Fantasy Focus: RBs
While it's easy to look away from the players who burned you last year, it could also be a wise move to look deeper into them. While other owners in your league are scarred away by a bad campaign in 2014, make sure to capitalize on low values and high upside. These running backs are primed for bounce back years in the upcoming season and should be followed in our fantasy updates.
Jonathan Stewart – Panthers: From most standpoints, Stewart put up a solid campaign last year, but in fantasy owners’ minds, he wasn’t worth much. With only 803 yards rushing and three scores, Stewart wasn’t a reliable option because of the “share the wealth” mentality that the Carolina backfield featured in 2014. This year, however, DeAngelo Williams has taken his talents to Pittsburg, and will no longer threaten the playing time of the long time Panther, J-Stew. Stewart won’t dazzle any one, but he’s easily in line to be featured in the running game to start the season. With a locked-up role in the offense, Stewart should see production boosted from last year.
Frank Gore – Colts: Though the veteran work horse still managed to rack up over 1,000 yards rushing last season, Gore was unable to find the end zone much, scoring only four touchdowns all year. In a move that should revitalize both his NFL and fantasy career, Gore moved to Indianapolis this offseason in one of the bigger offseason sporting news tidbits and will immediately assume the starting role. Though his age may catch up to him sooner or later, Gore is a prime candidate for a bounce back year on a high powered offense that features the young Andrew Luck at QB.
Bishop Sankey – Titans: Granted, there isn’t much to bounce back to in Sankey’s case. After a disappointing rookie season, the former Huskie will look to lead the Titans ground game in 2015. With a fresh supporting cast, headed by the second overall pick, Marcus Mariota, Sankey will have many more quality opportunities to show what he’s made of. Don’t be surprised if nothing too exciting happens, but there’s a decent chance that Sankey turns into a solid flex, if he can put away the backfield battle with David Cobb.
Rashad Jennings – Giants: There isn’t much that says, “sure thing” about Jennings, but that doesn’t mean he should be avoided in fantasy leagues. Injuries forced the versatile back to struggle in 2014, but he made the most of what playing time he had. With undoubted skills as a dynamic runner and pass-catcher, Jennings still may once again face health issues this year and has increased competition for touches against Shane Vereen and Andre Williams. The floor is low for Jennings, but the potential to put up RB2 numbers makes him a solid first bench pick.
Doug Martin – Buccaneers: As another boom or bust potential comeback kid, Martin offers a fantastic value in the later rounds of drafts. After looking explosive in the first half of the preseason, he seems to have what it takes to solidify the starting job. While there’s little chance for him to repeat the magic he did in his first year in the NFL where he took fantasy news by storm, Martin could put up solid flex numbers down the road if he can carve out a role for himself in Tampa. The talent and opportunity are there, he just needs to execute.