the run game due to injuries with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, that number might be a bit inflated. So let’s say that Elliott gets 16 carries per week, that would equal out to 256 carries over the course of a 16 game season. 250 carries is nothing to cough at and would be a solid number for a rookie running back. Using that same 11 game stretch that McFadden had as the starter last season, he had 960 yards rushing on 202 carries. That would equal 4.75 yards per carry, which is a very good number considering how much the run game was the focal point for the Cowboys when Romo and Bryant were injured.Read Full Article

Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings | Age: 31

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
2007142381341125.6961728192681
2008163631760104.81102339211250
2009163141383184.4862057434360
2010152831298124.6871950363411
201112208970124.7811724181391
20121634820971261312251402171
2013142791266104.5902040291711
20141217503.6752132180
2015163271485114.5932036302220

Peterson, 31, is nearing the end of his brilliant career, but there appears to be plenty of juice still left to assure he’ll remain a formidable RB1. Peterson’s 1,485 rushing yards last season led the league, and his 4.5 yards per carry was in-line with his career average. AP will also continue to be the primary offensive option for a run-first Minnesota squad and should once again log double-digit touchdowns- a figure he’s eclipsed in every pro season except for 2014 where he was suspended. Peterson’s only drawback is his lack of involvement as an elite pass-catcher, but he’s still effective enough as a runner to comfortably command a first-round billing.

Lamar Miller

Houston Texans | Age: 25

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201213Att25014.9193.986450
20131617770924441135261700
201416216109985.1691452382751
20151619487284.5551257473972

Lamar Miller has been criminally under-utilized throughout his career in Miami. It might be fair to ask how that’s possible, but consider that Miller was the most-coveted free agent rusher and Joe Philibin is no longer a head coach and you’ll get closer to the league-wide consensus. Miller has exceeded 20 carries ONCE in his career, and averaged only 13 carries over the past two seasons, yet still finished 2015 as the RB5 in PPR leagues. In Houston, Bill O’Brien knows how to put together a rushing attack, and better yet, understands the importance of versatile, three-down backs. Miller is in a great position to rack up rushing and receiving stats, and looks like a top-5 fantasy option as well.

Jamaal Charles

Kansas City Chiefs | Age: 30

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
200816Att35705.3224.239272721
200915190112075.9751355402971
201016230146756.4921464454683
20112128306.94266591
201216285150955.3941849352361
20131525912871258617104706937
201415206103395691459402915
201557136445.1731429211771

Jamaal CharlesAt 30, and coming off of a second torn ACL, Jamaal Charles’s ADP indicates that there is some doubts about his ability to be an impact RB1. Throw in the fact that the Chiefs running game looked just fine without JC in the lineup, and the fantasy community looks ready to write off the eight-year veteran. But when healthy, Charles is a clearly superior player to KC’s other backs, and still has that dangerous burst and superb receiving ability that make him such a versatile weapon. Andy Reid knows how to utilize his backs, and we think that Charles can still put up the goods and produce another top-10 season.

Devonta Freeman

Atlanta Falcons | Age: 24

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201416Att24813.8164.137302251
2015152651056114701897735783

Thrust into the starting role in Week 2, Freeman was outstanding as an all-purpose runner and receiver in first half of 2015, But as the season wore on, Freeman faded down to 3.1 yards per tote in Atlanta’s second half. While we like Freeman as a good fit, it’s entirely possible that Tevin Coleman- who this staff drafted- will earn a bigger role, or the Falcons could enter into a full-blown committee. That makes Freeman an appealing, but risky pick.

Eddie Lacy

Green Bay Packers | Age: 25

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201315Att1178114.1791944352570
201416246113994.6711555424274
20151518775834.1511328201882

Eddie LacyAfter two-straight 1100-yard rushing seasons to open his career, Lacy’s offseason commitment to the Drake’s Coffee Cake fitness plan torpedoed his chances of recouping his early first-round fantasy value. After dropping down to some 40% of the workload, Lacy has worked hard to get into shape entering a crucial contract year. Lacy has shown the ability to be a solid three-down back, and the lousy results from last season are still fresh in many minds. Overall, Lacy looks like a solid RB1 with a slightly reduced price tag. We like him as a value pick in the second or third round.

