Fantasy Football: Top 100 PPR Running Backs


Top 100 PPR Running Backs

Here are my top 100 PPR running backs for this season. These rankings should be used as a guide for your fantasy drafts. Feel free to select a running back that you are higher on.

This year I’m trying to minimize the risk that I’m taking in drafts, and I believe that reflects in my rankings by giving the safer more dependable players the nod over unproven risky players. During the latter portion of the rankings I take more shots on younger, unproven, and highly athletic running backs in hopes that I can cash in on their upside. These rankings aren’t made in stone. I’m constantly evaluating players and my feeling towards certain players can move up and down like the stock market the more I do my research. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @bmatz08 for 24/7 fantasy advice.

Dec 8, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) rushes with the football after catching a pass during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

I have Lacy as my number 1 running back because he has the highest floor of all the stud running backs. I feel he is less likely to bust due to playing in Green Bay’s high volume offense. He’s going to get a lot of work around the goal line and he’s going to have the opportunity to get a lot of receptions. Last season he caught 42 passes, and I look for him to increase on that total.

Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

I have Bell ranked at #4 because of his 3 game suspension. I like Bell and I think he’s a very good player who is consistent who has the upside you want in a first round pick, but it’s hard to pay the premium of #1 overall knowing that he’s going to be missing from your line up during the first 3 games of the season. That increases the odds of starting the fantasy season 0-3, which is a hard hole to dig out of.

Next: Top 100 Running Backs 11-20

Mar 10, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy holds up his new jersey after a press conference at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

I’m low on McCoy. I think there’s a lot of risk associated with him. He’s going to face a lot of 8 man fronts, because there isn’t going to be an effective passing game to help him out. The Bills offense won’t have a high volume attack, so they aren’t going to run a lot of plays compared to other teams. The less plays ran by an offense the less opportunities players will have to generate fantasy production.

Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons

Coleman is undervalued and you can get him in the middle rounds of your draft. I was able to draft him in the 7th round in a draft last week. Coleman plays in a high octane offense. Julio Jones is a stud receiver who is going to prevent defenses from putting 8-men in the box, because they have to account for him, which is going to provide a lot of opportunities for Coleman to bust out long gains. He’s the most talented running back in Atlanta’s backfield, and I look for him to take over the running back position.

Next: Top 100 Running Backs 21-30

Jun 9, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington during minicamp practice at the Cardinals Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals

I’m low on Ellington this year. I think there’s a chance that rookie David Johnson can take some of his touches away, and Ellington has shown that he unable to go through an entire season without getting injured.

Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions

Abdullah is going to be used heavily in the passing game, and that means he’s going to be valuable in PPR leagues. Abdullah is going to be an RB2 with RB1 upside in PPR, and he’s going to be a value because he’s going in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts.

Next: Top 100 Running Backs 31-40


Aug 23, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Bishop Sankey (20) runs the ball in the second half of their game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Titans won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Bishop Sankey Tennessee Titans

Sankey is a steal in fantasy drafts. I was able to draft him in the 9th round in one of my leagues. Sankey had a rough rookie season last year, but I don’t think he’s a player we should give up on. He’s going to be the pass catching specialist out of the backfield, and I see the Titans being in a lot of passing situations where they are playing catch up. Sankey is going to benefit from that. The Titans drafted him in the 2nd round last year, and the Titans chose him as the first running back selected in last year’s draft. The Titans are going to give Sankey every chance to succeed this season, and with his athletic ability and where he’s being selected in drafts, Sankey could be a break out player this season.

Ryan Mathews Philadelphia Eagles

Mathews is a value late in drafts because he’s going to get about 10 touches a game behind a decent offensive line. Mathews is just as athletic as DeMarco Murray, and he should be fantasy relevant this season, even in a part-time role. Mathews is going to be a solid flex play during most of the season.

Next: Top 100 Running Backs 41-50

Jun 9, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson during minicamp practice at the Cardinals Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

David Johnson Arizona Cardinals

Whenever I get the opportunity to talk about David Johnson, I’m going to take it. There are no secrets, I’m a big David Johnson fan. What makes Johnson a great late round pick in fantasy this season is that he is a great receiver. Andre Ellington has a tendency to get injured, and Johnson is talented enough to challenge Ellington for touches. Johnson is one of the best receiving backs in the league, and if he gets the opportunity he could be a dynamic back in PPR leagues.

