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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Running Back Rankings | October 22, 2008

RUNNING BACKS

TIER ONE

1. Adrian Peterson, MIN | Age: 23.5 | Value Score: 100
Simply the most talented player on the field [click here].

2. Steven Jackson, STL | Age: 25.1 | Value Score: 98
As Ronnie Brown proved in the first half of 2007, elite running back talents can succeed on poor teams.

TIER TWO

3. Frank Gore, SF | Age: 25.2 | Value Score: 92

4. Brian Westbrook, PHI | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 92

5. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX | Age: 23.4 | Value Score: 90
Fred Taylor recently acknowledged that MJD's time is now, but more importantly it's obvious that the Jags see him as the feature back in the post-Taylor era. He's due for more consistent carries.

6. Marion Barber III, DAL | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 88

7. Marshawn Lynch, BUF | Age: 22.4 | Value Score: 88

8. Chris Johnson, TEN | Age: 22.9 | Value Score: 87
See here for explanation of high ranking.

9. LaDainian Tomlinson, SD | Age: 29.2 | Value Score: 86
The ominous signs are coming like traps in a Freddy Krueger movie: Father Time fast approaching with age 30 on the horizon, 3,000 career touches, the toe injury, an offensive line not blocking well, and no indication that the season will turn around any time soon.

10. Clinton Portis, WAS | Age: 27.0 | Value Score: 85
Portis presents quite the conundrum. At 117 rushing yards per game, contenders need to ride the hot hand this season. Builders, on the other hand, owe it to themselves to move a RB who will be 28-years-old, coming off a possible 370-carry season, and a career-long history of heavy workloads and violent collisions.

11. Ronnie Brown, MIA | Age: 26.7 | Value Score: 83
We knew ACL surgeries weren't the death sentence they used to be, but it now appears that they're merely a minor setback. Running with impressive power and patience, it's obvious that Brown is the fulcrum of the Dolphins offense.

TIER THREE

12. #Reggie Bush, NO | Age: 23.5 | Value Score: 75
Missing a stretch of games with a knee injury for the second year in a row.

13. Jonathan Stewart
, CAR | Age: 21.5 | Value Score: 75
Still an elite talent, but it's becoming more obvious that owners will be waiting until 2010 for him to realize his full potential.

14. #Joseph Addai, IND | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 74
I've consistently ranked Addai lower than anyone else doing Dynasty/Keeper rankings, and here's the crux of the problem: Though Addai gets a boost in Dynasty value because he plays for the Colts, he also loses major long-term stability because his backups have proven they can step right in with the offense not skipping a beat. He's not a special talent, and the Colts offense doesn't rely on any unique "Addai-ness" that he brings to the table.

To make matters worse, Addai has been awful since the second half of last season, to the tune of just over 3.0 yards per carry. Did Rhodes impress his coaches enough against Baltimore to receive a bigger slice of the pie down the road? I don't know, but it's not like Addai was seen as a 300+ carry workhorse anyway. I'd be concerned if I was an Addai owner. It doesn't take an over-active imagination to picture the Colts taking it easy with Addai's workload in the future.


15. #Darren McFadden, OAK | Age: 21.0 | Value Score: 74
Time to buy if you believe if the talent.

16. Matt Forte, CHI | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 72
Dwindling yards per carry and heavy workload slightly disconcerting.

17. Michael Turner, ATL | Age: 26.5 | Value Score: 68
Running backs who don't catch the ball have an awfully hard time producing consistently.

TIER FOUR

18. Brandon Jacobs, NYG | Age: 26.2 | Value Score: 60
The quality of the Giants backups make Jacobs' value a tricky one to judge on a weekly basis. Juggernaut performances like Week 5 help put the doubts to rest.

19. Ryan Grant, GB | Age: 25.7 | Value Score: 59
Not only are the big plays gone, but more problematic is that he's slipped to the point where he doesn't even catch passes anymore. Steer clear of running backs with no role in the passing game.

20. Willis McGahee, BAL | Age: 26.9 | Value Score: 58
Coming off his best game of the season, can he finally put Le'Ron McClain and Ray Rice at bay? I'd be selling high after this week's game against the Raiders.

21. Willie Parker, PIT | Age: 27.8 | Value Score: 57
This is why Parker has never had stability as a Dynasty asset: he's not a true workhorse. Every time the Steelers realize this, they start taking away responsibilities, first passing game work, then short-yardage work, and eventually the starting job.

