YardBirds wrote:1. LaDananian Tomlinson - Coaching staff changes, pattern of running backs underperforming after a career season.
2. Steven Jackson - Additions to the offense may spell less production.
3. Larry Johnson - coaching staff commenting on lessoning the burden, may have been worn down by over use last year, contract hold out looming.
4. Shaun Alexander - Could foot become nagging injury, OLine question marks.
5. Frank Gore - durability?
6. Brian Westbrook - injury concerns, as always.
7. Willie Parker - losing goal line carries, spread offense may take away possessions if recieving corp performs well.
8. Rudi Johnson - model of consistencey but YPC dropping.
9. Joseph Addai - will he step up as starter, or will carrying the load prove to wear him down.
10. Laurence Maroney - will shoulder be healthy
11. Travis Henry - injury concerns
12. Clinton Portis - can he stay healthy
13. Ronnie Brown - will Miami O allow him to produce first Round quality numbers
**omitted Reggie Bush b/c Deuce will still get the lion share of the carries, and unless you are in a PPR I couldn't really see drafting him in the late 1st/early 2nd when you would have to get Deuce a few Rds later to handcuff.
***omitted Maurice Jones-Drew b/c Fred Taylor is still the starter and the TDs may have been an anomaly
****Likely that Reggie Bush, Peyton Manning, and Steve Smith will go toward the end of the first Rd. so I'm not saying Henry, Brown or Portis are First Rd worthy.
For me it seems like the only true RB in the first Rd that you can be almost sure you will get your value from is Rudi Johnson. Though I doubt LT will put up putrid numbers, there is something about the Cafe Article by KC that made me think. I also read a post about RBs usually have paltry years after a year of overuse, further scaring me away from Larry Johnson. So I was just looking for opinions.
LT - The coaching change probably wont be hurting him all that much considering that Norv is really usually a great guy for RBs to have running that offense. He's a very offensive minded coach and while he has had trouble winning games, he's always been a bonus for his RBs. One good thing to think about with LT last year is that while he had a career year, he really wasn't overused to the point at which I would be very concerned going into this year.
SJax - The additions to the offense wont really affect him that much I don't think. These additions wont change the fact that Linehan wants to use SJax to set up the pass and not the other way around and he'll still be used plenty next season. I think the additions of Bennett and McMichael hurt each of their values along with Bruce's more than anyone else.
LJ - Probably one of the guys that I do have the most concerns with losing his 2nd hall of fame O-Lineman in the last 2 years, being very overused last season, being used pretty ineffectively considering how good of a player he is, probably having essentially a rookie QB this year (Brodie Croyle), and still no real great threats in the passing game other than Tony G. In the end, Herm isn't that great of a coach and he'll likely end up overusing him again despite what he's saying now.
SA - I don't think the foot should really be too much of a concern...after how it affected them all last season I think the Seattle coaching staff will be making sure he's good to go before they let him back out there. O-Line is still a small concern because last year losing Hutch hurt a lot and it probably wont hurt much less this year either. Still in a relatively weak division defensively so should still put up good numbers.
Gore - Has some concerns because he's had major knee injuries to both of his knees before but he held up pretty well last year. I have some concerns with Norv Turner leaving the offensive staff there as Norv is usually a godsend for RBs and it could very well end up in a small drop in his production. He's also not a guy that scores a lot of TDs which could be a concern as well.
Westbrook - Of course there are always durability concerns and if McNabb struggles to come back or goes down with injury again they could end up trying to rely on him too much with much more inexperienced QBs backing up McNabb than they had last year in Garcia.
Parker - Where is this idea that he'll lose goal line carries coming from? He actually excelled in those situations last year scoring nearly all of his TDs inside the redzone and he actually had an exceptional ypc average on 3rd and short which means he probably wont be replaced there anytime soon. They've also said that the move to the spread offense is more to open up running lanes for Parker than anything else. Tomlin is a smashmouth football type of guy just like Cowher was in that he likes to run the ball and play defense.
Rudi - You know what you're getting from this guy and really the Cincy offense sort of struggled at times last year which I would expect to improve this season. Not to mention that the defense took a big step back last year which will probably improve a bit as well allowing them to use the running game a bit more.
Addai - Indy will be a very productive system for him to be running in with Peyton back there to take most of that focus off of him. No real huge threats for carries there and he showed no real signs of wearing down last season which gives some reassurance going into this season that he'll be OK carrying the load.
Maroney - Unlike Addai, Maroney struggled at times to stay healthy despite only being used in a partial role. I have no idea how well he'll hold up to getting the ball more and this shoulder injury seems to be lingering a bit longer than I would like personally.
Henry - I don't think Henry is really much of an injury risk personally. He was just fine last year and probably the biggest risk is if he manages to get in trouble again and gets suspended for a while. Some are worried about Shanny, but when he gets a back that's more talented he usually uses them plenty. He's easily the most talented back they've had since Portis and his running style is a perfect fit for this system.
Portis - I'm not so worried about him staying healthy, I think he'll be fine and I don't personally think that Betts will steal as much as people think. But seeing as how there's an entire thread on this I won't go into too much detail.
Brown - Not a guy I'm huge on. He'll be more valuable in PPR leagues but he's got a significant amount of risk considering that he had trouble bearing the load last year, we could see a decent amount of Lorenzo Booker. I'm also not one to give much credit for the SD offense to Cam Cameron who's now the coach of the Dolphins because really, how hard is it to build a good offense around LT and Gates?
Just my thoughts on some of the concerns with these guys you mentioned.