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Written by: Sam Gubner
There are lots of running backs who get lots of carries because they are just too talented not to such as Adrian Peterson, Todd Gurley, and Jamaal Charles. These are also the guys I will not talk about because unless they are injured, they are automatically getting the massive workload. So if you are looking for some value picks who will get lots of carries, well here you go.
Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers
He did have a bit of a weight issue last season, but Hyde is getting back to the physique that made him an elite rusher at Ohio State. Also, besides Carlos Hyde the 49ers offense only has Blaine Gabbert and Torrey Smith. I think this already says more than I meant it to. With no major offensive production coming from anyone else on his team Hyde should be the workhorse of the 49ers. In addition, Hyde is now in a Chip Kelly offense that gives teams tons of snaps and running backs tons of carries. Even with this immense workload in store for Hyde, his awful offensive line and extremely tough schedule are also things to consider.
Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts
Age has always been an issue that Gore has constantly seemed to overcome. Now at an age of 33 where most running backs are retiring, Gore is starting to look like he will get the type of workload he got back in San Francisco. Gore has average at least 15 carries a game in every season he’s played in since his rookie year. Also, the Colts gave Gore a major workload last year as he was fifth in carries among running backs. This is most likely due to the fact that Gore has zero competition, with the closest competitors being Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman. It also probably had to do with Colts quarterback Andrew Luck being injured most of the season, but even with the his imminent return expect Gore to keep up the carries and be a steal late in drafts.
Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys
Now everyone knows Ezekiel Elliot is a major talent, but let me show you why he will also get an astronomical amount of carries. To give you a reminder if you don’t think he will get the carries, remember that DeMarco Murray guy? Oh he is the guy, who in the same exact position as Elliot got the 7th most carries by any running back in a season with 392. This is because the Cowboys use the running back position as a mechanism to take pressure off quarterback Tony Romo, which effectively gives their running backs a boatload of carries. There is some competition in this backfield with Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris, but I think Elliot will surpass them and be the big man in Dallas.
Lamar Miller – Houston Texans
Lamar Miller was far from a workhorse in Miami, only getting 194 which was 17th in the NFL last season. But what Lamar Miller did do was stay healthy, never missing a game since 2012, which for a running back is the equivalent to one person never getting injured their whole life; it is just extremely rare to find. Now after signing a new deal in Houston, Miller is in for a lot carries and then some. The last running back in Houston, Arian Foster, would when healthy average around 20 carries per game. The Texans give their running backs tons of carries and expect Lamar Miller to continue that trend.