Monday, August 20, 2012

Fantasy Football: Running Back Team-by-Team Breakdown

by John and Chris Huffstetler

Philadelphia Eagles everything RB LaSean McCoy

With most fantasy drafts quickly approaching, hopeful fantasy owners are searching for the next breakout Running Back to lead their team to the title. Unfortunately, the RB situation on most NFL teams becomes more muddled each season as the dreaded "running back by committee" situation permeates throughout the league. In order to help you unravel these RB controversies, we will break down every team's RB situation to help you determine which players will emerge and bring in major points this fantasy season.



Washington Redskins- John H.- We'll start our breakdown with the most difficult team to predict in the NFL. I get the feeling Mike Shanahan himself doesn't know who will start at RB for his teams 5 minutes before kickoff. He is notorious for employing the "hot hand" strategy and playing whoever is breaking the big runs at that moment. Tim Hightower, Roy Helu, and Evan Royster all have an opportunity to contribute in any given week, and, therefore, none of them should be drafted. You will just end up frustrated all year. Draft?- No one

CMH:  While this is a muddled backfield, we can still find value in this situation.  Helu is not the guy to draft.  While his stock is plummeting, it still hasn't plummeted enough from that lofty 5th round ADP.  Royster has been starting this preseason, but he lacks burst and he doesn't seem like he will end up being the guy.  Which brings us to Tim Hightower, the Incumbent.  I like Hightower to get the nod whenever he gets back to form, probably week 1 or 2.  The Shanahan's seem to like him, and he has more experience than the rest of the backfield combined.  Draft Hightower in the late rounds.

Philadelphia Eagles- John H.- We quickly go from the most difficult situation to the easiest to predict. Nothing Philly has done this offseason indicates anything but a overwhelming number of carries for LeSean McCoy once again this year. He is a solid workhorse that should not last past #3 in any draft (I would take him #1 overall myself). My only concern is that McCoy did have 321 touches last year, which is an indicator for a potential backslide the following year. I will take the risk at #1 though. Draft?- LeSean McCoy

CMH:  The #1 running back last year, and there's no reason to think he won't do it again.  He's definitely worth the #1 pick, and don't let him slip past #4.

Giants rookie phenom David Wilson
NY Giants- John H.- The RB situation is interesting this year for the "deserving" Super Bowl Champs. They lose pointless power back Brandon Jacobs, while adding in talented rookie David Wilson to complement Ahmad Bradshaw. Wilson showed a big play capability from the moment he set foot on campus at Virginia Tech and flourished even in their stilted, mediocre offense. Bradshaw's foot is an injury disaster waiting to happen and should be avoided at all costs in any fantasy draft. Because of Wilson's obvious talent and Bradshaw's injury concerns, Wilson is a strong draft sleeper to garner a large number of carries for a strong rushing offense. Draft?- David Wilson

CMH:  As much as I hate the Giants, this is one of my favorite backfields in the league.  A lot of talent and a lot of potential for some draft day steals.  David Wilson is a must-grab in the mid-to-late rounds of your draft.  He is explosive and will compete for carries immediately.  DJ Ware is also talented, but it's hard to see where he will fit in with Bradshaw and Wilson in the picture.  Bradshaw will be good this year, and if you draft him in that 4/5 round range, you will probably get exactly what you paid for.  Draft Wilson and Bradshaw here.

Dallas Cowboys- John H.- The 2011 Cowboys backfield was completely unclear entering the season. This year's squad has an obvious #1 in DeMarco Murray and #2 in Felix Jones. Murray showed has big-play capabilities last year late in the season when he earned the starting job. His fractured ankle from late last season is completely meaningless, and he will have a huge season. Helping his cause is the addition of strong veteran FB Lawrence Vickers, who is one of the best in the league. Draft?- DeMarco Murray

CMH: Murray is undervalued this year.  He's definitely worth a second-round pick, and may end up having first-round value.  Draft him.  Everyone else in the backfield is worthless.


