WalterFootball.com - Detailed NFL Mock Drafts, Player Prospect Rankings, and One of the Largest Mock Draft Databases on the Web

2008 Fantasy Football Rankings - Running Backs


More 2008 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Top 150
Sleepers
Busts



Projected points are based on traditional fantasy scoring systems, where you get 1 point for 20 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving; and 6 points for a touchdown. When I post my Top 150, I'll have lists for traditional, PPR and touchdown leagues. I'll also have notifications if a player is better or worse in one of those scoring systems.

A key for these notifications is at the bottom of the page.


Updated Sept. 2

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
    Another Charger coming off a knee injury. LaDainian Tomlinson stood silently on the sidelines in New England, as his team lost in the AFC Championship, 21-12. Tomlinson tore his MCL, but reports indicate that he's 100 percent. Fantasy owners who draft him better hope so. If there was ever a year for Tomlinson to go bust, this is it. Coming off a knee injury, Tomlinson told reporters recently that he doesn't expect to be in the NFL much longer. Has he been working hard this offseason?

    My saying all of this makes it sound like I wouldn't draft him No. 1 overall, but I probably would if I had the top choice. When healthy and determined, Tomlinson is an unstoppable force. San Diego has a very easy schedule early on, so if you draft Tomlinson, you could start off 5-0 in your fantasy league (assuming you don't screw up in the later rounds).
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,410 rushing yards. 450 receiving yards. 18 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 294.

  2. Steven Jackson, Rams
    A groin injury limited Steven Jackson's production in 2007. In 11 full games, Jackson totaled 961 rushing yards, 36 receptions and 262 receiving yards. Not bad for a running back whose best blocker missed 15 contests. With Isaac Bruce off in San Francisco, Jackson will be featured more often in the passing game. Now in his contract year, Jackson's numbers may revert to 2006 form, when he had 1,528 rushing yards and 90 receptions.

    AUG. 21 UPDATE: As expected, Steven Jackson has decided to end his holdout. There's no reason not to draft Jackson with one of the top picks in your draft.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,425 rushing yards. 500 receiving yards. 11 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 258.

  3. Brian Westbrook, Eagles
    If I have the No. 2 pick in my fantasy leagues, I'm taking Brian Westbrook. No questions asked. (See the Adrian Peterson write-up as to why I'm avoiding him). I was in five leagues last year. I qualified for the semi-finals in three and the championship in two. I won one of those. Guess who carried that squad? Westbrook totaled 2,104 total yards and 12 touchdowns. As for the injury-prone tags? Ignore them. Every single top-tier runner has injury issues, and Westbrook has missed just two games the previous two seasons.

    JULY 31 UPDATE: This isn't about Brian Westbrook's contract dispute (seriously, Eagles, stop being cheap and pay one of the best players in the NFL). This has to do with Shawn Andrews' apparent depression. Andrews recently sent a text message saying, "My journey is just rough right now." Oh boy. Without Andrews up front, Westbrook's yards-per-carry average won't reach 5.1 (2006) or 4.8 (2007) again, but he's still the No. 2 player in PPR leagues.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,150 rushing yards. 725 receiving yards. 11 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 253.

  4. Joseph Addai, Colts
    Joseph Addai fell way short of my 2007 fantasy projection (1,525 rushing yards, 550 receiving yards) because of injury and late-season durability issues. Now in his second full season as a starter, I expect Addai to be more effective down the stretch. I was dead on regarding his touchdown total (15), a figure that should remain about the same, given that Peyton Manning heavily depends on him inside the red zone.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,250 rushing yards. 375 receiving yards. 15 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 252.

  5. Frank Gore, 49ers
    It's a shame Frank Gore is stuck in an offense with no quarterback. Opposing defenses often put eight men in the box, limiting Gore's ability to find running lanes behind a mediocre offensive line. With Mike Martz in town, Gore's carries will go down, though his reception totals (61 in 2006; 53 in 2007) will soar.

    AUG. 20 UPDATE: Frank Gore rushed for 29 yards on six carries, including a 14-yard burst. Gore didn't catch a pass, but I expect him to notch about 60 or 70 receptions in Mike Martz's offense this year.

    AUG. 22 UPDATE: Frank Gore looked great. Gore rushed for 51 yards on just eight carries, and caught two balls for 19 receiving yards. He's going to be a huge part of San Francisco's offense, so don't be afraid to use a top-five selection on him. He could run for 1,000 yards and catch 70 passes.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,075 rushing yards. 600 receiving yards. 11 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 233.

  6. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
    It seems like Adrian Peterson is the consensus No. 2 player in most fantasy drafts. I can't blame people for taking him so high, as he totaled 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns despite missing action and splitting carries with Chester Taylor. Believe me, I know what he can do for your team. I had him in two of my leagues last year.

    That said, I wouldn't take Peterson second. There are a few things that concern me:

    1. His inability to stay healthy. I know all running backs have injury issues, but Peterson always seems to be hurt. There's no way he lasts 16 games.

    2. An odd decline the final four weeks of the 2007 campaign (54 carries, 144 yards, two touchdowns), including a 14-carry, 3-yard effort at San Francisco in Week 14, which helped knock me out of the playoffs in one of my leagues. Seriously, three yards against the pathetic 49ers? How is that possible?

    3. Chester Taylor. Like it or not, Taylor will steal some of Peterson's carries. The other top running backs on this bord don't have to share rushes with anyone.

    4. The possibility that Pro Bowl left tackle Bryant McKinnie could be suspended for at least a portion of the season. McKinnie is on trial with four charges in the wake of a fight outside a night club (big surprise).

    AUG. 15 UPDATE: As predicted, Pro Bowl left tackle Bryant McKinnie has been suspended for four games. The Vikings have no depth at the tackle position, so Peterson may struggle during the first quarter of the season. I'm not dropping Peterson in my rankings because I already factored McKinnie's suspension into the equation; this simply cements my belief that Peterson is the No. 6 running back in fantasy football.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,200 rushing yards. 300 receiving yards. 13 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 228.