22. Jamal Lewis, CLE | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 53

TIER FIVE

23. [#]Rashard Mendenhall, PIT | Age: 21.2 | Value Score: 43
Is it too early to wonder if he's a bust? He couldn't get on the field until Willie Parker's injury, and now he's roster fodder until 2009.

24. #Felix Jones, DAL | Age: 21.3 | Value Score: 42

25. *Larry Johnson, KC | Age: 28.8 | Value Score: 40

26. DeAngelo Williams, CAR | Age: 25.4 | Value Score: 39

27. Ray Rice
, BAL | Age: 21.7 | Value Score: 38
Willis McGahee better stay healthy if he knows what's good for him. In the meantime, Rice will try to carve out a poor man's MJD role for himself in the Ravens offense.

28. Tim Hightower, ARI | Age: 22.3 | Value Score: 37
Hightower clearly offers the Cardinals offense more than Edgerrin James does, and Week 6 marked the first time the rookie got more touches than the pedestrian vet.

29. Steve Slaton, HOU | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 37
I've remained skeptical all along that Slaton will ever be a RB that can sustain a rushing attack. Now he's in a virtual rotation with Ahman Green. If you haven't sold sky high, there may still be time to do so after the Bengals game Sunday.

30. Kevin Smith, DET | Age: 21.7 | Value Score: 35
Expect to see more of Smith and less of Rudi Johnson in the second half of the season.

31. #Ryan Torain, DEN | Age: 22.1 | Value Score: 33

TIER SIX

32. [#]Laurence Maroney, NE | Age: 23.5 | Value Score: 25
The shoulder injury closes the books on his 2008 season, and he heads into 2009 as an injury-prone committee back with no role in the passing game.

33. Ahmad Bradshaw
, NYG | Age: 22.5 | Value Score: 24

34. Thomas Jones, NYJ | Age: 30.0 | Value Score: 24
Sell high!

35. Earnest Graham, TB | Age: 28.7 | Value Score: 23

36. Jamaal Charles, KC | Age: 21.7 | Value Score: 20

37. Derrick Ward, NYG | Age: 28.1 | Value Score: 17
Underrated, well-rounded backup.

38. LenDale White, TEN | Age: 23.7 | Value Score: 17
Stinks.

39. Michael Bush, OAK | Age: 24.3 | Value Score: 15

40. Julius Jones, SEA | Age: 27.0 | Value Score: 15
Already back to a committee attack, and now he's unleashing sideline rants against the Big Show. Bad idea.

TIER SEVEN

41. Kevin Jones, CHI | Age: 26.0 | Value Score: 10

42. Jerious Norwood, ATL | Age: 25.1 | Value Score: 10

43. Darren Sproles, SD | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 9
Unrestricted free agent after 2008 season.

44. Cedric Benson, CIN | Age: 25.7 | Value Score: 9
Even against a stout Steelers defense, he was considerably more impressive than Chris Perry has been. Sell high at the earliest possible opportunity.

45. Pierre Thomas, NO | Age: 23.7 | Value Score: 9
Keep him stashed, but Deuce's return certainly diminishes his value.

46. Dominic Rhodes, IND | Age: 29.6 | Value Score: 8
Will be startable for a few weeks and may work his way back into a timeshare with Addai.

47.
Michael Pittman, DEN | Age: 33.1 | Value Score: 8

48. #Sammy Morris, NE | Age: 31.5 | Value Score: 8
Most valuable 2008 asset in the Pats committee backfield?

49. #LaMont Jordan, NE | Age: 29.8 | Value Score: 7

50. Edgerrin James, ARI | Age: 30.1 | Value Score: 7
The cliff is approaching fast. . . .

51. Selvin Young, DEN | Age: 24.9 | Value Score: 7
He's clearly a committee back – the part of the committee that never gets in the end zone.


52. Chester Taylor, MIN | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 7
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.

53. Fred Jackson, BUF | Age: 27.6 | Value Score: 6

54. Maurice Morris, SEA | Age: 28.7 | Value Score: 6

55. Justin Fargas, OAK | Age: 28.6 | Value Score: 6

56. Brandon Jackson, GB | Age: 22.9 | Value Score: 6

57. Deuce McAllister, NO | Age: 29.7 | Value Score: 6

58. Le'Ron McClain, BAL | Age: 23.7 | Value Score: 6
Looking more and more like a novelty act as opposed to a running back with a bright future.

59. Ricky Williams, MIA | Age: 31.3 | Value Score: 6

60. Leon Washington, NYJ | Age: 26.0 | Value Score: 6
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.

TIER EIGHT

61. Mewelde Moore, PIT | Age: 26.1 | Value Score: 5
Never gets a starting gig, but in two separate trials he's shown that he can be a very productive NFL running back.

