Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The NFL regular season seems so close, but the preseason is not ready to go away without creating a few more question marks for fantasy owners.
The top half of the running back draft board has remained relatively static for the past month, but the RB2 group continues to shuffle like Redfoo.
Here are the latest developments (ADPs from fantasyfootballcalculator.com standard 12-team mock drafts).
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers - Lacy's ADP was round 5, pick 10 on Aug. 3, but that was just a few days after the now-infamous photo emerged that made Lacy look like he had taken a strong liking to Wisconsin's many cheese and sausage establishments. Turns out, it was just an unflattering angle of the lean and mean battering ram. Lacy separated himself from the pack of Green Bay running backs with 65 yards on eight carries in the team's annual scrimmage and has done nothing but solidify his status as the No. 1 running back over the past 2-3 weeks. His ADP is up to round four, pick three in the latest mocks.
Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams - Prior to the team's first preseason game, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said he expected Richardson to win the team's starting job, and Richardson made his coach look prescient when he produced 44 yards on six touches in the preseason opener. Isaiah Pead, Richardson's top competition, didn't help himself by fumbling on his first carry. Fisher officially named Richardson, whose ADP has risen from round 7, pick 4 to round 5, pick 10 since Aug. 5., the Week 1 starter on Aug. 19.
Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals - Incumbent starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis is still going to be involved in the offense early in the season, but Bernard should pull away from him on talent alone even though he doesn't profile as a power back. And if Bernard continues to convert on his goal-line chances like he did in the second preseason game, he might even wrest the red-zone carries away from the Law Firm. Green-Ellis had 21 red-zone carries last season and scored just six touchdowns; he also had 14 carries at the goal line and only converted on five. Bernard's ADP is up from round six, pick one to round five, pick three since Aug. 18.
Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers - Fantasy owners just can't quit Mathews, who is going into his fourth NFL season with two disappointing years and one big season under his belt. After breaking both collarbones last season and rushing for 3.8 yards per carry and one touchdown in 12 games, Mathews has rushed for 5.33 yards per carry on 12 runs this preseason. Since Aug. 15, his ADP has risen from round 5, pick 7 to round 5, pick 1. While Danny Woodhead's presence means Mathews will be a two-down back at most, Mathews could see a rise in value from last year if new coach Mike McCoy starts using him inside the 10- yard line. In 2012, Mathews had two carries from that distance.
Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers - The Steelers were ready to hand the starting job over to Bell after he impressed early in training camp, but he has been unable to stay healthy. The rookie missed the first preseason game with a knee injury and then suffered a foot sprain in the second game. The latest reports say that Bell has a Lisfranc injury and will be out for 6-8 weeks.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins - Despite the perceived talent discrepancy between Miller and Daniel Thomas, the competition between the two seems to be more than just a smokescreen by the coaching staff. According to the Miami Herald, Miller and Thomas split first-team reps in Monday's practice after Miller had previously taken most of them early in training camp. The Herald's Armando Salguero thinks Miller's fumble in the preseason opener and dropped pass on third down in the second preseason game "caught (coach Joe) Philbin's attention." Miller's ADP has dropped from round three, pick four on Aug. 4 to round three, pick eight Wednesday, and it should continue to fall as the team goes forward with the open competition.
Montee Ball, Denver Broncos - When the Broncos selected Ball in the second round, it appeared as though he would walk into training camp as the starter. After all, the team cut Willis McGahee, Knowshon Moreno was coming off knee surgery and Ronnie Hillman barely played as a rookie. However, Hillman improved in pass protection during the offseason and was given the first crack at the starting job. Both players hurt their stock in the second preseason game, as Hillman lost a fumble at the goal line and Bell missed a block that caused quarterback Peyton Manning to get crushed. Ball's ADP, which was round 4, pick 5 on Aug. 4, is down to round 5, pick 5. It might be Moreno, he of nine lives, who ascends to the top of the depth chart after all.
Chris Ivory, New York Jets - A hamstring injury that kept Ivory out for the first half of training camp caused the running back's ADP to dip from round 4, pick 8 on Aug. 1 to round 5, pick 4 on Aug. 17, when Ivory made his preseason debut. After rushing for 13 yards on six carries and splitting playing time with Bilal Powell in that game, Ivory's ADP has dropped another nine picks, to round 6, pick 1.