Fantasy Focus: Sophomore RBs
Some 2014 rookie running backs did not live up to their expectations. Others zoomed past them. Here are the top five sophomore running backs that could make the fantasy updates by carrying the workload on the field and for your fantasy team.
- Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals
The clear choice here. Hill was all over the fantasy news last season and stole Giovanni Bernard's starting spot. Not just steal, but run away with it towards the end of the season. Hill finished with 1,124 rushing yards and nine touchdowns without a full season workload. With upside potential in all aspects including catching out of the backfield, Hill can be a borderline RB1 in you fantasy lineup even though Bernard should receive work as well.
- Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans
He was expected to carry the load last season, but this is Sankey's year to breakout. He added weight to be stronger, and more goal line carries to go along with his big-play and pass-catching ability . With Shonne Greene gone, that should give Sankey more opportunities, but rookie David Cobb seems like a promising young back and could steal some reps from Sankey throughout the season.
- Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
Seen as the running back of the franchise, Hyde has the green light to take the 49ers starting role for his own. San Francisco signed Reggie Bush this offseason, and while he's a talented back, the former Detroit Lion has problems staying healthy. Bush is the better receiving back and arguably is the better three-down back, however, it's still expected that Hyde will get the starting spot in could be in for a huge role for 2015.
- Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams
Even though the Rams drafted Todd Gurley with the tenth pick in this years draft, Mason is still a big factor in St Louis' running game. Gurley has troubles staying healthy, and he may not be available for the first game of the season. So especially with Zac Stacy gone, Mason is the clear-cut number one option and may even keep the starting job even when Gurley stays healthy.
- Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
While he had an underwhelming performance last season, Freeman could be in for a big season with Steven Jackson gone. He's in a battle with rookie Tevin Coleman for the starting running back position, and even though it seems Coleman has the upper hand, Freeman is the better short-yardage back and should get much more goal line carries than Coleman, even if he loses the starting competition.
- Terrence West/Isiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns
They were both small school prospects who exceed many people's expectations and ran former starting running back Ben Tate out of town. With both backs racked up over 600 rushing yards, these pair of sleepers both have chances to breakout next year, even with rookie Duke Johnson added to the backfield. It's tricky to find which back will have the hot hand as the weeks go by, but if you can figure out which back does, they can be a huge contributor for your fantasy team.
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