Ch. 2 Running backs
This position has gotten VERY difficult to rank players the past few seasons. Not only with the running back by committee systems being employed around the league but also with the increase in popularity of points per reception leagues. The league that I’ve been in since my arrival in Atlanta uses the PPR format. It took me a couple seasons to get used to it but I’m now comfortable with it. Anyway, I still think no matter what type of league you’re in you must get your rbs early. I prefer young, up and coming backs, as opposed to the older guys. My list reflects what I’m doing in my PPR league. Again, I know it’s a little early to discuss fantasy football, but I want your opinions so we can all get together on a good master list to win us some cash this fantasy football season.
1. Chris Johnson- A record setting back. Can this amazingly fast kid do it again? I think he’s been amazingly lucky health wise given the speed at which he hits the hole, but so far so good. The Titans have a good OL and nobody worthy of poaching carries. Pending his contract status, I’d take the kid #1 in any draft format.
2. Adrian Peterson- A close 2nd but I think Favre is coming back which will lead to less carries for Peterson than if say Tavares Jackson were to be the starter. AP’s fumbles don’t concern me. The kid runs hard and fights for yards. The Vikings are solid on defense meaning AP will get his share of carries late to close out games. He’s what the experts call a generational player.
3. Maurice Jones-Drew- Even with the Sunday Ticket, I can honestly say I didn’t watch a Jaguar game last season and I hate commenting players I haven’t seen. But Drew to me is literally all this team has on offense. I keep waiting on this midget to get hurt but he hasn’t. Rashard Jennings a player Jags are said to like, but Jones is an all purpose player. He catches and scores TDs. Jags could have an improved defense this year getting Aaron Kampman, Kirk Morrison, and a defensive oriented draft so drew could get more opportunities to close out games this year.
4. Ray Rice- Drafted him late last year on my team and he paid off HUGE. Rice a monster in PPR leagues. I HATE Willis McGahee stealing his tds however. This year, I look for even more production out of Rice and with Flacco poised to improve as well. I think the Ravens score more points this year. That defense will be stout as always and give Rice the opportunity to close out ball games.
5. Frank Gore- I drafted him a few years back and vowed never to do so again. Always on the injury report with some ailment. Last year no different but he only missed to starts. 52 receptions last year bumps him up on my list along with the fact I see an improved SF OL that looks to have a nasty run first mentality. Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis could open things up on offense as well allowing Gore to have more opportunities to score. An up and coming defense should allow Gore to close the door on a few more 49ers victories…IF he can stay healthy.
6. Michael Turner- Major disappointment last season due to knee injury, but inside scoop here in Atl is Turner has dropped weight and looking for rebound season. I don’t like that he doesn’t catch the ball a lot, but Mularkey will be run first and doesn’t run by committee. Ryan’s improvement should give Turner plenty of opportunity to score cheap Tds as he did his first yr as a Falcon.
7. Steve Jackson-I’ve been playing fantasy football a long time and I’m hard pressed to remember a running back total over 1,700 total yds but only get 4 touchdowns. That’s life as a Ram I guess. They have no weapons outside of Jackson and now with a rookie qb I think teams now more than ever will gear up to stop the hard charging Jackson. Still, I like watching Jackson run…just a bull who never quits. I don’t look for double digit touchdowns, but he’s an every down player and all the Rams have.
8. Jamaal Charles- Another pick based on PPR. I saw this kid give the Steelers all they could handle and saw him shred a pathetic Denver defense. I’m not into stats but Charles was the top back in fantasy football over the last month of the season. Obviously, Thomas Jones is going to cut into Charles’ carries but there is no way Weiss doesn’t get this kid the ball. Too big of a playmaker not to put up big stats and with an awful KC defense Charles will have ample opportunity to bring the chiefs back in most games.
9. Shonn Greene- Dominated in the playoffs and main reason Jones allowed to leave Jets. I hate that the Jets are so committed to rb by committee, but I think they’re going to find out that LT is no Thomas Jones. I don’t see Greene getting a lot of receptions, but the Jets have nice weapons to put Greene in position to score a lot of Tds and a dominant defense that will ensure he gets carries late in games.
10. Ryan Matthews- This might be a bit early for him, but I see a big year from this kid. You remember who Emmitt Smith’s OC was don’t you? How about Terry Allen’s OC? Norv runs the football and has an explosive offense that will provide Matthews with plenty of scoring opportunities. Sproles will cut into Matthew’s opportunity to get a lot of receptions, however I see this kid having a HUGE rookie year for my buddies out in PB.
11. Rashard Mendenhall- REMEMBER. My list is for PPR leagues. Also, I like young players on the rise and Mendenhall fits the bill. Kid had over 1,300 total yds and 8 tds operating essentially as a part time player. Now, With Holmes Jettisoned to NY, I think Mendenhall is now the man and big play threat on the Steelers teams are going to have to game plan for. The defense will provide Mendenhall opportunities to close out games. However, I don’t like Colon going down.
if the Steelers can patch that hole, I’m keeping Mendenhall as my first curveball on my running backs list.
Edit: I'm afraid Tomlin may subsitute more than I thought with the emergence of Redman and Mendenhall fumbling could get him benched.
12. DeAngelo Wiliams-Part of best tandem in league. Again, I hate stats and like to go with my gut but Williams has never average under 5 yds per carry in his career. Injury bug cost him 3 games last year but the year previous this kid looked like a star in the making over 1,600 tot yds and 20 tds. Stats fell off last year with the emergence of Jon Stewart but over 1,300 total yds is not bad. Plus Stewart not exactly durable either, if he goes down you now go from platoon back to a workhorse.
