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The 2005 Rookie RBs (1 Viewer)

wannabee

Footballguy
A Closer Look at the 2005 Rookie RB Class

I realize many will have a different take on some of the guys than I do. Any and all feedback is appreciated. This will, in no way, is exhaustive. Many on this board are much better dynasty experts than I am, but here it goes:

First, I would like to look at a few of the higher profile RBs in the 2005 draft class. I will focus on those drafted highly and not the free agent rookies and lower draft picks. Whenever I attempt to evaluate a young RB, the hardest part for me is trying to articulate an equivalent RB in terms of ability and value. I will try to include the ceiling and floor, including most likely comparison. In addition, since it is dynasty, I will weigh the talent portion heavily while barely touching on circumstance and opportunity. Some comparables might seem a stretch, but is my best estimate.

2005:

Ronnie Brown – Brown has played very well and handled the difficult situation of sharing the backfield with Ricky Williams. In addition, the Dolphins have an average, veteran QB who is not a threat to pass often. This increases the pressure on the running game. Houck had vastly improved the Miami offensive line and helped the Dolphins turn into a good running team. Now, let’s focus on Brown. In the 13 games, Brown has 187 carries for 841 yards for a very respectable ypc of 4.5 and 4 TDs. This 4.5 ypc is extremely strong considering that Brown only has 5 carries of 20 yards or more. He is also, strong in passing game. Brown has caught 28 passes for 208 yards, yielding an average of 7.4 yards per catch. Brown also has 1 receiving TD.

Comparables:

High Side – Edgerrin James. A strong runner who will put his head down and run over a linebacker, but likes getting outside and has good speed. Brown is 18 pounds heavier than James. Both are 6’ with James 214 lbs and Brown 232 lbs.

Low Side – Anthony Thomas (6’2, 225 lbs). Thomas is a decent between the tackles runner. Thomas offers little upside, but does not have enough wiggle to be elite, even with the ROY award (yuck!). Brown has better hands than Thomas so it allows him to stay on the field on 3rd downs and rack up yards and TDs.

Equivalent – Deuce McAllister (6’1, 232). Deuce is a solid RB between the tackles with decent speed. He sometimes battles injury issues, but at his best and in good physical shape, most NFL and fantasy GMs would take Deuce in a heartbeat.

He has the talent to be a top 10 fantasy RB for many years. He has the size and speed combination to be a star. He is a definite fantasy buy. Many might undervalue him due to the presence of Ricky and the fact that he shared the load in college, but Brown could be a star. Brown’s value in dynasty should be that of a younger Corey Dillon. This is the runner Brown reminds me of the most. Brown could be a top 10 RB for 5+ years, just like Dillon. His value could be the same as Dillon’s was during the height his career. Dillon has been productive and steady runner. Brown was Saban’s choice, after being in the SEC, and is my choice, too.

Caddy Williams - Caddy has played very well carrying a large load, when healthy. With the addition of Caddy, the Bucs have turned into a team that has relied heavy on the run, and play strong defense. As the season as progressed, the Bucs have thrown fewer times per game and relied on the run more. Caddy has played 11 games, after missing 2 due to injury. He is averaging 20 carries per game. This average has come down some from the insane number of rushes earlier in the year. He will not be able to hold up for long averaging 300+ carries per year. With 223 carries, Williams has 924 yards for a 4.1 ypc. and 5 TDs. Williams is explosive with 7 carries of 20+ yards. Williams is a good receiver but does not have many passes thrown to him. He has caught 16 passes for 67 yards. Williams is solidly built at 5’11, 217 lbs.

Comparables:

High Side – Clinton Portis (5’11, 212 lbs). Portis, like Williams, has the speed to take almost any carry to the house. In addition, their teams give them 20+ carries per game. Simply put: both are workhorse backs that have game-breaking ability.

Low Side – Lee Suggs (6’, 206). Suggs has very good talent but is the ultimate tease due to injuries. Granted, Suggs was not draft with the same expectations, but much has been expected of Suggs with mixed results. They each have oodles of talent, but Suggs seems to be a tease (just like D. Foster) who everyone says “what if”?

