StrategyAugust 31, 2010

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Five Value Picks – Running Backs - 5 comments

By Michael Hawes

Part Two of my value picks for players that I feel will outperform their ADPs focuses on the running back position. Traditionally the scarcest of positions, it is usually what I give the most attention to when researching. If you can land between three and five fantasy relevant running backs then you are well on your way to a successful season. 


Ronnie Brown, RB, MIA (current ADP – 5.02) - An exceptional talent that just has not been able to stay healthy the last few years, Brown is hopefully healthy and able to once again be a dominant fantasy RB. Brown has shown an ability to bounce back from serious injury to perform like an RB1, and I expect him to perform that way again in 2010. In the run-heavy Miami offense, there are plenty of touches for those concerned with Ricky Williams. Brown averaged 13.6 PPG in nine starts last year, which was top 15 on a per-game basis.

Arian Foster, RB, HOU (current ADP – 4.10) - The new darling of the FF world, Foster has a pretty clear path to the RB1 gig in a high powered offense, which warrants his inclusion here. While I don’t think he is an elite RB, he is good and can certainly produce solid numbers that well exceed his current ADP of 4.10 up from 6.05 when I wrote this only a few days ago. I expect a steady climb up the ADP charts, so buy him now if you haven’t already.

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG (current ADP – 6.08) - A fantastic start to the preseason in camp and decent starts in the preseason games are now making everyone question the player that’s the RB1 in New York. Most are now leaning towards Bradshaw to get the job. A fantastic talent whose only knocks are an injury history and unfortunately a non NFL-body, he has produced with every chance he has received.  I still think it makes more sense to lead with Jacobs and utilize Bradshaw as a change-of-pace back, but the rumors circulating may tell me I am wrong.

Michael Bush, RB, OAK (current ADP – 7.09) - Still not locked in as the RB1 in Oakland, Bush does have a clearer path to that job. Fargas is now with the rival Broncos and D-Mac still can’t stay healthy. Oakland is still a poor team on which to hedge your FF life, but Bush may be the most talented player on the offensive side. We all remember his monster games of late 2008 and 2009. Michael Bush under the right set of circumstances can easily be a top 15 if not a top 10 back by the end of the year. (Update: Bush injured his thumb after submission but looks on track to miss little time.)

Clinton Portis, RB, WAS (current ADP – 8.03) - Poor old Clinton gets no respect. He’s 28 years old and yes, he has a lot of wear on those tires, but he did play a full 16 games in both 2008 and 2007, producing top 10 campaigns in both seasons. There is no one, and I mean literally no one behind him on the depth charts, so the only thing that will keep him off the field is injury.  Is he a risk? Probably a slight risk, but that risk is well worth taking with his current ADP of 8.03.

Michael Hawes is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. Nearly 20 years of FF, had to have learned something in that time. You can catch up with Michael in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of bungle613.
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5 Responses to “Five Value Picks – Running Backs”

  1. User avatar tbagz says:

    Good post, I have three of the five guys listed here on my teams. For whatever reason I went QB/WR/WR so these picks will be key for me this year. I didn’t like Bradshaw simply because the Giants aren’t the same team they were 2-3 years ago on offense AND defense. As for Michael Bush, well I know Jason Campbell is starting QB now (for as long as he can stay upright), but he still plays for the Raiders, enough said.

  2. User avatar PuntinFool says:

    I liked the article as well. However, wouldn’t Larry Johnson still be considered as a viable backup presence to Clinton Portis? Is there a real gap between the two in regards to ability, aside from Portis’ ability to catch the ball more consistently?

  3. User avatar Indibuck says:

    Nice piece as usual, Bungle.

    If you have a draft spot of 8-10 in a ten team league, you can draft WR/WR to start and then look at a combo of Foster and Brown as your starting RBs. I think that’s a great start to a team, as long as you grab another RB with your late 5th/early 6th round pick to hedge Brown’s injury issues.

  4. User avatar joejlitz says:

    puntinfool: LJ was supposedly on the chopping block along with FWP last week. He survived final cuts. I don’t see him as a threat to Portis.

  5. Obliduty says:

    LJ definitely is the main backup to CP and I think shanny likes him–with that said though there is a reason why Shanny has limited CP’s snaps this preseason and that is to keep him fresh for the long haul.


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