  7. Clinton Portis, Redskins
    Clinton Portis rushed for 1,262 yards and 11 touchdowns, but his average gain was just 3.9. That can be attributed to right tackle Jon Jansen and right guard Randy Thomas playing a combined four games. Both will be back, so Portis' yards-per-carry average will increase, but the line as a whole is old. Also, with Jim Zorn's West Coast offense being installed, Portis will likely see a slight decrease in rushes.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: There's no reason you should be concerned about drafting Clinton Portis at the bottom of your first round. Seeing his first preseason action, Portis rushed for 32 yards on eight carries, and caught a 4-yard reception. Portis wasn't hurt; he was simply copying LaDainian Tomlinson's policy of not playing in the exhibition.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,225 rushing yards. 325 receiving yards. 12 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 226.

  8. Marion Barber, Cowboys
    It seems like Marion Barber is always expected to be featured more in Dallas' offense, and every year he doesn't get enough carries. Barber SHOULD get more of the workload with Julius Jones now in Seattle, but it really boggled my mind as to why that didn't happen in the first place; Jones was way less effective than Barber. Don't be surprised if Felix Jones vultures a decent amount of his carries away. That said, Barber always scores, so he's an excellent fantasy option, especially in touchdown leagues.

    AUG. 23 UPDATE: Marion Barber looked like a first-round fantasy back, running hard for 75 yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries, and nine receiving yards from two catches. Barber is a top-eight pick in touchdown leagues.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,200 rushing yards. 275 receiving yards. 13 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 225.



  9. Marshawn Lynch, Bills
    Marshawn Lynch ran for 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns despite missing three games with an ankle injury. As long as Dick Jauron is on the sidelines, you know Lynch is going to get the ball early and often. As a plus, the Bills play the 49ers, Dolphins, Jets and Broncos in Weeks 13-16. It's also been reported that Lynch will be a greater factor in the passing attack, making him somewhat of a sleeper.

    AUG. 25 UPDATE: You'll see that Marshawn Lynch gained two yards on four carries, but he had a 14-yard run that was called back on a holding penalty.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,325 rushing yards. 250 receiving yards. 10 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 217.

  10. Ryan Grant, Packers
    Despite not doing anything the first six weeks of the season and carrying the ball less than 200 times, Ryan Grant totaled 956 yards, 30 receptions and eight touchdowns. Running behind one of the premier offensive lines in football, Grant's 2007 pinnacle was a 201-yard performance against the Seahawks in the second round of the playoffs. I've seen Grant go lower than he should in some fantasy mocks, so there's definitely value here. I don't see DeShawn Wynn, Vernand Morency or Brandon Jackson stealing many of his carries.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,300 rushing yards. 200 receiving yards. 11 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 216.

  11. Jamal Lewis, Browns
    Underrated. Everyone has been busy writing off Jamal Lewis this summer, yet he's coming off a season where he had 1,304 rushing yards, 30 receptions and 11 total touchdowns. Lewis is going to be 29 soon and looks like he's in great shape, so he still has something left in the tank, contrary to popular belief. Keep in mind the Browns play the Bengals' soft defense in Week 16.

    JULY 31 UPDATE: While many fantasy owners are doubting Jamal Lewis, calling his 2007 performance a fluke, it seems like Lewis will soon silence his critics. He has reported to camp in shape, and is looking stronger and quicker than ever.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,225 rushing yards. 200 receiving yards. 10 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 202.

  12. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
    Everyone (including myself) always seems to expect Maurice Jones-Drew to supplant Fred Taylor as Jacksonville's yardage leader. Yet, Taylor had about 450 more yards than Jones-Drew. In fact, Jones-Drew had more than 15 carries just once last season. So, what's all the hype? Jones-Drew scores all the touchdowns and gets a lot of balls thrown his way. He had nine scores and 40 receptions in 2007. Jones-Drew isn't really that valuable in traditional leagues, but his reception and touchdown totals increase his worth in other scoring systems.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 900 rushing yards. 400 receiving yards. 10 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 190.

  13. Willis McGahee, Ravens
    In his first year as a Raven, Willis McGahee totaled 1,207 yards at a 4.1 average. He also had 43 receptions for 231 receiving yards and eight total touchdowns. Even more impressive is that McGahee did all this with defenses loading the box against him, as no one had any respect for Kyle Boller or Troy Smith. Jonathan Ogden is gone, but Jared Gaither doesn't seem like a huge dropoff in the run-blocking department. Keep an eye out for Ray Rice; the rookie runner may steal some catches from McGahee.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,200 rushing yards. 190 receiving yards. 8 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 187.

  14. Larry Johnson, Chiefs
    I labeled Larry Johnson as a bust last year. This is what I wrote: "Running backs who carry the ball more than 390 times in a single season have a tendency to break down. If you draft Johnson, be careful and make sure you have solid depth on your team. Furthermore, Johnson's average yards per carry, which dropped a full yard in 2006, could go down even further without Will Shields."

    A season later, I still wouldn't recommend drafting Johnson. Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson combined to ruin his career; Edwards gave him a ridiculous 416 carries two years ago, while Peterson failed to upgrade a decaying offensive line.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: I know I've been down on him, but Larry Johnson looked great against the Cardinals. Johnson burst for numerous double-digit gains, as he finished with 61 yards on 14 carries. On one play, Brodie Croyle split out wide and Johnson was in the shotgun. Johnson took the snap and converted a third-and-one. What makes Johnson's performance remarkable is that he was running behind an offensive line that was missing first-round rookie Branden Albert. I'm still not convinced that Johnson can last the entire year as a result of his 416 carries in 2006, but I would definitely consider selecting him now at a reasonable spot in a fantasy draft.

    AUG. 28 UPDATE: Larry Johnson looked pretty solid despite his lacking production. Johnson managed 36 yards on 13 carries. He had a nice 13-yard run left tackle, so if you eliminate that, he had 23 yards on 12 rushes. Kansas City's offensive line just couldn't open up any holes for him. That is a trend that will continue all season.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,075 rushing yards. 300 receiving yards. 8 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 185.

  15. Thomas Jones, Jets
    Potential sleeper. Thomas Jones rushed for 1,119 yards, but scored only twice and managed just 3.6 yards per carry. The low touchdown total was an anomaly, while the latter figure will be helped with Alan Faneca and Tony Richardson on the team. Jones has solid value in non-touchdown leagues.

