Fantasy Football Brothers 2010 May RB Rankings

Bill ShermanContributor IMay 19, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Running back Ryan Mathews of Fresno State runs during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

It has been a strange, if not downright weird, few weeks here at the Brotherhood. First and foremost I am happy to announce and welcome another new member to the Brotherhood. Welcome to the Brotherhood Jason Daniel Michaud. This young man also doubles as my first nephew. I hope to see him helping us out with our 2020 draft kit.

As some of our readers might know our site was brought down by a hacker, our Director of Technology, who also just happens to be the father of J.D., has assured me that our site is again 100 percent safe and locked down. Now GoDaddy has some questions that need to be answered, but I will save that rant for another day. We again apologize to any of our reader’s that were inconvenienced by this brief interruption.

While we have been preparing our draft kit, putting together profiles, and doing hours upon hours of research, the ‘Hood has been able to break up all the writing with a few expert drafts that are still in progress. Please feel free to check out both leagues. One is a full Dynasty IDP league . We are in the middle of the rookie draft portion.  I picked eighth in the rookie draft and went with LB Rolando McClain. I was hoping a back would slide back to me, but there was no chance of that happening.

The other league is also new, it is a Dynasty IDP auction league . The ‘Hood has two teams in this league, and just let me say that there have been some shady moves by one of the teams (Fantasy Football Brothers II), with crack pot ideas and silly conspiracy theories flying around. The auction draft cardinal sin has also been broken: Bidding another owner up out of spite because Rob and I were building a juggernaut. Thankfully, cooler heads have prevailed, but there is a long way to go in this draft.

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This list is our first positional ranks of 2010. After the recent draft our ranks have a new look, with the addition of some promising rookies and also some guys on new teams following a few draft day trades. I didn’t put the rookies into our ranks this month, but they will be ranked in the months that follow. I have ranked them separately and gave a brief writeup to piece together where they would fit into these ranks.

Ryan Mathews-S.D.

Mathews will enter 2010 as the No. 1 rookie back and I like him a ton, as some of you might know from reading our NFL mock drafts. Mathews will see a minimum of 250 carries, barring any unforeseen circumstances. I would easily put him in the Top 15 right now. There is no one on the Chargers roster to threaten his touches, with the exception of Darren Sproles, who is nothing more than a third down back. The path is clear for him to be a RB1 and likely offensive rookie of the year. The Chargers and Norv Turner love to run the ball, after all it is his modus operandi.

Ben Tate-HOU

Tate will have to battle second year man Arian Foster for the starting job. Foster has some talent but Tate is built for this run friendly offense. Tate has power and speed and, if he is able to beat out Foster, Tate could be a quality RB2/Flex player. Also keep an eye on the progress of former starting back Steve Slaton, who suffered a nasty neck injury. Slaton will likely return to a third down/pass catching role. Tate would rank in the late 20’s early 30’s if he was on this list.

Jahvid Best-DET

Best has speed to burn, though his injury history is more than mildly concerning. He is a game changer and couldn’t have asked to land on a better team in the Lions. If RB Kevin Smith is still out with an injury, Best is likely to start and get a ton of touches, and he is also likely to split some duties with Maurice Morris. Best is not built for running between the tackles, but is a beast when put in space. He is an instant weapon in the passing and return game. Best would start out somewhere in the mid to late 20’s in our rankings.

Spiller might have been drafted first, but he will not be the first rookie back drafted in your league.

C.J. Spiller-BUF

Buffalo shocked the football world with this first round selection. The Bills have so many questions at other positions, like O-line and QB. This was not a need selection for a team that has a ton of needs. Add in the fact that the Bills spent a high draft pick a few years ago on Marshawn Lynch, coupled with the emergence of Fred Jackson in 2009, and this pick left many of us scratching our heads.

Spiller will never be an every down back, at least not until the RB logjam in Buffalo works itself out. He also needs to add a few pounds of muscle and show some durability. Spiller was occasionally dinged up, coming out of games with multiple injuries, but was usually able to return. He is a dual threat monster and can hit pay dirt from anywhere on the field. Spiller will likely take over the third down role/passing situations. He will return kick offs and probably punts.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Buffalo use him like Minnesota uses Percy Harvin. Spiller will see mostly carries, but he could find the field more than anyone is expecting if the Bills wisely use him in the slot. The receiving corps in Buffalo is not a strong group, outside of Lee Evans. Blessed with home run speed and great hands, he will make an immediate impact in Buffalo but his value in re-draft leagues leaves him somewhere in the mid-30’s.

