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Ranking the AFC West: Running back

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Continuing the ranking of each position in the AFC West, we take a look at the starting running back for each team in the division.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

1. Chiefs - Jamaal Charles

He appeared in just 5 games last season due to injury and therefore missed out on the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2011 (when his season was also upended by injury). In fact, every season of his 8-year career, Charles has averaged over five yards per carry, surpassing 1000 yards in each complete season. He has made four Pro Bowls and twice been named first team All Pro. He will turn 30 in December, when running back typically hit the proverbial wall. But that suggests he has at least one more season as one of the league’s best backs.

2. Raiders - Latavius Murray

In his first season as the Raiders’ fulltime starter, he ran for 1066 yards and was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate. He will get some help this year from rookie DeAndre Washington. Having Washington around may hurt is fantasy value, but his actual value could only improve. Murray ran down late last season after starting the season on a tear. He had no change-of-pace back to take some of the load off of him and keep the defense on its toes. Washington was added as a complementary back, not a replacement.

3. Broncos - CJ Anderson

Anderson gained quite a bit of notoriety in 2014, taking the lead back spot and putting up 849 yards and 8 touchdowns. Instead of grabbing ahold of the job and taking it to the next level, his production took a step back in 2015, leading to worse numbers across the board, before putting up a respectable 234 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Broncos playoff run to the Super Bowl.

4. Chargers - Melvin Gordon

It’s just been one season, but Gordon doesn’t look good. He averaged just 3.5 yards per carry as a rookie and didn’t score a single touchdown in 14 games played. There’s no reason to expect anything better from him in his second season.