So the dead zone strikes again as I try to filter out the unimportant sports news of baseball and the NBA playoffs, don’t even ask me who’s in the playoffs as I really have no idea. I look to what little headlines in sports intrigue me. The NFL Draft seems to be a hot topic of discussion as it was announced that the draft will be pushed two weeks later which in my opinion really doesn’t make that much of a difference although people are completely losing their minds over this. What if it falls on Mothers Day? No problem, do what you always do order some prearranged flowers from a .com florist and tune into what is the best draft in sports. The way I look at it, it gives us two more weeks to dig into our already over-analysis of the future stars in what is the greatest sport, football.

Does anyone else want it to be August already? No offense to the Razzball Baseball guys but this just isn’t cutting it, I need my football! There is just something about fantasy football that makes it the premier fantasy sport. I was discussing this with a few fellow fantasy sports enthusiasts and it seems that the general consensus as why it is the most popular is due to three things; head to head match-ups, condensed season, and weekly setting of lineups instead of daily. Hard to argue with any of these points and I agree, maybe it’s just the gamble in me but the unpredictability of head to head weekly match-ups just far exceeds what any other fantasy sport can. Well enough of my ramblings of my addiction to fantasy sports, lets get into some dynasty running back rankings as those of you that play in dynasty formats know there truly is no off season!

How do you rank dynasty running backs? This is a very difficult task for a single person as these rankings can be so subjective in dynasty. What type of window are we looking at? Because it could be anywhere of 2 to 6 years, lets keep in mind that these rankings could vary depending on your situation or personal philosophy but what I have done below is the rankings I would use in a personal start up to give myself a good mix of young long term players and veterans that can help me to win now, as that is the nature of the game right? Winning. There are also some concerns in which running backs are being treated as of late as their teams are leaning on them pushing them over the dreaded 1000 career carry mark in what seems like just a few years like players such as Arian Foster who has passed the 1000 carry mark in only three full seasons with the Houston Texans . We also have now the ever popular running back by committee approach as seen in Carolina as the Panthers were one of the most frustrating tandem of running backs to solve last year, it was like the Rubik’s Cube of fantasy football.  These are concerns I share as well and would caution to understand the shelf life of your running backs may not be what it used to so keep that in mind headed into drafts in 2013. Let’s take a look at my rankings and please feel free to share your own thoughts or concerns as to where you feel a player should or should not be ranked.

Dynasty and Keeper Rankings powered by FantasyPros

  1. Targaryen says:

    Do you think Monty Ball gets held back year 1? I’m really shaky at RB. I have lots of #2s, borderline #1s or weres. I ask this because because I’m trying to setup my 3 man taxi squad that I can keep until activated. I traded Kendall Hunter fire Hillman after drafting Ball Hopkins & Joseph Randle. Now I’m wishing I’d drafted Bailey or Wilson. Which would mean one of them in the taxi instead of Hopkins & Ball instead of Randle. ( only one of a position allowed. Also storing Stocker & could change again if am able to nab a qb in the 6th rd. League starts 2/2/1 & flex, ppr .5/1/1.5 te’s are popular. I’m weak on RB except for Hillman/ball which is y I chose him over one of the WRs. Who went back to back after me. Should i have grabbed him or you think I did alright with that call(only time will tell type of thing). I could possible sway stedman for randle because he belongs to murrays owner.

    • murph says:


      Ball is by far the best young running back in Denver although I have concerns with the philosophy for the Broncos as it seems they need to have a veteran bell cow back. McGahee and Moreno are both in the mix although I feel both will be released, and talks of Denver possibly giving Ahmad Bradshaw a tryout as well.

      I like the way you made out with the guys you did, I would sit tight at this point

  2. Wallpaper Paterson says:

    Ball said he is focused on blocking. If he can be helpful in this department, he will play. Blitz pickup and obviously staying healthy are keys to him seeing significant action this year.

  3. poop says:

    why are you so low on hunter? i got him in rd 15 of my start up and snagged ellington in rd 16.

    as my rb 5/6

    charles/c johnson/murray/andre brown/hunter/ellington form my rbs now im a sucker for running backs and am looking to add a few more.

    how do you see Barner fitting in in Carolina?

