Eddie Lacy had a disastrous season last year after it seemed like he spent all offseason at a buffet. But he has arrived at training camp in much better shape and has a lot to prove. With the return of Jordy Nelson, there will be less pressure on Lacy as the passing game will be successful once again. With teams focusing on Nelson and Aaron Rodgers, Lacy can quietly run over defenses and catch quite a few passes. He will eat up touchdowns at the goalline, which adds to his fantasy value. He also gets a plus in PPR leagues, where he can rack up points off of screens and check downs. He can be a great steal in the middle of a draft as everyone thinks less of him after last season.
9. Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks
With the retirement of Marshawn Lynch, Rawls is left to carry the load for the Seahawks. Their playbook has consistently been to hand the ball off a million times a game, which gives Rawls the chance to rack up yards. He also showed last season that he can shoulder the load when Lynch was hurt. Now in his second season, the Seahawks will give him the chance to carry the offense. Look for lots of carries which will lead to lots of yards and potentially lots of touchdowns. He can be taken in the early rounds and not be a bust.
8. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
Freeman burst onto the scene last year as a dual threat back that racked up points in the receiving and rushing categories. this year he most likely will not be as great, but he will still be a top option in PPR leagues as he still can catch passes and he will get openings in the running game as long as Julio Jones is there to catch passes. He will most likely be taken in the first round of most drafts, but if you can get him in the third or second then leap at the chance. Especially if you are in a PPR league.
7. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
Gurley had an excellent rookie season; but he was not very consistent. That is why he is not higher up here. He had some great games, while disappearing in others. Do not fall into the hype trap of taking him at the top of your draft. That slot should be saved for players that will rack up points every week. Gurley is still the only proven weapon on that offense, which means he will face many loaded boxes. He will be a steal in the fourth or fifth rounds.
6. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
Miller has stepped into what could be a great scenario in Houston. Arian Foster thrived in the running game there but could not stay healthy. Miller will be running behind a great offensive line while also have solid playmakers in the passing game to take attention away from him. Miller also offers great value to PPR leagues as he has good hands and is a great weapon out of the backfield. He would be a great fit anywhere from the second to fourth rounds. He should be a consistent player in this revamped offense.
5. Lesean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
Since the NFL has decided not to take any actions against McCoy, he is still a top tier runner in the league. He is a weapon in both the passing and running games. This makes him valuable to both PPR and regular leagues. McCoy is going to be playing angry this year to comeback from an injury riddled year last year and in Rex Ryan's run first offense, he will get plenty of touches. he is a perfect second or third round pick.
4. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin is a beast that now is in a loaded offense. He is running behind a solid offensive line and has a solid passing game to take pressure off of him. He can also make plays out of the backfield; adding value in PPR leagues. Marting will break long runs and racks up touchdowns at the goalline. He will be a solid first round or second round pick.
3. Matt Forte, New York Jets
Forte just entered the best offense possible for him. The Jets offense revolves entirely around the running back position for right now, Whoever is playing quarterback, is not enough to take carries away from him as he will dominate the ball. Forte will also get many catches out of the backfield as Chan Gailey's system uses screens and short passes to the running back to give the quarterback easy high percentage throws. Forte would be great in the first or second round.
2. Leveon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bell, when healthy, makes a case for being the best running back in the NFL. However, he has had a problem staying healthy in recent years. But Bell is going to be splitting carries which will lessen the load on his legs. Therefore he will be fresher when on the field. This is the reason he is still number two. He is less likely to get injured and will be fresher to dominate games on a weekly basis. Because of his injury, he will slide in most drafts, which means he can be a steal in the fourth or fifth rounds.
1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson is the entire Vikings offense. Everything on that offense revolves around him. He may start to show his age this year, but he is one of the few backs to continue to succeed past thirty. With Norv Turner's love of screens, Peterson will get even more value in PPR leagues and will be able to make plays in the open field. He is easily a first round pick.