Description: Coach Lovie Smith called running back Doug Martin his "bell cow".
Insight: It is a little curious why Martin's ADP has slipped to the early third round as Martin is going to be the focal point of a run heavy offense. There are still questions about the Buccaneers offensive line but Martin provides tremendous value at where his ADP is right now.
Description: Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell played into the fourth quarter, gaining 23 yards on nine carries.
Insight: Bell, along with the entire Pittsburgh offense, laid a stinker in Philadelphia. Playing into the fourth quarter appeared to be Bell's punishment for his DUI and marijuana arrest. He will more than likely not miss a game this season due to a suspension, and is thus still the clear No. 1 guy in the Pittsburgh backfield and a quality second or third round pick on draft day.
Description: Eagles fans and a lot of fantasy owners were sweating when running back LeSean McCoy left Thursday's game with a thumb injury, but X-rays were negative.
Insight: Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane says there are no fractures or torn ligaments. This an example of why its best to draft just before the season begins. Now that he appears fine and has two weeks to heal, he should still be a high first-round selection.
Description: Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) is expected to suit up for Saturday's preseason game against Dallas according to the Miami Herald.
Insight: It will be Moreno's debut with the Dolphins and last chance to earn the No. 1 RB spot before Week 1. More than likely, he will be a change-of-pace back and pass protector while Lamar Miller gets most of the first and second down carries.
Description: Newly-acquired running back Kenjon Barner could mean trouble for Eagles backup Chris Polk.
Insight: Polk has been sidelined by a torn hamstring. He ran well when given a chance last year (11 carries for 98 yards and 3 TDs), but his roster spot could be up for grabs with Chip Kelly having brought in Barner, who played for Kelly at Oregon.
Description: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount "probably face no more than a one-game suspension and that won't come anytime soon." Ross Township Police in Pittsburgh arrested Bell and Blount for marijuana possession on Wednesday.
Insight: Police also charged Bell with DUI, according to Colin Dunlap of CBS Sports. The NFL, however, typically waits for the legal process to play out until handing out their own suspensions. For instance, Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe had marijuana in his car last Novemeber and is not serving his one game suspension until Week 1 this year. The only question remains is whether the Steelers suspend Bell one game like they did to Santonio Holmes back in 2008 for the same offense. Since Bell's crime happened during preseason, he may only sit out the third preseason game rather than a regular season game.
Description: Saints running back Pierre Thomas will have a different role this season according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson are both ahead of Thomas on the depth chart, but Thomas expects to be more involved in the passing game.
Insight: Darren Sproles and Lance Moore are both gone, so hypothetically, Thomas could see more passes come his way along with possibly being the third down back. But the soon to be 30-year-old already caught 77 passes and carried the ball 147 times in 2013. Will his touches really go up when he averaged a career-low 6.7 yards per catch and 3.7 yards per carry last year? Doubt it.
Description: Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) says he's ready for game action and hopes to play in Saturday's preseason game against Dallas, according to the Miami Herald.
Insight: Moreno underwent a left knee scope in June and returned to practice a couple weeks ago. On Wednesday, he had his most impressive day of practice since returning. Moreno is likely going to end up in a timeshare with Lamar Miller.
Description: Atlanta coach Mike Smith fully expects running back Steven Jackson (left hamstring) to be ready for Week 1, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter.
Insight: Even if that's true, the injury is a reminder that Jackson isn't getting any younger. The 31-year-old missed four games with a strained right hamstring last year and rushed for just 3.5 ypc. Rookie Devonta Freeman has a good chance to start at some point this season.
Description: Steelers running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were arrested for marijuana possession on Wednesday and Bell was also charged with DUI, according to Colin Dunlap of CBS.
Insight: Bell and Blount may face suspensions once the case is resolved, which won't be for a while. Bell will be Pittsburgh's workhorse this season, but he said over the weekend that Blount will probably get the goal-line carries.
Description: Bengals rookie running back Jeremy Hill (shoulder) returned to practice Tuesday.
Insight: He left Saturday's preseason game with a shoulder injury. Hill is expected to fill the BenJarvus Green-Ellis role this season, but Giovani Bernard is going to see a bump in touches and could also get goal-line carries so Hill's value will be limited to the flex spot.
Description: Saints running back Mark Ingram is hoping to be more involved in the passing game this season, according to ESPN.com. "I hope so. I want to do everything. I want to be involved in the pass game, run game, picking up pass (protection). I want to be the most versatile player I can be," Ingram said. "The majority of the time, if you just watch the film, most of the teams think when I'm in the game it's either gonna be a run or play-action or something like that. ... I know I'm an all-purpose back, a complete back. I can do everything."
