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Dynasty RB Rankings (1 Viewer)

Herm23

Footballguy
- Updated as of 11-1-11 (with new comments)

- Value scores slightly tweaked and redistributed to better reflect the difference in players. They are not meant to be a trade guide (for instance, I would not trade a 100 for 2 players valued at 50) and function more like they are on a curve (meaning a player with a value score of 100 is weighted significantly higher than a player with a value score of 90, even though it's only a 10 point difference)

- These are not PPR rankings, as I do not play in any PPR leagues

- I added C.J. Spiller, Felix Jones, and DeMarco Murray to the rankings

- I tried to add Darren Sproles, but decided I wanted all of the players in my top 8 tiers more. He would be a tier 9 player for me

Tier 1

Adrian Peterson

26 years old

100 value

With Ponder looking like a competent QB for the time being (and showing signs of having potential to be much more than that), the arrow is pointing upward for Peterson...or at least as upward as it could be for a player that I already assign a value score of 100 to. I can not state how much more comfortable Peterson makes me feel about the next 3 years of his career than any other running back. That level of comfort alone is worth trading any player to acquire Peterson, who I believe remains the best fantasy commodity in the game.

Tier 2

LeSean McCoy

23 years old

95 value

Arian Foster

25 years old

94 value

Ray Rice

24 years old

94 value

McCoy looks really, really good. Lots of people are going to be touting him as the #1 RB in dynasty formats and while I think it is a mistake, it is hard to fault them for seeing things that way. However, I also believe that his current touchdown rate is not even close to sustainable as long as he plays with Michael Vick, as I do expect Vick to return to closer to his career averages for rushing touchdowns. While Vick's presence continues to keep McCoy close in value to Rice and Foster, he is beginning to separate himself in my mind a bit and I would not be surprised to see his value score become closer to Peterson than to Foster or Rice before long.

Even when the offensive line has not played particularly well and has struggled to open up holes, Foster has performed well from a fantasy standpoint, which is a good sign for owners. It is clear he remains the unquestioned "man" in this backfield and whether it is through sheer workload (as evidenced last week against the Jaguars) or through his receiving skills (as evidenced the previous 3 weeks), he is a very safe bet to put up points no matter the game situation or opponent. The fact that his coach seems to make more of an effort to ensure that he is always involved in every single game plan, no matter what the game flow might say, is why if I had a gun to my head, I would ever, ever so slightly prefer him to Ray Rice at the moment (even though I actually like Rice more as a player from a personal standpoint).

The 3 short yardage touchdowns are going to mask the real problem that once again showed up last weekend- Flacco threw the ball 50 times and the passing game once again became the focal point of the offense. I realize they were behind, but even as they began to catch up, the Ravens continued to air it out. I'm not exactly sure what causes the Ravens to routinely put the game in Flacco's hands (especially when he has looked so pedestrian), but it has happened enough to cause me to have at least a very mild level of concern. Rice is among the most talented running backs in the league, yet he is just about the only player in tier 1, 2, or 3 who can completely disappear from his team's game plan, even if the game is close. It's not enough to cause me to drop him in the rankings, but it's enough to give me pause.

Tier 3

Darren McFadden

24 years old

90 value

Ryan Mathews

24 years old

86 value



Chris Johnson

26 years old

86 value

Matt Forte

25 years old

86 value

Maurice Jones Drew

26 years old

83 value

I redid some of the value scores in this tear to show that I value McFadden significantly more than the rest, although still not close to the tier 2 players. The foot injury is of no long term concern to me, however the decision to trade for Carson Palmer is. If it doesn't work out, not only do the Raiders have no quarterback (which will naturally hurt McFadden's potential production), but they also have very limited draft picks in order to continue to add talent around him. However, some of those concerns could be offset by the possibility of Michael Bush moving on to another team next year.

I view Ryan Mathews and Chris Johnson as very similar players, but on different ends of the spectrum. With Mathews, he is being valued here because I think it is easy to see his talent and all he needs is a true shot as an every down feature back to become a dominant fantasy asset. With Tolbert playing under a 1 year deal, that may happen as soon as next year. However, his ranking is essentially all based on potential talent and upside (and his knack for getting nicked up on a seemingly endless basis is starting to cause a small amount of worry for me).

Chris Johnson is being valued on the fact that he has proven it in the past and showed remarkable talent. For the time being, I am going to continue to allow that past performance to outweigh the extremely ordinary player I have currently been watching in 2011. I can say that when I watch the games, it is still obvious that defenses fear Johnson, as the passing game opens up to a much greater extent when he is in -vs- Ringer, however something is very definitely amiss here right now. The problem I see with Johnson is that he doesn't look like a player who "wants it" right now. I don't believe it's a question of ability or the fact that he can't break tackles or isn't seeing holes. I think it's simply a matter of him not wanting to risk damaging his body by breaking holes or making cutbacks or fighting through defenders. I am still willing to bet on him reversing that and getting his mind right, hence the ranking, but of all the players in the first 3 tiers, his is the most tenuous and he carries by far the greatest risk. If I could trade him for Mathews or Forte, all 3 of which I value equally, I would I would be thinking long and hard about it despite the fact that Johnson offers by far the most upside, simply due to the fact that he also carries by far the most downside.

I am willing to admit that I am probably too down on Matt Forte. I think at this point, many people will have him higher in their rankings, valuing him closer to McFadden or Rice or Foster. However, I can't shake the feeling that we are seeing the high water mark of Forte's career right here in the 2011 season. He looks like a completely different player than I have watched during his first 3 seasons and I am still betting that he is closer to 2008, 2009, or 2010 Forte than 2011 Forte over the bulk of his career. That's not to say that 2008, 2009, or 2010 Forte isn't valuable, it just doesn't belong in the same conversation as the tier 2 players or McFadden.

I am concerned with Maurice Jones Drew's potential to reach high performance over the remaining years of his prime. Not because of him, but because of the pieces around him. Gabbert is showing me red flags all over the place and, while still early, I am leaning more towards saying he is not the answer than he is the answer. If Gabbert isn't it, that likely means MJD will be dealing with a mediocre offense for what is essentially the remainder of his prime years, as the Jaguars likely won't abandon ship on Gabbert completely for another 1-2 years. I still think MJD is good enough to put up good production in spite of the mediocre offense around him, but I don't think it will be elite RB1 numbers. I can see myself dropping MJD out of this tier as I see more of Gabbert and continue to get a better feel for him, however until then, there is enough of a chance that he could just be going through the normal rookie learning curve that it would be unwise to not value MJD higher than the players below him.

Tier 4

Jonathan Stewart

24 years old

78 value



Rashard Mendenhall

24 years old

76 value



Mark Ingram

21 years old

72 value

Jamaal Charles

23 years old

72 value

As has been his case for his entire career so far, on any other team Jonathan Stewart would have a significantly higher value score. However, on this team, with Cam Newton eating a decent portion of the rushing pie and with DeAngelo signed to a big contract (meaning he isn't going to go away in the short term even if he is relegated to backup duty or the small end of a timeshare), Stewart's value is sapped. Neither of the factors that are sapping his value figures to change in the short term, which leaves his 3 year outlook as good, but not great. That said, I believe his short term production is about as good as Mendenhall while his future is much brighter.

Mendenhall is one of the players whose value has taken the greatest hit so far this season. I always believed he was more situationally dependent than a lot of other players and I feel that is showing itself this year. With his passing role reduced, his short yardage work (outside of the goal line) gone, and the Steelers now looking like they are going to go to more of a spread offense attack, Mendenhall's situation is suddenly looking much worse than it was last year. I don't believe he is a highly talented back, which means his value is taking a big hit with the deteriorating situation.

I believe Mark Ingram is a more talented player than Mendenhall, but can't put him higher than this until Sean Payton shows signs of believing the same thing. Ingram owners should be hopeful that the Rams physical beat down of the Saints last week provides the impetus for the Saints to rely more on Ingram, who I believe is their most talented running back. I continue to believe that the Saints will not win a title unless they gain more balance in their offense and I think Ingram provides them their best opportunity to achieve that.

Jamaal Charles was a player that I was too down on last week and have since re-evaluated. He is essentially the same thing Ingram is- an unknown and potentially very volatile fantasy commodity that also possesses a high level of skill. While he has a track record, which Ingram does not, he also has a speed reducing injury that could hurt his long term potential.

