Posts Tagged ‘Running Backs’

If you listen to Sports Time Radio you know that we play in two 20 team fantasy leagues for baseball and football. One of the leagues is done using an auction format style draft while the other uses a more common snake style draft. Well the football drafts are coming up at the end of the month and it’s time to get ready for them. The auction league is much, much easier for me to get ready for. The snake league on the other hand can be difficult. How many of you have wanted a player and he goes a pick or two before you where going to take him and then you have to scramble and find another player at the last second? To add a little more pressure when that happens we run the leagues through Yahoo and there is a time limit on how long you have to make a pick. What’s given me trouble the last few seasons has been the running back position. We have to start two running backs each week and of course you’d like at least one running back on your bench to cover your bye weeks. That means that 60 or more running backs can be selected in our draft and if you don’t get a quality guy early on your in trouble. I’ve been trying to get running backs in order and here’s what I’ve come up with; maybe it will help you out as well.

If you happen to be drafting in the top four picks you’re going to get a top quality running back. You could put the names of Adrian Peterson, Vikings, LeSean McCoy, Eagles, Jamaal Charles, Chiefs and Matt Forte, Bears into a hat and as long as that player stays healthy you’ve got your guy. I have them ranked with Charles #!, Forte #2, Peterson #3 and McCoy at #4. Charles is on top because he doesn’t have the weapons around him that Forte has and that’s a good thing in fantasy football. Peterson has never really been involved in the Minnesota passing game and that can hurt his value especially in PPR (Points Per Reception) leagues. I think McCoy will be hurt be the addition of Darren Sproles this off-season more than people think he will be. There are four guys who aren’t quite to the level of the top 4 but you’d like to have. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, Eddy Lacy, Packers, Le’Veon Bell, Steelers and DeMarco Murray, Cowboys. Most experts would’ve included Lynch with the top-level guys, but look for his carries to be cut down this season. He;s also added up quite a few carries the last couple of seasons and that will wear on a running back. Bell and Lacy are kind of the same back. Both of them are coming off of solid rookie seasons where each of them missed games due to injuries. When healthy though they’ve proven they can get yards and touchdowns for fantasy owners. If there was a guarantee that Murray would play all 16 games this season he would be right up there with the top guys, but he always seems to be injured. If you take him this season and he stays healthy you could have a fantasy star on your hands. For me it’s Lynch at #5, Bell at #6, Lacy #7 and Murray #8. As we move along it gets tougher to rank guys as it’s guys coming off of injuries or guys who haven’t reached their potential yet. Montee Ball, Broncos, Doug Martin, Buccaneers, Arian Foster, Texans, Alfred Morris, Redskins, Andre Ellington, Cardinals, Giovani Bernard, Bengals, Reggie Bush, Lions and C.J. Spiller, Bills. For me I have Ball at #9; he had surgery for an Appendectomy, but all signs point to him being ready for Week 1 and he’s got Peyton Manning as his quarterback. #10 is Martin; he’s coming back off of an injury, but his new head coach s Lovie Smith and old school guy who likes to run the football. #11 I’m going with Spiller. There’s so much talent there and you think sooner or later he’s going to have that breakout season. I have Morris at #12 and Foster at #13. These are two guys in new systems with new head coaches that had great success in their old systems. Will that carry over? Bernard is #14; if he was the only back in the Cincinnati system he;d be ranked higher, but you have to wonder how much time he’ll share. Bush is #15; another guy in a time share situation and that’s to bad. He might out up big numbers if he played every down. Ellington lands at #16 for me. His head coach has praised him and said he’d be the every down back; you’ll just have to take that chance. We’re headed towards what would be the end of our 1st round; so if you reach a little here I can understand that. This next group could reward your choice. Ben Tate, Browns, Ryan Mathews, Chargers, Rashad Jennings, Giants and Toby Gerhart, Jaguars. Tate is #17; this is his first shot at being a teams every down back. He has had some injury issues; so there may be some risk reward with this pick. Jennings is at #18 another running back who needs to prove he can stay healthy, but if he does the Giants like to run the ball and if he’s their guy you’ll get the fantasy points. Gerhart would be that “sleeper” pick at #19. He’s the every down guy on a bad Jacksonville team, but he is effective in the passing game; so he should score points for you even on a bad team. Mathews split time last season, but got the majority of the carries; so I have him at #20. He’s another guy who needs to stay healthy for his fantasy owner. Remember you’re going to need to start two running backs every week. Zac Stacy, Rams, Frank Gore, 49ers, Chris Johnson, Jets and Ray Rice, Ravens. #21 Stacy could be a guy who ends up being better than this draft positions. The thing that may hold him down is the division he plays in. #22 Rice is in a new system run by Gary Kubiak and backs in that system do well. Remember though he’s suspended the first two games of the season. Johnson at #23 is with a new team that has a young quarterback and may rely heavily on the running game. That would be a huge plus for Johnson’s fantasy owner. Every year they say that #24 Gore’s carries are going to be cut or he’s going to play less and every year he puts up solid numbers. There’s always a chance that could happen; so there’s some risk with this pick. Bernard Pierce, Ravens is way up my board at #25. He’ll get to start the first two games of the season and Kubiak’s system has always featured two running backs. #26 Stevan Ridley, Patriots. you know he’s going to split time when you draft him, but he’s the rushing guy in that split. He should also be the guy getting the goal line carries. #27 Joique Bell, Lions maybe the best of the time share running backs out there. He should get those short yardage goal line carries. #28 Trent Richardson, Colts They seem dedicated to giving him carries. Will produce some numbers based on opportunities, even if he doesn’t wow you while doing so. #30 Steven Jackson, Falcons At one time a top-tier fantasy running back, but those skills appear to be gone. He should still get the bulk of the carries in this offense. #31 Darren Sproles, Eagles he goes from one offense where he fit in well to an offense where he might be a perfect fit. This is a pick that may pay off big for you. #32 Bishop Sankey, Titans should be the first rookie running back off of the board. The concern may be that he doesn’t get the goal line carries. #33 DeAngelo Williams, Panthers he’s been a let down for me before and I’ll try to stay away from him, but it’s that time of the draft. #34 Pierre Thomas, Saints he should get the most playing time out of their three headed backfield. With Sproles gone he could be used in the passing game more. #35 Danny Woodhead, Chargers had a good season last year and you’ll be looking for him to repeat that. #36 Shane Vereen, Patriots is mostly used in the passing game, but from time to time will get a carry. #37 Fred Jackson, Bills he’s Spiller’s back up, but if there’s an injury or if Spiller doesn’t produce Jackson could be a value pick. #38 Knowshon Moreno, Dolphins was the breakout running back last season, but left Denver. Had minor knee surgery recently. #39 Chris Ivory, Jets they like to run the football and someone has to carry it when Johnson doesn’t have it. #40 Mark Ingram, Saints I bought the hype that he would breakout last season and it cost me, but here I am again making him my last ranked running back. Here are a few more names in no particular order if you;re still looking for running backs. Khiry Robinson, Saints, Lamar Miller, Dolphins, Maurice Jones-Drew, Raiders, Andre Williams, Giants, Terrance West, Browns.

