That looks about right. I would add Jonathan Stewart as a mid-3rd rounder.
I'm stuck on Slaton's keeper potential next year. I have S. jackson, M. Turner, and Mr. Slaton to choose from. We keep two. It will be tough.
12 team/6pts TD/1pt 25yds pass/1pt 10yd r/r 08-09 Champ: Defending my title QB Cutler WR R. White, Welker, S. Holmes, D. Hester RB M. Turner, S. Slaton, D. Brown, L Betts, L Maroney M. Bush TE Shockey K Gotskowski Def: Dal. (platoon likely)
How on Earth do you consider McFadden, Felix Jones, and Kevin Smith to be worth early picks next year?
Those guys are late middle rounders to me. I mean didn't you learn the lesson this year? Just because a guy is a starter doesn't make him valuable, especially when they are in Oakland/Detroit and competing for touches or firmly behind a featured RB. I also think Mendenhall is still behind Parker next year, there is no way Pittsburgh goes into the season with this guy as their starter. Guy will be a sleeper and nothing more. Jonathon Stewart is in a little better situation than Mendenhall based on what he has done this year, but I also think Denangelo has solidified that committee as well. He's not much more than a sleeper either. The one guy that could move up a lot before the season starts next year is Ray Rice if Mcgahee were to leave IMO. HE could start to see Chris Johnson type playing time with Leron playing COP.
I see it this way:
Forte - early 1st Guy gets a ton of carries and is productive with them. He catches the ball like a WR and is heavily involved in the passing game. Scores like a top RB. Did it this year on a bad offensive team. What is not to like about Forte? Guy has a lot of similarities to LT. I liked him a lot going into the draft but not as much when he went to Chicago, but boy has he made me a believer. This dude has skills. Even Westbrook doesn't receive FADE passes in the endzone that he regularly converts to TDs like Forte does. This guy is just insane. Top5 RB for a long time IMO.
Johnson - early 2nd Lead RB ahead of Lendale but not a RB#1 because of the TD vultures. This guy could turn into what Willie Parker was a couple years ago if Lendale were to get hurt or do something stupid, but his upside is somewhat capped. If this guy is featured I think he's a top5 RB easy. Definitely a guy I would want to snag as a RB#2 if the price is right.
Slaton - mid 2nd Is Ahman Green around? Houston has had a pretty cake schedule this year but that doesn't take away from what Slaton has done. Guy is a homerun threat, great pass catcher, and a pretty damn good all around RB. I think the guy is similar to MJD but a little less talented BUT he is being given workhorse playing time. Based on the schedule at the end of this year and what he should be projected to do, and with the stats he has put up in the easy games thus far, I think in long term leagues the end of the season would be a great time to sell high.
Everybody else = mid-late round picks MAYBE take a gamble on McFadden earlier if Fargas is not there anymore, but even then he will be way overvalued again at that point.
I agree with Kensat. Forte, Johnson, and Slaton are the only guys I would touch early. Felix Jones in the 4th or 5th? The guy has skills but unless Marion Barber falls off the face of the earth I can't see him as anything more than a handcuff or high upside backup. McFadden, Stewart, and Mendenhall could all go fairly high thanks to name recognition but I wouldn't want to trust any of those guys as one my starting backs next year. Kevin Smith is intriguing but I don't see Detroit's problems going away anytime soon-their line still sucks and their defense will not allow Smith to see enough rushing attempts. I'd have to get great value to nab any of the Big 3 from this year, unless I was looking to cuff them to DeAngelo or Parker.
I think the guy is a risky RB#3 similar to say how Selvin Young was viewed by some this preseason (the people who viewed him as an upside candidate). I'm not saying Hightower will fail like Young has, just that the guy is more of a homerun attempt than he is stable.
Arizona has flourished under Warner... for the passing game. Running the ball has been a different story in Arizona for YEARS now. Edge came in and got 300 carries for a couple years running and was a very weak RB#2. More of a RB#3. When you are top10 even top5 in carries/touches in the NFL at RB and barely performing at a startable level for fantasy, that is a messed up situation. Hightower has shown this season that he is talented to an extent, but not talented enough to make things happen behind that O-line. And since they have Arrington there to be the 3rd down/pass catcher COP guy and JJ has been succeeding in that role, I have a hard time seeing Tim Hightower flourish unless things change next year. Fitzgerald and Boldin this year have shown that Arizona is more than willing to pass the ball inside the redzone or even inside the 5.
Anyone have info about Arrington for 2009 contract wise? I'm pretty sure Edge will be gone next year regardless of what his contract looks like. Tim Hightower could see 200-300+ carries next year but I think he will be a risky play. I start looking at Hightower later on in the early rounds, maybe even the middle rounds: 4, 5, 6ish. Not sure how long he will last though, if he is declared the starter early in preseason there will definitely be some major hype.