11. Trent Richardson- - Cleveland Browns ADP: 3rd round (15th overallRB) / Yahoo: 7th
It always amazes me how high or low some rookies can go. On sites like CBS sports, rookies are barely ranked at all. You can always snatch a steal. And then you have yahoo which are making both first round NFL draft runningbacks Top 40 picks. That's bold Mr. Dorritos. Trent never carried a full load in college but he'll be the thoroughbred on a poor Cleveland offense. That's once he gets on the turf and off a rehab table. Surgery is never a great way to kick off a career KiJana, but Richardson's injury is predicted to hold him back a mere month. If healthy he's as strong and brutish as they come.
12. DeMarco Murray - - Dallas Cowboys ADP: 2nd round (7th overallRB) / Yahoo: 12th
DeMarco Murray stunned me last year ala Cam Newton. As a fan of Big 12 football I watched the injury prone DeMarco Murray tot the rock for Boomer Sooner. Even when he wasn't hurt, I was seldom impressed. It seemed he only had big games against patsies and was easily shutdown otherwise. But playing behind an NFL line proved a revelation. The Cowboys appear to have given up on Felix Jones which is a shame provided his age. Murray will be given the starting job with the hopes that last year wasn't a fluke, but it remains to be seen if he can do it.
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13. Maurice Jones Drew - - Jacksonville Jaguars ADP: 2nd round (8th RB) / Yahoo: 5th
If you don't show up for your Yahoo draft, your first round autopick will almost certainly be MoJo. Hope you're okay with that. The most recent news has the whispers of trade in Jacksonville as neither side is budging much from their grudge negotiations. Maurice Jones Drew probably only has 3 super productive seasons left so I gotta side with the player here. But if he gets drafted say to Washington or a Green Bay - maybe even a Pittsburgh lookout. You not showing up to your draft could be the best thing for your team.
14. Adrian Peterson - - Minnesota Vikings ADP: 2nd round (9th ov RB) / Yahoo: 8th
Adrian Peterson's average draft position looks like the opening screen valley on the old school computer game Cannon fodder. The guy that was last year's No.1 overall pick in most leagues suffered a gruesome blown knee in the last game of the season to close an already disappointing Vikes season. I honestly thought college star Toby Gerhart would be better in the pros but don't worry about a time share, Tobe's only keeping the driver seat warm until the franchise returns to the field. Like Trent Richardson above, playing for a bad team will always hurt his scoring opportunities as well as attempts. And until he's active on a Sunday yo can't feel too good about his health. But reports are he's close. Will it nag him throughout the year though??
15. Ahmad Bradshaw - - New York Giants ADP:4th round (14th ov RB) / Yahoo: 19th
I've always like Ahmad Bradshaw. Someone his size shouldn't be as powerful or gritty and his open field vision is fantastic. This poor man's Brian Westbrook will carry the load until his annual injury. Plus, no other runningback on the roster will challenge his starting position which is a comfort. D.J. Ware flat out isn't talented enough and David Wilson appears unprepared in preseason looking all too much like a rookie. When Bradshaw is on, he's the team's top redzone threat for an oft-overlooked yet score happy Giants squad.
16. Frank Gore - - San Francisco 49ers ADP: 4th round (20th ov RB) / Yahoo: 21st
As you can see compared to other draft positions, I'm higher on Frank Gore than most. The 49ers all time leading rusher couldn't seem much more crowded with the small island nation of runningbacks the team brought it, but his talent separates him from the pack. But it's not a ringing endorsement that the team is cognizant of his health to an extent to make such an effort. Gore admirably played through pain last year and he could have only one or two good years left in him. Still, I see the big play potential and attitude to be a top fantasy reserve. Alex Smith can't win games on his own, plus a weak division schedule is run run happy.
