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Don’t Forget To Fall Asleep At Your Fantasy Draft

1)
Felix Jones: The second-year Dallas Cowboy could end up being a star on your team, even though he is number two on the depth chart behind

Marion
“The Barbarian” Barber. While Felix went down with an injury and missed much of his rookie season, what he did while he was healthy, on limited touches, was most impressive. In just six games with only a total of 30 carries, Jones produced 266 yards and 3 TDs, busting out a 60-yard touchdown in a win over the Green Bay Packers. Jones is an explosive runner and a threat in the passing game, too. If he stays healthy this season, Jones could become a solid contributor to the

Dallas
offense. While Barber will certainly still be the number one back and goal-line option, look for Jones to bust out some long runs and a half dozen touchdowns this season on 6-8 touches a game. Grab Jones in your mid rounds.

2)
Rashard Mendenhall: Entering his second year in the NFL as well, Mendenhall also went down due to injury during his rookie season. While Rashard had very limited carries before succumbing to injury, just 19 attempts for 59 yards, he was a highly touted running back leaving

Illinois
his junior year, being picked 23rd overall in the 2008 draft. In his final year at

Illinois
, Rashard rushed for 1,681 yards and 17 touchdowns, setting school records. He also had 34 receptions for 318 yards and two scores, making him a solid receiving threat out of the backfield. Drafted as the future replacement for the “fast” but slowing and struggling, Willie Parker, look for Rashard to stay healthy and even overtake Parker as the starting running back in

Pittsburgh
by the midway point of the season. Mendenhall is that good and should be snagged by the middle of your draft.

3)
Chris “Beanie” Wells: The Arizona Cardinals’ first-round pick in the 2009 draft may be an early contributor to the Cards’ running attack. Wells had injury problems in college, due to his pounding style and heavy workload. In his final year at

Ohio
State
, Beanie ran for 1,197 yards, even while missing three games due to injury. With Edgerrin James opting out of the Cardinals in favor of free agency, Wells becomes the clear number two behind Tim Hightower. Hightower’s rookie performance with AZ came with 10 touchdowns, but a disappointing 2.8 rush average. Looking to add more power to their run game, and trading carries with Hightower, Beanie should be able to stay healthy and have an impact in AZ sooner rather than later. The Cards still have their impressive passing attack intact for the 2009 season, and a pounding aggressive runner like Beanie should be able to take full advantage of every opportunity he gets. Grab Beanie as your third running back and you will enjoy plugging him in your line up as he ramps up and steals carries from Hightower.

4)
Michael Bush: The Oakland Raider runner is third on the depth chart behind Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas, but don’t let this stop you from taking a chance on this classic sleeper in the later rounds of your draft. While Bush only carried the ball 95 times last year, the pounding agile back made the most of his carries and averaged 4.4 yards per rush. In Week 2, Bush ran for 90 yards and a touchdown in a win at
Kansas City, and in Week 16 ran for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns in win at

Tampa
Bay
that kept the Buccaneers from making the playoffs. The biggest man in the Raiders backfield at 6’1” 245 lbs., Bush should also see his share of goal-line carries this year.

5)
Donald Brown: A rookie out of UConn and the Colts’ first draft pick, Brown is a powerhouse runner and a welcome addition to the Colts backfield. With Colts running back Joseph Addai struggling to stay healthy and to maintain consistent output, the Colts drafted Brown looking for some much needed help in the run game. Coming out of UConn as a junior, Brown posted striking numbers in his final college season, rushing for 2,083 yards, 18 touchdowns and averaging a eye-catching 5.7 yards per carry. The talented rookie should keep the heat on Addai, who is looking to bounce back from a tough 2008 season, and see 6-8 carries a game early on. If Addai struggles to perform or stay healthy, look for Brown to become a very big part of the Indy run game. You should be able to grab Brown in your draft’s later rounds.

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