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Fantasy football rankings, 2014: Running backs in PPR leagues

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The NFL is developing into more and more of a passing league, but running backs remain fantasy workhorses. Of course, PPR leagues can throw running backs for a loop. We've got 2014 rankings to get you ready for your PPR league.

Standard scoring has remained the constant throughout fantasy leagues for a reason. Most of the time, one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers and a lone tight end are stressful enough, give or take a few irrationally confident selections. Furthermore, there are enough steady leagues nowadays to pick your poison, the peers you choose to compete with or the skill your heart desires. They’re not going away anytime soon, and with each one having a personality of its own, well, why should they?

But sometimes, that’s just not good enough.

Sometimes, you don’t want to settle for A Christmas Story or Jingle All the Way on the holidays, no matter what TBS is trying to tell you. Only Bad Santa or Die Hard will suffice, and that’s why sometimes, your run-of-the-mill scoring needs a tweak, if only a small one. And though the future might have other things in store (the rare 2-QB lineup, for instance), the present points directly to points per reception as our guiding light.

It’s no secret that PPR leagues have caught steam in recent years. In fact, the only reason we even mention checking scoring systems beforehand anymore is because somewhere, the PPR lurks. It’s become common enough to recognize as a household vignette, but has yet to reach water-on-Earth proportions.

Still, if PPR is so different, how much does it affect standard rankings? Well, see for yourself.

Below are the top-25 scoring leaders among RB in PPR formats last season.

Player Team Points
Jamaal Charles Chiefs 378
Matt Forte Bears 337
LeSean McCoy Eagles 331
Knowshon Moreno Broncos 297
Marshawn Lynch Seahawks 275
DeMarco Murray Cowboys 258
Eddie Lacy Packers 243
Chris Johnson Titans 240
Reggie Bush Lions 239
Fred Jackson Bills 235
Adrian Peterson Vikings 233
Danny Woodhead Chargers 223
Giovani Bernard Bengals 223
Joique Bell Lions 217
Le'Veon Bell Steelers 217
Pierre Thomas Saints 211
Ryan Mathews Chargers 210
Frank Gore 49ers 191
Maurice Jones-Drew Jaguars 187
Zac Stacy Rams 183
Ray Rice Ravens 178
Rashad Jennings Raiders 178
Alfred Morris Washington 178
Darren Sproles Saints 173
Andre Ellington Cardinals 165

But what does that entail? I mean, sure, it’s a bit different from the standard top-25 list. But who were the real shakers and movers?

Below are the top-25 RB that benefited the most when used in PPR rather than standard leagues.

Name Team Stnd Pts PPR Pts Stnd PPG PPR PPG Net +/-
Pierre Thomas Saints 134 211 8.3 13.1 4.8
Danny Woodhead Chargers 147 223 9.1 13.9 4.8
Jamaal Charles Chiefs 308 378 20.5 25.2 4.7
Darren Sproles Saints 102 173 6.8 11.5 4.7
Matt Forte Bears 263 337 16.4 21 4.6
Knowshon Moreno Broncos 236 297 14.7 18.5 3.8
DeMarco Murray Cowboys 205 258 14.6 18.4 3.8
Reggie Bush Lions 185 239 13.2 17 3.8
Ray Rice Ravens 120 178 8 11.8 3.8
Giovani Bernard Bengals 166 223 10.3 13.9 3.6
Le'Veon Bell Steelers 171 217 13.1 16.6 3.5
Joique Bell Lions 163 217 10.1 13.5 3.4
LeSean McCoy Eagles 278 331 17.3 20.6 3.3
Fred Jackson Bills 187 235 11.6 14.6 3
Maurice Jones-Drew Jaguars 144 187 9.6 12.4 2.8
Chris Johnson Titans 198 240 12.3 15 2.7
Andre Ellington Cardinals 126 165 8.4 11 2.6
Rashad Jennings Raiders 138 178 9.2 11.8 2.6
Marshawn Lynch Seahawks 239 275 14.9 17.1 2.5
Eddie Lacy Packers 207 243 13.8 16.2 2.4
Adrian Peterson Vikings 203 233 14.5 16.6 2.1
Zac Stacy Rams 157 183 11.2 13 1.8
DeAngelo Williams Panthers 137 164 9.1 10.9 1.8
Donald Brown Colts 123 150 7.6 9.3 1.7
Ryan Mathews Chargers 184 210 11.5 13.1 1.6

Of course, as with anything, there are still specifics to note. Pierre Thomas, for example, could easily fly up draft boards with Darren Sproles no longer around to steal potential receptions. But Sproles will be learning a new system in Philadelphia that’s sure to feature a number of players, including a true workhorse back in front of him (no offense to Mark Ingram and his 12 yards per game).

