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Five Breakout Running Backs – 2014

We’ve identified 5 running backs with opportunities to have big years this season. Ryan Mathews shouldn’t be on this list after finally producing a solid fantasy season last year. However, his expectations don’t match is production from last year. The remaining four are ready to be the featured back starting in Week 1.

Ben Tate

  • First opportunity to be featured back
  • Proved he could be a #1 back while in Houston
  • Strong offensive line
  • Monitor Terrance West’s development, potential

Andre Ellington

  • 5.5 yards per carry last season
  • Quality receiver out of the backfield
  • Very little competition, Jonathan Dwyer signed from Pittsburgh
  • Improving offensive line
  • Must improve blocking

Montee Ball

  • Last year’s #1 back, Knowshon Moreno, finished fifth among running backs
  • Ball is more talented than Moreno but needs to improve blocking
  • Underrated receiver
  • Limited competition
  • Strong offensive line

Bishop Sankey

  • First RB taken in 2014 NFL Draft
  • Competition has little upside, Shonn Greene, Jackie Battle (?)
  • Good receiver
  • Coaching staff must get him to run more North/South than in college
  • Monitor ADPs and draft accordingly – Do Not Reach
  • Weak competition makes him an easy low-RB2 or High-Flex.

Ryan Mathews

  • Quietly had a very good fantasy season last year, 11th among RB
  • Danny Woodhead will take some points away
    • Mathews is still the #1 feature back
  • Added 7lbs of muscle in offseason.
  • Chargers added Donald Brown in offseason but don’t see him pushing for starting job
  • Current average draft position: Early 5th Round (That’s a steal)

No real threat to unseat him as starter

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