Top 10 RB's
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego
Pros: Had second-most touchdowns (18). He was fifth in total yards (1,776) and seventh in rushing (1,335). Had fourth-most receptions (53) and fifth-most receiving yards (441) among running backs. He has never missed a game in four seasons because of injury.
Cons: Receptions decreased from 100 to 53 last year.
Draft Range: Picks 1-3
Injury History: Groin pull during '04 season; didn't miss any games.
Key Stat: Scored in 14 of 15 games.
Two Words: Mr. Everything
Conclusion: Tomlinson has been one of the top backs for his first four seasons and is still in his prime. As the league's best back at running and catching, he will continue to be the Chargers' centerpiece. San Diego's strong defense and efficient passing attack will assure Tomlinson will receive many carries and touchdown opportunities.
2. Shaun Alexander, Seattle
Pros: Scored the most touchdowns (20) and ran for the league's second-most yards (1,696). He has not missed a game in his five-year career. He led the NFL in rushes of 20-plus yards or more (15). Had third-most rushing attempts (353).
Cons: Only caught 23 passes.
Draft Range: Picks 1-3
Injury History: Has played in every game.
Key Stat: He has averaged 17.5 touchdowns in past four seasons
Two Words: Touchdown Maker
Conclusion: Alexander has the durability, stats and skills to be a No. 1 overall fantasy pick. Seattle has a balanced offense, so Alexander takes advantage of the running room to be among the league leaders in yards and touchdowns.
3. Edgerrin James, Indianapolis
Pros: Totaled the second-most yards (2,031). He ran for the fourth-most rushing yards (1,548). Had the sixth-most receptions (51) and fourth-most receiving yards (483) among running backs. He averaged a career-high 4.6 yards last season. He played in every game last year. Teammates are the prolific Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison.
Cons: Missed 15 games from '01 through '03.
Draft Range: Picks 3-6
Injury History: Had ACL reconstructive surgery in '01, missing 10 games. Missed two games in '02 with ankle, hamstring and rib cartilage injures. He missed three games in '03 with a back injury.
Key Stat: Totaled at least 100 yards in 14 of 16 games last year.
Two Words: Running Room
Conclusion: James is the workhorse back on the NFL's No. 1 scoring offense. Since defenses must focus on Peyton Manning and the passing attack, they yield James more leeway than most backs. James' injury risk isn't as great after playing in all 16 games last year. He's a safe choice to be a top 10 fantasy back.
4. Jamal Lewis, Baltimore
Pros: Ran for NFL's second-most yards in history (2,066) two years ago. He scored 14 touchdowns, averaged 5.3 yards and set NFL single-game rushing record (295).
Cons: Missed the '01 season with a torn ACL. He was suspended four games last season. Production dropped more than half after running for 1,006 yards and seven touchdowns last year. He is not a proficient receiver, catching only 10 passes in '04.
Draft Range: Picks 3-9
Injury History: Tore his ACL in training camp and missed the '01 season.
Key Stat: Has not missed a game since '01 with an injury.
Two Words: Prolific Rusher
Conclusion: Dealing with legal troubles, Lewis disappointed after his incredible '03 season. Lewis still has the skills to be one of the top fantasy backs, though. He is the focal point of the Ravens' offense and should return to top form again.
5. Clinton Portis, Washington
Pros: Averaged 1,549.5 yards and 14.5 touchdowns in his first two seasons. He ran for the league's eighth-most yards (1,315) and totaled the ninth-most yards (1,550). He had the fifth-most carries (343) last year.
Cons: Scored only five touchdowns last year.
Draft Range: Picks 4-10
Injury History: Missed one game last year with a shoulder injury and missed three games in '03 with a bruised sternum and high-ankle sprain.
Key Stat: Rushed for only 3.8 yards per carry after averaging 5.5 yards.
Two Words: Familiar Faces
Conclusion: Portis is one of the league's most explosive backs and is only 23. Although Washington's offense is inferior to Denver's, Portis can still be one of the top fantasy backs with his number of carries and the addition of a few more touchdowns. Washington should improve its offense in coach Joe Gibbs' second season, so expect Portis to increase his scores.
6. Deuce McAllister, New Orleans
Pros: Totaled 2,157 yards two years ago. He has missed just three games in four years. He caught 69 passes in '03. Cons: Gained only 58 yards in first four games last year. He was injured in Weeks 3 and 4. He has averaged only 8.5 touchdowns in past two seasons.
Draft Range: Picks 5-14
Injury History: Missed one game in '02 and two games in '04 with ankle sprains.
Key Stat: Ran for 1,066 yards in last 12 '04 games, projecting to 1,355 over full season.
Two Words: New Start
Conclusion: McAllister had a slow start last season, but finished strongly by averaging 134 rushing yards in the past two games. He's an effective runner and receiver, so he is consistent with generating yards. However, he has not scored enough to be considered an elite back.
7. Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati
Pros: Ran for the sixth-highest rushing yards (1,454) and fifth-most rushing touchdowns (12). He had the second-most rushing attempts (361).
Cons: He's not a receiver, gaining only 84 yards last year.
Draft Range: Picks 5-16
Injury History: Missed three games with a leg injury in '03.
Key Stat: Totaled at least 98 yards or scored a touchdown in 12 of 16 games.
Two Words: Emerging Back
Conclusion: Johnson is used extensively in a rising Bengals' offense. For the first time, Cincy used him for an entire season as the featured runner. He endured a high number of carries and had a respectable 4.0 yards per carry. He will likely have more touchdown opportunities as the Bengals' offense improves.
8. Curtis Martin, New York Jets
Pros: Led the NFL in rushing yards (1,697) and carries (371). He finished third in total yards (1,942) and scored the fifth-most TDs (14) last season. He had the 10th-most catches (41) in '04. He has not missed a game in six straight seasons. Is the NFL's fourth-leading rusher (13,366 yards). He averaged a career-high 4.6 yards last year.
Cons: He will be entering his 11th season and has averaged 329.8 carries per year. He scored just twice two years ago.
Draft Range: Picks 3-8
Injury History: None in the past six seasons.
Key Stat: Had 12 games of at least 99 yards or a TD last season.
Two Words: Still Peaking
Conclusion: Martin is one of the most consistent backs in NFL history, rushing for at least 1,000 yards in 10 straight seasons. His job as full-time back is secure this season as backup Lamont Jordan departed. Martin will likely continue to be the goal-line back, so look for him to surpass double-digit scores again. His only drawback is when the wear of 3,298 carries will affect his running.
9. Domanick Davis, Houston
Pros: Gained fifth-most total yards (1,776) and scored fifth-most touchdowns (14) last season. He caught 68 passes for 588 yards; both totals were second most among running backs.
Cons: Has missed three games in two years and departed two others with injuries.
Draft Range: Picks 6-16
Injury History: Missed one game in '04 with an ankle injury and two games in '03 with leg injuries.
Key Stat: Totaled at least 145 yards in seven games last season.
Two Words: Quick Yards
Conclusion: Davis is explosive and quick, churning out big yardage via running and receiving. Those multi-faceted skills allow him to produce consistent fantasy results. As Houston's offense keeps improving under David Carr, Davis could be among the league leaders in scoring. He must stay healthy, though.
10. Priest Holmes, Kansas City
Pros: Holds NFL single-season records for touchdowns with 27. He totaled 2,110 yards in '03. He caught 74 passes for 690 yards in '03.
Cons: Missed season's second half with knee injury last year. Backup Larry Johnson may reduce Holmes' playing time.
Draft Range: Picks 3-14
Injury History: Missed two games in '02 with a hip injury and eight games in '04 with a knee injury.
Key Stat: If Holmes played in all 16 games, he was projected for 1,784 rushing yards, 374 receiving yards and a league-record 30 touchdowns.
Two Words: Injury Free?
Conclusion: Holmes is expected to be the full-time featured back over rising star Larry Johnson. When he plays, he's the best fantasy back. However, recent significant injuries have ended two seasons prematurely, making him a risk. If healthy, he is worth a No. 1 overall pick and will be one of the draft's best bargains in the middle-to-late first round.
RE: Top 10 RB
Imagine how Deuce feels. He deals with High School football play calling and still produces only to see Haz's "son" F- things up in the red zone. I am not excusing it but what if Deuce was a little down on himself and the play calling and possibly the coaches and their "son" last year? Will you blame him?
Please show me how he is a detriment to the Saints. It would probably be a short debate. Nothing like the ones surrounding "He Who Will Not Be Named"
Who are the offensive skill players who produce consistently on the Saints' roster?
Deuce McAllister? Joe Horn? AB?
Objectively I believe it should be obvious.
So. Come on! Throw stats at me! I say they are Poo!
RE: Top 10 RB
Fred Taylor needs to be on this list. Ahman Green is conspicuously absent too.
RE: Top 10 RB
..the title should specify fantasy, so I won't bother opening the thread....
OH! what an ass I am :)
Rudi Johnson ahead of Priest Holmes.
They have to be joking.
along that would only be because of injury. but it depends on what you are looking at. from a fantasy stand point you pick priest ahead of rudi every time. then you just make sure you have larry johnson also.
deuce is top 5 in my books. he is always healthy and i thinki with the o line additions this year he will have a huge year. maybe 1500-1700 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving with total td's being 15
i could be crazy but if i draft and he is there i will take him. well minus the obvious guys in front
with his td's he should be in there
I just don't like the idea of Johnson being ahead of Holmes.
outside of injury you really cant put him in front of holmes. not at all
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