Mark Ingram

New Orleans Saints | Age: 27

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201110Att47453.947121311460
20121615660253.9389.8106290
2013117838614.9357.1117680
20141322696494.3741736291450
20151216676964.6641460504050

The biggest knock on Ingram has got to be health. Just once in five years has he played all 16 games, including missing four contests last year. When he did play, however, Ingram looked like a potential star player. Ingram caught a career-high 50 balls last season and his rushing pace in those 12 games was 1,026 yards and eight touchdowns. If the sixth-year pro can continue his improved on-field performance by staying on the field for 16 games, he’s a potential RB1 and a nice value pick in the latte part or round 3.

LeSean McCoy

Buffalo Bills | Age: 28

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
200916Att63744.1409.755403080
201015207108075.2721491785922
2011152731309174.8871869483153
20121220084024.2701767543733
201316314160795.11002064525392
201416312131954.2822037281550
20151220389534.4751750322922

lesean-mccoyAfter two-straight 16-game seasons, McCoy missed a month last year and saw some of his snaps going to rookie teammate Karlos Williams. With Williams now suspended for the first month of the season, Shady’s touches should increase, and he might not lose the crucial goal line looks early on. As long as he can stay healthy, LeSean McCoy will be close to a three-down back, and that gives him fairly significant fantasy appeal.

Doug Martin

Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Age: 25

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201216Att1454114.6912070494721
2013612745613.676212412660
20141113449423.745122013640
201516288140264.9881844332711

Martin was terrific last year, running for 1,402 yards and even catching 33 passes in a contract year. A player stepping up to earn a new deal isn’t an unusual occurrence, but it can be a concern once that deal is landed. Another issue is Charles Sims, who looks equally good and is a real threat to limit Martin’s upside. Finally, before last season, Martin missed 15 games from 2013-14, and suited up for only 76% of the games in his career. Martin is a good back, but hard to rely on as your No. 1 runner, so if you find yourself in that situation, be sure to also select Sims as as must-have hand-cuff.

Thomas Rawls

Seattle Seahawks | Age: 23

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201513Att83045.66411119761

Thomas Rawls Fantasy FootballTaking the plunge on drafting Rawls is a high risk/reward endeavor. We all saw how well Rawls played in relief of the now-retired Marshawn Lynch, opening the possibility of Rawls being a top-5 running back for years to come. But Rawls broke his ankle late last year and there is absolutely no word on how the recovery is going. The Seahawks then went out and drafted a slew of runners as possible insurance policies, further clouding the backfield picture. There’s almost no chance we’ll see Rawls play in the preseason, so drafting him takes a severe leap of faith. We love the upside a healthy Rawls offers, and his plummeting ADP make him a risk worth considering after Round 4.

C.J. Anderson

Denver Broncos | Age: 25

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
20135Att3805.47.61.41000
20141517984984.7571244343242
20151515272054.7481036251830

Anyone who invested a first or second-round pick on Anderson last season was surely disappointed with the lackluster results, but there is no truth the rumor that his given name is “Carlester Jabroni.” Anderson salvaged his value with a resurgent second half, and Denver’s quarterback woes assure they’ll rely on the running game more this season. The club re-signed Ronnie Hillman, and also drafted Devontae Booker to push for playing time. But Anderson will have the first shot to secure a larger role here, and that makes him a solid candidate for RB2 production.

Jeremy Hill

Cincinnati Bengals | Age: 24

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201416Att112495.1701432272150
201516223794113.650141915791

Hill’s scoring prowess assures that he’ll have at least some week-to-week value. Inside the opponent’s 10-yard line, Hill led the NFL in rushing yards (53) and touchdowns (11.) The Bengals lost two-thirds of their receiving corps and their head coach, so the 2016 squad might rely a little more on the running game. He’ll likely continue to split carries with Gio Bernard, but Hill is a solid bet to once again finish near the top of the touchdown leaders, and that gives him fantasy significance.

