The sun has set on the 2014 Fantasy Football season, but your work isn’t over. If you want to win (or defend) a championship, it pays to do your homework. This will give us a nice starting point for our rankings going into the new season.
1. Le’Veon Bell, Steelers- I would have taken him with my first pick if he hadn’t got busted for weed in the pre-season. He paid off for many I’m sure. Over 1,300 yards rushing, over 700 yards receiving. 11 total TDs. The arrow is only going up with this guy.
2. Demarco Murray, Cowboys- I’m ranking him 2nd but would probably not take him in round one. He did prove to be tough, playing week 16 5 days after breaking his hand. However, he had 373 carries and 54 receptions. That’s a lot of work. I think the “magic number” is 392 touches. You can see that is way over that. There was a very clear drop-off after Murray exited the game, which means having his handcuff has less value. Buyer beware.
3. Matt Forte, Bears- I am probably ranking him a little high, but he is my hometown guy, my favorite NFL player, and he is as solid as they come, week in and week out. Forte is close to hitting 1800 all purpose yards in his 2nd straight season. He is probably at his peak and is relentless at taking care of his body. Only question is what kind of system will the Bears have in 2015? Stay tuned.
4. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs- The Chiefs and Charles had a bit of a down year in 2014. They need their line to get healthy. You might be able to snag him in the 2nd round, so that is always a plus. Knile Davis is a solid backup as well.
5. Eddie Lacy, Packers- This dude is scary. As a Bears fan, I know this well. If he can stay on the field a little more, he can put up some crazy numbers. I have him ranked, probably the same as I did in 2014.
6. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks- Lynch is a tough runner and is fun to watch and root for. I had him land in my lap with pick 12 overall and gladly took him. His durability is top notch. My biggest question is: Will he play or retire in 2015? He has proven to be a “different” kind of guy. So who knows?
7. Arian Foster, Texans- I counted this guy out, and was right at times. Even though he missed many games, Foster still ended up with 218 points or an average of 14.5 in my league (1 point for each 10 yards rushing or receiving, 6 points for all TDs). Alfred Blue (has one of my favorite last names) is a solid backup. I won’t take him in round one, but I would have no problem taking him with my second pick.
8. LeSean McCoy, Eagles- Had a very frustrating 2014 campaign, mostly because of how he was used. I’m not sure why Chip Kelly would want to clip this bird’s wings, but he did. Perhaps he had inside info on his health, which was in question early in the season. He has a great backup in Darren Sproles, but it’s too inconsistent to count on.
9. Jeremy Hill, Bengals- I drafted this guy hoping he would emerge as “the guy” or at least a solid backup. I dropped him early in the season, much like I dropped Alshon Jeffery last year. I could have really used him, especially in the playoffs. Hill has the potential to be the main runner in Cincinnati if he can learn to hold onto the ball.
10. Alfred Morris, Redskins- Morris is a solid runner. For whatever reason, they go away from him at times. It’s probably more on their line and lack of production at the QB position. With a healthy RG III, Morris was definitely more productive.
In the mix: Justin Forsett, Ravens- Had a nice year. The Ravens RB situation was kind of nuts for most of the season. The one constant, and most productive back was clearly Forsett. Lamar Miller, Dolphins- Had a solid season. If he keeps the starting gig, he should be a good option for 2015. Broncos starting RB- C.J. Anderson will probably be the early leader to carry the ball in 2015. If so, he might even move way up in my rankings. Anderson proved to be a tough runner and a solid receiver out of the backfield.