2014 fantasy football profiles and projections (RB 1-16)

Auction...............$54

Bye Week.............10

Peterson scored over 100 fewer fantasy points last season than he did in 2012, and he still ranked eighth among running backs. It was the sixth time in the last seven seasons that he's ranked eighth or better at his position. A human cyborg with the skills to make a massive impact for owners, there's little concern that A.D. has had a major workload in his career and will enter his age-29 campaign. In fact, the addition of OC Norv Turner has secured Peterson's status as one of the top runners in fantasy land. Turner wants to use A.D. as his centerpiece, of course, and his desire to get him the football in space should mean even more chances as a receiver out of the backfield. Peterson will be a lock top-three pick.

Auction...............$52

Bye Week.............7

McCoy proved to be a tremendous fit for the offense of coach Chip Kelly last season, as he led the league in rushing yards while also catching 52 passes. He also put up a career-high 314 carries, scored 11 total touchdowns and ranked second in fantasy points among running backs behind Jamaal Charles. Now in the prime of his career, McCoy has finished second in points at his position in two of the last three years. The addition of Darren Sproles could cause McCoy to see a slight decline in receptions and receiving yards, but he's still going to be a featured runner for all intents and purposes. If he's not the No. 1 overall selection in 2014 fantasy drafts, he won't be worse than a top-five choice in all formats.

Auction...............$52

Bye Week.............6

Charles is coming off the best season of his career, posting 70 receptions, 1,980 scrimmage yards and 19 total touchdowns -- and he did it all in just 15 games. The versatile running back was ultra consistent too, scoring double-digit fantasy points 13 times. That included nine games with 18 or more points and one contest with a ridiculous 51.50 points in a win over the Oakland Raiders. While owners can't expect him to repeat such huge totals again, Charles' featured role in the offense of coach Andy Reid makes him a good bet to see 300-plus touches. Clearly, he is in the conversation for the top overall pick in 2014. At worst, Charles is a lock to come off the board with one of the first five overall selections.

Auction...............$49

Bye Week.............9

Forte was a monster in fantasy land last season, posting 74 receptions, 1,933 scrimmage yards and a combined 12 touchdowns. He thrived in the offensive attack of coach Marc Trestman, who allowed Forte to see a total of 363 touches. That's the biggest workload he had seen since his rookie campaign, when he finished among the three-best runners in fantasy land. Forte even saw more goal-line opportunities, which had been lost to Michael Bush in previous campaigns. Offensive line improvements and an increase in talent around him will do nothing but add to his appeal, so Forte should once again fill up the stat sheets in his age-28 season. He'll be a top-five overall pick and could be top three for owners in PPR leagues.

Auction...............$45

Bye Week.............9

Lacy made an instant impact as a rookie, rushing for 1,178 yards with 11 touchdowns while also finishing sixth in fantasy points at his position. The bruising back out of Alabama is also an underrated pass catcher, putting up 35 receptions and an additional 257 receiving yards. What makes Lacy's numbers even more impressive is the fact that he had a mere 51 yards on the ground heading into Week 5, so much of his success came in 13 contests. Coach Mike McCarthy has no intention of moving Lacy into some sort of committee situation either, so he's a virtual lock to see right in the neighborhood of 300-325 touches in 2014. With a premium at the position, Lacy is going to be a first-round pick in most leagues this season.

Auction...............$45

Bye Week.............4

Lynch put up another solid season in 2013, rushing for 1,200-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns for the third straight campaign. The bruising back out of California has now finished no worse than fifth in fantasy points at his position since 2011, and at 28 he should still have another season or two of success in the stat sheets. However, there is the threat that he could lose some work to Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, as coach Pete Carroll looks to protect his offensive centerpiece from being overworked. In an offense that leans on the run, Lynch should still see more than enough work to help the Seahawks and fantasy fans alike. He should still be off the board in the first half of the first round in most 2014 drafts, despite his recent holdout which ended on good terms.

Auction...............$41

Bye Week.............4

Ball is one of the biggest breakout candidates in fantasy football. With Knowshon Moreno out of the mix, the Wisconsin product figures to see a prominent worload in an offense that can be fruitful for running backs. Ball showed flashes of potential in the second half of last season, as he rushed the football 65 times for 382 yards (5.87 YPC) with three touchdowns in his last eight games. Proving he can catch the ball out of the backfield, he added 18 catches for 118 yards with an additional score in that time. Another factor in Ball's appeal is Peyton Manning, whose presence has contributed (at least in part) to the success of Edgerrin James, Joseph Addai and Moreno. Look for Ball to be drafted in Round 1 or 2.

Auction...............$41

Bye Week.............10

Foster is coming off his worst statistical season since 2009, as he missed eight games due to injuries and wound up on injured reserve with a bad back. The veteran had a microscopic lumbar discectomy to repair the damage and is expected to be fine for the start of training camp, but whether he can make it through a full season remains to be seen. One of the most overworked players at his position in the last four years, Foster enters his age-28 campaign as one of the biggest risk-reward picks in fantasy football. In fact, he's no longer a lock to be drafted in the first round despite his past level of success. Unless you're willing to roll the dice, Foster is better served picked as a high-end No. 2 back in Round 2.