  4. Achilles’ tendon injuries have a tendency to linger and the reason they drafted Lattimore although his situation is concerning as well, add James into the mix and the future of that backfield is kind of a mess.

    Love Charles and Johnson this year I have both in my 16 teamer.
    I would look to add Joseph Ramdle as a Murray owner, great handcuff
    Brown should be solid getting a lot of goal line work with Bradshaw out of the picture.

    In my option Ellington is a great pick best RB in that backfield Nothing excites me about Mendy/Ryan Williams/Taylor

    Barner is in a crowded backfield so my expectations are low.

    Run some WW ideas by me and I’ll give you my thoughts

    • poop says:

      draft still rolling along

      missed on J randle a trade target for sure given murray history.

      speaking of Achilles news of crabtree breaking took patton and jenkins out of play before my pick again.

      WR options on board now are:

      Lloyd Malcom FLyod Andre Roberts JAcoby Edleman Mccluster Hawkins Goodwin Bess Boyce Gibson

      RB on board: Bilal dwyer Reece J bell BArner R Graham Jamison HArdesty don brown Kerwynn

      QB on board: Tyler WIlson Barkley Freeman Glennon Alex smith Locker Ponder

      TE on board: Fred davis Miller Escobar/Hannah Ladarius green
      its 12 team ppr 1qb 2 rb 3 wr 1 te 2 flex(wr/rb/te) K DST for reference my team below
      20 player roster

      QB: A-Rod, Vick
      RB: Charles, CJ?K, Murray, Brown, Hunter, Ellington
      WR: Hilton, D-jax, Steve Smith (car), Hopkins, K Wright, E Sanders,
      TE: Witten, D Allen

      • @poop:

        Your team looks solid right now

        I like your idea of going RB and now that Goodson wants to be a felon instead of a running back Bilal Powell is a solid backup behind a fragile Chris Ivory.

        WR: Not many attractive options but I have a sneaky suspicion Brandon Llyod might get a tryout with the Niners, if he goes undrafted scoop him up if you have space

        TE: Escobar as an insurance policy for Witten but Allen is solid so no need to reach right now.

        QB: lots of solid rookies (Barkley/Wilson/Glennon) I like all long term but you are good at QB so no need to reach here

  5. George says:

    Hey Murph – This is the column that I have been waiting on when it comes to dynasty leagues. I won my two keeper leagues (one is a 16-team salary cap league and one is a 20-team league with 50 contract years with individualized defensive positions (D, DE, DT, DL, LB, S, CB, DB).

    Anyway, in the 20-team league, I am entering the draft with AD, Ingram, and Dwyer and in the salary cap league, I have AD, Ben Tate, and Dwyer.

    A couple of questions for you:

    Ben Tate: According to my pre-draft rankings, you have assigned Tate a ranking of 11 based on the running backs that are going to be available in this years’ re-draft. The top five running backs that are going to be available in this draft are: Forte, Jackson, Gore, Bernard, and Bush. Would you assign Tate to a 4 or 5 year contract at pick 20 considering that he is projected to be pick 28-35 meaning that I have little to no shot of getting him at pick 39 or pick 40 of the draft? I am anticipating that Ben Tate is going to be a free agent next year and he will sign with a team where he is the lead back plus we should anticipate Tate getting more touches because of Schaub’s ineffectiveness in the past as well as reducing Arian Foster’s workload.

    Le’Veon Bell: As of right now, Bell is projecting to be a 1st rounder and I believe, based on his body of work at MSU, that he will be a 3-down back for the Steelers. Do you think that he could slip to pick 20 with the following players projected to be available in our re-draft?:

    Steven Jackson
    Matt Forte
    Demaryius Thomas
    Larry Fitzgerald
    Reggie Bush
    Vincent Jackson
    Reggie Wayne
    Frank Gore
    Dwayne Bowe
    Montee Ball
    Eddie Lacy
    Le’Veon Bell
    Giovanni Benard
    Tony Gonzalez
    Jordy Nelson
    Steve Smith
    Antonio Brown
    Wes Welker
    Eric Decker
    Jason Witten
    Darren Sproles
    DeSean Jackson
    Greg Jennings
    James Jones
    Tavon Austin

    Now to my salary cap roster. I have picks 14, 28, and 42: I am seriously thinking about this crop of rookies for the long-term growth of my franchise. What do you think about Zac Stacy if he is available at pick 14 of the rookie draft? I am sure that Bell, Ball, Lacy, Bernard, and Franklin are going to be long gone by pick 14 in what is normally a rookie draft for our salary cap league. This is the team with AD, Tate, and Dwyer with a wide receiving corp of VJax, Roddy White, Sidney Rice, Danario Alexander, and Kenny Britt.

