Jun 29, 2009
Here’s the next round of random thoughts, this time on running backs:
Felix Jones/Dallas Cowboys – Did you realize he had a 8.9 per average on his 30 carries before he got hurt. I know that’s a limited amount of work, but watching him last season it was easy to see how special he was in space. I’d get this guy in rounds 7-8 and he could actually win you some games. He’s one of those rare backs that doesn’t need a lot of carries to do serious damage.
Clinton Portis/Washington Redskins – Most of you probably don’t realize just how good he was during the first half of last season before he suffered a spate of nagging injuries. In his first eight games, Portis posted 944 yards on the ground with 7 TDs, including five straight games of over 100 yards. After that, he was completely worn down and had just one good game the rest of the way. Remarkably, he turns just 28 in September. The Redskins are still a power rushing team on offense and look for Portis to be pretty solid again.
Michael Turner/Atlanta Falcons – Some fantasy owners are wondering if he’ll repeat his success this season. He had 376 carries in 2008 (23.5/game), but with Tony Gonzalez in the fold, I think they may throw just a little bit more. That wouldn’t be a bad thing since Turner had probably too many carries. It’s a virtual lock that if Turner is healthy, he’ll still have at least 20 carries/game. Too bad he doesn’t catch the ball at all, but he’ll still be solid again, especially with more versatility to their passing game with Gonzalez’s addition. It will be harder for teams to defend the Falcon offense this season.
Pierre Thomas/New Orleans Saints – We talked about him in last week’s podcast, but in fantasy terms, I think he will be as solid as it gets as a #2 RB. He’ll get plenty of touches each game and he really can make plays in their passing game. I’m interested to see how they will use him and Reggie Bush this season.
Jonathan Stewart/Carolina Panthers – I’m starting to get a little concerned with his injuries. Last year, it was expected that he might have trouble from time to time with his toe surgery. But he now is dealing with a sore Achilles that is a result of overcompensating for the toe injury. I’d draft him as my third back, less risk that way.
Julius Jones/Seattle Seahawks – As much as we’ve dogged him rightfully so over the past few seasons, it’s all about opportunity and Jones will get a great one this season. It’s highly unlikely he’ll be challenged for his starting job though the very slow and plodding T.J. Duckett will take some goal-line carries away from him. Still, Jones should be a solid mid-round choice as your third RB.
Ronnie Brown/Miami Dolphins – I realize this fall he’ll be two years away from the ACL injury, but until the coaching staff is willing to let him break out of the RBBC, draft him as your second back. There just doesn’t seem to be the kind of backing from this coaching staff that you would expect him to get. I realize that they didn’t draft him, but it’s still surprising that he’s not getting a true chance to handle 17-20 carries/game.
Baltimore Running Backs – I’m basically staying away from all of them. Willis McGahee may never be the same, his knees don’t seem like they are back to where they were two years ago. I don’t trust him or the rest of them. I’d rather have some kind of definitive word on a player’s role before I invest a pick in the first half of a draft on him.
Steve Slaton/Houston Texans – Only concern here, and it’s potentially a big one, is his ability to hold up over a 16-game season. I think the Texans have made a mistake by not signing a solid veteran to back him up. Thinking Chris Brown will be able to handle the role and stay healthy is foolish.