Atlanta Firebirds

Zach Laskey – 6aa

Alfred Morris – 9$

Rajion Neal – 6a

Terron Ward – 7a

DeAndre Washington – 7aa

Summary: Alfred Morris managed to run for over 1,500 yards last year, his first with the Firebirds, but fell under 10 rushing scores for the first time in his career and only averaged 3.4 yards per carry. Was a bit of a down year for him really. He’s still capable of being a top running back in the league, however. Youngster DeAndre Washington should be ready to step in and get some carries. Terron Ward is the No. 3. Neither Rajion Neal nor Zach Laskey stand out at fullback.

Birmingham Predators

Alex Collins – 6aa

JC Copeland – 8

Kenyan Drake – 7a

Bishop Sankey – 7a

Summary: A solid, young backfield. Kenyan Drake is a likeable prospect who should team up with Dak Prescott well. Bishop Sankey and Alex Collins are solid, young backups. JC Copeland is a good bulldozing fullback who can also play defensive end.

Carolina Generals

Kenneth Dixon – 7aa

CJ Gable – 7

Dennis Johnson – 7a

Henry Josey – 6

Rustin Mayorga – 6

Knowshon Moreno – 8D$

Dan VItale – 6aa

Summary: Last year Knowshon Moreno managed to stay healthy enough to get 1,000 yards rushing and was really one of only two legit threats on the team. At 29 and suffering through injuries in camp – it’s unlikely Moreno gets there again. Rookie Kenneth Dixon looks to supplant Moreno in the near future. CJ Gable is a good dual threat veteran and Dennis Johnson is another returning veteran who is a solid and reliable backup. Henry Josey is looking to have his career take off in Carolina after doing nothing in Dallas, but he hasn’t looked good in camp at all. Rustin Mayorga is a very poor fullback who should lose the job to likable rookie Dan Vitale – who scouting department thinks could be very special.

Charleston Dragons

Joique Bell – 8D$

Zach Line – 8aa

Trent Richardson – 7a

Ross Scheuerman – 6aa

Zach Zenner – 7aa

Summary: Joique Bell is a capable number, but is clearly on the down end of his career. He can still be counted on to get close to the 1,000 yard from scrimmage mark – but his days of out running defenders for big gains are probably over. Zach Line and Zach Zenner are two interesting tweener backs who are not natural blocking fullbacks – but can get the job done while making plays with the ball in their hands. Management believes Zenner could be a full time starter. Trent Richard flashed in the pan for the team last year before dropping off – potentially even being a roster cut in training camp. Ross Scheuerman is an interesting utility player who could get a job due to his work ethic and cheap salary.

Columbus Explorers

Vick Ballard – 8ai

Kenneth Farrow – 7a

MIke James – 7a

Cam McDaniel – 6a

Bruce Miller – 9

Theo Riddick – 7aa

Summary: Vick Ballard is a capable 1,000 yard rusher when he stays healthy. Solid camps from Kenneth Farrow and Mike James but they are not taking the job. Theo Riddick is one of the more lesser known quality players in the league and could be a Jacquizz Rodgers type guy for Columbus. Bruce Miller is the best fullback in the league but he is facing seven felony charges for beating a 70-year-old man and his son with a cane, and that might land him in jail before the season starts.

Dallas Six-Shooters

Rex Burkhead – 7af

Aaron Green – 6aa

Jalen Richard – 7aa

Soma Vainuku – 6a

Summary: With Karlos Williams gone, the Six-Shooters may turn to veteran Rex Burkhead, one of management’s favorite players. Burkhead does not look like a player who can carry the load, but he’s shown some real impressive ability to make plays out of the backfield – catching 20 passes in limited playing time a year ago. Burkhead is the only veteran in the backfield. The team is also enamoured with rookie Jalen Richard – who has some nice cutting ability and hands. Aaron Green is a solid No. 3 prospect. Fullback Soma Vainuku was a late undrafted free agent addition.

Houston Wranglers

Glenn Gronkowski – 6aa

Paul Perkins – 7aa

Chris Rainey – 7

Kelvin Taylor – 6a

Brandon Whitaker – 8

Summary: When the Wranglers entered the league the first time they were lucky enough to acquire the all-time leading rusher in Clinton Portis. We don’t know if Paul Perkins is going to even come close to being that good, but the rookie is certainly in a position to start. Veteran Brandon Whitaker is a great presence who should see significant carries in a timeshare with his rookie teammate. Chris Rainey has home run speed and likely makes the roster due to return ability. Glenn Gronkowski is an interesting fullback who comes from a good family line of football players.

