LeSean McCoy snow
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The smell of football is in the air. Here are the Lester’s Legends 2014 Week 1 fantasy football running back rankings.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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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Jamaal Charles running
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Here is a look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends running back rankings for points-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
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1. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid knew how to get the very best of LeSean McCoy when he coached him in Philadelphia, which made him a perfect fit to coach Jamaal Charles once he arrived in Kansas City. Charles combined for 1,980 total yards and 19 touchdowns last season. Another stellar season should be in store for this electric back. Charles could easily be the first overall pick in any draft, especially in PPR leagues.
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2. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
LeSean McCoy finished with 2,146 total yards and 11 touchdowns in 2013. He was a perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense and put the concussion concerns to bed en route to earning the league’s rushing title. McCoy could also be the first overall pick, particularly in PPR leagues.
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3. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Matt Forte has a lot in common with Charles and McCoy. All are dual-threat backs that thrived under a new coach in 2013. Forte finished with 1,933 total yards and 12 touchdowns under the vision of Marc Trestman. He should continue to put up impressive numbers.
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4. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
A down year for Adrian Peterson consisted of 1,437 total yards and 11 touchdowns. I’ll take that kind of production all day (pun intended). New offensive coordinator Norv Turner has had a great history of success with running backs of a similar ilk (Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson). Look for big things from A.D. next season.
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5. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy put any weight issues to bed by rolling for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2013, even as Aaron Rodgers was limited to nine games. Lacy added 257 receiving yards as well, proving that he’s not one-dimensional. As long as there isn’t a sophomore slump, Lacy should be a strong RB1 in 2014.
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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. Now that he’s the feature back, look for him to shine as defenses key in on Peyton Manning and the passing game.
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7. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray was limited to 14 games last season, but he finished with 1,474 total yards and 10 touchdowns. His talent and explosiveness cannot be questioned; durability is another issue. If he can stay healthy big numbers should follow.
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8. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch showed everybody that he’s “’bout that action, boss,” as Beast Mode 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’s a power back, but he takes a hit in PPR leagues.
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9. 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 comes with some risk, but he also brings plenty of reward potential.
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10. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
Bernard combined for 1,209 total yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie on 226 touches. Look for more touches in his sophomore year.
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11. Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Foster was limited to eight games last year, but 1,896.3 total yards and 15.7 touchdowns the previous three seasons. Foster, who is dealing with a hamstring issue, is a bit of a risk, but he has a lot of potential.
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12. 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. He’s a big back at 6′ 1″ and 244 pounds with soft hands (45 receptions) making him a solid RB1 option. His blunt (aka LeGarrette Blount) brother will take some of his stash.
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13. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
Spiller did not get fed the ball until he puked last year, which lead to a disappointing season. Injuries played a role. Still, Spiller has  a 5.1 career yards per carry average and has averaged 34.8 receptions per season. He remains explosive. If he can stay durable, Spiller has the potential to be a steal in fantasy drafts.
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14. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin was limited to six games in 2013, which netted him 522 total yards and one touchdown. Tampa Bay was dysfunctional at the time of his season-ending injury. The Bucs made strides throughout the year, and Bobby Rainey and Mike James had some solid moments as replacements. Newly hired head coach Lovie Smith will want a run-first offense, which bodes well for Martin. He should also be very active in the passing game, a la Matt Forte
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15. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
Ellington averaged 5.5 yards per carry while compiling 1,023 yards on just 157 touches. He scored just four touchdowns last year, but figures to be more involved in the offense this year, which will lead to greater production and more scoring opportunities.
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16. Shane Vereen, New England Patriots
Vereen only played in eight games last year, but caught 47 passes and finished with 635 total yards and four touchdowns. He could easily double the yards and touchdowns if he stays healthy.
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17.  Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
Morris has averaged 1,442.5 yards and 10 touchdowns in his two years in the league. The Redskins will likely be more pass-oriented under Jay Gruden, but Morris still figures to be the bell cow. He doesn’t offer much in the passing game, but remains a high-end RB2.
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18. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
Mathews had a surprising season with 1,444 total yards and seven scores. More importantly, he stayed healthy and had 311 touches. As long as his body can hold up and fumbling doesn’t become an issue, Mathews will be a rock solid RB2.
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19. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
Bush caught 54 passes last year and finished with 1,512 total yard and seven touchdowns. Joique Bell finished with 53 catches,  1,197 total yards and eight touchdowns last year and could continue to eat into Bush’s production.
