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5 Overrated Running Backs

When you are looking to fill your running back position, you are looking for one thing: consistent performance.

  With many teams moving towards the running back by committee approach consistency is becoming harder and harder to find from a RB.

  There are still some who will score a ton of points every week, like LT, S. Jackson, etc., but many RBs being drafted early are going way to high.

  These guys are overrated and can kill a fantasy team.

  This is a list of 5 running backs that are being selected way to high in drafts and will be a disappointment to owners who use early picks on them.




         Larry Johnson


   ADP 3.31

This one hurts to admit because he has been such a beast the last couple years and because I am from Kansas City.

  He just has too much working against him to justify this high an ADP.

  Everyone will call attention to the fact that he has had a ton of carries the last 2 seasons and his body might not be able to handle it.

  I don’t see this as an issue.

  In his college and pro career he has carried the full load for only 2 ½ seasons (1 in college and 1 ½ in the pros, so he is still relatively fresh.

  His body can take another 400-carry year; the problem is what he will do with those 400+ carries.

  First of all, he may hold out.

  A lengthy hold out could hurt his fantasy production.

  Next, his offensive line is crumbling around him.

  When he broke out 2 years ago, it was behind the league’s best o-line.

  Will Shields and Willie Roaf (both future hall of famers) have since retired.

  Brian Waters is getting older, Casey Wiegman is a hard-working but undersized center, and the tackle position is a huge question mark.

  If this wasn’t bad enough, there is a legitimate chance that Brodie Croyle will be the Chiefs starting QB.

  If this happens, expect LJ to be seeing eight or nine men in the box on almost every play.

  With a depleted o-line, this could be the recipe for disaster.

  If LJ slides to #6 or later he should be drafted, just because of the amount of carries he will be getting.

  Anything before that and you will be disappointed you didn’t go with Gore, Westbrook, Addai, etc.



         Shaun Alexander

            ADP 5.22

Alexander’s MVP type seasons are behind him.

  He will never again post the type of numbers he did 2 years ago.

  First of all, Alexander is 30.

  In the last 3 seasons he has carried the ball 975 times and that includes missing 6 games last season.

  With his foot still somewhat of a question mark, it may be the beginning of his body hitting the wall.

  Also, his line is not nearly as good as it was two seasons ago.

  Steve Hutchinson is gone to Minnesota and it was obvious last season just how big a loss that was.

  Alexander averaged a career low 3.6 yards per carry last season (not exactly top 5 numbers).

  Finally, Alexander has not gotten enough consistent production out of his WRs to take any pressure of him.

  Branch was a disappointment last season and although he is a solid WR, I’m not sold that he has the size to be a true #1.

  Hackett has never been asked to produce like he will be this year and Burleson has been a disappointment since his breakout year in Minnesota.

  Engram is getting older and who knows how much longer he can be a solid possession guy.

  To make things worse, Darrell Jackson will be catching passes for the 49ers this season.

  All in all, there are just too many question marks to justify taking Alexander in the top 5.

  This is the year his production will fall off.

  You don’t want to be the one stuck with him when this happens.




         Rudi Johnson ADP 9.31

This may be the most unpopular pick I have ever made.

  I know he has averaged 1,500 total yards and 12 TDs the past three seasons.

  I also know he is only 27, but this is the year reliable Rudi’s numbers take a hit.

  Cincinnati’s line has slipped a little bit.

  Last year the Bengals rushed for 3.7 yards per carry, down from 4.2 the year before.

  Also, dependable guard Eric Steinbach has moved on to Cleveland.

  To add to this, Cincinnati drafted running back Kenny Irons in the 2nd round this year.

  I know, I know, Chris Perry was supposed to cut into Rudi’s production the past two seasons but this is different.

  A playoff contender like the Bengals don’t waste 2nd round picks on guys unless they draft them to play.

  I’m not saying Irons will take Rudi’s job, but he will be a change of pace back and may cut into some of his carries.

  Rudi will still be solid this year, but he should be taken sometime in the 2nd round rather than mid to late 1st round.



            Edgerrin James ADP 18.95

I may be a little biased on this one because I drafted James in one of my leagues last year, but this guy’ s days of being a fantasy stud are done.

  He will be 29 on opening day and has obviously lost a step since his days in Indy.

  Last year his stats dropped in every major category.

  Total yards dropped from 1843 to 1376, total TDs dropped from 14 to 6, and yards per carry slipped from 4.2 to a career low 3.4.

  Some argue that Ken Whisenhunt’s new commitment to rushing will help James, but I disagree.

  First of all, you can expect fewer receptions from James.

  Also, he will be asked to run behind a fullback for the first time in his career.

  This is a difficult adjustment for a 9th year running back, especially when it doesn’t really fit James’ running style.

  Add all this to the fact that the Cards o-line still stinks and Edge is in for another rough season.

  They added Levi Brown, but it will take time for him to develop.

  Also, they have trouble converting short yardage situations.

  Last season they converted just 3 of 11 carries inside the 2 yard line.

  I have my doubts about Edge being a viable starter anymore, let alone a second round pick.

  Let someone else take him and watch him run their team into the ground.



            Brandon Jacobs ADP 34.54

Jacobs has been a touchdown machine the past 2 season, scoring 16 TDs on just 134 carries (12%).

  Even with LT’s monster year last season, he only scored on about 8% of his carries.

  The problem is that the past 2 years Jacobs was a change of pace and goaline back behind Tiki Barber.

  He has never been asked to carry the rushing load like he will be this year.

  Jacobs’ height (6’4”) and running style will result in him taking a lot of big hits, which raise questions about possible injuries.

  Also, the Giants’ line is average at best.

  They released Luke Petitgout who has since signed with Tampa Bay and there is a good chance that a 2nd year, 4th round draft pick (Guy Whimper) will be their starting left tackle.

  To add to Jacobs injury risk and o-line issues, the Giants signed Rueben Droughns in the off-season.

  Droughns had back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons with the Broncos and Browns before falling off a bit last year.

  He is a capable back, and if Jacobs falters or gets hurt, Droughns could take the job and run with it.

  Jacobs may end up with a decent season, but he had too many issues to be considered a sure thing, which is what you need from a starting RB.

  He won’t have a good enough season to justify being taken in the third round of many drafts.

  Go with a safer running back or a top flight WR and you will be much better off.

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