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The Fantasy Intelligence Report series of studies continues on its steady path towards finding consistency. And next up are those precious, yet overvalued running backs who seem to give us more headaches than the debt crisis.
In this study I measured four categories once again, which you will see at the top of the key below. I chose these categories because I thought they would give fantasy owners a complete, yet balanced look at the position heading in to 2011.
Note: All stats are from 2010, with the exception of Ryan Grant (2009).
Let’s get to it.
Despite the Houston Texans finishing fourth as a team in passing yards, Arian Foster was still able to put up freakish chart topping numbers, which included a highly impressive 24.5 points per game average during most league fantasy playoffs. Even though it’s only one year of consistently great digits, it’ll be hard to pass him up with the first overall pick.
Steven Jackson just pisses me off. I just never know when to trust him. Heading in to 2011 he has my brain tied in knots. His averages are almost too perfect, and his consistency is unheard of for a running back with so much hair to tug at.
I didn’t realize how good Rashard Mendenhall truly was last season, or that 11 was his favorite number. Mendenhall found the endzone at least once in 11 games, and carried the ball no less than 11 times in a single game. Oh, and by the way, he recorded a season-high 151 rushing yards in Week 12 against Buffalo.
Ray Rice is not my kind of running back. He reminds me of President Barack Obama – the numbers within his overall performance are inconsistent and don’t do anything to excite me in to believing he’s the right pick.
Ryan Grant is coming back from a serious ankle injury he suffered in Week 1 last season, but he’s also coming off a very nice 2009 campaign filled with plenty of consistency, as reflected above. Grant will have some hot competition in James Starks heading in to September though, and he’s stirring up a huge question mark for fantasy owners because of it. If Grant does emerge though as the prime starter, some fantasy owners will be singing Christmas carols early, as his current average draft position (ADP) has him coming off draft boards between rounds six and eight.
Darren McFadden may have averaged 23.2 points per game last season, but it wasn’t a pretty or graceful 23.2 points every single week. I’m also still waiting for the more controlled Reggie Bush to finish a season without missing a game. Cue that Tom Cruise music.
It’s a shame Frank Gore recorded a goose egg in the final four games of 2010. Gore held out on fantasy owners then, and he’s holding out on the San Francisco 49ers right now. Even if he’s on the field by the start of the season I’m letting someone else overpay for him and the swarm of injury bugs that seem to surround him every year.
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