Complete updated dynasty running back rankings found here.
- New addition to the top five with Jeremy Hill sneaking in. Le’Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles, and Todd Gurley stay the same.
- Biggest risers include Chris Ivory to 32nd from 43rd; Matt Jones to 40th from 54th as one of the most promising rookies; Joseph Randle to 41st from 53rd which might be high with the recent trade of Christine Michael; Alfred Blue to 49th from 58th as Arian Foster continues to get injured; Panthers rookies Cameron Artis-Payne to 54th from 63rd; Danny Woodhead to 55th from 64th after healing from a season-ending injury; Bills rookie Karlos Williams to 58th as LeSean McCoy’s primary backup now; and Colts rookie Josh Robinson up to 60th now that he’s Frank Gore’s primary backup.
- Biggest drops this month include Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon down from 30th to 38th thanks to the return of Adrian Peterson; Joique Bell from 33rd to 42nd thanks to the emergency of Ameer Abdullah; new Titans running back Terrance West 39th to 52nd; and Ravens rookie Buck Allen from 48th to 57th after showing nothing in the pre-season among others.
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- Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is on pace for a career-high in touches. That’s music to re-draft owners of McCoy but not dynasty leaguers. It’ll be close to 1,000 touches in the last three years for McCoy. Dynasty leaguers need to be cautious with McCoy in the near future.
- Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar will be out for the season after a knee injury suffered in the Thanksgiving day game. Dunbar, averaging 5.0 YPC this season, was doing well as the change-of-pace back behind DeMarco Murray. Dunbar faces rookie Joseph Randle for that role in 2014 along with any other options the Jerry Jones regime brings in.
- The Bills are encouraging rookie quarterback E.J. Manual to let it loose in the passing game. They likely want to see what they have at quarterback and sooner rather than later. The same could be said for dynasty league owners of Manual.
Don’t forget to check out our updated running back and wide receiver rankings!
Things are picking up even more this in dynasty circles:
Lots coming up today. Stay tuned.
Six backs were selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL draft. All would be considered sleepers in dynasty fantasy leagues. Let’s take a look:
- Denard Robinson (JAC) – Originally a quarterback at Michigan, Robinson was drafted 135th overall. Truly a jack of all trades, it seems as if Robinson’s speed is probably best suited at running back seeing as he ran a 4.34 unofficial 40-time at the combine. He grew into the role in rookie camp but it still adjusting after dropping a pass and fumbling a handoff. Robinson would be the #3 running back on the depth chart and should be stashed by all MJD owners in the event his contract isn’t renewed.
- Stepfan Taylor (ARI) – Drafted 140th overall out of Stanford, Taylor currently sits behind Rashard Mendendhall and Ryan Williams on the depth chart. With coach Bruce Arians already calling the running back race for 26-year old Mendenhall, and the team sticking by 23-year old Ryan Williams, there doesn’t seem to be a clear path for Taylor. In addition, thanks to the NFL’s graduation rules, Taylor is also starting behind the other backs. Only draft Taylor if you have either Mendenhall or Williams on your current roster.
- Joseph Randle (DAL) – Drafted 151st overall by Dallas, Randle has already been anointed the backup to DeMarco Murray and expected to carry the load, should it come to that. Randle is still recovering from thumb surgery but should be ready to go. While nothing special in college, the fact that he’s backing up one of the most brittle. Additionally, Randle now becomes a part of the revolving door of Dallas running backs which has had four different leading rushers in 7 years. This could be a gift and a curse for Randle but, for now, don’t pin your hopes on him.
- Chris Thompson (WAS) – Going 154th overall to Washington, Thompson is a massive unknown. He broke his back and college and tore his ACL in consecutive years at Florida State. But Washington feels like he can do it all. At the moment, there’s a pileup in the Washington backfield but Thompson is one to remember simply because Shanahan is so unpredictable. After all, incumbent Alfred Morris was drafted in the 6th round.
- Zac Stacy (STL) – St. Louis traded up to 160 to pick Stacy out of Vanderbilt after averaging 5.5 YPC on over 200 carries in the tough SEC last year. Stacy proved he can handle the load there but will have to compete with Daryl Richardson (23) and Isiah Pead (23). Richardson is projected as the starter after averaging 4.8 YPC on about 100 carries in his rookie year. However, coach Jeff Fisher indicated he’s not opposed to a running back by committee approach. Stacy is talented but will have to beat two young, good players first to get noticed.
- Mike Gillislee (MIA) – Picked 164th out of Florida, Gillislee was nothing special coming out of the draft with the look of a long-time backup. He’s also not caught up to number two Daniel Thomas as of yet and would start the season as the third running back if it started today. Gillislee is off the dynasty radar at the moment unless you’re a concered Lamar Miller owner.
For Part I click here. For Part II click here.