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Running Back Rankings – Version 3

By: — August 31, 2009 @ 7:15 am
Filed under: Forecast

The running back position is most likely to make or break your fantasy team and it’s time for an update to the rankings. There have been significant developments since our last rankings but not necessarily based on the players themselves. Certain roles have been changed from what was expected to materialize as training camp started and a few teams have had very poor offensive showings thus far. Both developments have caused a significant shake-up starting at the 7th ranked running back and continuing down into the mid-twenties. 

  1. Adrian Peterson, MIN – No change at the top. He’s the running back most likely to have a phenomenal season.
  2. Michael Turner, ATL
  3. Matt Forte, CHI – Moves up a notch with Chicago’s offense looking good and Orlando Pace solidifying the left tackle position.
  4. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX – Down a notch on concerns about the Jaguars ability to consistently move the ball.
  5. DeAngelo Williams, CAR
  6. LaDainian Tomlinson, SD
  7. Frank Gore, SF – Moves up more due to concerns with other backs than his situation. Rookie Glen Coffee has looked good but Gore still figures to get major touches.
  8. Steven Jackson, STL – The Rams get Donnie Avery back earlier than expected.
  9. Steve Slaton, HOU – He’s going to lose touches in the red zone to Chris Brown but likely won’t come off the field much otherwise.
  10. Marion Barber, DAL – Concerns at wide receiver and it now seems certain that the Cowboys will give significant touches to Felix Jones.
  11. Brandon Jacobs, NYG
  12. Ronnie Brown, MIA
  13. Brian Westbrook, PHI – Moves down due to concerns about his health and with the back injury to right tackle Shawn Andrews.
  14. Chris Johnson, TEN
  15. Clinton Portis, WAS – Most significant drop in the rankings. Portis is still talented but major issues in Washington at QB, WR and along the OL plus head coach Jim Zorn has installed Ladell Betts as the third down back.
  16. Pierre Thomas, NO – Up a couple spots based on the Saints offensive potential.
  17. Ryan Grant, GB
  18. Joseph Addai, IND – Major upside if he gets the goal line work and stays healthy.
  19. Kevin Smith, DET – Looks like rookie Matthew Stafford could start at QB soon which almost certainly limits Smith’s upside.
  20. Darren McFadden, OAK – If only there were realistic TD opportunities in Oakland.
  21. Marshawn Lynch, BUF
  22. Reggie Bush, NO
  23. Thomas Jones, NYJ
  24. Willie Parker, PIT
  25. Jonathan Stewart, CAR
  26. Derrick Ward, TB – Down six spots as it now appears he will split time evenly with Earnest Graham and Cadillac Williams, plus the Bucs offense looks to have limited potential.
  27. Larry Johnson, KC – Unless he gets better as a receiver, he may spend time sitting in a pass heavy offense.
  28. LenDale White, TEN
  29. Jamal Lewis, CLE
  30. Cedric Benson, CIN – Looks like he will carry a heavy load in Cinci so he moves up four spots.
  31. Ray Rice, BAL – Holding on to the top role in Baltimore so he’s up from 36.
  32. Felix Jones, DAL – Indications in Dallas are he will split time with Barber.
  33. Fred Jackson, BUF
  34. Chris Wells, ARI
  35. Julius Jones, SEA – With Edge on board, Jones drops five spots.
  36. Leon Washington, NYJ – He’s here but he has some upside. Great flex option.
  37. Tim Hightower, ARI
  38. Knowshon Moreno, DEN – Expected take off appears to be delayed.
  39. Earnest Graham, TB – If it is indeed a three-man rotation in Tampa, Graham also suffers.
  40. Donald Brown, IND
  41. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG
  42. Fred Taylor, NE
  43. Jerious Norwood, ATL
  44. Edgerrin James, SEA – 8-12 carries a game and goal line work are in his future.
  45. Darren Sproles, SD
  46. Ricky Williams, MIA
  47. Rashard Mendenhall, PIT
  48. Le’Ron McClain, BALMichael Bush, OAK
  49. Glen Coffee, SF – Looking great but hard to move him up.
  50. Sammy Morris, NE
  51. Chester Taylor, MIN
  52. Willis McGahee, BAL
  53. LeSean McCoy, PHI
  54. Jamaal Charles, KC – Sleeper potential if he is employed in a receiving role and the Chiefs are playing from behind (very likely).
  55. Brandon Jackson, GB
  56. Chris Brown, HOU – Looks like he’s in line to get the goal line carries.
  57. Cadillac Williams, TB – Feel good story or is he just being showcased?
  58. Maurice Morris, DET
  59. Kevin Faulk, NE
  60. Correll Buckhalter, DEN
  61. Mewelde Moore, PIT
  62. Shonn Greene, NYJ – Has looked good but what exactly is his role?
  63. James Davis, CLE
  64. Greg Jones, JAX
  65. Rashad Jennings, JAX
  66. LaMont Jordan, DEN
  67. Kolby Smith, KC – Maybe he takes over LJ’s role if there are any issues in K.C.

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