Commitee Meetings backfield categories:
Last season, this 'Committee Meetings' column focused on some of the most headache-inducing committee backfields for fantasy owners to deal with. This season, for the sake of reducing some of those headaches we thought it would be helpful to put all of these committee backfields into categories based on how carries are projected to be split, the various roles each running back plays in their respective situations and the philosophies of different teams when it comes to the all-important run game.
Hopefully you can use this categorization as a guideline to make decisions on whom to start each week, build some bench depth at the running back position, handcuff your starters and uncover some potential waiver-wire targets along the way. As the season evolves, these categories will evolve and be revised depending on how things shape up each week. A look ahead will also be provided to preview upcoming matchups and hone in on some hidden value plays.
Remember that this is not a ranking of fantasy running backs, but more of a reference on how different teams project to utilize their running backs. Be sure to check back for weekly updates that will reflect backfield storylines as they develop over the course of the season.
"Riding the hot hand"
This is a strategy coaches like to preach when they don't feel like naming a starter during press interviews or want to make an example of a player for committing a costly turnover. "Well we're just going to ride the hot hand," they'll say, meaning if one runner is performing well, they aren't going to keep him on the sideline. It's always a risk to start a back who projects to be part of a situation like this but sometimes it does pay off if you pick the right guy.
Isaiah Crowell | Terrance West | Duke Johnson // Browns
One of last season's most unpredictable committee backfields will remain that way in 2015. A recent report on the team's official website stated that Cleveland is going to go with a "hot hand strategy" at running back and that there won't be "an exact science" to how they divide carries. While rookie Duke Johnson was all the rage during minicamp there is no telling how Crowell and West will be utilized early on, though recent reports state that West has dropped down the depth chart. If you are going to draft a Browns back, make it Crowell first and back him up with Johnson, who has a ton of upside and a chance to emerge as the lead back later on. West seems like the odd man out here, but the wisest move is to see what transpires in training camp and the preseason before jumping to any conclusions.
Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at NFL.com. His nickname around the NFL Media office is Franchise, and he's totally cool with it. If you're looking to kill some more time, be sure to check out his player rankings and follow him on Twitter for fantasy advice all season long @m_franciscovich.