Equivalent – Ahman Green (6’, 218 lbs). Green is a steady workhorse back who is good out of the backfield. He has been a solid, steady performer for many years. Any young back would love to have Green’s credentials.

Caddy Williams should be a solid top 15 RB in Tampa for years to come. Presently, Tampa is using Alstot to vulture the short yardage and goal line carries, and Pittman is used in obvious passing downs. Another comparison for Williams might be between Ricky Watters on the high side (value/production-wise) and a Fred Taylor type of back. I see Caddy’s value as being high. His owners see the production and upcoming ROY. They see a star on the rise and are hesitant to trade the next big star. I see his ceiling as lower than most. He can be a solid RB8-15 for many years, barring injury. Just as with Brown, many are waiting to see if Williams can carry the load given the reduced touches in college. I see Caddy as a reserved or measured buy. His size is the same as many NFL stars. He will need to prove he is durable. Plus, the Bucs, and Gruden in particular, will need to show they how to utilize (and not overwork) Williams to is strengths. Williams does have the ability to be consistent runner for many years, just like Watters. To get Watters’ level, Williams will need to prove he can be versatile out of the backfield and prove more durable than Fred Taylor. Williams seems to get stronger as the game goes on with more and more carries. This is a two-edged sword. This is great news for fantasy owners. We all want our stud RB to get tons of carries, especially ones that seem to get stronger with each one. But, this workload might also expose durability issues for Williams. He did have an injury history at Auburn. Something to consider.

Cedric Benson - Benson is a pounding back that is the type of runner who gets stronger as the game goes on. He went to the ideal team, the Bears. But, no one counted on Thomas Jones playing so well this year and staying injury free. Regardless, Benson has a bright future in Chicago. Benson has been slowed this year for a couple of reasons. First of all, he held out and missed most of training camp and preseason. This has stunted the growth of all who have gotten themselves in that situation. Secondly, a midseason knee injury stalled any momentum gained due to Jones’ rib injury. Benson runs “down hill” and with authority. He is a big guy at 5’10 and 215 lbs. He runs larger than the listed size, too.

Comparables:

High Side – Rudi Johnson. Rudi is a grind it out back that gets stronger as the game goes along. This situation might be like Rudi’s where it was not until his third year in the NFL, and a Dillon injury, when Rudi emerged. This prompted a Dillon trade. Strong play by Benson might force a Jones trade.

Low Side – Ron Dayne – Size and high draft pick. Dayne is an enigma who shows flashes, but in the end, it is obvious to all he cannot be relied upon to be the primary ball carrier. Dayne has the size, but thinks of himself as a finesse runner.

Equivalent – Mike Anderson in his prime. Anderson has been a stud, when healthy, on a team that likes to run the ball ... a lot. Benson has to prove that he is more durable than Mike the Marine. But, he is a workhorse type of back.

Benson proved to be durable and a workhorse in college. He started 43 games in college and ran for 5,500+ yards and 64 TDs. He very well could be on par with fellow Longhorn, Ricky Williams, even though they have different strengths. He could be a solid RB5-10 for ten years. He will probably be a guy who relies heavily on TDs to gain fantasy points. He will gain yards a plenty, but is strong at the goal line and will be used to punch in red zone TDs. Due to Benson’s injury and holdout, his value is low. I put Benson as a buy primarily because he will not be as expensive as one might think. Many Benson owners might be looking at Thomas Jones as a roadblock. But, in dynasty, talent rises to the top. In 2005, Benson has only 58 carries for 237 yards yielding a 4.1 ypc. He has flashed some speed with 3 carries on 20+ yards and long carry of 36 yards. My recommendation would be to try to buy Benson today. He is slowed coming back from injury. His knee is still “stiff”. But, if the Bears go deep in the playoffs, Benson might get a chance to show all watching what he is made of – including the Bears and the Benson owners. If you believe in Benson, now is the time to buy.

Now, for the discussion part of the thread. I welcome all feedback on my post as well as I would like all to fill in the blanks below with a player's name and why:

Brown :

High Side -

Low Side -

Most Probable -

Williams:

High Side -

Low Side -

Most Probable -

Benson:

High Side -

Low Side -

Most Probable -

Once again, I welcome all feedback and realize many here know much more than I do about grading and evaluating young NFL players. A quick thanks out to Bloom who has helped me through this process. Due to space, I will do another one of these (IF people want) for another 3-4 rookie RBs soon.