Matt Forte

New York Jets | Age: 31

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
200816Att123883.9772076634774
20091625892943.6581672574710
201016237106964.5671570515473
20111220399734.9831776524901
201215248109454.4731759443401
201316289133994.6841895745943
201416266103863.965171301028084
20151321889844.1691758443893

After Chicago let Forte walk, the Jets happily signed the 30-year-old to take over the starting role vacated by Chris Ivory signing with Jacksonville. Forte is still a solid ball-carrier and receiver, but possesses many of the same traits as Bilal Powell, who has been talked-up as a potentially significant part of New York’s 2016 offensive plans. Newly-signed Khiry Robinson also makes sense as a potential goal-line vulture, further clouding the backfield picture. Both Forte and Powell are good enough pass-catchers that they may be used in the slot in four-wide sets, but the Jets’ subpar offensive line and unclear quarterback situation make it hard to invest in Forte as anything more than an RB2 in PPR leagues.

Carlos Hyde

San Francisco 49ers | Age: 25

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201414Att33344245.91612680
2015711547034.167161511530

Last season the San Francisco 49ers didn’t have a lot of talent surrounding Hyde, but he still showed his potential. Hyde was also misused, logging 15 carries or less in four of his seven games played. With Chip Kelly in town, that should change. Kelly knows how to put together a running game. Each of Kelly’s Eagles squads finished above league average in rushing and touchdowns. Hyde is a popular breakout pick among fantasy analysts, but has also missed 11 of 32 pro starts, making him a high risk/reward RB2.

Ryan Mathews

Philadelphia Eagles | Age: 29

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201012Att67874.3571326221450
201114222109164.9781659504550
20121218470713.8591556392520
201316285125564.4781833261891
201467433034.55512109690
20151310653965.1428.228201461

Ryan MathewsMathews is a solid inside runner who boasts a nice yards per carry average in his career. As the biggest back on the Philadelphia roster, he’ll have first crack at the first and second down role. Mathews also doubles as a solid pass-catcher, so he won’t necessarily yield all third down work to Darren Sproles or Wendell Smallwood. The main issue with Mathews has been health. He’s missed 2+ games in five of his six seasons. Philadelphia looks firmly committed to a backfield-by-committee, so view Mathews as a solid part of a fantasy rotation, or as an RB3/flex play.

Jay Ajayi

Miami Dolphins | Age: 23

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
20159Att18713.8215.4117900

Ajayi is a popular sleeper pick as the potential banger in Adam Gase’s new offense. But the Dolphins attempted to sign CJ Anderson in free agency and also drafted their own back in Kenyan Drake. At Boise State, Ayayi was a highly-productive three-down back, and he showed some flashes as a rookie last season. There’s plenty of upside here, but there’s also plenty of risk with investing in Ajayi as a starter, so he’s best viewed as a high-upside flex player.

Matt Jones

Washington Redskins | Age: 24

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201513Att49033.4381125193041

Outside of one tremendous game against a stellar Rams defense, Jones was quite awful as a rookie. Following that game, he averaged an incredulous 2.8 yards per carry and had five fumbles. But the Redskins must see these problems as correctable, as they let Alfred Morris walk away for a pretty cheap contract in Dallas. Jones has some big-play, and tackle-breaking ability. There’s also plenty of potential scoring opportunities in a potent Washington offense. Jones has the size to be solid in short-yardage opportunities, so if he can hold onto the ball and the starting job, there’s plenty of upside here.

Dion Lewis

New England Patriots | Age: 26

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201115Att10214.46.81.511-30
20129136915.37.71.422240
201574923424.833750363882

Depending on your league’s format, Lewis is a prime candidate to be overdrafted. In PPR leagues, he’ll be an excellent weekly contributor as a change-of-pace runner. Where Lewis really pays dividends is as a receiver out of the backfield. He likely would have finished last year as a top-10 PPR back if he had stayed healthy. There’s less appeal to draft Lewis is standard leagues, where his receptions are minimized and his lack of touchdowns can hurt your lineup.

Giovani Bernard

Cincinnati Bengals | Age: 25

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201316Att69554.1431171565143
20141316868054521359433492
20151615473024.7469.666494720

Bernard easily outplayed teammate Jeremy Hill is all facets last season, but it’s the larger Hill who racked up all those short-yardage touchdowns. With a new offensive coordinator calling plays, there’s no guarantee that Hill will command all those carries this year. If Bernard continues to excel as a runner and receiver, he could wrestle a larger role in the Bengals’ offense. Even if the Bengals continue to employ a committee, Bernard has some weekly value and should continue to get around 15 touches a game. Bernard is a nice sleeper pick that can be selected after Round 6 in many fantasy drafts.

