With fantasy football drafts quickly approaching around the country, more and more people are doing their research for the season. While there are a number of proven, reliable running backs to choose from, a few rookies could emerge as solid players thanks in large part to the opportunities they will have. Here is a look at the three who are a cut above the rest:
Montee Ball, Broncos
Willis McGahee is out of Denver, and Knowshon Moreno is recovering from a tough knee injury. That means that the former Wisconsin standout will be given a lot of opportunities for the Broncos right away. A 1,000-yard season and a touchdown every other game sounds pretty reasonable, as Ball is a dependable back that can grind out yards.
Eddie Lacy, Packers
Lacy’s size will allow him to be an instant impact player at the NFL level, but before picking him for your fantasy football team, be aware that injury issues are still a legitimate problem. He will not be capable of breaking off huge plays, but for the Packers, he doesn’t have to. Aaron Rodgers passing threat will open up running lanes for Lacy all season long. If he does go down, try to target fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin as a pickup. Both will get their share of playing time this season.
Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
The Steelers were a terrible running team last season, so Bell has to be an upgrade if he can stay healthy. He is just under 250 pounds, so Bell is a durable, smash mouth running back who can grind out yards behind Ben Roethlisberger. He won’t catch a ton of passes, but he is good enough that he will demand respect as a receiver. If Pittsburgh is going anywhere in 2013, they will need the rookie to step up and be consistent from Week 1.