Friday, July 22, 2005Fantasy RBs
I think running back is the most important position on the fantasy team. Because the league is very thin in quality fantasy backs, it's important to get your two starters in the first 4-5 rounds.
Last year I had Tomlinson and Curtis Martin as my backs and they carried me while Matt Hasselbeck struggled for me at QB. My RB chart was deep enough to where I was able to trade my third running back (Warrick Dunn) for a better QB early in the season. Having more than two quality backs can really open up a chance for roster moves.
1) LaDainian Tomlinson: LT gives you yards on the ground and in the air and he's extremely consistent. Week in and week out he was a guaranteed 14-18 points in the bank. And don't forget his average of 15 touchdowns a year.
2) Priest Holmes: He's not as explosive as he was in 2002 but the guy is still a scoring machine. Holmes scored 14 TDs last year and missed almost half the season. If he's healthy it's another 1,400 yards and 22 touchdowns.
3) Edgerrin James: Going into a walk year I expect James to match or surpass his 1,548-yard total from last season. My only concern is the nine touchdowns, but I put some of that to Manning because obsessed with the record.
4) Jamal Lewis: Nothing like a trip through jail to motivate a guy. I expect Lewis to lead the league in rushing this year, he won't reach his 2003 total of 2,066, but he'll get over 1,800 and 12 touchdowns. Jail can do wonders for a person's pysche.
5) Corey Dillon: He got 30% of the Patriots offensive yards last season. He might come out the gate a little slow but be patient because as the weather cools off he will grind out several 100-yard games.
1) Ahman Green: Still a strong RB but not an elite one. Definitely a No. 2 running back at this stage. He's got some problems fumbling the ball and more importantly, he has to play second fiddle when Brett Favre decides to go at it alone.
2) Clinton Portis: Lots of carries, good amount of yardages, few touchdowns. Portis isn't the type of back that gets strong with more carries so after his 20th carry he was considerably weakened late in games.
3) Fred Taylor: The fact that it's taken him over five months to recover from surgery that was designed for six weeks of rest lets me know that Taylor is a wasted pick until the late rounds.
1) Tiki Barber: He fills in the boxscore whether the Giants win or lose. He's averaging over 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns for the last four seasons too. He often falls in fantasy drafts so this could be a 4th round steal.
2) Deuce McAllister: With the Saints promising to simplify their attack and run the ball more, McAllister should easily get close to 1,400 yards and double-digit touchdowns.
3) Warrick Dunn: Despite attempts to replace him, he still remains a great compliment to Michael Vick and a reliable back. He should get around 300 touches again this season and that means another 1,100+ yard season.
Ones to Watch:
1) Curitis Martin: After leading the league in rushing last year, Martin will have to shoulder the offensive load again. A mark of consitency.
2) DeShaun Foster/Stephen Davis: Give the Panthers the first month to figure out who will be the starter and go with him. Whoever runs will get a lot of carries and a lot of yards.
3) Rudi Johnson: Had a breakout season in 2004 with 1,400+ yards and 12 touchdowns. He will be heavily relied on again as the Bengals try to make the playofs.
4) Shaun Alexander: I worry about Mr. 1,696 if he's thinking more about his contract and less about the field. I can't draft a guy who has such an obvious distraction. Still his numbers in 2004 should not be ignored. Just monitor the first few weeks of camp.
5) LaMont Jordan: Finally Jordan can go at it alone. He has shown signs of power, speed and durability that should give him a nice chance to showcase his talents.