- LaDainian Tomlinson - While a lot of people will want to take Adrian Peterson first, it's just foolish. Tomlinson is a no-brainer...as in, if you don't take him, you don't have a brain.
- Adrian Peterson - All of that said about Tomlinson, Peterson could be obscenely good. He benefits from the best left side of an O-line in football.
- Brian Westbrook - He's less reliable than the top two because he relies a lot on the passing game, but he's a big time producer. Westbrook leapfrogs Peterson in leagues that give points per reception.
- Joseph Addai - Indianapolis' offense is one that you can't go wrong investing in. He'll find the end zone at least a dozen times, and give you solid, consistent performance every week.
- Steven Jackson - Other lists have him higher, but this isn't the Rams offense of years past. Holding out shouldn't hurt him much, though; running backs usually succeed or fail on their own ability.
- Marion Barber - I have concerns as to how he'll handle a full load, but he was a top 10 back sharing carries last year. Even if Felix Jones gets substantial playing time, Barber will be productive.
- Larry Johnson - He had back to back 1700 yard seasons before his injury-riddled 2007. My bet is he bounces back.
- Clinton Portis - New head coach Jim Zorn will likely call on Portis a lot, and Portis has the talent to excel when given the opportunity.
- Frank Gore - He's produced well for an awful 49ers team that should be improved. The law of averages says eventually they'll have a passing game.
- Marshawn Lynch - He had 1100 yards and 7 TDs in 13 games as a rookie. My guess is that we'll forget all about his vehicular hit and run by October.
- Willie Parker - People seem to put out of their minds that he led the NFL in rushing for a good part of the year last season. Rashard Mendenhall may eventually take over, but Parker will be a big time producer again this year.
- Ryan Grant - I'm a little wary of his flash-in-the-pan potential, but he sure seemed good. Still, he'll need Aaron Rodgers to be closer to '07 Favre than '06 Favre to be sure he won't see stacked boxes.
- Brandon Jacobs - Who had the third-highest yards per game last year? Who had more yards per carry than Westbrook, Tomlinson, Barber, Jackson, Gore, Addai, and Parker? This guy.
- Ronnie Brown - He was the best fantasy running back in football when he got hurt last year. And come on, we're worried about Ricky Williams taking carries? No.
- Willis McGahee - He could probably afford to be a little higher on most lists, but I really just don't like him as a fantasy player. It doesn't help that he's undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, either.
- Laurence Maroney - The guy is a tank, and New England will likely find success in running the football this season.
- Maurice Jones-Drew - Hyphenations aside, he's explosive and exciting. It'd be nice if he got more carries, but Fred Taylor may actually help Jones-Drew by keeping him fresh and healthy.
- Michael Turner - Don't look now, but the Falcons have an interesting QB/RB/WR trio in Matt Ryan, Turner, and Roddy White. I'm not saying championship, but it's good to see the Falcons moving on quickly from the loss of Michael Vick.
- Jamal Lewis - It's been years since he was dominant, but he's got back-to-back 9 TD seasons, and Cleveland's potent passing game should continue to open things up for Lewis.
- Edgerrin James - Like Lewis, his best days are behind him, but playing San Francisco and St. Louis twice a year each is always a good thing.
- Darren McFadden - In fantasy football, talent is king, but opportunity is the ace. McFadden's got Big Slick suited, as he has both in spades.
- Earnest Graham - I don't know why Tampa is surrounding Graham with competitors. He was a great producer down the stretch for a lot of fantasy teams last year (though I'm sure I'm not the only one who got screwed by his benching in week 16).
- Reggie Bush - He ranks higher in point per reception leagues, but in a pure yardage & TD league, he's hurt by having to compete for playing time with Deuce McAllister and now Pierre Thomas, who Sean Payton apparently loves.
- Selvin Young - Young had over 5 yards a carry last year in limited duty. While that doesn't always translate over to full-time carries, we all know that the starting running back in Denver will succeed, and that appears to be Young right now.
- Lendale White - White had 1,100 yards and 7 scores, and figures once again to be the featured back for a Tennessee team that will lean on its running game. Lock it up.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Fantasy Football: Running Back Rankings
Here are your Joe & Joe Sports top 25 running backs for the 2008 fantasy football season. (These rankings assume 10 rushing/receiving yards per point, 6 points for rushing/receiving TD, no points for receptions).
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No Thomas Jones?
Interesting you should mention him, I initially had him penciled in at #25, and he's probably my #26. However, I absolutely love Leon Washington's explosiveness, and I think players like him can only be kept out of the limelight for so long. Additionally, Washington is a better pass-catcher, and with the addition of Favre, I think you're going to see a lot of screen and swing pass plays, which favor Washington's game-breaking ability.
Jones will probably still get 900 to 1,000 yards and 6 TDs, and won't do any damage to your fantasy team. But I think the upside of guys like Reggie Bush and Selvin Young and the youth of Lendale White trumps the aging Jones.
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