    AUG. 17 UPDATE: Thomas Jones was able to convert a fourth-and-one at midfield. Doesn't sound like a huge deal, but Jones had 1,119 rushing yards but only one touchdown last year. He'll have more short-yardage success in 2008 with all of the extra help the Jets brought in this offseason.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: Thomas Jones had a miserable evening, gaining just 11 yards on six carries. The Giants' defense did that a lot to opposing runners last year, so don't panic if you have Jones on your roster.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,190 rushing yards. 200 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 175.

  16. Brandon Jacobs, Giants
    Despite playing in just 10 full games, Brandon Jacobs totaled 1,011 yards, gaining five yards per carry. His touchdowns were curiously low for a power back (4), but that was because Reuben Droughns vultured all the goal-line rushes. While Jacobs will continue to share attempts with Ahmad Bradshaw, he'll see more work in the red zone after scoring thrice in the postseason.

    JULY 31 UPDATE: The Giants have indicated that they're planning on using a running back by committee. My condolences if you already drafted Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs still appears to be a solid RB2 in touchdown leagues, but I'd be careful taking him otherwise. Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward are both really talented, and will demand a good amount of Jacobs' touches.

    AUG. 19 UPDATE: So much for running back by committee. Brandon Jacobs received all of the touches with the first team. Jacobs was solid, running for 24 yards on seven carries. His only mistake was a fumble on his fourth rush. It's safe to draft Jacobs again, although I wouldn't go nuts because he has durability issues.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: Brandon Jacobs once again started and received all the work early on. All six of his carries came in the first quarter. He totaled 26 yards. Jacobs also caught a 5-yard pass. However, Jacobs missed an assignment on a David Harris blitz, leading to Eli Manning's second sack of the game. Derrick Ward had all the rushes in the second quarter. He gained 36 yards on four attempts. Ahmad Bradshaw saw seven carries in the second half. He collected 28 yards and a score, but fumbled in the fourth quarter.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,000 rushing yards. 125 receiving yards. 10 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 172.





  17. Darren McFadden, Raiders
    Al Davis didn't draft Darren McFadden to sit on the bench. He won't carry the ball 25 times per game, but he'll get about 20 touches (carrying and catching the ball out of the backfield). He's a threat to go the distance, while Oakland's offensive line run blocks well. However, McFadden doesn't hold much value in fantasy leagues because everyone knows about him. He may go too early in your drafts.

    AUG. 10 UPDATE: The Raiders were able to move the chains though with Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas on the ground, as their rushing attack proved to be way too powerful for the 49ers to handle. McFadden totaled 48 yards on 12 carries, while Fargas managed 25 yards on just five rushes. McFadden ran with power and electrifying speed, and he was extremely exciting to watch.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,010 rushing yards. 325 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 169.

  18. Reggie Bush, Saints
    If receptions count in your league, make sure to bump Reggie Bush up a couple of notches; in his two seasons as a pro, Bush has caught 161 passes for 1,159 reciving yards. Bush actually has more of those yards than he does on the ground. He had his opportunity to be an every-down back when Deuce McAllister was out for the year, but he struggled, gaining just 3.7 yards on the ground. Bush finished with 1,098 total yards and six touchdowns before suffering a season-ending PCL injury in Week 13. Those aren't bad numbers in PPR leagues.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 655 rushing yards. 600 receiving yards. 7 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 167.

  19. Michael Turner, Falcons
    The Falcons didn't spend $34.5 million on Michael Turner so he could split carries with Jerious Norwood. He'll get the bulk of the workload, but he'll struggle with no running lanes to scamper through. Atlanta has one of the worst offensive lines in all of football.

    AUG. 19 UPDATE: Michael Turner posted 113 rushing yards on four carries, as he broke gains of 52 and 63 yards. Turner has skill, but this was more of a poor defense's inability to stop the run. The Colts were missing Bob Sanders, and made DeAngelo Williams look like an All-Pro last week as well.

    AUG. 24 UPDATE: Michael Turner gained 16 yards on only five carries. A 3.2 YPC isn't great, but Turner was going against one of the elite run defenses in the NFL.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,050 rushing yards. 150 receiving yards. 7 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 162.

  20. Matt Forte, Bears
    Lovie Smith announced that Matt Forte will garner close to 300 touches in his rookie year. Unfortunately, Forte will be hindered by Chicago's anemic offensive line. Plus, there's something called a rookie wall. You may have heard of it. Forte may be undervalued in some leagues, however, as many fantasy football mags, foolishly released way too early, will say that Forte and Adrian Peterson will split carries.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: Matt Forte gained 17 yards on seven carries, as Chicago's offensive line couldn't open up any running lanes for him. Forte managed a 16-yard burst early in the first quarter, but that was negated by a Desmond Clark hold. Unfortunately, Forte struggled with picking up blitzes and was responsible for two of Grossman's sacks.

    AUG. 22 UPDATE: Matt Forte compiled 44 yards on 11 carries in the first half. Not bad. It's not out of the question that Forte could eclipse the 1,000-yard barrier as a rookie, but it'll be tough because his offensive line stinks. The front was solid against the 49ers, but they weren't exactly facing one of the better defenses in the league. Troy Aikman exclaimed that they looked a lot better this week than they did last week; that's because Seattle's defensive line dominated the Bears blockers.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 925 rushing yards. 275 receiving yards. 7 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 161.

  21. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
    DeAngelo Williams could never escape John Fox's doghouse, as he never showed the ability to be an every-down back or an effective blocker. Jonathan Stewart will get the majority of carries and catches in Carolina's offense this season. He's a rookie, so there's some uncertainty. Still, I'd take him before any other first-year runner this season.

    AUG. 15 UPDATE: Jonathan Stewart managed just three yards on four carries, but he had absolutely no blocking. We'll have to wait until next week to determine Carolina's running back situation.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: Carolina's pass rush was very pedestrian last season, so it has to be a relief for Panther fans that their defensive line completely abused Washington's front. Early in the game, second-year left end Charles Johnson overpowered Jon Jansen for a sack on Jason Campbell. Later, Julius Peppers plowed Chris Samuels four yards into Campbell. Campbell was sacked four times in the first half.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 925 rushing yards. 200 receiving yards. 8 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 160.

  22. Ricky Williams, Dolphins
    If Ricky Williams scores a touchdown, and doesn't remember it because he was too high, do you get the fantasy points? I'm not willing to find out.

    AUG. 12 UPDATE: There were reports that Ricky Williams was in shape, and it definitely showed. He broke tackles and pushed piles, finishing with 31 yards on five carries. It should be noted that Williams missed a block on Ronde Barber, who sacked John Beck.