Tier 5

Ahmad Bradshaw

25 years old

68 value



Beanie Wells

23 years old

65 value

Steven Jackson

28 years old

65 value

Bradshaw leads this tier because I think he has the best chance at future success. While I actually believe Beanie and Steven Jackson will outperform him this season, I feel safer with Bradshaw over the next 3 years, causing me to value him higher (although I can't say I feel significantly higher). There are a lot of people that put Bradshaw much higher in their rankings and I continue to not see why. He looks like an uninspiring player who is the definition of above average to me. While above average isn't bad, it's not exactly something I tend to go out and seek. Add to that the chronic foot problems (which again reared their head this past weekend) and it mutes his value further in my mind.

Beanie Wells is a player who has a lot of his value tied up into this year, at least for me. I am very worried about what the return of Ryan Williams will do to his workload starting next season, so I can't rank him with much confidence for the next 3 years (I can't say he won't be good, either. That uncertainty is what hurts his value for me). With Beanie himself now saying his knee injury will be a problem all season long, it suddenly puts a potential damper on his value for even this season, causing him to drop from where he was last week from a value standpoint.

I moved Steven Jackson up in tier and in value because I think he is setup to have a very strong 2nd half for 2011 and of all the older running backs currently performing well, I think he is the safest bet to continue that strong performance for the longest. I would not be all that surprised if owners continued to get another 2.5 seasons of high level performance out of Jackson, while I would be surprised if Gore did that and flat out shocked if either Turner or Fred Jackson did that, meaning Jackson is a much higher valued commodity for me.

Tier 6

Frank Gore

28 years old

60 value

Jahvid Best

22 years old

57 value



Fred Jackson

30 years old

55 value

Michael Turner

29 years old

50 value

I have a sneaky suspicion that Frank Gore is going to end up being fools gold for a lot of teams. He is playing at a high level now, but I have no belief that he can maintain it for the duration of this season, let alone next season and beyond. I think any team acquiring him in a "win now" mode needs to do so with extreme caution, as I still believe the real Frank Gore could be closer to the first 3 games than the last 4 games (maybe not quite to that level of bad, but the point is I would not be surprised if he started playing mediocre again). I also continue to be somewhat impressed by how Kendall Hunter looks, which means the end of Gore's feature back days could be sooner rather than later. Even if he ends up in the larger part of a timeshare, I don't believe a 29 year old Gore can maintain high levels of production in a timeshare in 2012.

Jahvid Best is a very difficult player to gauge for me. As I have said before, when I'm not sure about a player, I tend to drop them further than normal simply because I don't like uncertainty on my teams and tend to find that relying on players you aren't sure about will hurt you more than it helps you. With Mikel Leshoure still looming as a potential factor in 2012 (albeit no guarantee, given the nature of his injury) and the mediocre way Best has run the ball so far in 2011, I'm skeptical. He seems like a player that is very dependent on the Lions maintaining their shotgun spread approach to sustain his value. Add in the concussion concerns and he is a player I would not be wanting to buy and would be looking to try and sell if I owned.

I am ranking Fred Jackson as if he will only have 1 year of top level production and will swiftly decline after that. While he may buck the trend (and there have been players that have done it), I am not betting my money on a 31 year old running back continuing to have a high level of success in 2012. I think he is a great buy if you are in "win now" mode, but only if the price is right. I currently tend to think he is going for way too much, as I have no belief in his ability to produce beyond this season.

Michael Turner is the same for me- he is getting stats, but he just isn't looking like a very good player while he does it. I think he will maintain his value this year, but as soon as next year I am very worried. I value Fred Jackson a good bit more because I think Jackson will have a stronger finish to the season and if I had to bet on 1 of the 2 to produce next year, I would bet on Jackson, if only because he has looked like a much better player this season.

Tier 7

LeGarrette Blount

24 years old

45 value

Daniel Thomas

23 years old

45 value

James Starks

25 years old

45 value

I believe LeGarrette Blount is a mediocre talent that is producing because he is the only show in town. I have no idea when another show will be added in the form of the Bucs signing a RB via free agency or drafting one, which means he has a shaky future. I don't believe his short term production will be enough to outweigh his murky future, which causes me to not value Blount very highly

Part of Daniel Thomas' value is tied to the potential to have Andrew Luck as his QB. I am as sold on Luck as a prospect as I have been on anyone at any position in quite some time and firmly believe that sooner rather than later, he will make whatever offense he is on very solid. If Daniel Thomas hangs onto the starting job long enough to reap the rewards of that, his value has lots of room to improve (I liken it to the Colts, who could afford to pretty much be plug and play at the RB position and they still put up points after Edgerrin James left town). However, the fact that Thomas may not hang onto the job long enough (we don't know yet, but he hasn't exactly blown the doors off the join in the last 3 games) and the fact that the Dolphins are no lock to end up with Luck are enough to temper my enthusiasm for Thomas.

James Starks has value as long as Green Bay doesn't draft a RB or sign one via free agency because the offense is good enough that he can have some success despite what I see as a very mediocre skill set, however I would expect Green Bay to look to add to their backfield sooner than either Tampa Bay or Miami, making me value Starks slightly less than the other 2, even if I think his short term production may be as good or slightly better.

Tier 8

DeMarco Murray

23 years old

40 value

Montario Hardesty

24 years old

35 value

Ryan Williams

21 years old

30 value

Stevan Ridley

21 years old

30 value

Felix Jones

24 years old

30 value

C.J. Spiller

24 years old

30 value

Kendall Hunter

22 years old

25 value

Mikel LeShoure

21 years old

20 value

DeMarco Murray gets slotted at the top of tier 8 for me and I realize that is going to be WAY lower than most will have him. However, there are still a lot of things I am not sure about- he has played against 2 of the worst run defenses in the league which I feel have inflated his stats, he hasn't necessarily awed me with his play (he hasn't looked bad at all, but he hasn't exactly looked great or special or whatever adjective you want to use), and we have no idea how the Cowboys will use Murray and Felix when both are healthy. I understand those that are sold on him and currently are buyers (or holders if you own him already), but I think that these flash in the pan type players tend to miss more than they hit and you do more damage to your team over the long run when you pay the inflated price to acquire them (or don't sell at the inflated price when you own them). In my opinion, the special players (or the ones that are going to last more than just a half season or season), generally show themselves right away and its evident. I can't say I have seen that from Murray, as I think he has feasted from some very poor defensive play. Sure, he has looked above average, but he hasn't necessarily done anything I don't think Felix could have done in the same situation and if he was healthy (which is something we have been saying about Felix for a long time, so I suppose there may be something there).

I continue to believe Ryan Williams is one of the better buys in all of fantasy football. I think his value now is WAY below what it will be by the time next year rolls around and owners would be very wise to jump all over it. There is far from a guarantee that he will have any short term value let alone ever amount to anything, but at lottery ticket'ish prices, he is one lottery ticket that seems to have a much better than average shot of coming through. Generally players of his level don't fall to lottery ticket type prices this early in their career. The fluke combination of a season ending injury (which shouldn't have any long term ramifications given the type of injury) and Beanie Wells' hot start have either caused people to forget about Williams or have even caused some to significantly doubt his long term viability. This is an excellent time to use that doubt to acquire him at much cheaper prices than I think he should be commanding.

I am still not a fan of C.J. Spiller, but as others in the thread have said, he is still too young and has too much pedigree to entirely give up on. I still view him as more of a lottery ticket type player, but given Fred Jackson's age and where Spiller was drafted, I may even have him lower than I should (although I can't seem to find a way to raise him above any of the players ahead of him)

 
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Spiller was a top 10 draft pick last year and is playing behind Fred Jackson who is one of the top scoring if not top scoring RB in fantasy this year. Spiller IMO has a lot of potential. I have him in my top 20 personally.

I have both Vereen and Ridley and would trade Ridley before Vereen. They're pretty close though.

DeMarco Murray should be ranked somewhere after his performance yesterday.

You're rating Jonathan Stewart way to high in my opinion. If a guy is in your top 10 he should be a top 10 RB by next period. The present value of top 10 production 2 or 3 years from now is worth less then the present value of production this year. Where you're ranking him, he needs to be a top 5 RB for probably a 3 year stretch starting within the next few years. That's a tall order.