Louisville Cougars

Michael Bush – 7df

Michael Dyer – 6

Dyshawn Mobley – 6a

Ray Rice – 7d$

CJ Spiller – 7ac

Summary: To call the Cougar ground game a year ago atrocious would be an insult to the word. Michael Bush lead all running backs with 204 yards. Michael Dyer had one good game in his whole career and has never lived up to his potential. And then they traded for an older guy on the downside of his career with diminishing explosiveness and a lot of serious domestic violence baggage. Maybe rookie Dyshawn Mobley stands out the most here, but because there isn’t much competition against him. Maybe CJ Spiller still has something left in the tank, but clearly his explosiveness has been lacking lately. He’s trying to revitalize his career in the SFL.

Los Angeles Stars

Buck Allen – 7aaf

Daniel Lasco – 6aaf

Will Ratelle – 6aa

Silas Redd – 7a

Zac Stacy – 7c

Summary: Last year it looked like LA had one of the deepest cores in the league and the ball would be spread around quite a bit. Then Lamar Miller had 2,200 yards from scrimmage and 27 touchdowns. That prevented Buck Allen, Silas Redd and Zac Stacy from ever really seeing the field. That’s the group they’ll have to rely on and will need somebody to step up. Allen is a good pass-catcher, Redd is more of a bruiser and Stacy is the most explosive of the group, and probably the favorite for early touches. Daniel Lasco is a rookie, but seems like the clear No. 4 right now. Why exactly did LA selected a fullback in the first round, though? Especially a guy who wasn’t actually a fullback before in college?

Michigan Stags

John Connor – 8c

Jeremy Langford – 8aaf

Thomas Rawls – 8aaf

Denard Robinson – 8af

Summary: A dominant and deep backfield that ran for just shy of 3,000 yards last year. The three-headed monsters are perfect compliments to one another. Jeremy Langford was co-Rookie of the Year and took over the job last last year. Thomas Rawls is a big bruising back too. Both are nursing injuries in camp, though. Denard Robinson is a former 1,000 yard rusher who was just 44 yards shy last year and makes plays in the wildcat as well. John Connor is good fullback.

Minnesota Freeze

David Cobb – 6aaf

Nic Grigsby – 7c

Daz’Mond Patterson – 6a

Jhurell Pressley – 6aa

De’Anthony Thomas – 6aa

Summary: This unit really killed the team a year ago and it does not look like that’s gonna change. Nic Grigsby looks like the only capable back on the team and he was AWOL most of camp and causing issues. De’Anthony Thomas is great gadget player and kick returner – nothing more. David Cobb has not looked the part, nor have Jhurell Pressley and Daz’Mond Patterson. Who is the fullback on this team?

Nashville Renegades

Shakir Bell – 7aa

Jordan Howard – 8aa

John Kuhn – 10f

Karlos Williams – 8aac

Summary: Shakir Bell was really the key component for the Gades taking off last year and getting hot at the end of the season. He’s a great dual threat back but isn’t the type of guy who should get 20 carries a game. That’s where excellent additions of Karlos Williams and Jordan Howard come in. They’re young guys who Nashville should be leaning on for a long time. John Kuhn at 34 still has it.

New Orleans Nightmare

Alfred Blue – 9af

Andrew Harris – 8

John Martinez – 7

Stevan Ridley – 8ac

Summary: Alfred Blue is one of the premier backs in the league and just looks to be hitting his stride. Andrew Harris is one of the more underutilized players in the league and should there be an injury leaves the Nightmare in great shape. John Martinez is a big blocking fullback who the team likes. Stevan Ridley is a former NFL 1,000 yard rusher who is still only 27 and trying to revitalize his career in the league.

New York Marauders

Bryce Brown – 7c

John Crockett – 7aa

Tyler Gaffney – 6aai

Henry Hynoski – 8di

Stefan Logan – 6

Keith Marshall – 6aai

Summary: Bryce Brown had a few bright moments for the Horde last year but is currently looking like one of the biggest busts in SFL history in his second stint back in the league. He should get the opportunity to start, but just does not seem to have the vision to utilize his ability. John Crockett and Hynoski are both very capable fullbacks – but have tough times staying healthy. Tyler Gaffney and Keith Marshall are interesting players who look to be in similar mode as Brown. Stefan Logan should stick because of his return abilities.

Omaha Express

Imani Cross – 6af

Josh Ferguson – 6aa

Roy Helu – 7f

Andy Janovich – 7aaf

Summary: You know it’s not good when the fullback looks like the best player in the backfield. Roy Helu Jr. once tore it up at Memorial Stadium but looks like a 10 carry back at most here. Imani Cross is the type of back who looks like a Ron Dayne-type but does not live up to the hype. Josh Ferguson had a very disappointing camp as the team expected him to win the starting job. He might still, but because there isn’t much else in the backfield.