    AUG. 19 UPDATE: Chad Pennington looked good, but the big story for the Dolphins was Ricky Williams. At age 31, he's obviously not the old Ricky Williams, but he's definitely close. Williams compiled 43 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries. Ronnie Brown, meanwhile, managed just two yards on two rushes. It's no coincidence then that the Dolphins announced that Williams is the No. 1 running back. This is great news for Miami fans because the oft-injured Brown was extremely unreliable coming off a torn ACL.

    AUG. 28 UPDATE: Ricky Williams continues to impress. Williams compiled 47 yards on 12 carries; his YPC average could have been much higher if he didn't have so many short-yardage opportunities. Williams also caught two balls for eight yards. He's not the old dominant Ricky, but he's pretty close. With Ronnie Brown coming off a torn ACL and nursing dozens of other injuries, Williams could total 1,000 yards this year, making him a great RB3 option around Rounds 5 or 6.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 900 rushing yards. 250 receiving yards. 7 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 157.

  23. Laurence Maroney, Patriots
    Laurence Maroney could put up huge numbers if he stayed healthy. He totaled 835 yards despite the fact that he started just six games, had only 185 carries, and received more than 20 rushes in just one contest. A good sign is that all six of his touchdowns came in between Weeks 11 and 17.

    JULY 27 UPDATE: The Patriots signed LaMont Jordan, who might take a few carries away from Laurence Maroney. It won't be anything major, but it'll be enough to irritate all Maroney owners just a bit.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: Laurence Maroney struggled to get anything going (7 carries, 15 yards, dropped pass), but that's to be expected without Tom Brady under center. What concerns me is that the Patriots felt like they needed to bring in LaMont Jordan. I'm not a big fan of Maroney as a fantasy running back.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 950 rushing yards. 125 receiving yards. 7 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 157.

  24. LenDale White, Titans
    He may be fat and lazy, but LenDale White managed 1,108 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Not bad. Unfortunately, his yards per carry was 3.7. If he stays ineffective, Chris Johnson may get more and more touches, unless he's a bust like Chris Henry.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: LenDale White led the Titans in rushing with 55 yards on 16 carries. Chris Johnson chipped in with eight attempts for 24 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, Johnson caught four balls for 46 yards. Both running backs are about equal in traditional leagues. Johnson gets the edge in PPR, while LenDale is a better option in touchdown leagues.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 975 rushing yards. 70 receiving yards. 8 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 152.

  25. Willie Parker, Steelers
    Willie Parker tallied 1,316 rushing yards, which is definitely an impressive total, but struggled in the red zone behind a pedestrian offensive line. Parker scored just two touchdowns all year, which really hurt his fantasy production. With Rashard Mendenhall in the mix, it looks like Parker will never match the 16-touchdown total he registered in 2006.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: On two occasions, Willie Parker was in the shotgun and Ben Roethlisberger was split out wide. Parker ran the ball twice for minimal gains. Are the Steelers setting something up for the regular season? I'm not sure, but Parker managed just 18 yards on 10 carries against the NFL's top run defense in 2007.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,100 rushing yards. 150 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 149.



  26. Chris Perry, Bengals
    I liked what I saw out of Chris Perry, who started for a dinged-up Rudi Johnson. Perry managed 23 yards on seven carries, which doesn't sound all that great. However, he ran hard and converted all of his short-yardage situations. Meanwhile, Kenny Watson also looked good, gaining 31 yards on five carries. It's very likely that the Bengals will utilize a three-way RBBC this season.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: Rudi Johnson is likely to be traded or released soon, probably the latter. This increases the fantasy value of Chris Perry and Kenny Watson, particularly the former.

    AUG. 28 UPDATE: With Rudi Johnson still slacking off and missing time, Chris Perry looked very solid, gaining 36 rushing yards on 12 carries and 22 receiving yards on four catches. I believe Perry will get the most touches of any Cincinnati running back this season, barring injury.

    AUG. 31 UPDATE: As expected, Rudi Johnson has been released. Marvin Lewis called Chris Perry a "three-down back." Hope you followed my advice!
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 875 rushing yards. 225 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 145.

  27. Edgerrin James, Cardinals
    Edgerrin James disappointed fantasy owners in 2006 when he ran for only 3.4 yards per carry. James bounced back and gained 1,222 yards and seven touchdowns last season, thanks to upgrades on the offensive line, and coaches Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm. James turns 30 in August, so he has at least two more years of solid production. There is some risk, however, as James has a lot of wear and tear on his body.

    AUG. 8 UPDATE: Rookie running back Tim Hightower garnered a lot of snaps and looked really good; he had five carries for 23 yards and a touchdown, and two catches for 11 receiving yards. If you're thinking about drafting Edgerrin James, keep in mind that Arizona is going to give Hightower plenty of touches, including a good amount near the goal line.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: While Edgerrin James had 26 yards on six carries, Tim Hightower, who saw action with the first string, managed 52 yards and a score on 10 rushes. The only negative thing Hightower did was fumble the ball; he looked really great otherwise. James will get the majority of the carries this year, but Hightower will eat a lot of his touches, especially near the goal line.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,000 rushing yards. 150 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 139.

  28. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers
    Earnest Graham took over for the injured Cadillac Williams and Michael Pittman in Week 7, and put together a solid campaign. He had 898 yards and 10 touchdowns. Unfortunately, his production will slip because Cadillac and Warrick Dunn are back in the picture.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: Warrick Dunn - not Earnest Graham - received the first carry for the Buccaneers. Graham had the second rush - a 1-yard gain resulting in a lost fumble. Each back had five attempts. Dunn gained 12 yards. Graham had a whopping seven.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 800 rushing yards. 150 receiving yards. 7 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 137.

  29. Chester Taylor, Vikings
    Poor Chester Taylor. He'd be a fantasy stud if Adrian Peterson were on another team. Taylor gained 5.4 yards per carry behind Minnesota's stellar offensive line. It's definitely worth taking him, even if you don't have Peterson; All Day is very injury-prone, so Taylor will get at least a few starts this season.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 750 rushing yards. 250 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 136.

