Of the 32 teams in the NFL, not every team has a running back worth starting. Since we all need a couple of running backs to start our league, the question is: Which teams have the running backs worth selecting? With so many teams to keep an eye on, this issue will be tackled over the course of two weeks. The first 16 will be looked at in this issue and the next 16 will be handled in part two. If anything changes with the first set of teams, I will make sure to include an update in part two. Let’s dive in!

Arizona Cardinals

  • Who is the starter? Rashard Mendenhall
  • Is Mendenhall worth starting? Only as a low-end RB2
  • Who is the handcuff? It is a mess between Ryan Williams, Stepfan Taylor, and Andre Ellington. Ryan Williams has the best chance to fill in for Mendenhall.
  • Is Williams worth owning? Only if you have Mendenhall. Even with Mendenhall, it’s a risk with Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington nipping at Williams’ heels.


Atlanta Falcons

  • Who is the starter? Steven Jackson
  • Is Jackson worth starting? Jackson is a RB2 with RB1 upside due to the TD opportunities the Falcons usually give their RB’s.
  • Who is the handcuff? Jacquizz Rodgers
  • Is Rodgers worth owning? Kind of… Jackson is a workhorse and the Falcons are “pass- heavy”; Rodgers would have limited opportunities.


Baltimore Ravens

  • Who is the starter? Ray Rice
  • Is Rice worth starting? Without question, yes! He is easily an RB1 in both standard and ppr formats.
  • Who is the handcuff? Bernard Pierce
  • Is Pierce worth owning? For dynasty, yes. For 2013, not necessarily. Rice has no injury issues and Pierce will probably only be getting 20% of the touches, at most, to keep Rice fresh.


Buffalo Bills

  • Who is the starter? CJ Spiller
  • Is Spiller worth starting? Yes, he is a home run pass catcher. He should pan out as a RB1 this year.
  • Who is the handcuff? Fred Jackson
  • Is Jackson worth owning? Jackson’s time is limited. So, if you cannot get him cheap then don’t waste your time.


Carolina Panthers

  • Who is the starter? DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart
  • Are either of them worth starting? Maybe as flex plays or bi-weekly fill-ins. Both cannot be counted on unless the other is injured. Even in that situation, they are only an RB3 in the Panther offense.
  • Who is the handcuff? No one, as they both split carries.
  • Are they worth owning? If you can acquire them cheap then, yes.


Chicago Bears

  • Who is the starter? Matt Forte
  • Is Forte worth starting? Yes, he is a viable RB2 and if the Bears can get him the ball in the red zone more frequently, then he can elevate RB1 numbers.
  • Who is the handcuff? Michael Bush
  • Is Bush worth owning? Yes, as Forte tends to miss a couple of games every year.


Cincinnati Bengals

  • Who is the starter? BenJarvus Green-Ellis
  • Is Green-Ellis worth starting? Only as a low end RB2.
  • Who is the handcuff? Giovani Bernard
  • Is Bernard worth owning? Yes! He is a high dynasty rookie pick and can snatch the starting job by playing well.


Cleveland Browns

  • Who is the starter? Trent Richardson
  • Is Richardson worth starting? Yes, he is. He will be a low end RB1 for sure barring any injuries.
  • Who is the handcuff? No one really knows. It is a mess behind Richardson.
  • So… what do I do? If you have Richardson do not worry about a handcuff as there is no one worth picking.


Dallas Cowboys

  • Who is the starter? DeMarco Murray
  • Is Murray worth starting? Yes, when he plays. DeMarco is a solid starter, but he has injury issues that hamper him from starting every week. He is an RB2 when playing.
  • Who is the handcuff? Joseph Randle
  • Is Randle worth owning? Yes, he is. Randle will fill in for Murray if he can’t start.


Denver Broncos

  • Who is the starter? Right now it is a battle between Montee Ball, Knowshon Moreno, and Ronnie Hillman. Montee seems to have the advantage.
  • Is Ball worth starting? As of now it is unclear. My best guess is he will be an RB3 with RB2 upside.
  • Who is the handcuff? Hard to tell at this point but Moreno and Hillman are fighting for the RB2 spot.
  • Are either of them worth owning? I would stay away until it becomes clear on who it is.


Detroit Lions

  • Who is the starter? It seems Reggie Bush and Mikel Leshoure look to split time.
  • Is Bush or Leshoure worth starting? Bush may be best in ppr formats as a RB3 with an RB2 upside.
  • Who is the handcuff? Most likely, Leshoure.
  • Is Leshoure worth owning? Yes, if you have Bush.


Green Bay Packers

  • Who is the starter? Eddie Lacy seems to have the edge to win the starting position.
  • Is Lacy worth starting? The Packers seem to be trying to get the running game more involved. This should make Lacy an RB3 with RB2 upside.
  • Who is the handcuff? Johnathan Franklin
  • Is Franklin worth owning? He sure is. Even if you don’t own Lacy, Franklin is the next in line to be the starter, plus he is a solid all around RB.


Houston Texans

  • Who is the starter? Arian Foster
  • Is Foster worth starting? For sure. He has been a top 5 back the past few years and while he may need to take less touches this year to stay healthy, he is a solid RB1.
  • Who is the handcuff? Ben Tate
  • Is Tate worth owning? If you own Foster then you need Tate. Foster is durable but he isn’t invincible. He has missed games previously and, after such a heavy workload this season, he may miss some more. In addition, he is currently out until training camp.


Indianapolis Colts

  • Who is the starter? This one is tough as the Colts just signed Ahmad Bradshaw. This means Bradshaw and Vick Ballard will be fighting for the RB1 spot. I give the edge to Bradshaw in this situation.
  • Is Bradshaw worth starting? If the Colts commit to him as the starter then he should be able to put up low RB2 numbers.
  • Who is the handcuff? Vick Ballard
  • Is Ballard worth owning? Since Bradshaw tends to miss games and is injury prone, Ballard is worth owning.


Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Who is the starter? Maurice Jones-Drew
  • Is Jones-Drew worth starting? Yes, he is, despite going down with a season ending injury last year in week six. Maurice is a solid RB2 with RB1 upside.
  • Who is the handcuff? Denard Robinson
  • Is Robinson worth owning? I wouldn’t suggest it. He is a former QB who has very limited experience at RB. Plus the Jaguars are a bad organization, so I can’t trust their judgment here.


Kansas City Chiefs

  • Who is the starter? Jamaal Charles
  • Is Charles worth starting? An easy yes, as Charles is an RB1.
  • Who is the handcuff? Kniles Davis
  • Is Davis worth owning? From what I saw on his college tape, he has shown very little reason to be trusted. So, I would not suggest picking him.



Questions? Comments? Concerns? Let me know below!