Ranking Redskins' 2016 Opponents: Running Backs
13. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland
In his first two seasons Crowell averaged a very pedestrian 3.9 yards per carry. With the Browns in rebuilding mode it's hard to see that improving much in 2016.
12. Justin Forsett, Baltimore
How much could they really value this guy if they cut him a few days ago? It's hard to look at his 1266-yard, 5.4 yards per carry performance in 2014 as anything but a fluke. Yes, he missed six games injured last year but that doesn't account for his yards per carry dropping to 4.2.
11. Ryan Matthews, Philadelphia
The first Redskins-Eagles matchup doesn't come until Week 6 so who knows how healthy Matthews will be. He's been in the league since 2010 and we have to conclude that he is what he is – a back who is capable of having a good game at times but not one who is consistently productive.
10. Ameer Abdullah, Detroit
He was the Lions' leading rusher as a rookie last year, albiet with only 597 yards. Joique Bell is gone but they still might use a by committee with Theo Riddick getting a few carries.
9. Jeremy Langford, Chicago
The Bears let Ike Forte walk as a free agent in part because they were happy to go with Langford, who played well in a part-time role as a rookie last year.
8. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati
It's hard to figure out where Hill's career is headed. In his second season in the NFL he dropped about 350 rushing yards and his average per carry fell a yard and a half. If Hill ends up somwhere between his 2014 and 2015 seasons he'll be a reasonably productive back. Gio Bernard is the other part of the Bengals' running back committee.
7. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants
If Elliott has some rookie struggles Jennings could be the best running back in the division. Eli and OBJ get all of the hype but Hill is a solid option with a 4.4-yard average. Perhaps if they use him for more than a dozen carries per game he will crack the 1000-yard mark for the first time in his career.
6. DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh
Le'Veon Bell would be the Steelers' starter but he is suspended for the first three games. Williams played pretty well filling in when Bell was out injured last year but at age 33 you have to wonder if he can do it again.
5. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas
Unlike rookie quarterbacks, rookie running backs can catch on fairly quickly. Although I'm skeptical that Elliott will justify his selection with the fourth overall pick, he'll be a pretty good back.
4. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina
He hasn't had a 1000-yard season since 2009 but he has been a steady contributor for the Panthers when healthy. It should be noted that Cam Newton steals a lot of rushing yards from the Carolina running backs.
3. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay
Yeah, he put on some weight last year and had an "off" year. But he still ran for more yardage than any back on the Redskins last year, following up back-to-back 1000-yard seasons to start his career.
2. David Johnson, Arizona
He had an impressive rookie season, especially considering he was drafted in the third round. Johnson is good taking a handoff (4.6 yards/carry) and catching a pass out of the backfield (36 receptions, 12.7 yards per).
1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
I have to admit that I was skeptical of his ability to come back strong at age 30 after having missed nearly all of 2014. Well, 1485 yards later he is in pretty good shape. I won't doubt him until he's done.