So how 'bout this for a topic: We take an inventory of the league rushing attacks. Like who's doing running back by committee to start the year? Who's got a sure-fire, bonfied starter already etched in stone? And who's going to sort out their starter during the pre-season?
Then, as the pre-season progresses, we can update our projections. Sound useful?
J.J. Arrington's job to lose, according to some. Nonetheless, Marcel Shipp could well begin the year as the starter. You'd have to think Arrington's superior talent will eventually win out.
Business as usual in Atlanta, with Warrick getting the bulk of the carries (and receptions by RBs) and T.J. doing the sort yardage and goal-line duty.
All Jamal all the time. Unless he's on the oxygen or in lock-up, we won't see much Chester. Jamal, however, does have some hurdles to clear efore the season opener and rumor has it that his fitness level isn't what it should be. According to Ravens fan and fantasy officianado deluxe_247, "...Bottom line..if you have Jamal..it would be smart to cuff Chester for the start of the season."
Willis McGahee is the starter.
Anything I say here is strictly speculative. It would seem to me that it's DeShaun's job to lose, at this point. Stephen Davis looks unlikely to bounce back from his knee injury and could miss the season -- in fact, probably will miss the season. Apparently, Carolina prefers to use Foster, a finesse-type guy, with a smash-mouth type rusher, like Davis, or perhaps rookie Eric Shelton, who hasn't actually signed yet. And there's Nick Goings. I think one guy will get the vast majority of the carries, with someone else doing short yardage and goal-line situtations.
Thus far, the smart fantasy football types are predicting less Thomas Jones and more Cedric Benson. But I'm not too sure what to make of that analysis since ANY Cedric is more than no Cedric (he was in college last year). In any case, I'd say neither guy has more than marginal draft value.
Rudi Johnson's job.
A three horse race? Lee Suggs seems to be the front runner. Reuben Droughns at 8-1, and William Green at 20-1. Green hasn't exactly endeared himself to the coaching staff, his teammates, or the Browns faithful. Suggs has been inconsistent. Droughns was a minor revelation in Denver last year, but that was in Denver, remember. His stats alone suggest he's the best of the lot, but I still think it's Suggs' job to lose.
Julius Jones is the man. With Anthony Thomas, Dallas has a serviceable back-up.
Another messy situation. I have a strong feeling that Tatum Bell will be the guy. Droughns notwithstanding, Bell was the most successful rusher in Denver last year in terms of yards per carry (5.3). Bell is also the od hand, all of a sudden. Mike Anderson has been discussed as the possible starter in Denver, though, and could hold off Bell for that spot. Griffin and Dayne could both see limited time, and step in if Bell and Anderson faulter or are injured.
Kevin Jones is the starter.
Ahman Green is the starting halfback. Green Bay's offense (which is just cool, isn't it?) keeps many backs involved though. Green, Tony Fisher, and fullback William Henerson all caught at least 34 passes last year. And Najeh Davenport will get some goal-line carries. Still, Ahman's stats should easily overshadow all the rest combined.
Dominick Davis is the starter.
Another high-powered, fun offense. Edge is the guy. But Rhodes and even Mungro will be onvolved.
Fred Taylor is coming off knee surgery. And knee surgery aside, there couldn't have a been a more disappointing 1200-yard rusher last year. Taylor scored a mere three times; he went 7 games without scoring last year, and six games without posting 100 yards on the ground. Very frustrating for people who drafted Fred thinking he'd be good value. Well this year, he should be good value in the draft. Greg Jones is unsigned and not worth much anyway, but he was the guy who touched the ball most after Fred. And there's rookie signing Alvin Pearman, who should at the very least get a chance to make an impression. And there's LaBrandon Toefield, who was supposed to have been the backup last year and still could fill that role.
This is Priest's job. But if we've learned one thing from the Chiefs, it's that it matters not who gets the hand-offs. Blaylock was on fire for a while when Priest was out, as was Larry Johnson, who remains as the back-up. LJ is perhaps the most valuable fantasy backup of all.
Again, this is speculation. Ricky could well win his old job back. A few years ago, he was one of seven elite RBs. These guys he'll be fighting with for the job are glue horses in comparison to what he once was, but that was then and this is now. People are pretty high on rookie Ronnie Brown. And you'd figure Brown will get a fair crack, considering the Fins used their 2nd overall draft pick on the guy.
To be continued...I'll do Minnesota through Washington tomorrow. I hope people add to the discussion in the meantime.
Last edited by Wesley Walker on Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:07 am, edited 5 times in total.