 
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You have a whole lot of RBs listed that I wouldn't trade Sproles for.
Truthfully Sproles slipped my mind while running through my list, although I'm not sure how high I would put him. There is exactly 1 running back I want from that team long term and it isn't Sproles (that doesn't mean Sproles doesn't belong in the tier 7 or tier 8 range, in my opinion...just slipped my mind somehow)
 
Spiller was a top 10 draft pick last year and is playing behind Fred Jackson who is one of the top scoring if not top scoring RB in fantasy this year. Spiller IMO has a lot of potential. I have him in my top 20 personally.I have both Vereen and Ridley and would trade Ridley before Vereen. They're pretty close though.DeMarco Murray should be ranked somewhere after his performance yesterday.You're rating Jonathan Stewart way to high in my opinion. If a guy is in your top 10 he should be a top 10 RB by next period. The present value of top 10 production 2 or 3 years from now is worth less then the present value of production this year. Where you're ranking him, he needs to be a top 5 RB for probably a 3 year stretch starting within the next few years. That's a tall order.
I like Spiller, but at this point, he's a grab bag type player to me. If I were going to extrapolate my rankings further, he would be in my next tier. I don't think it's a good sign when a coach gives up on a player entirely. Fred Jackson isn't THAT good that Spiller should be getting 0 carries.I disagree on your valuation of Ridley -vs- Vereen, but don't feel strongly enough to have any problem with it. I think it's close enough that you easily could be right.As it pertains to Jonathan Stewart, I think there is a good chance he is a top 10 player next year (or very close to it), which is reflected in my ranking of him. I feel strongly he is pushing DeAngelo Williams to afterthought status. He is in the process of doing it now and feel he will only continue to do so as the season progresses. Jonathan Stewart is definitely talented enough that he can push for top 10 (top 5?) status if he is receiving the majority of the carries in any offense. Add to that the fact that the Panthers suddenly don't look half bad offensively and I like him even more.
 
Nice work :thumbup:

I'm surprised to not see Shonn Greene listed anywhere. Not that I disagree since I'm not a fan of his at all, but he generally goes around tier 5 or 6 of these types of rankings

 
Nice work :thumbup:I'm surprised to not see Shonn Greene listed anywhere. Not that I disagree since I'm not a fan of his at all, but he generally goes around tier 5 or 6 of these types of rankings
He is probably a tier 9 player for me. I don't think he is the long term answer at all for the Jets and don't particularly love anything he is providing his owners this year. That means he has relatively little use in the short term and very questionable long term value, making him more of a lottery ticket than a bankable commodity in my eyes.
 
Spiller was a top 10 draft pick last year and is playing behind Fred Jackson who is one of the top scoring if not top scoring RB in fantasy this year. Spiller IMO has a lot of potential. I have him in my top 20 personally.

I have both Vereen and Ridley and would trade Ridley before Vereen. They're pretty close though.

DeMarco Murray should be ranked somewhere after his performance yesterday.

You're rating Jonathan Stewart way to high in my opinion. If a guy is in your top 10 he should be a top 10 RB by next period. The present value of top 10 production 2 or 3 years from now is worth less then the present value of production this year. Where you're ranking him, he needs to be a top 5 RB for probably a 3 year stretch starting within the next few years. That's a tall order.
I forgot to respond to the bold. At the bottom of my rankings, I said I was going to take the cop out approach of "waiting and seeing" on both Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray. I feel it would be too reactionary to suddenly leapfrog Murray over Felix or to shoot Murray way up the rankings off of one great game against the worst defense in the league. I watched the game and came away thinking Murray looked good, but it's not like he looked so good that he put a hammerlock on the job. However, I'm not entirely certain he isn't going to be the guy going forward, as he looked as good or better than Felix ever did. How much of that is Murray and how much of that is the putrid Rams defense? I really have no clue. Rather than rank them in a spot with no real conviction or any real clue behind it, I think it's easier if I just pull them from the rankings and wait for another week of data. However, if forced, as I said, I probably would have them in the tier 8 group, as I think the most likely scenario is that they both kill each others value in a time share (even if they are similar style players, which means a timeshare doesn't make sense....ok, like I said, I have no clue with these 2).Generally when I am this unsure about a player, players, or situation, I rank them lower than probably warranted because I want no part of it, as it hurts my team more to guess (and it would be a pure guess for me right now with no conviction on either side) on a player and be wrong than it does to simply pass on the opportunity to acquire the player.

 
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Well if you would take either one of them ahead of any of those tier 9 guys, they should be in your tier 8. If you feel they're interchangeable with those guys, then they should be in that tier. If you like them less, then they should be left off your list.

 
Great work - I have some minor quibbles about the rankings, but that is to be expected - no two people are going to have copycat lists.

Kudos.

 
Well if you would take either one of them ahead of any of those tier 9 guys, they should be in your tier 8. If you feel they're interchangeable with those guys, then they should be in that tier. If you like them less, then they should be left off your list.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I only feel that 1 of them has a possibility to be worthy of being ranked that high or higher. I have absolutely, positively no freaking clue which 1 of them it is, so I will drop both of them until I have more data points to make a better prediction.
 
Great work! Very refreshing to see quality posts in the Shark Pool. Too often it's just people complaining how so-and-so is hurting their team and not much substance behind it. Keep up the good work!

BTW - I agree with not including Murray yet. It's one game against a terrible defense...way to early to assume that'll be the norm.

 
RB is such a volatile position with such a short shelf life that I'm inclined to ride the hot hand. Right now that's LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice. I don't think there's anyone I'd rather start in a given week against a random opponent. They're just $$$ every time out. Whether or not they'll be top of the heap in 3 years...who knows? So much can and will change with RBs. I don't recommend looking very far ahead at this position anymore.

I don't like ADP as the #1 back. He's been around for a while and he's not exactly young anymore. Ponder's performance was encouraging, but ADP isn't too far away from reaching the Steven Jackson phase of his career where his production sags and his trade value plummets. I would actually sell now, especially if I could get someone like Trent Richardson, who for all intents and purposes is a younger version of the same thing.

Also...I agree that Spiller should be higher on the list. Never been a huge fan, as I think he's undersized for a featured role, but he's a dynamic talent with great quickness and big play ability. I could see him flourishing if given the chance.

 
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thanks for the quality work/effort/post! agree that no two people will have the exact same rankings, and my minor quibble is that i have more players per Tier than just 3 or 4... that seems more like steps to me:)

i think it is way too early to try and rank where the 2011 RB class is (especially with the lock out and delayed learning curve), and the 2010 class is just starting to assert themselves into some defined roll with their teams.

are we to assume that these are PPR rankings?

 
Are the value scores supposed to directly relate to trade value? Like Best + Leshoure > Peterson? Not to quibble.
They are not. They are more to represent the difference in value between individual players at as opposed to just a straight numbered ranking (which I feel can be deceptive). If I continue to update this on a weekly basis, I can put more backbone into it and tweak the rankings to mean more of an exact value score.
 