 
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Biabreakable

Footballguy
I wonder what Doug Drien's historical statistical comparison might say about these Rbs.. perhaps have to wait until the end of the year for the comparison to be made.. but might prove interesting.I like the comparison of Caddy to Portis. This was my impression before he added some muscle (Portis has now also in Washington). If he had not been hurt and Alsuck did not steal 7 TDs from him (1 recieving) he would be far and away the clear cut best Rb from this class. I still think he is and I do not expect him to share in 2006. He has been getting worked into the passing game slowly. I expect that to increase next year also.The Bucs need to improve thier Oline and that is what I expect the focus to be on this offseason.I see Alstott going away after this year and Pittman phased out by 2007.The injury risk is a concern but Portis has had those issues as well in his career. Seems like the most likely comparison although the TDs the Bronco's produced (with Portis) will probobly not be there with the Bucs. Somthing more like 10-12 TD is more my expectation.Ricky Williams is playing for cheap and may be part of the picture with the Dolphins for the next 2 years so this hurts Brown imo. He seems more like Lamont Jordan to me although I think he is better than that. Not sure what Rb from the past might be a better comparison off the top of my head but he does not seem like Edge to me. I agree Duece McCallister is another possible similarity.I have not seen enough of Cedric Benson for a fair comparison but as much as he may not like it Ricky Williams might be the closes't Rb from recent past like him. If Thomas Jones keeps playing this well his numbers might look more like Barlow with Hearst in SF for the next 2 years.Cedric Houston reminds me of Mike Rozier. Have not seen enough of him yet though. Interested in how he does this week.. could be a jump in performance from getting the 1st game jitters out of the way but we will have to see about that. He does not appear to be a 3 down Rb though. Maybe more like Anthony Thomas or Antwain Smith for more recent Rb comparisons.Im interested in talking about more of the rookies than the Big 3 if you want to do a write up.

 

wannabee

Footballguy
I wonder what Doug Drien's historical statistical comparison might say about these Rbs.. perhaps have to wait until the end of the year for the comparison to be made.. but might prove interesting.

I like the comparison of Caddy to Portis. This was my impression before he added some muscle (Portis has now also in Washington). If he had not been hurt and Alsuck did not steal 7 TDs from him (1 recieving) he would be far and away the clear cut best Rb from this class. I still think he is and I do not expect him to share in 2006. He has been getting worked into the passing game slowly. I expect that to increase next year also.

The Bucs need to improve thier Oline and that is what I expect the focus to be on this offseason.

I see Alstott going away after this year and Pittman phased out by 2007.

The injury risk is a concern but Portis has had those issues as well in his career. Seems like the most likely comparison although the TDs the Bronco's produced (with Portis) will probobly not be there with the Bucs. Somthing more like 10-12 TD is more my expectation.

Ricky Williams is playing for cheap and may be part of the picture with the Dolphins for the next 2 years so this hurts Brown imo. He seems more like Lamont Jordan to me although I think he is better than that. Not sure what Rb from the past might be a better comparison off the top of my head but he does not seem like Edge to me. I agree Duece McCallister is another possible similarity.

I have not seen enough of Cedric Benson for a fair comparison but as much as he may not like it Ricky Williams might be the closes't Rb from recent past like him. If Thomas Jones keeps playing this well his numbers might look more like Barlow with Hearst in SF for the next 2 years.

Cedric Houston reminds me of Mike Rozier. Have not seen enough of him yet though. Interested in how he does this week.. could be a jump in performance from getting the 1st game jitters out of the way but we will have to see about that. He does not appear to be a 3 down Rb though. Maybe more like Anthony Thomas or Antwain Smith for more recent Rb comparisons.

Im interested in talking about more of the rookies than the Big 3 if you want to do a write up.
Thanks. If there is a decent response, I will do a few more, and go from there.
 

tri-man 47

Footballguy
Nicely done - thanks! If you do more, I'll be listening. With mid-season pick-ups of both Barber and Houston, I've got some tough keeper decisions coming up this spring. I'll be looking for any and all educated opinions!