    Thanks for your input and thanks for doing these dynasty projections. Looking forward to the drafts…..

    • George says:

      @George: hey Murph – Can you address my post when you get a chance?

    • Murph says:

      Hey George! Sorry about that busy day today and wanted to make sure I had the time to give you the most detailed answer I could. Really looking forward to talking dynasty with you guys this year, the redraft guys are still convinced their format is the best haha

      RE Tate: I think you hit it right on with Tate. He is super talented and I am concerned with Foster holding up for much longer and even if he does, like you said he has the possibility to test free agency next year. I say 4 years is solid unless there is an incentive to push it to 5.

      RE Le’Veon Bell: Bell is going pretty early in my mock and start up drafts usually in the 35-40 range which puts him in RB2 territory. I love Bell in Pittsburgh and I think the Steelers do too, he should be the lone workhorse back overshadowing the ineffective Redman and Dwyer. I think he is well worth a top 20 pick here but would be shocked if he made it past 15.

      RE Rookie Draft: I never like to draft for need in rookie drafts but would rather take the best player available and attempt to move them later. Stacy is a great back and fits Fisher’s scheme but im worried we will be looking at a three headed RBBC next year. With that being said his ADP is around 14 in my rookie mock drafts so it wouldn’t be a reach and is a solid investment. If Fisher commits to a running back they are gold in fantasy.

      I hope this helps and please let me know if there is anything I missed. Thanks for reading

      • George says:

        @Murph: Thanks Murph for the insight.

        I cannot help but use this line from Full Metal Jacket:

        Thanks Murph. This is Cowboy Over.

  6. farcus says:

    I’m in a league where we keep one player (drafted after round six) each year and hang onto that player for two years. so, two keepers, but one rolls out each year.

    I had been planning to keep Crabtree, but now…. my next best option is probably mike Williams. is it a better plan to keep Crabtree even though this would likely be a lost season? we do have an IR spot. I was really looking forward to Crabtree this year… damn.

    • @farcus:

      Not a big Mike Williams fan. We still don’t know the full extent of the injury so as of now I would hold, if he is back in 6 months as some project he could he will be a needed asset to your team. I would wait this one out but understand your concern very unfortunate but remember Demaryius Thomas went through the same procedure and made a great recovery. I’m praying for a quick recovery as well as I own him in two leagues.

  7. Wallpaper Paterson says:

    First four picks in my dynasty league draft today-
    1. Bernard
    2. Bell
    3. Lacy
    4. Ball

    I don’t pick until the 10th pick of the 2nd round. I also have the 16th pick in the 2nd round. I am trying to set up the team to compete for a playoff spot in 2014.

    • @Wallpaper Paterson:
      That seems to be the trend (Bernard,Bell,Ball) I’m not a fan of Lacy at all though. Players I would target for immediate impact at the 10 spot would be the following.

      1. Tavon Austin (1st year slot WRs are usually productive)
      2. DeAndre Hopkins (2nd option in passing game)
      3. Johnathan Franklin (very likely to be a starter in 13)
      4. Zac Stacy (best RB fit for Rams offense, chance to start)
      5. Cordarrelle Patterson (1st year slot WRs are usually productive)

      • Wallpaper Paterson says:

        @Murph: My first three picks are the 26th, 32nd and 37th overall. This is a salary cap league and my selections are all over the map due to trades made by the previous owner. I am pretty sure all those players you noted will be gone by the time I pick. Also, this is an IDP league.

        This is the 11th year of the league but my first year in it. I have no good idea when the other people will start a run on IDPs.

        I bet Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel will be gone by 26. Tyler Wilson maybe not. I currently own only two RBs (D. Murray and Hillman). Looks like I will have trouble with that position. I am okay everywhere else. I think taking a QB at 26 or 32 might make sense. In a 16-team league, you are in good shape if you have two good QBs. I already haveRussell Wilson.