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

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Now that NFL training camps are open fantasy football drafts should start happening. Yesterday (Friday) on Sports Time Radio we spent the entire show discussing football. There’s also suppose to the first Mr. Fantasy mock draft coming soon; so look for that. The conversation of who would be the #1 overall pick in our league came up. I believe that it will be Philadelphia Eagles running back LeShom McCoy or Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. Mr. Fantasy added in Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. While any of these 3 would be good choices I think Charles is the pick here. Out of these 3 running backs Charles is the only one with an experienced NFL quarterback in Alex Smith. While Nick Foles had a break out season last year for the Eagles there are still some questions about him and remember he didn’t play a full season. Even though Peterson is used to have what you would call a below average quarterback under center it allows teams to stack the line of scrimmage against him and it does hurt his numbers. Can you just imagine the kind of numbers Peterson might out up with just an average quarterback. Does Peterson having Matt Cassell, Christian Ponder or rookie Teddy Bridgewater handing him the ball make you think teams won’t be keying on him. Top running backs always need help from a quarterback and while McCoy will get some help from Foles I don’t think Peterson will get enough from his quarterback and Charles will get the most from Smith. If you don’t end up with a top 3 pick; what do you do? Well with the Marshawn Lynch hold out Matt Forte clearly looks like the next best running back on the board. After Forte there are a group of players that could have great seasons for you or could leave you looking at your team asking yourself why you drafted this guy in the 1st round. In our league you have to start 2 running backs a week; so we have to hunt up other guys as well. I have three running backs that I’m looking at and wondering if I get them as my 2nd running back will they be worth that spot. Toby Gerhart is with the Jacksonville jaguars now and all reports are saying they like him as a 3 down back. If this is the case even on a bad team Gerhart might be worth a shot. This is the first time Gerhart will be the #1 running back for a team and that may have him trying to prove something. Another running back who hasn’t really been under the radar the last few seasons, but has changed teams and is that teams #1 running option is Ben Tate. The Cleveland Browns signed Tate to be their #1 running back and take some pressure off of Brian Hoyer to start and then Johnny Manziel, Tate has put up good number before as Arian Foster back up with the Houston Texans, but in Cleveland he’s the clear-cut #1 running back. The 3rd guy on my list is Rashad Jennings now with the New York Giants. David Wilson is coming off a serious neck injury and even when healthy was a disappointment last season. Jennings has some injury concerns of his own, but the Giants like to run the football and this could increase his numbers for you. Jennings should be the Giants #1 running back and it’s nice to have the #1 running back on a year that likes to run the football. If your that Fantasy football guy who likes to try to find the best rookie running back this may be a tough season for you to do that. Off the bat it seems like the only one who might get a reasonable amount of playing time would be Bishop Sankey of the Tennessee Titans. While Sankey is scheduled to split time with Shonn Greene; Sankey is the receiving back out of the pair. This should help Sankey pick up points from 20 yard line to 20 yard line, but it’s Greene who the Titans will use in-goal line situations. That means Greene will steal some touchdowns that belong to Sankey and of course points from your team. As always it’s still early in the NFL season and injuries change things in a big, big hurry. Will have to see how pre-season plays out, but it’s always fun to talk about it.

