Fantasy Football Rankings 2015: Top 10 PPR Running Backs

Bears running back Matt Forte caught 102 passes in 2014. (Getty)

Bears running back Matt Forte caught 102 passes in 2014. (Getty)

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Point Per Reception leagues are quite popular among season-long fantasy football players.

The PPR leagues do what exactly what they say: award points per receptions, in addition to the usual scoring format of standard leagues. So obviously wide receivers and tight ends are very important pieces in these.

But if you can find a 1,000-yard running back who also racks up the catches? Forget it. That’s a scoring machine.

So who are the best PPR running backs for 2015? Keep reading to find out.

Bookmark our fantasy football rankings 2015 page to keep up-to-date on the latest projections and rankings heading into the season.

1. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

2014 Rushing: 246 carries, 1,139 yards, 9 touchdowns
2014 Receiving: 42 receptions (55 targets), 427 yards, 4 touchdowns

With stud receiver Jordy Nelson out for the season, the Packers are going to need someone to step up in the passing game. But I also think the Packers plan on running Lacy into the ground. And those 55 targets could easily become 75-80, which would make a PPR star. Though, he kind of already is one.

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2. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

2014 Rushing: 290 carries, 1,361 yards, 6 touchdowns
2014 Receiving: 83 receptions (105 targets), 854 yards, 3 touchdowns

Bell would be No. 1 on list if he didn’t have a 2-game suspension to start the season (substance abuse violation). But when he does return and gets the volume of touches per game he did in 2014, Bell could end up ranking No. 1. Bell had 373 touches in 2014 and didn’t fumble a single time. That’s not a fluke — he’s put the ball on the ground only once in 662 career touches. That’s amazing. I mean, I dropped my car keys twice in a 3-hour span yesterday. And nobody was trying to rip them out of my hands.

3. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

2014 Rushing: 266 carries, 1,038 yards, 6 touchdowns
2014 Receiving: 102 receptions (130 targets), 808 yards, 4 touchdowns

Forte caught an eye-popping 102 balls a season ago. The knock on Forte, though, is that he is allergic to the end zone. He averages 8 TDs a season, though he has hit the double-digit mark in each of the past 2. With Brandon Marshall out of town and nobody of his caliber ready to step into the passing game, expect Forte to see a ton targets once again. If he just go ahead and punch another 2 or 3 scores in, that would be great.

4. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

2014 Rushing: 206 carries, 1,033 yards, 9 touchdowns
2014 Receiving: 40 receptions (59 targets), 427 yards, 5 touchdowns

Less is more with Charles. Carries, that is. The Chiefs want to work Knile Davis into the mix a bit more and that should help Charles stay fresh. And a fresh Charles is an extremely dangerous Charles. As for his receptions, I see somewhere in the 55-60 range. That receiving corp is not pretty, and Charles is KC’s best weapon. They’ll get him the ball even if he won’t get 20 carries per game.

5. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

2013 Rushing: 279 carries, 1,266 yards, 10 touchdowns
2013 Receiving: 29 receptions (39 targets), 171 yards, 1 touchdown

Peterson played in just 1 game last season after being suspended, so he’s probably fired up with fresh legs for 2015. Hmm, a fired up and fresh-legged Adrian Peterson? Maybe I should have ranked him a bit higher? Anyway, here we are at No. 5. All Day isn’t much of a receiver, but there’s a chance that changes in 2015 as new offensive coordinator like to incorporate his backs in the passing game.

6. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

2014 Rushing: 280 carries, 1,306 yards, 13 touchdowns
2014 Receiving: 37 receptions (48 targets), 367 yards, 4 touchdowns

Lynch does enough in the passing game to warrant a high ranking, but it’s his TD-scoring ability which is his No. 1 asset. This is Beast Mode’s final season in his 20s and he’s got some wear on those tires, but I fully expect another 325 total touch, double-digit TD season from him. Besides there is no other back in Seattle who Pete Carroll seems to trust.

7. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos

2014 Rushing: 179 carries, 849 yards, 8 touchdowns
2014 Receiving: 34 receptions (44 targets), 324 yards, 2 touchdowns

From November on, Anderson ruled the fantasy world. Think about the running backs Peyton Manning made fantasy-relevant — Edgerrin James, Joseph Addai, Knowshon Moreno. Yes it’s true, Addai and Moreno were very useful when playing with Peyton. Anderson is next. If he goes the full season averaging the 28.5 touches per game (about 3 receptions per) he did during the late November to late December stretch in 2014, look out. Anderson could put up top 3 numbers.

8. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

2014 Rushing: 312 carries, 1,319 yards, 5 touchdowns
2014 Receiving: 28 receptions (37 targets), 155 yards, 0 touchdowns

McCoy averaged 54 receptions over his first 5 seasons, but that dropped to 28 in 2014, his last year in Philadelphia. Now Shady’s in Buffalo with Rex Ryan and you know what he likes do: run and run some more. So with a 300-carry season likely on the horizon, very good numbers likely await McCoy. I also expect McCoy’s reception total to get back into the 45 range.

9. Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins

2014 Rushing: 216 carries, 1,099 yards, 8 touchdowns
2014 Receiving: 38 receptions (52 targets), 275 yards, 1 touchdown

Miller didn’t log a single 20-carry game in 2014, but I expect that to change in ’15. In fact, I think Miami is going to turn its 4th-year back loose. He saw a healthy 52 targets in the passing last season and it should be roughly the same or a bit more this year. But look for Miller to push for 1,200 yards and double-digit TDs on the ground.

10. DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles

2014 Rushing: 392 carries, 1,845 yards, 13 touchdowns
2014 Receiving: 57 receptions (64 targets), 416 yards, 0 touchdowns

Last year with the Cowboys, Murray carried the ball an outrageous 392 times and added 57 more touches through the passing game. It’s safe to say he won’t be getting 449 touches in 2015 with his new team Philadelphia. But I can see 330, with most coming on carries. Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews are also in the picture, which will take away from his receiving totals. And Murray doesn’t have the awesome offensive line he had in Dallas, so he won’t be eclipsing the 2,000 total yard mark, either. But he’ll undoubtedly give you a solid season.

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