Sunday’s Hall of Fame game was significant…even though no big names played in it. The game wasn’t even the lead story on SportsCenter. However, it marked the beginning of a new year of where every Sunday until Super Bowl XLVIII will have at least one football to watch.
With that said, it’s time to start scouting talent for your fantasy football team. If you’re like me, you already have seasoned veterans who are must have picks. However, championship teams are built by having great reserves to step up if big name players get hurt. With that, here are some rookies and second year running backs to watch.
Lamar Miller – Miami Dolphins – His fumble on the Dolphins’ first offensive snap was a classic “what were you thinking” moment, but he’s poised to be their starting running back. He showed nice movement and had good gains in limited action against the Cowboys.
Montee Ball – Denver Broncos – Most analysts (including me) thought he was improperly advised for not entering the 2012 NFL draft. But Montee Ball is here now, and he’s likely to be a fantasy standout in the same mold of Joseph Addai, Donald Brown, and Knowshon Moreno. If you think there’s a pattern here, there is. They all had great seasons running the ball for (and catching passes from) Peyton Manning.
Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers – The image of Lacy running through the Notre Dame secondary should stay with you. The Packers know they must have a legitimate running game to protect Aaron Rodgers, so look to Lacy to get plenty of carries. Indeed, he does not have blazing speed, but he’s the perfect back to keep defenders honest and make their play action scheme work.
David Wilson – New York Giants – With no Ahmad Bradshaw around, David Wilson is the presumed starter for the Giants. 358 yards and four touchdowns in 2012 may seem pedestrian, but he showed flashes of greatness. With more time on the field, look for him to produce numbers associated with top flight backs.
Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Doug Martin arrived last year, so he should be a household name by now. For those who don’t know him, the second year back from Boise State is ready to build upon his impressive rookie year.
Look for our next round of rookies and sophomores in our next post.