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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

College Fantasy Football: A Look at the Top ACC Running Backs

The Confidential previously announced that it will be sponsoring free fantasy football leagues.  As we begin to head towards the season opener, we will take a look at the ACC’s top playmakers–ergo, the top fantasy football studs–for 2013.  The first analysis was quarterbacks.  Today, we will look at the running backs.

And, remember, we are including all of the ACC-affiliated teams, so this means Notre Dame, Maryland, and Louisville are part of the analysis.  Without further adieu, here are the top 10 ACC RB’s for fantasy football for 2013:

  1. Duke Johnson, Miami.  Johnson rushed for 947 yards last year, which is not the most for returning RBs in the ACC.  But Miami may be ready to take the next step as an offensive, giving him the best combination of experience, ability, and team performance.
  2. Rod McDowell, Clemson.  Clemson will be an offensive juggernaut in 2013 and McDowell hopes to pick up where Andre Ellington left off last year.   If so, McDowell could end up topping this list.
  3. Jerome Smith, Syracuse.  Smith flies under the radar, but he had 1,171 yards rushing last year in an offense that placed QB Ryan Nassib in the NFL.  Plus, two other returning rushers added another 1,000 yards for the ‘Cuse.  While a new QB may mean more emphasis on the running game, it will also mean more attention to the running game by defenses.
  4. Andre Williams, Boston College.  Did you know?  Williams had a 99-yard touchdown run last year?  Overall, he rushed for 584 yards on 130 carries to lead the Eagles.  The issue is whether the Eagles can perform better as a team, stay  closer in games, and not have to abandon the run to play “catch-up.”
  5. David Sims, Georgia Tech.  The Georgia Tech running game is always quite balanced.  So this tempers Sims’ upside a bit.  The talent is certainly there.
  6. A.J. Blue, North Carolina.  With Giovani Bernard gone, AJ Blue will get a chance to carry the load as the Tar Heels feature back.  The early opener against South Carolina will be a bit of a challenge for Week 1.  There will likely be better options.
  7. Kevin Parks, Virginia.  After rushing for 750+ yards last year, Parks may be in the position to be put up even bigger numbers this year.  Virginia needs a bounce-back season for its coaching staff.
  8. Dominique Brown/Senorise Parker, Louisville.  Louisville’s offense promises to put up fireworks this year.  Brown and Parker will compete for the top running back slot, but also take carries away from each other.  If one starts getting the majority of carries significantly, he will move up this list.
  9. Devonta Freeman/James Wilder, Jr., Florida State.  This duo combined for 1,300+ yards last year.  The only thing that keeps each from moving higher on this list is the other.  If there is an injury, look for one of these guys to climb the list in Florida State’s dynamic offense.
  10. George Atkinson III, Notre Dame.  Notre Dame has the proverbial “stable” of running backs looking to be the featured back in Notre Dame’s offense.  Atkinson will probably get the nod, but keep an eye on the depth chart.

What do you think?  Did we (gasp) miss anyone?  Would your rankings differ?  Let us know.

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2 thoughts on “College Fantasy Football: A Look at the Top ACC Running Backs

  1. M. Caffrey on said:

    Jerome Smith could easily be one of the top backs in the ACC, but I’m really concerned about our OL without Justin Pugh. There was a marked difference in the offense before-and-after Pugh’s return; I’m not sure if that’s because Nassib had better protection so the passing game developed better, or if its because the running game started to get better holes, or some combination of both.

    But assuming they can get the running game going again, I think the biggest challenge will be Smith getting as many carries.

    Prince Tyson Gulley is a speedster, although not as durable – has he made it through an entire season without injury yet? Adonis Ameen Moore has been switched to fullback, so he probably won’t get as many touches as he did last year.

    The most intriguing RB is George Morris II who the coaches have been gushing over. He’s built like Jerome Smith so I could easily see him getting a number of carries as well.

  2. Pingback: College Fantasy Football: A Look at the Top ACC Wide Receivers | ATLANTIC COAST CONFIDENTIAL

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