2014 Week 2 Fantasy Rankings – Running Backs

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Friday, September 12th, 2014 | 0


The position of running back is becoming more and more scarce in the NFL as teams transition to passing-focused offenses in an effort to keep with the current high scoring trend.

That makes true workhorse backs who consistently produce in fantasy extremely valuable, and also extremely hard to find. With running back committees the norm these days, savvy fantasy owners have to pick and choose what running backs to start, and it could mean the difference between victory and a loss.

Here are the Top 15 running backs for Week 2 of the 2014 NFL regular season:

1.) Lesean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles:

McCoy may have disappointed fantasy owners who spent the No. 1 pick on him by not scoring in Week 1, but his numbers were actually solid overall. The presence of Darren Sproles may cut into his value a bit, but faced with the weak Indianapolis Cots defense in Week 2, McCoy should get back on track with a huge game.

2.) Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings:

Peterson got off to middling start in the Vikings’ Week 1 blowout over St. Louis. Overall he’s a true workhorse whose best games are obviously to come, although he’s faced with a difficult challenge against New England in Week 2.

3.) Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks:

Lynch proved all his doubters wrong by running over the Green Bay Packers for 110 yards and two scores in Week 1. He’s faced with a tougher match-up in the San Diego Chargers this week, but he should have no problem racking up another solid game.

4.) Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs:

Charles got a puzzlingly small workload in the Chiefs’ Week 1 loss to the Tennessee Titans. He should receives many more touches when the Chiefs travel into Denver this week, but with question marks abound on the Kansas City offensive line, it will be next to impossible for Charles to replicate his stats from 2013.

5.) Arian Foster, Houston Texans:

Foster had a ton of red flags following him this offseason, ranging from his season-ending back surgery from last year to his overall motivation to continue playing football. He answered those queries with a strong showing on Houston’s win over Washington last week, and he should get a ton of touches in Week 2. For now, Foster is back near the top of the running back heap.

6.) DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys:

Murray was one of very few bright spots in the Cowboys’ one-sided loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. He appears to be in line for a ton of carries and catches if he can stay healthy, making him an elite play in Dallas’ Week 2 showdown with Tennessee.

7.) Matt Forte, Chicago Bears:

Forte is arguably the most versatile runner in the game right now. The only reason he’s not higher on this list is because he’ll travel into San Francisco on Sunday. The 49ers defense has lost some key cogs, but they’re still one of the best teams in the NFC, making the match-up less than optimal for Forte.

8.) Montee Ball, Denver Broncos:

Ball looked decent against the Colts in Week 1, but he averaged less than three yards a carry. That dynamic is going to have to change if he wants to live up to expectations, and against the Chief’s depleted defense in Week 2, it most likely will.

9.) Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers:

Bell put on a solid showing with 107 yards in the Steelers’ lopsided loss to the Baltimore Ravens last night (Thurs., September 11, 2014). He’s not involved in a running back committee, making him a Top 10 back almost every week going forward.

10.) Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals:

Bernard looked every bit the versatile weapon the Bengals thought he would be in Week 1, catching six passes out of the backfield. He’ll face the porous Falcons defense in Week 2 and should have a big game.

11.) Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers:

Lacy was knocked out of the Packers’ Week 1 loss to Seattle with a concussion. He’s since cleared the league’s concussion protocol and plans to play against the New York Jets in Week 2. He’d be ranked a lot higher on this list of not for the Jets’ tough defensive front.

12.) Shane Vereen, New England Patriots:

Vereen’s value is more as a receiver than a rusher, but he’s a favorite target of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. He should be in line for several targets against Minnesota this week.

13.) Chris Johnson, New York Jets:

Johnson impressed in his New York debut last week, pairing well with power rusher Chris Ivory to lead the Jets to a win. But New York travels into Green Bay for a much tougher match-up in Week 2. With Green Bay tackle BJ Raji out for the season, Johnson should still be able to find a crease or two and rack up some fantasy points.

14.) Knowshon Moreno, Miami Dolphins:

Moreno surprised his doubters right out of the gate, piling up 134 rushing yards to lead the NFL in Week 1. He should have an easier match-up against the Bills this week, making him a candidate to rise up this list once again.

15.) Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals:

Ellington nearly missed the Cardinals’ Week 1 game against the San Diego Chargers with a foot injury, but he persevered to tally 18 touches. That’s a good sign, and the going will get significantly easier in Week 2 when the cards travel into New York to face the horrendous Giants.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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