Fantasy Football Running Backs – Scrap Pile
We’ve done the Big Dog RBs, Second Tier RBs, Third Tier RBs, Fourth Tier RBs, and Serviceable RBs, now it’s time to look at the Scrap Pile. These are RBs that you’ll only use for bye weeks or in case of injury.
Ahman Green – He’s on the wrong side of 30 and is coming off an injury-plagued season. However, he is still a starting RB (for the time being) so he’s worthy of a roster spot. If he can stay healthy and Houston’s passing attack is on, there could be some decent weeks for Ahman.
DeAngelo Williams – He had close to 900 total yards last year while finishing strong (242 yards & 3 TDs in his last three games). He also had 121 yards in Week 6 and 82 in Week 13 so he displayed some signs of life. However, the Panthers brought in Jonathan Stewart for a reason. DeAngelo may hold the starting job out of the gate, but he could easily be lapped.
Chester Taylor – If Adrian Peterson misses some time, Chester Taylor will vault into the Top Ten the weeks All Day is out. As is, he’ll spell All Day and pick up some decent 40-60 yard games. He’s probably the #1 handcuff out there.
Felix Jones – This dude is fast. He’s from the University of Arkansas like Jerry Jones. MB3 is the goods, but Felix will be taking carries for sure. He’s also one of the best handcuffs given Dallas’ potent offense.
Deuce McAllister – He’ll turn 30 this year and is coming off an injury. He also has to share the load with Reggie Bush in a pass-happy offense. Things are stacked against him. He will be the short-yardage guy though so he should score some TDs. That said, I don’t see much more than 500 yards out of him.
Justin Fargas – You’ve got to feel a little bad for Fargas. He ran for over 1000 yards last year for the sorry Raiders. His reward? The drafting of Run DMC. He still should get some play though. He clearly has big-game ability as evidenced by his three games of 139+ yards. He averaged 106 yards and 0.6 TDs in Weeks 9-13.
Rashard Mendenhall – Mendenhall is interesting as the Steelers already have Willie Parker. He’s got great speed with a great build. He had a great Junior year for Illinois rushing for 1681 yards and 17 TDs. He added 34 receptions. Given his size over Fast Willie, he could get the goal line touches.
Ahmad Bradshaw/Derrick Ward - Ahmad didn’t do much in the regular season (190 yards), but looked pretty solid in the playoffs (208 yards in 4 games). Ward looked good early, but didn’t didn’t do anything after Week 6 except for a big 154 yard effort in Week 13. It’s likely that all three Giant RBs (Brandon Jacobs included) will get some touches. If Jacobs goes down Bradshaw and Ward will have bigger roles.
Chris Brown – He was one of my Sleeper picks last year for Tennesse, and he did decent at times. Now he’s on to Houston. He seems older than the 27 he turned in April so there is still tread on the tires. If (and most likely when) Ahman Green goes down, he’ll likely be thrust into the starter role. Never much of a TD threat, he scored 4 in the last 5 weeks of the 2007 season.
Chris Johnson – Replacing Chris Brown in Tennessee will be rookie Chris Johnson out of East Carolina. He’s listed behind 2007 rookie Chris Henry, but the Titans must not have been thrilled with him given their 1st round selection of Johnson. He’s not a big back, but could be a nice change-of-pace to LenDale White. He’s lighting quick (4.24). He had 1423 yards and 17 TDs rushing and another 528 yards and 6 TDs receiving. He’ll have to prove he can stay healhty, but he’s a Home Run waiting to happen.
Jerious Norwood – His reign in Atlanta was short-lived as Michael Turner has stolen his starting gig. He is lighting-quick though and should be a nice change-of-pace to Turner. If Turner proves he can’t stay healthy or is not up to the task of being the Lead Dog, Norwood’s value will increase.
Warrick Dunn – Until he hangs up his cleats, I will not overlook Mr. Dunn. He has quietly surpassed the 10,000 yard mark for his career. How many people would have expected that. Even in a down year he had close to 1000 total yards. If Cadillac Williams isn’t up for the task, Dunn will still have some fantasy relevance.
Tatum Bell – If Kevin Smith doesn’t make the adjustments needed to be an NFL back suddenly Tatum Bell becomes interesting. That said, the ceiling is rather low for Bell, and I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were him.
Ladell Betts – He proved he’s more than capable if CP goes down. However, Portis has been very durable in his career. Betts will take touches away to keep CP fresh, but don’t look for major numbers out of Betts barring an unforseen injury.
Ryan Torain – He plays for Denver so never count him out. The rookie out of Arizona State probably has the highest high-low differential in the league.
DeShaun Foster – He’s backing up Frank Gore now so there’s not much hope for Foster. However, if Gore goes down, Foster is an adequate replacement.
Jamaal Charles/Kolby Smith – If Larry Johnson suffers a setback, the load will likely be shared between Kolby, who ran decent down the stretch, and rookie Jamaal Charles out of Texas.