Detroit Lions- John H.- How many injuries can one team have at RB? The Lions lost their top two in Mikel LeShoure and Jahvid Best for the year early last season and had to rely on off-the-street FA Kevin Smith to lead them on the ground into the playoffs. Heading into this season, Best still hasn't been cleared to play and is a complete unknown for the season. LeShoure, meanwhile, is ready to take the reigns, having suffered his torn ACL before the regular season even began last year. He will miss the first two games of the season, but by week 3, he should be getting 70% of the carries (if Best remains uncleared). Kevin Smith will be the beneficiary once again if both players remain unhealthy. This situation is still quite muddled, but both LeShoure and Smith are worth mid-to-late rounds speculation with the Lions potent offense. Best just can't be trusted. Draft?- Mikel LeShoure or Kevin Smith (if the time is right)

CMH:  Avoid this backfield.  LeShoure has yet to be healthy during his brief stint in the NFL, Kevin Smith is simply not that good, and who knows when Jahvid Best will be back and what his workload will be.  Too many question marks.

Minnesota Vikings- John H.- Adrian Peterson is still a supreme talent and will be the feature of the offense when he returns from his injury, but don't expect the same AD, especially in the first 8 weeks of the year. He will be a second half fantasy value. His draft position is about where he should be selected because of the injury questions. Draft?- Adrian Peterson

CMH:  His quick rehabilitation of the ACL injury just goes to show how much of a freak of nature this guy is.  He's going in the 2nd, but spice things up and pick him in the late-first/early-second.  You won't regret it.

Green Bay Packers- John H.- I'm not even going to bother with this one. No one on the Packers is worth considering. Draft?- No one

CMH:  Benson may have the most value now, but I'm still not even sure if he's worth drafting.

New Bears RB Michael Bush
Chicago Bears- John H.- I've never been a huge fan of Matt Forte since his collegiate days. He wasn't impressive at Tulane and he's shown in the NFL the ability to get exactly what the offensive line gives him and rarely more; however, talent doesn't matter in fantasy. It's all about opportunity, and Forte will get plenty of opportunities. The addition of Michael Bush will replace the carries of Marion Barber, but the main worry with the addition of Bush is his goal line ability. Bush could "Vulture" (god, I hate that term) Forte's goal line carries and rack up some TD's as he has in the past for the Raiders. Draft?- No one but Forte isn't a terrible pick

CMH: I was big on Forte this year before the Michael Bush signing.  Then, before preseason started, I was still high on him, just not as high.  Now, after watching two games, Forte will have trouble finding the endzone all year.  While he will still have tons of touches on the ground and through the air, it's extremely frustrating as a fantasy owner to have Michael Bush taking all your goal line carries.  Since I can't stand it, I'm avoiding this situation.


Atlanta Falcons- John H.- Michael Turner has been the feature back in Atlanta since he joined the via free agency back in '08. Turner showed signs last year of a severe lack of burst, making his "burner" nickname more ironic than accurate. He still, however, rushed for 1340 yards and scored 11 TD's on the ground. This season should mark a greater decline off of his strong numbers since joining the Falcons. Quizz Rodgers should also take some of the workload, as he is too talented to keep on the bench. Neither player is worth taking however, as Turner has no value where he will be drafted, but he will also most likely remain healthy most of the year giving no one else an opportunity. Draft?- No One

CMH:  I'm avoiding Turner, but I do like 'Quizz' this year.  Mike Smith has said throughout camp that he sees Rodgers as a 3-down back.  That sounds like the early indications of a RB controversy to me.  It doesn't hurt to invest a late-round pick in Rodgers, especially in deeper leagues.

New Orleans Saints- John H.- Once again, the Saints enter the season with a crowded backfield, leaving few options for fantasy owners. Mark Ingram could have a good season, but it is hard to tell if he will get any more carries than Pierre Thomas, or if they will split touches like last year. The only possible RB to draft, as a result, is Darren Sproles. Sproles finished last year with 86 receptions, and he still has tremendous value in a PPR league, despite the crowded nature of the backfield. Thomas and Ingram will be inconsistent from week to week, which is a recipe for disaster in fantasy leagues. Draft?- Darren Sproles in a PPR or 1/2 PPR

CMH:  Draft Sproles.  That's for sure.  Even if you aren't in a PPR league, he will still have value, just not 3rd round value.  After that, it's cloudy in New Orleans.  I'm a Mark Ingram hater, but I think he will have a good year this year.  He will take over as the feature back in New Orleans, for whatever that's worth.  He definitely has some late-round value.

