2012 Running Back Rankings
The WMFL team brings you their running back rankings and also discusses the discrepancy in some of their rankings.
Players of contention:
Rizzla (20): I have Ahmad Bradshaw ranked at 20 as I still believe he has RB2 upside, but I have him ranked lower than some others as he now has to deal with the more talented David Wilson nipping at his heels. Bradshaw has some explosiveness but Wilson is a true game breaker and a WMFL favorite. I would not be surprised if Bradshaw lost his job while out with injury a la DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones last year.
Zach (16): Bradshaw has had his share of injury problems over his short career, but when he’s healthy he’s very productive. I like the potential Wilson has I just don’t like it as much as other people seem to. I don’t see the running back situation in New York too different from the one they had when Brandon Jacobs was splitting carries with Bradshaw. Additionally, Bradshaw is a better pass-catching running back and will be more productive in the passing game.
Rizzla (15): I always love when rookie running backs fall into the right situation, and this year that honor goes to Doug Martin. With Ray Rice’s old coach in town I look for Martin to become a household fantasy name despite the presence of Blount. Martin has every down skills which is important if playing from behind and comes with RB1 upside.
Zach (20): I actually really like the potential of Martin this season and I probably should have him ranked higher. He’s been taking first team reps but I think LeGarrette Blount will take away some goal-line carries from Martin. Plus there is that rookie factor.
Jonathan Stewart: Zach has lower than Rizzla (26 to 16)
Rizzla (16): I love Jonathan Stewart and have since he came into the league. I have him pegged as a top-5 talent at the running back position and only DeAngelo and Cam stealing carries have prevented me from having him in the top-12. He is now the passing down back and his 55% of snaps last season ranked 5th amongst all backs. You may not need to take him as the 16th back off the board but he will produce as a top-15 back when this season’s dust settles.
Zach (26): I have four reasons why I am hesitant to pick up Jonathan Stewart this season: 1) DeAngelo Williams 2) Cam Newton 3) Mike Tolbert 4) Injury concerns. Williams, Newton, and Tolbert will take away many of Stewart’s opportunities. The Panthers essentially have four running backs to split the carries. Additionally, Stewart has only totaled six touchdowns the past two seasons combined after scoring 10 each of the previous two seasons. Stewart certainly doesn’t lack the talent but I don’t trust the backfield situation in Carolina.
Beanie Wells: Rizzla has lower than Zach (23 to 31)
Rizzla (31): I am a Beanie Wells fan, but I just like Ryan Williams a bit more with both coming off scary injuries. With no injuries I would have Wells on a do not draft list as I believe Williams was the clear superior talent pre-injury. This year I am taking the leap on Williams in all leagues and will not be drafting Beanie anywhere but I would not go as far as to say do not draft him at all. I never like situations where the backup is more talented than the starter…that is just asking for trouble and fantasy disappointment.
Zach (23): Last season was the most productive of Beanie’s career by far, totaling 1,047 yards and 10 TD. Ryan Williams will take away some carries if he can stay healthy but Wells will still see most of the carries, especially on the goal-line.
Rizzla (22): Similar to Ryan Williams, LeShoure is another 2nd year back who missed his rookie season but it also quite clearly the more talented back than the incumbent starter, in this case Jahvid Best. Best is a concussion risk who has already been asked about the ‘R’ word and LeShoure after his suspension to start the season shows every sign that he will take a hold of the starting job role in this explosive offense if healthy. Best may be the PPR back to own and be the true starter but LeShoure will likely lead the backfield in carries and touchdowns when the season is all said and done. LeShoure could be fantasy ADP MVP worthy at his current asking price.
Zach (41): Last offseason Leshoure tore his Achilles and now he’s dealing with a hamstring injury and is missing out on quality practice time. He’s proving to be a fragile running back, which is the kind of running back I like to stay away from. Detroit’s starting running back, Jahvid Best, has is own injury concerns, but I still don’t trust Leshoure, especially not when he hasn’t seen one touch in the NFL yet.
Written by Win My Fantasy League Senior Sports Writer/Fantasy Sports Analyst Raju Byfield (Rizzla).