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20. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants
Jennings was brilliant at times for the Raiders, averaging 116.5 total yards in Weeks 9-15. He will lose some goal line work to Andre Williams, but still figures to be highly active for the G-Men.
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21. Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans
Sankey averaged 1,931 total yards and 18.5 touchdowns the past two seasons at the University of Washington. He stands the best chance of all rookies to make an immediate impact. He should have no problem holding off Shonn Greene. Plus, Sankey should be active in the passing game.
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22. Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars
Gerhart has not had a lot of opportunities running behind Adrian Peterson, but when given the chance he has succeeded. In the nine games that he received double-digit carries Toby has 697 yards on 148 carries (4.7 ypc, 77.4 ypg). He can catch the ball out of the backfield and should get the goal line looks.
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Adrian Peterson 2012
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Here is a revised and expanded look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends running back rankings.
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1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
A down year for Adrian Peterson consisted of 1,437 total yards and 11 touchdowns. I’ll take that kind of production all day (pun intended). New offensive coordinator Norv Turner has had a great history of success with running backs of a similar ilk (Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson). Look for big things from A.D. next season.
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2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid knew how to get the very best of LeSean McCoy when he coached him in Philadelphia, which made him a perfect fit to coach Jamaal Charles once he arrived in Kansas City. Charles combined for 1,980 total yards and 19 touchdowns last season. Another stellar season should be in store for this electric back. Charles could easily be the first overall pick in any draft, especially in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
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3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
LeSean McCoy finished with 2,146 total yards and 11 touchdowns in 2013. He was a perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense and put the concussion concerns to bed en route to earning the league’s rushing title. McCoy could also be the first overall pick, particularly in PPR leagues.
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4. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Matt Forte has a lot in common with Charles and McCoy. All are dual-threat backs that thrived under a new coach in 2013. Forte finished with 1,933 total yards and 12 touchdowns under the vision of Marc Trestman. He should continue to put up impressive numbers.
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5. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy put any weight issues to bed by rolling for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2013, even as Aaron Rodgers was limited to nine games. Lacy added 257 receiving yards as well, proving that he’s not one-dimensional. As long as there isn’t a sophomore slump, Lacy should be a strong RB1 in 2014.
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6. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch showed everybody that he’s “’bout that action, boss,” as Beast Mode 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’s a power back. Use him accordingly.
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7. 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. Now that he’s the feature back, look for him to shine as defenses key in on Peyton Manning and the passing game.
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8. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray was limited to 14 games last season, but he finished with 1,474 total yards and 10 touchdowns. His talent and explosiveness cannot be questioned; durability is another issue. If he can stay healthy big numbers should follow.
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9. 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 comes with some risk, but he also brings plenty of reward potential.
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10. 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. He’s a big back at 6′ 1″ and 244 pounds with soft hands (45 receptions) making him a solid RB1 option.
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11. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
Bernard combined for 1,209 total yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie on 226 touches. Look for more touches in his sophomore year.
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12. Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Foster was limited to eight games last year, but 1,896.3 total yards and 15.7 touchdowns the previous three seasons. Foster, who is dealing with a hamstring issue, is a bit of a risk, but he has a lot of potential.
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13. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
Spiller did not get fed the ball until he puked last year, which lead to a disappointing season. Injuries played a role. Still, Spiller has  a 5.1 career yards per carry average and has averaged 34.8 receptions per season. He remains explosive. If he can stay durable, Spiller has the potential to be a steal in fantasy drafts.
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14.  Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
Morris has averaged 1,442.5 yards and 10 touchdowns in his two years in the league. The Redskins will likely be more pass-oriented under Jay Gruden, but Morris still figures to be the bell cow. He doesn’t offer much in the passing game, but remains a high-end RB2.
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15. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin was limited to six games in 2013, which netted him 522 total yards and one touchdown. Tampa Bay was dysfunctional at the time of his season-ending injury. The Bucs made strides throughout the year, and Bobby Rainey and Mike James had some solid moments as replacements. Newly hired head coach Lovie Smith will want a run-first offense, which bodes well for Martin. He should also be very active in the passing game, a la Matt Forte.
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16. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
Ellington averaged 5.5 yards per carry while compiling 1,023 yards on just 157 touches. He scored just four touchdowns last year, but figures to be more involved in the offense this year, which will lead to greater production and more scoring opportunities.