RB is such a volatile position with such a short shelf life that I'm inclined to ride the hot hand. Right now that's LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice. I don't think there's anyone I'd rather start in a given week against a random opponent. They're just $$$ every time out. Whether or not they'll be top of the heap in 3 years...who knows? So much can and will change with RBs. I don't recommend looking very far ahead at this position anymore. I don't like ADP as the #1 back. He's been around for a while and he's not exactly young anymore. Ponder's performance was encouraging, but ADP isn't too far away from reaching the Steven Jackson phase of his career where his production sags and his trade value plummets. I would actually sell now, especially if I could get someone like Trent Richardson, who for all intents and purposes is a younger version of the same thing.Also...I agree that Spiller should be higher on the list. Never been a huge fan, as I think he's undersized for a featured role, but he's a dynamic talent with great quickness and big play ability. I could see him flourishing if given the chance.
To point #1, I agree to some extent, but disagree on certain parts. I don't believe in looking as far out as I would for a QB or WR, but I still think it is plenty safe enough to project 1-3 years out. For instance, I feel confident enough in my belief that Ingram and Jonathan Stewart will be factors 1-3 years down the road that I think it is wise to include that in their value. I likewise feel confident enough that Fred Jackson and Michael Turner will be significantly less of a factor 1-3 years down the road that I think it is unwise to not include that in their value. Riding the hot hand works...provided you continue to keep it in perspective with the overall big picture. A team of Michael Turner, Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, and Fred Jackson is going to have a hell of a hot hand this year...and quickly will fall apart next year.As it pertains to Adrian Peterson, the point we disagree on is his "Steven Jackson phase of his career." To be blunt, Steven Jackson isn't Adrian Peterson. Actually, he's not close to Adrian Peterson. Peterson, to me, is a transcendent talent, the likes of which generally come along once a decade (if not less frequently). This means that I feel his "decline" phase is actually closer to Steven Jackson's "in his prime" phase than Steven Jackson's "decline" phase. Because of this belief, not only do I believe that Peterson is better than every other running back playing and just as likely to finish #1 as whatever flavor of the month hot hand you which to choose, but I believe he will continue this high level of play beyond the threshold of time generally given to other running backs. Long story longer, you said you trust Rice and McCoy more than any other running back, while I trust Peterson more than anyone else. It doesn't matter who is QB is, who is offensive line is, who is coach is, who is receivers are, or whatever other variable you want to throw at him- Adrian Peterson will finish near the top of the heap at the running back position. You simply can not make that statement with any confidence about any single other player in the league. And that is why he is #1 for me.As it pertains to Spiller, the more I think about it, the more I tend to believe both of the people that brought him up are correct. I am probably giving up on him entirely too quick. I still think it is a very, very bad sign that his team has entirely abandoned him and essentially admitted that he can not play at RB currently (I am struggling to think of any running back who was so completely given up on that came back to find success...even the ones that struggled early on at least got repeated opportunities to succeed despite struggling). I don't find Fred Jackson to be that uniquely talented that Spiller should be completely shut out of the run game and forced to play receiver. That being said, it's still very young in his career and probably too soon to bury him completely.
 
thanks for the quality work/effort/post! agree that no two people will have the exact same rankings, and my minor quibble is that i have more players per Tier than just 3 or 4... that seems more like steps to me:)i think it is way too early to try and rank where the 2011 RB class is (especially with the lock out and delayed learning curve), and the 2010 class is just starting to assert themselves into some defined roll with their teams. are we to assume that these are PPR rankings?
On the tiers, every time I break it up I feel there is a significant drop in actual value of the player (I probably didn't mirror my value scores to reflect this enough). I truly believe the running backs are currently broken up into that many groups.
 
Herm - I know it would be hard to project right now, but what kind of upside does Ryan Williams have for the next 2 years? I read that his rehab is going pretty well. I only get to keep 3 guys in a 10-team PPR, but I'm selling for draft picks and thinking about going out on a limb with this guy. The Patellar tendon injury may not have as much effect as an ACL and he is optimistic about being ready for spring mini-camps. Can he be in that same tier as Beanie even?

 
Herm - I know it would be hard to project right now, but what kind of upside does Ryan Williams have for the next 2 years? I read that his rehab is going pretty well. I only get to keep 3 guys in a 10-team PPR, but I'm selling for draft picks and thinking about going out on a limb with this guy. The Patellar tendon injury may not have as much effect as an ACL and he is optimistic about being ready for spring mini-camps. Can he be in that same tier as Beanie even?
I certainly think it's possible. Others had a better feel for him coming into the NFL than I did (because they watched him more in college...I watched him some, but not extensively), but there were plenty of people who were very high on Ryan Williams' prospects. While I think Beanie is a better player from a pure physical standpoint, I think the general feeling was that Williams was a better actual running back and had a better feel for the position.He is young enough that I think he is capable of returning to at or near the level he was at before the injury, which means there is no reason to downgrade him on the injury alone. My concern is that both Beanie and Williams will cannibalize each others stats. I also don't like what I have seen from Kolb thus far and am not sold on the fact that there will be enough production to go around in the Arizona offense to sustain 2 above average running backs (at least for the short term). Beanie has shown enough so far this season that he isn't going to simply be discarded or relegated to a backup or smaller part of a timeshare, which means you will need to be very patient with Williams and wait for things to sort themselves out more (somewhat like Jonathan Stewart 2-3 years ago, although on a smaller scale).If I had both Beanie and Williams on my roster, however, I would be actively trying to sell Beanie (who I currently think is being overvalued) and actively trying to acquire Williams (who I think is being undervalued). As I said in my rankings, I believe Williams is still a lottery ticket type player because you never know how players will bounce back from injury nor do you know what role he will have on his team, but I think he is a lottery ticket with a far above average chance of hitting. I don't expect him to come cheap necessarily, but I do think he is currently going for cheaper than he will once training camps roll around next year.
 
As it pertains to Spiller, the more I think about it, the more I tend to believe both of the people that brought him up are correct. I am probably giving up on him entirely too quick. I still think it is a very, very bad sign that his team has entirely abandoned him and essentially admitted that he can not play at RB currently (I am struggling to think of any running back who was so completely given up on that came back to find success...even the ones that struggled early on at least got repeated opportunities to succeed despite struggling). I don't find Fred Jackson to be that uniquely talented that Spiller should be completely shut out of the run game and forced to play receiver. That being said, it's still very young in his career and probably too soon to bury him completely.
I think you are missing a little bit on this. Spiller is versatile enough that they are able to use him at WR after injuries have hurt their depth. This does not mean they are giving up on him while Fred Jackson is playing as good as any other RB in the league right now.
 
Bump for update, new value scores, and new comments
Thanks for the update. I still would rather have Sproles than many of the guys you started listing towards the end. I'd also still rather have DeAngelo than several of the Tier8 guys, but that is just person preference. CJ seems a bit high with all of his struggles this year.
 
Bump for update, new value scores, and new comments
Thanks for the update. I still would rather have Sproles than many of the guys you started listing towards the end. I'd also still rather have DeAngelo than several of the Tier8 guys, but that is just person preference. CJ seems a bit high with all of his struggles this year.
I was trying to slot Sproles in, but in the end decided I would rather have all the tier 8 guys. However, I am operating under the assumption that Ingram is very talented, will start to see more of a role over the 2nd half of the season, and will be "the man" starting next year. In that scenario, I don't think Sproles has nearly as much value. If someone doesn't believe that to be true, I think he belongs much higher on the list than tier 8.As for DeAngelo, I actually see him as an aging backup running back at this point. His contract is such that he likely has at least 1 more year with the Panthers (I'm assuming the cap hit is too large to cut him that soon). I believe Jonathan Stewart is already being established as the starting running back, as the touch distribution is showing over the last few weeks. If I'm going to take a flyer on a backup running back with upside, I guess I would rather take that flyer on a 23-25 year old rather than a 28 year old.As for Chris Johnson, you may be entirely right. I am notably slower to respond to short term struggles than a lot of people and at times it will bite me. However, I think CJ has presented enough evidence over the previous 3 years to hold onto the belief that he is still an elite player capable of putting up elite production. I also think his name and track record is such that he will continue to carry significant value into next season, regardless of how much he struggles this year, meaning there is very little reason to not continue to value him highly and see if he turns it around.
 
I don't understand how anyone could have watched Demarco Murray play and be anything less than very impressed. He looked great. He has looked like Arian Foster during the first couple weeks last year. He is smart, in control, quick, strong, and gets yards. Yet, you have already written him off as a "flash in the pan." If you recall, Foster started off against some poor teams too.

250+ yards in a game; a top 10 yardage performance for a RB EVER. I don't care that it was the Rams - who else has done that to the Rams?

If you don't mind my asking, what have you wanted to see from Murray and not?