Montario Hardesty-CLE

The Browns traded up in the second round to grab Hardesty at 59 overall. Hardesty has some potential but he was another back that was injured a bunch in college.  I always worry about players that are banged up all the time in college, because we all know that the NFL is much tougher and plays a longer season. Making matters worse is the fact that he will be playing in the AFC North which is a tough, smash mouth division.

The good news is the Browns didn’t draft him to sit and get splinters in his rear end. He will push Harrison for playing time right away. James Davis will further complicate the Browns back field situation and the only thing that would make it even worse is if they run a ton of Wild-Cat plays with WR Josh Cribbs. All that being said, there is some upside to this rookie and he would rank somewhere in the middle 40’s.

MAY RANKS

Who else did you expect?

1) Chris Johnson—TEN—RB
2,000 Yards will be impossible to repeat, but 1,800 yards would still be the likely best in 2010.

2) Adrian Peterson—MIN—RB
Peterson had a bad case of fumbilitis in 2009, and ball security will be a huge concern this season. There were more than a few really concerning fumbles in 09.

3) Maurice Jones-Drew—JAC—RB
The Jags still don’t have anyone that is a threat to cut into his carries this year.

4) Ray Rice—BAL—RB
Rice would be three if I wasn’t so worried about the Ravens using him less to save him for later in the year. McGahee is a legit threat to his early season stats.

5) Steven Jackson—STL—RB
The Rams have improved across the board, now they just have to take some pressure off of the run game.

6) Frank Gore—SFO—RB
Gore is in position to have a great season, playing each of the NFC West teams twice.

7) Cedric Benson—CIN—RB
Benson will be 100 percent to start the season; don’t sleep on him.

8) Michael Turner—ATL—RB
Turner’s season was derailed by ankle injuries in 2009. Look for a solid bounce back from Turner and the Falcons in 2010.

9) DeAngelo Williams—CAR—RB
A healthy Jonathan Stewart could cut into his carries, but breaking in a new QB might mean enough carries for all.

10) Ryan Grant—GRE—RB
I told our readers last year that Grant was a Top 12 back and his four rushing touchdowns were an aberration. Result: Career-high 10 rushing touchdowns.

11) Pierre Thomas—NOR—RB
With Bell off to Philly, Thomas looks to break out this year.

No Willie P. should be a good thing.

12) Rashard Mendenhall—PIT—RB
Big Ben’s suspension and the departure of Willie P. will result in a ton of carries for the third year pro. I still personally don’t trust him 100 percent.

13) Jamaal Charles—KAN—RB
Charles broke out big time last year. How do the Chiefs respond? By signing Thomas Jones.

14) Beanie Wells—ARI—RB
I like Wells a ton this year, but as long as Hightower is the goal-line guy, temper your expectations.

15) Shonn Greene—NYJ—RB
Greene showed the potential that everyone was hoping for in the playoffs.

16) Joseph Addai—IND—RB
Addai continues to be underrated despite his play in a prolific offense. RB Donald Brown doesn’t scare me anymore.

17) Knowshon Moreno—DEN—RB
Moreno’s rookie year was okay, but his yards per carry towards the end of the year are concerning. RB Correl Buckhalter is still in Denver and will continue to cut into his value.

18) Thomas Jones—KAN—RB
Jones goes from a team that had a great O-line to one that has a shaky one, at best. That scares the hell out of me.

19) Matt Forte—CHI—RB
Forte went from a Top 10 back to barely making the Top 20. Everything about the Bears’ offense was brutal, from the QB play to the O-line, and the lack of development of receivers spelled doom for Forte.

20) LenDale White—SEA—RB
White has moved from a lousy situation in Tennessee to a potentially great one in Seattle. Being reunited with his old coach will only help White in 2010.

21) Ronnie Brown—MIA—RB
Brown was off to a great start that was once again derailed due to an injury. Draft with caution.

22) Jonathan Stewart—CAR—RB
Stewart was drafted late in most leagues last season because of injury concerns. Stewart wasn’t expected to suit up for the first game, but ended up playing and filled in for the injured D.Will at the end of the season.

Stewart can make it a 50-50 share if he is 100 percent healthy in training camp.

23) Jerome Harrison—CLE—RB
Harrison was a beast towards the end of '09, but the Browns don’t appear to think that Harrison can handle the load after drafting Montario Hardesty. Also, there is still everyone’s not so super sleeper, James Davis, returning from a lost season.

24) Felix Jones—DAL—RB
Jones was made the starter this offseason, surpassing a struggling Marion Barber. If healthy, Jones can down right dominate—a big if.

25) Ahmad Bradshaw—NYG—RB
Bradshaw was able to pick up the slack of a banged up Jacobs and performed admirably. Has he maxed out his potential though?

