Never underestimate the power of a strong running game in Madden 17. Just know that players like Lesean McCoy, Le’Veon Bell, and Ezekiel Elliott will all draw a lot of attention from your opponents. Sometimes, you need an unknown and underrated running back who will throw your foe off their game. We’ve done our homework here at Madden School, and we came up with 5 underrated running backs to use in Madden 17.

Decent running backs tend to be more important than you might like to think. Passing scores points in Madden, but running the ball effectively will put opponents away for good. So, what makes a good back? Other than a high speed rating.  

The answer is a solid rating in categories such as agility, trucking, ball carrier vision, elusiveness, carry, spin and juke moves among many others. These 5 running backs all have final ratings of 85 or lower, but they all give you a chance to absolutely dominate your opponent in the run game.  

Jay Ajayi: Miami Dolphins

Jay Ajayi has a solid 85 overall rating. Ajayi is very decent running back to use in Madden 17 given he plays alongside fairly balanced offensive players on the Dolphins. His overall SPD is only 88, but his agility is 91 and his acceleration is a 90. This makes him play a bit faster than his 88 speed would indicate. 

Aside from his speed, Ajayi is a fairly complete back with explosive moves plus an 87 elusiveness (ELU) and an 89 ball carrier vision (BCV). Two very important categories when it comes to running back ability. Ajayi’s 86 juke move and respectable 81 trucking (TRK) both make him tough to bring down. He also has a fight for extra yards trait to his benefit giving you the ability to use him on short yardage runs.

Your only concern when playing with Ajayi will be his offensive line. The Miami Dolphins O-Line doesn’t have one player rated over an 80, so a big strong D-Line has the ability to shut down the Dolphin run game. Just stay patient with Ajayi, and he’ll pay off for you in the running attack.

Latavius Murray: Oakland Raiders

The 83 overall rating that Latavius Murray finished the season with seems low, to me. You can really rack up some yards against your opponent with Murray. The Oakland O-Line will open up some holes for Murray as they are one of the highest rated units in Madden 17.

Murray has tricky type SPD with a 92 rating and adds a fight for extra yards trait. Also, his TRK and his BCV are both an 87. Murray can without a doubt get you the tough yards, and if you’re a patient runner, then his whopping 94 acceleration give you the ability to break a long one. Murray’s one drawback is his drops open passes trait. Try to stick with Murray in the run game and only use him in the passing game if necessary. This will certainly help you win some games against online H2H players.

Melvin Gordon: San Diego Chargers

Gordon really came alive this season and finished with an 85 overall rating. Gordon can control a game for you in Madden 17. He has solid ratings across the board with an 88 juke (JKM), 86 carry (CAR), and 88 (BCV). These are all very respectable ratings making Gordon a true threat to run the ball all over your opponent.

Similar to Ajayi, Melvin Gordon unfortunately plays behind a questionable O-Line. You’ll want to keep your opponent guessing with some deep play action throws at unexpected times in the game. He has a brace for all hits trait, and a fights for extra yards trait adding to his appeal.

Melvin Gordon truly has the ability to control a game for you as he is also a threat receiving and has a 72 CTH rating. Just be careful since he also has a drops open passes trait. Nonetheless, Gordon is one of the better all around running backs in Madden 17.   

Jordan Howard: Chicago Bears

Howard finished 2nd in the rushing yards behind Ezekiel Elliott, so his 82 overall is seems very low. He was also the only real threat his team had on offense. Regardless, Howard is a beast with his 88 SPD and solid 86 TRK.  

Howard is also rated an 89 in BCV and CAR which are both very high for a rookie. Although you might not think of Chicago as a team you want to play with, they have a fairly decent O-Line for Howard to run behind. He can rack up some yards quickly if you don’t fall far behind on the scoreboard.

Howard is also a great young player if you’re playing Connected Franchise using the Chicago Bears. He doesn’t present much in the drawback department. Howard offers a high motor trait, fights for extra yards trait, and a brace for all hits trait. Again, a very well rounded back.  

Jonathan Stewart: Carolina Panthers

Stewart’s 85 rating is clearly a result of his injury laden season, but he can really control a game for you no problem. Stewart does everything well. He has decent 87 SPD, 87 TRK, 88 ELU, 91 BCV, 87 JKM, and 86 CAR.

Stewarts only drawback is his lower CTH rating of a 59. That’s certainly not very good, but he’ll make it up to you by dominating the run attack all game. When you couple Stewart with Cam Newton’s running ability, you can really put together some big games against your opponents. To round out Stewart’s diverse skill set, he also boasts a clutch trait and fights for extra yards trait.

That does it for our 5 underrated running backs to use in Madden 17. Clearly there are plenty of worthy players. Do you have any honorable mentions? Any running backs you think should have made our list instead? As always, feel free to comment below.

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