17. Steven Jackson - - Saint Louts Rams ADP: 3rd round (12th overall RB) / Yahoo: 17th
I just don't get it. Stephen Jackson has had how many 300 carry seasons on his resume? And despite arriving at that magic age of 30 when the wheels start to come off - Jax still looks spry and nasty. Compare him to Michael Turner who is the same age and even has less carries and it couldn't be more night and day. Throw in that Stephen plays in a weak division despite San Fran so running won't be a chore and his so called replacement Isaiah Pead has looked poor and he will continue to be the feature back in St. Lou.
18. Michael Turner - - Atlanta Falcons ADP: 4th round (17th overall RB) / Yahoo: 16th
The Falcons have already said that they plan to snapcount Turner moving forward plus the team has no huddle plans this year which could favor backup JacQuizz Rodgers. Earlier, I criticized Matt Ryan for the teams recent playoff woes, but their inability to run the ball when it counts must not be taken lightly. And yet at the same time, I've been predicting a dropoff from Michael for the last year or two and all the guy does is consistently get 1000 yard seasons with double digit touchdowns. I'll let you have him though I'll pass.
19. Darren Sproles - - New Orleans Saints ADP: 3rd round (16th overall RB)/ Yahoo: 18th
Of the Saints 3 rushers that should see extensive action, Sproles is my top pick. He led the team in rushing somehow last year and he caught a gazillion balls. If your league rewards return yards and touchdowns all the better. It's amazing how well they utilize this player that only was given glimpses in San Diego. He may be arguably the most important offensive player behind Brees on this team. And if you play in a points per reception league he should be a good 5 spots ahead of this!
20. Doug Martin - - Tampa Bay Buccaneers ADP: 4th round (19th ov RB) / Yahoo: 15th
There's Yahoo losing its mind. I like this rookie unsleeper but Shiano seems to want to feature Blount in a time share so he won't be the feature back we thought he might be after Draft day in April. He can pass protect much better so he'll stay on the field on passing downs and his head coach even likened him to one of his college players (Ray Rice) but let's just wait and see a little here. I'm not as high on ole' Doug, but he could turn out to be a midround steal. But remember Tampa will more than likely be a losing team this year which means less carries naturally.
21. BenJarvis Green Ellis - -Cincinnati Bengals ADP: 5th round (21st ov RB) / Yahoo: 23rd
BenJarvis will take over Cedric Benson as the tone setting smashmouther in Cincy. He has a great nose for the endzone and it'll be interesting to see what he can do with 20+ carries a game now finally liberated from RB hell in New England where Bellichick spreads the wealth. I think this is a great sleeper here with good potential for 10-13 Touchdowns on the year, and playing behind an underrated big offensive line up front. You can high five me later.
22. Shonne Greene - - New York Jets ADP: 7th round (26th overall RB) / Yahoo: 26th
It's around this draft position where it feels like every RB fantasy pick is a reach. I don't have a strong feeling about many of these next players. Shonne Greene should benefit from Tebow inside the redzone. Finally without LT last year I thought he would do better, but he's remained an only average option. But the Jets the passing game will struggle mightily this year with only Santonio and Keller as downfield options. Shonne Greene is well ahead of his backup too. I always like picks that are handcuff free too.
23. Willis McGahee - - Denver Broncos ADP: 5th round (23rd overall RB) / Yahoo: 29th
Yahoo has McGahee ranked really low. He will not be pushed by Knowshon Moreno who might be a roster cut or Ronnie Hillman who may be 3rd in the pecking order despite what your grocery store fantasy magazine may say. I feel for Willis, rotting away for a good 5 years as a backup in Baltimore. He still has plenty left and will show something in this offense if Peyton remains alive and score happy. Goalline scoring opportunities and a good tackle combo makes him a safe pick I suppose.
24. Kevin Smith - - Detroit Lions ADP: 7th round (26th overall RB) / Yahoo: 71st!!!
Seventy First! That's what I'm talking about when I say watch preseason games. I don't worry about Mikell LeShoure stealing the starting position until about midseason in which case you may have already started Kevin Smith four or five times. Plus, Kevin may have won himself the job at that point. Jahvid Best looks like his career is over in this concussion focused era, which is a same because he's a stud.