Here are two rookie running backs whom I believe will put up huge numbers next fall:
1. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
The Packers drafted Eddie Lacy late in the second round, which is much later than most experts had projected he would be selected. Nonetheless, this was an excellent pick by the Packers, who filled a serious need in the running back position by drafting Lacy. He is a downhill runner who can break tackles and punch the ball into the end zone at the goal line. At 5 feet 11 inches and 231 pounds, Lacy can still switch gears and pick up speed quickly in the open field, so he will be a load for even the best NFL defenders to take down. Lacy may not be a huge big-play threat in the NFL, but he is an every-down back that can carry the ball 20 times a game. The Packers will most likely use him as their red zone back as well, so he will surely have many opportunities to put up big fantasy numbers.
2. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Le'Veon Bell was a mid-second round selection for the Steelers, and just like the Packers selecting Lacy, this pick helped fill a serious need for the Pittsburgh team. Bell is a big back, listed at 6 feet 2 inches and around 240 pounds, and he fits the Steelers' running back brand perfectly. With the departure of Rashard Mendenhall, Bell should see immediate playing time, which means quality opportunities to shake the NFL learning curve early on and start producing. If Bell can learn to use his size and become more of a downhill runner, fantasy owners can expect him to rack up goal line and red zone touchdowns and put up monster fantasy numbers. If the Steelers use him the right way he will definitely produce some big stats for a rookie.
Both of these guys are big backs that may not produce a huge amount of rushing yards, but like I mentioned above, they will both get a number of opportunities to score touch downs at the goal line, which in the end accounts for the most fantasy points. In addition, I believe these two players have more fantasy potential than other running backs selected in the draft because they fell to the right teams — teams that are in desperate need of production in the running game.