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RB Rankings: Updated!

July 30, 2009 3 comments

Check out my updated RB Rankings:

My (new) Top 10:

1. Adrian Peterson
2. Matt Forte
3. Maurice Jones-Drew
4. Michael Turner
5. Steven Jackson
6. Chris Johnson
7. Steve Slaton
8. LaDainian Tomlinson
9. Frank Gore
10. DeAngelo Williams

Who is No. 1?

July 30, 2009 Leave a comment

So… Your draft is probably right around the corner. And you are stressing, because you are not sure who you would take in the (unlikely) event that you get the number 1 overall pick. I have RB Adrian Peterson ranked number 1 overall. But you could make a case for some of the other top RBs. So, for your reading enjoyment, below is a debate (of sorts) over who should be the top pick in your 2009 fantasy draft.

Adrian Peterson (MIN): Some people are concerned about RB Michael Turner because he had 370-plus carries in 2008 (see below). However, those same people often neglect to mention that AP had 363 regular-season carries (plus another 20 in the playoffs). Do you really think those 7 carries saved AP from the so-called curse of 370? I don’t. But I also do not think there is too much cause for concern. Yes, AP is an injury risk. Yes, he does not get receiving yards. And yes, his QB situation is worrisome. But he is a stud. There is no one else in the NFL right now who is a better pure RB. He should challenge for the rushing title and hopefully finds the endzone a few more times in 2009.  Will he end up as the top-scoring fantasy RB in 2009? Nobody knows. But he is the safest pick at number 1.

Matt Forte (CHI): He surprised just about everyone as a rookie in 2008 as he finished 5th in scoring among RBs. Forte is an attractive option because he can run and catch, and there is nobody breathing down his neck for playing time. Plus, he is no longer a rookie, and now he has QB Jay Cutler in the backfield with him to keep defenses honest. I think Forte will continue to be a yardage-machine and should get into the endzone a few more times in 2009. But is he worth the number 1 overall pick? I certainly would not argue with anyone who took him number 1 overall. In fact, in my updated rankings, I have him ranked 2nd, behind AP.

Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX): Fantasy players everywhere have been waiting for RB Fred Taylor to leave so MJD could finally be the man in Jacksonville. He has an exciting skill set, and now that he is poised to get more touches, MJD is one of the most over-hyped players going into the 2009 season. But is it justified? He has never had more than 200 carries in a season. How many touches can we expect him to get in 2009? Will he be as effective in a full-time role? Should injuries be a concern? Also, even though Taylor is gone, do not forget about rookie RB Rashad Jennings and RB Chauncey Washington. The Jags would not have released Taylor if they were not confident in their other backups. Either way, he finished 10th among RBs in 2008, so you can assume he will improve on that in 2009. The question is, by how much? (Side note: Anyone else proud that I wrote that entire summary without using the word “diminutive”? Is there an unwritten rule somewhere that requires you to refer to him as “diminutive” at least once in every article? I get it. He’s short. And you know an infrequently-used word. Awesome. Get over it.)

Michael Turner (ATL): Some people are making a big deal out of the 376 regular-season carries that Turner had last year. But I am not buying into this theory, for a couple reasons: (1) Turner is young (he only had 228 carries coming into 2008); and (2) The Falcons should be a better team in 2009. However, I do not expect Tuner to match his 2008 numbers. The Falcons do want to decrease his workload, so look for RB Jerious Norwood to get more touches. And expect the Falcons to open up the offense a little as QB Matt Ryan gets more comfortable. So why do I have him ranked 4th when so many others have him 1st or 2nd? Reduced carries and a (much) tougher schedule. Last year, he put up over half his yards and TDs in 6 games against some of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL. This year, the Falcons replace those games with games against the NFC East and AFC East, most of whom have much stouter run defenses. Expect a decline in carries, yards, and TDs from Turner in 2009.

DeAngelo Williams (CAR): What a difference a year makes. At this time in 2008, most people were more worried about whether Williams was the top RB on his team, let alone in the league. The first-round selection of rookie RB Jonathan Stewart had everyone convinced that Williams had missed his opportunity to shine. And that appeared to be the case through the first half of the season. And then, something miraculous happened, and Williams put together one of the more impressive stretches in fantasy history, scoring 15 TDs in the second half of the season. Before you get too excited, though, remember that he only scored 3 TDs in the 8 games. So, which DeAngelo can we expect in 2009? I think it will be an average of the two. And I also think (a healthy) J-Stew will continue to get the ball, frustrating owners of both players who just want the Panthers to pick one RB. Could he pick up where he left off in 2008? Absolutely. But I would not want to bet the number 1 overall pick on it.

