Adrian Peterson MIN 23.5 - Simply the most talented player on the field
 Steven Jackson STL 25.1 - Rams & new offensive coordinator Al Saunders to build offense around multi-dimensional S-Jax
 LaDanian Tomlinson SD 29.2 - Have we seen the last of the truly dominant LT2? He may bounce back with a vengeance after all the flack he took for the Pats game, but it's tough to rank him higher at the crucial RB age of 29
 Brian Westbrook PHI 29.0 - Money in PPR leagues and still underrated, but injuries are a constant concern; is this offseason the time to flip him for a younger talent before it's too late?
 Frank Gore SF 25.2 - Talented, well-rounded, great job security, and in line to haul in a ton of receptions in Martz' offense which saw Marshall Faulk take his game to the next level
 Joseph Addai IND 25.3 - Safe call in the Colts offense, but is 300 touches per year his limit?
 Maurice Jones-Drew JAX 23.4 - One of the best players in the NFL and averages a TD per game even in limited touches; his time for Westbrook-like domination is coming like a freight train
 Marshawn Lynch BUF 22.4 - Should see his role expand on the heels of an impressive rookie season
 Marion Barber III DAL 25.3 - He and Ronnie Brown have consistently given me the most trouble since I've started these rankings, and this offseason is no different. Barber's distinct strengths (runs hard, scores often, well-rounded) and weaknesses (runs too hard, likely to wear down with major increase in carries, could lead to short career, Cowboys likely to add a talented counterpart) make for a complex value judgment for dynasty leaguers
 Clinton Portis WAS 27.0 - Something is askew here: his owners are constantly trying to deal him, but they also consider him an elite back. The problem is he's not quite the ideal RB1 that dynasty leaguers want to rely on, but it's increasingly difficult to trade him for an upgrade
 Reggie Bush NO 23.5 - We have to accept the fact that he's not the dynamic homerun hitter he was hyped to be, but he's still gold in PPR leagues and was used at the goal-line while Deuce was injured
 Larry Johnson KC 28.8 - With the dwindling YPC, the 400+ carry season of '06, the foot injury, the perdition of what was once possibly the best O-Line in NFL history, and now a punchless Croyle-led offense, L.J. simply has too much going against him to return to '05-'06 form. Those days are gone
 #Ronnie Brown MIA 26.7 - Here's the crux of the problem: even with the advances of modern medical technology, no RB in history has returned as the same back immediately after ACL surgery. If Brown won't be truly himself again until '09, what's his dynasty value? Can he be counted on as a fantasy starter at all in '08? The answer to that last question is going to count for a lot in determining his value
 Willis McGahee BAL 26.9 - High marks in job security and consistent production, but the Ravens offense inspires so little faith
 Laurence Maroney NE 23.5 - It will be interesting to see if the Pats trust Maroney in short yardage after his success there late in the season; Maroney is a talented back in a great offense, but there are still legit concerns about his usage patterns in that offense
 Ryan Grant GB 25.7 - The Packers love his game, so there's no worry about job security any time soon; how will Favre's exit affect the value of the running game?
 Willie Parker PIT 27.8 - When you lose goal-line carries & 3rd down work, you lose a hefty portion of your fantasy value; I like FWP, but I've always sensed that the Steelers don't trust him to be a true workhorse
 DeAngelo Williams CAR 25.4 - Not likely to get regular goal-line work regardless, but if CAR stays with Toefield as his timeshare partner, Williams gets another spike in value. If they draft a talented back, the questions will linger
 Jamal Lewis CLE 29.0 - Too many dynasty owners are writing off a talented back who is playing very well with fresh legs; there aren't too many RBs around the league with this much job security and a guaranteed prominent role in a highly productive offense. Frankly, I probably have him too low as opposed to too high
 Michael Turner ATL 26.5 - Will be the Thunder to Norwood's Lightning in ATL, meaning Turner will get the early down and short-yardage work but will likely lose some value in the passing game. Will he find the end zone enough to make up for Norwood's production drain?
 Brandon Jacobs NYG 26.2 - He will always face questions about staying healthy and being a bit of a novelty act, and now he has to contend with an Ahmad Bradshaw problem
 Ernest Graham TB 28.7 - Most of his value is going to be tied up in the 2008 season with the Bucs showing a definite interest in finding another reliable RB by hook or by crook; he can help you win now, but there's just not enough long-range value here
 LenDale White TEN 23.7 - BakeSale has several issues, but two of them are major: (1) He's useless if the Titans are playing from behind and (2) The Titans are going to be continually on the lookout for a quality RB to pair with him and siphon production
 Julius Jones SEA 27.0 - New starting RB for the Seahawks could regain quite a bit of value; now let's see what they do in the draft
 Justin Fargas OAK 28.6 - What are the chances he stays healthy and holds off all of the competition for his job throughout the whole season? Sell (relatively) high if it's not too late
 Pierre Thomas NO 23.7 - His impressive Week 17 performance would make it easier to cut Deuce McAllister this spring; like Willie Parker a couple of years ago, Thomas could capitalize on a huge Week 17 game to carve out a prominent role in his team's offense
 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG 22.5 - I was eyeballing his game for weaknesses throughout the playoffs, but I didn't find any glaring ones; he may not be able to carry a full load, but the question is moot with Jacobs in front of him
 Michael Bush OAK 24.3 - Now that he's healthy, can he stay healthy? If so, he has a better chance to eat into Fargas' work than Rhodes or Jordan do; is he more of a time-share back or a guy who can carry the load in the future?
