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Free Agency Buzz and Best Fits – Running Backs

Chris Johnson

The hammer hasn’t fallen yet, but it’s only a matter of days before
Chris Johnson

moves on from the only team he ever has played for. What awaits CJ?K on the open market is not the high priced contracts that were being doled out to running backs a few years ago. Instead, it’s a buyer’s market in 2014. 
Chris Johnson

wants to be the main man in the backfield but much to his, and fantasy owners chagrin, it’s better if he’s paired with a big back that can handle a fair share of the load. The Jets need a major improvement in team speed and have plenty of cash to spend and overhauling the offense is a must this off-season. Even though wide receiver should be a priority, pairing
Chris Johnson

Chris Ivory

would make Rex Ryan ecstatic. The pairing would be a headache for fantasy owners and opposing run defenses.

Buzz – None quite yet, tampering alert

Best Fit – Jets

Ben Tate

Everything lined up perfectly for Tate in a contract year with
Arian Foster

bowing out of the season early due to injuries. Unfortunately for Tate, he was bit by the injury bug as well and ended up disappointing mightily. As fantasy owners, we all have been waiting for this day to see Tate land with a team and be a full time starter and now that the day is finally here, it’s a bit anti-climatic. With that said, Tate is atop the heap of the running back free agent class due to his age and extremely low usage in his three seasons with the Texans. A starting job is all but assured. With new OC Kyle Shanahan looking for his version of
Alfred Morris

Ben Tate

makes too much sense not to end up in Cleveland.

Buzz – Jets, Browns

Best Fit – Browns

Knowshon Moreno

Moreno picked a perfect time to have a career year as the once promising rookie season yielded three years of frustration and angst in the fantasy community. After year two in Peyton’s system, Moreno has become one of Manning’s trusted offensive threats, and more importantly, pass protectors. The Broncos don’t have the greatest cap situation and already have Moreno’s replacement on the team in second year back 
Montee Ball

and plenty of depth so a return to Denver looks to be remote. Once teams start pinching pennies, Moreno may just look to return home to Georgia and team with
Steven Jackson

which would be music to the ears of Falcons fans.

Buzz – not Denver

Best Fit – Atlanta

Maurice Jones-Drew

There is a ton of tread on these tires and maybe there is a chance the second biggest name in the free agent running backs will get overpaid but it’s more likely that he will have to settle as a role player in a RBBC, something that MJD will most likely not be keen on. With that said, a real chance at a playoff run may be enticing enough for MJD to eschew South Florida and begin the next chapter of his career. In the end, I expect Jones-Drew to find his market isn’t quite to his liking as he returns to Jacksonville where he is respected and revered.

Buzz – none at the moment

Best Fit – Jaguars

Donald Brown

The Colts traded for
Trent Richardson

hoping that he would be the final piece of the playoff puzzle but it turned out ‘Damn It Donald’ was ready to show what he can do in his contract year. Will a running back needy team tempt fate and lure him away from Indy or will the free wheeling Colts pony up and keep Brown in town? With
Vick Ballard

expected to be back and healthy, I expect Brown to look for a bigger role and more money elsewhere. Staying in the division and teaming up with
Shonn Greene

sounds like a decent landing spot as he replaces
Chris Johnson

in the 1-2 punch.

Buzz – Jets, Colts

Best Fit – Titans

Andre Brown

With David Wilson still a large looming question mark and Andre Brown a free agent, the Giants can go alot of different directions when addressing their running back needs. They aren’t going to break the bank however, and they won’t have to if they choose to retain the injury plagued Andre Brown and team him with another free agent. Brown has played well in spots and should be a very affordable role player for the G-Men for the next few seasons.

Buzz – none

Best Fit – returnin
g to the Giants

Rashad Jennings

Jennings failed miserably with his chance to be a starter in Jacksonville in 2012, so it was a bit surprising that he turned the corner and excelled when given the opportunity to do so in Oakland. The Raiders will look to move on from former star Darren McFadden and keeping Rashad Jennings in the fold should and will be a priority for Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie.

Buzz – none

Best Fit – returning to the Raiders



Darren McFadden

McFadden has teased us with awe inspiring plays and huge games throughout his career only to disappoint us. A divorce from the Raiders looks to be all but final as they turn their focus to re-signing fellow free agent Rashad Jennings. No team is going to want to commit any real money or promise a substantial role to such a brittle player, so McFadden will most likely have to wait for an opportunity to present itself after a majority of free agents find their seat once the music stops. Despite recent reports dismissing the Bengals as an option, in the end, a marriage with Hue Jackson in Cincy may be his only option until he can prove he can stay healthy.

Buzz – Bengals

Best Fit – Bengals

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