My Advice? Everyone has their opinion — and you should consider them all — but, if I had the top pick, I would have to decide betwen AP, Forte, and MJD. In the end, I think I would settle on AP, because he presents the least amount of risk. I would be very tempted to take Forte, though, given how well he performed as a rookie and the acquisition of Cutler. How well the Viking QBs perform and how the Bears use Cutler in the preseason could sway my opinion, though. In any event, the only player discussed above that I would avoid is Williams, because he presents too much of a risk. Inevitably, someone will get a great deal on Williams due to those risks, but with the top pick you have to play it safe.

The Favre Effect

July 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Well, by now you have all heard the news: Brett Favre informed the Vikings yesterday that he plans to stay retired. As a life-long Packer fan, I must say, this news pleases me. I was not worried that Favre would lead the Vikings to a couple victories over my beloved Green and Gold. I simply did not want the deal with the media circus that was sure to surround him on a weely basis. Favre was a magical figure in my eyes while he was in Green Bay, but even I grew tired of the constant adulation and praise given to him by the media. And, as you can imagine, it only got worse when he was considering playing for the Viqueens.

Either way, this is somewhat surprising, since most people (including me) assumed he would come back and play in Minnesota in 2009. And I can only assume that many people built this assumption into their RB rankings, with RB Adrian Peterson sitting atop most lists (including mine).

In light of this news, there are some issues to address:

(1) Who will be the Vikings starting QB in 2009? It will likely be determined by a camp battle, but despite HC Brad Childress’ man-crush on QB Tavaris Jackson, I think the newly-acquired QB Sage Rosenfels will end up getting the nod. Rosenfels played adequately last year as a fill-in for the oft-injured QB Matt Schaub in Houston. Although he has an uncanny ability to throw a game-changing interception, he actually has a pretty sold set of skills. And I think he gives the Vikings the best chance to win.

(2) How will this impact RB Adrian Peterson? Without a guy like Favre under center, the Vikings will (once again) rely on the very-capable legs of AP. He had 360-plus carries in 2008 (including 20 more in the playoffs), so it is hard to believe he could be used more, but I do think the Vikings will be a run-first team, using AP and RB Chester Taylor to carry the team. I would have felt better about his fantasy value if Favre was handing him the ball, but AP can get it done no matter who is the QB. Assuming Rosenfels does win the job, I think teams will have to respect the pass enough to give him some room to run (and run and run and run).

(3) Where do the Viking WRs rank? Not very high, is the simplest answer. Honesty, even with the prospect of Favre joining the Vikings, I was not very high on any of the Viking WRs. In my rankings, I currently have WR Bernard Berrian at 29 (Tier 4), WR Sidney Rice at 62 (Tier 7), and WR Percy Harvin right behind him at 63 (Tier 7).  I do not think much changes, although I am definitely less excited about WR Sidney Rice as a potential sleeper without Favre hucking him balls. Regardless of who is QB, the only WR you should consider drafting for anything other than a sleeper is Berrian, and he is a borderline WR3, at best.

(4) Is Favre really going to stay retired this time? Childress apparently said the door is closed. But something tells me we have not heard the last of Lord Favre…

Snake Draft Strategies

July 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Check out the Draft Guide for strategies for your traditional/snake draft and auction draft.

WR Rankings

July 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are my Top 10 WRs for 2009:

1. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)
2. Andre Johnson (HOU)
3. Randy Moss (NE)
4. Steve Smith (CAR)
5. Calvin Johnson (DET)
6. Greg Jennings (GB)
7. Reggie Wayne (IND)
8. Roddy White (ATL)
9. Terrell Owens (BUF)
10. Dwayne Bowe (KC)

Click here for the rest of the rankings.

See also:  QB RankingsRB Rankings

QB Rankings

July 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Here are my top 10 QBs for 2009:

1. Drew Brees (NO)
2. Tom Brady (NE)
3. Peyton Manning (IND)
4. Aaron Rodgers (GB)
5. Phillip Rivers (SD)
6. Kurt Warner (ARI)
7. Tony Romo (DAL)
8. Matt Schaub (HOU)
9. Donovan McNabb (PHI)
10. Matt Cassel (KC)

Click here for the rest of the QB Rankings.

See also:  RB RankingsWR Rankings

RB Rankings

July 28, 2009 Leave a comment

My pre-draft RB Rankings are posted.

Here are my Top 10 RBs for 2009:

1. Adrian Peterson (MIN)
2. Michael Turner (ATL)
3. Matt Forte (CHI)
4. Steven Jackson (STL)
5. Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX)
6. Chris Johnson (TEN)
7. Steve Slaton (HOU)
8. LaDainian Tomlinson (SD)
9. Frank Gore (SF)
10. DeAneglo Williams (CAR)

Click here for the rest of the RB Rankings.

See Also:  QB Rankings | WR Rankings