Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 NFL Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings & Discussion

The NFL has changed tremendously in the past 5 years when it comes to the way they officiate games. Everything is catered towards the offense, particularly towards the passing game. With that being said, running back is still the most important position in Fantasy Football.
Because most teams run a two RB system, the elite, three down feature backs are that much more valuable. Gone are the days of double digit touchdowns for the majority of starting backs. Last year only two backs had double digit rushing TD’s. If you add in receiving TD’s, the number is still only nine. It is crucial to get quality RB’s early, and build your depth throughout. Players step up every year out of nowhere; i.e. Justin Forsett and CJ Anderson, be the owner who drafts them.  Here are our rankings…

JoneZ Average
1.  Jamaal Charles
1. Adrian Peterson
1. Jamaal Charles
1. Adrian Peterson
2. Adrian Peterson
2. Marshawn Lynch
2. Adrian Peterson
2. Jamaal Charles
3. Demarco Murray
3. LeVeon Bell
3. Marshawn Lynch
3. Marshawn Lynch
4. LeVeon Bell
4. Jamaal Charles
4. LeVeon Bell
4. LeVeon Bell
5. Eddie Lacy
5. Eddie Lacy
5. Eddie Lacy
5. Eddie Lacy
6. Matt Forte
6. LeSean McCoy
6. Matt Forte
6. Matt Forte
7. Marshawn Lynch
7. Matt Forte
7. LeSean McCoy
7. LeSean McCoy
8. C.J. Anderson
8. Arian Foster
8. Arian Foster
8. DeMarco Murray
9. LeSean MCoy
9. DeMarco Murray
9. Justin Forsett
9. Arian Foster
10. Arian Foster
10. Jeremy Hill
10. DeMarco Murray
10. Justin Forsett
11. Jeremy Hill
11. Justin Forsett
11. Lamar Miller
11. Jeremy Hill
12. Justin Forsett
12. C.J. Anderson
12. Andre Ellington
12. C.J. Anderson
13. Mark Ingram
13. Mark Ingram
13. Jeremy Hill
13. Alfred Morris
14. Carlos Hyde
14. Alfred Morris
14. Joique Bell
14. Lamar Miller
15. Melvin Gordon
15. Andre Ellington
15. C.J. Anderson
15. Mark Ingram
16. Lamar Miller
16. Melvin Gordon
16. Alfred Morris
16. Melvin Gordon
17. Alfred Morris
17. Frank Gore
17. Giovanni Bernard
17. Andre Ellington
18. Latavious Murray
18. Joique Bell
18. Latavious Murray
18. Joique Bell
19. Frank Gore
19. Darren McFadden
19. Melvin Gordon
19. Latavious Murray
20. Joseph Randle
20. Todd Gurley
20. Joseph Randle
20. Giovanni Bernard
21. Jonathan Stewart
21. Lamar Miller
21. Todd Gurley
21. Joseph Randle
22. T.J. Yeldon
22. Giovanni Bernard
22. Frank Gore
22. Frank Gore
23. Rashad Jennings
23. C.J. Spiller
23. Carlos Hyde
23. Todd Gurley
24. Joique Bell
24. Latavious Murray
24. Charles Sims
24. Carlos Hyde
25. Goivanni Bernard
25. Joseph Randle
25. Tevin Coleman
25. Jonathan Stewart

I sat down with the Fantasy JoneZ Team to discuss their RB rankings for the upcoming 2016 Fantasy Football season. They all were in agreement that Adrian Peterson was back at either one or two on their boards, and their top four were all relatively uniform with each other. That changed quickly as we went through their lists.  Here are the highlights from that discussion…

Thank you for sitting down with me again guys. As we were all saying, RB is the most important position on your FFB team. Looking over your draft boards it all looks pretty close to one another’s at the top. Talk to me about why you had Adrian Peterson back on top this year after last season’s suspension Mike.

Mike – Adrian Peterson is the best RB in the world. I don’t even think that’s opinion, that’s fact. They have a pretty solid offensive line. They’ve got a good group of skill set guys around him, and Bridgewater played really well down the stretch for them last year. The defense is really solid. They’re gonna run the ball a lot.

Alex and Mason, you both had Jamaal Charles at the one spot. It’s safe to say he’s been a stud for years, but Alex, you have Marshawn Lynch all the way to number seven. Why?

Alex – It’s not that I don’t like Marshawn Lynch; I just like the guys ahead of him more. I like DeMarco Murray in that offense because I don’t think those QB’s are very serviceable so they’ll depend on him. It’s to be seen with Bradford though, the jury is still out. I love Eddie Lacy, and I almost put him above Murray because of that offense. I also have Matt Forte over him, but they are interchangeable.
Mason – We aren’t talking about a PPR league though. Forte had 1,800 total yards, but how many TD’s? Marshawn Lynch caught the ball last year too. He had four TD’s to go with the 13 rushing TD’s, and now they have Jimmy Graham. I don’t think that takes away from him at all. I see Jimmy Graham getting tackled at the two or the three yard line a few times, and Lynch into the end zone. Plus he takes attention away from Marshawn. Wilson doesn’t have to force it into receivers; they have a legit threat now.