 
I don't understand how anyone could have watched Demarco Murray play and be anything less than very impressed. He looked great. He has looked like Arian Foster during the first couple weeks last year. He is smart, in control, quick, strong, and gets yards. Yet, you have already written him off as a "flash in the pan." If you recall, Foster started off against some poor teams too. 250+ yards in a game; a top 10 yardage performance for a RB EVER. I don't care that it was the Rams - who else has done that to the Rams?If you don't mind my asking, what have you wanted to see from Murray and not?
He's had 1 great game no doubt and 1 game where it's hard to analyze. Against the Eagles he had 1 rush before they were down 14-0, 3 rushes before they were down 21-0, 4 before 24-0, and only 8 total all game. The defense was no doubt playing the pass the majority of the game after getting up big so early. I'm not trying to discount his stats, but just pointing out it's hard to accurately assess his NFL talent in that game. Which tier do you think he belongs in?BTW - regarding the 250+ in a game...Jerome Harrison says hi! Remember the last 3 games of 2009? A couple games doesn't translate into a great career. I'm not saying I think Murray doesn't have it, but along with the OP, I'm not ready to put him into a higher group just yet
 
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I don't understand how anyone could have watched Demarco Murray play and be anything less than very impressed. He looked great. He has looked like Arian Foster during the first couple weeks last year. He is smart, in control, quick, strong, and gets yards. Yet, you have already written him off as a "flash in the pan." If you recall, Foster started off against some poor teams too. 250+ yards in a game; a top 10 yardage performance for a RB EVER. I don't care that it was the Rams - who else has done that to the Rams?If you don't mind my asking, what have you wanted to see from Murray and not?
I didn't mean to imply that DeMarco Murray was necessarily a flash in the pan, just that frequently there are players that come along, light up the stat sheet despite not looking overly impressive or obviously showing a high talent level, only to fade out after a short period of time. The list of players that have started very strongly despite not looking like a top level talent and then faded is a very long one. To me, Arian Foster and DeMarco Murray couldn't be better examples of what I am talking about- from carry 1, it was blatantly evident to most people watching that Arian Foster was a very talented player. Sure he was putting up stats, but the way he was doing it made it hard to argue against his talent. Murray has put up similar stats, but hasn't left me with the same "can't miss" feeling for whatever reason.I'm not saying he won't pan out, but I'm also not willing to invest a whole lot in him yet at this point. I also would be looking to quite possibly sell him to anyone who believes his game against the Rams is an indicator of top level talent and would be fine with the possibility that I was wrong. I think the odds suggest he has a better chance of being Jerome Harrison or Julius Jones than he does Arian Foster or Jamaal Charles because I don't think "can't miss" talent is evident when I watch him play.I've said before that my style trends towards avoiding the high risk and trying to avoid uncertainty. I am completely uncertain about Murray, if only because I am not sold on his talent yet, regardless of production in the short term. I think you do more damage to your team by guessing on the uncertain to be right and paying inflated prices to acquire them then you do by sticking with what you feel you know and acquiring those commodities instead. I felt certain after watching 1 game of Arian Foster (and went out and acquired him in any league I didn't already have him). I feel far, far less certain after watching 1 game (really 2 games now) of DeMarco Murray. That, in a nutshell, explains my placing of him.That said, since I have written this much about it now and gone this far onto the record with my thought process, there is a near certainty that I will be wrong and Murray will become one of the 5 best running backs in the league.
 
I don't understand how anyone could have watched Demarco Murray play and be anything less than very impressed. He looked great. He has looked like Arian Foster during the first couple weeks last year. He is smart, in control, quick, strong, and gets yards. Yet, you have already written him off as a "flash in the pan." If you recall, Foster started off against some poor teams too. 250+ yards in a game; a top 10 yardage performance for a RB EVER. I don't care that it was the Rams - who else has done that to the Rams?If you don't mind my asking, what have you wanted to see from Murray and not?
we're always too quick to anoint the next great one - I for one would like to see at least 4 or 5 games off 100 yard type performances. 250+ vs the Rams is not impressive - yes its a top 10 performance but it doesnt mean much in the grand scheme of things. Yes no one else has ran for 250 vs the Rams, but that's not supporting a premise of someone being great. A back would need to have strong performances against better defenses.
 
I don't understand how anyone could have watched Demarco Murray play and be anything less than very impressed. He looked great. He has looked like Arian Foster during the first couple weeks last year. He is smart, in control, quick, strong, and gets yards. Yet, you have already written him off as a "flash in the pan." If you recall, Foster started off against some poor teams too. 250+ yards in a game; a top 10 yardage performance for a RB EVER. I don't care that it was the Rams - who else has done that to the Rams?If you don't mind my asking, what have you wanted to see from Murray and not?
I didn't mean to imply that DeMarco Murray was necessarily a flash in the pan, just that frequently there are players that come along, light up the stat sheet despite not looking overly impressive or obviously showing a high talent level, only to fade out after a short period of time. The list of players that have started very strongly despite not looking like a top level talent and then faded is a very long one. To me, Arian Foster and DeMarco Murray couldn't be better examples of what I am talking about- from carry 1, it was blatantly evident to most people watching that Arian Foster was a very talented player. Sure he was putting up stats, but the way he was doing it made it hard to argue against his talent. Murray has put up similar stats, but hasn't left me with the same "can't miss" feeling for whatever reason.I'm not saying he won't pan out, but I'm also not willing to invest a whole lot in him yet at this point. I also would be looking to quite possibly sell him to anyone who believes his game against the Rams is an indicator of top level talent and would be fine with the possibility that I was wrong. I think the odds suggest he has a better chance of being Jerome Harrison or Julius Jones than he does Arian Foster or Jamaal Charles because I don't think "can't miss" talent is evident when I watch him play.I've said before that my style trends towards avoiding the high risk and trying to avoid uncertainty. I am completely uncertain about Murray, if only because I am not sold on his talent yet, regardless of production in the short term. I think you do more damage to your team by guessing on the uncertain to be right and paying inflated prices to acquire them then you do by sticking with what you feel you know and acquiring those commodities instead. I felt certain after watching 1 game of Arian Foster (and went out and acquired him in any league I didn't already have him). I feel far, far less certain after watching 1 game (really 2 games now) of DeMarco Murray. That, in a nutshell, explains my placing of him.That said, since I have written this much about it now and gone this far onto the record with my thought process, there is a near certainty that I will be wrong and Murray will become one of the 5 best running backs in the league.
You didn't really answer my question. You didn't claim to be uncertain, orginially, but took it a step further. You said he didn't look great. What do you look for in a RB that Murray did not show in his 2 starts?
 
I don't understand how anyone could have watched Demarco Murray play and be anything less than very impressed. He looked great. He has looked like Arian Foster during the first couple weeks last year. He is smart, in control, quick, strong, and gets yards. Yet, you have already written him off as a "flash in the pan." If you recall, Foster started off against some poor teams too. 250+ yards in a game; a top 10 yardage performance for a RB EVER. I don't care that it was the Rams - who else has done that to the Rams?If you don't mind my asking, what have you wanted to see from Murray and not?
He's had 1 great game no doubt and 1 game where it's hard to analyze. Against the Eagles he had 1 rush before they were down 14-0, 3 rushes before they were down 21-0, 4 before 24-0, and only 8 total all game. The defense was no doubt playing the pass the majority of the game after getting up big so early. I'm not trying to discount his stats, but just pointing out it's hard to accurately assess his NFL talent in that game. Which tier do you think he belongs in?BTW - regarding the 250+ in a game...Jerome Harrison says hi! Remember the last 3 games of 2009? A couple games doesn't translate into a great career. I'm not saying I think Murray doesn't have it, but along with the OP, I'm not ready to put him into a higher group just yet
There are exceptions to every rule and I am very aware that average RBs have had monster games, including your example. But when you run for 250 in your first start, and look really good in your second, I start to take notice. Especially when the Cowboys offensive line hasn't been opening holes on a regular basis - this is not the Texans we are talking about.Murray looked really good and I would say that if you took out the 90 yard run and I never looked at his stats. I compared him to Felix before the draft and have been high on Felix. That said, Murray is a smarter runner with better balance and he takes what is there, unlike Felix who can leave yards on the field. My biggest concern on Murray was his balance, due to his running style(i.e.Felix)and he hasn't had those issues in the NFL. I know Murray and Foster aren't the same player. But Murray reminds me a lot of Foster (based on two games, of course) in that he takes what is there. I don't know how better to say it than that, although I know that is a bit ambiguous. As for where I rank him, CLEARLY ahead of James Starks, slightly ahead of Blount, about the area that Best is in.
 