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17. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
Mathews had a surprising season with 1,444 total yards and seven scores. More importantly, he stayed healthy and had 311 touches. As long as his body can hold up and fumbling doesn’t become an issue, Mathews will be a rock solid RB2.
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18. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants
Jennings was brilliant at times for the Raiders, averaging 116.5 total yards in Weeks 9-15. He will lose some goal line work to Andre Williams, but still figures to be highly active for the G-Men.
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19. Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans
Sankey averaged 1,931 total yards and 18.5 touchdowns the past two seasons at the University of Washington. He stands the best chance of all rookies to make an immediate impact. He should have no problem holding off Shonn Greene. Plus, Sankey should be active in the passing game.
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20. Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars
Gerhart has not had a lot of opportunities running behind Adrian Peterson, but when given the chance he has succeeded. In the nine games that he received double-digit carries Toby has 697 yards on 148 carries (4.7 ypc, 77.4 ypg). He can catch the ball out of the backfield and should get the goal line looks.
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Click here to enter the 2014 Best Fantasy Football Team Name Contest!
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Bishop Sankey combine
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Now that the NFL draft is behind us it is time for fantasy football nuts to start breaking down the rookies. Here’s the LestersLegends’ look at the 2014 NFL rookie running back class.
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1. Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans
Sankey may not be the best running back in this class, but there is a path to starting job with Chris Johnson moving to the New York Jets. Sankey tore it up last year at Washington with 1,870 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground, which was a nice follow-up to his 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2012. Sankey also caught 61 passes over the past two years, making him a potential three-down back. He should have little problems beating out Shonn Greene.
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2. Andre Williams, New York Giants
Andre Williams was taken in the fourth round with the 113th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but lands in a good spot with the G-Men. Rashad Jennings ran well for the Oakland Raiders last year, but his 163 carries were a career-high. Williams ran for 2,177 yards and 18 touchdowns last year for Boston College. At 6’0″, 227 pounds he could easily handle goal line duties while sharing some of the load on the ground.
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3. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde is easily the top choice among running backs for dynasty leagues. Frank Gore just turned 31 on May 14th. The Niners nabbed Hyde in the second round to be his replacement. Hyde is a 6’0″, 235 pound battering ram. He ran for 1,521 yards last year and has 35 touchdowns in the past two seasons. Hyde will get some touches this year. If Gore gets banged up, he’ll immediately move up the ranks.
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4. Terrance West, Cleveland Browns
West should steal some carries from newly acquired Ben Tate as Tate has never had 200 carries in a season. He finished his career at Towson with 802 carries for 4,849 yards and 84 touchdowns. West is 5’11 and 223 pounds with 4.54 forty speed. He’s also a good dynasty option.
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5. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals
Hill was the second running back selected. It’s a little curious because the Bengals took Giovani Bernard last year in the second round. Hill, at 6’1″ and 235 pounds will likely be the goal line back. He could also be used to close out games. Running backs have not gone in the first round the past two seasons. Committees are the new wave. If Hill can punch in several scores during the year he’ll have some fantasy weight.
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Click here to see the updated and expanded 2014 fantasy football running back rankings.
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Click here to enter the 2014 Best Fantasy Football Team Name Contest!
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Adrian Peterson 2012
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The Super Bowl is over. The smoke has cleared and the confetti has been swept away. What better time to start looking ahead at the 2014 fantasy football season and the LestersLegends early running back rankings.
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1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
A down year for Adrian Peterson consisted of 1,437 total yards and 11 touchdowns. I’ll take that kind of production all day (pun intended). Norv Turner has had a great history of success with running backs of a similar ilk (Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson). Look for big things from AP.
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2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid knew how to get the very best of LeSean McCoy, which made him a perfect fit for Jamaal Charles. Charles combined for 1,980 total yards and 19 touchdowns. Another stellar season should be in store for this electric back. Charles could easily be the first pick, especially in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
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3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
LeSean McCoy finished with 2,146 total yards and 11 touchdowns. He was a perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense and put the concussion concerns to bed en route to the rushing title. McCoy could also be the first pick, particularly in PPR leagues.
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4. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch showed everybody that he’s “’bout that action, boss”. Beast Mode compiled 1,573 total yards and 14 touchdowns. He averaged 96 yards per game while scoring four touchdown during the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl run. He’s a power back. Use accordingly.
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5. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Matt Forte had a lot in common with Charles and McCoy. They all are dual-threat backs that thrived under a new coach. Forte finished with 1,933 total yard and 12 touchdowns under the vision of Marc Trestman. He should continue to put up impressive numbers.