62. Rudi Johnson, DET | Age: 28.9 | Value Score: 5
Kevin Smith is better. Rudi will be 30-years-old by this time next year, he's worthless in the passing game, and he'll never average close to 4.0 YPC again.

63. Fred Taylor, JAX | Age: 32.6 | Value Score: 5

64. #Ladell Betts, WAS | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 5

65. Tashard Choice, DAL | Age: 23.8 | Value Score: 5

66. Ahman Green, HOU | Age: 31.5 | Value Score: 4

67. Jerome Harrison, CLE | Age: 25.5 | Value Score: 4

68. Warrick Dunn, TB | Age: 33.7 | Value Score: 3

69. Kenny Watson, CIN | Age: 30.6 | Value Score: 3

71. [#]Cadillac Williams, TB | Age: 26.4 | Value Score: 3

71. Kolby Smith, KC | Age: 23.8 | Value Score: 3

72. Antonio Pittman, STL | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 3

73. Jalen Parmele, MIA | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 3

74. Correll Buckhalter, PHI | Age: 29.9 | Value Score: 3

TIER NINE

75. Xavier Omon, BUF | Age: 23.6 | Value Score: 2

76. Lorenzo Booker, PHI | Age: 24.3 | Value Score: 2

77. Andre Hall, DEN | Age: 26.1 | Value Score: 2

78. Gary Russell, PIT | Age: 22.0 | Value Score: 2

79. Jacob Hester, SD | Age: 23.3 | Value Score: 2

80. Benjarvus Green-Ellis, NE | Age: 23.2 | Value Score: 2

81. [#]Mike Hart, IND | Age: 22.4 | Value Score: 2

82. [#]Kregg Lumpkin, GB | Age: 24.3 | Value Score: 2

83. Jesse Chatman, NYJ | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 2

84. Chris Perry, CIN | Age: 26.7 | Value Score: 2

TIER TEN

85. Aaron Stecker, NO | Age: 32.8 | Value Score: 1

86. DeShawn Wynn, GB | Age: 24.9 | Value Score: 1

87. Najeh Daveport, PIT | Age: 29.6 | Value Score: 1

88. DeShaun Foster, SF | Age: 28.7 | Value Score: 1

89. Adrian Peterson, CHI | Age: 29.2 | Value Score: 1

90. Michael Bennett, TB | Age: 30.0 | Value Score: 1

91. Michael Robinson, SF | Age: 25.5 | Value Score: 1

92. Chauncy Washington, JAX | Age: 23.4 | Value Score: 1

93. Justin Forsett, SEA | Age: 22.8 | Value Score: 1

94. Chad Simpson, IND | Age: 23.1 | Value Score: 1

95. [#]Chris Brown, HOU | Age: 27.4 | Value Score: 1

96. [#]Chris Taylor, HOU | Age: 24.8 | Value Score: 1

97. Shaun Alexander, WAS | Age: 31.0 | Value Score: 1

4 comments:

starred4life said...

Chris-

Thanks for taking the time to offer some input on the T.O./Grant for Wayne trade...made the deal.

Didn't see Torain on 'Waiver Wired' this week...Have you soured on him?

Chris Wesseling said...

Re: Torain. No I haven't soured on him. I didn't list him for two reasons:

1. I get tired of putting the same people on there every week. I've listed Torain several times already, so it just gets redundant to put him on there again.

2. The waiver wire list is for Rotoworld and is directed at re-draft leagues. With Pittman playing so well, Torain may not have any value for quite some time. I don't see how he's worth anything more than a stash and hope.

EdMcGon said...

Chris,
Time to give Kyle Orton some love, and Ben Roethlisberger some downgrade.

Orton has had five straight decent games, to Roethlisberger's two.

I won't go so far as to say Orton should be a tier 1. But I think a tier 4 is certainly reasonable.

As for Big Ben, I'm not sold he's one of the best in the game. He needs good blocking and good receivers and a decent running game to excel. That's average to good in my book, not a "franchise QB".

If someone offered me Matt Ryan for Big Ben, I'd have to give it some serious consideration, even if I somehow had managed a winning season with Big Ben as my QB (i.e. anyone winning consistently this year with Ben as their QB has a lot of talent in other areas).

Chris Wesseling said...

Ed,
Is this opposite today? I can only surmise that you don't watch the Steelers play . . . ever.

Not only is Big Ben the very definition of a Franchise QB, he may be the best quarterback in the NFL right now.

If I were an NFL GM right now, I don't think there's a QB I would take over him.