2014 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 1

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer ISeptember 1, 2014

Philadelphia Eagles' LeSean McCoy rushes during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

The smell of football is in the air. Here are the Lester’s Legends 2014 Week 1 fantasy football running back rankings.

1. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

Shady finished with 2,146 total yards and 11 touchdowns last year. He should get off to a fast start against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags ranked 29th last year in run defense with 131.8 yards allowed per game. They were also one of four teams to allow 20 touchdowns.

2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

Charles, who combined for 1,980 total yards and 19 touchdowns last season, starts off against the Tennessee Titans. He had 145 total yards and a touchdown against them last year. The Titans were also one of the four teams to allow 20 rushing scores.

3. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Forte finished with 1,933 total yards and 12 touchdowns in his first year with Marc Trestman. He should get off to a strong start against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills ranked 28th last year against the run with 128.9 yards allowed per game.

4. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

All Day's down year consisted of 1,437 total yards and 11 touchdowns. Norv Turner should make the offense more explosive. The St. Louis Rams should prevent Peterson from recording a monster day, but he should still be rock solid. The Rams ranked ninth last year against the run with 102.9 yards allowed per game.

5.  Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

Lynch compiled 1,573 total yards and 14 touchdowns during the 2013 regular season. He then averaged 96 yards per game while scoring four touchdowns during the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl run. He’ll kick off the NFL season against the Green Bay Packers, who ranked 25th last year against the run, allowing 125 yards per game.

6. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos

Ball averaged 4.7 yards per carry as he ran for 558 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. He also caught 20 passes for another 145 yards. He faces the Indianapolis Colts as the starter. The Colts were ranked 26th last year with 125.1 rushing yards allowed.

7. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

Eddie Lacy rumbled for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns last year in addition to 257 receiving yards. He has a tough first draw against the Seahawks, but Lacy remains a quality RB1 option.

8. Arian Foster, Houston Texans

Foster was limited to eight games last year but averaged 1,896.3 total yards and 15.7 touchdowns the previous three seasons. He’s a good option against the Washington Redskins, who allowed a league-high 23 rushing touchdowns last year.

9. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

Bernard combined for 1,209 total yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie on 226 touches. He starts off against the Baltimore Ravens. Bernard had 168 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens last year.

10. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams

Zac Stacy, at 5’8″ and 224 pounds, is a wrecking ball. Over his final 12 games as a rookie, he averaged 92.5 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns. He kicks things off against the Minnesota Vikings.

11. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals

Ellington averaged 5.5 yards per carry while compiling 1,023 yards on just 157 touches. He begins his role as the feature back against the San Diego Chargers.

12. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys

DeMarco Murray was limited to 14 games last season, but he finished with 1,474 total yards and 10 touchdowns. He has a tough first draw against the San Francisco 49ers.

13. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers

Gore will share the load with Carlos Hyde, but he should start the 2014 season off with a solid effort against the Cowboys. Gore had 1,269 total yards and nine touchdowns last year.

14. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin was limited to six games in 2013, which netted him 522 total yards and one touchdown. He has a tough first draw against the Carolina Panthers, but his ability to catch the football adds to his value.

15. Le’veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

Le’veon Bell was limited to 13 games as a rookie last year, but he still managed to accumulate 1,259 total yards (96.8 yards per game) and eight touchdowns. However, LeGarrette Blount could eat into his workload and scoring opportunities.

16. Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars

Gerhart gets a chance to be the feature back against the Philadelphia Eagles. In nine career games with double-digit carries, Toby has 697 yards on 148 carries (4.7 yards per carry, 77.4 yards per game).

17. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills

Spiller had a disappointing 2013 season but still has averaged 5.1 career yards per carry and 34.8 receptions per season. He’s an explosive player facing last year’s worst run defense. The Bears allowed 161.4 yards per game and 22 rushing touchdowns. The Bears should be better in 2014 while the Bills could struggle to move the ball.

18.  Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

Morris has averaged 1,442.5 yards and 10 touchdowns in his two years in the league. He faces the Houston Texans. The Texans ranked 23rd last year in run defense with 122.4 yards allowed per game. He does very little in the passing game, which hurts his value.

19. Shane Vereen, New England Patriots

The Patriots are hard to predict, but Vereen figures to be heavily involved in the running game against the Miami Dolphins. He’s also one of Tom Brady’s preferred targets in the passing game. Last year he opened the season with 159 total yards against the Buffalo Bills.

20.  Rashad Jennings, New York Giants

Jennings was brilliant at times for the Oakland Raiders last year, averaging 116.5 total yards in Weeks 9-15. He’s a solid RB2 against the Detroit Lions.

The Next Batch

21. Chris Johnson, New York Jets vs. Oakland Raiders
22. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers @ Arizona Cardinals
23. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants
24. Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
25. Ben Tate, Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
26. Joique Bell, Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants
27. Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
28. Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos
29. Steven Jackson vs. New Orleans Saints
30. Lamar Miller vs. New England Patriots

Also check out:


    Gronk to Return for 2018 Season

    NFL logo

    Gronk to Return for 2018 Season

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Re-Drafting the 2017 Draft

    NFL logo

    Re-Drafting the 2017 Draft

    Maurice Moton
    via Bleacher Report

    Dream Draft Fit for Every NFL Team

    NFL logo

    Dream Draft Fit for Every NFL Team

    Zach Kruse
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: WR Callaway's Drug Test Came Back Diluted

    NFL logo

    Report: WR Callaway's Drug Test Came Back Diluted

    Alec Nathan
    via Bleacher Report