5 Burning Questions: Fantasy Running Backs

The fantasy football Season is upon us and our team here at The Sports Script wants to make sure you are completely prepared for your draft! Our football staff will be periodically releasing questions and answers to burning questions that the readers have at each position. Our talented team of writers  has you covered! Today we continue with our running back installment.

5 questions about fantasy RB:

1. Who are you taking with the #1 pick? Why?

Gallimore: I am taking Adrian Peterson. With Norv Turner in town I see the receptions increasing and AP getting the ball in space which will lead to good things. Also, truth be told, I am a huge AP fan and just like watching him play. Fantasy Football is about having fun too, right?

Moore: Jamaal Charles. Not sure why isn’t getting picked #1 overall in PPR. He’s a dynamic runner and a hell of a receiver. He had more receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns than Shady last season. Sproles is an Eagle now and should eat into McCoy’s targets. Charles will once again be the team leader in Kansas City in pretty much everything.

Hines: If you haven’t looked at it yet, make sure you read my column on why I think AP should be #1 in almost any fantasy format this year. In this article I compare AP to Jamaal Charles but the stats on AP really show why I think he is looking at a huge 2014.

Valero: Peterson. Charles just got paid and while he will be good this year, he just isn’t going to finish #1 overall. I actually think he finishes outside the top 5. McCoy will finish in the top 5 and don’t hate him at #1 but Sproles is going to cut into some of his targets.

2. Which late-round RB will make the biggest impact?

Gallimore: I am considering late round as anything after pick 100. Based on that, I like Chris Ivory with an ADP of 133 right now. He will be the goal line back and I just don’t trust Chris Johnson to run hard. If Ivory stays healthy (big if) he could be in line for a nice season. The Jets are going to run the ball a whole lot.

Moore: James White. The Pats like to rotate backs and he has impressed so far in camp. If Vereen gets hurt and/or Ridley has ball security problems again, White will be a starter and could easily put up RB3 stats. He is a 3-down back and will have the chance to get some serious touches right out of the gate if he keeps this up.

Hines: André Williams went #130 in my last mock draft on ESPN and I think he has a chance to be a s-t-u-d! He was already projected to be in the mix this year in a Coughlin offense that loves to run. Unfortunately, David Wilson’s injury is going to keep him out but his carries have to go somewhere and I think they are going to go to Williams. Look for him later when people are drafting “elite” defenses.

Valero: Mark Ingram is a guy that I am targeting super late in drafts. He’s not in the best situation for a running back, but I think he could have a nice season. He is the 47th ranked RB (according to Fantasy Pros) and I think he has a chance to finish in the top 25 this year which means he’d be a steal for fantasy owners.

3. Your biggest bust? Go.

Gallimore: I’m going with Arian Foster. He is already hurt and the Texans will be running a new system. It just doesn’t appear that Foster is into football at the moment (talking about retirement a bit). I wouldn’t touch him until the late 2nd or early 3rd round and he will be taken before that.

Moore: Tie between Bishop Sankey and Trent Richardson, but since Sankey is being drafted higher. He is going to be playing in an offense where they will pass the ball a lot.  Sankey may only end up being a 2-down back and Shonn Greene will take both 3rd down and goal-line touches. Sankey is being drafted as a mid-tier RB2, but probably won’t even perform as an RB2.

Hines: Frank Gore. Year after year we think Gore is going to decline and year after year he proves us wrong. That being said, I think 2014 is the year where we finally see a decline in workload and production. The 49ers also just released their backup RB in Kendall Hunter. Carlos Hyde is currently going undrafted in 10 team drafts. If you are looking for this year’s Zac Stacy, I think Carlos Hyde could be a game changer. Don’t sleep on him.

Valero: I have a laundry list of guys I don’t like this year but I am going to roll with Le’Veon Bell. While I like him a lot and think he has a ton of talent, the signing of LeGarrette Blount is really going to have an impact on Bell’s goal-line touches. Being selected in the top 10 right now, I just don’t see him finishing there.

4. Best handcuff target?

Gallimore: I tend not to target handcuffs just for handcuff sake. I look for someone who has skills to flourish and take over if possible. The obvious name on everyone’s list is Christine Michael so I won’t go there. Instead, I am looking at Charles Sims in Tampa. Thought of as a Matt Forte type as he can do it all given the chance plus he is Lovie’s guy and might get a shot even if Martin doesn’t get hurt.

Moore: Bryce Brown. The Bills wouldn’t have traded for him if they didn’t really like him. CJ Spiller is prone to getting hurt and Fred Jackson (while I adore him), could break down and need to rest. Enter Bryce in the most run-friendly offense in the league. He has talent but was always over-shadowed by Shady McCoy in Philly. He could put up low-end RB2 numbers if opportunity knocks.

Hines: Whoops, did I just combine questions 3 & 4? Carlos Hyde is one of my handcuffs for 2014, but my biggest handcuff would be Christine Michael. Michael will be backing up Marshawn Lynch and is the RB of the future in Seattle. If you are in a dynasty/keeper league, make sure this guy is on your team. I am also looking at Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw is “backing up” Trent Richardson in Indianapolis. Remember what T-Rich did last year? Draft Bradshaw at the end of your draft, even if you pass by Richardson.

Valero: Playing the handcuff game can be tricky. I like taking starting tailbacks early and often. Joique Bell is obviously the top handcuff this season but his ADP doesn’t represent him as such. So give me Terrance West, there has been a lot of ranting and raving about the guy in practice. Ben Tate is someone I love this year but an injury to him would make this West’s team and I think he would thrive.

5. Is Montee Ball a top 5 option?

Gallimore: I don’t think Montee Ball will live up to the hype. However, now with the appendectomy clouding things, his ADP might drop a bit to a point where he is worth taking. He still doesn’t hit the top 5 because I believe CJ Anderson will steal more touches than people realize.

Moore: Nope, and I’m skeptical he will even finish in top 10. I know he is in a Peyton Manning offense and Moreno put up RB1 numbers last year, but he didn’t have the ball security issues like Ball does. I don’t trust him until I see him keep a firm grip on the rock. If Ball starts repeating last year’s mistakes, he’ll be yanked quickly. He’s on a short-leash and has ball security issues, not a good recipe for a RB.

Hines: Montee Ball is the main man in Denver now. Moreno has moved onto “bigger and better” things, leaving the former Wisconsin stud in charge behind Peyton Manning. Ball is an explosive back who will get almost, if not all, the goal line carries but is that going to be enough to make it into the elite status on RB in 2014? While I do love Ball, I think we are looking at a solid option but one that finishes in the 8 to 13 range. The elite of the elite (Peterson, Charles, McCoy, and Forte) will most likely be ranked 1-4 in any order as long as health is costant. Lacy, Murray, Lynch and Foster look to be the top contenders for the 5th spot in 2014.

Valero: I am not on the Ball bandwagon just based on the fact he could fumble his way into the dog house with John Fox. Even if he protects the rock, I don’t see a top 5 finish out of Ball. He may finish inside the top 10, but I am totally against drafting Ball at his current ADP.

Make sure to follow Ricky, Jared, Shane and Doug on Twitter. The Sports Script is your one stop shop for fantasy football coverage in 2014.

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