We had to deal with the Peterson suspension last year, and now this year we’ve got LeVeon Bell. His suspension was just reduced down to two games. What do you think about him?

Mike – He’s a young kid with a lot of talent around him. If you think about how young he is, it’s scary for everyone else. He’s not only great as a runner, but he’s also the second receiving option on the team. He’s just an outstanding player.
Mason – Do you still take him at the top of the draft despite the two games?
Mike – I do.
Mason – How early do you start thinking about his hand-cuff?
Mike – A little earlier than normal. Between the 7th and 9th round. I would definitely put an emphasis on DeAngelo Williams, but I wouldn’t trip if I didn’t get him. It’s not about Williams, you just have to cover your ass at the RB position. You should be doing that anyways.

We’ll go from a player that we know is going to miss some games to a player that we assume will miss some games. When he’s healthy and on the field the guy is an absolute fantasy beast, but he’s got health issues. Is this the year we see the drop off Arian Foster?

Mike – He doesn’t have much tread left on those tires.
Mason – The problem is you never know when he’s going to be on the field. Alfred Blue may be seeing more playing time. He did have 13 total TD’s in limited games though. It's tough to call.

Alex, you talked about DeMarco Murray. Let’s get back to guys who switched teams. Let’s talk about LeSean McCoy. As bad as his first few games were last year, he still put up good numbers.

Alex – I’d have him higher than eight if he wasn’t playing the Jets and the Dolphins twice a year. I really like McCoy, but those defenses in his division hold him back some. Those four games alone may hold him under 80 yards a piece. Even New England up front, their secondary is garbage, but up front is solid.
Mason – I’m glad you said something about his year. When he got traded everyone was saying he had a down year. He had the third most rushing yards in the league; he just didn’t have the TD’s.
Mike – The QB situation is not good there. The skill set is alright. The O-Line is pretty damn good though. Rex Ryan likes to pound the rock and throw completions. The weather gets brutal there come December. With a defense that can punch you in the mouth like they can, I expect them to run the ball a lot.

I’ve been curious to see what’s going to happen with the Cincinnati situation. You’ve got a guy in Gio Bernard who you drafted pretty high. He’s an explosive guy that can catch the ball out of the backfield. He seems like the prototype three down back, but Jeremy Hill came in last year and really made a name for himself. How do you see that shaking out?

Mason – I think the #1 guy there is Jeremy Hill. It’s not a hand cuff situation. If you get one of them you need to be OK with not getting the other because you’ll have to pay too much.
Alex – They’re the best tandem out there. I think Jeremy Hill takes the biggest step forward at the running back position this year. Giovanni Bernard is going to be used, but Hill is going to break out.

Another guy you have making a huge leap this year is C.J. Anderson. You have him at eight. Mike, I see you have him at 12, and Mason has him at 15. Explain.

Mike – The player I saw last year was a plodder, he’s three yards and a cloud of dust. He isn’t explosive. I heard he’s lost some weight so that may help, but that was just what I saw. He was getting the goal line work though. That’s huge in that offense.
Alex – He’s the starting running back in a Peyton Manning led offense. Last year him and Jeremy Hill were the best two running backs in the last six weeks. The problem with him is there’s a lot of RB’s behind him. You have Monte Ball, Ronnie Hillman, and Juwan Thompson. I think he keeps the job though.
Mason – To go back to what he said, Peyton Manning was injured at the end of the year so they were forced to run that much. C.J. Anderson was the guy that benefitted. I don’t think he’s the best RB on that team.

Who’s the surprise RB is the year?

Alex – I don’t think you’ll find it surprising that I’m saying Jeremy Hill but I think he has a legitimate shot at cracking the top five running backs. That’s my surprise.
Mason – Lamar Miller. A lot of people are sleeping on him. With that offensive line I think he could be good. He’s one of those dudes, he comes in under the radar, but he had 1,000 yards and 8 rushing TD’s last year. He also catches the ball out of the backfield. I think he comes up this year as that offense elevates itself.
Alex – What about that rookie out in San Diego? Melvin Gordon.
Mike – Why you gotta take my shine?
Alex – I think he’s going to come in and have a 1,000 yard season.
Mike – I really like this kid. You can ask anyone I talked to before the draft. I would’ve taken him with no questions asked. He is going to be an outstanding player, and it’s a good situation there. I have him at 16 and I want to put him higher.

Who takes the biggest fall?

Mason – DeMarco Murray. I know it’s easy to say when he had 1,800 yards but I don’t see him doing well in that offense. There’s always his health. I don’t wish an injury on him or anyone, but other than last year he was hurt all the time.
Alex – It’s hard to say who takes a fall because all of the top guys from last year I like again this year.
Mike – I go back to what I mentioned earlier. Arian Foster. Those hamstrings. Something like that could easily happen. The other one is the plodder, C.J. Anderson. He could be top 5 or he could be a scrub that you end up dropping.

Thank you for joining me guys. We’ll be talking more as we get closer to the season.

We’ll be updating our rankings as things change so make sure you stick with Fantasy JoneZ for all of your FFB needs. SHARE this on all of your social media platforms as well!