Generally considered the most important position on a fantasy football roster, never has the running back position faced such decimation in its ranks. Due to injuries and just plain underperformance, many of the highly drafted backs, such as Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy, Arian Foster, Justin Forsett, Jeremy Hill, C.J. Anderson, and Marshawn Lynch have all had miserable seasons compared to their draft stock. And running backs in that next tier, such as Joseph Randle, Frank Gore, and Melvin Gordon have equally under-produced versus expectations.
So with all the failed expectations among the running backs, who remains? As teams make that final push for a playoff spot in their leagues, who are top running backs going forward?
Todd Gurley: Gurley has a touchdown in five straight games, and is a true workhorse for the Rams as their only decent option on offense.
Devonta Freeman: Freeman does not have a rushing touchdown since Week 6, but is still a top starter this year, as long as he clears the NFL's concussion protocol.
Adrian Peterson: Peterson is healthy. Thus, Peterson is back to his ways of being an elite RB again this season.
DeAngelo Williams: Williams has done an excellent job of picking up the numbers which were slated for Le’veon Bell. He should arguably be rated higher.
Chris Ivory: Ivory may not seem to be worthy of a rating this high, as he’s had some dud games, but he’s truly a boom-bust product. He has three games of six points or less, and three games of 20+ points.
Doug Martin: Doug Martin is putting together a strong audition tape this season with the Buccs. If he had the touchdowns to go with the yardage, he could push for a higher rating.
LeSean McCoy: McCoy has had five consecutive very good games following an injury-slowed start. He’s making a case to be placed in the elite category this year.
Matt Forte: Due to the glut of injured and underperforming high end RB’s this year, Forte has emerged as one of the top RB’s taken in round 1. Assuming he returns healthy, and doesn’t lose too many touches to Langford, he should resume his role as a solid FFL starter, when healthy.
Darren McFadden: McFadden has become the 3-down workhorse in Dallas, and with the healthy return of Romo and Bryant, Run DMC could be poised for a huge final-stretch run in Dallas’ re-emergent offense.
Lamar Miller: Miller only averages 11 carries per game, but has been able to generate solid point production from those limited touches.
DeMarco Murray: Despite Philly’s disastrous season, Murray has put together some solid games. He’s not been as good as many hoped, but in a year with so many of the top running backs falling to the wayside, he’s a decent option.
These players have a mix of good and bad games, but at a minimum, are worthy of a spot on your bench so you can use them for good matchups: LeGarrette Blount, Jonathan Stewart, Latavius Murray, Danny Woodhead, Frank Gore, Chris Johnson, Jeremy Hill, Ronnie Hillman, Marshawn Lynch, TJ Yeldon, Carlos Hyde, Giovani Bernard, Eddie Lacy.