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Top running backs to start a franchise with

Though the passing game reigns, I believe we're seeing the running back return to relevance a bit.

Think of the Steelers, who have an explosive QB-WR combo in Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown -- and also are relying on a terrific young RB in Le'Veon Bell. Bell's Week 14 performance (235 total yards and three TDs) sparked Chris Wesseling to say on the "Around the NFL Podcast" that if he were starting a team from scratch right now, he'd pick Bell to be his back. Which got me thinking: Who would I go with? So I put together a list, in descending order.

First, some notes on players who didn't make the cut. Marshawn Lynch stands out in Seattle, but I'm not sure he'd be as effective running somewhere else. LeSean McCoy has the fourth-highest yardage total, but I wonder how much of his production can be attributed to Philly's system. Suspended vet Adrian Peterson was not considered.

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Gil Brandt

NFL.com Senior Analyst

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