Insight: Darren Sproles, who caught 71 passes on 89 targets last season, was traded to the Eagles this offseason. Ingram has caught 24 passes in 37 career NFL games, but he had a receiving touchdown in Friday's preseason game and caught two passes during a two-minute drill simulation Monday. The Saints are expected to mix Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson this season, so all three will have limited fantasy value.
Description: Broncos running back Montee Ball (appendectomy) returned to practice Tuesday.
Insight: The Broncos had a non-contact practice on Tuesday, so it was just individual drills. It is still a step in the right direction for Ball. The running back should still be ready for Week 1, but don't plan on seeomg how he looks in the third preseason game.
Description: Titans running back Shonn Greene (knee) practiced Monday, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. He hyperextended his right knee, which he had arthroscopic surgery on twice in the last 12 months, in Friday's preseason game.
Insight: Greene is currently atop Tennessee's depth chart, but with Dexter McCluster playing on third downs and rookie Bishop Sankey in the fold, this could be a committee early in the season.
Description: Eagles running back LeSean McCoy missed practice Sunday with what he called "a small version of turf toe," but he practiced Monday, according to csnphilly.com
Insight: McCoy said he hurt the big toe on his left foot during a joint practice against the Patriots last week. He said he had an MRI and X-rays and is "fine." It shouldn't be a problem for McCoy, last year's leader in yards from scrimmage with 2,146, come Week 1.
Description: Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is dealing with a bruised foot, according to ESPN.com. He suffered the injury while moving out of the players' dorm at Missouri Western State University.
Insight: "He came down a grassy slope there and just kind of rolled his foot over on the curb," coach Andy Reid said. "We're optimistic about it. Initially there was some concern. He had all the stuff done on it, the X-rays, the MRIs and all that done on it. Everything is clear." Charles sat out the second preseason game and he may miss the third as well, but he should be fine for Week 1.
Description: Ravens running back Ray Rice (shoulder) was back at practice Monday.
Insight: Rice's X-rays came back negative and he had told Brent Harris of Comcast Sportsnet that he's "fine." This is confirmation. Rice is suspended the first two games of the year, so even if he was injured, he would have plenty of time to recover.
Description: Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles didn't play Sunday night and may not play next week either.
Insight: It's just the Chiefs being very protective of their best (read only) offensive weapon. Charles rushed for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns on 259 carries and added 70 receptions for 693 yards and seven scores in 15 games last season. He is the total package for fantasy owners and is a option for the No. 1 overall pick.
Description: Broncos running back Montee Ball (appendectomy) is hoping the doctors will give his clearance to return to practice Monday, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
Insight: He's still expected to be ready for Week 1 and it's obviously not a long-term injury concern. Much is expected of Ball, who will take over for Knowshon Moreno in the Peyton Manning-led Denver offense. Manning's backs have always had a good production history due to defenses fearing the quarterback's passing ability.
Description: Titans rookie running back Bishop Sankey did some good things and some bad things this week ... as rookies are prone to do.
Insight: Sankey rushed six times for 31 yards (5.1 ypc), but also fumbled on his final carry while driving for extra yards. With Shonn Greene struggling to to knee issues, Sankey could be in line for big playing time, if he can straighten out the issues - primarily blocking for his QB and fumbling.
Description: Running back Jonathan Stewart only carried the ball four times in Carolina's second preseason game against Kansas City, but rushed for 26 yards and scored two goal line touchdowns.
Insight: Stewart's value has diminished significantly with injuries the past two seasons. The 27-year-old has rushed for one touchdown in 15 games the last two seasons, but when healthy, he can still be productive splitting carries with DeAngelo Williams. It is also a good sign Stewart is getting involved in goal line packages.
Description: Jets running back Chris Johnson looked healthy and ran well in the second preseason game.
Insight: Chris Johnson will probably lead the backfield in touches, but Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell will remain involved. We're still waiting to see CJ2K get involved in the passing game (four receptions in two games) because we know he has the ability to take screen passes a long way.
Description: Colts running back Trent Richardson rushed for 21 yards on nine carries in the Colts second preseason game.
Insight: Tell me if you have heard that before. Through the first two preseason games he's carried the ball 14 times for 34 yards. That's a 2.43 ypc average. Remind me why you would want him on your fantasy roster.
Description: Buffalo running back Fred Jackson had another busy game, rushing six times for 27 yards and catching seven balls for 28 yards.
Insight: C.J. Spiller had six touches. The 33-year-old Jackson is a solid all-around runner and pass receiver and he gets the goal-line opportunites which limits Spillers' fantasy value and keeps Jackson as a viable fantasy option.
