This article is a continuation of RotoBaller’s fantasy football NFL rookies analysis, and NFL rookie running backs for the 2013 season.
NFL Rookie Running Back Updates - 2013 Fantasy Football
With the first game of the season just days away, let’s check in with our top rookie running backs.
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers: With DuJuan Harris out of the action, Eddie Lacy is shaping up to be running back No. 1 for the Packers. Lacy has proven throughout his preseason performances that he has what it takes to be a solid blocker and a three-down back. His size and strength will translate to goal-line carries and plenty of fantasy points. Any struggles he showed in the preseason were the result of uneven matchups with Green Bay’s second-string offense on the field, and that won’t be a problem during the regular season. There is very little that motivates a player as much as trying to prove people wrong, and after he was chosen much lower in the draft than he felt he deserved, he will be taking every moment of his time on the field this season to show every other team what they passed up on. Harris’s exit opened the door for Lacy to get plenty of carries okay, and fantasy owners will no longer have to worry about the points being split. While Mike McCarthy hasn't named his starter yet, all signs point to Lacy.
Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals: Move over BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Giovani Bernard has arrived in Cincinnati. All questions about Bernard have been answered in the preseason-- he has the talent and strength to be an every down back. He’ll get plenty of goal-line carries, evident by the three rushing touchdowns he already scored this preseason, and his ability to get yards after contact is unmatched. In the first few weeks of the season, you may still see Green-Ellis getting more of the carries, which is limiting Bernard’s overall fantasy value. Be patient, because by week three or four, I expect Bernard to take over. His ability to be elusive will instantly prove more valuable than Green-Ellis’s one-dimensional style of play. He’s more talented than Green-Ellis in many ways, and it won’t take long for him to make an impact on the field. With an incredibly strong passing game as a compliment to the run game, the Bengals offense will hardly be predictable. Bernard’s ability to break free from tackles and head down the field will make fantasy owners very happy, week in and week out.
Montee Ball, Denver Broncos: The hype surrounding Montee Ball has been growing, and for good reason. He’s been the Bronco’s preseason rushing leader and has been showing plenty of signs of improvement on pass protection. The Broncos have made it clear that there will be a committee approach to the running back situation this year, with Ronnie Hillman, Knowshon Moreno, and Ball. Hillman has struggled during the preseason, which has given Ball more of an opportunity to shine. What makes this situation more complex is the value that Moreno still holds as the No. 3 running back. He has pass protection strength that Hillman and Ball don’t, and with three players with different ways to contribute, Ball’s fantasy value could end up suffering. Hillman is definitely slipping each week, but don’t let Moreno’s talents fall off your radar. One thing that gives a lot of optimism to the Ball situation is the continued confidence quarterback Peyton Manning has expressed in Ball. Confidence from the quarterback can make all the difference in the world to a rookie’s season, especially on a Denver offense that may be looking to run the ball a lot more than last season.
Here are some more fantasy football articles about NFL rookies. Let’s win some leagues!
- 2013 Fantasy Football: NFL Rookies & Rankings
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Rookie Running Backs
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Rookie Wide Receivers
- 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers: A Look at Impact Rookies
- 2013 Fantasy Football: Evaluating NFL Rookie Running Backs (Part 2)
If you like this article, check out the rest of our fantasy football analysis: rankings, sleepers, running backs, wide receivers, quarterbacks and of course our live fantasy football chat, the best football chatroom on the internwebs. RotoBaller will be releasing more fantasy football content daily to help you prepare for the 2013 NFL Fantasy Football season so stay tuned!