Running Back Fantasy Football Rookie Class of 2014
After examining the quarterback position of the 2014 NFL rookie class we will go on with the next positions and the next players who will enter the league in a few months from now. Again, we will take under notice their production and overall performance during the NFL combine, but this will not be out main and only point of judgment. Fantasy owners will of course have their interest towards the quarterback position and the new blood which will enter the league. After all, the quarterback is the most important position in the NFL and a good or a bad selection can make a big difference in your fantasy team. However, the running back position is also a very important one it can make a big difference for your fantasy team.
Let’s start our analysis with a quick look at the 2013 NFL rookie class. Let’s see which players entered the league and made their presence felt last season. It’s notable that no running back was picked in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. This was an unusual turnaround that surprised lots of fans. However, there were some running backs which had significant fantasy value and they were used by lots of fantasy owners. Giovani Bernard was one of those players. Although he had his ups and downs, he managed to maintain a good performance level throughout the season and he also achieved some big plays. La’Veon Bell was another rookie who quickly emerged as a threat. Whilst he missed three games due minor to a foot injury, he maintained a solid performance and also a significant fantasy value through the season. Eddie Lacy was drafted fourth in the list of running backs but he won the Fantasy Rookie of the Year award, so that says it all about his importance for your fantasy team.
In the 2014 NFL rookie class, there is no player who stands out of the crowd. We can say that there is set to become a superstar. There is no player who is expected to enter the league and make a huge impact right from the gecko. Maybe the one closest to this category is Ka’Deem Carey. He is slightly undersized, standing at 5’9” and weighing 207 pounds. Although he is not as quick as someone would expect for his size – he also didn’t record a great time at the NFL combine, just 4.70), his college career was exceptional. He can be characterized as one of the most NFL-ready players of his class and from as we’ve seen up to now, he is one of the top prospects in the upcoming draft. He should also be in the radar of any fantasy owner who is watching closely the evolutions in the league. Carey is great in pass protection and he finished his college career with 16 100-yard rushing games in a row.
Tre Mason is another player who should be in the radar of fantasy owners. The Auburn product recorded a great season in 2013 and he quickly emerged at the top spots of the best running backs who will enter the NFL this season. Tre Mason can be characterized as a surging running back. He is very physical with his game and he has lots of similarities with his fellow rookie Ka’Deem Carey. In fact, the two of them can be considered as players with the same potential, at least for now, right before they enter the league. Of course, each fantasy owners should study closely his needs and those two players before making the choice to go with either of them. Both of them remind of Ahmad Bradshaw with their playing style. It will be a surprise if we see some other running back getting drafted ahead of Mason and Carey in the 2014 NFL draft.
The next player who will examine is Carlos Hyde out of Ohio State. He has a nice size for the position, 6’0” and 230 pounds. Although he doesn’t seem to have a true difference maker abilities, he could be a reliable option for any team that decides to draft him. He hasn’t really proven that he is a great catcher and that could translate in a low fantasy value next season. Although he recorded some great games last season in college, those were most probably outbursts rather than his usual performance. Hyde suffered some hamstring issues during the NFL combine and we didn’t have the chance to see him participating in all the drills. Keep an eye on him for your fantasy team but don’t get overexcited with his potential. If you don’t want to risk, better turn your attention elsewhere.
Bishop Sankey from Washington will be the next rookie we will have a look at. He is a great athlete and his 209-pound body gives him the ability to play physically. Although he has a similar size to Mason and Carey, he can run faster than them and this gives him a slight advantage. However, he is not as crafty as them. It won’t be a surprise if we see him uplifting his performance and his fantasy value once he gains some experience and once he manages to improve his catching skills. He recorded a good NFL combine weekend but fantasy owners should look further than his great athletic skills when deciding to draft him or not.
Jeremy Hill and Andre Williams two more significant rookies, who should be studied carefully by fantasy owners for the 2014 season. Hill is a big body and he is very dominant when he is focused on playing the game. He is a risky option as he has an explosive character, too. Williams on the other hand has a smaller body than Hill but he is more powerful than his fellow rookie. Although we still don’t know how good a receiver he will be, he is considered to have lots of potential to reach a very good level in the league.