IT is going to take a while to get used to seeing Adrian Peterson take hand offs from Drew Brees, or seeing Marshawn Lynch barrelling through defenders in Raiders black. A handful of prominent runnings backs changed postcodes in the off-season for better or worse. Who is poised to be the pick of the bunch to deliver plenty of yardage in their new colours though?
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6. Jamaal Charles, Denver Broncos
AN ACL injury back in 2015 has turned Jamal Charles from 1,000 yard rusher to #2 (or even #3) on the depth chart. Charles struggled to regain his feet with the Cheifs last year posting just 12 carries in three games and as a result was shown the door by Kansas City. With an established backfield and question marks surrounding his health Charles has a long way to go before he can once again be considered part of the running back elite.
5. Adrian Peterson, New Orleans Saints
FORMER MVP Adrian Peterson finds himself in the Drew Brees’ led offense after 10 years and over 11,000 yards as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. Although his resume is impressive, Peterson is 32 and isn’t the dynamic power back he once was struggling through injuries in the past few seasons. That combined with the fact that Mark Ingram will likely start atop the running back depth chart in NOLA limits Peterson’s impact.
4. LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles
LAST season’s leading in rushing TD’s (18) is leaving the reigning champs. It’s fair to say that LeGarrette Blount didn’t join the Eagles because he deemed them a better SuperBowl threat and after a career best year in season eight, he now faces the prospect of sharing snaps with Darrell Sproles and maybe even Wendell Smallwood. The good news is Blount showed a year ago that he can share roles with other backs and Sproles/Smallwood are liked to be used in different sets. This will give Blount the chance to feature as the teams primary early down back and goal line specialist.
Image from patriots.com
3. Mike Gillislee, New England Patriots
A large part of the reason that LeGarrette Blount didn’t return to the Patriots was because they signed former Bills tailback Mike Gillislee. Serving as LeSean McCoy’s backup, Gillislee still managed to have his own share of touches, racking up over 550 yards and eight scores. If he can do that playing as a backup imagine how Bill Belichick can deploy him as the teams primary back (fantasy sleeper alert).
2. Eddie Lacy, Seattle Seahawks
LACY joining the Seahawks comes with plenty of asterisks. The one year contract that the former Green Bay Packer signed is filled with weight based contract incentives after Lacy’s well documented battle with his weight plagued his final few years in Wisconsin. I’m all in on Eddie Lacy returning to his dynamic best in Seattle and emerging as the teams best back, helping Russell Wilson shoulder the offensive load. Don’t let me down Eddie, stay away from the Twinkies!
Image from seahawks.com
1. Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders
NUMBER one on my list and the popular fan choice is Marshawn Lynch. After spending 2016 in retirement the Seahawks were able to workshop a deal, sending Lynch to his hometown state to rep the Oakland Raiders. No one quite knows how Lynch is going to respond after having a year on the sidelines, but themajority of the population is expecting him to be the Raiders rushing stud. 1,000 yards is a bit of a pipeline dream, yet it isn’t entirely out of the question.