Updated Fantasy Football Preseason Rankings: Running Back

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Updated Fantasy Football Preseason Rankings: Running Back
(Photo by NFL Photos)

By Derek of The Sportmeisters

Hello, Football Fans! The preseason is almost over, so I thought I would update my Preseason Fantasy Rankings for the Running Backs. Let’s do it!

 

1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

Projection: 330 Carries 1600 Yards 13 TD 25 Receptions 225 Yards 1 TD

Updated Projection: 345 Carries 1715 Yards 14 TD 30 Receptions 275 Yards 2 TD

 

2. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons

Projection: 330 Carries 1475 Yards 14 TD 6 Receptions 50 Yards

 

3. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers

Projection: 275 Carries 1245 Yards 11 TD 45 Receptions 375 Yards 2 TD

Updated Projection: 295 Carries 1355 Yards 12 TD 50 Receptions 425 Yards 3 TD

Most people say that LT is on the decline, or that he won’t return to his fantasy greatness. I disagree. I think moving him up from No. 4 to No. 3 shows that. I think he was hurt more than he let on last year. Now that he is healthy and that Philip Rivers has proven that he can beat a defense, he will be much more effective.

He will lose carries to Darren Sproles, but not as many as you may think. He should remain a high first-round pick, but most people will pass on him possibly leading to a late-round steal.

 

4. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars

Projection: 265 Carries 1150 Yards 10 TD 65 Receptions 575 Yards 3 TD

 

5. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Projection: 300 Carries 1200 Yards 9 TD 58 Receptions 450 Yards 3 TD

Updated Projection: 310 Carries 1255 Yards 10 TD 60 Receptions 475 Yards 3 TD

 

6. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers

Projection: 270 Carries 1275 Yards 11 TD 20 Receptions 150 Yards 1 TD

Updated Projection: 285 Carries 1355 Yards 12 TD 25 Receptions 185 Yards 2 TD

Williams moves up from No. 7 to 6 mainly due to Jonathan Stewart’s injury and the fact that he hasn’t practiced nor played in the preseason. Stewart may miss some time at the beginning of the year. Without Stewart to take some of his carries, Williams gets the ball more and racks up a few more yards and maybe an extra touchdown or two.

 

7. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams

Projection: 315 Carries 1325 Yards 11 TD 55 Receptions 450 Yards 1 TD

 

8. Steve Slaton, Houston Texans

Projection: 295 Carries 1255 Yards 8 TD 50 Receptions 325 Yards 2 TD

Updated Projection: 305 Carries 1355 Yards 8 TD 55 Receptions 375 Yards 3 TD

The 2008 sleeper of the year produced huge numbers as a rookie. Slaton carried the ball 268 times for 1282 yards and caught 50 passes for 377 yards with 10 total touchdowns. Even though Coach Kubiak has said that he will lose goal line carries, I still have moved him up from No. 9 to 8 due to his speed and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Look for Slaton to put up similar numbers to his rookie year.

 

9. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers

Projection: 285 Carries 1200 Yards 8 TD 45 Receptions 365 Yards 2 TD

 

10. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

Projection: 260 Carries 1200 Yards 9 TD 40 Receptions 325 Yards 2 TD

 

11. Marion Barber, Dallas Cowboys

Projection: 255 Carries 1050 Yards 11 TD 40 Receptions 320 Yards 1 TD

 

12. Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants

Projection: 255 Carries 1175 Yards 13 TD 10 Receptions 50 Yards

 

13. Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia Eagles

Projection: 240 Carries 1055 Yards 8 TD 50 Receptions 425 Yards 4 TD

 

14. Kevin Smith, Detroit Lions

Projection: 255 Carries 1050 Yards 8 TD 35 Receptions 275 Yards 2 TD

Updated Projection: 270 Carries 1175 Yards 9 TD 40 Receptions 315 Yards 2 TD

Smith had an up-and-down rookie year. He started out slow and was considered a bust for the first half of the year, but he bounced back with 708 yards and five touchdowns in the last eight games. He also was used as a receiver, catching 39 balls for 286 yards.

The Lions got rid of Rudi Johnson, but brought in Maurice Morris. However, Smith is still expected to be the featured back. I have moved him up from No. 16 to 14 because he is expected to be the focal point of the offense and has looked good in the preseason. Expect him to go in the early rounds, most likely between rounds three and five.

 

15. Clinton Portis, Washington Redskins

Projection: 300 Carries 1275 Yards 9 TD 30 Receptions 200 Yards

 

16. Thomas Jones, New York Jets

Projection: 255 Carries 1100 Yards 10 TD 25 Receptions 150 Yards 1 TD

 

17. Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts

Projection: 240 Carries 1000 Yards 7 TD 35 Receptions 300 Yards 2 TD

Updated Projection: 245 Carries 1055 Yards 8 TD 40 Receptions 325 Yards 2 TD

So a guy has one bad year and everyone is off the bandwagon? Addai was hurt last year and was a big-time bust, only rushing for 544 yards and scoring seven total touchdowns in just 12 games. Not to mention that the Colts drafted Donald Brown this year to take his carries.

However, I think Addai will bounce back and have the type of year he had when he shared time with Dominic Rhodes in his rookie year. I also haven't forgotten that his QB is Peyton Manning, and because of that I have moved him up from No. 20 to 17. You may be able to steal Addai in the middle rounds.

 

18. Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints

Projection: 235 Carries 950 Yards 8 TD 33 Receptions 325 Yards 2 TD

 

19. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders

Projection: 220 Carries 945 Yards 6 TD 38 Receptions 330 Yards 2 TD

Updated Projection: 230 Carries 1000 Yards 7 TD 40 Receptions 345 Yards 2 TD

 

20. Ryan Grant, Green Bay Packers

Projection: 290 Carries 1175 Yards 7 TD 15 Receptions 100 Yards

 

21. Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo Bills

Projection: 230 Carries 925 Yards 7 TD 25 Receptions 150 Yards 1 TD

 

22. Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs

Projection: 255 Carries 1050 Yards 7 TD 20 Receptions 245 Yards

 

23. Ronnie Brown, Miami Dolphins

Projection: 235 Carries 975 Yards 7 TD 35 Receptions 275 Yards 1 TD

 

24. Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints

Projection: 165 Carries 550 Yards 5 TD 70 Receptions 535 Yards 4 TD

 

25. LenDale White, Tennessee Titans

Projection: 195 Carries 800 Yards 11 TD 5 Receptions 20 Yards

 

26. Willie Parker, Pittsburgh Steelers

Projection: 275 Carries 1100 Yards 7 TD 10 Receptions 100 Yards

 

27. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers

Projection: 195 Carries 855 Yards 8 TD 12 Receptions 75 Yards

 

28. Jamal Lewis, Cleveland Browns

Projection: 265 Carries 1000 Yards 6 TD 20 Receptions 135 Yards

 

29. Chris Wells, Arizona Cardinals

Projection: 215 Carries 945 Yards 6 TD 15 Receptions 120 Yards

 

30. Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts

Projection: 200 Carries 875 Yards 6 TD 22 Receptions 215 Yards 1 TD

 

As you can see, not much has changed, but I have updated my projections based on their preseason play. The RB position is the most important position in fantasy football, so choose wisely. Any questions or concerns, email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.

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