Fantasy Football 2014: 5 Running Backs to Avoid Early in Fantasy Drafts

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Fantasy Football 2014: 5 Running Backs to Avoid Early in Fantasy Drafts
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Training camps are about to open from coast to coast, which means fantasy football draft season is almost upon us. As you prepare over the next month, it’s vital to weed out the riskiest players to avoid this upcoming season.

And no other position has more ticking time bombs than running back.

A common fantasy drafting pitfall is rushing to roster a second or third running back early, rather than selecting the players most likely to provide the greatest return on investment.

Such a move can put your team at an unnecessary risk, and knowing which running backs to beware of in these early rounds can save your season.

Here, we take a look at five of the top RB bust candidates.

We will first profile two unproven NFL running backs—Bishop Sankey and Rashad Jennings—currently being drafted as mid-RB2 options.

Both players have received plenty of hype as lead backs on new teams; however, neither guy may have a clear path to a primary back workload, a good enough offense or enough experience to produce at a high level this season.

We will then take a brief look at three other backs with major red flags. Chris Johnson, Trent Richardson and Ben Tate all have significant question marks regarding their fantasy value in 2014, and each guy has a current ADP as a low-end RB2 or high-end flex option in standard leagues.

With the wide receiver position deepening each year due to a continually more pass friendly league, there is now an abundance of safe, high-upside receivers coming at a solid value in the early-to-mid rounds.

Therefore, it is not recommended to burn a premium draft pick on a highly questionable running back with a limited track record. Doing so could spell disaster for your fantasy season.

Don’t put yourself in that position—avoid these five running backs in the early rounds of your draft and give your team a better chance for fantasy glory in 2014.


Note: All references to ADP and positional ranking derived from data for 12-team standard (non-PPR) leagues.

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