Enigmatic Bucs RB LeGarrette Blount
Tampa Bay Bucs- John H.- This offseason, the Bucs added marginally talented, but versatile Boise St. back Doug Martin to complement LeGarrette Blount. Martin's avg draft position has been much higher than Blount's so far this year, which shows the perception of most people is that Martin will get the bulk of the carries. After all, first year head coach Greg Schiano did spend his first ever draft choice to select Martin. That says exactly what Schiano thinks of him. There is a track record, however, of rookie RB's that are expected to start disappointing in their first year because of the pressure (see Ryan Mathews and Daniel Thomas). The situation here should be more of a split than most people believe, with Martin handling the passing downs and Blount handling the rushing downs and the goal line situations. There is some definite value in taking Blount late year, and not much in taking Martin early. Draft?- LeGarrette Blount

CMH:  I like Blount's value this year, but all reports have indicated that Doug Martin is absolutely dominating the Bucs camp, and Schiano even said himself that Martin is "doing virtually everything right."  The more I think about it, the more I would steer clear of this backfield situation.  Both of these backs are talented, but both of them could potentially fall short of expectations this year.

Carolina Panthers- John H.- If it's even possible, the Panthers backfield is even more complicated than last year. They add bruising everything back Mike Tolbert from San Diego to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, giving them a deep and talented backfield. There is no way to draft any player, however, as the breakdown should be about even between Williams and Stewart with a few carries for Tolbert sprinkled in. Draft?- No One

CMH:  I like Jonathan Stewart more than most do this year.  Newton will be running less this year, and somebody will have to punch the ball into the endzone.  Stewart is the man for the job.  Look for 12 TDs from him, putting him in that RB2/RB3 range.


Niners rookie LaMichael James is the truth. Don't listen to CMH.
San Francisco 49ers- John H.- The Niners backfield is suddenly quite crowded for Frank Gore. This past offseason, they added Brandon Jacobs via free agency and LaMichael James in the draft to join Gore and Kendall Hunter. There is NO WAY that Gore will be able to come close to his production from even last season. Harbaugh brought these other backs in for a reason, and it appears like the Niners will be using the Saints model of RB-by-committee based on situation. The only player worth drafting is LaMichael James on a late flier because he's just too talented to keep on the sideline (think Darren Sproles). Draft?- LaMichael James

CMH: While James is supremely talented, he is currently sitting 4th on the depth chart, so it'll be tough for him to see the field.  All reports out of the Niners camp have praised Kendall Hunter's performance thus far, and I think he is the RB to grab in the late rounds here.  Avoid Gore like the plague, but feel free to grab Hunter in the later rounds.

Marshawn Lynch aka Beast Mode
Seattle Seahawks- John H.- Beast mode will be in full effect again this year in Seattle. The Seahawks did add a Lynch clone in Robert Turbin through the draft, but Turbin will mainly just spell Lynch when he is tired. He offers nothing different in terms of a skill set than Lynch, which means Lynch will still; receive a large majority of the snaps. Draft?- Marshawn Lynch

CMH: Marshawn is a solid second round pick.  Grab him if you can, sit back, and get your Skittles ready.

St. Louis Rams- John H.- Unlike Lynch's situation in Seattle, Jackson has a legitimate new added threat to his touches in 2nd rd pick Isaiah Pead. Pead is a prototype change-of-pace back in the NFL with the ability to take some carries and catch a large volume of passes out of the backfield. St. Louis, however, added 3 OL (including to projected starters) and can only improve upon their terrible offensive line play from last season. Consequently, they should improve offensively across the board under Jeff Fisher and Jackson's numbers should increase despite the increased competition. Draft?- Steven Jackson

CMH: Steven Jackson will be a workhorse this year, and Pead will be a nice change of pace.  Nothing new here--draft Steven Jackson in the 3rd like you have the past 8 years.

Arizona Cardinals- John H.- Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells will both receive a large number of carries this year. Do not get fooled by Beanie's success last year after Williams went down for the season. This was designed to be a split-carry backfield, and it will be for as long as these two remain healthy this season. There is some value in drafting Williams of you get him late, but Wells should be avoided at all costs. Draft?- Ryan Williams late

CMH: Ryan Williams has some great late-round value, and Beanie should get a higher percentage of the red zone touches.  Whoever stays healthy will have the better year, so draft Ryan Williams here.



