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College Fantasy Football: Playing Devil's Advocate With The Top RB's

Todd at CollegeFootballGeek.comCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 30:   Runningback LeGarrette Blount #9 of the University of Oregon Ducks hurdles a player en route to a touchdown during his team's 42-31 win over the Oklahoma State University Cowboys in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium on December 30, 2008 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Most of the college fantasy football preseason is spent praising players.  In this article, we’re turning the tables.

We play a little Devil’s Advocate, giving you a few reasons to worry about the top running backs on our Big Board.

This article isn’t meant to scare the bejeezus out of you, throw your hands up in the air and wonder if there are ANY running backs worth taking in the first round.

No, the intent of this article is simply to highlight the fact that there are many flaws at the top of the running back pecking order this year.  There is no one running back that stands head and shoulders above the rest.  It’s more of a pack of eight or nine guys, all of which have the ability to be the No. 1 fantasy in the land by season’s end.

Running Backs

1. Andre Anderson, Tulane

Reason for concern: He’s coming off a serious shoulder injury.  His quarterback leaves much to be desired.  The Green Wave went 2-10 last year.  How many rushes can Andre get when his team is playing from behind in most games?

Level of concern: Medium

2. Bryce Beall, Houston

Reason for concern: Are you a believer in the sophomore slump?  There are whispers that incoming freshman Charles Sims could steal some of Beall’s thunder if he’s as good as advertised.  Sims has the breakaway speed that Beall lacks.

Level of concern: Low

3. James Starks, Buffalo

Reason for concern: Veteran quarterback Drew Willy graduated.  Only five offensive starters return.  Buffalo isn’t going to sneak up on anybody this year after winning the MAC East in a miraculous season.

Level of concern: Low

4. Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State

Reason for concern: Injuries. Can he handle the workload without breaking down?  He wasn’t able to finish the season last year.

Level of concern: Medium

5. Jahvid Best, Cal

Reason for concern: Inconsistency.  Best will follow up a 235-yard gem with a 67-yard clunker.  Also, Shane Vereen will spell Best just enough to drive owners crazy.

Level of concern: Low

6. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State

Reason for concern: Hunter might be the player on this list with the cleanest situation.  Maybe Keith Tolston steals some carries at the goal line, but that’s nitpicking.

Level of concern: Low

7. LeGarrette Blount, Oregon

Reason for concern: You always worry about his weight and conditioning.  Can he lay off the hamburgers this fall?  His offensive line was a sieve in the spring.  His SOS is 23.

Level of concern: High

8. MiQuale Lewis, Ball State

Reason for concern: Head coach Brady Hoke is gone.  Star quarterback Nate Davis is gone.  The entire offensive line is gone.  Lots of question marks surround him.

Level of concern: High

9. DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma

Reason for concern: Injuries are always a concern as Murray has a hard time staying healthy.  And as we all know, Murray doesn’t get Adrian Peterson carries.  He share the load with Chris Brown and also Mossis Madu. 

Level of concern: Medium-well

10. Toby Gerhart, Stanford

Reason for concern: Stanford isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut.  Gerhart is the one guy that defenses will game plan against.  The Cardinal will be breaking in a new quarterback and are looking for other skill position players to step up and take the pressure off Toby.  Stanford also has a pretty tough SOS of 30.

Level of concern: Medium-rare

Todd DeVries is the founder of CollegeFootballGeek.com, your premier resource for all things college fantasy football.

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