While talent, talent, and more talent acquisition is preached in dynasty circles like a kid that is excited they learned a new word, situation does have a place in dynasty fantasy football. Opportunity does not grow on trees and especially at the running back position, a player also needs a little 'right place, right time' in his career to maximize said talents.
Here are the dynasty running backs to monitor where short-term situation can meet long-term talent:
Bernard Pierce likely gets first crack with a Ray Rice suspension in 2014 opening the door. Lorenzo Taliaferro is in the same mold as Pierce - a two-down chain-mover more than versatile option. Cierre Wood is the deep flyer here with a little juice, but has already bounced around the league. Ray Rice needs a big rebound to even maintain his tepid dynasty stock.
Bryce Brown is the name to know here as he has flashed in the NFL and was a highly-regarded talent at various points of his football lifetime. Fred Jackson has to be done at his age, right? If he is, Brown is well-worth the late startup pick price tag if Spiller remains a low-volume game changer instead of ruling the backfield touches.
Jeremy Hill is already being pumped up pretty hard - too much in my view considering his not-so-great projection model score and college tape that I saw. Rex Burkhead has always been a watchlist player for me, but the Bengals quickly buried him on the depth chart again as Benjarvus Green-Ellis was losing steam after 2013.
Ben Tate is overvalued and Terrance West is already getting quite a bit of buzz as the upside option (at times going in the first round of rookie drafts). Isaiah Crowell is the upside special here as a more talented pure runner than West and coming at a cheaper buy-in. Dion Lewis is the long-shot play if all else fails here in a likely run-heavy offense.
C.J. Anderson. He is one of the best late-round plays going as Denver has kept him around for a reason. This offense churns out top running back production and Anderson is a few Montee Ball missed blocks or fumbles away from a huge uptick in production and dynasty market value.
Andre Brown was there to step in for the Giants when the running back position imploded. Now, he is the primary backup to Arian Foster, a running back on the wrong side of the career arc. I like Brown's chances to see a handful of starts this year. Brown consistently goes in the round 18-21 range of startups, which is perfect for the 'go dirt cheap at running back' crowd this summer.
Vick Ballard is on plenty of dynasty waiver wires and most have completely forgotten about Mr.Underrated Ahmad Bradshaw still hanging around this depth chart. For how much the dynasty community likes to pound on Trent Richardson, Ballard and Bradshaw should be on more rosters as a hedge.
Kansas City Chiefs
Knile Davis is very affordable (late second to early third round rookie pick) for Jamaal Charles owners to cover their hindquarters. Davis also has plenty of raw ability in his own right to be more than a hum-drum RB2 while seeing a few starts.
Lamar Miller. That is all. Scoop this guy up before the market completely catches up to Knowshon Moreno's lingering injuries and eroding skills this offseason. Miller burned plenty of dynasty owners going all-in with him in the top-30 of startups last summer, but the talent remains to catch up to that lofty price point within the next six months.
New England Patriots
James White feels like a Patriots kind of back. Not super flashy, but solid across the board. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen being in the final year of their contracts help. Deep flyer to monitor: Stephen Houston. The projection model looks some Stephen Houston. If you have 30 or more roster spots, he is a worthy stash.
New York Jets
Doug outlined Latavius Murray as a nice stash while he looks blocked in the short-term. Maurice Jones-Drew offers some short-term pop (health pending for himself and Darren McFadden) as a very late startup pick or trade acquisition. I still have a quality game or two of Jeremy Stewart in my head from doing some Raiders game recaps for footballguys.com. Carry on, it probably means nothing here.
LeGarrette Blount still has something left, but it would take a Le'Veon Bell injury to amount to much. Blount's biggest impact comes in the form of siphoning away Bell's exclusive touches from time to time. Dri Archer is mildly intriguing, but more from an NFL sense than future fantasy starter.
San Diego Chargers
Donald Brown is a dirt-cheap option that could have some staying power if Ryan Mathews is gone after this season and/or finds his way to the sidelines. Danny Woodhead could be a viable RB2 in PPR leagues for teams strong elsewhere. I have seen Marion Grice talked up a little bit since the draft, but view him as a pass-catcher in the NFL, at best, meaning he needs at least Woodhead out of the way for any relevance.
While Bishop Sankey was annointed the 'king of initial opportunity' of the 2014 rookie running backs, Shonn Greene is (gulp) the better early down back at a minimum. Greene is yet another dirt-cheap option floating out there as the rookie buzz completely overshadows him. Do not take this as a glowing endorsement of Shonn Greene, but do not be surprised if Greene is a volume-based RB2 this season. I have Bishop Sankey as an early second round rookie pick, which has yet to occur in a single rookie draft to my knowledge since the NFL draft. Sankey's value lies in his initial perceived opportunity more than elite talent.