Duke Johnson

Cleveland Browns | Age: 23

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201516Att37903.6246.574615342

With Hue Jackson now in Cleveland, we fully expect the Browns to utilize a two-back rotation, with Johnson playing a role similar to that of Gio Bernard. Johnson is a far superior pass-catcher to Isaiah Crowell, and offers better route-running and enough speed and elusiveness to be a potential impact runner as well. Cleveland is rebuilding and likely to be trailing often this year, and that favors Johnson to see plenty of snaps as a receiver out of the backfield. Johnson is a high-upside sleeper to target in the middle rounds, and a potential RB2 in PPR formats.

Frank Gore

Indianapolis Colts | Age: 33

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
200514Att60834.8439.122151310
200616312169585.41062086614851
200715260110254.2741769534361
200814240103664.3741766433732
2009142291120104.9801675524063
20101120385334.2781972464522
201116282121184.3761831171140
201216258121484.7761636282341
201316276112894.1711727161410
201416255110644.3691619111111

Frank GoreWhile the Colts did little to bring in competition to take carries from Gore, 33 is ancient for a running back and it would be unprecedented for a back with Gore’s extensive mileage to make a huge fantasy impact. Most likely, Gore will have a role and numbers similar to last season, but he’ll likely cede more passing-down work in an attempt to keep him healthy down the stretch. That makes Gore better utilized as bye week depth or in a flex spot.

Latavius Murray

Oakland Raiders | Age: 26

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201415Att42425.2285.523171430
201516266106664671753412320

There’s some potential for Murray to be a solid RB2 running behind Oakland’s offensive line, but the Raiders brass doesn’t seem enamored with their third-year back. The team also invested fifth-round pick on DeAndre Washington, who has impressed the coaching staff and earned first-team reps in OTA’s. If Murray can hold onto the same share of carries he enjoyed last season, he’ll be a steal at his current ADP.

Melvin Gordon

San Diego Chargers | Age: 23

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201514Att64103.5461337331920

After being selected with the 15th pick, the Charges were expecting more out of their rookie rusher than six fumbles and zero touchdowns. The disappointing season wasn’t all Gordon’s fault, as Football Outsiders ranked San Diego’s run-blocking unit as 31st in the league. Gordon showed some ability to cause missed tackles, break long runs and catch passes, so there’s some optimism that he can recoup some value and approach RB3 status in his sophomore season.

Jonathan Stewart

Carolina Panthers | Age: 29

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
200816Att836104.55212178470
2009162211133105.1711426181391
20101417877024.355131481031
20111614276145.4488.961474131
201299333613.6371023171571
201364818003.830877440
20141317580934.6621431251811
20151324298964.176192116991

Stewart finally got the chance to lead the Carolina backfield and responded with his best performance in seven years. There’s also not a lot of proven competition in Carolina that poses much of a threat to take the lead-dog role away from Stewart in 2016, so he’s got solid value as the proverbial RB1 in a potent Panthers offense. But Stewart hasn’t had a healthy 16-game season since 2011 and also offers almost nothing as a pass-catcher. That makes him a risky proposition as and RB2, and why he’s widely available in drafts much later than most starting running backs.

DeMarco Murray

Tennessee Titans | Age: 28

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201113Att89725.5691335261830
20121016166344.1661642342470
201314217112195.2801666533501
2014163921845134.71152564574160
20151519370263.6471355443221

Murray was simply not a good fit in Chip Kelly’s offense, rushing for a career-worst 3.6 yards per carry and showing none of the burst that made him so effective in Dallas. Traded to Tennessee, Murray should look better in the Titans’ scheme, but now must contend with a crowded backfield, running QB, and lesser receiving corps. All those factors add up to make Murray a risky RB2.

Jeremy Langford

Chicago Bears | Age: 25

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201516Att53763.6349.342222791

Jeremy LangfordLangford is a polarizing back. A few analysts think he’s nothing more than a plodder who doesn’t offer much athletic upside. However Football Outsiders ranked Langford as the No. 5 running back last season in DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average), meaning he was actually better than could be expected. John Fox has never been shy about employing committees in the past, and that’s the most likely scenario here. Langford will have first shot to earn first and second down carries, but his poor showing as a pass-catcher will allow Jordan Howard to earn a role as a change-of-pace and third-down back.

