2015 fantasy football profiles and projections (RB 33-48)

Auction...............$3

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

The Bucs didn't pick up the fifth-year option on Doug Martin's contract, so that could be great news for Sims, who figures to be the odds-on favorite to be the lead running back. He's the preferred runner of the Bucs coaching staff and had some mild success last year. However, it is hard know if he'd be capable of being a full-time back for Tampa Bay, or if he'll even get that gig. Sims can grind between the tackles and catch the ball well, but the team is likely to use a committee approach. Owners should proceed with caution when it comes to Sims, who will potentially hold more value in daily leagues.

Auction...............$2

Bye Week.............8

Mathews was the running-down back in San Diego, but now he will join an extremely crowded committee and be firmly situated behind DeMarco Murray in Philadelphia. The upside is Mathews signed his contract after the team landed Murray, which indicates he will have some role in this vast offense. Plus, he has strong handcuff appeal to a running back who fought injuries throughout most of his career. Mathews could be a steal in the middle rounds if the carry split is more 50-50, or if Murray wears down after his tremendous 2014 campaign.

Auction...............$3

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

The Titans swung and missed last year with Bishop Sankey, who couldn't take advantage of his opportunity as the top running back in Tennessee. So the club added Cobb in the fifth-round in the 2015 NFL Draft, and there are whispers he is going to end up as the starter once the season rolls around. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he viewed Cobb as a three-down back, and we'd agree. He might not be the fastest or shiftiest, but he has great burst and has short-range quickness. And he's exceptional in pass protection, too, which was one of the many downfalls of Sankey last year. Cobb has sleeper appeal for 2015, and could be worth reaching a tad early for in drafts.

Auction...............$8

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

Spiller could be an excellent play for the coming season, despite the fact he joined a backfield with an established lead running back in Mark Ingram. The Saints offense is going to look drastically different with Jimmy Graham gone. That means lots of running for Mark Ingram, while Spiller fulfills a role similar to what the team had with Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles. Spiller will be great in PPR formats, but he's going to be good in traditional leagues, too.

Auction...............$5

Bye Week.............5

Ivory is expected to split time with Stevan Ridley in the Jets backfield, and the early indication is this will be a 50-50 split. Which is the kind of thing coaches like to say headed into training camp, but one of these running backs will eventually take the job. Our feeling is Ivory takes control and makes the most of it, as he has in recent years when faced with similar committee situations. Ivory has averaged more than four yards-per-carry in every year of his career, while Ridley is coming off of a torn ACL and MCL. Ivory is the Jets running back to target in the middle of drafts this fall.

Auction...............$4

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

The Giants like the versatility of Vereen and what he will be able to bring to the club. Rashad Jennings will be the lead back headed into training camp, but he's been unable to stay healthy during his career, which is good news for Vereen. Even without the injuries, there is a chance Vereen could win the job outright with the Giants and might be a better fit in the offense overall. He is definitely somebody to take a flier on during the middle rounds as his ability out of the backfield and as a runner out of the shotgun could be dynamite in Ben McAdoo's offense.

Auction...............$2

Bye Week.............5

Ajayi has the ability to be a three-down back and could be a steal for the Dolphins (and possibly for fantasy enthusiasts, as well). The big knock on him coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine was a knee injury that has been described as "bone-on-bone," which would certainly hurt his value in dynasty leagues. He is a pretty interesting prospect in redraft leagues, though, as he could end up with a significant role this season. Miami has just never seemed to be sold on Lamar Miller, who is in the final year of his rookie contract. If Ajayi shows potential and stays healthy, Miami might trust him as the running back of the future. Expect him to get some looks in 2015, just how many remains to be seen.

Auction...............$2

Bye Week.............8

Jackson is never a highly-sought after or much-hyped running back. But he typically ends up making a big fantasy impact season after season. He is the kind of guy who definitely won a week or two for plenty of owners over the past couple of years. Jackson will have his work cut out for him as the understudy for LeSean McCoy. But we've learned better than to give up on him so easily. Especially with the way Rex Ryan is expected to run the ball during his first year in Buffalo. There should be plenty of touches to go around, and Jackson should be able to turn his at least into an RB4 amount of value.

Auction...............$1

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

Mason looked like one of the great values in fantasy circles headed into the 2015, but the team made a bold move when it selected Todd Gurley in the draft. This obviously hurts Mason's value headed into the season, but just how much? Gurley could open the season on the PUP list, which could make Mason a decent option early in the season, but there is a sharp risk of decline toward the end of the year. Mason's status as a sleeper for 2015 has now been flipped, and owners will need to keep that in mind when targeting the former Auburn product this fall.

Auction...............$5

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

Williams landed in a pretty ideal spot this offseason when he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is entrenched as the backup for Le'Veon Bell in Pittsburgh, which hurts his long-term value headed into the season. However, Williams could play a huge role early in the year if Bell's three-game suspension holds up. The Steelers boast one of the NFL's best offenses, and Williams should be able to get the job done for a few weeks in lieu of Bell. Don't overdraft Williams based on that suspension, but definitely take a look at him once for depth behind some established starters.

Auction...............$4

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

Freeman closed the 2014 season on a promising note. He was a prospect to watch as a sleeper headed into this year, but the arrival of Tevin Coleman kind of ruined those plans. Freeman has the skills, so there is a chance he could carve out a role with the Falcons. It just won't be the one fantasy enthusiasts had hoped for or expected. Still, with Kyle Shanahan calling the shots, Freeman warrants a look in the later rounds.

Auction...............$1

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

Martin was amazing during his rookie season, but has failed to reach expectations in the last two years. Still, Martin has the chance to win the job in Tampa Bay and he should be motivated seeing as the Bucs didn't pick up the fifth-year option on his contract. Martin is an intriguing risk-reward type of player to look hard at as a depth pick or a RB4.

Auction...............$1

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

Herron blew past Trent Richardson to claim the Colts starting job and ran pretty well down the stretch for the Colts. But the Colts didn't view him as an every-down back, as evidenced by the team's acquisition of Frank Gore during the offseason. Herron should get some rotational touches to spell Gore, but will also have to fight off rookie Josh Robinson and incumbent Vick Ballard as the primary backup.

Auction...............$1

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

Carlos Hyde and Mike Davis will do all of the between-the-tackles dirty work for the 49ers, but Bush will see a lot of action on passing downs. Bush should be a monster in PPR formats and his value could rapidly increase if the 49ers are trailing in games, which could often be the case playing in the rugged NFC West. He's close to a top-20 back in PPR circles, but falls to the RB4 range in standard formats.

Auction...............$1

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

The Cardinals see Johnson as a player who has the potential to be a three-down back for the future. But Andre Ellington is still the starter, so Johnson could work into the mix early as a touchdown vulture and early-down thumper. Ellington's injury history also makes Johnson a pretty interesting prospect as fantasy drafts progress. Don't delay too long, though, as he'll have a lot of hype as the season approaches.

Auction...............$1

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

The Browns want to focus on the run this season, with West and Isaiah Crowell as the lead candidates to take the bulk of the workload. West arrived from little known Towson to much fanfare in fantasy circles, but his rookie season was a mixed bag of success and failures. The key will be to watch who comes out of training camp with the starting gig, or if these two are usurped by shifty rookie Duke Johnson.

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