13. Ryan Grant- Nothing flashy here, but he is a quality starter that rarely gets subbed for. Back to back 1,200 yd seasons in what will be a very high scoring offense. Rodgers will poach some goal line TDs.
14. Beanie Wells-I really thought this kid was going to be an instant bust (injury prone), but he’s another back that came on strong late in the year finishing with nearly 1,000 yds total offense and 7 tds as a platoon player with Tim Hightower. This year could loom large for Wells with Warner retired and Boldin a Raven. Word is Whiz is going back to his Steeler roots and running the football. Wells only carried the ball 176 times last year. As a feature back he’ll nearly double that and maybe double his stats. I still have major worries about his injury plagued years at Ohio St and how much Hightower will be used. I may bump him up a couple spots before my draft. Boom or Bust player to me leaning more toward Boom.
15. Jon Stewart-Now here’s a risky pick as we continue into the murky waters of running back tandems. Stewart, like Williams was frequently on the injury report with annoying ailments. However, like Jaamal Charles, Stewart really came on the last month of the season. And same scenario applies to Stewart as the before mentioned Williams. Should Williams go down with an injury, then your solid platoon back gets a nice promotion to feature back.
16. Cedric Benson-Not a triple threat kind of back but he could be the last of the workhorse backs. Possible suspension could drop him couple spots and I don’t like stat that he’s only had 8 carries inside the 5 yd line the past 2 seasons. This year however, I see the Bengals passing game improving somewhat giving Benson more chances to score.
17. Pierre Thomas- 5.4 yds per carry a good stat, but I really thought he was going to put up bigger totals last year. Too many weapons in the Big Easy with only so many balls to go around in that Saints offense. If Thomas can avoid the minor injuries that set him back last year, I see him as the feature back now that Mike Bell is gone. Reggie Bush is a role player and always a threat to go down with an injury.
18. Felix Jones- the ultimate boom or bust rb IMO. Dual threat rushing and receiving. This kid is the equal of Chris Johnson as far as homerun ability. However, he has serious durability issues. Jones played well in the playoffs and looks to be the hands down starter heading into the season. Here again you have a major rb by committee situation, but if Barber or Choice are injured then you have a bargain selection. Regardless, if this kid can make it through a season he’ll produce big stats if that gaudy 6.7 yds per carry avg is any indication.
19. LeSean McCoy- Shady is ranked here because he can catch the football, a critical element of Andy Reid’s offense. Mike Bell and Leonard Weaver are going to steal his TDs however.
20. Jahvid Best- Intriguing pick by the Lions. Kevin Smith may miss some games to start the season so Best has a chance to produce right away. Even when Smith comes back he never was a back that impressed me. Best is going to be Swartz’s version of Chris Johnson. Kid had bad concussion a Cal…health an issue that’s holding me back on this kid a little. His ranking could go up or down a couple spots in coming weeks. Edit: Looked good against the Steelers no?
21. Ronnie Brown- Another guy I vowed to never draft again. His injury history annoys me. He’s also very sporadic player. One great week followed by shit for a month. On positive note, if this kid can stay healthy I see the Dolphins offense getting better this year with Marshall and an improving Chad Henne.
22. Knowshon Moreno- loved this kid at UGA...don't know if he will stay healthy in the pros. Disappointed his rookie year IMO.
23. Joe Addai-This kid is just a boring runner to watch, but his stats were there last year despite platooning with Donald Brown.
24. Jerome Harrison- Might be a little early for him with the Browns looking to get Montario Hardesty involved in the offense but here’s another rb that was hot late in the season and can catch the football.
25. CJ Spiller- One of my favorite players in the draft. I just don’t know how he’s going to do fantasy wise up there in Buffalo. Anyway you look at it he’s a triple threat and an elite playmaker. Fred Jackson will most likely cut into his workload and poor qb and OL play will hurt as well. Edit: Jackson and Lynch hurt...he'll start
26.. Clinton Portis-I think he’s washed up but maybe playing for Shanahan will help
27. Ahmad Bradshaw-The decline of Brandon Jacobs last yr and Bradshaw’s bad foot forced the Giants to become more of a passing team. If the passing continues, Bradshaw will factor heavily in PPR leagues.
28. Arian Foster-see what Houston back is named starter out of Tate, Slaton, and Foster. Edit: Tate out. Slaton still fumbling means good year for Foster.
29. Reggie Bush- Can be an exciting playmaker. Injury prone but very nice back in PPR leagues.
30. Matt Forte-I think the kid can play but his OL sucks and the Bears relied to heavily upon their big trade acquisition Jay Cutler. Still, with Mike Martz now the OC and Chester Taylor on board Forte’ will have to look good in camp to stay at this spot.
31. Fred Jackson- 1,000 yd rusher last year. Hurt in camp
32. Thomas Jones-1,400 yds and 10 tds with jets, but I think he is going to take a backseat to Charles. BUT should Charles go down with injury, Jones are bargain pick.
33. Brandon Jacobs-love the fat backs, but he really went down hill last year and not in a good way.
34. Cadillac Williams-nothing special but he’s a starter.
*That’s all for now, I’ll add another 10 or so closer to the draft.
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Last edited by SteelDrama on Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.