Orlando Rockets

Andre Ellington – 8aac

Devonta Freeman – 9af

Robert Kelley – 7aa

Jerome Messam – 8

Troymaine Pope – 7aa

Summary: About a crowded and talented backfield as you could find. Andre Ellington is a former MVP candidate and record breaker who wants out of Orlando and the Rockets would be wise to trade him with Devonta Freeman scoring 17 times and putting up over 1,800 yards from scrimmage. Freeman is a load who can carry the rocket and is making things easy for the aging Ricky Ray. Rookie Rob Kelley had a fantastic camp and could start on several teams across the league. Jerome Messam is another powerful, between the tackles runner who has started fullback for the team despite being more of a runner than blocker. Rookie Troymaine Pope had a solid camp as well – only adding to Ellington’s displeasure.

Philadelphia Bulldogs

Melvin Abankwah – 6a

Jay Ajayi – 7aa

Tim Hightower – 8

Aaron Ripkowski – 8aa

Tyrell Sutton – 8a

Summary: For whatever reasons, the Bulldogs didn’t give many carries to their backs last year. However, the addition of Tyrell Sutton shows a strong emphasis on the ground game this year. Sutton had over 1,400 yards for the Scorpions last year, though he did drop off significantly in the second half of the season. Lack of talent wasn’t the reason Philly’s ground game struggled last year, however. With three very capable backs on the roster, expect Philly to keep it on the ground more. Rising Jay Ajayi is a breakout candidate after a strong camp. Tim Hightower is a pounding back who can get short yardage and Aaron Ripkowski is a very promising fullback. Melvin Abankwah is a curious signing. He’s done little in the CFL except test positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Phoenix Scorpions

Nick Butier – 6af

DJ Foster – 6aaf

LaMichael James – 7

Keenan Reynolds – 6aa

Brandon Ross – 6a

Chris Swain – 6aa

Summary: The Scorpions were able to get off to a hot start last year because of Tyrell Sutton’s tremendous performance in early months of season. He’s gone and there’s really no one to replace him. LaMichael James does not look the part, he’s more a return man. DJ Foster looks like a scat back, but not a guy who should be carrying it every down. Other guys are questionable to roster. The team really loves former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who is the NCAA’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns, but did it running the option, not as a tailback. Brandon Ross is a powerful runner but there was a reason he didn’t shine on a terrible Maryland Terrapins team in 2015. Another Navy product, Chris Swain very likable fullback option but nothing special. He should beat out small-school local prospect Nick Butier, though.

Pittsburgh Forge

Devontae Booker – 7aa

Marcel Reece – 10d

Wendell Smallwood – 7aa

John White – 7

Summary: The Forge have an excellent pair of rookie running backs in Devontae Booker and Wendell Smallwood. They look like the foundation of the Forge’s offense. With veteran Marcel Reece leading the way – expect this ground game to have some punch. John White is also a solid short yardage back who can spell if needed.

San Antonio Marshalls

Mykel Benson – 7

Tre Carson – 6a

Devon Johnson – 6a

Marcus Murphy – 6aa

Khiry Robinson – 7a

Jacquizz Rodgers – 8aa

Summary: Jacquizz Rodgers had an excellent bounce-back season and is arguably the most underrated player in the league. A dual threat player – Rodgers ran for over 1,100 yards and caught 103 passes. A big security blanket for Bo Levi Mitchell. Khiry Robinson and Mykel Benson are the guys who do the dirty work between the tackles, combing for 10 of the team’s 17 rushing touchdowns. Second-year man Marcus Murphy barely saw the field last year and has been a major disappointment. Don’t expect much from Devon Johnson or Tre Carson.

Seattle Orcas

Isaiah Crowell – 10f

Ryan Hewitt – 7a

Chris Polk – 7af

Jeramie Richardson – 7

Tani Tupou – 6af

Dwayne Washington – 7af

Nakita Whitlock – 7aa

Summary: Isaiah Crowell is every bit as likely to run reach for the 2,000 yard mark as last year. Orcas should ride this guy to the bank. Chris Polk was big in the postseason and has been a great compliment – but now he is challenged by Dwayne Washington, who has had a strong rookie camp. Ryan Hewitt should be a full-time tight end. Nakita Whitlock should win the fullback job due to his ability to also play defensive end.

Washington Wave

Anthony Allen – 7c

Arian Foster – 8di$

Davin Meggett – 6

Derrick Ross – 7

Chad Simpson – 6

Summary: One of the few bright spots for the Wave last year was the late season addition of veteran Arian Foster. However, Foster walked out in the middle of camp and questioned retirement, but also said that for $1.7 million he’ll play out the rest of his contract. Anthony Allen is a solid at best back. Davin Meggett and Chad Simpson would not make most rosters. Derrick Ross is a solid goal line back, but isn’t a natural fullback.