Khiry Robinson New Orleans Saints

How many full seasons have Mark Ingram and CJ Spiller played without getting injured? Between the two running backs, they have combined for a total of 3 16-game seasons. During those seasons, both Ingram and Spiller were in a part time role. The odds are highly likely that one of these running backs are going to miss some time this season.  That is going to make Robinson a valuable play when that happens. I give players a boost in value when they are likely to gain opportunity during the season.

Next: Top 100 Running Backs 51-60

Jan 21, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad running back Cameron Artis-Payne of Auburn (44) carries the ball during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Cameron Artis-Payne Carolina Panthers

Jonathan Stewart isn’t exactly the picture of health, and Artis-Payne is going to be his back up. Artis-Payne is a high-end hand cuff this year. He led the SEC in rushing last year, and the Panthers selected him in the 5th round during this year’s NFL Draft. He could be a great steal for both the Panthers and you this season.

Lance Dunbar Dallas Cowboys

Dunbar is the best pass catcher out of the backfield for the Cowboys, and he could experience a large increase in his workload if Joseph Randle were to go down with an injury.

Next: Top 100 Running Backs 61-70

Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball (28) runs the ball during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Montee Ball Denver Broncos

Montee Ball can be fantasy relevant again if CJ Anderson were to go down with an injury. If CJ Anderson gets hurt, I’m running to the waiver wire to pick up Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman, because the starting running back in Broncos offense is always productive in fantasy.

Javorius Allen Baltimore Ravens

Allen is Justin Forsett’s back up, and Allen is a great fit in Jim Trestman’s offense. Allen is very good at catching passes out of the back field where he specialized catching all the check down passes at USC. The running backs in Trestman’s offense get a lot of work in the passing game; during the last two seasons under Trestman, Matt Forte caught 176 passes, which is best in the league for running backs. If Forsett goes down with an injury, Allen could be a major contributor to your fantasy team.

Next: Top 100 Running Backs 71-80

Dec 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael (33) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 35-6. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Christine Michael Seattle Seahawks

The odds of Michael having a breakout season are very low, but if Marshawn Lynch were to go down with an injury, then Michael would finally get the opportunity to showcase his abilities.  Michael would be sharing the backfield with Robert Turbin and possibly Thomas Rawls if that were to happen, but I would place my chips on Michael for the most fantasy output from the 3 backups. Michael is very explosive and he doesn’t need a heavy workload to provide fantasy production, meaning if he’s in a situation where he’s in a timeshare with the other backs, I would still pluck Michael off waivers and stash him because he has the potential to deliver impactful fantasy results if given the opportunity.

Tyler Gaffney New England Patriots

Gaffney is a flier. He isn’t a player that you are going to target in your fantasy drafts, but you should have him on your watch list. Gaffney has good size and speed and he could be a valuable asset if given the opportunity. New England has a lot of running backs competing in training camp, so there’s a chance that Gaffney doesn’t make the team, but keep an eye on him because he has the potential to break out if he gets the opportunity.

Next: Top 100 Running Backs 81-90

Oct 26, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey (43) runs with the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bobby Rainey Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bobby Rainey and his partner in crime, Tampa Bay running back Mike James, are both guys you should have on your watch list. Both players have the athletic ability to provide RB2 production if given the opportunity to start if Doug Martin or Charles Sims were to go down with an injury.

Ryan Williams Dallas Cowboys

Pay attention to every running back on the Cowboys roster. It’s not a secret that their offensive line is incredible and can make a decent running back into a high level fantasy producer. Williams looked good during the preseason last year, and despite the extensive injury history, Williams still has some wiggle left. If he gets a chance to start due to Joseph Randle going down with an injury, then you will need to pick up off waivers.

Next: Top 100 Running Backs 91-100

January 17, 2015; Carson, CA, USA; National running back Terrell Watson of Azusa Pacific runs the ball against American during the first half of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Terrell Watson Cincinnati Bengals

Terrell Watson is a long shot like the rest of the running backs this late in the rankings. Watson is a big running back who was highly productive in college. There’s a good chance that he will be on the practice squad for the Bengals. Keep an eye on him because if he’s on the practice squad, another team can pick him up, and he may get his opportunity then.

Dexter McCluster Tennessee Titans

McCluster doesn’t have the high upside to get you in RB1 territory, even if his role within the offense increases. If Bishop Sankey goes down with an injury, then McCluster will get most of the targets out of the backfield, which could make him startable as a flex option.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @bmatz08 for free 24/7 fantasy football advice

Next: Top 100 PPR Wide Receivers

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