New England Patriots- John H.- Another year, another crowded backfield in New England. Stevan Ridley is the most likely candidate to receive the majority of the carries, but Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Joseph Addai, and now Jeff Demps could all receive touches out of the backfield as well. Someone needs to replace, BJGE's 181 carries from last year, however, and Ridley is the strongest every-down back. Still, I would wait to see who emerges in the regular season and pass on everyone in the draft. Draft?- No One

CMH: Pass-happy offense.  5 guys competing for carries.  Not exacly your favorite fantasy situation.  Reports from camp are that Ridley is back to his old fumbling ways, and the coaches are now starting to favor Vereen.  Regardless, neither is worth drafting.  Aaron Hernandez might be the best ball-carrier on this team.

Buffalo Bills- John H.- The only thing keeping CJ Spiller from being a star in this league is Chan Gailey. All due respect to Fred Jackson, but Spiller is too talented to keep on the bench. Both players should get ample touches this season, since Buffalo uses their RB's in the passing game frequently (78 combined catches). Gailey has also floated the idea of using Spiller more frequently as a slot receiver. Once all of the feature backs (Lynch, Jackson, Murray, McFadden, etc.) are taken, Jackson is worth taking. Spiller has major value later in the draft. Draft?- Fred Jackson or CJ Spiller

CMH: Both of these guys are being underrated during draft day.  They will both be big fantasy factors for where they are being picked, so feel free to reach for both of them in your respective drafts.

Awful Jets feature back Shonn Greene
New York Jets- John H.- Anticipate Shonn Greene getting a decided majority of carries again this year, but Joe McKnight and Tim Tebow will get their names called as well in the rushing game. Of all the clear feature backs in the league, Shonn Greene is by far the worst one in terms of talent and fantasy value. He won't blow anyone away with his stats this year, but he will get at least 250 touches this year barring injury. If the choice is between Greene, Jonathan Stewart, Roy Helu, and Reggie Bush (3 players getting selected ahead of him on average according to ESPN stats), there is no question you should select Greene because of his extra opportunities. Draft?- Shonn Greene

CMH: Shonn Greene is awful, and it doesn't make sense why the Jets are fully invested in him as their running back.  I wouldn't pick him ahead of Bush, especially in PPR formats, and I'd be hesitant to take him over Jonathan Stewart, despite his heavy workload.  If you do select Shonn Greene, keep an eye out for Bilal Powell, a name you may not have heard before.  He is already getting the third-down reps with the first team, and I fully expect him to eat away at Greene's carries as the season progresses.  Right now, however, Powell is not worth a look, and Greene isn't either.

Sidenote: The Jets will be one of the worst teams in the league this year.

Miami Dolphins- John H.- With the Dolphins likely downgrading at QB and starting rookie Ryan Tannehill, more pressure will be put on the running game to perform at a high level. Bush and Thomas essentially split carries last year (Bush with 216 and Thomas with 165 with a few games out injured), but Bush added 43 catches in the passing game. This year should be more of the same with these two getting a relatively even split of touches; however, the Dolphins also added rookie Lamar Miller, who could steal a few carries from both of them. Teams questioned Miller's maturity level and NFL readiness prior to the draft slipping him down to the 4th round, so I would expect Miller to play limited snaps in his first season or two. Thomas is the back here with the greatest upside because he will be drafted late and could end up getting a majority of carries, including goal line touches. Draft?- Daniel Thomas

CMH: Bush in PPR formats; Thomas in standard scoring formats.  Bush may have better stats in both respects, but Thomas will be more valuable in standard leagues.  They are both worth a look on draft day.


Baltimore Ravens- Ray Rice should be a top 3 draft pick. Rock solid. Draft?- Ray Rice

CMH: Rice is a stud. Feel free to draft him #1.

Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall following his injury last season
Pittsburgh Steelers- The recent news that Rashard Mendenhall might be ready for play early in the regular season has changed the Steelers backfield situation dramatically. Isaac Redman looked like he would be a solid sleeper pick in the middle rounds of the draft, but with Mendenhall's potential return midway through the regular season, Redman's stock takes a small hit. I still think he's worth taking and question how ready Mendenhall will be even when he returns to the field. Mendenhall shouldn't be drafted because before he's ready to play, it's likely that you will need an extra roster spot and release him. Draft? Isaac Redman

CMH: Here's one where I'm going to have to completely disagree.  I see Redman as one of the most overrated fantasy options this year.  He has limited burst and he's already banged up this preseason.  With the news that Mendenhall may be ready after the Week 4 bye, that only proves my point even more.  Not to mention, Jonathan Dwyer will be pushing both of them for carries throughout the season, as he's come into camp in the "best shape of his life."  Your guess is as good as mine as to who will eventually get the bulk of the carries in this offense, and whoever it is--they are worth a late-round pick.  But steer clear of Redman in the middle rounds, as Mendenhall and Dwyer are being drafted much later, and I like both of them more.