        • Murph says:

          @Wallpaper Paterson:

          Interesting situation you’re in I like the idea of going QB with Smith/Wilson or even EJ if he is there. Here are some late round RB options at 32

          Joseph Randle (Murray handcuff)
          Lativius Murray
          Mike Gillislee
          Andre Ellington

          • Wallpaper Paterson says:

            @Murph: Lattimore went 8th overall. That surprised me even in dynasty.

            Manuel went 6th or 7th.

            12 picks have been made. Manuel only QB so far.

            In this league we start 7 offensive players, 1 kicker and 8 defenders.

            If Week 1 started today this would be my starting lineup-
            QB- Wilson
            RB- Hillman
            RB- Murray
            WR- Decker
            WR- Givens
            TE- Allen
            RB/WR/TE- Hilton

            K- Bailey

            DL- Atkins
            DL- Ware
            LB- Cushing
            LB- Loft on
            LB- Orakpo
            DB- Branch
            DB- Pollard
            DL/DB- Earl Thomas

            • Wallpaper Paterson says:

              @Wallpaper Paterson: I have a bunch of options on defense.

              Bench players include Raji, Alualu, Amukamara, Burnett, Woodyard, Craig Robertson, Joseph, Jenkins, DeCoud, Quin

              Unless a real good IDP is on the board, my first three
              picks will have to be on offense

              • Wallpaper Paterson says:

                @Wallpaper Paterson:

                IDPs I would consider at 32 or 37-
                Jarvis Jones
                Arthur Brown
                Sio Moore
                Matt Elam
                Kenny Vaccaro

                • Murph says:

                  @Wallpaper Paterson:

                  Just saw this sorry for the late response, might want to go Kiko Alonzo over Sio, But I would run it by Kevin our resident IDP expert

                  • Wallpaper Paterson says:

                    @Murph: I took Jon Bostic with the 32nd pick.

                    I drafted Tyler Wilson, Bostic, Stepfan Taylor, Mike James and Margus Hunt. I have one more pick to make. Even with IDPs to get in the way, by the time we got into the 30s the only RBs available were late round picks or undrafted free agents.

                    • @Wallpaper Paterson:
                      Can you give me a few names of RBs available?
                      Perhaps Kerwynn Williams?

  8. Wallpaper Paterson says:

    I drafted Wilson. Now my QB depth is good. Wilson, Cassel and Wilson is good. It would be extra nice if Matt Flynn gets beat out by a Wilson for the second year in a row.

  9. Wallpaper Paterson says:

    Kerwynn Williams was drafted. Jawan Jamison went right after my Hunt pick. Ray Graham was drafted.
    I will look at it later and post who is available.

    • @Wallpaper Paterson:
      Charles Johnson for the Redskins could be a good late round sleeper pick
      Redskins need a. Hange of pace back for Morris that can catch

  10. George says:

    Wallpaper – if the kid from the University of Houston has not been drafted then I would draft him because he is going in the supplemental draft.

    • George says:

      @George: His name is Charles Sims.

      • Wallpaper Paterson says:

        @George: I don’t believe I saw Sims as being available.

        The yet to he drafted list contains a few more drafted players and some undrafted guys that I heard of-
        Rex Burkhead
        Michael Cox
        Miguel Maysonet
        Theo Riddick
        Spencer Ware
        Cierre Wood
        Michael Ford
        more undrafted FAs besides the ones noted above

        • George says:

          @Wallpaper Paterson: Hey Wallpaper – I would get a ruling on Sims since he is believed to be entering the Supplemental Draft. If you can draft him then that is the guy you want. I like Maysonet but he is in Cleveland. The first guy on this list that I would go with is Burkhead because he is going to be the 3rd down guy. With that said – I have to believe that there are better players available than Burkhead like a wide receiver. Charles Johnson from Grand Valley State is a late round flier who could boom much like Marques Colston when he was drafted by the Saints.

          • Wallpaper Paterson says:

            @George: Johnson went at pick 58 and we are in the 100s now. I just took Burkhead with a pick I acquired for a late pick in 2014. Another five or so spots and then I pick again.

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