  30. Kenny Watson, Bengals
    Kenny Watson will have to share carries with the declining Rudi Johnson and injury-prone Chris Perry. Watson had a much higher yards-per-rush average (4.3) than Rudi Johnson (2.9). Watson also had 52 receptions for 374 yards.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: I liked what I saw out of Chris Perry, who started for a dinged-up Rudi Johnson. Perry managed 23 yards on seven carries, which doesn't sound all that great. However, he ran hard and converted all of his short-yardage situations. Meanwhile, Kenny Watson also looked good, gaining 31 yards on five carries. It's very likely that the Bengals will utilize a three-way RBBC this season.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: Rudi Johnson is likely to be traded or released soon, probably the latter. This increases the fantasy value of Chris Perry and Kenny Watson, particularly the former.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 750 rushing yards. 300 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 135.

  31. Fred Taylor, Jaguars
    Fred Taylor just won't go away. At age 31, Taylor still totaled 1,202 yards and five touchdowns, and showed no signs of slowing down. If you're a Maurice Jones-Drew fantasy owner, be prepared for another season of absolutely loathing Taylor.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: Despite the fact that his 33rd birthday is on the horizon, Fred Taylor ran like a spry rookie versus Tampa Bay. On his second carry, Taylor broke four tackles for an impressive 9-yard gain. He finished with 26 yards on seven tries.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,000 rushing yards. 40 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 134.

  32. Selvin Young, Broncos
    Mike Shanahan hates using one back, but he may be forced to do so this season. Unlike Travis Henry, Selvin Young has a great work ethic. As a rookie, he ran for 729 yards despite having just one game where he carried the ball more than 20 times. Young's 5.2 yards-per-carry average looks really enticing; the only thing that would turn me off is that neither he nor Henry got into the end zone much (five touchdowns). Also, take note of Young's 35 receptions. Bump him up if you're in a PPR league.

    AUG. 11 UPDATE: It took Selvin Young four tries to get into positive yardage, but I thought he looked pretty good. Young caught two passes out of the backfield for 20 yards.

    AUG. 20 UPDATE: If you drafted Selvin Young in any of your leagues, prepare to send your hate mail to renowned fantasy football hater Mike Shanahan. Young, who gained 36 yards on nine carries, will still be the featured back in Denver's offense, but he won't receive many goal-line carries. Whenever the Broncos moved into the red zone, Shanahan put Andre Hall in the backfield. Hall was effective, so consider him in touchdown leagues. Drop Young a bit in your rankings.

    AUG. 23 UPDATE: Selvin Young blew by Packers defenders on his first carry, a 20-yard gain. Young finished with 42 yards on six rushes. However, Andre Hall replaced Young on a fourth-and-one on the first drive, which he converted. Hall carried the ball nine times for 46 yards and looked just as good as Young. It's apparent that Young and Hall are going to split attempts this year - possibly right down the middle. Hall should get all the short-yardage work.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 800 rushing yards. 250 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 131.

  33. Chris Johnson, Titans
    The Titans love reaching for running backs named Chris who have awesome 40 times. This Chris, Johnson, should be better than last year's version, Henry. Johnson will get tons of catches out of the backfield, so he's worth some consideration late in PPR leagues.

    AUG. 11 UPDATE: Chris Johnson had a few exciting runs against the Rams, including an electrifying 68-yard burst where he just zoomed by everyone. Johnson won't carry the load or anything, but he'll be used often in Tennessee's offense. He's worth a mid-round pick in a PPR league and a later selection in a non-touchdown league.

    AUG. 16 UPDATE: There's no way this guy is going to be an every-down back, but my heart seriously skipped a beat on a few of his carries. He's really exciting to watch, and with his 4.2 speed, he's a threat to go the distance on any given play. Johnson finished with 46 yards on eight carries, while his morbidly obese running mate LenDale White chipped in with 39 yards on the same amount of rushes.

    AUG. 24 UPDATE: As previously mentioned, Chris Johnson had a few nice gains after the catch. Johnson had 23 yards on two receptions. However, he struggled to gain yardage on the ground, mustering just 35 yards on 11 carries. Johnson's longest running play was nine yards. Predictably, LenDale White sat out with an injury.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: LenDale White led the Titans in rushing with 55 yards on 16 carries. Chris Johnson chipped in with eight attempts for 24 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, Johnson caught four balls for 46 yards. Both running backs are about equal in traditional leagues. Johnson gets the edge in PPR, while LenDale is a better option in touchdown leagues.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 675 rushing yards. 375 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 128.

  34. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
    I still can't believe Rashard Mendenhall fell to the Steelers at No. 23, as the 2008 NFL Draft gave us a perspective of how truly inept some NFL general managers really are. At any rate, Mendenhall has more fantasy potential than Willie Parker because he'll get opportunities inside the red zone and passes out of the backfield.

    AUG. 15 UPDATE: Rashard Mendenhall converted third-and-short and later scored a 6-yard touchdown on a third-quarter drive. It looks like Mendenhall is a lock to get the end-zone carries this season.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: Rashard Mendenhall didn't appear until Pittsburgh's fourth drive. His second carry looked like it was going to be a good gain, but Mendenhall fumbled and turned it over. Mendenhall was benched until the second half. He looked really impressive - Mendenhall tallied 79 rushing yards on 15 carries and 15 receiving yards on two catches - but he fumbled it again late in the fourth quarter. I'm not sure if Mike Tomlin completely trusts Mendenhall yet.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: Rashard Mendenhall managed 79 yards on 21 carries. Good news for Mendenhall owners, right? Well, after fumbling twice last week, fumbled once versus Carolina. It's obvious to say that if Mendenhall keeps fumbling he'll see less carries because Mike Tomlin won't be able to trust him. I still think he's fine in touchdown leagues regardless.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 700 rushing yards. 150 receiving yards. 7 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 127.

  35. Justin Fargas, Raiders
    Justin Fargas eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier for the first time in his career despite the fact that he didn't start until November. Fargas was rewarded with a new contract and looked to be a very solid fantasy option until the Raiders drafted Darren McFadden. Fargas is still worth drafting because he'll get all the carries if McFadden gets hurt; just don't take him too early.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 750 rushing yards. 150 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 120.

  36. Andre Hall, Broncos
    AUG. 20 UPDATE: If you drafted Selvin Young in any of your leagues, prepare to send your hate mail to renowned fantasy football hater Mike Shanahan. Young, who gained 36 yards on nine carries, will still be the featured back in Denver's offense, but he won't receive many goal-line carries. Whenever the Broncos moved into the red zone, Shanahan put Andre Hall in the backfield. Hall was effective, so consider him in touchdown leagues. Drop Young a bit in your rankings.

