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Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

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Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

Postby The Lung » Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:49 am

From: http://www.fanballnews.com/article.php?article_id=11102

Sound Off: Top-10 RBs
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We have yet to factor in the changes that will undoubtedly be brought about by free agency, offseason trades, and April's draft. That said, it's always kind of fun to look ahead to next year—especially for those of you who didn't advance deep into your fantasy football playoffs. With that in mind, our staff of fantasy-football analysts was asked to sound off with their "early" Top-10 rankings at each position for next year. We began with quarterbacks last week. Now it's time for the running backs.

Bo Mitchell's rankings
1. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
2. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
3. Steven Jackson, Rams
4. Joseph Addai, Colts
5. Brian Westbrook, Eagles
6. Marion Barber, Cowboys
7. Willie Parker, Steelers
8. Marshawn Lynch, Bills
9. Frank Gore, 49ers
10. Ryan Grant, Packers

Taking a quick glance at the rest of the top-10 lists below, I can't help but notice that I am the only one with Peterson perched at No. 1. It's a really tough call between him and Tomlinson, but for now I am giving AD the nod. He was the best running back in the league this season, and he didn't start or even play in every game. He'll get more carries and receptions next year. I'm not concerned about his injuries or the timeshare with Chester Taylor, and I think the Vikes main priority this offseason with be to upgrade (or "upgrade ya" as Beyonce might say) their offense so he will have a better surrounding cast next year. To me, Jackson is an easy choice for number three, as he is an absolute beast when he's healthy and I have to think the Rams will do everything they can to beef up their line this offeseason. I do not trust Larry Johnson enough to include his name here just yet, but he is the one guy who I can foresee maybe sneaking back into the mix, perhaps in place of Grant. And it will be interesting to see where Darren McFadden winds up in the draft, as he could crack my top-10 as well.

John Tuvey's rankings

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
2. Joseph Addai, Colts
3. Brian Westbrook, Eagles
4. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
5. Steven Jackson, Rams
6. Willie Parker, Steelers
7. Larry Johnson, Chiefs
8. Marshawn Lynch, Bills
9. Clinton Portis, Redskins
10. Frank Gore, 49ers

This list is more top-heavy than in previous seasons, to the point that I'd be very comfortable with the fifth overall pick and being forced to "settle" for Peterson or Jackson. I struggled much more with the second half of the top 10: Will Parker ever score again? Will LJ bounce back? Can Lynch avoid the sophomore slump? Will injury and/or spotty quarterback play limit Portis and/or Gore? There's a gaggle of guys just outside this list who may move up as the offseason progresses. If I knew who would be quarterbacking the Ravens next season I'd be more comfortable putting Willis McGahee on this list. If Julius Jones leaves Dallas—and Jerry Jones doesn't pursue Darren McFadden—Marion Barber should move up. McFadden might crack this list depending on where he lands in the draft. Can Ronnie Brown bounce back from his injury, and will the Dolphins suck any less next year? Maurice Jones-Drew, Brandon Jacobs, LenDale White, and Laurence Maroney have the talent but too many question marks with the way they've been used for me to have enough confidence to invest that first-round pick.

Ted Carlson's rankings

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
3. Brian Westbrook, Eagles
4. Joseph Addai, Colts
5. Steven Jackson, Rams
6. Willie Parker, Steelers
7. Marshawn Lynch, Bills
8. Frank Gore, 49ers
9. Marion Barber, Cowboys
10. Willis McGahee, Ravens

If I were to break my rankings into tiers, there would be a top two, next three, Parker, next three, and then a whole bunch of candidates for the 10th spot. Barber may be a bit of a surprise, but Julius Jones is headed to free agency. The Cowboys could easily squash Marion's value by drafting a running back, but I'll keep Barber at nine until that happens. McGahee currently feels like the most stable option of the guys I considered at 10. Jamal Lewis will be a free agent, Reggie Bush was a disappointment, Brandon Jacobs is always hurt, Earnest Graham is still an unknown, Mo-Jo Drew will likely continue to work behind Fred Taylor, Ronnie Brown will be coming off a serious injury, and Larry Johnson is…LJ. Clinton Portis is in that huge group, too. Who knows? Maybe Darren McFadden will land in a good spot and jump ahead of this whole group. Clearly I need the offseason to sort all this out, but I feel pretty good about my top-nine. For now.

