After the long weekend, you either are evaluating your freshly drafted team, or getting ready to draft this week. If you are hardcore, you are probably doing both. Many running back situations have been undoubtedly decided, while others may not be until after Week 1 (or later in some cases). The NFC Edition has already been posted, so enjoy the take on the AFC’s backfield situations as you strategize on which running backs to draft, handcuffs to snag, and situations to just plain avoid!
Buffalo Bills – Committed
C.J. Spiller has the talent to lead the league in rushing yards as he showed part of last year. He’s never been a lead back for an entire season. Although veteran Fred Jackson makes a nice stash as back-up, Spiller may follow Adrian Peterson as the top rusher in the NFL.
New England Patriots – Committed
The Patriots generally use a primary back, but have used a variety of other backs in previous seasons to keep defenses off-guard. Regardless, Stevan Ridley proved last season that he can succeed with the majority of work, and this trend doesn’t appear to be changing.
Miami Dolphins – Committed
It appeared that a “committee” situation was in the works, but backup Daniel Thomas has been terrible this preseason. Although not publicly announced, Lamar Miller should begin the season and Miami’s primary back.
New York Jets – Committee
The Jets’ running back situation may not be decided yet. Chris Ivory appears to be the primary back, but it also seems that Bilal Powell will receive a significant workload, especially on third down. Until further notice, this should be viewed as a committee.
Kansas City Chiefs – Committed
Jamaal Charles will be a lightning rod this season. With an improved quarterback and spread out offense led by coach Andy Reid, Charles will put up huge numbers for Kansas City if he can stay healthy.
Oakland Raiders – Committed
Darren McFadden has been the primary back for Oakland over the last few seasons, but has been hampered with injuries. Although there are questions regarding how explosive Oakland’s offense will be this season, McFadden should post solid numbers if he’s on the field.
San Diego Chargers – Committed
After a few seasons in a committee situation due to injury and ineffectiveness, Ryan Mathews is currently the primary back in sunny San Diego. His preseason has been solid and he should receive the lion’s share of carries, but keep an eye on Ronnie Brown and newly acquired Danny Woodhead as well.
Denver Broncos – Committee
Many fantasy analysts have been attempting to predict the Denver Broncos running back situation with the departure of Willis McGahee. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase provided clarity to the situation by claiming that Denver will use Montee Ball, Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno in a committee situation. Draft Ball first, but don’t take him too early as you may be disappointed with his workload and production.