I don't understand how anyone could have watched Demarco Murray play and be anything less than very impressed. He looked great. He has looked like Arian Foster during the first couple weeks last year. He is smart, in control, quick, strong, and gets yards. Yet, you have already written him off as a "flash in the pan." If you recall, Foster started off against some poor teams too. 250+ yards in a game; a top 10 yardage performance for a RB EVER. I don't care that it was the Rams - who else has done that to the Rams?If you don't mind my asking, what have you wanted to see from Murray and not?
He's had 1 great game no doubt and 1 game where it's hard to analyze. Against the Eagles he had 1 rush before they were down 14-0, 3 rushes before they were down 21-0, 4 before 24-0, and only 8 total all game. The defense was no doubt playing the pass the majority of the game after getting up big so early. I'm not trying to discount his stats, but just pointing out it's hard to accurately assess his NFL talent in that game. Which tier do you think he belongs in?BTW - regarding the 250+ in a game...Jerome Harrison says hi! Remember the last 3 games of 2009? A couple games doesn't translate into a great career. I'm not saying I think Murray doesn't have it, but along with the OP, I'm not ready to put him into a higher group just yet
There are exceptions to every rule and I am very aware that average RBs have had monster games, including your example. But when you run for 250 in your first start, and look really good in your second, I start to take notice. Especially when the Cowboys offensive line hasn't been opening holes on a regular basis - this is not the Texans we are talking about.Murray looked really good and I would say that if you took out the 90 yard run and I never looked at his stats. I compared him to Felix before the draft and have been high on Felix. That said, Murray is a smarter runner with better balance and he takes what is there, unlike Felix who can leave yards on the field. My biggest concern on Murray was his balance, due to his running style(i.e.Felix)and he hasn't had those issues in the NFL. I know Murray and Foster aren't the same player. But Murray reminds me a lot of Foster (based on two games, of course) in that he takes what is there. I don't know how better to say it than that, although I know that is a bit ambiguous. As for where I rank him, CLEARLY ahead of James Starks, slightly ahead of Blount, about the area that Best is in.
Im not as sold on Murray to bump him up to Best or Blount for that matter. A few more games and I will be convinced though. But after two games and one obviously and anomaly as it would be for any RB. You want to see if he can produce consistently and theirs only one way to do that.
 
I think you have Beanie ranked way too low. He's only 23, and has a better per-game average than MJD, CJ, and all of the tier 4 players on your list (even in PPR). The way he's performing he will continue to be the #1 RB on his team, even if Williams comes back 100% next year. Williams at best would be a 3rd down back, and we know Beanie will still get all of the goal-line carries.

Despite the knee injury, he put up pretty good numbers against the stout Ravens D, proving that he can play (and play well) through injury. I think this week's performance actually makes me MORE certain that he will continue to be a stud.

 
'Concept Coop said:
'Herm23 said:
'Concept Coop said:
I don't understand how anyone could have watched Demarco Murray play and be anything less than very impressed. He looked great. He has looked like Arian Foster during the first couple weeks last year. He is smart, in control, quick, strong, and gets yards. Yet, you have already written him off as a "flash in the pan." If you recall, Foster started off against some poor teams too. 250+ yards in a game; a top 10 yardage performance for a RB EVER. I don't care that it was the Rams - who else has done that to the Rams?If you don't mind my asking, what have you wanted to see from Murray and not?
I didn't mean to imply that DeMarco Murray was necessarily a flash in the pan, just that frequently there are players that come along, light up the stat sheet despite not looking overly impressive or obviously showing a high talent level, only to fade out after a short period of time. The list of players that have started very strongly despite not looking like a top level talent and then faded is a very long one. To me, Arian Foster and DeMarco Murray couldn't be better examples of what I am talking about- from carry 1, it was blatantly evident to most people watching that Arian Foster was a very talented player. Sure he was putting up stats, but the way he was doing it made it hard to argue against his talent. Murray has put up similar stats, but hasn't left me with the same "can't miss" feeling for whatever reason.I'm not saying he won't pan out, but I'm also not willing to invest a whole lot in him yet at this point. I also would be looking to quite possibly sell him to anyone who believes his game against the Rams is an indicator of top level talent and would be fine with the possibility that I was wrong. I think the odds suggest he has a better chance of being Jerome Harrison or Julius Jones than he does Arian Foster or Jamaal Charles because I don't think "can't miss" talent is evident when I watch him play.I've said before that my style trends towards avoiding the high risk and trying to avoid uncertainty. I am completely uncertain about Murray, if only because I am not sold on his talent yet, regardless of production in the short term. I think you do more damage to your team by guessing on the uncertain to be right and paying inflated prices to acquire them then you do by sticking with what you feel you know and acquiring those commodities instead. I felt certain after watching 1 game of Arian Foster (and went out and acquired him in any league I didn't already have him). I feel far, far less certain after watching 1 game (really 2 games now) of DeMarco Murray. That, in a nutshell, explains my placing of him.That said, since I have written this much about it now and gone this far onto the record with my thought process, there is a near certainty that I will be wrong and Murray will become one of the 5 best running backs in the league.
You didn't really answer my question. You didn't claim to be uncertain, orginially, but took it a step further. You said he didn't look great. What do you look for in a RB that Murray did not show in his 2 starts?
Other than a few tackle breaking runs, I guess he didn't do anything that impressed me. I admit that he showed more tackle breaking ability in the Rams game than I thought he had, but beyond that, he did nothing to gain anything more than exactly what was given to him. The reason for the gaudy performance had more to do with the fact that the Rams gave him a hell of a lot than it did with the way Murray was playing.Asking what I was wanting to see that he didn't show me is a difficult question to answer. For me, I think it is evident when watching players play who the talents are. It's not always something you can discern or define, but it is definitely a feeling you get. You have used Arian Foster as an example, so I will continue to run with it- Arian Foster gave me this feeling from the first snap of watching him. Not only did he get what was there, but he showed an ability to go beyond that and simply looked like a player that was better than the defenders trying to tackle him. I do not get the same feeling from Murray- I think he looks competent and is capable of getting what is there, but he doesn't look like he is better than others on the field (you said he looked smooth and I couldn't disagree more. He looks jerky and a bit unsure to me).You also stated you would put him ahead of Starks and Blount. I disagree for this reason- we at least know where each of those players stand right now. Starks is going to be on the good side of a timeshare in the best offense in football, which provides him value no matter how mediocre he is. He is in danger as soon as they add someone, but they currently don't have that player on their roster. Blount is already the non passing down running back on his team and is entrenched in that role until they add someone- they may add someone, but he is not yet on the team. In Murray's case, it's very likely that the running back who will threaten his workload is already on his team in the form of Felix Jones. At least with Starks and Blount, the vulture and/or value stealing player is a mere possibility in the future and not an actual player already on the roster. It would be different if Murray looked clearly more talented than either player, but he didn't. While I will give you the fact that he looks better than Starks (I am inflating Starks value simply because of the offense around him), many, many people were saying a lot of the same things you are saying about Murray now about Blount last year when he started to roll in the 2nd half of the season. Fast forward to this season and suddenly most people are off the Blount bandwagon and he is back to being a mediocre running back who is easily replaceable. I tend to think there is much more likelihood that Murray follows the Blount trajectory (big start in which he puts up some gaudy stats despite not necessarily looking the part, only to slowly fade back to Earth) than he does follow the upper tier running back who is a highly valued commodity trajectory. Again, if I'm wrong, I'm fine with that because I tend to think the Blount trajectory is by far the more common and I have not seen anything from Murray to make me think he will go beyond that.
 
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'ExaltedOne said:
I think you have Beanie ranked way too low. He's only 23, and has a better per-game average than MJD, CJ, and all of the tier 4 players on your list (even in PPR). The way he's performing he will continue to be the #1 RB on his team, even if Williams comes back 100% next year. Williams at best would be a 3rd down back, and we know Beanie will still get all of the goal-line carries. Despite the knee injury, he put up pretty good numbers against the stout Ravens D, proving that he can play (and play well) through injury. I think this week's performance actually makes me MORE certain that he will continue to be a stud.
Couple things with this:- I believe Ryan Williams is a major threat to Beanie's future production. Enough of a threat that I think a SIGNIFICANT amount of Beanie's value is wrapped up in what he does this year, since I have no assurances that he will be in anything more than a straight timeshare next year- I don't care how well he performed on it, whenever a player says he has a knee injury that is going to hamper him all season, that scares me. He may have put up stats, but in watching the game he definitely looked like his knee was bothering him and sapped some explosion. I would be surprised if the injury didn't hinder his performance to some degree for awhile. Considering how much I think Beanie's value is tied to this current season, the fact that he has a knee injury that may hamper him causes me to drop him even further in valueI think Beanie may be one of the more overvalued commodities in all of fantasy football right now, to be honest with you. There are a lot of people who believe, as you do, that he is a high level running back and worthy of a high ranking long term. This is causing him to be valued above some players that I think are both more talented and in better long term situations. This makes him an ideal sell to me, as I think his value takes a BIG hit once training camps start next year and the Ryan Williams hype starts up again.If you are sold on him and believe he is legit and has lasting power, more power to you. However, with a lingering knee injury, a history of injury problems, and a very talented running back who will be fully healthy next year to challenge his workload, he is a player I want nothing to do with at anything more than the value I assigned to him.
 