Jason Powell's rankings
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
3. Steven Jackson, Rams
4. Joseph Addai, Colts
5. Brian Westbrook, Eagles
6. Frank Gore, 49ers
7. Willie Parker, Steelers
8. Marshawn Lynch, Bills
9. Marion Barber, Cowboys
10. Larry Johnson, Chiefs

I didn't think twice about ranking LT ahead of AD. Tomlinson is the unquestioned starter in San Diego and has a long track record of success, whereas Peterson owners have to worry about the Chester Taylor factor, not to mention the possibility that the Purple will still be so one-dimensional offensively that teams can get away with stacking eight or nine players in the box to stop the run. Gore and Lynch are in the same boat as Peterson in that they could really use some semblance of a passing attack to open things up for them. Parker would be in my top-three if it wasn't for Najeh Davenport stealing those goal line carries. I'm praying that the Cowboys will finally come to their senses and realize that MB3 deserves 20 carries per game. Go away, Julius Jones. I believe LJ still has the talent, but I have no faith in his offensive line or in that offense in general. In fact, I came close to leaving him off the list in favor of Willis McGahee or Clinton Portis. Rudi Johnson might crack the top-10 if he looks good in training camp and the preseason next year.

Christian Peterson's rankings
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
3. Brian Westbrook, Eagles
4. Joseph Addai, Colts
5. Steven Jackson, Rams
6. Marion Barber, Cowboys
7. Frank Gore, 49ers
8. Marshawn Lynch, Bills
9. Larry Johnson, Chiefs
10. Willie Parker, Steelers

Peterson's upside is obviously off the charts, but you simply can't argue against LT's ridiculous consistency and durability. Westbrook and Addai are really close as the next two players, and assuming the Cowboys let Julius Jones go in free agency, I'd seriously consider MB3 in that same group. S-Jax, LJ, and Gore have had awful seasons for similar reasons (i.e. horrible offenses and/or debilitating injuries along the offensive line), but all three still have the talent for monster fantasy numbers. After the top eight, it's a bit of a crapshoot. Lynch has looked great while running into a brick wall most of his rookie season in Buffalo, but with a year under Trent Edwards' belt and another year from an improving offensive line, the offense should improve, which should give him more scoring opportunities. That's a lot of "shoulds," but the potential is there. Parker, Willis McGahee, Maurice Jones-Drew, Reggie Bush, Jamal Lewis, and maybe even Justin Fargas all deserve mention just outside of the top 10, but I went with Parker on the theory that his lack of touchdowns this year is nothing more than a fluke.

Jon Lopuch's rankings
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
3. Steven Jackson, Rams
4. Brian Westbrook, Eagles
5. Joseph Addai, Colts
6. Willie Parker, Steelers
7. Larry Johnson, Chiefs
8. Marion Barber, Cowboys
9. Rudi Johnson, Bengals
10. Marshawn Lynch, Bills

I expect Peterson to get an even bigger share of the workload next season, but there is no way I can put a player with his injury history over Tomlinson. Jackson, Westbrook, and Addai are each total-yardage monsters who represent the tier below LT and AD (when will people realize his nickname is "All Day"?) I see no reason why the Cowboys offense won't do very well next season, so Barber cracks the Top 10 based on his touchdown potential. I almost dropped Johnson out of these rankings entirely and still may by the start of the next season, but none of the guys who just missed the cut (McGahee, Portis, MoJo, even Ryan Grant) offer the upside of Larry.