26) Brandon Jacobs—NYG—RB
Jacobs played hurt all last year and his numbers, like his owners, suffered as a direct result.

27) LeSean McCoy—PHI—RB
Westbrook was out most of 2009 and McCoy did a decent job filling in. McCoy will be the starter for the Eagles, but how many touches he will see still appears to be up in the air.

28) Clinton Portis—WAS—RB
Portis was shut down due to a concussion in 2009. 2010 means that Portis will be reunited with his old coach Mike Shanahan and a RB friendly system. It looks like it will be his job to lose, but Larry Johnson and Willie Parker are right behind him.

29) Darren McFadden—OAK—RB
2010 will be a make or break year for the former No. 4 pick overall. Michael Bush will be lurking in the background, but it appears it is McFadden’s job to lose. Again.

30) Cadillac Williams—TAM—RB
Cadillac surprised many by leap frogging free-agent acquisition Derick Ward in the Week One depth chart. Williams played well and Ward never did anything to move past him during the season. The offense has improved but it is still very young. Look for Williams and Ward’s battle this offseason.

31) Fred Jackson—BUF—RB
Jackson was very effective, and sometimes dominating, while filling in for the suspended Marshawn Lynch. F. Jack eventually took the starting role over for the struggling Lynch. In 2010 the Bills drafted RB C.J. Spiller in the first round and never moved Lynch, further complicating the RB situation in Buffalo.

32) Fred Taylor—NEP—RB
Taylor was servicable, before being knocked out with an injury, and was never healthy again in 2009. 2010 is starting to look like a four man competition for carries, and what will most likely turn into another running back by committee.

33) Marion Barber—DAL—RB
Barber lost his starting job this offseason, but a back seat might be a good thing for him. If he can return to his old roll of goal line back, and get around 200 carries and 40+ passes, he could be a decent RB2/Flex option for owners.

34) Ricky Williams—MIA—RB
Williams again was asked to pick up the slack for the injured Ronnie Brown. Williams might be too old to be an every down back but he is a great backup, capable of putting up decent fantasy numbers.

Here we go again Bill!

35) Larry Johnson—WAS—RB
Johnson could excel in Shanahan’s one-cut system.

36) Reggie Bush—NOR—RB
Bush is a better option in PPR/Return leagues, but he could see more carries with the departure of Mike Bell. Bush saw a lot of the field in the red-zone.

37) Willis McGahee—BAL—RB
McGahee started 09 on fire, before losing a ton of work to Rice. McGahee’s role needs to be spelled out and if he is given a bigger role, he would easily move up in our ranks.

38) Justin Forsett—SEA—RB
Forsett broke out in 2009, but the trades for LenDale White and Leon Washington hurt his value.

39) Arian Foster—HOU—RB
Foster’s up and down play, coupled with Steve Slaton’s injury, led to the Texans’ drafting Ben Tate. Foster will have his work cut out for him this offseason.

40) Kevin Smith—DET—RB
Smith’s health is the biggest question heading into 2010. The addition of rookie Jahvid Best only further complicates the Lions backfield.

41) Maurice Morris—DET—RB
Morris could be in a three-way battle with Smith and Best come training camp. We will be watching this one closely.

42) Michael Bush—OAK—RB
Bush could be a monster this season if McFadden fails to win the starting job.

43) Chester Taylor—CHI—RB
Taylor has some potential to move up this list if he can be more effective than Matt Forte.

44) Donald Brown—IND—RB
Brown looks like he might just be the back up in Indy. He has the tools to fit in the Colts offense perfectly, but he has not been able to make the most of his chances.

45) LaDainian Tomlinson—NYJ—RB
How the mighty have fallen.

46) Laurence Maroney—NEP—RB
Maroney was given chance after chance to finally take over the lead role in New England and fumbled it away.

47) Correll Buckhalter—DEN—RB
Buckhalter did a decent job with his limited carries last season. Look for Buckhalter to continue to spell Moreno.

48) Sammy Morris—NEP—RB
Morris will be another player in the running back competition in New England.

49) Tim Hightower—ARI—RB
Needs to keep the goal-line job to have any value in 2010.

50) Mike Bell—PHI—RB
Bell could be the smash to McCoy’s dash in Philly, and looks to be the goal-line guy.

51) Derrick Ward—TAM—RB
Ward will have to have a great training camp to take over the starting role in Tampa.

52) Javon Ringer—TEN—RB
Ringer will play second fiddle to Johnson.

Be on the lookout for our other positional ranks that will be kicking off shortly. We assure you the problem has been taken care of and we are ready to roll into another great season.