If you are sold on him and believe he is legit and has lasting power, more power to you. However, with a lingering knee injury, a history of injury problems, and a very talented running back who will be fully healthy next year to challenge his workload, he is a player I want nothing to do with at anything more than the value I assigned to him.
To each his own, but you downgrade Beanie because of a "lingering knee injury"--one which he still managed to put up 80+ yards and a score against a tough Ravens defense. While in the same paragraph, conclude that Ryan Williams "will be fully healthy next year". Just pointing out that one of these injuries is drastically more severe than the other, and while I hope to hedge my bet with Beanie and grab Williams where I can, I realize that most of Beanie's value comes from his goalline and early down work--which I don't think will be in danger unless he gets injured to the point of missing time, or fails to produce.
 
If you are sold on him and believe he is legit and has lasting power, more power to you. However, with a lingering knee injury, a history of injury problems, and a very talented running back who will be fully healthy next year to challenge his workload, he is a player I want nothing to do with at anything more than the value I assigned to him.
To each his own, but you downgrade Beanie because of a "lingering knee injury"--one which he still managed to put up 80+ yards and a score against a tough Ravens defense. While in the same paragraph, conclude that Ryan Williams "will be fully healthy next year". Just pointing out that one of these injuries is drastically more severe than the other, and while I hope to hedge my bet with Beanie and grab Williams where I can, I realize that most of Beanie's value comes from his goalline and early down work--which I don't think will be in danger unless he gets injured to the point of missing time, or fails to produce.
My concern with Beanie's knee injury isn't that it will cause long term problems, it's that it will hurt his production this season, a season I am placing a lot of his value in. Additionally, I wouldn't feel safe at all that he will not have to worry about his early down work being lessened next year. There are an awful lot of people that believe Ryan Williams is simply a better player than Beanie Wells, enough that I have legitimate worry about Beanie's long term workload on any down and in any situation.
 
Other than a few tackle breaking runs, I guess he didn't do anything that impressed me. I admit that he showed more tackle breaking ability in the Rams game than I thought he had, but beyond that, he did nothing to gain anything more than exactly what was given to him. The reason for the gaudy performance had more to do with the fact that the Rams gave him a hell of a lot than it did with the way Murray was playing.Asking what I was wanting to see that he didn't show me is a difficult question to answer. For me, I think it is evident when watching players play who the talents are. It's not always something you can discern or define, but it is definitely a feeling you get. You have used Arian Foster as an example, so I will continue to run with it- Arian Foster gave me this feeling from the first snap of watching him. Not only did he get what was there, but he showed an ability to go beyond that and simply looked like a player that was better than the defenders trying to tackle him. I do not get the same feeling from Murray- I think he looks competent and is capable of getting what is there, but he doesn't look like he is better than others on the field (you said he looked smooth and I couldn't disagree more. He looks jerky and a bit unsure to me).You also stated you would put him ahead of Starks and Blount. I disagree for this reason- we at least know where each of those players stand right now. Starks is going to be on the good side of a timeshare in the best offense in football, which provides him value no matter how mediocre he is. He is in danger as soon as they add someone, but they currently don't have that player on their roster. Blount is already the non passing down running back on his team and is entrenched in that role until they add someone- they may add someone, but he is not yet on the team. In Murray's case, it's very likely that the running back who will threaten his workload is already on his team in the form of Felix Jones. At least with Starks and Blount, the vulture and/or value stealing player is a mere possibility in the future and not an actual player already on the roster. It would be different if Murray looked clearly more talented than either player, but he didn't. While I will give you the fact that he looks better than Starks (I am inflating Starks value simply because of the offense around him), many, many people were saying a lot of the same things you are saying about Murray now about Blount last year when he started to roll in the 2nd half of the season. Fast forward to this season and suddenly most people are off the Blount bandwagon and he is back to being a mediocre running back who is easily replaceable. I tend to think there is much more likelihood that Murray follows the Blount trajectory (big start in which he puts up some gaudy stats despite not necessarily looking the part, only to slowly fade back to Earth) than he does follow the upper tier running back who is a highly valued commodity trajectory. Again, if I'm wrong, I'm fine with that because I tend to think the Blount trajectory is by far the more common and I have not seen anything from Murray to make me think he will go beyond that.
Thanks for the response and fair enough. I don't know what is Jerky about the way Demarco runs. He has been very decisive and he is a glider (good or bad - but not jerky). Another thing you are missing, I think, is his homerun speed, which even Arian Foster doesn't have to the level Murray does. I think Murray has the potential to be what people thought Felix would. He is a more balanced runner than Felix, while offering the slicing, homerun potential. Felix and Murray both run upright and top heavy. Murray has shown the ability to keep his balance despite that. Felix has not. Assuming we will never agree on Murray's talent level, I will clarify my value of him over the likes of Blount. Like you, I think I have a good feel on what Blount is. He is a situational player, who is big, strong, has "young RB burst", and not much more than that. He is a solid, safe player who I feel will never be a RB1, even in non-PPR formats. Murray, on the other hand, looks to be more talented. Even if I gamble on Murray, over Blount, and am wrong, what did I really lose? I think a RBBC is pretty close to Murray's floor, assuming he stays healthy. Is that not what Blount is destine for? I don't want to sound as though I am projecting Murray to be a Foster level fantasy back, ever. I am not. I simply see promise and potential, which has it's value, as well as it's risk. When his floor is what Grant is now, but his ceiling is MUCH higher, give me the Murray. Grant has looked very average, aside from the fact that he is willing to run hard.
 
Tier 3

Darren McFadden

24 years old

90 value

Ryan Mathews

24 years old

86 value
Great thread. DMAC is better than tier 3 imo and Matthews should be lower. This has been discussed extensively in a couple of threads this year but the Raiders are built to be a running team, I don't think having a second tier QB hurts him at all. Only thing holding him back will be any further injury. Bush and Taiwan Jones are not at his level and Bush should be gone next year. DMAC has the best upside from his current production for the next year and two among all of the RB's on your tier 1-4 lists except guys missing with injuries.

Mathews on the other hand is too inconsistent. He's obviously not a power runner and he doesn't look that fast to the outside (footnote: this is mostly based on this past MNF game). It's also obvious why he loses so many fumbles, the kid has no idea how to put both hands on the ball in traffic. Can he fix that? I don't know, but he's been playing RB all his career in college right? How has he not figured this out yet? I would much rather have Fred Jackson, I think if these two switched teams Jackson will be much more successful than Mathews has been with his touches.