 Thomas Jones NYJ 30.0 - With the Jets' re-vamped O-Line, he could move up a bit as long as the Jets don't draft a RB in the first couple of rounds; unfortunately, many suspect the Jets are the likely McFadden landing spot
 Edgerrin James ARI [x] 30.1 - His goal-line & passing game production have already been taken away, and the Cardinals are now looking for his successor in the draft; still a possibility of being cut this spring/summer
 Travis Henry DEN 29.8 - The definition of ethereal value; if stability is London, then Henry is Tokyo
 Rudi Johnson CIN [x] 28.9 - He looks like he's running on dead legs, but there's some chance his poor production was more the result of the hamstring injury than being washed up. Either way, he's reached the point where he could lose his job at a moment's notice . . . if he hasn't already
 Selvin Young DEN 24.9 - Talented, explosive, and well-liked by his head coach, but he's never going to dominate the carries
 Jerious Norwood ATL 25.1 - As expected, Norwood won't be given an opportunity to shoulder the load in ATL; how valuable can be with limited touches?
 Chester Taylor MIN 29.0 - As valuable of a pure backup as any RB in the league, Taylor is still most valuable to Adrian Peterson owners; won't be a free agent until after the '09 season when he'll be almost 31-years-old
 #Kevin Jones UFA 26.0 - Won't be back by Week 1, will be less than 100% when he does play, will be injured quickly as soon as he does come back, and will likely be splitting carries wherever he winds up. What's the fantasy football equivalent of a "face for radio" or a "face only a mother could love"? A running back only an intractably twitterpated owner could love
 Ricky Williams MIA 31.3 - Could be a good story here if Brown is slow to return to full health; after a couple of seasons away from football, Ricky should have fresh legs and is one of the few backups who can carry a full load if needed
 Tatum Bell DET 27.5 - Currently the starting RB in Detroit, but that may change before long
 #Kenny Irons CIN 25.0 - There's definitely a window of opportunity in Cincinnati's backfield right now, but it's going to tough for Irons to exploit it at less than 100% in the year following ACL surgery
 #Cedric Benson CHI [x] 25.7 - Injury prone, headcase RB lacking in explosiveness & receiving ability just lost a step he couldn't afford to lose and now likely to be splitting carries at best. Where do I sign up?
 Fred Taylor JAX 32.6 - Has as much value as a 32-year-old, part-timer without goal-line and passing game opportunities can possibly have
 Ahman Green HOU 31.5 - Mistakenly regarded as washed up when he should more accurately be portrayed as a RB who can still play and play well but can't stay healthy under a full workload at this stage of his career
 Chris Brown HOU 27.4 - Picked a good situation with Texans' zone blocking scheme and no dominant RB in front of him, but Brown just can't be relied on as more than a committee back
 Ladell Betts WAS 29.0 - Now more insurance for Portis as opposed to a backfield complement; startable in the event of a Portis injury but valueless in the meantime
 Derrick Ward NYG 28.1 - Looks like injury history scared off potential suitors, so he re-signs with Giants which dampens his value
 Chris Henry TEN 23.3 - Titans continually on the lookout for a backfield upgrade, but Henry is the 3rd down back and White insurance for now
 Lamont Jordan OAK [x] 29.8 - Just release him already! He turns 30 this season and the chronic back problems leave him as nothing more than a backup option, but he has a chance to be startable for a few games at a time if he gets the opportunity
 #Deuce McAllister NO [x] 29.7 - We won't know for another month whether he'll be cut or not; another RB who turns 30 during the season and may have lost one too many steps after a 2nd ACL surgery
 [#]Cadillac Williams TB 26.4 - We've heard everything from "career's over" to "suiting up by week one." The most like scenario is that he'll start the season on the PUP list and will be a shadow of his former self once he does return . . . and truth be told his former self wasn't all that hot to begin with
 Leon Washington NYJ 26.0 - A homerun hitter, but just not physical enough to ever be more than a part-timer; his only hope for value is to catch enough passes to be useful in PPR leagues
 Shaun Alexander SEA [x] 31.0
 #Chris Perry CIN 26.7
