1. Jamaal Charles
2. Le’Veon Bell
3. Adrian Peterson
4. Eddie Lacy
5. Marshawn Lynch
I don't think there is a clear cut #1 overall draft pick this year like there have been in years past. Drafting from this first tier all comes down to what your personality is and how risky you want to get with that first pick. If you are looking for highest upside and the player who could reach the highest point total of all this season: I’d say go with Peterson. If you don’t mind not having a RB1 to start the season for a couple games as long as he’s ready to go for the playoffs: Then I’d say Bell is your guy. If you’re an idiot and happen to be a Packers fan: Then Lacy is your guy. If you want to play it safe: I think Charles is your guy. I don’t necessarily like the #1 pick this year but I’m going to give it to Charles. I don’t think he ends up as the #1 RB this year but I think he’s the best bet to be in the top 5. And that’s what I want in my first pick. I don’t need to win the league with my first pick, but I want to make sure I don’t lose it either.
And I think Lynch falls into that “safe, consistent” mode too. I can see him start to slowly ease off his production as age and number of carries catch up to him, but I think he is solid again this year. If you are looking for a solid player to plug into your lineup and crank out 12-15 points a week, he’s a safe pick.
6. CJ Anderson
7. DeMarco Murray
8. LeSean McCoy
9. Melvin Gordon
10. Matt Forte
11. Jeremy Hill
12. Alfred Morris
The Broncos have too many talented RBs for me to trust that Anderson is going to be the main guy for all 16 weeks of the season. If I had that faith, I’d probably have him at #1 overall. But I don’t so I moved him to the top of Tier 2. I could see Ronnie Hilman and/or Montee Ball getting a good chunk of carries this year as well in the Broncos offense.
Some people have called Melvin Gordon “the best player to play the game of football in the past 25 years”. I’m not sure how many people outside of The 808 have said that but regardless, it’s been said. I have him higher than maybe anyone else but he’s going to be good. Take him, win your league, and give me 5% of your winnings at the end of the year. Everyone wins.
The rest of this tier: pick the guy you’re most comfortable with. I’m high on the Eagles players this year so I have Murray at 7. I’m less confident with the Bears this year so I have Forte at 10, lower than I’ve seen him most places. I’ve seen a lot of hype around Hill this year but I still think Giovanni Bernard has a lot left in him and could cut into his carries all year. I’m staying away from Hill but people seem to like him, so its your team and your call there. And I’ve always loved having Alfred Morris on my team. He isn’t going to get you 20-25 points very many weeks but he’s always grinding out carries and getting you points. I’m all about consistency so if I can find a way to get Morris on my team I’ll be happy.
13. Mark Ingram
14. Lamar Miller
15. Frank Gore
16. Carlos Hyde
17. Joique Bell
18. Justin Forsett
These are guys that I don’t want to have to start as my RB1 and ideally not as my RB2 either. I think the running back pool is fairly shallow this year so if I can get two of the guys from the tiers above I’m going to try. But with that not being really likely, you may need to find a gem in this tier or the tier below.
I’m counting on Gore being healthy this year and that Colts offense is going to be TOUGH. There will be points to be had in Andrew Luck’s offense and if Gore can play a full, healthy season he’s going to collect a lot of those points. If he drops on draft day, pick him up.
All these other guys seem to be the main guy on their respective teams, so you have to go with the guy/team you’re most confident in. Ingram getting a real shot in New Orleans is tempting. The Dolphins look like they could be solid this year so I think Miller has the highest ceiling of all these guys.
Bell always seems to get points from somewhere and Forsett will start the year off as the main back in Baltimore where they always find a way to be good. Its hard to discount the main RB on a good team but I’ve never been a real Justin Forsett guy so I’m probably lower on him than I should be.
And finally, Carlos Hyde will finally get his shot to be the man now with Frank Gore out of town. People are predicting a drop off for the 49ers this year but I can’t see the decline being “that” bad. If it is, then Hyde probably sturggles. But if the 49ers can compete, Hyde could end up being a really productive back.
19. Jonathan Stewart
20. Joseph Randle
21. Latavius Murray
22. TJ Yeldon
23. Todd Gurley
24. Andre Ellington
Here’s the best of the rest. I think if you are looking this deep in the RB pool you are looking for the guy who could break out and be a Top 5 to 8 back at the end of the year. So if it’s me, I’d roll the dice with Randle. I know he’s unproven but he’s my call to be the main man in Dallas this year and like the Colts and Gore, that offense should be good. So with points to be had in Dallas, I’ll take my chances with Randle. He is just as likely, if not more likely, to be a bust too. Risk, reward folks.
A SECOND LOOK AT
I’m not saying any of these guys end up being studs this year or even playable this year. But every year you get to the end of the draft and start digging through you’re magazines for ANYONE who hasn’t been picked yet. If you are at that point and see one of these names pop up, I’m suggesting to at least take a look at them.
Make sure you check Arian Foster's injury status before your draft. If he's healthy obviously he shoots up the rankings. But if that injury is still lingering, make sure you are getting value before you spend a draft pick on him.
I know I probably shouldn't be but I'm still a believer in the talent of CJ Spiller. He's burned me before and there's a good chance he burns me again this year but I like his spot in New Orleans. Darren Sproles seemed to thrive under Sean Payton and maybe I'm wrong but I think Spiller is a much better back than Sproles. You could do worse for a late round RB pick. And fun fact, before I Googled how to spell Sean Payton's name I had it spelled Shawn Paton. So....know your source here guys. I don't know what the hell I'm talking about
It's tough to go wrong with running backs that come from Running Back U, so feel free to scoop up Ball and White if you get the chance. They may not be the main guys on their respective teams right now but as The Macho Man would say "The cream rises to the top". (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C4lK41SX-Q).