Meanwhile, the Chargers added Donald Brown to an already loaded backfield, assuredly taking touches from Danny Woodhead. And if it’s an increased role you seek, at least Andre Ellington, Rashad Jennings and Maurice Jones-Drew have only heightened their opportunity. Unless, of course, you don’t want that and simply prefer sandwiches. Then here’s Knowshon Moreno. Take him. No, really.

Either way, with the same amount, if not more of homework needed to properly assert yourself into PPR leagues, there’s something here for everyone.

And let’s be honest. Jingle All the Way wasn’t that great, anyway.

Consensus Writer Rankings

Rank Consensus
1 Jamaal Charles
2 LeSean McCoy
3 Matt Forte
4 Adrian Peterson
5 Eddie Lacy
6 DeMarco Murray
7 Le'Veon Bell
8 Marshawn Lynch
9 Arian Foster
10 Montee Ball
11 Giovani Bernard
12 Doug Martin
13 Andre Ellington
14 Reggie Bush
15 Zac Stacy
16 C.J. Spiller
17 Alfred Morris
18 Ryan Mathews
19 Shane Vereen
20 Ben Tate
21 Pierre Thomas
22 Joique Bell
23 Toby Gerhart
24 Bishop Sankey
25 Chris Johnson
26 Ray Rice
27 Frank Gore
28 Rashad Jennings
29 Danny Woodhead
30 Trent Richardson
31 Darren Sproles
32 Steven Jackson
33 Knowshon Moreno
34 DeAngelo Williams
35 Fred Jackson
36 Stevan Ridley
37 Darren McFadden
38 Maurice Jones-Drew
39 Lamar Miller
40 Bernard Pierce
41 Chris Ivory
42 Terrance West
43 Jeremy Hill
44 Jonathan Stewart
45 Peyton Hillis
46 Donald Brown
47 Mark Ingram
48 Roy Helu
49 Andre Brown
50 Christine Michael

Individual Writer Rankings

Rank Daniel Kelley Dan Ciarrocchi Alex Welch John Daigle
1 Jamaal Charles LeSean McCoy Jamaal Charles Matt Forte
2 Adrian Peterson Jamaal Charles LeSean McCoy LeSean McCoy
3 LeSean McCoy Matt Forte Matt Forte Jamaal Charles
4 Matt Forte Adrian Peterson Adrian Peterson Adrian Peterson
5 Eddie Lacy Eddie Lacy DeMarco Murray DeMarco Murray
6 Marshawn Lynch Montee Ball Eddie Lacy Eddie Lacy
7 Le'Veon Bell Gio Bernard Montee Ball Andre Ellington
8 Montee Ball Le'Veon Bell Giovani Bernard Le'Veon Bell
9 Zac Stacy DeMarco Murray Le'Veon Bell Giovani Bernard
10 Arian Foster Arian Foster Arian Foster Doug Martin
11 Alfred Morris Marshawn Lynch Andre Ellington Montee Ball
12 Doug Martin Reggie Bush Marshawn Lynch Arian Foster
13 Andre Ellington Andre Ellington Shane Vereen Rashad Jennings
14 C.J. Spiller Zac Stacy CJ Spiller Joique Bell
15 Ben Tate Alfred Morris Doug Martin C.J. Spiller
16 Giovani Bernard Ryan Mathews Reggie Bush Reggie Bush
17 DeMarco Murray Doug Martin Zac Stacy Marshawn Lynch
18 Shane Vereen Ben Tate Bishop Sankey Toby Gerhart
19 Reggie Bush C.J. Spiller Joique Bell Alfred Morris
20 Joique Bell Pierre Thomas Toby Gerhart Trent Richardson
21 Ryan Mathews Toby Gerhart Ryan Mathews Pierre Thomas
22 Rashad Jennings Shane Vereen Alfred Morris Danny Woodhead
23 Chris Johnson Rashad Jennings Pierre Thomas Ray Rice
24 Pierre Thomas Bishop Sankey Ray Rice Zac Stacy
25 Frank Gore Frank Gore Ben Tate Ryan Mathews
26 Danny Woodhead Lamar Miller Rashad Jennings Shane Vereen
27 Steven Jackson Danny Woodhead Chris Johnson Chris Johnson
28 Knowshon Moreno Joique Bell Fred Jackson Darren Sproles
29 Bishop Sankey Trent Richardson Frank Gore Ben Tate
30 Darren Sproles DeAngelo Williams Trent Richardson Steven Jackson
31 Ray Rice Ray Rice Darren Sproles Bishop Sankey
32 DeAngelo Williams Stevan Ridley Stevan Ridley Stevan Ridley
33 Darren McFadden Steven Jackson Lamar Miller Frank Gore
34 Toby Gerhart Darren Sproles Danny Woodhead Knowshon Moreno
35 Fred Jackson Chris Johnson Steven Jackson Maurice Jones-Drew
36 Donald Brown Jonathan Stewart Knowshon Moreno DeAngelo Williams
37 Maurice Jones-Drew Maurice Jones-Drew Bernard Pierce Fred Jackson
38 Trent Richardson Chris Ivory DeAngelo Williams Tre Mason
39 Dri Archer
Bernard Pierce Darren McFadden Darren McFadden
40 Stevan Ridley Fred Jackson Maurice Jones-Drew Roy Helu
41 Lamar Miller Darren McFadden Jeremy Hill Devonta Freeman
42 Jordan Todman Christine Michael Terrance West Terrance West
43 Tre Mason Carlos Hyde Chris Ivory Bernard Pierce
44 Knile Davis Terrance West Shonn Greene Andre Williams
45 Jeremy Hill Jeremy Hill Mark Ingram Lamar Miller
46 James Starks Theo Riddick Carlos Hyde Jeremy Hill
47 LeGarrette Blount Knowshon Moreno Devonta Freeman Ronnie Hillman
48 Chris Ivory Devonta Freeman Charles Sims Carlos Hyde
49 C.J. Anderson Ahmad Bradshaw Andre Williams Khiry Robinson
50 Terrance West Khiry Robinson Roy Helu Dexter McCluster