 

Bloom

Moderator
I love the game of finding good compares for young players. My stab:Brown :High Side - DeuceLow Side - BarlowMost Probable - slightly better version of DDavis/JordanWilliams:High Side - SALow Side - Fred Taylor/Thomas JonesMost Probable - PortisBenson:High Side - DillonLow Side - Anthony ThomasMost Probable - JLewis

 

KTM

Braaaaaaaaaap
I love the game of finding good compares for young players. My stab:Williams:High Side - SALow Side - Fred Taylor/Thomas JonesMost Probable - Portis
Spot on I think...I'm bummed that I wasn't able to get him in any of my dynasty leagues...
 

Portis 26

Madden Freak
Excellent analysis. My only gripe would be the comparison of Ronnie Brown to Deuce McAllister. Deuce strikes me as more of a moves guy while Brown strikes me as more of a powerful pounder with speed. I'd compare Brown more to Eddie George in his prime.

 

Riffraff

Footballguy
A Closer Look at the 2005 Rookie RB Class

First, I would like to look at a few of the higher profile RBs in the 2005 draft class. I will focus on those drafted highly and not the free agent rookies and lower draft picks.
Not meant as as slam of any kind.Comparing only Brown, Williams, and Benson is like a redrafter comparing LT, SA, and Priest earlier this pre-season. Dynasty leagues need more than just the "who's number 1 over-all" debate.

That being said, nice write-up on the top dogs. Please do more on the "other" RBs of their class. You got some starting this week with Arrington, Houston, Gore, and Moats.

Dig deep.

 

wannabee

Footballguy
A Closer Look at the 2005 Rookie RB Class

First, I would like to look at a few of the higher profile RBs in the 2005 draft class.  I will focus on those drafted highly and not the free agent rookies and lower draft picks. 
Not meant as as slam of any kind.Comparing only Brown, Williams, and Benson is like a redrafter comparing LT, SA, and Priest earlier this pre-season. Dynasty leagues need more than just the "who's number 1 over-all" debate.

That being said, nice write-up on the top dogs. Please do more on the "other" RBs of their class. You got some starting this week with Arrington, Houston, Gore, and Moats.

Dig deep.
In the thread, it says that I will do others if well received and that not all can be covered due to space concerns. I think this was plenty long as it is. Since this is a dyansty look, it is most focused on giving perspective for the future, not week-to-week.
 

wannabee

Footballguy
A Closer Look at the 2005 Rookie RB Class Part Two

I realize many will have a different take on some of the guys than I do. I will only be able to a few at a time due to space and time constraints. Once again, if well received, I will do another round. Any and all feedback is appreciated. This will, in no way, is exhaustive. Many on this board are much better dynasty experts than I am, but here it goes:

First, I will like to look at a few of the higher profile RBs in the 2005 draft class. I will focus on those drafted highly and not the free agent rookies and lower draft picks. Whenever I attempt to evaluate a young RB, the hardest part for me is trying to articulate an equivalent RB in terms of ability and value. I will try to include the ceiling and floor, including most likely comparison. In addition, since it is dynasty, I will weigh the talent portion heavily while barely touching on circumstance and opportunity. Some comparables might seem a stretch, but is my best estimate.

2005:

Ryan Moats - has looked explosive at times. He is shifty and has decent speed, but good quickness. He is a shifty, elusive runner. Moats seems to be a back who is bottled up for plays at a time. Then, when you are least expecting, he breaks off a decent run. Moats is a guy most think is slight of build, but is stocky. He is 5’8” and 210 lbs. He started one game in 2005 and played seven games total. He was inactive and nicked up early in the season. The Eagle coaching staff seemed to do a good job of bringing Moats along slowly. Moats ends the season strong due to the Westbrook injury. He had 55 carries for 278 yards, yielding a whopping 5.1 ypc. He broke off a long run of 59 yards, and three of 20+ yards. Moats will need to work hard to stay away from being thought of as primarily a 3rd down, change-of-pace back. I do not want to dash hopes, but I do not see Moats as a viable fantasy option for the future.

