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No matter where you’re picking in your upcoming fantasy draft, nothing will cause you to lose sleep more than running back. They are by far the most volatile position with the highest risk of being a bust. How many fantasy GMs drafted Montee Ball, Giovani Bernard, Doug Martin or Zac Stacy in the opening two rounds last year and saw their fantasy teams go down the drain?

Understanding which running backs can produce enough to match or exceed their preseason hype is crucial for fantasy owners who don’t want to be thin at the position and scrambling for help all season long. Even further, since most will have to invest a first or second round pick on a back, a mistake at this spot could be devastating.

It's best to avoid drafting overvalued running backs so you don’t have to spend the rest of the season filling one or two gaping holes in your lineup. Here are the three most overvalued fantasy running backs with big bust potential for 2015.

 

Potential Running Back Busts in 2015

LeSean McCoy

ADP: 18 STD, 21 PPR, RB 9

With only five touchdowns and 28 receptions last season, the only thing that made McCoy remotely resemble a first round pick was his 1,474 yards from scrimmage – and that was on an elite offense. Fast forward one season and McCoy is on a team that has serious problems filling the starters at quarterback and offensive line. Can we really expect McCoy to match or top last season’s statistics?

When defenses line up in the box, will they be more concerned with Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel, or Tyrod Taylor beating them with their arms or McCoy beating them with his legs? McCoy will be the number one, two and three threats that defenses are keying on when facing the Bills, and he won't have much of the open field space that he is so good at exploiting.

Add in the fact that the ever pesky Fred Jackson will be around to vulture TDs and yardage, and it becomes even less likely that he will be worth a second round selection. If McCoy is waiting for you in the third round, go for it. But in the middle of the second round, you’re much better suited reaching for Aaron Rodgers or potentially selecting a stud receiver who falls. Big bust potential awaits a former stud leaving for a worse team.

 

C.J. Anderson

ADP: 19 STD, 17 PPR, RB 10

Fantasy owners who were able to snag CJ Anderson off of waivers last fall likely rode his hot streak into the fantasy playoffs. From Week 8 on, all he did was rush for 767 yards and eight TDs. But it must be pointed out that Anderson is a former undrafted free agent who was beaten out for starting spots by Knowshon Moreno, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman before taking off. It’s unwise to bank on a repeat, especially with such a high pick.

While he looks to be the Week 1 starter, it’s impossible to trust that it will remain that way all season. With your No. 2 pick, you want security; you want a sure thing. Anderson is anything but a sure thing. With such a small sample size and without the pedigree of other top backs, Anderson has not yet proven himself to be reliable enough to justify a selection within the first 20 picks. Anderson's a potential running back bust just because his job has yet to be secured.

 

Todd Gurley

ADP: 47 STD, 59 PPR, RB 22

In dynasty leagues, selecting Todd Gurley in the first four to five rounds seems reasonable, as all projections point to him eventually having a stellar NFL career. But in 2015, the fact that Gurley is being selected before the likes of Rashad Jennings, T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory is somewhat perplexing. Gurley is not even a year removed from tearing his ACL, an injury that often requires up to two years to fully recover from.

Selecting Gurley in the fourth or fifth round means that fantasy owners are relying on him to be a No. 2 or 3 running back for them. This is an unwise strategy. Not only will Gurley be hobbling through the first few weeks of the season, and possibly longer, he also has to compete with Tre Mason, who averaged a very respectable 4.3 YPC last season as a rookie. It's way too early to cede that battle to Gurley.

If you can manage to draft Gurley in later rounds as a No. 4 running back to potentially be a boost during the second half of the season during bye weeks, go for it. But in the fourth and fifth rounds, you need to be focused on filling out your starting lineup, not on drafting unhealthy running backs and hoping for a steal.

 

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