When it comes to my fantasy football strategy, less is more.
I’m old school, but forward thinking at the same time. I also believe in the meat and potatoes style of winning in fantasy football.
Play the matchups, stick to your guns, and most of all – rely on your running backs.
The NFL is still a passing league. I won’t deny that. It’s helped drive ratings to astronomical heights, and it’s good for the game. But another thing I’m a staunch believer in is disconnecting the realities of the NFL and ways of fantasy football.
Quarterbacks are deep, as I referenced yesterday. But running backs are scarce outside of the top-10, and that’s why I always attack them in the draft.
Here is my 2015 Fantasy Football RB Preview. Hold the applause, please.
If you have someone in your league worried about LeVeon’s two-game suspension, encourage them to keep feeling that way. Then snatch him from under their fingertips.
He’s the best running back in football right now and I’m not so sure it’s close. Color me content because Bell does in 14 weeks what most running backs do in 25.
What happens when the most physically gifted player in the NFL sits out for an entire season? He gets rested and comes back to a better team with a chip on his shoulder.
Give up? It’s Jamaal Charles.
Andy Reid has been the best thing to ever happen to Charles and now that Jeremy Maclin has arrived in Kansas City, defense won’t be required to zero in on Charles on first and second down.
It’s not exactly the boldest prediction, but JC could easily finish as the league’s top running back this season.
Beast Mode is still salty from being spurned at the one-yard line in the Super Bowl. Despite that clear blunder by whoever decided to do that one, Lynch is still the central focus of the Seahawks offense.
Adding Jimmy Graham presents pros and cons. However, I don’t think his arrival is going to cut into touchdown production as much as it’s going to make scoring red zone touchdowns easier.
If anyone on the Packers offense is going to benefit from Jordy Nelson’s season-ending injury, it’s going to be Lacy. He’s the safest play in fantasy football this season for that reason.
Much of my love for Jeremy Hill is built around the fact that I believe his 5.1 yards per carry in 2014 is the real deal. And, there’s a zero percent chance that him and Gio Bernard move any closer to a 50/50 split in carries (222-168 in 2014).
Hill is a power back with incredible balance and his ability to thrive between the tackles is coveted in the NFL today. Book a huge season for this guy.
Miller is my breakthrough candidate for 2015, as I’ve already referenced that I’m all-in on the Miami Dolphins this season. The Dolphins are going to be playing with a lead quite a bit this season, and with the shuffling of running backs on the depth chart this offseason, Miller’s a lock to see 20-plus carries a game–which he never cracked in 2014.
I can hear a lot of you screaming at me right now. I get it, it’s not 2012. It’s also not 2013. Or 2014.
That’s fine, just means more for me. And I won’t be sorry when he blows up and you didn’t follow me.
In standard leagues I wouldn’t draft Matt Forte in the first round of any of my drafts.
The curse of the 30-year-old running back is a real thing. After all, 99 percent of running backs hit a wall when they turn 30 (which Forte will in-season). The ones that break that trend are transcendental talents, like Adrian Peterson.
Forte doesn’t possess that.
Matt Forte is still a 1,000-yard candidate. He’s still going catch 45-plus passes out of the backfield. But he’s going to be even less flashy than he has been his entire career, and that’s saying something.
11. LeSean McCoy
12. DeMarco Murray
13. Justin Forsett
14. Mark Ingram
15. Carlos Hyde
Far are the days that I care for LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray in fantasy football. In fact, I think people take these guys in the first are suckers. I would much rather pivot to the top flight WR like Dez Bryant or Julio Jones over either one.
Murray’s high usage goes down under Chip Kelly and LeSean McCoy starts to look like Chris Johnson more and more by the day.
Carlos Hyde is my favorite young back in the NFL. I think he’s in a great spot to accumulate elite level carries for a 49ers team that’s not going to be very good this season.
- Jonathan Stewart
- Andre Ellington
- Joseph Randle
- Frank Gore
- Arian Foster
Though I’m not an Arian Foster fan, per say, he could end up being the steal of your draft depending on where you can get him at. His prognosis is looking better and better to the point where it’s unlikely he misses more than four weeks.
A fifth or sixth round price for a guy with his talent is a steal of all steals.
And then we have the immortal Frank Gore. It’s hard to believe this guy is still lacing them up. He’s got a good thing going in Indianapolis – cushioned by an elite aerial offense that should open up plenty defenses between the 20’s. Gore is definitely worth your RB2 time.
I deem very specific rankings useless when you get this far down the board. At this point, you’re looking for pieces that fit what you already have in place and not drafting guys on best player available. At least I’m not.
The further down the board I get, I look for compliments to my studs that give me the most well-rounded rosters I can construct. So rather than give you rankings for guys I haven’t mentioned yet. I’m just going to give you guys I think you should attack and guys you should avoid.
For the same reasons I like Anderson, I like Hillman. You should be fine giving this guy a roster spot, as he’ll excel in Gary Kubiak’s offensive scheme.
Roy Helu Jr.
Trent Richardson was cut, Latavius Murray and Taiwan Jones aren’t all that good, and Roy Helu Jr. provides the versatility Oakland needs for their young quarterback and stud rookie receiver.
I personally think Dunbar has the most upside of any of the Cowboys three running backs, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to produce right away. And it definitely doesn’t change the fact that there’s a RBBC in Dallas.
Point is, Dunbar is still the change-of-pace back in Dallas until further notice. But he’s a guy I think deserves a spot on your bench for when that changes.
Matt Jones is better than Alfred Morris.
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) August 30, 2015
Plain and simple, I just don’t think Bishop Sankey is very good. Unfortunately, having said that means I’m fully eating my words on what I said about him last year.
I was wrong, guys. I happens.
Melvin Gordon, Tevin Coleman, and TJ Yeldon
Sorry, but I will not have a single share of a rookie running back in 2015. They just won’t produce and they’re going far too high in drafts for my liking. Now, if you’re dynasty, its a different story and this is a different conversation.
But for your standard leagues, avoid at all costs.
Murray is just way too hit or miss for me. His big-play potential is incredible, but not sustainable. In a PPR league I’m all over Roy Helu like I said. In a standard league I would shy away from both, but still lean Helu.
Unfortunately, that says more about Murray than it does anything else.
I get that this guy is going to be the starter in New England and you guys are going to want to latch onto the word ‘starter.’ But don’t forget that you have to consider who’s his head coach and where he plays too.
Running backs in New England is like shooting darts in the the pitch black of a haunted cave. Just don’t do it. Because it’s stupid.
In the 13 games he's played without RGIII as the starting QB, Alfred Morris has carried 221 times for 794 yards (3.6 YPC) with just 5 TD.
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) August 31, 2015