Rank Kenneth Arthur Scott Kaliska Mike Gallagher
1 Jamaal Charles Jamaal Charles Jamaal Charles
2 LeSean McCoy LeSean McCoy Matt Forte
3 DeMarco Murray Matt Forte LeSean McCoy
4 Matt Forte Adrian Peterson Eddie Lacy
5 Adrian Peterson Eddie Lacy Adrian Peterson
6 Marshawn Lynch Montee Ball DeMarco Murray
7 Arian Foster DeMarco Murray Giovani Bernard
8 Doug Martin Marshawn Lynch Montee Ball
9 LeVeon Bell Arian Foster Doug Martin
10 Reggie Bush Giovani Bernard Zac Stacy
11 Eddie Lacy Le'Veon Bell C.J. Spiller
12 Alfred Morris Reggie Bush Marshawn Lynch
13 Ray Rice Doug Martin Andre Ellington
14 Ryan Mathews Andre Ellington Shane Vereen
15 Frank Gore Zac Stacy Arian Foster
16 Knowshon Moreno Shane Vereen LeVeon Bell
17 Ben Tate C.J. Spiller Ryan Mathews
18 Giovani Bernard Rashad Jennings Toby Gerhart
19 Chris Johnson Ryan Mathews Reggie Bush
20 Pierre Thomas Alfred Morris Bishop Sankey
21 Zac Stacy Chris Johnson Ben Tate
22 CJ Spiller Joique Bell Steven Jackson
23 Rashad Jennings Ben Tate Pierre Thomas
24 DeAngelo Williams Pierre Thomas Alfred Morris
25 Bishop Sankey Toby Gerhart Trent Richardson
26 Danny Woodhead Ray Rice Chris Johnson
27 Fred Jackson Frank Gore Joique Bell
28 Montee Ball Bishop Sankey Darren Sproles
29 Darren Sproles Trent Richardson Danny Woodhead
30 Darren McFadden Steven Jackson Ray Rice
31 Joique Bell Danny Woodhead Frank Gore
32 Andre Ellington Darren Sproles Darren McFadden
33 Trent Richardson Fred Jackson Knowshon Moreno
34 Maurice Jones-Drew Lamar Miller Rashad Jennings
35 Shane Vereen Maurice Jones-Drew Terrance West
36 Stevan Ridley Stevan Ridley Mark Ingram
37 Toby Gerhart Knowshon Moreno Jonathan Stewart
38 Donald Brown Darren McFadden Bernard Pierce
39 Joseph Randle DeAngelo Williams Stevan Ridley
40 Steven Jackson Bernard Pierce Chris Ivory
41 Lamar Miller Christopher Ivory Christine Michael
42 Jacquizz Rodgers Terrance West DeVanta Freeman
43 BenJarvus Green-Ellis Devonta Freeman Fred Jackson
44 Chris Ivory Mark Ingram DeAngelo Williams
45 Knile Davis Jeremy Hill Andre Brown
46 Roy Helu Shonn Greene Roy Helu
47 Bernard Pierce Jonathan Stewart Maurice Jones-Drew
48 Jonathan Stewart Andre Brown Jeremy Hill
49 Mark Ingram Khiry Robinson Tre Mason
50 Carlos Hyde Roy Helu Khiry Robinson