Fantasy Football ADP Watch: Falling Running Backs (9/4)

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 5, 2009

SAN DIEGO - AUGUST 15:  Running back Julius Jones #30 of the Seattle Seahawks sits on the bench in the game with the San Diego Chargers on August 15, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.   The Seahawks won 20-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

With the season now a week away, we know the Bruno Boys Nation is starving for knowledge and last-minute fantasy advice before their upcoming weekend drafts. Leading up to Week 1, I, Bruno Boys Ziza, will be tackling the weekly running back risers and fallers for ESPN live draft ADP (Average Draft Position).

This week, the top fallers happen to be Julius Jones (-13.2), Jonathan Stewart (-8.2), Shonn Greene (-7.9), Earnest Graham (-7.7), and Derrick Ward (-6.9). I will be breaking down these players and giving the reasoning of why I believe or don’t believe that the movement down the draft boards is justifiable.

1. Julius Jones (Seattle Seahawks)

This week, Julius Jones took a -13.2 ADP hit, mainly due to Edgerrin James joining the Seattle Seahawks recently. While Jones will probably never achieve half of what was expected out of him when he was younger with the Dallas Cowboys, he still will be the most productive running back on this team. Don’t be surprised, though, if throughout the year the Seahawks go to a more evenly-spread workload.

Take Jones no higher than a RB4. He's not someone that you can rely on from week-to-week, and we all know consistency wins in fantasy football.

2. Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers)

We're approaching one week from the start of the regular season and Jonathan Stewart is still ailing, unable to right his leg injury. While Stewart claims that he will be ready for Week 1, leg injuries on running backs are not something to sneeze at.

While he remains a low-end RB2 or a high-end RB3, Stewart’s -8.2 ADP drop for ESPN drafts is very justifiable. What good is it to invest an early-round pick on a guy who is going to be on the injury report week-in and week-out?

3. Shonn Greene (New York Jets)

Shonn Greene’s rookie season looks to be one that will be spent behind both Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. That doesn’t mean that he is one that should be ignored; in fact, it should be completely the opposite. Despite his bruised ribs, Greene should start seeing a bit more game action as the season gets rolling, probably preparing for the departure of Jones down the road.

Also, with a rookie quarterback at the helm in Mark Sanchez, you can all but guarantee that the Jets will focus on their running game.

The -7.9 ADP should be thought of as a reaction to his injury, but from the Bruno Boys’ point of view, his ADP should be going in the opposite direction. Draft Greene towards the later rounds of your draft as a low-risk option who could be a fantasy factor by season's end.

4. Earnest Graham (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

This week, Earnest Graham experienced a -7.7 dip in his weekly ADP, and for good reason—Cadillac Williams has reemerged as a solid threat to take some playing time from both Graham and Derrick Ward. With the lack of talent at the quarterback position, it's easy to believe head coach Raheem Morris when he said that he is going to utilize all three of his running backs in a 2-2-1 backfield.

Graham still should see plenty of goal line opportunities, making him a solid low-end RB3, high-end RB4.

5. Derrick Ward (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

What applied to Earnest Graham applies to Derrick Ward, except that Ward is expected to be the most utilized back that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have. Even with three running backs getting time in the backfield, Ward remains a RB3.

His dip of -6.9 ADP is warranted, though, as with less carries comes less production. If you are in a PPR league, you can target Ward a round earlier as he should be the preferred back receiving the ball out of the backfield on passing downs.