Fantasy Football: Rookie Running Back Outlook

August 9, 2011 at 9:41 am 5 comments

Previewing what to expect from the rookie running backs in the 2011 season.  This is an update from the situational analysis where I looked at how each back’s talents matched the scheme of their new team.   Things can change in the blink of an eye in the NFL, one injury and you’re forgotten, so it’s important to know where these guys stand and what they can do.

Ingram needs to bring balance back to New Orleans. (via:

Mark Ingram

  • Status: First on the depth chart.
  • Upside: Main runner for one of the league’s best offenses.  Physical runner who could dominate behind a stellar interior line.
  • Downside: Payton never fully commits to one back. PT could grab playing time and Ivory goalline carries.
  • Analysis: The best runner, in the best situation could be a star for years to come.  Has impressed many in camp and is the key to the Saints re-balancing the offense.  Ingram is currently being drafted in the 5th round and you could certainly make a move for him before that given other less attractive options.  Ranked #17th in my RB Rankings.

Ryan Williams

  • Status: Backup to Beanie Wells
  • Upside:  Clearly the more talented player than his counterpart Wells.  If healthy, should claim starting job and he is an explosive player who could surprise many.
  • Downside:  An injury risk and not the best offensive line, run-game.
  • Analysis:  Big fan of Williams who I’ve seen go in the 8th round, a prime area of the draft for high upside guys.  Although a heath risk, his talent is undeniable and a player to target.

Daniel Thomas

  • Status: 2nd on the depth chart.
  • Upside: Although Bush is first on the depth chart, Thomas might be the best of the two between the tackles.  Dolphins may want the rookie to earn that #1 position.
  • Downside:  Could struggle in first year as runs a bit high.  Bush will have his role and Hillard could be the best inside runner.
  • Analysis:  After the draft dozens of Fantasy Football sleeper articles were written about him.  Has been going too high for me.  Dolphins could rely on the run game and D this season, so there are carries to be had just depends on the cost.

Delone Carter

  • Status: 2nd/3rd on chart.
  • Upside: Power inside runner who could replace Addai as starter by the end of the season.
  • Downside: Could fail to seize any opportunity, as starter or goalline back.
  • Analysis: Article from May – Fantasy Football Sleeper

Kendall Hunter

  • Status: Backup to Frank Gore
  • Upside: Gore is always missing time, whether 4 games or more.
  • Downside: When healthy, Gore is a beast.
  • Analysis: Definitely worth the handcuff or if you want to store him on the roster, should be valuable a few weeks.

Mikell Leshoure: Out for the season

  • Bringing an old favorite, MoMorris, back to fantasy relevance as the odds are stacked against Best staying healthy. Latest report has the Lions looking at Harrison.
Five More:
  • Stevan Ridley: A banger who gets a chance to standout from fellow draftee Vereen because of injury.  Patriots will probably use all 4 or 5 backs, making the situation unpleasant for FFB owners.  Here’s what I wrote about this Thunder & Lightning combo.
  • Demarco Murray: He is in a muddled mess in Dallas, I would have him as the 3rd down back…Not a gifted inside runner but should put up good receiving stats.  Jones and Choice are easily injured, could get his shot sometime.
  • Helu & Royster: Now both behind two RBs in Torain and Hightower for a weak offense.
  • Jacquizz Rogers: Change of pace back who should make small contributions but with ATL resigning Snelling, isn’t the backup.
  • Alex Green: At least 3rd on the depth chart.

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Fantasy Football: Impact Free Agents and Trades What to Watch for in the NFL Preseason Openers

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dave  |  August 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

    daniel thomas is good, i might draft him cause the dolphins dont pass much and reggie bush prob wont get the ball at the goal line…wells is ok, williams will take over that role sometime soon thogh i think..any chance you think dion lewis can do smoething?

    • 2. NFL Football Now  |  August 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      Lewis should be the third running back on the roster, although he’ll have to beat out Buckley who contributes on special teams. Ronnie Brown will serve as the primary backup, but should McCoy get hurt (certainly possible) he would have a role since Reid prefers backs like McCoy+Lewis. Because there were no OTAs he didn’t get a chance to learn the offense and carve a role. In addition, because the RB market was so depressed/flooded Ronnie fell into the Eagles lap (1yr, 1M). Unfortunately, I don’t expect Lewis to get much of an opportunity this season. Reid leans on his RB1 hard and McCoy is in line for a huge season if he can stay healthy (like Westbrook).

  • 3. greg  |  August 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    nice website, ive been reading your articles a lot lately. this year is definitely about the handcuff, were only in week 2 or so and look how many injuries already out there. im probably gonna go with kendall hunter bc gore is injured a lot and their QB situation is all over the place.

    • 4. NFL Football Now  |  August 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      Great point. I was thinking about to writing a post about that, how injuries are going to abundant this year and will test teams depth in fantasy and reality. More important than ever to handcuff. Nice comment and thanks for reading.

  • 5. Howdy  |  September 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Never would have thunk I would find this so idnisepnsblae.


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