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Free agency can be a hectic time for running backs. Especially for the 2016 free agent running backs.

Their low shelf-life makes it difficult for a team to pick them up and sign them to a big contract.

The older, yet proven ones are trying to prove that they are still effective, while the younger backs are just trying to make a name for themselves.

Fantasy-wise, where a running back signs in the offseason means a ton.

The scheme the team runs as well as the backs backs that are already there impacts the potential points they can score for the upcoming season.

Here are some 2016 free agent running back to keep your eye on.

2016 Free Agent Running Backs

No. 1 Doug Martin

Talk about a comeback year. Martin came off two previous seasons of 950 total rushing yards and was the second leading rusher this year with 1,402 yards.

He started out the season a bit slow, but starting in Week 4 he had three consecutive 100+ yard games as well as a 235 yard game in week 11. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry this season to go along with seven total touchdowns.

Martin could fit in with almost any team that decides to spend the money to get him and will be at worst a RB2 next season.

No. 2 Lamar Miller

Miller’s rushing yards dropped this season from 1,099 yards in 2014 to 872 yards this year. His average yards per carry went from 5.1 to 4.5, but he did manage to score more touchdowns this year (10 this year compared to nine last year) as well as become more effective in the passing game. A more run-happy team would definitely welcome this young back.

No. 3 Chris Johnson

Johnson was cruising to another 1000-yard season this year before a fractured tibia back in week 12 put him on the short term IR. They only thing that hinders him now is his age (31 next season) and the emergence of David Johnson. However, averaging 4.2 yards per carry and still explosive enough to pop off long runs, he definitely could be a starter somewhere.

No. 4 Matt Forte

Here’s another older feature back whose injury lead to the arrival of a younger, rising running back. Forte gained 1,287 total yards this year in 13 games, but was sharing carries with Jeremey Langford after he returned to action. With his pass-catching ability and ability to break tackles, he would be a great commodity for a team desperate for a running back.

No. 5 C.J. Anderson

His output this year was very sub-par of what many expected from him. While sharing time with Ronnie Hillman, his lack of carries really hurt him this year. He still gained 720 yards with an average of 4.7 yards per carry. A strong back, he could do some damage with a team willing to give him the ball.

No. 6 Ronnie Hillman

Hillman out carried C.J. Anderson 207 to 154 this season with 863 rushing yards with seven touchdowns with an average of 4.2 yards per carry.

Still a young back (turns 25 in September), he could finally get a feature role if he or C.J. Anderson leaves Denver.

No.7 Alfred Morris

He was still the starter in Washington this year, but his low output definitely hurt his stock.

With the play of Kirk Cousins, this team is looking to throw the ball first abd his only value sides with a team that is desperate at running back.

No. 8 LeGarrette Blount

This bruising back still has potential as a feature back and a touchdown vulture, but won’t be the person to break off long runs or be much of a factor in the passing game.

No. 9 Chris Ivory

Solid back with an up and down season. His value is really dependent on a high volume of carries and looks in the passing game.

No. 10 James Starks

Older back, but still reliable, he could share time in Green Bay or just be another backup on another team.


This free agency class is a bit weak for running backs headed into next season, but a few could do some damage for teams hurting at the position.

Also please check out the rest of our 2016 Free Agent Reviews

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