Comparables:

High Side – Tiki Barber (5’10”, 200 lbs). Only recently, the Giants have figured out how to use Barber the best and most productive ways. The Eagles are still trying to identify the best ways to utilize Moats. But, Moats, somewhat lacking Barber’s tremendous receiving ability, could achieve Barber’s high yardage per touch and ability to change games.

Low Side – Kevin Faulk (5’8”, 202 lbs). Faulk is not thought of anything more than a 3rd down back. He has, and will, been a guy who is a decent complimentary player. Moats will need to establish that he has more to offer.

Equivalent – Tatum Bell (5’11, 213 lbs). Like Bell, I see Moats at peak efficiency with a maximum of 12-15 touches per game. But, in those touches, Moats has a chance to change games. Moats is quick, while Bell has blazing speed. I realize the differences in their capabilities, but look at it more from a standpoint of how they are used.

Moats definitely has a chance to be a difference maker in the NFL. He has the talent to be a top 20 fantasy RB for years. Like stated earlier, Moats will need to prove he deserves the 12-15 touches per game, and not a 3rd down only back who returns kicks. The difference for fantasy owners is the difference between a Kevin Faulk/Amos Zereous type guy and a Charlie Garner type of back. Garner had a six seasons where he averaged above 4.5 ypc. Granted, not all of these guys have the same style or assets. But, I think the comparisons are valid.

Marion Barber- Barber has played very well carrying the load, when asked. Barber is a grinder type of back who has deceptive speed and quickness. Most underestimate is speed/power combination. In addition, Barber has proved himself worthy in the passing game. He has been an asset with his pass catching abilities. Barber has played 13 games, starting 2 of the games. Barber does seem to be a back who could be a workhorse type with good speed and deceptive power and tackle breaking ability. Barber had 138 carries for 538 yards yielding a 3.9 ypc. and 5 TDs. Barber showed his explosiveness with 3 carries of 20+ yards and 28 of the 138 carries going for a first down. Barber is a good receiver and was used as such. He has caught 18 passes for 115 yards. Barber is sturdily built at 5’11, 218 lbs.

Comparables:

High Side – Emmitt Smith I know this sounds extreme, but Barber could have this type of ceiling. He, like Emmitt, punish defenders and seem to finish runs off by falling forward.

Low Side – Willie Green (6’, 214). We did (do) not get a feel for Green’s level of talent (or lack thereof) because he was always mired in a RBBC and could not differentiate himself from the competition. Hopefully, Barber will prove that the flashes of stardom seen in 2005 are reality, not a mirage.

Equivalent – Reuben Droughns (5’11”, 215 lbs). Droughns had 1600 total yards in 2005. He is a good receiver, to compliment his strong running between the tackles. He has proven that last year was not a fluke. Barber, like Droughns, could be a solid RB for several years. In addition, both runners will be able to handle 300+ carries and 30-50 catches a year. But, I would anticipate Barber getting more TDs. I chalk up Droughns’ lack of TDs to the Browns offense more than his talent and nose for the goal line.

Marion Barber definitely has the potential to be a solid Top 20 RB for years to come. Presently, Barber is stuck in a RBBC situation in Dallas with Julius Jones. Barber played well enough for Dallas to cut Anthony Thomas in midseason. I really like Barber for dynasty leagues. He has very good speed, some shiftiness, and good power. When he gets the opportunity, he will produce – just like he did this year. Interestingly, his measurables, TDs, and ypc are very close to that of Caddy Williams. And, both are waiting for sole control of the RB position. Barber could be a star. He runs with his pads low and rarely gets knocked back on contact. His speed lacks the “take it to the house” gear, but is fast enough to break off long runs on occasion. Also, Barber seems to get stronger with more carries. He is a strong runner between the tackles and runs hard. He is a buy with an eye to the future. Barber was in a RBBC in college and needs to prove that he can indeed handle the 300 catches most think he can. Only time will tell.

Ciatrick Fason - Fason is a big, pounding back - with very good speed - who was only used as a goal line and short yardage in 2005. He succeeded in this role in 2005. Of his 32 carries, four went for TDs and 12 for first downs. Since he was used mostly for short yardage, he had a low ypc of 1.9. I do not think this is indicative of his talent, just the carries he was given. Fason is a guy that has the size/speed/power measureables most NFL types drool over. Fason runs with authority and has the speed to take any run to the house. He is a big guy at 6’0 and 207 lbs. He runs larger than the listed size, too. Fason only had one year as a full time RB in college. He is still real raw as a football player. Fason, is a good runner and receiver, but poor blocker.