    AUG. 23 UPDATE: Selvin Young blew by Packers defenders on his first carry, a 20-yard gain. Young finished with 42 yards on six rushes. However, Andre Hall replaced Young on a fourth-and-one on the first drive, which he converted. Hall carried the ball nine times for 46 yards and looked just as good as Young. It's apparent that Young and Hall are going to split attempts this year - possibly right down the middle. Hall should get all the short-yardage work.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 650 rushing yards. 175 receiving yards. 6 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 118.

  37. Kevin Smith, Lions
    Kevin Smith figures to get the bulk of the carries because he's familiar with Detroit's new zone-blocking run scheme. Smith also doesn't have a major fumbling problem like his counterpart, Tatum Bell. Unfortunately, Smith has a fragile label on him because he rushed the ball 450 times in 14 games last season. I warned everyone about Larry Johnson coming off a 416-carry campaign. Smith's number is ridiculous. No way he stays healthy unless he has bionic body parts.

    AUG. 9 UPDATE: Kevin Smith ran hard and looked better than Tatum Bell, but he managed just 22 yards on eight carries. I wouldn't draft Smith this year; he had 450 carries at Central Florida in 2007. If you took Larry Johnson in one of your leagues last year, you know how much of a big deal that is. If not, get prepared to be disappointed.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: Kevin Smith's numbers will tell you that he gained 19 yards on four carries. Not bad, right? Well, Smith had a 16-yard run, which means his other three touches were for just three yards - including a failed conversion on a third-and-one at midfield on the opening drive against Cincinnati's porous defense. Smith also didn't register a reception. With durability issues, I recommend that you stay away from Smith.

    AUG. 25 UPDATE: Save for one 10-yard burst going off left tackle, Kevin Smith looked like he was running in mud his first four drives. Smith had 10 yards on his first nine carries, so to save you the effort, that's eight additional runs for no gain. Smith simply had nowhere to go with Shaun Rogers clogging the line of scrimmage. Smith was stuffed on his 10th rush, but was able to bounce out to his left, make a few cuts, break some tackles and scamper 35 yards into the end zone. Smith finished with 45 yards on 10 attempts. As I've said before, I wouldn't draft Smith early because of the 460 carries he had at Central Florida last year.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 700 rushing yards. 150 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 115.

  38. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers
    Forget about DeAngelo Williams; he's nothing more than a Kevin Faulk-type third-down back. Even if Jonathan Stewart gets hurt, I'm not sure if LaBrandon Toefield doesn't get all of the carries.

    AUG. 14 UPDATE: I noticed DeAngelo Williams' numbers (9 carries, 55 yards, 2 TDs) right after the game was over, but I wanted to see how he looked for myself. Williams' stats, though spectacular, didn't do him justice. Williams was amazing against the Colts. He ran out of tackles, broke the ankles of defenders with his cuts and blew by the opposition. Where was this last year when I made Williams a sleeper?

    AUG. 15 UPDATE: One player who shined for the Panthers was DeAngelo Williams, who followed up last week's solid performance with 32 rushing yards on eight carries and 13 receiving yards on two caches. Jonathan Stewart managed just three yards on four carries, but he had absolutely no blocking. We'll have to wait until next week to determine Carolina's running back situation. Still, the fact remains that unlike last year, Williams is actually running hard. It's sad that it took Carolina using a No. 1 pick on a running back to give him an incentive to work hard.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: Carolina's pass rush was very pedestrian last season, so it has to be a relief for Panther fans that their defensive line completely abused Washington's front. Early in the game, second-year left end Charles Johnson overpowered Jon Jansen for a sack on Jason Campbell. Later, Julius Peppers plowed Chris Samuels four yards into Campbell. Campbell was sacked four times in the first half.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 700 rushing yards. 250 receiving yards. 3 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 113.

  39. Steve Slaton, Texans
    Steve Slaton will take away a few receptions from Chris Brown and Ahman Green, but who really cares in terms of fantasy? Slaton wouldn't be a bad pick in a keeper league draft, as he fits really well into Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme.

    AUG. 21 UPDATE: Ahman Green's always hurt; Chris Brown still sucks; and Chris Taylor's Chris Taylor. Steve Slaton will get some carries with the first team. Gary Kubiak studied under Mike Shanahan and will always use RBBCs, but Slaton's not a bad mid-to-late-round sleeper.

    AUG. 23 UPDATE: Steve Slaton and Chris Taylor shared carries in the first half and combined for 87 yards on 20 carries. Slaton (10 rushes, 44 yards) looked like the superior runner; on one play, he broke out of tackles and gave a powerful stiff arm to Roy Williams, whom Slaton easily shoved away. At less than 200 pounds, Slaton will never be able to handle the workload on his own. He'll get a decent amount of touches, however, making him an intriguing late-round sleeper.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 650 rushing yards. 300 receiving yards. 3 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 113.

  40. Felix Jones, Cowboys
    I wouldn't count on Felix Jones to put up amazing numbers as a rookie unless Marion Barber gets hurt. Even then, Tashard Choice may just assume Barber's role. I don't see the upside in drafting Felix the Jones.

    AUG. 10 UPDATE: Felix Jones seems like he's going to be a great weapon for Tony Romo this year. Jones, who looks like he bulked up a bit, made a nice cutback and gained 19 yards on a run in the first quarter. He later eluded several Chargers defenders on a 28-yard reception that was all YAC. Romo looked giddy on the sidelines. Safe to say he wouldn't be as happy if Julius Jones were still in a Dallas uniform, as the former Cowboy can't even get past Maurice Morris on the depth chart in Seattle. Felix Jones finished with six carries, 32 rushing yards, two catches and 29 receiving yards.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 600 rushing yards. 225 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 112.

  41. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins
    Miami should be able to run block, but defenses will continue to stack the line of scrimmage against Ronnie Brown because the Dolphins don't have an aerial attack. Brown's fragility is a reason I won't pick him unless he really falls in my fantasy draft. He's injury-prone and coming off a torn ACL. Stay away.

