Don't be shellfish...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on Reddit

It’s that time of year, rookie drafts are starting and the all important question, who do I draft? Who will be the next Doug Martin and who will be the next Mark Ingram, yuck… To be honest it really is impossible to tell who will be the next great rookie running back to break out will be and as seen by Redskins rookie Alfred Morris last year it really is as much about opportunity than as it is about talent, skill and potential. If you followed my rookie running back preview and pre-draft rankings you probably saw that I was a little higher than I should have been on my my Jonathan Franklin. What can I say, I’m no NFL scout, I’m just a guy that loves football and tried to call them like I see them. With recent news the Eddie Lacy isn’t looking great in training camp, although I’m not buying into it yet, it may open up the door for Franklin who I think is a perfect fit in Green Bay. Well enough about my Franklin obsession let’s take a look at my Top 20 dynasty running backs….hello, this is Sky and I’ve come to interrupt this post with a very important announcement: y’all need to sign up for our Razzball Commenter Leagues this year or I won’t let Murph out of the cage he currently resides in.  Don’t worry, we feed him and all that but I’m sure he’d like some clothes.  It gets cold on the raw plains of North Dakota…but more to the point, you don’t want his emotional scars on your hands, do you?  Go sign up!  We now return you to your regularly scheduled post.

 

1 Giovani Bernard Bengals
2 Le’Veon Bell Steelers
3 Montee Ball Broncos
4 Christine Michael Seahawks
5 Johnathan Franklin Packers
6 Marcus Lattimore 49ers
7 Latavius Murray Raiders
8 Eddie Lacy Packers
9 Zac Stacy Rams
10 Joseph Randle Cowboys
11 Andre Ellington Cardinals
12 Mike Gillislee Dolphins
13 Stepfan Taylor Cardinals
14 Knile Davis Chiefs
15 Kerwynn Williams Colts
16 Kenjon Barner Panthers
17 Ray Graham Texans
18 Miguel Maysonet Browns
19 Jawan Jamison Redskins
20 Michael Cox Giants
21 Michael Hill Chargers

Giovani Bernard - Can’t wait for Bernard to get his shot, I think he is exactly what the Bengals need and we could see a very similar transition midway through the season with Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis and Bernard that we saw with Blount and Doug Martin last year. Not saying Bernard is going to explode like Martin but he can handle responsibilities as an every down back and is extremely talented catching passes out of the back field. Get him while he’s cheap.

LeVeon Bell - If you are looking for running back to give you immediate production this year Bell is your guy, he’s a much bigger back than normal but is extremely athletic and will be able to shoulder a high volume of carries in Pittsburgh as they lean on the run due to lack of receiving options in ’13

Montee Ball - Not extremely talented or athletic and he is walking into a fantasy football nightmare with Coach John Fox at the helm, but as we saw last year with Knowshon Moreno you don’t have to be the most talented running back to be fantasy relevant in the Denver offense.

Christine Michael - Another rookie turning heads in training camp is Michael, who landed in what one would assume to be a bad spot but with Marshawn Lynch’s chronic back spasms and his monster contract, Lynch could become expendable in ’14 making the talented Christine Michael a top fantasy running back behind one of the the best offensive lines in the NFL.

Jonathan Franklin - Oh Franklin…. yes he’s not my number one rookie running back anymore mostly due the uncertain position battle going on between Lacy, Franklin and Harris, it really makes it difficult for me to rank him as high as I want. I think in rookie drafts Franklin is a much better long term prospect than Lacy and has a lot more upside. He could struggle to run between the tackles but it’s not something Packers running backs are ever been required to do frequently anyways so he should be fine.

Marcus Lattimore - We all remember that gruesome knee injury last year and it is said that Lattimore is making a quick recovery. If it wasn’t for the knee injury Lattimore would be a consensus number one ranked running back and after landing in San Francisco it’s almost the perfect spot for him. If you can afford the wait, he is well worth a draft pick as we all know how productive San Francisco running backs are and I think Frank Gore may have one or two seasons left before he has to pass the torch, hopefully to Lattimore.