SFL Top 5 RBs

1. Isaiah Crowell, Seattle Orcas
– A true work-horse back who is on the 2,000-yards watch list heading into this season. Crowell might have made it there last year had it not been for a late-season injury. He’s big a powerful and runs over everybody.

2. Devonta Freeman, Orlando Rockets
– He broke out in a big way last year and produced both as a runner and receiver. His emergence was a bit part of why the Rockets were as dominant as they were last year. He’s short but he’s stocky and shifty and hard to match up with.

3. Alfred Blue, New Orleans Nightmare
– Maybe sometimes a bit forgotten in New Orleans, but Alfred Blue wears down defenses and grinds for big yardage numbers. New Orleans might look to run their offense through him more this year.

4. Jacquizz Rodgers, San Antonio Marshalls
– Such a dynamic player, Jacquizz Rodgers is a homerun threat every time he touches the ball, which he can do in a variety of ways. Get him in space, whether it’s on a sweep to the outside or out as a receiver, he’s going to pick up some big yards.

5. Alfred Morris, Atlanta Firebirds
– Still clearly one of the best backs in the league, the question is how much longer he will keep producing at that level. He’ll probably maintain and not get much better. He’s still capable of a 1,500 yard season with double-digit touchdowns.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jeremy Langford, Michigan Stags
– He’s in a timeshare with two other great running backs, but considering that and he still had over 1,000 yards in his rookie year is incredible. He took over the Stags running game last year during their playoff push.

SFL Top 5 FBs

1. Bruce Miller, Columbus Explorers
– We have to grade the football player here and not the person. Despite his serious off-the-field troubles with violence, he’s proven to be the best fullback in the league the past few seasons.

2. John Kuhn, Nashville Renegades
– He’s up there in age, but John Kuhn is still a good as they come at fullback and was huge in helping spark the Renegades ground game late last season. He has plenty left in the tank.

3. Marcel Reece, Pittsburgh Forge
– At 31 years old, Marcel Reece is still one of the best fullbacks in the game. He’s a big bruiser who also can catch the ball. He’s a perfect fit as a power blocker for what Pittsburgh wants to do running the ball.

4. Zach Line, Charleston Dragons
– Not a typical bulldozing fullback, he’s more of a utility guy who will catch some passes, make some short yardage runs and shield while blocking. Still, he’s pretty effective and actually makes an offense more versatile when on the field.

5. John Connor, Michigan Stags
– What he did leading a three-headed monster backfield in Michigan last season was beyond impressive. He doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his performance last year.

Commissioner’s prospect watch (Top 7 Rookies and Sophomores)

1. Jeremy Langford, Michigan Stags
– Jeremy Langford showed great ability as a rookie that he can become one of the best backs in the league. He’s in a deep timeshare but towards the end of the season he definitely proved to be the best of the group and started to dominate carries.

2. Robert Kelly, Orlando Rockets
– What an embarrassment of riches this Orlando Rockets team has at running back. Robert Kelly looks like the third running back on their roster and like he can be a complete and absolute star.

3. Kenneth Dixon, Carolina Generals
– Carolina wanted a face of their franchise, Kenneth Dixon looks like he is it. He’s got everything a team can want in a running back; size, power, speed, explosiveness and shiftiness. He might be the Rookie of the Year.

4. Devontae Booker, Pittsburgh Forge
– He’s a patient runner who can be a three-yard back. He’ll be the workhorse right away for the Forge. That might not be the best things in the world for a rookie on an expansion team, but he’s certainly capable of doing the job at a high level.

5. Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Bulldogs
– Jay Ajayi was given numerous opportunities to take over as the Bulldogs running back as a rookie. He failed at doing that, but it’s way too early for them to give up on him. He’s showing in camp that he can be the real deal.

6. Jordan Howard, Nashville Renegades
– A powerful back who proved in college that he can be a workhorse back. Nashville has a pair of good young backs and a solid veteran, but Howard might prove to be the best of the group.

7. Zach Zenner, Charleston Dragons
– Joique Bell might still be the Dragons best option this year, but if he start struggling then Zach Zenner is right there ready to take over as the Dragons starter. He’s very fast and capable of being a workhorse.

By the Numbers:
10 Ratings: 3 (2.73%)
9 Ratings: 4 (3.54%)
8 Ratings: 23 (20.91%)
7 Ratings: 43 (39.09%)
6 Ratings: 37 (33.64%)