Comparables:

High Side –Chris Brown – (6’3”, 230 lbs) – Brown is taller and heavier than Fason. But the two have similar upright running styles. Brown is barely touching the hem of his potential.

Low Side – Ron Dayne –Dayne is an enigma who shows flashes, but in the end, it is obvious to all he cannot be relied upon to be the primary ball carrier. Dayne has the size, but thinks of himself as a finesse runner. I used this same example for Benson, too. Also, think James Jackson.

Equivalent – Jamal Robertson. Every preseason, we see Robertson show flashes of greatness. But, Robertson never seems to pull it all together. Maurice Hicks is another example.

Ciatrick Fason is a guy with tremendous upside. With all of the other RBs in Minnesota, and the prominent use of RBBC, Fason will be looking for opportunities to prove he can excel and handle the larger load. He flashed greatness at times at Florida, but seemed to be inconsistent. He possesses great physical tools, but is still raw as a football player. The change of coaching staffs might help Fason. Ideally, he would be used on first and second downs with Moore in on third down. This rotation would take advantage of Fason’s strengths. I still am not sold on Fason. I think he has a ton to prove in order to become the RB most hope he can become. I tend to stay away from guys who flash greatness, but cannot seem to sustain the level. He is the type of player everyone uses the words “potential” and “what if” continuously when referencing. The things Fason has going for him are his measurables: size, speed, and power. Working against Fason are: full scale RBBC, different coaching staff (unknown), poor blocker, and has not diffferentiated himself as of yet from less than great RBs. Maybe he will. But the NFL always has had guys who SHOULD be stars, but are not. He will have to prove he is another Chris Brown, not James Jackson. In the end, I see Fason as a tease for fantasy players.

Please feel free to comment on these backs. Also, I'd ask you to fill in the blanks below as to what the High Side, Low Side, and Equitable (Comparable) player would be and please state why:

Ryan Moats:

High Side:

Low Side:

Equitable:

Marion Barber:

High Side:

Low Side:

Equitable:

Ciatrick Fason:

High Side:

Low Side:

Equitable:

Thank you. Like I stated above, if there is interest, I will do more as time allows. I do appreciate all feedback.

 
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beto

Footballguy
Wow. Excellent job on Moats. I agree with all your comparisons there.Those that I differ:MB3 High side - no way is he ever an Emmitt. How about Ricky Watters? That is probaby even pushing it. I loved the Droughn comparison.Fason High side - Wow, Chris Brown has really put on the poundsLow side - DAYNE???? I think Fason is more athletic than Dayne ever was. Maybe Zack Crockett?

 

wannabee

Footballguy
Wow. Excellent job on Moats. I agree with all your comparisons there.

Those that I differ:

MB3 High side - no way is he ever an Emmitt. How about Ricky Watters? That is probaby even pushing it. I loved the Droughn comparison.

Fason High side - Wow, Chris Brown has really put on the pounds

Low side - DAYNE???? I think Fason is more athletic than Dayne ever was. Maybe Zack Crockett?
Barber - I see a star in the making. I might be on an island on this one, but I am good with that. Brown - Nice catch on the Brown weight. I fixed it. To be clear, I really think he might be closer to James Jackson and should have explained it better. I do not see much upside for Fason. That might be an unpopular belief. He came out of college as a raw talent with great measurables. We forget how Dayne was described as a very good balance of size and speed coming out of college. That is where I am coming from. Where does Crockett fit in? I do not understand. Are you saying that Crockett is a great athletic specimen like Fason?

Anyway, I appreciate the feedback. This is why I chose this format. We all see players differently in terms of comparisons. I like that. I think it is an unique way of projecting their NFL/fantasy future.

 

beto

Footballguy
We forget how Dayne was described as a very good balance of size and speed coming out of college. That is where I am coming from. Where does Crockett fit in? I do not understand. Are you saying that Crockett is a great athletic specimen like Fason?
I don't know how good of an athlete Crockett is. I was thinking more like career goalline back type of player.
 

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