In the age of the split backfield, running backs are a tremendous premium in fantasy football. Today, we take a look at some of the top rushers that you might be able to find later in your fantasy football drafts that could end up carrying the load as stars by the end of the year.
We’ll start with Trent Richardson of the Cleveland Browns. Simply put, someone has to get the job done on the ground for Cleveland, and someone is going to have to score points. It is going to be interesting to see where Richardson ends up getting drafted in most leagues. He has the tools to be a 2,000-yard combined back right out of the chute, but with his touchdowns potentially limited, Richardson is clearly boom or bust.
The better rookie option in our eyes that you’ll surely be able to get at the end of every NFL fantasy draft? Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom we are convinced will unseat LeGarrette Blount as the bruising runner in the Tampa Bay backfield with new Head Coach Greg Schiano calling the shots.
We tend to forget just how strong the Kansas City Chiefs had historically been on the ground. They were at their best when they had a split backfield with Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. Charles is back off of an ACL injury that ended his season in Week 2, and he is going to be back to a more familiar role of splitting carries now that another good looking fantasy football sleeper, Peyton Hillis is in town. Both of these backs could rumble for over 1,000 yards this year, and both could have a solid year of 8-10 scores, especially with a new run blocking specialist in OT Eric Winston helping man the offensive line.
The Seattle Seahawks have built their offense around their running game this year, but Marshawn Lynch is in some more trouble off the field. Sure, Leon Washington is listed as the second back on the depth chart, but we know that he isn’t the bruising type of back like Lynch is that can get between the tackles. Rookie Robert Turbin was one of the most underrated backs in college last year with the Utah State Aggies, and he is going to show right away that he has the potential to be an every down back in the NFL. He could be someone you could steal late in your fantasy football drafts that ends up being a fantastic handcuff in a single-back offense.
All of these guys can be huge daily fantasy football additions when you set your weekly rosters at FanDuel.com during the regular season!
Last year was the year that many took Daniel Thomas to be the lead back of the Miami Dolphins, especially near the goal-line because Reggie Bush wasn’t supposed to be able to run between the tackles. And in the end, Thomas only had one score all year long, and that came as a receiver. Still, we think that he could be back on track for a better season this year, as the Bush experience won’t necessarily be a good one. The former Kansas State Wildcat did have 165 carries last year in just 13 games, and if that turns out to be the case again this year, he could turn 200 carries into 1,000 yards and 10 TDs for a team that has to be better at the outset of the year than it was a season ago.