Anthony Maggio's rankings

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
2. Steven Jackson, Rams
3. Brian Westbrook, Eagles
4. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
5. Joseph Addai, Colts
6. Willie Parker, Steelers
7. Larry Johnson, Chiefs
8. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins
9. Rudi Johnson, Bengals
10. Frank Gore, 49ers

Putting this list together was tougher than I expected it to be, and there are some notables not on this list I'd like to get to – but let's start at the top. Health and consistency are enough for me to keep LT at No. 1, no questions asked. He's also got the backfield to himself, which we found out this season is extremely important. This is also why Jackson and Westbrook are second and third, ahead of Peterson. Yes, I know that Peterson is the best running back the world has ever seen – but the presence of Chester Taylor is enough to drop him out of my top three. Addai is tough to drop this far, but I can't get myself to put him ahead of any of the other guys. Needless to say, I'd be plenty happy to get Addai with the fifth or sixth pick in my draft next year. Fast Willie is another guy with a backfield basically to himself despite the presence of a decent backup. Johnson is an interesting case because if healthy he should have the job to himself, but after being banged up and seeing Kolby Smith run effectively this season, Johnson could cede some carries next season as the Chiefs try to keep him healthy. Brown looked really good before he got hurt this year, but Ricky Williams wasn't around then. Not knowing how that will shake out keeps me from moving up Ronnie any further. Rudi had been a picture of perfect health before this season, so I am confident he isn't going to be plagued by injuries for a second year. But with Kenny Watson and Chris Perry around, he can't be any higher. Gore makes the list in hopes that San Fran can right the ship offensively. He's a legit talent without legit talent behind him. Honorable mention guys include Marshawn Lynch, Brandon Jacobs and Reggie Bush. Shared backfields have me worried about Jacobs and Bush, though, and same goes for Laurence Maroney. I'd like to give a shoutout to Ryan Grant and Ernest Graham as well, but at this point it is impossible to know what the Bays will be doing with their backfields.


A couple of thoughts:
  • Tuvey brought up the idea that 2008 will be more "top-heavy" which I agree with. In past years it seemed like an enormous advantage to have the 1.01, 1.02 or 1.03 pick. While some could probably make an argument that Tomlinson and Peterson are in a slightly higher tier, looking at the various rankings it appears obvious that there's a "BIG FIVE" composed of Tomlinson, ADPeterson, Addai, Steven Jackson, and Westbrook before there's a drop-off, with the individual rankings within this Big Five based on personal preference.
  • Larry Johnson will not be on my top 10 list. I think he's past his prime, with his best days behind him, and KC will still be a bad team next year. I will gleefully draft LJ with the first pick in the second round if he's still available, but I will not use a first round pick on him.
  • Some may say that this year was an aberration for Willie Parker, but when a guy only scores 2 TDs vs. 16 the previous year, something is not right. Additionally, now he'll be recovering from a broken fibula. Like LJ, I'll grab him early second if he's there but not in the first.
  • That Ronnie Brown only appears on one of these lists is a crime - the guy was a BEAST this season! I will draft him with joy if I have a late first round pick.
  • Rudi Johnson doesn't belong in the top 20, let alone top 10. That's an awful pick right there. :-t
(~);}

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Re: Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

Postby JasonSeahorn » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:10 am

LJ past his prime???????????? he's maybe 26 or 27 years old?? next season might not be a great year for him but keep him in mind for the next few years as the rest of his team should get better and the o-line gets more experience.

i'm not worried about willie parker's injury, he'll be ready to play in the summer. if their o-line declines (faneca might not come back next year?) i might avoid him, or at least need him to fall to me before i pick him....the pass-heavy attack is working pretty well for the steelers, and they still have davenport + the young guy davis looked pretty good last night.

i agree ronnie is def worth a late 1st round pick and i'm not gonna touch rudi at all.

i used to like fanball but after i saw rotoworld...i don't like fanball that much anymore.
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Re: Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

Postby WickedSmaat » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:27 am

Where's McFadden? No doubt he's a lock for #2 usurping LT who is looking more washed up than legit.

Ryan Grant at #10 is a little bit high imo for the time being.
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Re: Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

Postby CC » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:43 am

McGahee only makes it onto one of their lists (and at #10 too).

Give me Willis over Grant, Lynch, Gore, Rudi or LJ.
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Re: Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

Postby GreatestShowOnEarth » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:52 am

Ronnie Brown TORE his ACL midseason. Lets keep that in mind. I dont have him in my extremely early top 10 and barring some very positive news this offseason, i dont think he should be in the top 10 once the season rolls around. He was in fact a beast when he played for a very subpar team this year but an ACL injury is pretty major.
I like Ryan Grant, even if Favre retires next year. He is the hottest RB in the league right now and Rodgers showed against Dallas that he is ready to play well.
Marion Barber needs to be in the top 10 next year. I would be pretty surprised if JJ stuck around in Dallas.
I dont want LJ next year unless i can get him at a discount. He's obviously not past his prime but that entire offense , especially the offensive line, looked pretty anemic this season. I'm not spending a top 10 pick on him.

