1: Jacksonville Jaguars (Yes, really)
Primary Back: Leonard Fournette
Seasons played: 0
Father of: 2
Other backs: Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon
The 4th overall pick in this years draft comes at 4 (starter wise) in this list due to the fact that he hasn't played a single snap. Leonard Fournette had a stellar career with LSU, totaling 3830 yards and 40 Tds in just 3 years. Some analysts compare him with Adrian Peterson with his athleticism and skill with the rock. One scout even said he'd compare him to Lebron James. Kind of gives you an image of what he can do. Fournette will be running behind a line that couldn't even propel T.J Yeldon and Chris Ivory to combine for 1,000 yards in 2016. The line has improved though. Adding 2nd round pick Cam Robinson to the mix while also trading for former Pro Bowl tackle Branden Albert.
Doug Marrone also brought up that he’ll try to get Fournette as many touches as he can. Good sign for Fournette fantasy owners. While Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon both had a forgettable season, they can both still play at a high level. Ivory still has the speed and toughness to get yards on screens and in short yardage situations. TJ Yeldon is more of the patient and balanced type back who is hard to get your hands on in the open field and also adds value as a true third down back. If Marrone and Hackett can utilize them the right way, this will be a brutal running back group for the other teams in the division to deal with.
2: Tennessee Titans
Primary Back: Demarco Murray
Seasons played: 6
Career stats: 6,515 (4.6 YPC) rushing yards, 43 TDs rushing, 1,900 receiving yards, 5 receiving TDs.
2016: 16 games played, 1,287 (4.4 YPC) rushing yards, 9 TDs rushing, 377 receiving
yards, 3 TDs.
Father of: 2
Other Backs: Derrick Henry and Khalfani Muhammad
Demarco Murray’s 2016 season is a great example of what being in the right situation does for you. In 2015, Demarco Murray had a dumpster fire experience in Philly. While most would blame that on Chip Kelly and his “east west running” scheme, I went a different route and said he wasn't running behind a good line. I'm not taking anything away from Demarco Murray, he's a top talent in this league. I just think he needs the right offensive line and the right scheme to function. Murray was then immediately traded after the 2015 season ended to the Titans with downhill running guru Mike Mularkey welcoming him with open arms. The Titans whole plot is to run down the throats of opponents, a strategy that Mike Mularkey calls “exotic smashmouth”. Murray was also dashing behind what Pro Football Focus said was the best offensive line in the league. Seems familiar to the Cowboys in 2014 when he led the league in rushing, didn't he also have an elite …. nevermind. That being said, he still had a good season and starred in the Titans dominant ground attack that was ranked 3rd in the league in total rush yards. A chunk of those yards on the ground belong to former Heisman winner Derrick Henry. Henry totaled nearly 500 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns in limited action. He was a vital part to the smashmouth plan. The Titans also added Khalfani Muhammad, a speedy back from Cal that ran a speedy 4.34 at his pro day.
3: Houston Texans
Primary Back: Lamar Miller
Seasons played: 5
Career Stats: 4,003 (4.4 YPC) rushing yards, 24 rushing TDs, 1,075 receiving yards, 4 receiving TDs.
2016 Stats: 14 games played, 1,073 (4.0 YPC) rushing yards, 5 TDs rushing, 188
receiving yards, 1 receiving TDs.
Father of: 0
Other backs: Alfred Blue and D’onta Foreman
Lamar Miller played well in his inaugural season as a Houston Texan. I could even go as far as to say if they didn't sign him last offseason they wouldn't have won the division. Not only that, but I also believe Miller was the best back in the AFC South. Miller was a workhorse all year to make up for Brock Osweiler's inexplicably bad play at quarterback. A tough, fast, shifty running back that had to put up with an injury prone line that wasn't really built to play the power run. Lamar also shined in the postseason for the Texans helping them take down the Oakland Raiders. The main reason I would put Lamar over anyone in the AFC South is his production when his team needed it the most. Coming into the 2016 season, the Texans were expected to put up superior numbers in the passing game with “Stud” Brock Osweiler, elite Wide Receiver Deandre Hopkins, a 1st round pick and speedy receiver in Will Fuller, and a flashy receiver in Braxton Miller. When things didn't turn out the way they were expecting and the defense was picking up the slack, Bill O'Brien trusted Lamar Miller to put the entire offense on his back and pave the way for shorter third downs to help struggling Quarterback Brock Osweiler move the chains. The game was simple, run, run, drop back and either pass it to one of the tight ends or Deandre Hopkins. Despite missing two games Lamar Miller still managed to put up 1k rushing yards and as I said earlier he didn't run behind the best of lines. As for the other backs, nothing that special. Alfred Blue has been inconsistent in his tenure as a Texan. He made people believe he was the replacement to the great Arian Foster but then he didn't meet expectations. Didn't even come close. Though it's too early to tell, but Blue seems to be the second option at RB so far and not D’onta Foreman. D’Onta Foreman was a great back for Texas in college in 2016 as he hit the sacred 2,000 yard mark. He was picked in the 3rd round and is expected to have an impact on this offense.
4: Indianapolis Colts
Primary Back: Frank Gore
Seasons played: 12
Career stats: 13,605 (4.4 YPC) rushing yards, 74 rushing TDs, 3,427 receiving yards, 16 receiving TDs.
2016: 16 games played, 1,025 (3.9 YPC) rushing yards, 4 rushing TDs, 277 receiving yards, 4 receiving TDs.
Father of: 4
Other Backs: Marlon Mack and Josh Ferguson
At age 34, Frank Gore still stands the test of time… and is still running over Dbs and linebackers. What's lead to his longevity? Is it his work ethic? Is it his toughness? Perhaps he may have found the ever illusive RB fountain of youth? No, the answer is a big fat NO to all of those questions. Frank Gore has the heart of a lion. He doesn't back down from anything whether it's a big linebacker like a Bobby Wagner or a Manimal like JJ Watt. He's always run with his head down and shown no fear. Coming into the big leagues from the university of Miami, Gore wasn't the biggest, wasn't the fastest, wasn't the strongest, it was his effort and the right mindset. Gore is in love with contact whether it's churning the feet while being hit on a 3rd and short or sticking a linebacker on a blitz. For the past 2 years with Indy, Gore hasn't been running behind a stable line and has been carrying at a below average rate. He still managed to reach 1k rushing yards this season and put his offense up in the rankings. Frank Gore, a definite future hall of famer, has had a great career and recently passed All-Time Legend Jim Brown in rushing yards. He is now 8th all time in rushing. The rest of the running back room right now may be a bit of a question mark. The Colts drafted Marlon Mack in the 4th round, and signed Christine Michael to possibly back Frank Gore up, but then just a week later he was placed on season ending IR. They have Robert Turbin but I'd be surprised if he makes a big impact. Josh Ferguson and Marlon Mack are they're only legit options. Josh Ferguson is a short but speedy back and Marlon Mack is strong back that can move piles and can run so I'd guess they compliment each other but other than that, it's not a stacked backfield
I hope everyone had a great Fathers Day! Do you agree with these rankings? Think I'm crazy? Comment your thoughts down below
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