Latavius Murray – Last year, with a failed Taiwan Jones experiment, the Raiders were forced to use their fullback, Marcel Reece, in place of an injured McFadden. The Raiders decided to give themselves some depth to prevent that happening again by taking a late round pick on University of Central Florida’s Latavius Murray. He is an athletic specimen at 6’2″ 220 and posted outstanding combine numbers with a 4.38 forty and 22 bench press repetitions. Although he lacks the experience of some of the bigger names in the draft, Murray provides a very physical and talented presence in a Raiders backfield full of question marks. With the passing game in shambles and lack of a formidable quarterback, the Raiders should be running a ton in 2013 and should provide Murray the opportunity to show what he’s got.

Eddie Lacy - As mentioned before Lacy will be in competition with Franklin and Harris in Packers training camp. I’m not ruling Lacy out but questions surrounding his conditioning and durability don’t make me excited to use a high pick on him, simply because of the risk.

Zac Stacy - Another interesting running back battle is ensuing in St. Louis as second year running backs Isiah Pead and Daryl Richardson try to fight off rookie Zac Stacy for the starting job. Stacy has that Ray Rice build and running style and when compared to the flashiness of the other two backs, coach Fisher could lean in Stacy’s direction.

Joseph Randle - Still just a backup and rumors are circling that he is loosing the backup spot in training camp due to his lack of progression. Still will the history of the Dallas running backs I would like to own Randle who brings a different element to the an offense with his ability to catch passes out of the back field and make big plays down-field. He will have to prove skeptics that his lack of elite speed and size won’t hold him back.

Andre Ellington - This Arizona backfield is a real mess with four potential starters and a terrible offensive line, but I really like the upside on Ellington and believe ultimately he will be given a shot.

Mike Gillislee - Although flashy in his highlights and in training camp, his big downfall continues to be lack of fundamentals especially ball security which Coach Philbin will not put up with. So far Lamar Miller looks like the lead guy but with Gillislees pass blocking ability I wouldn’t count him out.

From Around The Web

  1. Matt says:
    (link)

    Nice list! Probably only the top 3 will be drafted in a 14 team draft this year?
    Just trying to determine who will still be available for my rookie draft. First year having a rooking draft after the main draft.

    • Murph says:
      (link)

      @Matt: I’ve seen almost all of the Top 10 go in 14 team drafts but depends on the roster size. What pick do you have?

      • Matt says:
        (link)

        @Murph: Sorry, I meant only the top 3 would be drafted in the regular draft of a 14 team league, leaving the rest probably available for the rookie draft. Picks haven’t been determined yet, but I will be in the top 7 picks I believe.

        • Murph says:
          (link)

          @Matt: What’s the roster size? How many rounds? My guess would be at least the Top 10 will be drafted in the regular draft

          • Matt says:
            (link)

            @Murph: 14 team PPR, 15round draft, 1QB, 3WR, 2RB, 1TE, 1DEF, 6 bench spots and 1IR spot.

            • Murph says:
              (link)

              Looking at @Matt: Looking at ADP data you would be looking at RBs around the 12 range in my rankings

  2. Jack Full of Hate says:
    (link)

    My franklin crush started two years, I’m a UCLA fan, and damn I’m glad to see I’m not the only one crushing so hard on a guy that doesn’t like to go down…and doesn’t. He turns 3 yard gains into 10 because of how low he runs to the ground. If he can put some pounds on we can see another MJD

    • Murph says:
      (link)

      @Jack Full of Hate: Yes my man crush us undeniable, I like the MJD comparison hopefully it works out that way. It’s encouraging to see that Lacy looks like he ate every piece of cheese in Wisconsin

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
        (link)

        @Murph: C’mon Fat Lacey, he’s putting on his Wisconsin Winter weight a little early. I don’t know how much you know about him, but one of his best features is his good attitude, that I think only pushes him a ahead when it comes to the mental grind of being a pro

        BTW, you tweet more than anyone else I follow, good luck in whatever mock you got going today

        • Murph says:
          (link)

          @Jack Full of Hate:
          Are you subtlety telling me I’m annoying Jack!
          Mock auction tonight which should be interesting, I usually don’t put too much stock in attitude or personality butting seems to be important in Green Bay so i think he’s a perfect fit for them

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
            (link)

            @Murph: no, I like a lot of your re-tweets and the vacation pics from Tahoe, you lucky bastard. Not annoying, like the emoticons of others, actually you are keeping y head in football as I fight to get through another year of baseball

            • Murph says:
              (link)

              @Jack Full of Hate: Haha good to hear. Haven’t got into baseball yet so I get to spend the whole year on football which is nice.

