The undersized Hillman needs work as a pass-blocker, but he’s only 21 and his skillset provides him with a Ray Rice-like ceiling. Of course, Monte Ball puts a damper on his long-term prospects…Stacy and Richardson will compete for snaps in St. Louis. Stacy is the immediate favorite for short-yardage duties, while Richardson will compete with Isaiah Pead for the bulk of the work between the 20s. One of the two backs could potentially earn the team’s lead-back gig…Michael is buried behind Marshawn Lynch and possibly Robert Turbin, but it’s conceivable that he could be Seattle’s lead back within two-to-three years.
The Cardinals drafted Ellington after Stepfan Taylor, but the former has better long-term prospects. He’s worth stashing when you consider the shaky health of Arizona’s top-two backs, Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams…Speaking of Williams, having missed all but five games over his first two years in the NFL, he is easily one of the league’s most injury-plagued players. His 2.8 YPC was downright ugly this past season, but he only had 58 carries, many of which were against stacked defensive boxes. Still only 23-years-old, there’s still some hope for him, but his arrow is beginning to point down.
Rodgers won’t be anything more than a situational passing-down back after the Falcons upgraded on Michael Turner by signing workhorse Steven Jackson. Rodgers has struggled between the tackles during his first two years in the league, averaging just under 4.0 YPC…Brown could become a threat to David Wilson for the Giants’ lead back gig in 2013. At the very least, he figures to see six-to-eight carries-per-game, as well as, most of the goal line work.
Green-Ellis is still just 27-years-old and, although he’s a relatively underwhelming back, he was solid on nearly 300 carries during his first season with the Bengals. With Gio Bernard now in the picture, however, his long-term prospects with the team are null…Hunter remains the primary handcuff to Frank Gore, but that will only last as long as Marcus Lattimore is out of action. If he sticks around for the long-term, Hunter will join LaMichael James in a complimentary role behind the more-talented Lattimore. His dynasty value took a big hit on draft weekend.
Turbin is buried behind Marshawn Lynch today, and will need to compete with Christine Michael down the road. He seems destined for a complimentary role…Taylor has a ton of competition in Arizona, but the top-two on the depth chart have major durability concerns…Randle was only a fifth-round pick in April, but he could see a massive workload if oft-injured started Demarco Murray misses additional action. Randle is the primary short-term handcuff in Dallas.
Gillislee is far from the top talent among rookie tailbacks, but he only has to compete with underwhelming Daniel Thomas behind inexperienced starter Lamar Miller. If Miller flames out, Gillislee would get a long look as the team’s lead back…It appears Williams is in the Panthers’ 2013 plans, but he struggles to find more than a dozen snaps when Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert are both active. He has a ton of talent, but he’s over the age-30 hump and needs a new home in order to find consistent fantasy-relevance…Thomas is remains the Saints’ No. 2 back on both early and passing downs, doing both very well, but not getting enough reps for real fantasy relevance.
At one point, it appeared Harris would get a shot at lead-back duties in Green Bay. After the team selected Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin in April’s draft, however, his long-term prospects are dim…Davis doesn’t have a ton of competition for the No. 2 job behind Jamaal Charles in Kansas City. Considering Andy Reid’s ability to make tailbacks fantasy-relevant of the years, Davis is a player worth stashing…A 2012 second-round pick, James profiles as a passing-down/change-of-pace back. He’s currently buried on the depth chart, but projects as a future change-of-pace back behind Marcus Lattimore.
Now that he’s with the Titans, Greene’s days as a workhorse are over. He’ll work behind Chris Johnson as an overpaid situational bruiser…Goodson heads to New York where he’ll work behind Chris Ivory as the team’s primary passing-down back…Undrafted last season, Bolden was extremely productive on a small sample of carries for the Patriots. He’s buried on the depth chart, but is worth of a stash… Since entering the league via the second round of the 2010 draft, Gerhart has been stuck behind Adrian Peterson. He’s entering a contract year in 2013, but needs an injury Peterson in order to find more than a few passing-down reps.
Barner is buried on the Carolina depth chart. Even if DeAngelo Williams moves on next offseason, Barner would still need to compete for scraps behind Jonathan Stewart…Thomas is the underdog, but will be pushing Lamar Miller for the feature back job in Miami. After averaging a poor 3.5 YPC during his first two seasons, however, his ceiling appears to be that of a crawlspace…Jackson just turned 32 and is no longer atop the Bills’ depth chart. He needs a C.J. Spiller injury in order to land a significant number of touches. Woodhead latched on with the Chargers where he will replace a demoted Ronnie Brown as the team’s passing-down specialist. He’ll be a flex option in PPR formats over the next few years.
Murray, a late-round pick in April, has little competition in his quest for handcuff duties behind Darren McFadden in Oakland…Williams (Indianapolis) and Thompson (Washington) are both undersized backs who went in the late rounds of April’s draft. Both are bit overlooked, but will push for No. 2 duties on their respective squads…Moreno is only 25, but has an unclear role and is due $1.7 million. After Denver’s draft selection of Montee Ball, Moreno could be on the way out…Bush isn’t going to see many snaps behind Matt Forte, but remains the team’s top goal line back, and one of fantasy’s better handcuffs.
Hardesty is no real threat to Trent Richardson, but is entering a contract year after a quietly-decent 2012 campaign…Cadet is buried in New Orleans, but showed big-time flashes during the 2012 preseason…Burkhead will immediately push for passing-down work and could end up a long-term complimentary back to Gio Bernard…Robinson is already pushing for passing-down work in Jacksonville. He’s raw as a running back, but has a high long-term ceiling.