Auction...............$38

Bye Week.............12

Bell opened eyes in fantasy land during his rookie season, posting 45 catches, 1,259 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns in just 13 games. A solid fit for the offense of OC Todd Haley, Bell's statistical arrow is pointing up heading into the 2014 campaign. Not only has he earned a true featured role, but Bell is also going to benefit from the addition of new OL coach Mike Munchak. The former Titans coach will make successful zone blocking imperative, which plays right into Bell's skill set. With one full season of pro experience under his belt and the promise of a massive workload ahead, this kid has the potential to become a top-10 fantasy runner. He has late first-round value in a lot of 2014 leagues.

Auction...............$38

Bye Week.............4

One of the most explosive young running backs in the league, Bernard is a major breakout candidate in fantasy leagues this season. Despite sharing the workload with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, he ranked an impressive 18th in fantasy points among running backs as a rookie. He'll have a shot to increase that rank in 2014, as the Bengals promise to run the ball more often under new OC Hue Jackson. A versatile runner who has the pass-catching skills to be a major asset in both standard and PPR leagues, Bernard is a threat to make a big play every time he touches the football. While he won't move up into the role of a true featured back on the field, Bernard is in the conversation as a high-end No. 2 runner in 2014.

Auction...............$38

Bye Week.............11

Murray was a major question mark entering the 2013 campaign, due in large part to his previous proneness to injuries. He would go on to start 14 games and finish with 53 receptions, better than 1,400 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns. Those totals were all career bests and catapulted Murray into the top 10 in fantasy points among running backs. Now 26 and entering the final year of his rookie contract, Murray will have added motivation to stay out of the trainer's room and once again fill up the stat sheets. A powerful runner and underrated pass catcher, Murray will be a first-round selection in countless fantasy formats. At worst, the Oklahoma product will be off the board at the start of the second round.

Auction...............$33

Bye Week.............7

Expectations were high for Martin last season, as he scored an impressive 262.60 fantasy points during what was a solid rookie campaign. Unfortunately, he missed 10 games with a bad shoulder and wasn't all that effective when he was on the field. In fact, Martin averaged just 3.6 yards per carry and scored once in 139 touches. So which Martin will emerge in 2014 -- the fantasy star from 2012 or last year's bust? Barring injuries, we're likely to see something in the middle. New Bucs OC Jeff Tedford wants to use multiple running backs, but there's little doubt the "Muscle Hamster" will be the top backfield option. To lessen some of that risk, owners should consider Martin more of a second-round selection in most drafts.

Auction...............$28

Bye Week.............10

Morris has had a nice start to his pro career, rushing for a combined 2,888 yards and 20 touchdowns as the top runner in Washington. His numbers did decline last season compared to his rookie totals, though, and the insertion of a new pass-driven coach in Jay Gruden doesn't exactly make Morris more attractive on the surface. Th Redskins don't plan to go away from their zone-blocking scheme, though, so Morris won't be forced to leave a system that has made him successful. Still, the fact that the Redskins will throw more coupled with the presence of Roy Helu as the team's third-down back does make Morris more of a No. 2 fantasy runner in standard leagues. He'll be off the board no later than Round 5.

Auction...............$28

Bye Week.............9

One of the most versatile running backs in the league, Bush has gone from a brittle risk to an asset in fantasy football. His first season in Detroit was a fruitful one, as he posted 54 catches, over 1,500 scrimmage yards and scored the 11th-most fantasy points at his position. He accomplished these feats even with the emergence of Joique Bell, who hauled in 53 passes but saw 57 fewer carries than his veteran backfield mate. While a committee of sorts should continue in 2014, there's more than enough opportunities for both runners in what promises to remain an explosive offense under new OC Joe Lombardi. Bush should be considered a borderline No. 1 or 2 fantasy runner in drafts with obvious added value in all PPR leagues.

Auction...............$25

Bye Week.............4

Ellington's name is going to be found on almost every sleeper and breakout list this coming season. The versatile runner out of Clemson showed flashes of real potential as a rookie, so much so that Cardinals coach Bruce Arians plans to feature Ellington more often in 2014. While he won't be used as a true featured runner with Stepfan Taylor also in the mix, Ellington is a good bet to lead the team in backfield touches and more importantly, fantasy points. A talented pass catcher who could bring in 50-plus receptions, Ellington should be seen as a viable No. 2 fantasy runner with the tools to emerge into a real fantasy asset. He'll have his name called in the third or fourth round in most standard-league drafts.

Auction...............$23

Bye Week.............4

Stacy had a slow start to his rookie season, rushing for a mere four yards in the first four weeks. He went on to average over 13 fantasy points in his next 12 games, though, and finished among the top 20 runners in the NFL. Furthermore, Stacy averaged 24 touches in 11 games as the Rams' starter. A young runner who has clearly earned a featured role in St. Louis, Stacy should continue to see big workload under coach Jeff Fisher, who isn't shy about playing one primary runner. Just think about Eddie George during their time together in Tennessee. When you consider the lack of depth at the running back spot, it wouldn't be shocking at all to see even Stacy sneak into the end of the first round in 12-team leagues.

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