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Fantasy Football 2014 Running Back Rankings: Week 1

Author:
Montee Ball

Montee Ball

Jamaal Charles may not finish the 2014 season as the top running back, but he starts in that spot in Athlon Sports' Week 1 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings. Charles will have to work with a practically brand-new offensive line and a passing game that doesn't exactly strike fear into the hearts of opposing defenses, but he also has an appealing opening matchup against a Titans' defense that's switching schemes and lacks established playmakers.

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K

2014 NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rank

Player

Team

Opp

Comments

1

Jamaal Charles

KC

vs. TEN

TEN making switch from 4-3 to 3-4.

2

LeSean McCoy

PHI

vs. JAC

Bruised thumb should not be an issue.

3

Adrian Peterson

MIN

at STL

Rams' D-line among league's best.

4

Marshawn Lynch

SEA

vs. GB (Thurs.)

Packers struggled vs. run last season.

5

Matt Forte

CHI

vs. BUF

 

6

Montee Ball

DEN

vs. IND

His time to shine?

7

Arian Foster

HOU

vs. WAS

If healthy he could have huge year.

8

Eddie Lacy

GB

at SEA (Thurs.)

 

9

Frank Gore

SF

at DAL

May be "old," but he's consistent.

10

DeMarco Murray

DAL

vs. SF

Good time to face 49ers' depleted D.

11

Alfred Morris

WAS

at HOU

Needs to make most of carries.

12

Zac Stacy

STL

vs. MIN

 

13

Giovani Bernard

CIN

at BAL

Bengals set to unleash Gio?

14

Le'Veon Bell

PIT

vs. CLE

Is Bell the Steelers' bell-cow?

15

Andre Ellington

ARI

vs. SD (Mon.)

How many touches will he get?

16

Doug Martin

TB

vs. CAR

Could get off to slow start vs. tough D.

17

Reggie Bush

DET

vs. NYG (Mon.)

How will touches be split w/ Bell?

18

Ben Tate

CLE

at PIT

 

19

Toby Gerhart

JAC

at PHI

If anything he should get lots of work.

20

Ryan Mathews

SD

at ARI (Mon.)

 

21

Shane Vereen

NE

at MIA

More appealing in PPR leagues.

22

C.J. Spiller

BUF

at CHI

Will Spiller ever break out?

23

Rashad Jennings

NYG

at DET (Mon.)

 

24

Steven Jackson

ATL

vs. NO

Ready to put 2013 behind him?

25

Joique Bell

DET

vs. NYG (Mon.)

Another appealing PPR option.

26

Chris Johnson

NYJ

vs. OAK

 

27

Pierre Thomas

NO

at ATL

Could lead all RBs in receptions.

28

Bernard Pierce

BAL

vs. CIN

Gets 2 games to carry the load.

29

Fred Jackson

BUF

at CHI

 

30

Trent Richardson

IND

at DEN

Needs to get off to strong start.

31

Stevan Ridley

NE

at MIA

Ball security a must if he wants carries.

32

Knowshon Moreno

MIA

vs. NE

Keep eye on workload spilt w/ Miller.

33

Maurice Jones-Drew

OAK

at NYJ

New team = new MJD?

34

Shonn Greene

TEN

at KC

How long until Sankey passes him?

35

Lamar Miller

MIA

vs. NE

Pecking order to be determined?

36

Mark Ingram

NO

at ATL

 

37

Chris Ivory

NYJ

vs. OAK

CJ not a workhorse back anymore.

38

Darren Sproles

PHI

vs. JAC

Similar role expected w/ new team.

39

DeAngelo Williams

CAR

at TB

Comes down to # of carries.

40

Danny Woodhead

SD

at ARI (Mon.)

Should be plenty active in passing game.

41

Bishop Sankey

TEN

at KC

Starts out behind Greene, but for how long?

42

Carlos Hyde

SF

at DAL

How much work will he get?

43

Jeremy Hill

CIN

at BAL

He's the thunder to Gio's lightning.

44

LeGarrette Blount

PIT

vs. CLE

Does he steal goal-line looks from Bell?

45

Khiry Robinson

NO

at ATL

 

46

Ahmad Bradshaw

IND

at DEN

His use depends on T-Rich's production.

47

Darren McFadden

OAK

at NYJ

One injury away from being a starter.

48

Jonathan Stewart

CAR

at TB

 

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Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points