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6. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy put any weight issues to bed by rolling for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns even as Aaron Rodgers was limited to nine games. Lacy added 257 receiving yards to show he’s not one-dimensional. As long as there isn’t a sophomore slump, Lacy should be a strong RB1 in 2014.
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7. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin was limited to six games, which netted him 522 total yards and one touchdown. Tampa Bay was dysfunctional at the time of his season-ending injury. The Bucs made strides throughout the year and Bobby Rainey and Mike James had some solid moments as replacements. Lovie Smith will want a run-first offense, which bodes well for Martin. He should also be very active in the passing game a la Matt Forte.
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8. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray was limited to 14 games, but he finished with 1,474 total yards and 10 touchdowns. The talent and explosiveness cannot be questioned. Durability is another issue.
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9. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy, at 5’8″ and 224 pounds is a wrecking ball. In his final 12 games he averaged 92.5 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns. He comes with some risk, but also brings plenty of reward potential.
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10. Le’veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Le’veon Bell was limited to 13 games last year, but still managed to accumulate 1,259 total yards (96.8 yards per game) and eight touchdowns. He’s a big back at 6′ 1″ and 244 pounds with soft hands (45 receptions).
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Marshawn Lynch running
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1. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch averaged 98.3 total yards and 0.9 touchdowns during the regular season. He runs with power, but he also has the ability to break the long run. Lynch is averaging 124.5 rushing yards per game and his three playoff touchdowns have come from an average of 28.7 yards out. Lynch has had at least 20 carries in nine games this season, including in both playoff games. Look for a heavy dose of Beast Mode to keep Peyton Manning on the sidelines. Power running has been a common theme during the playoffs. It should continue in the Super Bowl.
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2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
Knowhon Moreno averaged 99.1 total yard and 0.8 touchdowns per game during the regular season. He has averaged 87.5 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns in the two playoff wins. Moreno is excellent at picking up the blitz and working the screen game. On the biggest stage, he will see a heavy dose of touches. Peyton Manning trusts Moreno and that goes a long way.
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3. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos
Montee Ball has averaged 12.5 touches in the two playoffs wins for 54 total yards. Even though Moreno is the clear lead back, the Broncos are committed to getting Ball involved. He may not see double-digit carries in this one as Seattle tries to shorten the game, but a short touchdown isn’t out of the question.
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4. Robert Turbin, Seattle Seahawks
Robert Turbin only had 85 touches during the regular season and six in the two playoff games. I don’t expect Turbin to suddenly become heavily involved, but he’ll likely get the touches when Lynch takes a breather. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for a relatively unknown to make a big Super Bowl impact.
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Super Bowl XLVIII
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Eddie Lacy jump
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When I looked at the top five 2013 running backs I ranked Montee Ball, Giovani Bernard, Eddie Lacy, Le’veon Bell and Johnathan Franklin as the top five. Bernard, Lacy and Bell delivered. Ball did not get enough opportunities to do his thing, but I still think good things will come. I totally missed the boat on Franklin. Zac Stacy came out of nowhere to shine. Here is how I rank them for keeper leagues.
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1. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Lacy led all rookies with 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 11 rushing touchdowns trailed only Marshawn Lynch and Jamaal Charles in total rushing scores. He added another 257 yards on the ground. There were some concerns entering the year about his weight. Clearly he put those to bed. Lacy is a nice fit in this offense and Aaron Rodgers will keep teams from loading the box. He’s a force going forward.
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2. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
Stacy was the lead back in 12 games. In those dozen games he averaged 92.5 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns. He is a bowling ball that is hard to bring down. Expect big things to continue for Stacy.
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3. Le’veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Le’veon Bell was limited to 13 games, but still managed to accumulate 1,259 total yards (96.8 ypg) and eight touchdowns. He’s a big back (6′ 1″, 244 pounds) with soft hands (45 receptions). He should continue to develop into a premier back in this league.
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4. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
Bernard, unlike the top three backs played the full season, only he had to share the load with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Bernard still finished with 1,209 yards and eight touchdowns (75.6 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game). If the Law Firm is out of the picture in 2014, Bernard could slide up the scale. The top four backs are quality options.
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5. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos
Montee Ball had 704 total yards and four touchdowns. He averaged an impressive 4.7 yards per carry. If Knowshon Moreno doesn’t return, he too could shoot up this board.
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