Fantasy Running Backs - Circle of Talent

By JJ Buck
JJ Buck As fantasy players we love talent; 40-yard dash times, strength and game breaking ability. However, coaches are about trust. That can be frustrating when it comes to the running back position. We'll start off by looking at a few squads in which new opportunities are arising; will the young talent grab hold above a trusted veteran?

New York Giants

Talent - Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen
Perkins enters his second season and will have the chance to be the Giants #1 RB. Over the final four games of last season he averaged 15 carries which included a hundred yard outing in the finale against Washington. He has yet to find the end zone, but Perkins brings good value as a mid-round selection in season long leagues with a high upside as an RB2.

Vereen is a PPR flex play with RB2 potential and intrigues me in standard leagues. Before a triceps injury derailed his season after three games, Vereen received double-digit carries in two of the Giants first three games and caught eight passes. He's a trusted option for the Giants and could see an uptick in usage if Perkins gets off to a slow start.

Minnesota Vikings

Talent - Dalvin Cook
The rookie second round pick from Florida State won't have a lot of competition to earn the starting job on the league’s worst rushing team. Some have even speculated Cook could see upwards of 300 touches. Matt Vensel also writes, "And they hope that with coaching Cook can be trusted in pass protection, enabling him to become a true every-down back." Cook could be running into a brick wall at times, but the amount of chances combined with the talent means he's someone you want on your roster.

The Vikings do have a trusted player in Jerick McKinnon and added veteran Latavius Murray. Both are watch list-handcuff options in the case that Cook falls out of Mike Zimmer's circle of trust.

Seattle Seahawks

Talent - Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise
I don't trust or believe Eddy Lacy is the most talent RB on the Seahawks roster. Lacy's ankle injury could linger into the start of training camp. Rawls and Prosise had their injury issues last year, but both have shown the ability to lead the backfield. Rawls checks in as an RB2 and leader on 1st and 2nd down. Prosise has a 7-87 receiving game under his belt against New England last year. He also racked up 17 carries as the lead RB in that game. When Lacy gets on the field it'll be a fantasy mess. I believe that Rawls and Prosise will assert themselves as the players to own.