 
Other than a few tackle breaking runs, I guess he didn't do anything that impressed me. I admit that he showed more tackle breaking ability in the Rams game than I thought he had, but beyond that, he did nothing to gain anything more than exactly what was given to him. The reason for the gaudy performance had more to do with the fact that the Rams gave him a hell of a lot than it did with the way Murray was playing.Asking what I was wanting to see that he didn't show me is a difficult question to answer. For me, I think it is evident when watching players play who the talents are. It's not always something you can discern or define, but it is definitely a feeling you get. You have used Arian Foster as an example, so I will continue to run with it- Arian Foster gave me this feeling from the first snap of watching him. Not only did he get what was there, but he showed an ability to go beyond that and simply looked like a player that was better than the defenders trying to tackle him. I do not get the same feeling from Murray- I think he looks competent and is capable of getting what is there, but he doesn't look like he is better than others on the field (you said he looked smooth and I couldn't disagree more. He looks jerky and a bit unsure to me).You also stated you would put him ahead of Starks and Blount. I disagree for this reason- we at least know where each of those players stand right now. Starks is going to be on the good side of a timeshare in the best offense in football, which provides him value no matter how mediocre he is. He is in danger as soon as they add someone, but they currently don't have that player on their roster. Blount is already the non passing down running back on his team and is entrenched in that role until they add someone- they may add someone, but he is not yet on the team. In Murray's case, it's very likely that the running back who will threaten his workload is already on his team in the form of Felix Jones. At least with Starks and Blount, the vulture and/or value stealing player is a mere possibility in the future and not an actual player already on the roster. It would be different if Murray looked clearly more talented than either player, but he didn't. While I will give you the fact that he looks better than Starks (I am inflating Starks value simply because of the offense around him), many, many people were saying a lot of the same things you are saying about Murray now about Blount last year when he started to roll in the 2nd half of the season. Fast forward to this season and suddenly most people are off the Blount bandwagon and he is back to being a mediocre running back who is easily replaceable. I tend to think there is much more likelihood that Murray follows the Blount trajectory (big start in which he puts up some gaudy stats despite not necessarily looking the part, only to slowly fade back to Earth) than he does follow the upper tier running back who is a highly valued commodity trajectory. Again, if I'm wrong, I'm fine with that because I tend to think the Blount trajectory is by far the more common and I have not seen anything from Murray to make me think he will go beyond that.
Thanks for the response and fair enough. I don't know what is Jerky about the way Demarco runs. He has been very decisive and he is a glider (good or bad - but not jerky). Another thing you are missing, I think, is his homerun speed, which even Arian Foster doesn't have to the level Murray does. I think Murray has the potential to be what people thought Felix would. He is a more balanced runner than Felix, while offering the slicing, homerun potential. Felix and Murray both run upright and top heavy. Murray has shown the ability to keep his balance despite that. Felix has not. Assuming we will never agree on Murray's talent level, I will clarify my value of him over the likes of Blount. Like you, I think I have a good feel on what Blount is. He is a situational player, who is big, strong, has "young RB burst", and not much more than that. He is a solid, safe player who I feel will never be a RB1, even in non-PPR formats. Murray, on the other hand, looks to be more talented. Even if I gamble on Murray, over Blount, and am wrong, what did I really lose? I think a RBBC is pretty close to Murray's floor, assuming he stays healthy. Is that not what Blount is destine for? I don't want to sound as though I am projecting Murray to be a Foster level fantasy back, ever. I am not. I simply see promise and potential, which has it's value, as well as it's risk. When his floor is what Grant is now, but his ceiling is MUCH higher, give me the Murray. Grant has looked very average, aside from the fact that he is willing to run hard.
I am very open to the possibility of being wrong on Murray. The more I think about it, the more I don't like having Starks ahead of him from a value standpoint. My current placement of Murray probably has much, much more to do with the miniscule 1 game track record (I am going to discount the Eagles game because the Cowboys were out of it way too quickly for it to provide any truly valuable information in regards to Murray) than Murray himself. When I don't see "it" from a player, even if he is a generally unknown commodity, I tend to value him lower than the norm, almost to ensure I never end up with said player. While this tends to put a LOT more stress on my ability to be right with my evaluations, it also allows me to avoid investing high draft picks or trading valuable assets for the Julius Jones' of the world. I was right on Arian Foster and managed to avoid busts like Julius Jones, Anthony Thomas, etc... because of this, but the early returns show I am looking dead wrong on Mark Ingram (although that is still early enough that I have far from given up) and I was much slower reacting to Jamaal Charles, Priest Holmes, Rudi Johnson, etc... than a lot of people. My method and line of thinking certainly doesn't always make me right and definitely does cause me to miss value and/or overpay for the wrong prospects at times.I think your value of Murray just more accurately reflects your belief that you have seen more from him so far, which I completely accept. It is very possible that I am wrong and in the next few weeks, I will have to adjust my rankings and thinking. I just prefer more data points to formulate my opinion if I'm not totally sold immediately on the player.
 
Tier 3

Darren McFadden

24 years old

90 value

Ryan Mathews

24 years old

86 value
Great thread. DMAC is better than tier 3 imo and Matthews should be lower. This has been discussed extensively in a couple of threads this year but the Raiders are built to be a running team, I don't think having a second tier QB hurts him at all. Only thing holding him back will be any further injury. Bush and Taiwan Jones are not at his level and Bush should be gone next year. DMAC has the best upside from his current production for the next year and two among all of the RB's on your tier 1-4 lists except guys missing with injuries.

Mathews on the other hand is too inconsistent. He's obviously not a power runner and he doesn't look that fast to the outside (footnote: this is mostly based on this past MNF game). It's also obvious why he loses so many fumbles, the kid has no idea how to put both hands on the ball in traffic. Can he fix that? I don't know, but he's been playing RB all his career in college right? How has he not figured this out yet? I would much rather have Fred Jackson, I think if these two switched teams Jackson will be much more successful than Mathews has been with his touches.
Agree and disagree here.I tend to agree that McFadden PROBABLY deserves to have a higher value score and PROBABLY deserves to be with the tier 2 players. However, there are just certain things that I can't shake that cause me to not value him as highly as McCoy, Foster, and Rice (the tier 2 backs). First, at times he completely disappears from the passing game, which shouldn't happen to a player with his skills. You can't say that about any of the tier 2 backs, which allows them to be productive EVERY game, even if defenses load up to stop the run (something that currently can not be said of McFadden). Second, I'm a small amount concerned that he has a coach that loves him, wants to feed him the ball, and literally built the offensive game plan around him, yet still doesn't give him the short goal line opportunities. It could be that this is nothing and when Michael Bush leaves McFadden will get them, but it's enough to cause me pause and make me worry that he won't ever get the 1, 2, or 3 yard touchdowns (something McCoy, Foster, and even now Rice this season all get). Third is the injuries, although truthfully I worry less about this and tend to think most of the stuff is fluky. Also, the player with the highest upside to his current production, at least to me, is Adrian Peterson. He is the only player who wouldn't surprise me if he ran for 2,000 yards, 2,100 yards, 2,200 yards, had 2,500 total yards, etc... He's the most talented player, he just does things other running backs can't do, and as long as he is in his prime, he offers more upside than anyone in my eyes.

As for Mathews, I am big time sold on him as a talent. I believe he is among the handful of most skilled players at the running back position. I wouldn't judge much off of the Monday night game- he was clearly lacking a lot of the burst and explosion that makes him such a great player due to mounting nagging injuries he has sustained so far this season. The thing that he has shown me this year that I didn't know he had was the ability to break tackles and gain extra yardage. He CONSTANTLY beats the first defender, either with moves or by not being able to be brought down once contact is made. He certainly has some things to work on and some legitimate concerns (the way he carries the ball leading to fumbling, as you mentioned, being one and the constant minor, nagging injuries being two), but I think his potential and the way he has looked this year overcome a lot of those worries. Tolbert is playing under a 1 year deal and to my knowledge, he isn't a RFA (I can't profess to know that for sure and feel too lazy to look it up), meaning the extra upside of goal line work could be coming as soon as next year. In truth, if Mathews becomes the goal line back and routinely gets 20+ touches a game (something I think will happen if Tolbert leaves), I actually see him having the potential to move up in value, rather than down. A Mathews that gets goal line carries and is used as a workhorse by the Chargers, to me, is closer in value to my tier 2 players than he is my tier 4 players (I don't see a lot of difference between Mathews and McFadden, for instance. McFadden might be a little more talented, but Mathews is setup to have a much better supporting cast).

 
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Bumping this to state that I am considerably more sold on DeMarco Murray after his performance today. It was very, very impressive and I now do feel strong about vaulting him up the rankings. I will update at some point this week, but definitely needed to come and eat some crow after he showed me what some (Concept Coop) were stating he had shown since his 1st start.

 
Murray looked really good on Sunday. It is even more impressive when you look at what other Dallas backs have been diong. This is the best stretch of RB play going back to Barber in his prime, and Barber wasn't as complete as Murray.

I am hoping Felix comes back, they split 50/50 for a game or two so I can go "all in" on Murray, at a bit cheaper than his current price. :thumbup:

 

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