Ameer Abdullah

Detroit Lions | Age: 23

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201516Att59724.2378.938251831

Detroit will likely continue to utilize a three-back rotation, with Abdullah acting as the de facto starter. Abdullah showed massive big-play ability in the preseason, but struggled with fumbles and never really earned a large enough role for a Detroit club that doesn’t emphasize the running game. Abdullah will yield a lot of passing-down work to Theo Riddick, and won’t get many short-yardage carries with Zach Zenner or Stevan Ridley playing the inside-banger role. Abdullah offers exciting upside, but is unlikely to secure a large-enough workload to warrant an RB2 spot. Draft him as flex depth.

Paul Perkins

New York Giants | Age: 21 | Rookie*

We’ve planted our flag with Perkins being one of our favorite breakout candidates. Perkins is a versatile runner, with strong vision, athleticism, speed and agility. Despite being classified as undersized, Perkins was a tough inside runner at UCLA and also doubles as a smooth receiver. Listed at 5’10” 208, Perkins reminds Jody Smith of Clinton Portis. While Tom Coughlin was notoriously untrusting of rookie running backs, there’s no indication that his successor Ben McAdoo shares that philosophy. Although 31-year-old veteran Rashad Jennings will have first shot at the starting role for New York, Jennings is a declining player who has never carried a full workload before, and has missed 29 games throughout his seven-year career. The Giants offense is going to be productive and to assure better balance, McAdoo knows he’ll need to establish a more-effective ground game. Perkins offers a skill-set and big-play upside lacking from other backs on the roster. We think it’s just a matter of time before the rookie emerges and becomes a serious fantasy threat. Target him after Round 10 or 11.

Danny Woodhead

San Diego Chargers | Age: 31

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
200910Att6404.36.41.5148870
2010159754755.6376.544343791
2011157735114.6235.131181570
2012167630144194.855404463
20131610642924276.688766056
20143153802.513565340
2015169833633.4216.1106807556

If you’re in a PPR league, go ahead and move Woodhead up to fringe RB1/2 territory. The 31-year-old veteran is a terrific pass-catcher, and his diminutive size makes him an effective short-yardage rusher as well. We expect Melvin Gordon to be more involved in his second season, but Woodhead’s short-yardage and passing game role look secure for one more season. He’s a candidate to 500-700 total yards and 5-6 touchdowns.

Charles Sims

Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Age: 26

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
20148Att18512.8238.327191900
20151610752904.9336.770515614

Even while playing in a change-of-pace role behind Matin last season, Sims’ 51 grabs was 7th among running backs, and he finished as the RB16 in PPR leagues. He also looked just as effective while running the ball, with both Martin and Sims checking in at 4.9 yards per carry. To us, Sims looks just as good as Doug Martin, and if Martin were to go down, Sims has the skill-set to be an instant RB1.

Isaiah Crowell

Cleveland Browns | Age: 23

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201416Att60784.1389.3149870
20151618570643.8441222191821

New head coach Hue Jackson is a smart offensive mind. Rather than try to fit players into a set system, Jackson likes to alter his game-plan to fit his personnel. In Cincinnati, Jackson employed a two-back rushing attack, and the Browns have Crowell and Duke Johnson on the roster- who compare favorably to Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard. Cleveland’s passing offense is full of question marks too, so they might rely on the ground game much more than previous seasons. Crowell looks like a good bet to command early down work, and could even rack up 6-8 short-yardage touchdowns as well. At his current ADP, Crowell looks like a nice sleeper.

LeGarrette Blount

New England Patriots | Age: 30

RushingReceiving
YearGAttYdsTDY/AY/GA/GTgtRecYdsTD
201013Att100765781675140
20111418478154.2561325151480
2012134115123.7123.22120
20131615377275489.652380
20141612554754.4347.81210540
20151216570364.3591476431

Bount won’t offer anything as a receiver, but what he can do for the Patriots is run between the tackles and punch in short-yardage touchdowns. The Pats have been one of the busiest teams over the past five years in terms of rushing touchdowns, as Bill Belichick likes to rely on the ground game inside the five. Overall, Blount has scored a rushing touchdowns about once every other game during his Patriots tenure. Another season of 700 rushing yards and 6-8 touchdowns seems like a reasonable expectation.

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