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.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Running Back Rankings: Draft Day 2008


[100] Adrian Peterson MIN 23.5 - Simply the most talented player on the field
[98] Steven Jackson STL 25.1 - Rams & new offensive coordinator Al Saunders to build offense around multi-dimensional S-Jax
[98] 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
[94] 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?
[94] 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
[90] Joseph Addai IND 25.3 - Safe call in the Colts offense, but is 300 touches per year his limit?
[89] 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
[84] Marshawn Lynch BUF 22.4 - Should see his role expand on the heels of an impressive rookie season

[76] 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
[75] Darren McFadden OAK 21.0®
[74] 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
[73] 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?
[71] 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
[69] 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
[69] #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
[67] Willis McGahee BAL 26.9 - High marks in job security and consistent production, but the Ravens offense inspires so little faith
[67] 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

[60] Jonathan Stewart CAR 21.5®
[56] Rashard Mendenhall PIT 21.2®
[54] Jamal Lewis CLE 29.0 - Too many dynasty owners are writing off a talented back who is playing very well with fresh legs6 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
[53] 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?
[47] Matt Forte CHI 22.7®
[46] Kevin Smith DET 21.7®
[45] Chris Johnson TEN 22.9®

[38] 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
[37] Felix Jones DAL 21.3®
[35] 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
[33] 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
[31] 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
[31] Pierre Thomas NO 23.7 - 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 especially if Deuce's microfracture right knee and ACL left knee hold him back
[30] Ray Rice BAL 21.7®

[25] Julius Jones SEA 27.0 - 4/30/08 Update: Seahawks announce intention to use a committee attack in the backfield
[25] 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
[23] LenDale White TEN 23.7 - In addition to the dedication, weight, & maturity issues, BakeSale has picked up a couple more: (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.
[23] Rudi Johnson CIN 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
[22] 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
[20] Ryan Torain DEN 22.1®
[20] Edgerrin James ARI 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
[19] Jamaal Charles KC 21.7®
[18] Travis Henry DEN 29.8 - The definition of ethereal value; if stability is London, then Henry is Tokyo; Denver looks like a pure RBBC going into '08

[12] 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
[10] 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
[10] Selvin Young DEN 24.9 - Talented, explosive, and well-liked by his head coach, but he's never going to dominate the carries
[10] 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?
[9] #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
[9] #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
[8] 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
[8] 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
[8] Tatum Bell DET 27.5 - Currently the starting RB in Detroit, but that may change before long; didn't stop Tatum from predicting 1,300 yards & 15 TDs for himself this season
[8] 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

[6] 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
[6] Mike Hart IND 22.4®
[6] Steve Slaton HOU 22.7®
[6] Derrick Ward NYG 28.1 - Looks like injury history scared off potential suitors, so he re-signs with Giants which dampens his value
[5] 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; McFadden to the Raiders at #4 is a concern, but for all of the talk about Al Davis' speed
[5] 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?
[5] 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
[5] #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?
[5] [#]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

[4] Sammy Morris NE 31.5 - Was a good fit in New England's offense, but Maroney stepped up when Morris was out with his sternum/clavicle injury; will he keep the short-yardage/goal-line work? Always a chance for an increased role with the whims of Belichick
fetish, he rarely takes skill position offensive players early in the first round.
[4] Tim Hightower ARI 22.3®
[4] Brandon Jackson GB 22.9 - Jackson owners who drafted him with a high rookie pick want to believe he could eventually win the job from Grant, but it's just not going to happen. Jackson is buried behind Grant, and he'll be lucky to get regular 3rd down duty
[4] Tashard Choice DAL 23.8®
[4] Kenny Watson CIN 30.6 - Too pedestrian to grab hold of the starting RB job and run with it, but a repeat of his effective '07 season is possible if no other RB steps up for the Bengals
[4] Chris Perry CIN 26.7 - As brittle as brittle can be, and likely lost more than a step by now, but there's a window of opportunity in Cincy's backfield
[4] Chris Taylor HOU 24.8 - Longshot, but the coaching staff seems high on him
[4] Jalen Parmele MIA 22.7®
[4] Xavier Omon BUF 23.6®
[3] #Deuce McAllister NO [x] 29.7 - Wait, ACL surgery on his left knee and microfracture surgery on his formerly reconstructed right knee? Now that's a horse of a different color for a 30-year-old RB. Why weren't we informed of this microfracture surgery? I can't envision a scenario where Deuce is not washed up at this point
[3] 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
[3] Lorenzo Booker PHI 24.3 - Only hope for value is as a flex player in PPR leagues. Can he catch enough passes to make himself relevant?
[3] Darren Sproles SD 25.3 - Explosive. Could find fantasy value as a receiving weapon out of the backfield if the Chargers made it a point to get the ball to him, but his slight build will likely keep him from handling the ball enough to make a sizable fantasy impact
[3] Shaun Alexander UFA 31.0 - Just a matter of time before he's cut by Seattle; could end up in the mix for his hometown Bengals. His days as a workhorse are long gone, and he's going to struggle to ever maintain fantasy relevance again
[3] Dominic Rhodes IND 29.6 - Back in Indy, but will he get the benefit of the doubt over rookie Hart?
[3] Kolby Smith KC 23.8 - Was decent in a 5-game trial at the end of the season, but he's limited to backup duty going forward
[3] DeShaun Foster SF 22.8 - Signed a meager contract to head West as Frank Gore's backup; don't look for a heavy role in the offense unless Gore gets injured
[3] 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

