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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.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Updated Off-Season Running Back Landscape: NFC



[71] Marion Barber III DAL 25.3 - Starter / Timeshare

[29] Felix Jones DAL 21.3® - Change of pace / Receiving back

[3] Tashard Choice DAL 23.8® - Back up

Outlook: The Cowboys never envisioned Barber as a carry-the-load workhorse, so they jumped all over complementary back Felix Jones in the first round of the draft. Barber's new contract gives him some stability even if he is going to be sharing the backfield with Jones. It also leaves Jones' future value up in the air and limits his fantasy ceiling.


[43] Brandon Jacobs NYG 26.2 - 1st & 2nd down [2009 Free Agent]

[27] Ahmad Bradshaw NYG 22.5 - 3rd down / RBBC?

[5] Derrick Ward NYG 28.1 - Back-up

[1] Reuben Droughns NYG [x] 30.0 - Cut?

[1] Danny Ware NYG 23.6 - Practice squad?

Outlook: Bradshaw is looking like a value killer for Jacobs though it remains to be seen how that timeshare will shake out in the next couple of years. Ward signs a one-year deal to give the Giants great depth, but it hampers his value.


[76] Clinton Portis WAS 27.0 - Full-time

[5] Ladell Betts WAS 29.0 - Insurance

Outlook: New regime sees Betts as the clear backup to Portis though there have been rumblings about using both in the backfield together.


[94] Brian Westbrook PHI 29.0 - Full-time

[4] Lorenzo Booker PHI 24.3 - Backup / Receiving back

[2] Tony Hunt PHI 22.8 - Backup / Short-yardage?

[1] Correll Buckhalter PHI [x] 29.9 - Backup / Cut?

[1] Ryan Moats PHI [x] 25.7 - Cut?

Outlook: Westbrook will continue to dominate the offense. New acquisition Booker would likely split time with Buckhalter or Hunt if Westbrook goes down with an injury.



[73] Ryan Grant GB 25.7 - Full-time

[4] Brandon Jackson GB 22.9 - 3rd down? / Back-up

[2] DeShawn Wynn GB 24.9 - Back-up

[1] Vernand Morency GB 28.6 - Back-up / Cut?

Outlook: How will Favre's retirement affect the Packers' offensive production? Grant is one of the few carry-the-load backs in the league these days, and Jackson is clearly the back-up or part-time 3rd down option.


[100] Adrian Peterson MIN 23.5 - 1st & 2nd down

[11] Chester Taylor MIN 29.0 - 3rd down

[1] Maurice Hicks - Returner / 3rd down option

Outlook: One-two punch of ADP and Chester Taylor in the Vikes' heavy rushing attack, with ADP seeing most of the work. I'm not generally a believer in the "handcuff" strategy, but Chester Taylor is an absolute must for ADP owners -- similar to LT2 & Turner in '06 & '07.


[47] Kevin Smith DET 21.7® - Starter?

[4] Tatum Bell DET 27.5 - Back-up?

[2] Brian Calhoun DET 24.4 - Change of pace? / 3rd down work?

Outlook: Kevin Smith looks like the early front-runner for the majority of carries in the Lions backfield. Bell will have to showcase a ton of explosion and a more well-rounded game in pre-season to hold off the rookie. Don't believe the hype on Calhoun -- he's an injury-prone, under-sized 3rd down back masquerading as an off-season fluff piece.


[48] Matt Forte CHI 22.7® - Starter?

[6] #Cedric Benson CHI 25.7 - Back-up?

[1] Adrian Peterson CHI 29.2 - Special teams / 3rd down / Back-up

[1] Garrett Wolfe - Change of pace

Outlook: Natural landing spot for Illinois' star Rashard Mendenhall as both Lovie Smith and GM Angelo have put Benson on notice that he will have competition next season. The offensive line could still use some tinkering as well.



[37] Ernest Graham TB 28.7 - Full-time / RBBC?

[5] [#]Cadillac Williams TB 26.4 - Injured? / PUP?

[2] Cory Boyd TB 23.1®

[1] Warrick Dunn TB 33.7 - 3rd down?

[1] Michael Bennett TB 30.0 - Backup

Outlook: Graham will enter '08 as the starter with Caddy a giant question mark to play at all, much less return at full strength anytime in the near future. Dunn is ostensibly being brought in as the 3rd down back despite the fact that he's a hindrance in the passing game at this point in his career . . . good news for Graham.


[74] Reggie Bush NO 23.5 - RBBC

[28] Pierre Thomas NO 23.7 - Back-up / RBBC?

[3] #Deuce McAllister NO [x] 29.7 - RBBC / Cut?

[1] Aaron Stecker NO 32.8 - Back-up

Outlook: Should be the same cast of characters again in ’08 though it's looking more and more possible that Deuce could be cut, in which case Pierre Thomas would see a significant jump in value.


[69] Jonathan Stewart CAR 21.5®

[22] DeAngelo Williams CAR 25.4 - Starter / Goal-line carries?

[1] LaBrandon Toefield CAR 28.0 - Short-yardage

Outlook: DeAngelo Williams sees a major role increase, but questions persist about short-yardage and blitz pickup. Is Toefield the power back partner, or will the Panthers seek an upgrade early in the draft?


[51] Michael Turner ATL 26.5 - 1st & 2nd down

[10] Jerious Norwood ATL 25.1 - Change of pace

[2] Thomas Brown ATL 22.3®

Outlook: Turner signed to lead Mularkey's power running game and should total 250-270 carries with complement Norwood as an explosive change of pace weapon.



[27] Julius Jones SEA 27.0 - 1st & 2nd down

[2] Justin Forsett SEA 22.8®

[1] T.J. Duckett SEA 27.5 - Short-yardage

[1] Maurice Morris SEA 28.8 - Back-up

Outlook: Barring an early round draft pick, it looks like a committee led by Julius Jones with a splash of Maurice Morris on 3rd down and T.J. Duckett in short-yardage. Despite the protestations to the contrary, Alexander is still likely to be cut


[20] Edgerrin James ARI 30.1 - RBBC / Cut?

[6] Tim Hightower ARI 22.3®

[2] J.J. Arrington ARI 25.6 - 3rd down

Outlook: After seeing his 3rd down and goal-line work taken away from him last season, the Cards will look for Edge's successor in the draft this season.


[94] Frank Gore SF 25.2 - Full-time

[2] DeShaun Foster SF 28.7 - Back-up

[1] Michael Robinson SF 25.5 - Back-up

Outlook: Martz' hire as OC means Gore's value goes up in PPR leagues and should be good news for the entire offense in 2008. Foster signed a meager contract and looks much more like a strict backup as opposed to a threat to Gore's production.


[98] Steven Jackson STL 25.1 - Full-time

[2] Antonio Pittman STL 22.7 - Back-up

[1] Brian Leonard STL 24.6 - Back-up / Fullback

Outlook: All set here. Rams intend to build their offense around Steven Jackson going forward. Return of a healthy Pace with addition of Jacob Bell should boost the O-Line's production.

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