  3. Psychedelic says:
    (link)

    Love the stuff Murph, I just wish you posted more often :( haha man I’m getting anxious waiting for the season to start, were doing a 16 team dynasty with 20 man rosters, we’ve already started the slow draft and I ended up getting Franklin and Michael. And since I had DMC got Murray as a handcuff, feeling pretty satisfied with that group right there.

    • Murph says:
      (link)

      @Psychedelic: Thanks! I’ll probably be writing a little more during the season but unfortuately real life always gets in the way of fantasy football life.

      That sounds like some great pick ups in the draft, hopefully you got some value. As we saw last year young running backs can step in and make a huge impact. 16 team teams are challenging I joined one myself this year

      • Psychedelic says:
        (link)

        @Murph: ya were doing a 20 team 40 man roster baseball league so we decided to join up for a football league also, I haven’t done one this huge so I’m a little nervous haha. And ya I think I got some decent value, everyone was drafting super young early on so I got some great early round picks and was happy to see these guys fall through the cracks a bit. Your rankings/dynasty posts have been really helpful with the later round dynasty picks, look forward to more of your stuff !

  4. Is Lattimore scheduled to be ready by season’s opening? If so that is one hell of a recovery. Also got a ranking for Rookie WR’s? Thanks man, glad I stumbled upon this post.

    • Murph says:
      (link)

      @Ryan Flynn: I would be shocked if he was but I’m not doubting the power of sports medicine after Adrian Peterson’s return last year. Not saying he’s AP I’m just not counting him out 100% yet. He is a good add in dynasty/keeper formats as Frank Gore is in his 30’s and could retire in the next 2 years.

      I’m working on wide receivers this weekend, should be up early next week, thanks for reading

  5. Ferris says:
    (link)

    I read your post on Chris Ivory. You got me all amped about him. But how do you rank his potential output to Lamar Miller and David Wilson?

    • Murph says:
      (link)

      @Ferris: Was it the post by Sky? http://football.razzball.com/chris-ivory-2013-fantasy-sleeper

      My personal opinion is that he will finish with similar production as Ivory/ Miller but at his current ADP (5th/6th round) it’s much better value than the other two. There is risk because he has an injury history but that’s the same with a lot of other RBs in his tier

  6. Zachary says:
    (link)

    Auction keeper league. 12 teams $200. You can keep up to three guys for up to two additional years, so if I keep anyone I can keep them for this year and if I so choose next year also (so no need to project past 2014-2015 season). I’m obviously keeping Dez at $18. Other conceivable options are Matt Ryan $8, Lynch $46, Rice $71, Jamaal Charles $36, Bryce Brown $1, Colston $15. Initially I was thinking Ryan and Lynch/Charles but then I started thinking that Luck, RG3, Wilson, and Kapernick are being kept, so if i let Ryan go im only bidding vs 7 teams on one of the big four of Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Newton, and if all four go for too much then i can get Ryan back or Peyton, Stafford, and lastly Romo. Is that stupid and I should just keep Ryan and an RB. and if so which RB. and if i keep both RB’s whats a good price ceiling to set on those top 4 QB’s.
    Thanks a lot, love the site

    • Murph says:
      (link)

      @Zachary: I think you are spot on with your thinking Charles/Lynch are both concensus top tier RBs so by keeping both (at great value) you are ahead of the game. Ryan is good value as well but there are so many other QBs out there that I don’t think he’s a must keep. From my experience in auction drafts running backs go for a premium and it would be a lot more likely you get Ryan back in the 7-10 dollar range where Charles/Lynch could hit the 50-70 dollar range. Keep the running backs and even if you miss out on the top tier guys like Romo/Palmer/Cutler/Stafford are all options I wouldn’t mind have as my QB1 in most formats. Dez should be outstanding this year. Thanks for reading

  7. zachary says:
    (link)

    @Murph: thanks for confirming. And since I’ll have 100 in these 3 players approx what are prices I should be paying for Brady Rodgers newton and brees (4/12 will keep their qb) and how much for Peyton Ryan (if I don’t get those six I think I’ll wait for a $3 qb).