[2] Fred Jackson BUF 27.6 - Coaching staff is high on him, but he's more of a change of pace/pure backup as opposed to a guy with an opportunity
[2] Antonio Pittman STL 22.7 - More of a pure backup than Brian Leonard at this point
[2] Tony Hunt PHI 22.8 - Could become the short-yardage back in Philly, but not likely to ever be more than one half of a time share backfield
[2] Marcus Thomas SD 24.3®
[2] Chauncy Washington JAX 23.4®
[2] J.J. Arrington ARI 25.6 - Appears the Cardinals don't see him as anything more than a 3rd down back
[2] DeShawn Wynn GB 24.9 - Green Bay sees him as more of a pure backup than Jackson, but Wynn's injuries have put him solidly on the bench behind Ryan Grant
[2] Justin Forsett SEA 22.8®
[2] Thomas Brown ATL 22.3®
[2] Cory Boyd TB 23.1®
[2] Jacob Hester SD 23.3®
[2] Andre Hall DEN 26.1 - Any RB in DEN could get a shot, but he's definitely 3rd on the depth chart even before April's draft; didn't ingratiate himself to his coach by getting arrested last month
[2] Adrian Peterson CHI 29.2 - Right now he's the most effective RB in Chicago, but will likely go back to his former role when new talent is added in the draft
[2] Mewelde Moore PIT 26.1 - A weapon in the passing game and likely to take over punt-return duties; has a track record of impressive performance in small doses but gets nicked up easily
[2] Najeh Davenport PIT 29.6 - Likely to keep goal-line/short yardage duties as Parker's complement, but Moore could take over on 3rd downs; has startable value if Parker goes down with injury again
[2] Musa Smith BAL (U) 26.3 - Not without talent, but too unreliable due to injury history; would have to land in the ideal situation to merit a look beyond stash option
[2] Vernand Morency GB 28.6 - Ceiling is 3rd down back
[2] T.J. Duckett SEA 27.5 - Same old Duckett, should take over the short-yardage in Seattle
[2] Jesse Chatman NYJ 29.0 - Thomas Jones insurance
[2] Warrick Dunn TB 33.7 - Ill-suited to 3rd down work at this point in his career, but that's where he's going to play

[1] Maurice Morris SEA 28.8
[1] Michael Bennett TB 30.0
[1] Gary Russell PIT 22.0
[1] Jerome Harrison CLE 25.5
[1] Aaron Stecker NO 32.8
[1] Michael Robinson SF 25.5
[1] Ryan Moats PHI [x] 25.7
[1] Brian Leonard STL 24.6
[1] Cory Ross BAL 26.0
[1] Dwayne Wright BUF 25.3
[1] Brian Calhoun DET 24.4
[1] Garrett Wolfe CHI 24.1
[1] Jackie Battle KC 24.9
[1] Jason Snelling ATL 23.7
[1] Danny Ware NYG 23.6
[1] Kenton Keith IND 28.2 - Would have some nice value as a sidekick to Addai if the Colts weren't looking to upgrade at RB in this year's draft
[1] LaBrandon Toefield CAR 28.0 - Could be D-Willy's short-yardage legs in Carolina if they don't grab a high round RB in the draft
[1] Reuben Droughns NYG [x] 30.0
[1] Correll Buckhalter PHI [x] 29.9
[1] Kevin Faulk NE 32.3
[1] Mike Bell DEN [T] 25.4

Draft Day Movers:
Moved DeAngelo Williams down
Moved Justin Fargas, Michael Bush, & Dominic Rhodes down
Moved Willie Parker, Najeh Davenport, & Mewelde Moore down
Moved Cedric Benson & Adrian Peterson down
Moved LenDale White & Chris Henry down
Moved Thomas Jones up
Moved Marion Barber down
Moved Willis McGahee down
Removed Darius Walker, Michael Pittman, & Ron Dayne


Anonymous said...

Now that the draft went by without Indy taking a RB high, do you have a little bit more faith in Addai as the long term guy there?

Chris Wesseling said...

No, I just don't. I guess I'm supposed to, but he's just not a guy who inspires faith as a back who will consistently see over 300 touches per season, hold off all challenges to the position, and stay healthy for a 16-game season.

I hesitate to call him a system RB because he IS talented, but he still derives a huge portion of his dynasty value from his system. I wrote this last season about Addai/Kenton Keith, and I think it goes double for Addai/Michael Hart:

"I've always believed that it's a negative sign for dynasty value when a player's back-up can perform just as well in the offense as the starter. Interchangeable parts usually = ambiguous long term value. I do believe Addai is more talented than Keith, just as I believe Maroney is more talented than Morris and Portis more talented than Betts. Still, if a back-up can step in and do your job with the offense not missing a beat, then how valuable are you? It's that question which leads NFL teams to get their back-ups regular playing time in order to keep their starters fresh for the long haul of a 16-game + playoffs season."

Chris Wesseling said...

Oh, and I'd still take Jones-Drew over Addai in a heartbeat...

Anonymous said...

I think its our philosophy where we disagree. I agree that MJD is a more talented back than Addai, but Barry was more talented than Emmitt and Fred Taylor was more talented than Priest Holmes, yet Emmitt and Holmes were much better fantasy backs because of their situations. I just think situation is just as important as talent at RB.

I think 90% of the backups in the league can do the job as well as their teams starters. RB is a position that is based on supporting cast more than talent. That's why every Jags back averages 5 YPC and why a guy like Jamal Lewis can go from washed up vet to resurgent vet without actually getting better.

Addai may not have a long future, but I find it hard to believe he won't be the feature back on the league's best offense for another 3-5 years.

To be fair, I do tend to play things safe.