Bleak Fantasy Landscape for NFL Running Backs

On November 3, 2015, in NFL, by Stephen

Injuries, time shares and a continued increase in passing are making “A”: running backs extremely rare in the NFL.

I count just three runners who I would rate as “A” level so far this season: Todd Gurley, Devonta Freeman and Adrian Peterson.

Injuries have erased some of the best taking down Jamaal Charles, Le’Veon Bell, Arian Foster and maybe Matt Forte.

There is a “B” list of running backs who are proving solid but not spectacular: Chris Johnson, Chris Ivory, Charcandrick West, Mark Ingram, Doug Martin, Frank Gore, T.Y. Yeldon, Latavious Murray, Jonathan Stewart and Justin Forsett.

Many have proven disappointing through the first half of 2015. That list would have on it DeMarco Murray, Alfred Morris, Joseph Randle, Ameer Abdullah, Melvin Gordon, Jeremy Hill, LeGarrette Blount, Eddie Lacy, LeSean McCoy, C.J. Anderson and Lamar Miller.

If things stay the same, Gurley and Freeman would be the only two running backs worthy of first-round consideration next year. Those two could go in the top three.

Foster may be finished after suffering a torn Achilles tendon and Bell and Charles have become too dangerous to take in Round 1 coming off knee surgeries.

So in hindsight, what could have been done about this bleak running back landscape that would have assured you of success going into the season?

Heck, even Nostradamus couldn’t have foreseen West, Orleans Darkwa and now the 49ers’ fourth-string running back, Kendall Gaskins, having fantasy relevance.

You would have had to figure out that West, not the previously-reliable backup Knile Davis, was Charles’ handcuff.

You would have taken a late round flyer on Johnson, who hadn’t been a running force for three years.

You would have had to grab Gurley as high as the second round not knowing how long he was going to be out.

You would have to had avoid Lacy, Murray, Morris, the much hyped Gordon, Hill and Anderson even if they were slipping in your drafts.

You would have had to guess right on Freeman.

Put all these things together and you hit the lottery. In other words, a million-to-one shot.


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