Description: Houston running back Jonathan Grimes put forth a solid argument for his being the No. 2 back with 42 yards rushing on nine carries, three catches for 25 yards and a special teams touchdown.
Insight: The winner of the battle for a backup spot to Arian Foster is a "must-handcuff" as Foster, who is already dealing with a hamstring injury, has missed 11 games over the past three years.
Description: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has indicated that LeGarrette Blount is thought of as a red zone and goal-line back.
Insight: After Saturday night's preseason game Le'Veon Bell said Blount would get the goal line work. It seems pretty obvious that everyone is in agreement on this fact. Reduce Bell's fantasy value accordingly and raise Blount a bit.
Description: Bengals rookie running back Jeremy Hill left Saturday's preseason game with a right shoulder injury, but tweeted "I'm fine" late Saturday night.
Insight: Hill is expected to fill the BenJarvus Green-Ellis role this season, but Giovani Bernard is going to see a bump in touches and could also get goal-line carries so Hill's value will be limited to the flex spot.
Description: Bengals rookie running back Jeremy Hill left Saturday's preseason game with a right shoulder injury, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com.
Insight: BenJarvus Green-Ellis saw 220 carries and rushed for seven touchdowns as the Bengals' power back last year, but he gained just 3.4 ypc. Hill is expected to fill that role this season, but Giovani Bernard is going to see a bump in touches and could also get goal-line carries so Hill's value will be limited to the flex spot.
Description: Ravens running back Ray Rice went to the locker room to get his shoulder looked at during Saturday's preseason game.
Insight: Rice's X-rays came back negative and he told Brent Harris of Comcast Sportsnet that he's "fine." Rice is suspended the first two games of the year, which will give Bernard Pierce a chance to prove he deserves a larger role when Rice returns.
Description: The Rams believe Isaiah Pead tore his ACL during Saturday's preseason game, coach Jeff Fisher said. SOURCE: Mike Garafolo, FOX Sports
Insight: Pead, the 50th overall pick in the 2012 draft, has rushed for 75 yards on 17 carries in 25 NFL games. He would have been behind Zac Stacy, Benny Cunningham and Tre Mason on the depth chart if healthy.
Description: Patriots running back Stevan Ridley fumbled during Friday's preseason game and didn't play another snap, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com.
Insight: Uh oh. Ridley lost four fumbles last season and was on the bench frequently down the stretch. It's unclear if Ridley not playing after the fumble was planned or because Bill Belichick put him in the doghouse again. It's a shame because he rushed for 45 yards on nine carries (5.0 ypc) in the game. Rookie James White has a good shot to cut into Ridley's carries this season.
Description: Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart ran six times for 19 yards and caught one ball for eight yards in his first preseason work.
Insight: Gerhart is guaranteed to get roughly 300 touches if he stays healthy and his 231-pound frame gives him a good chance to hold up to the pounding. He'll be fine between the tackles, but we are concerned about trying him on the outside. That could be where he losses carries to Jordan Todman or Storm Johnson.
Description: Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said running back Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount will "both get their share."
Insight: Concerning words for fantasy owners who want to select Bell early in the draft. Bell had excellent numbers after missing the first three games in 2013 (1,259 yards from scrimmage, 8 TDs) and fantasy owners want big production from him this season, but Blount could thwart the strategy.
Description: Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson won't play in Saturday's game against the Cardinals.
Insight: We told you he might not play at all this preseason, but don't worry he still knows how to run the football. Peterson followed up his MVP 2012 campaign with a still respectable though not up to expectation 1,266 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013.
Description: Patriots rookie running back James White got some first-team reps along with Shane Vereen during Wednesday's joint practice with the Eagles. SOURCE: csnne.com
Insight: Stevan Ridley got most of his reps with the second-team offense. White has reportedly had an impressive camp and could cut into Ridley's usage, especially if Ridley's fumbling issues resurface.
Description: The Arizona Republic says the the Cardinals "would like to get the ball to (Andre Ellington) 20 or so times a game, but want to limit his carries inside the tackles."
Insight: Ellington is 5-foot-9 and roughly 200 pounds, but Jamaal Charles isn't much bigger and he has held up to the pounding over the past two seasons. Ellington is ticketed for 4-6 catches and 13-15 rushes per game and he also has been getting first-team reps in the red zone. He could easily outperform his third-round ADP.
Description: According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bengals running back Giovani Bernard could get a "good share" of the goal-line carries as well as 300 total touches.