    AUG. 19 UPDATE: Chad Pennington looked good, but the big story for the Dolphins was Ricky Williams. At age 31, he's obviously not the old Ricky Williams, but he's definitely close. Williams compiled 43 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries. Ronnie Brown, meanwhile, managed just two yards on two rushes. It's no coincidence then that the Dolphins announced that Williams is the No. 1 running back. This is great news for Miami fans because the oft-injured Brown was extremely unreliable coming off a torn ACL.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: Ricky Williams had just two carries because Tony Sparano wanted to see how Ronnie Brown would hold up. Brown managed 47 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. That may make Brown owners feel a bit better about themselves for now. Check back in a few weeks when Brown, coming off an ACL, suffers a few more injuries and has to sit out. Ricky Williams is still the way to go.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 600 rushing yards. 250 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 109.

  42. Julius Jones, Seahawks
    Despite given multiple opportunities to do so, Julius Jones has eclipsed the 1,000-yard barrier only once in his four-year career. Jones has never averaged more than 4.2 yards per carry behind Dallas' offensive line. The appealing thing about Jones is that he'll be running behind Walter Jones. Unfortunately, Jones, now 34, had shoulder surgery this offseason.

    JULY 31 UPDATE: The good news is, Julius Jones could get red-zone carries, as T.J. Duckett is in danger of getting cut. The bad news is, Mike Holmgren has announced that Jones and Maurice Morris will be splitting carries.

    AUG. 9 UPDATE: Julius Jones gained 12 yards on a second-quarter carry, but managed just three yards on three rushes on his other attempts, and was stuffed on third-and-short. Jones ran with the second-string, which has to be concerning for anyone who has drafted him already. Maurice Morris received all the rush opportunities with the first team.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: While Maurice Morris started last week for Seattle, Julius Jones got the nod on Saturday night. Jones gained 32 yards on seven carries and helped out with a 9-yard reception. However, Jones fumbled and was also whistled for holding. Maurice Morris compiled just seven yards on four carries, but caught two passes for 15 receiving yards. It appears as though Jones and Morris will split carries this season, so I wouldn't advise taking either guy until the middle of the draft at the very earliest. Morris offers more value because he's going undrafted in most leagues.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: What we could tell is how Mike Holmgren is going to use his running backs, and it looks like an RBBC all the way. Maurice Morris started. He rushed for 31 yards on five carries, including an 11-gain in which he broke a number of tackles. Morris also had an 8-yard reception. Julius Jones tallied 30 yards on eight rushes and didn't catch any balls. Morris looked like the superior runner. It appears as though Mike Holmgren is going to mirror what John Fox is doing in Carolina.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 725 rushing yards. 175 receiving yards. 3 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 107.

  43. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants
    Ahmad Bradshaw will share carries with Brandon Jacobs, but don't get too excited; if Jacobs goes down, Derrick Ward will get the bulk of the work. Unless your league counts return yardage, Bradshaw's not worth drafting until late.

    JULY 31 UPDATE: The Giants have indicated that they're planning on using a running back by committee. My condolences if you already drafted Brandon Jacobs.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: Brandon Jacobs once again started and received all the work early on. All six of his carries came in the first quarter. He totaled 26 yards. Jacobs also caught a 5-yard pass. However, Jacobs missed an assignment on a David Harris blitz, leading to Eli Manning's second sack of the game. Derrick Ward had all the rushes in the second quarter. He gained 36 yards on four attempts. Ahmad Bradshaw saw seven carries in the second half. He collected 28 yards and a score, but fumbled in the fourth quarter.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 625 rushing yards. 150 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 101.

  44. Ray Rice, Ravens
    With Willis McGahee taking too long to come back from knee surgery, Ray Rice could be in the starting lineup on Kickoff Weekend. I'm not saying the Ravens are going to bench McGahee in favor of Rice, but the latter should get a solid amount of touches this season. A must-have handcuff for McGahee.

    AUG. 25 UPDATE: Ray Rice gained 20 rushing yards on five carries. His longest gain (10) came on a draw very late in the first half when the Rams were happy to let the Ravens run the ball. I'm disappointed Rice couldn't produce more against a mediocre defensive front.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 500 rushing yards. 250 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 99.

  45. Ahman Green, Texans
    Not much to like here either. Ahman Green, 31, is coming off injury. When he was healthy, he averaged just 3.7 yards per carry. Houston's offensive line can pass protect well but struggles in run blocking. Green is also stuck in a platoon, as Chris Brown, Darius Walker and Steve Slaton will all receive opportunities to rush the football.

    AUG. 11 UPDATE: Surprise! Ahman Green suffered an injury on his first touch, a 5-yard reception. He strained his groin and will miss next week's game. Don't draft this guy; he could double as Mr. Glass in the next Unbreakable movie.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 600 rushing yards. 150 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 99.

  46. Maurice Morris, Seahawks
    Maurice Morris - not Julius Jones - helped out with a 21-yard gain and finished with 62 yards on six carries.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: While Maurice Morris started last week for Seattle, Julius Jones got the nod on Saturday night. Jones gained 32 yards on seven carries and helped out with a 9-yard reception. However, Jones fumbled and was also whistled for holding. Maurice Morris compiled just seven yards on four carries, but caught two passes for 15 receiving yards. It appears as though Jones and Morris will split carries this season, so I wouldn't advise taking either guy until the middle of the draft at the very earliest. Morris offers more value because he's going undrafted in most leagues.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: What we could tell is how Mike Holmgren is going to use his running backs, and it looks like an RBBC all the way. Maurice Morris started. He rushed for 31 yards on five carries, including an 11-gain in which he broke a number of tackles. Morris also had an 8-yard reception. Julius Jones tallied 30 yards on eight rushes and didn't catch any balls. Morris looked like the superior runner. It appears as though Mike Holmgren is going to mirror what John Fox is doing in Carolina.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 600 rushing yards. 200 receiving yards. 3 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 98.

  47. Pierre Thomas, Saints
    Pierre Thomas is pretty enigmatic at this point. He had just 52 carries last year, but dominated all Saints running backs with a 4.8 yards-per-rush average. He started one game and garnered 105 yards on 20 carries. More impressively, he had 12 catches for 121 receiving yards and a touchdown. If McAllister is limited and Bush continues to struggle in between the tackles, Thomas could be primed for a big year. Then again, he played just one contest, so it could have been a fluke. I'd take a shot here in the middle of the draft.