Cincinnati Bengals- John H.- BenJarvus Green-Ellis comes to town as the likely starter to replace the remarkably average Cedric Benson. Cincy has a strong offensive line (although better in pass protection than run blocking), and any RB will produce more than Benson's 3.9 ypc last season. This gives BJGE tremendous value if he were to get a decided majority of the carries. The problem is that Marvin Lewis has said he will split carries with Bernard Scott. Overall, they should produce better numbers, but neither player is worth drafting given the situation. Draft?- No One

CMH: Probably the least sexy backfield in the league right now.  If you want some average numbers, Green-Ellis is an average draft pick.  Double-digit touchdowns and 800 yards seems about right for him.  Scott has little fantasy value.  I'd steer clear of both, but Green-Ellis will be better.

Browns rookie RB Trent Richardson
Cleveland Browns- John H.- Despite Trent Richardson's preseason injury concerns, he remains a viable fantasy option. The Browns will need to run the ball effectively if they plan on starting Brandon Weeden at QB this season. Richardson will get a large bulk of those carries because the other options (Hardesty and Ogbonnaya) are definite downgrades. If neither player could unseat a struggling and injured Peyton Hillis last season, they won't be able to gain carries against a talent like Trent Richardson. Draft?- Trent Richardson

CMH: By no means am I buying into this Cleveland offense, but Trent Richardson will have a solid year running the football.  He's not worth a 2nd/3rd round pick after his injury, however.  He needs a lot of touches in this unproven offense to rack up fantasy points, and the Browns are sure to ease him in after the injury.  Also, Hardesty has run well this preseason, taking some of the pressure off the coaching staff to use Richardson.  By the end of the year, he may be a legitimate RB1, but for now, I see Richardson as a low-end RB2 with upside.


Houston Texans- John H.- With their 2nd ranked rushing offense, the Texans approached having two 1,000 yard rushers last season. Arian Foster is an obvious top 3 draft pick (although I would draft McCoy and Rice ahead of him), but the question is whether Ben Tate is worth selecting in the mid-rounds. No. Back-ups can never be consistent scorers in fantasy, and drafting a player hoping that a player gets injured is incredibly foolish (why drafting "handcuffs" is one of the dumbest strategies in fantasy football). Draft? Arian Foster

CMH: Don't let Foster slip past you in your draft.  If he's available, you should pick him, no matter where you're picking.  Look for Foster to stay healthy this year, making Ben Tate worthless.

Jags holdout RB Maurice Jones-Drew
Jacksonville Jaguars- John H.- Because of the MJD contract holdout, this would be the one legitimate situation to "handcuff" the starter if you chose to draft him. With MJD's draft position continuing to drop as his holdout continues, he is gaining value in the late-first/early-second round, but drafting Rashad Jennings (the clear replacement and a solid player in his own right) late in the draft would be a smart idea here. Draft?- MJD but get Rashad Jennings late also if you do

CMH: With Jones-Drew's holdout, I worry about his fantasy value this year.  He's usually a sure-fire top-5 RB, but running backs have a history of performing very poorly after holdouts.  Even though all reports say that Jones-Drew will be back by Week 1, I don't think he has the same first round value.  If you can get him in the second, however, it's a steal.  Jennings makes sense as a late-round grab, whether you have MJD or not, and he's looked great in preseason.  Draft MJD and Jennings.

Indianapolis Colts- John H.- Everyone is terrible and no one knows who will start. Draft?- No one

CMH: The team is horrendous and they have a committee of running backs.  Stay away and stop waiting for Donald Brown to have his "breakout year."

