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It seems in recent years the fad has become to draft quarterbacks high in the first and second round. However, this year more than ever that strategy should be thrown out the window. Looking at numbers one to eight these are all running backs with top 10 overall potential, and not to mention there seems to more good quarterbacks than ever. My strategy is to not draft a quarterback until all my RBs and WR are filled, and judging by the great situations all of the top 10 or so runners are in none of them should be passed up for by a quarterback.
2. C.J. Spiller
Spiller will be the end all be all for the Bills offense this season. Not that won’t E.J. Manuel won’t have moderate success with his decent supporting cast a receiver, but Spiller is a one-of-a-kind. Nathaniel Hackett, Bills new offensive coordinator, ran the ball 555 times at Syracuse last year; Spiller should easily trump his ‘12 total of 207 carries. It seems the negativity around Spiller is that his touchdown potential is limited, but the Bills have a lot more weapons this year which should give Spiller more opportunities in the red zone. Also, Fred Jackson isn’t going to be a threat, he hasn’t been healthy for the past two season, and Doug Marrone probably doesn’t have the same allegiance to Jackson that Chan Gailey did. Also, Doug Marrone has said that be plans to use Spiller in any and all situations.
This season no two running backs excite me more than Spiller and Charles. Naysayers like to diss Andy Reid for his lack of running the ball, but in LeSean McCoy’s best year he ran 273 times which is a lot. Regardless, if Reid has an uber-talented runner, like Charles, he’ll get him the ball in any situation. This should be a big year running, and catching the ball.
4. Doug Martin
Martin is not one of Bigfoot’s favorites, but is he great or what. The only issue is that he really only had five great games including his 251 yard game, but all the rest were somewhat mediocre. Despite his unbalanced season he’ll be sure to get the ball a lot.
5. Arian Foster
Nothing wrong with Foster, but the potential that is oozing for some of the other runners on this list drop Foster down. On sheer volume alone Foster will not disappoint. This may a slight overreact to Foster’s injury news, but it is a cause for concern. He is a lock for at least 350 to 400 touches if he can stay healthy, but his yards per carry have dropped over the past three years, and there are other running backs that should get the volume he gets that are now ahead of him.
7. Ray Rice
With Brandon Weeden still at QB, Richardson is the going to get all the touches he can handle
It’s nice to know that Steven Jackson has a good shot at playing in the playoffs this year. However, this should be a big year for Jackson, unlike Michael Turner, Jackson will be on the field on all downs, and he should be re-energized in a new situation.
10. LeSean McCoy
I don’t like theorizing about what Chip Kelly’s offense will be like because people seem to be getting excited about it, but if McCoy is healthy he should return to top form, close to two years ago.
11. Alfred Morris
If RGIII misses any time Morris should have a larger load on his shoulders.
12. Maurice Jones Drew
With Gabbert still at the helm MJD will continue to get his fair share.
13. Chris Johnson
Johnson will annually disappoint owners at some point, but he is the lead back in Tennessee, and the rest of the offense is somewhat scrambled.
14. Matt Forte
Forte has become a boring fantasy commodity, but Forte brings everything except the ability to convert fourth and shorts.
15. David Wilson
Going all in on Wilson this year. The backs 12-18 on this list are more sure-things, but Wilson’s big play ability will make it hard for the Giants to sub him out. Andre Brown isn’t a bad option to own either.
16. Stevan Ridley
Ridley makes me nervous, especially how the Patriots always seem to have another running back waiting to take over (Shane Vereen).
17. Darren McFadden
The Raiders are supposedly reverting back to the offense that McFadden was more successful in, but him remaining healthy is anyone’s guess.
18. Demarco Murray
Like McFadden, Murray hasn’t been able to play an entire season. Barring he can play the entire season he should have a good year, but it is unlikely he makes it.
19. Reggie Bush
Bush could have a Darren Sproles like effect in Detroit, but owners should expect him to receive at least 100 carries even with Leshoure behind him. Bush will have more of a stake both running and catching the ball unlike Sproles.
20. Frank Gore
Behind Gore sits Lamichael James, Kendall Hunter, and the legend of Marcus Lattimore. It seems, though Gore had a nice season, he could be in for less caries with Hunter and James nipping at his heels.
21. Darren Sproles
Gets bumped up in PPR formats, but otherwise his game is fairly limited despite the great numbers.
22. Chris Ivory
Finally out of the shadows of the Saints backfield, Ivory only has Michael Goodson to contend with unless Joe McKnight…nevermind.
23. Ryan Mathews
Once a top ten pick fantasy pick, now he has suffered a fate similar to Darren McFadden. If he can stay healthy he should have every opportunity to put up decent numbers for once. He could be a steal.
24. Vick Ballard
Solid yet unspectacular, Ballard proved he could make plays when given the opportunity.
25. Lamar Miller
26. Jonathan Stewart
Someone other than Cam Newton has to run the ball, and Stewart’s ability bests Deangelo Williams.
27. Le’Veon Bell
Only having to beat out Jonathan Dwyer, Bell should be the guy.
28. Montee Ball
Initially I wasn’t as excited about Ball as other considering Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno are still around, but Peyton Manning recently said he expects John Fox to give him all he can handle.
Reuniting with Arians should help Mendenhall, but the Cardinals double-dipped at running back with two pretty good ones in the draft.
The Bengals made Giovani Bernard the first running back selected thus muddying BJGE fantasy outlook.
31. Eddie Lacy
Probably would have been about ten spots higher, but Jonathan Franklin complicates things.
32. Zac Stacy
Dark-horse candidate to win the Rams starting job.
33. Mark Ingram
35. Mikel Leshoure
36. Giovani Bernard
37. Shane Vereen
38. Bryce Brown
39. Isaiah Pead
40. Fred Jackson
43. Bernard Pierce
44. Ryan Williams
45. Pierre Thomas
46. Willis McGahee
47. Daryl Richardson
48. Ahmad Bradshaw
49. Knowshon Moreno
50. Jacquizz Rodgers
51. Ben Tate
52. Marcel Reece