Insight: Even if he doesn't get all of the goal-line carries, Bernard still has RB1 upside this season due to his expected workload spike and explosiveness in the receiving game. The team drafted bruising back Jeremy Hill to replace ineffective BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but it sounds like Bernard could get a crack at some short TDs too.
Description: According to Dave Zangaro of csnhouston.com, Texans running back Arian Foster (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday.
Insight: Foster didn't participate in the entire session, as the team is likely trying to manage his reps to make sure he gets to the regular season 100 percent healthy. The running back will likely finish in the top three in the NFL in touches if he stays on the field.
Description: According to Jason La Canfora of cbssports.com, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said that he sees DeMarco Murray as "the leader of a committee" at running back, but he added that Murray has "bell-cow traits."
Insight: Murray is going to see plenty of touches, but the Cowboys will mix in Lance Dunbar to make sure Murray stays healthy. He's never played 16 games in a season and has dealt with injuries going back to college, so he's extremely risky at his current 12.6 ADP.
Description: Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart returned to practice Tuesday, according to Mark Long of the Associated Press.
Insight: Gerhart is guaranteed to get roughly 300 touches if he stays healthy and his 231-pound frame gives him a good chance to hold up to the pounding. He missed the first preseason game but is hoping to play in the second.
Description: Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno (knee) finally participated in contract drills Monday.
Insight: Moreno underwent a left knee scope in June. He has a lot of ground to make up because Lamar Miller has been impressive in camp. Moreno's pass protection skills could prove useful for a team that has offensive line issues, so this could turn into a timeshare. Fantasy owners shouldn't draft either player as more than a flex option.
Description: According to the Seattle Times, police officers are investigating Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch after receiving an "allegation of an assault and personal property damage" from a female victim at an apartment in Bellevue, Washington.
Insight: Police said the alleged incident was reported to have occurred Sunday morning, but "no domestic violence or sexual assault was involved in the allegation." Lynch has had several run-ins with the law since he came into the NFL in 2007 -- his driver's license was revoked in 2008 for a hit-and-run incident, he was arrested during a traffic stop for having a gun in his trunk in 2009 and he was arrested again in 2012 for suspicion of DUI. He was suspended the first three games of 2009 by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the second incident.
Description: The Houston Chronicle reported Monday afternoon that Jonathan Grimes was now the frontrunner for the Texans' backup running back job and just a few hours later the team released Andre Brown and Dennis Johnson.
Insight: It was assumed Brown would get the job as Ben Tate's replacement due to his past experience as New York's starter, but he didn't play in the preseason opener and was cut two days later. Grimes is the necessary handcuff to Arian Foster, who is dealing with a hamstring injury already and missed 11 games the past three years.
Description: The Texans have released running back Andre Brown, according to Pro Football Talk.
Insight: Brown didn't see a snap in the preseason opener, which coach Bill O'Brien said was because there wasn't enough time (the Texans had just 41 plays and lost 32-0 to the Cardinals), and Houston handed him a pink slip a couple days later. When he signed a one-year, $645,000 contract with the Texans in the offseason, it was believed he would be replacing Ben Tate as Arian Foster's backup, but that job will go to Jonathan Grimes. Dennis Johnson was also cut Monday.
Description: Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com says that Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson have moved ahead of Pierre Thomas in the Saints' running back pecking order.
Insight: Thomas missed the first preseason game for unspecified reasons and has been taking snaps with the second team while Ingram and Robinson rotate with the first team. Thomas had 1,062 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns on 224 touches (147 carries, 77 receptions) last season. With Darren Sproles gone Thomas is a good bet to catch 70+ passes again, but he'll see fewer carries.
Description: According to the Seattle Times, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said running back Marshawn Lynch is "in really good shape."
Insight: Lynch skipped OTAs, minicamp and the first week of training camp, so it's good to see he's remained in shape. Carroll said the running back has dropped a little weight. Lynch was reportedly the most active he has been in camp during Sunday's practice. While Christine Michael is a threat to steal carries, Lynch is still an RB1.
Description: According to houstontexans.com, Texans coach Bill O'Brien said Arian Foster is close to returning from a hamstring injury.
Insight: Foster has missed most of camp with a hamstring injury, but O'Brien said the running back has a chance to play in the team's second preseason game. We'll see if he returns to practice this week. Foster remains a high-risk, high-reward first-round fantasy pick.
Description: According to ESPN Dallas, Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar didn't play in the first preseason game because the team thinks he'll be a big part of its offense.