 Lorenzo Booker MIA 24.3
 Kenny Watson CIN 30.6
 #Sammy Morris NE 31.5
 Brandon Jackson GB 22.9
 Musa Smith BAL (U) 26.3
 Najeh Davenport PIT 29.6
 Mewelde Moore PIT 26.1 - Could take over 3rd down & punt return duties in PIT
 Dominic Rhodes OAK 29.6
 Kenton Keith IND 28.2
 Darren Sproles SD 25.3
 Kolby Smith KC 23.8
 Adrian Peterson CHI 29.2
 DeShaun Foster SF 28.6 - Takes small deal to back up Gore in SF
 DeShawn Wynn GB 24.9
 Vernand Morency GB [R] 28.6
 Tony Hunt PHI 22.8
 Antonio Pittman STL 22.7
 Andre Hall DEN 26.1
 J.J. Arrington ARI 25.6
 Fred Jackson BUF 27.6
 Jerome Harrison CLE 25.5
 Maurice Morris SEA 28.8
 Michael Bennett TB 30.0
 Ron Dayne HOU (U) 30.5
 T.J. Duckett SEA 27.5
 LaBrandon Toefield CAR 28.0
 Warrick Dunn TB 33.7
 Jesse Chatman NYJ 29.0
 Chris Taylor HOU 24.8
 Michael Pittman TB (U) 33.1
 Gary Russell PIT 22.0
 Michael Robinson SF 25.5
 Ryan Moats PHI [x] 25.7
 Brian Leonard STL 24.6
 Cory Ross BAL 26.0
 Dwayne Wright BUF 25.3
 Brian Calhoun DET 24.4
 Darius Walker HOU 23.6
 Garrett Wolfe CHI 24.1
 Jackie Battle KC 24.9
 Jason Snelling ATL 23.7
 Reuben Droughns NYG [x] 30.0
 Correll Buckhalter PHI [x] 29.9
 Kevin Faulk NE 32.3
 Aaron Stecker NO 32.8
 Mike Bell DEN [T] 25.4
3/11/08 - Added Chris Taylor
3/14/08 - Moved Pierre Thomas up
1. Rashard Mendenhall, Illnois - 5'11", 225 | 21.2 ---> 2/24/08: Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall unofficially timed 4.37 and 4.43 in the NFL Combine's forty-yard dash. Officially, he ran a 4.45. Outstanding times for Mendenhall, who is apparently ranked as the top running back on some teams' draft boards. Mendenhall is a tackle breaker, so showing he has home run speed as well certainly can't hurt.
2. Darren McFadden, Arkansas - 6'1", 211 | 21.0 ---> 3/5/08: League insiders tell the NY Daily News that "it's looking more and more like" the Jets will take Darren McFadden with the No. 6 overall pick. He'd have to be there, but the smart money is on McFadden not being a top-five pick because of off-field concerns. The Jets are expected to use this draft to upgrade their overall team speed. McFadden would be a start.
3. Jonathan Stewart, Oregon - 5'11", 234 | 21.5 ---> 3/12/08: According to this NFL Network clip, Stewart could need surgery on his big toe and be out 4-6 months
4. Ray Rice, Rutgers - 5'8", 199 | 21.7 ---> 2/24/08: Rutgers RB Ray Rice ran an unofficial 4.44 forty at the NFL Combine Sunday. However, he's believed to have tweaked his hamstring on the run. Despite his 5'9/200-pound frame, Rice was highly durable at Rutgers, so this would be an inopportune time for an injury. The extent of the tweak is unknown.
5. Felix Jones, Arkansas - 5'10", 207 | 21.3 ---> 2/24/08: Arkansas RB/KR Felix Jones ran an official 4.47 forty at the Combine. It's not a blazing time like his former teammate, but plenty fast. Jones will likely be drafted late in the first round or early in the second as a complementary back and return ace. He has long-term starting upside.
6. Jamaal Charles, Texas - 6'0", 205 | 21.7 ---> 2/24/08: Texas RB Jamaal Charles officially ran a 4.38 forty at the NFL Combine. Charles had fumbling problems in his college career, but there was never any doubt about his speed. He'll likely be a late second or third-round pick.
7. Chris Johnson, East Carolina - 5'11", 197 | 23.0 ---> 4.24 40 time at combine
8. Kevin Smith, Central Florida - 6'1", 211 | 21.7 ---> 1/6/08: Central Florida RB Kevin Smith has declared for the 2008 NFL Draft. Smith (6'1/211) led the nation in rushing as a junior, finishing 61 yards short of Barry Sanders' NCAA record of 2,628. He showed good receiving skills at UCF, but faced weak competition in C-USA and was used at an alarming rate. Smith had 450 carries in 2007, and it will likely be a concern on draft day.
9. Matt Forte, Tulane - 6'1", 222 | 22.7 ---> 2/24/08: Tulane RB Matt Forte was officially timed at 4.46 in the forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Behind Jonathan Stewart (Oregon), Forte may have established himself as the No. 2 pure power back in the draft this offseason. Forte was the MVP of the Senior Bowl in January. One report had him on the Browns' radar.
10. Jalen Parmele, Toledo
11. Justin Forsett, California
12. Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech
13. Mike Hart, Michigan
14. Anthony Alridge, Houston
15. Steve Slaton, West Virginia
Friday, March 7, 2008