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Fantasy Football Rankings 2012: Elite RBs You Cannot Trust

It happens.
It happens.Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Allan BrulettCorrespondent IISeptember 4, 2012

I love fantasy football, but I hate running backs.

Running backs get hurt often, get demoted frequently and get old fast. And because most fantasy owners still think in 1993 terms, running backs get drafted much, much higher than their value warrants. Especially the “elite” guys. 

Here are four “elite” guys I don’t trust at all this year:

 

Adrian Peterson

OK, listen. I get it. Freakish healer, superhero skills, fantasy-point machine, way ahead of schedule ever since his catastrophic knee injury Christmas Eve. Just repeat those last two words:

CHRISTMAS. EVE.

This guy tore his ACL and his MCL nine months ago. Sure, he might have a healing factor, like Wolverine, but he also might be rushing back. And an injured running back who is rushing back from that injury is a risk for other injuries, too, not just a setback to the original injury.

I would avoid him until I absolutely needed to gamble on upside. And if I did draft him, I would surely reach a couple rounds ahead for Toby Gerhart.

 

Steven Jackson

Steven has looked great in the preseason. He’s the only real option for the Rams in a league that is increasingly moving to a running-back-by-committee model. And he’s a solid receiver out of the backfield. 

These are all true.   

He’s been facing eight-man fronts for years and carrying all the other Rams on his back. He’s usually been dinged, but played through it. The Rams offense stinks.

And he’s 29 years old, a year older than running backs usually are when they start to decline.   

Those are also all true.  

Overall: Staying away.

 

Ahmad Bradshaw

He has a foot problem and a fumble problem. The former should concern you, and the latter drives Tom Coughlin insane with rage, which should also concern you. Those issues, plus the Giant presence—and future—of first-round pick David Wilson makes Ahmad undraftable. Period.

 

DeMarco Murray

The talent of the Cowboys’ RB has never been questioned. When he is on the field, he produces, both in college and in the NFL. But he has a history of significant leg injuries, both in college and in the NFL. 

Especially concerning: a history of hamstring problems. Hamstring pulls are not a freak injury. Hamstring pulls are a chronic problem. Making things worse for your fantasy team, the Cowboys have no clear backup to DeMarco for Murray owners to draft. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

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