    • Murph says:
      (link)

      @zachary: If the roster size is 16 I would go as high as $25. Just know that you will have to slow down and find value for the rest of your draft. In my personal opinion, due to positional point differential, I would much rather have the $5 Romo and spend my money at WR/RB/TE

      • Zachary says:
        (link)

        @Murph: 17, its QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, flex, TE, dst, k, bench. And so you think between Brees, Rodgers, Newton, Brady, Ryan, Manning get any of those as long as under $25 and if not then wait on it? Judging from last year’s draft (although people might learn from year 1 mistakes) the top 10 receivers went for premiums and then starting around WR 15 there were huge discounts so I ended up with 7 top 35 WR’s in a 12 man league, so I am not too worried about getting some WR’s relatively cheap, more worried about getting a third RB, since so many good ones are being kept.

        • Murph says:
          (link)

          @Zachary: Yep I agree, that’s why I think it’s important to keep Charles and Lynch. Tons of great value at WR this year with guys like Cecil Shorts so that’s the route I would go. Like you said impossible to know what everyone is going to do so just have a rough plan and be flexible and adapt as the draft unfolds.

          • Zachary says:
            (link)

            @Murph: When people select keepers, the cost of the other players in my league goes up since there is more money to spend (classic fantasy inflation). Will this inflation only really affect the top players in the league (turning a 50 dollar back to a 70 dollar back), or will 8 dollar receivers become 0 dollar receivers etc

  8. Targaryen says:
    (link)

    Hey Murph, you seem to be a good expert in dynasty. Got a q for u if u got time about a trade offer. The first thing u should know is this league is a .5 ppr for rb. 1 for wr & 1.5 for te. I have Gates, Tony G & Stocker jn my taxi squad. I have been affered AJ Jenkins from San fran & Michael Egnew rookie TE in Miami. I was planning on promoting stocker anyway but I wanted to aim for the backup rookie qb to either Eli or Stafford. TEs are a little more valuable in this league. You like this for me or no? If I did this it makes more sense to put egnew in the taxi. But it’s only for rookies, anyone else not eligible. Also have Alec Smith so backup isn’t the most glaring need

    • Targaryen says:
      (link)

      @Targaryen: I guess he is not a rookie. I don’t know what I was thinking. I think I like it less now, you agree?

      • Targaryen says:
        (link)

        @Targaryen: ok egnew & jenkins ia in his taxi so I can put him there. We can only have 3 & not more than 1 at any position. I have Randle, Hopkins & Stocker for now. Do you think egnew or henk I ns will make a name for themselves in fantasy?

        • Murph says:
          (link)

          @Targaryen: So you would be acquiring Jenkins and Egnew Who would you be giving up? Honesty I don’t like either in dynasty, reports from camp say that Jenkins, although talented, is really struggling to grasp the playbook and for Egnew, the dolphins acquired TE Dustin Keller and drafted a very talented pass catching tight end n Dion Sims. I would pass on this current trade if I’m understanding it correctly, thanks for reading!

          • Targaryen says:
            (link)

            @Murph: I had forgotten Keller went to Miami. He was wanting gonzo for his final year. Thanks for the 411 murph

  9. ZachAttack says:
    (link)

    Would you take any of these running backs number one overall in a rookie draft? Where would you take the top guys in a startup draft? Thanks these articles have been really helpful

    • Murph says:
      (link)

      @ZachAttack: Bernard/Bell would be my two after that I’ll pass on the majority of the running backs. As far as the startup it really dpends on the draft but the top tier has been going as early as the 4th round. I would recommend looking at my overall rankings for am answer to this question.

  10. KING TROUT says:
    (link)

    A: Foster, Vereen, Giovanni Bernard
    B:Bell, Ridley, Vereen

    A or B

    • Murph says:
      (link)

      @KING TROUT: Option A for me, having foster keeps you competitive for the short term.

  11. Love the blog! Just had my first dynasty draft, picked up bernard, bell, and lattimore. All-upside team!

    • murph says:
      (link)

      @@thecommishlists: Nice! Looks like more people are starting to come around on the whole dynasty format, it really is a whole new game.

Comments are closed.