EDIT: can't believe i forgot willis.

Heres how my top 10 looks:
1) LT2
2) Brian Westbrook
3) Adrian Peterson
4) Clinton Portis
5) Stephen Jackson
6) Marion Barber
7) Joseph Addai
8) Marshawn Lynch
9) Frank Gore
10) Willis McGahee
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Re: Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

Postby The Lung » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:39 pm

JasonSeahorn wrote:LJ past his prime???????????? he's maybe 26 or 27 years old?? next season might not be a great year for him but keep him in mind for the next few years as the rest of his team should get better and the o-line gets more experience.


GreatestShowOnEarth wrote:I dont want LJ next year unless i can get him at a discount. He's obviously not past his prime but that entire offense , especially the offensive line, looked pretty anemic this season. I'm not spending a top 10 pick on him.


Larry Johnson is 28. He turns 29 in November of next year. In 2004, he had 120 carries. In 2006, he had 336 carries. In 2006, he had 416 carries. In 2007, he had 158 carries.

He plays on a Chiefs team with a lousy QB, lousy defense, lousy and aging offensive line, with a lousy coach in Herm Edwards. Sorry, but that's not what I look for in a first round pick.
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Re: Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

Postby JasonSeahorn » Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:35 pm

i understand he had a monster number of carries in 2005 and 2006 but before that he got very little. his legs are probably younger than his age.

you guys are right about him not being 1st round material, but if i'm in the middle of the draft order and he's there in the 2nd round i'm taking him...even with his team being in a bad state he'll post high end rb2 numbers just from sheer number of carries. plus, he had a horrid starting schedule this year, let's see what his schedule will look like next year.
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Re: Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

Postby TheDiplomats » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:34 pm

My top 10:
1) ADP
2) LT2
3) Steven Jackson
4) Westbrook
5) Addai
6) Barber
7) Gore
8) Portis
9) Marshawn Lynch
10) Willie Parker
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Re: Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

Postby JakeTrain72 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 11:06 am

Willis needs to be in the top 10, Willie Parker needs to drop-maybe not out of the top 10, but is he really a lock for 8+ TDs anymore? Those extra yards won't offset the lack of TDs. Westy really needs to be 3, sure the injury issues are always there but the guy gets so many opps and does a lot with them.

Rudi Johnson should not be in top 10 - crowded backfield. McFadden lovers need to wait at least until you know what team he is playing for. Ronnie Brown is a top 10 lock, he's in that 4-7 range with Addai. Gore is a gamble and I don't see how you can make that gamble unless you pick at the backend and know you can get quality #2 RB.

I think MB3 needs to be up there, he's money. Adrian Pete is a nice back with a nice Oline but I am in the "he's injury prone" camp so he drops from the top 3 for me. Michael Turner is a potential top 10 back with the right team and 300+carries (Texas possibly?).

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AP
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WcGahee
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Parker
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Re: Fanball's Top 10 RBs for 2008

Postby LS2throwed » Mon Dec 24, 2007 11:09 am

I dont understand the list that has Parker ahead of Barber...even in a timeshare Barber is still going to put up better scoring numbers because a good day of Parker is maybe 11 pts with no tds mixed in, while Barber is a scoring machine and only going to get more carries...


But alot depends on the draft with these guys, if Dallas takes a speed back in the 3rd round then Barber should be considered in the same tier as Addai, S Jax, and Westbrook, which means he is guaranteed 20 carries and all his goal line work without much being invested in another back, if Dallas choose say Felix Jones late in the 1st rd, he obviously will be apart of the offense so barber rounds out the bottom half of the top 10, but I really think he is earning his chance to get a shot, pro bowl year, 20 carries a game lately, I really dont see Dallas taking a rb early unless its Felix Jones
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