Insight: Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray and Orlando Scandrick all sat out as well despite being healthy. "Certainly we have a good feel for what (Dunbar) can do," coach Jason Garrett said. "We just want to be selective with certain guys in preseason. DeMarco Murray did not play in the game. We felt the same way about Dunbar. As the preseason goes along, both those guys will get plenty of work. But he's a very good football player. He shows us that whenever he gets a chance in practice here in training camp, as he has when he has had game opportunities in the past." Scott Linehan, Dallas' new offensive coordinator, had two fantasy-worthy backs in Reggie Bush and Joique Bell with the Lions last season, so it's conceivable Dunbar could have a Bell-like impact. However, unlike Bell he won't get goal-line carries.
Description: According to Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com, Texans coach Bill O'Brien said Andre Brown didn't play in the first preseason game because the team ran so few offensive plays.
Insight: The Texans had just 41 plays and lost 32-0 to the Cardinals. O'Brien said the plan was to play Jonathan Grimes, Alfred Blue and Dennis Johnson, in that order. It's unclear if Brown is behind them on the depth chart or if the Texans already know what they have in him and wanted to see the other backs. With injury-prone Arian Foster on top of the depth chart, we'll continue to monitor the situation to see who emerges as the necessary handcuff.
Description: Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he's comfortable if Jamaal Charles reaches 320 touches for the third straight year, according to USA Today.
Insight: Charles rushed for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns on 259 carries and added 70 receptions for 693 yards and seven scores in 15 games last season. He was the total package for fantasy owners and is a fine No. 1 overall pick.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) returned to practice Sunday, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Insight: Due to injuries, Stewart played 15 games combined and rushed for 3.7 ypc the last two seasons. When healthy, he forms an unenticing backfield with DeAngelo Williams in which the two split carries evenly but neither one gets goal-line touches.
Description: Jets running back Chris Ivory has a rib cartilage injury and is uncertain to play in the second preseason game. SOURCE: Rich Cimini, ESPN New York
Insight: Ivory, who has always been injury-prone, left the preseason opener with the rib injury. Chris Johnson's best chance to return RB2 numbers is Ivory going down. Johnson scored a one-yard touchdown after Ivory left in the first preseason game.
Description: Titans running back Shonn Greene started the preseason opener Saturday against the Packers and had four carries for 20 yards and a touchdown.
Insight: Dexter McCluster played on third downs and ran with the second-team ahead of rookie Bishop Sankey. Sankey is going to have to earn a larger role in the offense and could be in a committee to start the season.
Description: Packers running back Eddie Lacy will sit out the preseason opener.
Insight: Lacy was a workhorse last season (319 touches) and is likely to be one again in 2014, so no need to overwork him in preseason. He will be joined on the sidelines by Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.
Description: Falcons rookie running back Devonta Freeman had 107 yards from scrimmage on 11 touches (10 carries) in the preseason opener Friday against the Dolphins.
Insight: Freeman, a fourth-round pick, ran as the No. 3 back on the depth chart so he did his damage against second- and third-teamers, but it's still a strong first impression for him. He should end up as the direct backup to Steven Jackson, though he won't have fantasy value unless Jackson goes down because Jacquizz Rodgers is still around for passing downs.
Description: Chargers running back Ryan Mathews fumbled the ball at the goal line in the preseason opener.
Insight: Mathews has had a fumbling problem in the past, so this is alarming despite coach Mike McCoy saying he would continue to use him. If the problem persists the Chargers have other options in Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown so this situation should be monitored.
Description: Ronnie Hillman started Denver's preseason opener Thursday night against Seattle ahead of C.J. Anderson.
Insight: Montee Ball could miss the entire preseason while recovering from an appendectomy. He's in no danger of losing the starting job, but Hillman could cement himself as the top backup, particularly after Anderson suffered a concussion Thursday night.
Description: Chiefs running back De'Anthony Thomas took a punt return 80 yards for a touchdown in Thursday's preseason opener against Cincinnati.
Insight: Thomas would like to get on the field as a running back, but with Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis in front of him that isn't likely. He did, however, show he may end up being the Chiefs' next "Dexter McCluster."
Description: Running against third stringers in the fourth quarter, rookie Lache Seastrunk showed speed and moves in rushing for 63 yards on 12 carries.
Insight: His performance may have earned him a shot to play earlier in the next preseason game to see if he can do the same thing against better defenders. He'll be trying to earn one of the final spots in the Washington backfield which means barring multiple injuries he won't have any fantasy value this season.
Description: Jets running back Chris Ivory injured a rib in Thursday's preseason opener.
Insight: Chris Johnson ended up scoring from a yard out which would normally be Ivory time. It's early, but Ivory's history of injuries makes this a concern. Update: X-rays were taken and coach Rex Ryan said he "would be fine."