Welcome to the "Original" Dynasty Rankings Fantasy Football Blog

This blog was born out of a Dynasty Rankings thread originally begun in October, 2006 at the Footballguys.com message boards. The rankings in that thread and the ensuing wall-to-wall discussion of player values and dynasty league strategy took on a life of its own at over 275 pages and 700,000 page views. The result is what you see in the sidebar under "Updated Positional Rankings": a comprehensive ranking of dynasty league fantasy football players by position on a tiered, weighted scale. In the tradition of the original footballguys.com Dynasty Rankings thread, intelligent debate is welcome and encouraged.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Draft '08: Rotoworld's Runningback Rankings

Rotoworld's prospect wizard Evan Silva has his NFL Draft Running Back preview up, and it's impressive for it's depth and insight. Below is a brief preview, but it's definitely worth checking out the full article at the link above.

1. Darren McFadden, Arkansas | Comparison: Marcus Allen | Verdict: McFadden has the passion and talent to be a great NFL player, but is unlikely to be a top-five pick due to off-the-field issues. The Jets at No. 6 appear to be the best landing spot for McFadden. He'd work well as a combo back with Thomas Jones to begin his career.

2. Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois | Comparison: Ronnie Brown | Verdict: Mendenhall was sensational against USC in the Rose Bowl, running by, through, and around defenders that will play against him in the pros. Mendenhall has been especially impressive in pre-draft all star events, demonstrating a herculean build and timing well. He is only 20, but developed physically. Mendenhall is a far better all-around prospect than Marshawn Lynch, the No. 12 pick overall in 2007, and is nipping at McFadden's heels.

3. Jonathan Stewart, Oregon | Comparison: Shaun Alexander | Verdict: Among the top three backs in this draft, Stewart is arguably the most prepared to immediately be featured. He doesn't have the long-range upside of McFadden or Mendenhall, but may be the best fit in a power-based running offense. Stewart's work ethic among the draft's elite RBs stands out.

4. Ray Rice, Rutgers | Comparison: Frank Gore | Verdict: Rice isn't necessarily a burner or a bruiser, but runs with heart like Frank Gore and displays a similar "football junkie" mentality. He will begin his NFL career as a backup, but is unlikely to fail when given an opportunity. Rice is a product of The Bronx.

5. Felix Jones, Arkansas | Comparison: Laurence Maroney | Verdict: Jones measured in at the Combine two inches shorter than his college listing. While there's little means to guage how he might fare as a future starter, his lack of an ideal build to fill out is discouraging. It's not out of the question that he will be something more, but the odds favor Jones having a career as a complementary piece, not a lead back.

6. Matt Forte, Tulane | Comparison: Sammy Morris | Verdict: After facing subpar competition in Conference USA, Forte showed at the Senior Bowl that he can excel against NFL-caliber players. He will attract power running teams that appreciate toughness and multifaceted skills. Forte is unlikely to be a capable starter as a rookie, but will help immediately in other ways and could evolve into a three-down back or valuable Sammy Morris-type fullback.

7. Chris Johnson, East Carolina | Comparison: Leon Washington | Verdict: He has a stringbean frame and isn't as elusive as Reggie Bush, who's failed as an every-down back in the pros. Johnson can be used in a number of ways, which increases his value, but is unlikely to ever be a full-time starter. Durability is a big concern. Johnson can be an explosive weapon, but his lack of ideal size and strength makes him no more than a change-of-pace/return prospect.

8. Jamaal Charles, Texas | Comparison: Jerious Norwood | Verdict: Charles gave up track and improved markedly as a junior, but there are question marks about his ball security, size, and staying power in the NFL after an up-and-down college career. Somewhat like Chris Henry in 2007, Charles appears to be a boom-or-bust prospect that may never see the field consistently if he puts the ball on the ground in practice as a pro.

9. Kevin Smith, Central Florida | Comparison: DeShaun Foster | Verdict: Smith has excellent all-around measurables, but is a shifty back who sometimes runs too high. He may be just now coming into his own as a player, but his long-term upside is limited because of his average athleticism. Smith's NFL career may be shortened due to his startling overuse at UCF.

10. Jalen Parmele, Toledo | Comparison: Ryan Grant | Verdict: Parmele is a developmental back who could flourish in a one-cut system (i.e. Denver, Carolina, Green Bay, or Houston). He may not excel in a power running scheme, but because of his all-around tools and vertical speed, could emerge as the draft's premier sleeper if he lands in the right spot. Parmele will help initially on special teams, particularly on returns.

11. Justin Forsett, California
12. Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech
13. Anthony Alridge, Houston
14. Steve Slaton, West Virginia
15. Ryan Torain, Arizona St.

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