Fantasy Football ADP Watch: Rising Running Backs (9/2)

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 3, 2009

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 27:  Running back Carnell Williams #24 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 27, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

With the season quickly approaching, Bruno Boys Nation is starving for knowledge and I, Bruno Boys Ziza, am here to oblige. Leading up to Week 1 I will be tackling the weekly running back risers and fallers for ESPN live draft ADP (Average Draft Position). This week we tackle Cadillac Williams (+28.1), James Davis (+21.4), Glen Coffee (+21.3), Edgerrin James (+14.3), Leon Washington (+11.1), Ray Rice (+10.4) and Chris “Beanie” Wells (+8.2). I will be breaking down these players and giving the reasoning of why I believe or don’t believe that the movement is justifiable.

1. Cadillac Williams (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – With a rise of +28.1 in the ADP for ESPN drafts this week, there is no doubt that people are starting to take notice. Cadillac Williams made his preseason debut against the Miami Dolphins this week and was pretty successful, looking a lot like his old self. Remember though, things have changed since his rookie year in 2005. He is coming off of his second major knee surgery and will be splitting carries with Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham. Any way you look at it, Williams will be getting some touches thus making him a player that you may want to take a chance on late in standard scoring, deep drafts.

2. James Davis (Cleveland Browns) – With head coach Eric Mangini coming out and stating that he hopes all of the running backs come out and carve a role on this team, there is tons of excitement in the air about James Davis. He jumped up two rounds with a +21.4 in ADP this week and his main competition is the aging and underachieving Jamal Lewis. With Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post reporting that Lewis’ might be a roster casualty in Cleveland it means Davis’ has a legitimate shot of getting carries right out of the gate. And if the preseason success of Davis is any indication of what fantasy owners should expect throughout the season they have themselves a keeper for years to come. Davis has been that good!

3. Glen Coffee (San Francisco 49ers) – During the last few years, the concern in San Francisco has been who will be the man carrying the rock if Frank Gore goes down with injury. That problem seems to be waning a little as Glen Coffee has enjoyed a solid preseason so far in his rookie year. The +21.3 increase in ADP shows that fantasy owners are starting to take notice of his good vision, speed and ability to get the extra yard. While he remains no more than a handcuff for Frank Gore owners, he is still someone you will want to keep your eye on in case injury does beset Gore.

4. Edgerrin James (Seattle Seahawks) – While his prime is certainly passed him, Edgerrin James is giving it another go, this time in a Seattle Seahawks uniform. His main competition is Julius Jones; someone that certainly is not superior to James. Don’t be surprised if James starts to get more and more of an equal share in touches as he grows more accustomed to the organization. The +14.3 in the ADP this week isn’t really much to concern yourself with as the running back has a shot at a decent, but unspectacular season. Draft him no higher than your RB4, but know that James can win the job and carry the workload in Seattle you could get RB3 production out of Edge.

5. Leon Washington (New York Jets) – It is no surprise that Leon Washington is starting to really move up the charts, this week another +11.1 spots, being the 127.2 person off the draft boards. He will continue to split time with Thomas Jones and to a lesser extent Shonn Greene, but his extremely encouraging preseason has caught the eye of many fantasy football owners. Draft him no higher than your RB4, but know that in any given week he could produce as a RB2.

6. Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens) – Being a major component of the three-headed monster for the Baltimore Ravens, Ray Rice is starting to distance himself some from his counterparts. While LeRon McClain and Willis McGahee are expected to still share the workload, and McGahee is being considered as a goal-line option, Rice has been by far the most impressive during the preseason. His +10.4ADP this week in all ESPN live drafts shows that his success is getting noticed. Rice starts the year as a RB3, but with Baltimore being a run first football team the upside is enough to where he is a RB3 that you should actually covet.

7. Chris Wells (Arizona Cardinals) – The good news is that Chris “Beanie” Wells scored two TD’s this past week. The bad news is that he still is no where near 100% according to the man himself. Having Tim Hightower in the backfield allows for Wells to get healthy without much urgency. It is pretty safe to say that until Wells ankle heals, he can not be relied upon heavily to be one of your main backs on your team. Pass on Wells unless you can get him as your low-end RB3 in 12-team leagues. The +8.2 rise in the ADP over the past week and his multiple TD game is an indicator that fantasy owners’ have hoped back on the “Beanie” bandwagon.