It seems like when Dan the Man wasn’t looking the San Francisco Giants took the National League West division lead from his Los Angeles Dodgers. While the Giants only have a half of a game lead over the Dodgers as I’m writing this a lot of baseball experts had the Giants as dead when the Dodgers went past them into 1st place earlier in the season. In pre-season picks we all went with the Dodgers to win the West, but a lot of people made that choice. I did have the Giants in the playoffs as one of the wild card teams. As the trade deadline draws closer you wonder if either team will make a move to try to separate themselves in the division. There has been some talk that Matt Kemp would be okay with being traded by the Dodgers and you have to wonder what they could get in return for him. Kemp is signed through 2019 for around $20 million dollars a season. I guess the question I would ask is would Kemp the right combination of prospects and a whole bunch of money be enough for the Dodgers to land David Price. Dan the Man’s ears just perked up. Yes I said David Price. While the Tampa Bay Rays have worked their way back into the pennant race in the American League East you have to wonder if a deal like that could happen. Would the Dodgers be willing to deal a Joc Pederson, Julio Urias, Corey Seager or Alexander Guerrero in a package to bring back Price. It would be a lot to give up, but it could give the Dodgers a World Series. Without a deal by either the Giants or the Dodgers will have some fun watching the N.L. West these last couple months of the season.

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

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As the fantasy football season gets closer here are Mr. Fantasy’s Top 10 running backs, tight ends, kickers and Defenses.

Running Backs
#1 Adrian Peterson – Minnesota

#2 Arian Foster – Houston

#3 Doug Martin – Tampa Bay

#4 Marshawn Lynch – Seattle

#5 Alfred Morris – Washington

#6 Jamel Charles – Kansas City

#7 LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia

#8 Ray Rice – Baltimore

#9 Matt Forte – Chicag0

#10 C. J. Spiller – Buffalo

Tight Ends

#1 Jimmy Graham – New Orleans

#2 Rob Gronkowski – New England

#3 Jason Witten – Dallas

#4 Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta

#5 Dennis Pitta – Baltimore

#6 Vernon Davis – San Francisco

#7 Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota

#8 Owen Daniels – Houston

#9 Antonio Gates – San Diego

#10 Martellus Bennett – Chicago

Kickers

#1 Stephen Gostkowski – New England

#2 Matt Bryant – Atlanta

#3 Matt Prater – Denver

#4 Justin Tucker – Baltimore

#5 Blair Walsh – Minnesota

#6 Sebastian Janikowski – Oakland

#7 Dan Bailey – Dallas

#8 Lawrence Tynes – New York Giants

#9 Greg Zuerlein St. Louis

#10 Steven Hauschka – Seattle

Defense

#1 Seattle Seahawks

#2 San Francisco 49ers

#3 Houston Texans

#4 Denver Broncos

#5 Chicago Bears

#6 New England Patriots

#7 Arizona Cardinals

#8 Cincinnati Bengals

#9 Green Bay Packers

#10 New York Giants