    AUG. 8 UPDATE: Pierre Thomas had two catches for 20 receiving yards, but managed just nine rushing yards on nine carries. Some of those rushes were short-yardage opportunities inside the red zone and the second-string offensive line couldn't open up anything for him. Still, Thomas' performance was not encouraging.

    AUG. 28 UPDATE: Pierre Thomas was the best running back on the field for New Orleans. He had five rushes for 46 yards, and four catches for 35 yards. All of this was done in the second half, but all of Thomas' carries were against Cincinnati's first-stringers. I don't expect McAllister to last long, and it's fairly obvious that Thomas is superior to Aaron Stecker. I still think Thomas is worth a shot late in deep, non-touchdown leagues.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 400 rushing yards. 250 receiving yards. 3 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 83.

  48. Deuce McAllister, Saints
    Coming off two knee surgeries, one of which was to repair an ACL, Deuce McAllister probably won't be a huge factor in 2008. He'll play, but it's tough to say how much. I'd stay away; Pierre Thomas is the better bet right now.

    AUG. 19 UPDATE: Good signs from Deuce McAllister: He rushed for 16 yards on four carries and two receptions for 10 receiving yards, including one rush where he stopped and cut. That said, I still wouldn't recommend taking McAllister early as a top backup, as he's coming off two knee surgeries, including one for a torn ACL. However, he's going pretty late in some drafts. He could be worth a gamble somewhere around Round 13 or 14.

    AUG. 28 UPDATE: It was Aaron Stecker, Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush in the first quarter for the Saints. No one really was that great. Bush had six yards on two rushes, as he left early with a minor thigh bruise. McAllister, meanwhile, looked like he was running scared, appearing hesitant to hit the hole. He had nine yards on six carries.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: Deuce McAllister compiled 30 yards on 11 rushes. I didn't get to see McAllister against the Dolphins, but the McAllister I saw with my own eyes last week looked scared to hit the hole. Coming off two knee surgeries, I don't blame him. In all honesty, if I were McAllister, I would sit out this year entirely and come back 100 percent for 2009.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 500 rushing yards. 80 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 82.

  49. Tim Hightower, Cardinals
    Rookie running back Tim Hightower garnered a lot of snaps and looked really good; he had five carries for 23 yards and a touchdown, and two catches for 11 receiving yards. If you're thinking about drafting Edgerrin James, keep in mind that Arizona is going to give Hightower plenty of touches, including a good amount near the goal line.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: While Edgerrin James had 26 yards on six carries, Tim Hightower, who saw action with the first string, managed 52 yards and a score on 10 rushes. The only negative thing Hightower did was fumble the ball; he looked really great otherwise. James will get the majority of the carries this year, but Hightower will eat a lot of his touches, especially near the goal line.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 425 rushing yards. 100 receiving yards. 5 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 82.

  50. Jerious Norwood, Falcons
    Jerious Norwood won't get as many opportunities to carry the ball with Michael Turner in the picture. His receptions should rise, but not enough to warrant draft consideration until the later rounds.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 400 rushing yards. 350 receiving yards. 1 total TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 81.

  51. Rudi Johnson, Lions
    Now with the Lions, Rudi Johnson is worth a look late in your draft, as he'll be the guy to replace Kevin Smith once he wears down. Then again, you'll always have that clueless guy in your league who takes him six rounds too early because he thinks Rudi is still on the Bengals...
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 500 rushing yards. 100 receiving yards. 3 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 78.

  52. Adrian Peterson, Bears
    The original Adrian Peterson picked up the slack when Cedric Benson got hurt last year. Expect him to do the same thing in 2008 if Matt Forte doesn't pan out. Peterson is solid at catching the ball out of the backfield, making him a nice fill-in late in the season in PPR leagues.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 300 rushing yards. 250 receiving yards. 2 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 67.

  53. Cadillac Williams
    Cadillac Williams made some noise by stringing together multiple 100-yard efforts as a rookie. Unfortunately, he hasn't done much since. Cadillac broke down with a knee injury last season, but in the four games he played, he managed just 208 yards and three touchdowns on a 3.9 average. He'll share carries with Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 350 rushing yards. 45 receiving yards. 4 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 63.

  54. Derrick Ward, Giants
    Unless Brandon Jacobs gets hurt, Derrick Ward won't see much action. He's not worth drafting, but if you see Jacobs is questionable or worse, consider picking him up.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: Brandon Jacobs once again started and received all the work early on. All six of his carries came in the first quarter. He totaled 26 yards. Jacobs also caught a 5-yard pass. However, Jacobs missed an assignment on a David Harris blitz, leading to Eli Manning's second sack of the game. Derrick Ward had all the rushes in the second quarter. He gained 36 yards on four attempts. Ahmad Bradshaw saw seven carries in the second half. He collected 28 yards and a score, but fumbled in the fourth quarter.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 350 rushing yards. 100 receiving yards. 2 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 57.



  55. Ladell Betts, Redskins
    Ladell Betts is worth drafting as a handcuff to Clinton Portis; Betts totaled more than 1,100 rushing yards when Portis missed significant action in 2006.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 250 rushing yards. 150 receiving yards. 2 total TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 52.

  56. Warrick Dunn, Buccaneers
    Warrick Dunn was still productive in 2007, rushing for 720 yards and gaining 238 receiving yards. He's 33, so his numbers will naturally go down. Still, he's going to be an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield who will take away from some of Earnest Graham's touches.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 250 rushing yards. 175 receiving yards. 1 total TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 48.



Player notification key:

Injured/injury risk
Potential bust
Potential sleeper
Rank higher in touchdown leagues
Rank lower in touchdown leagues
Rank higher in PPR (points per reception) leagues
Rank lower in PPR leagues


2008 Fantasy Football - Home Page

2009 NFL Mock Draft




2008 Fantasy Football Rankings
Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Top 150
Sleepers
Busts


© 1999-2014 Walter Cherepinsky : all rights reserved
Privacy Policy
2 5 9
Google


























WalterFootball.com Now on Twitter:

WalterFootball.com Twitter

Subscribe to the WalterFootball.com RSS Feed:

Walterfootball.com RSS Feed






















































Support Walt's Other Site:

Sales Tips and Sales Advice - Tons of sales tips, sales techniques and sales advice, including a Sales Mock Draft: The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales.