Dynasty Rookie Draft: Running Back Breakdown

Nick DarinContributor IJune 10, 2009

TEMPE, AZ - MAY 2 :  Chris Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals returns a kickoff during a team minicamp at the team training facility on May 2, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Jonathan Willey/Getty Images)

This is the second installment of four.  This time I will rank the running backs.  Again I'll provide a short term impact, long term impact, and overall projection.  For the running backs I will rank them in fantasy order, but I will also provide the rank by impact in the real life game of football.

Running Backs:

1. Chris Wells (Arizona Cardinals): first nfl rank

Short Term: Wells, in my opinion, was the best pure back in the draft.  He runs with power and is hard to take down.  He can run to the outside and between the tackles. 

The only thing that could be a problem for Wells is that the Cardinals have two of the best wide receivers in the league, and they got to the Superbowl by throwing it a ton.  Wells will provide a balance, but he needs them to commit to the run for him to reach his full potential. 

Long Term: He could be big time down the road, once Warner retires.  With a new quarterback the run will be much more important and should be focused on.  The carries should increase for Wells and he should assert himself as the number one back leaving Tim Hightower in his dust. 

Plus no one knows how the Boldin situation will pan out so they could be looking at a one man show at wide receiver, thus even further causing the Cardinals to rely on the run.

Projection: Baring an injury Wells should be a punishing back that gets anywhere from seven to 12 touchdowns a season and somewhere north of one thousand yards rushing.  I feel that he should be the first person taken in dynasty drafts.  He has the best situation of any of the running backs and he will make an immediate impact.

2. LeSean McCoy ( Philadelphia Eagles): third nfl rank

Short Term: Westbrook is hurt... surprise surprise.  The Eagles are running out of time they need to make a move soon.  McNabb is getting older and the defense is aging. 

They will count on McCoy to lighten the load on Westbrook and he is just one tackle away from being the number one back on a team that features the running back as the center piece of the offense.  Not to mention Westbrook has been a top fantasy producer and his back ups have come in and done very well also.

Long Term: Westbrook is old and hurting.  Sooner rather than later he will be taking over the work load and become the number one back in the city of brotherly love.  McCoy is a Westbrook clone so he should have no problem stepping in for Westbrook when needed.

Projection: The potential to become a top five back is real. If he can stay healthy and pick up the speed of the game he could be a huge steal for some one about two to three years down the road.  I would suggest taking him in the top five in any rookie fantasy draft. He will be able to be had a little later because he doesn't have the star studded names like Wells and Moreno.

3. Knowshon Moreno (Denver Broncos): second nfl rank

Short Term: Denver has a ton of running backs with out a ton of talent.  Moreno should have no problem taking the number one spot.  He can do it all, but McDaniels could be the issue for him.  McDaniels has used a different running back for ever situation in New England and I don't see that changing too much.  He will make an impact though.

Long Term: He is by far the best back on the team and he should take a choke hold on the running back position by the end of the season.  Again I am worried that he might be stuck as a great back in a committee.  He has the skill set and the offensive line but I am still a little frightened by McDaniels.

Projection: He could become a superstar.  I feel he has more star potential than Wells and McCoy, but who knows whats going to happen in Denver.  Both Philly and Arizona are much more stable.

If McDaniels doesn't run Cutler out of town he is hands down the best value, but with Orton I worry that people will not fear the pass and they will key in on Moreno.  Still he is far to good to pass up on, he is the safe pick at No. 2 overall. 

4. Donald Brown (Indianpolis Colts): fourth nfl rank

Short Term: As an Addai owner, I know how durable he is.  Addai gets banged up so often it's sickening.  Brown will get a few starts in the season and with Manning working the helm Brown will get his touches.  Brown could steal the show and have a great season much like Addai did in his rookie year.

Long Term: They have a great one two punch in Indy.  You can count on Addai getting hurt so he will get some starts and he may steal a goal line touchdown or two.  Plus you never know if they will resign or extend Addai so in a couple years you could have the number one back in Indy.

Projection: He will be a good spot starter or bye week starter in his first season.  With a well timed injury you could land the No. 1 back in Indy for a playoff run.  I see him as a solid but not awesome player.  I would select him in the middle to end of the first round.  He will help out and with an injury he could be an every week starter.

5. Shon Greene (New York Jets): fifth nfl rank

Short Term: He will see some carries but is going to need an injury to get significant playing time.  He doesn't have blazing speed but he does have "it."  He can play and the Jets are going to run the ball a lot.  He could steal some goal line touches and he could also see some time in the passing game.

Long Term: Jones is going to be gone soon, and I am not really sure what to make of Leon Washington.  Some games he is great some games he doesn't take a snap on offense.  Greene will take over for Jones when he departs New York so you will have a solid player here once he takes the controls.

Projection: He is a late first round to early second round pick.  He will not do too much this year but he will make an impact in the coming seasons.  Plus there is no telling how the Jones hold-out will play out so he could see playing time sooner rather than later.

Honorable Mentions:

Glenn Coffee (San Francisco 49ers): Gore presents a problem, but he could make an impact in short yardage or if Gore goes down.

Javon Ringer (Tennessee Titans): Needs an injury but he had the skills in college monitor him during camp and see what they think about him.  LenDale’s contract is up after this year so that could help.

James Davis (Cleveland Browns): Lewis is old, and the Browns are bad.  Davis could make an impact if Lewis goes down or if they try and make a youth movement.


The Wide Receivers rankings will be up in a little bit. Also if anyone wants to know about a certain player or how I feel about a rookie just drop a note an I'll get back to you ASAP.  Please refer to my article on the QB's if you want to see how they are ranked http://bleacherreport.com/articles/195638-dynasty-rookie-draft-quarterback-breakdown.