Tennessee Titans- John H.-After getting lazy last year during his holdout and missing most of training camp, Chris Johnson had a disappointing season. With Johnson's YPC down to 4.0 last year, Kenny Britt's injury, and the dreadful play of Matt Hasselbeck, the Titans offense struggles to point points on the board. With Britt returning healthy at some point early this season and Jake Locker taking over at QB (hopefully for the Titans sake), the passing game should improve and open up space for Johnson. Johnson will have a dramatically better season and is absolutely worth a 1st round pick. Draft?- Chris Johnson

CMH:  Considering you can find him on the board at 8 or 9, CJ is the most valuable pick in this year's fantasy draft.  He's my favorite to finish the season with the most fantasy points for RB's, especially if Locker gets the nod as starter and we see more of a 'Run and Gun' offense in Nashville.  Johnson ran well against Tampa last week, and he has added 20 pounds to his frame.  With a full training camp under his belt, we should see CJ in midseason form by Week 1.


Denver Broncos- John H.- With the change at QB from Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning, the Broncos will certainly shift to a more pass-oriented attack, and will not approach leading the league in rushing as they did last year. The Broncos also add in supremely talented little-known rookie Ronnie Hillman, who has the potential to take over as the starter at any point this season. Major draft bust Knowshon Moreno also returns from injury hoping to revamp his disappointing career. All three of these factors will precipitate a major drop in production from Willis McGahee this season, making him undraftable. With the potential for Hillman to garner major carries this season and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, he is worth a late-round speculative pick if you have the patience to hold onto him for a few weeks. Draft?- Ronnie Hillman

CMH: Ronnie Hillman is a talented player, but he's had no time to prove himself this training camp between injuries, and he's currently listed as the third RB in Denver.  While I could see Hillman eventually working his way into a timeshare by the end of the year, this is still McGahee's backfield.  He's worth a late-round pick.  Knowshon Moreno is a fantasy non-factor, currently sitting at fourth on the depth chart.  Steer clear.

Chargers RB Ryan Mathews
San Diego Chargers- John H.- Ironically, the injury to Ryan Mathews has dramatically improved his potential value in fantasy drafts. A broken collarbone is a much faster and easier injury for a RB to recover from than a tendon or joint injury. Mathews could even be ready by week 1, yet his draft stock has slide to late 3rd/early 4th round. Putting the injury aside, the Chargers lost goal line back Mike Tolbert in free agency, and Mathews should get significantly more carries in the red zone. Additionally, there is not one other quality RB on the roster. The Chargers have the thinnest backfield in the league, and Mathews will get a large majority of the carries whenever he returns to the field. Draft?- Ryan Mathews

CMH: Until Mathews proves to me that he can stay healthy, I won't draft him again.  He has top-5 RB value this year, but I just can't trust him.  Having said that, draft him anywhere after the first round, but steer clear of him in the first round, where he was going before the injury.

Oakland Raiders- John H.- The question for Darren McFadden has been, and always will be, his health. When fully healthy, few in the league are more talented than Run DMC, and if he remains healthy this season, this could be his best year yet from a fantasy perspective because of the departure of goal line beast Michael Bush. DMC should get more goal line carries than ever before with the two main backups being smaller, more versatile backs in Mike Goodson and Taiwan Jones. Drafting him is a gamble, but it is a gamble I'm willing to take. Draft?- Darren McFadden

CMH:  Out of all the elite fantasy running backs, McFadden has the lowest floor, but he may also have the highest ceiling.  If he stays healthy, he will finish as a top-4 back this season.  Draft him late in the first round.

KC Chiefs- John H.- The problem with the Chiefs backfield this year is that they are too talented and deep. Jamal Charles, Peyton Hillis, and Dexter McCluster are all unique talents deserving of 200 touches this year, but there is only one ball. Jamal Charles should clearly be the feature back getting the bulk of the carries, but his 2nd round draft grade might be too high considering his injury issues and the competition for carries. McCluster, on the other hand, should get a number of touches in the passing game with a now healthy Matt Cassel. With his late round grade, he could be a steal this season. Draft?- Dexter McCluster and consider Jamal Charles in the 3rd round because of his supreme talent

CMH: A crowded backfield in KC, but still a valuable fantasy situation.  McCluster has value in PPR formats, but I'd steer clear in standard leagues.  Hillis will be a touchdown vulture, and he should average 15-18 touches a game.  I like his value in the 9th round or later.  Charles should also see 15-18 touches a game, and drafting him in the late second/early third seems like a no brainer.  He will break some huge runs this year.  Draft? Charles/Hillis.

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