Fantasy Football Preview: Scrap Pile Running Backs

Aug 6, 2009
We finish the Running Back previews with the RBs that will fill out your bench or be the guys you grab of the waiver wire.

Leon Washington/Shonn Greene, New York Jets - The Jets will operate the newly popular three-headed monster with Thomas Jones, Washington and Greene.  Leon Washington will have a heavier workload as the team will look to get the ball in the playmaker’s hands.  He can score from anywhere on the field on a run, pass, or return.  Shonn Greene, is the Jets’ RB of the future.  If the team struggles, the future may come sooner rather than later as the Jets get Greene acclimated to the NFL.  Unless you’re in a keeper league, Washington is the more attractive option.

Laurence Maroney/Sammy Morris/Fred Taylor/Kevin Faulk, New England Patriots – What to make of this mess?  The Patriots are so tough to read.  All the RBs are capable of delivering, but which one holds the best fantasy value?  Talk about a loaded question.  Kevin Faulk is probably the best bet in PPR leagues.  Fred Taylor is my pick for standard leagues.  Sammy Morris in TD heavy.  Maroney is the wildcard because if he can stay healthy, he’s young enough and talented enough to be their top back.  It may be best to avoid this mess all together.

Chester Taylor, Minnesota Vikings – Normally I would rank Chester higher, but I think the Vikings are going to allow Percy Harvin to steal some of his work.  Unless Adrian Peterson gets hurt, Chester has limited fantasy value.

Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins – Ricky is 32 now. Though he hasn’t carried a heavy workload for a number of years, how much can you trust a Running Pack with his mileage?  Ronnie Brown is another year removed from his knee injury, and one would think Pat White would soak up some of his rushing yardage.
Jerious Norwood, Atlanta Falcons – Norwood is a guy to keep an eye on.  The Falcons gave Michael Turner an extremely heavy workload last year.  If Turner struggles or is injured, Norwood will see an increase in minutes.

Earnest Graham, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Though Ward will likely be the feature Back, Earnest Graham should still have a solid role with the Bucs.  Goal line duties should be his, as well as short yardage situations, and when the Bucs need a Closer.

T.J. Duckett, Seattle Seahwaks – Duckett only has value in TD heavy leagues.

Correll Buckhalter, Denver Broncos
– The longer that Knowshon Moreno holds out, the better the chances that Buckhalter gets early looks.  He’s not going to give you major production, but he can get the job done when given the opportunity.
Justin Fargas/Michael Bush, Oakland Raiders – Unless Darren McFadden suffers an injury, the starting Tailback job is his.  Fargas will still get some touches, but his brief run of fantasy relevance appears to be over.  Bush is third on the depth chart and is only worth considering if he beats out Fargas somehow or an injury occurs

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Royals – Jamaal Charles will get his opportunities, as he is a great change of pace to LJ’s style. If LJ gets hurt or suspended again Jamaal’s stock would soar. 

Andre Brown, New York Giants – Andre Brown will form the third part of the triple-headed monster for the Giants.  Brandon Jacobs will be the lead Back and goal line guy.  Bradshaw will serve as the primary backup, and Brown will learn the system and get a small workload.

Jerome Harrison, Cleveland Browns – Harrison is an electric Back capable of taking the ball to the house on any given play.  He is too big of a playmaker to keep on the sidelines.  If Jamal Lewis struggles, Harrison could see an increase in touches.

Maurice Morris, Detroit Lions - Morris will garner some carries behind Kevin Smith for Detroit.  He won’t put up huge numbers, even if there is an injury, but he’s a good football player who will contribute when given the chance.

Brandon Jackson, Green Bay Packers – 2007 second-round draft pick by the Pack serves as Ryan Grant’s backup and third down back.  He should have a fair amount of receptions, which gives him some value in PPR leagues.  His overall value is tied to Ryan Grant’s health though.
Tashard Choice, Dallas Cowboys – Choice filled in admirably for the Cowboys at the end of last year, but finds himself third on the depth chart.  He’ll get some work, but won’t have much fantasy value unless there is an injury to Marion Barber or Felix Jones.

Ladell Betts, Washington Redskins – If the Redskins have any brains, they will utilize Betts a lot more in 2009.  They ran Clinton Portis to the ground, which made no sense considering they had a capable backup in Betts.  Washington’s Defense is going to be nasty and I can see Portis and Betts forming a solid 1-2 punch to wear teams down and grind out victories.

Fred Jackson/Dominic Rhodes, Buffalo Bills – This duo will have a chance to shine early as Marshawn Lynch spends three games in the Principal’s Office with a dunce hat on.  Of the two Jackson has more fantasy value since he’s been there.  All three backs can run and catch, and they will all get touches every week.  After the three game suspension is up, there isn’t much value for Jackson and Rhodes unless Marshawn acts up again.

Mewelde Moore, Pittsburgh Steelers - Mewelde will only be a fantasy factor if Willie Parker or Rashard Mendenhall go down.

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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Jason
    August 6th, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Good article. I think some of these guys could have big payoffs if people are willing to take a chance. I like Jamaal Charles, Ladell Betts, and Shonn Greene the most.

    Jason McCoy
    You Stink. You Win.

  2. LestersLegends
    August 6th, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Thanks Jason. I gotta check your site out now. Great tagline.

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