2014 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings – Week 1

Sep 1, 2014

LeSean McCoy snow
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 the NFL season off against the Green Bay Packers. The Pack 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 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 with another  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. The Skins 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. 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
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27 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Pop a Kaep and drink a Forte
    September 2nd, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    Lacy has a tough matchupbut have to play him as my RB1. Expect this question every week. For RB2….

    Ryan Mathews @ ARIZ
    Joique Bell home vs. NYG
    Chris Johnson home vs. OAK…..PPR league as always, and yes i know you have them all lumped together in that 20-25 range.

    Also, you think the Jets D/ST is a good stream this week vs. OAK and a rookie QB traveling from the west coast ? Seems to be. My D’s are CHI vs BUFF and TB vs CAR.

  2. Tuesday September 2, 2014 – Football Links | FantasyRundown.com
    September 2nd, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    […] 1 Rankings: LestersLegends.com – QB | RB | WR | TE | D/ST | […]

  3. LestersLegends
    September 2nd, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    I think Jet D is good. The RBs are a pick ‘em. I like Chris Johnson a little more then I’d go Bell in PPR.

  4. Pop a Kaep and drink a Forte
    September 2nd, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    I wanna play CJ too but not knowing how the carries will be divided scares me, plus I assume he won’t get goalline work, whereas Joique will for sure be in a 50-50 split more or less. Bell has value in a ppr because he catches 4-5 balls a game. You think Geno is gonna do some dumpoffs/screens and such? So hard to predict, but i like the OAK matchup. What will be even more funny is when Mathews has the best night of all three lmao. I rarely make the right pick between 3 players.

    So you like Jets D over CHI home v. BUFF or TB home v. CAR?

  5. LestersLegends
    September 2nd, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    I can’t split the three without guessing. If your gut says Bell, I don’t think that’s a bad play.

    I do like he Jets D best, but all good options.

  6. Nick
    September 2nd, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    Stephen Jackson vs Mike Wallace as a flex in a ppr, who do you like?

  7. LestersLegends
    September 2nd, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m taking Wallace, particularly in PPR leagues.

  8. JC
    September 2nd, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    This question wouldn’t be coming up if it weren’t for a disconnection right before on of my pick’s in my 12 team PPR league with a QB, 3 WR’s, 2 RB’s, TE, and flex.

    Who would you put at the flex for week 1: Bishop Sankey, Doug Baldwin, Lance Dunbar, James Jones, or Josh Brown?

    Originally I felt Sankey but am concerned as he played 0 snaps with the first team this preseason. I know there isn’t any great choice yet although I think there is potential looming, thanks!

  9. LestersLegends
    September 2nd, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    I suppose I’d gamble with Sankey.

  10. Dan
    September 2nd, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    Who do you like better for flex spot: Toby Gerhart or Roddy White? Thanks.

  11. LestersLegends
    September 2nd, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    I’d say I like Roddy a little more, particularly if it is PPR.

  12. Jay
    September 3rd, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    Hey Ry,
    Who should I go with on the flex spot for week 1 standard league?

    Reggie Wayne vs. Broncos
    Steven Jackson vs. Saints
    Darren Sproles vs. Jags
    Zach Ertz vs. Jags
    Steve Smith vs. Bengals


  13. LestersLegends
    September 3rd, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    I would go with Wayne in what should be a shootout.

  14. Wednesday September 3, 2014 – Football Links | FantasyRundown.com
    September 3rd, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    […] 1 Rankings: LestersLegends.com – QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF | […]

  15. Scotty
    September 3rd, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    My lineup is currently set with Julius at tight end and Vernon in the flex. But I was wondering would you put Bishop Sankey or jarrett boykin in the flex over Vernon?

  16. LestersLegends
    September 3rd, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    I would use VD over Sankey and Boykin.

  17. Tega
    September 3rd, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    Hi Lester, if you had to get rid of one long term, who would it be…Bradshaw, D. Freeman, A. Williams, G. Tate, M. Wheaton. I have to drop one for a team D. Thanks.

  18. LestersLegends
    September 3rd, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Probably Freeman, but it’s close All decent options.

  19. JC
    September 3rd, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    I appreciate your thoughts on my 12 team league questions. I took Jones late as he is supposed to be #1 in OAK, John Brown late as he could blossom as reports are saying, and Dunbar late as I see potential and of course he’d be the go to if DeMarco goes down.

    Lastly I took Baldwin ahead of all of these guys in the 10th round. Do you think Baldwin will be a complete dud? He was the only one I was considering starting over Sankey. I know projections don’t mean anything but Sankey’s are awfully low and he’s #2 in a committee approach. The goal is that he will rise to #1 this year as he was a beast in college last year and he’s against Shonn Greene. Reminder it’s PPR.


  20. LestersLegends
    September 3rd, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    I think it’s a coin flip betwen baldwin, jones and sankey. i can’t give you a definitive distinction. they are all around 100 in terms of a flex ranking

  21. Sam G
    September 4th, 2014 at 6:04 pm #


    Thanks again for the great write ups! I’m in a 12 team, 2 QB format league. We start 2 RBs and have a WR/RB/TE flex spot.

    I already got Montee Ball locked in at my RB1 spot and Crabtree locked in at my flex. Currently I have Rashad Jennings in my RB2 spot. Would you swap him out for either Joique Bell or Pierre Thomas? Or keep as is?


  22. LestersLegends
    September 5th, 2014 at 5:05 am #

    I have Jennings higher than the other two so that’s how I’d play it. That said, they are all in the same mix so if you prefer another option, they are all close.

  23. JC
    September 5th, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    Hasn’t even played a game and Andre Ellington jacks up his foot in practice and reports are sayings he could be out 4-6 weeks! He is my RB1 in my 14 team league. I have Lamar Miller on the bench. My question is do you pick up Jonathan Dwyer if you are me?

  24. jc
    September 5th, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    I went ahead and dropped my back up QB (Tannenhill) in this 14 team league for Dwyer. Reports aren’t looking good on Ellington and as long as Russel Wilson stays healthy I will be ok in the QB spot.

    My question has now changed, go with Lamar Miller or Dwyer?

  25. LestersLegends
    September 5th, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    hard to predict how someone is going to be used. if dwyer does start, he’s probably a marginally better option.

  26. jc
    September 8th, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    What do ya know Ellington is active after all. Around 50 minutes until kick off and I’m still leaning Dwyer. Your thoughts if you catch this?


  27. jc
    September 8th, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    F It, he’s active. I didn’t draft him to sit him. Moves cost $ in this league and its 14 teams so grabbing Dwyer isn’t exactly thrilling but necessary unless I plugged in Miller which is irrelevant.

    Bring on week 2…. BOL to all on this site

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