Running Backs Who Will Outperform Relative
To Their Draft Position And Recent Hype
Early ROY candidate Johnson will get the rock early and often
against a defense that surrendered over 200 ground yards last
week. Even splitting carries with his overfed stable mate will
equate to top ten numbers. You took a flyer on him as a RB#4;
plug him in to the RB#2 spot with confidence this week.
Michael Turner @ TB
The Burner absolutely napalmed Detroit in his Falcons debut. Tampa
fields a defense more susceptible to the pass than the run, but
the Falcons will go conservative to protect their young QB, and
that means liberal use of Turner. Expect enough carries and production
to warrant borderline RB#1 numbers.
Earnest Graham v. ATL
On only 10 carries EG put up 91 yards against the Saints on Sunday
while sharing time with Warrick Dunn. Gruden mused afterwards
that perhaps, maybe, the Bucs offensive stratagems might be enhanced
by Mr. Graham’s increased participation. Couple that insight with
a need to protect a rusty Brian Griese at qb, and we are seeing
top ten numbers for a second/third round pick.
Willie Parker @ CLE
FWP is en fuego, and the Browns D is tattered. He’s probably
a better start than your drafted RB#1.
Brandon Jacobs @ STL
Over 100 yards last week and facing the anemic Rams this week,
Jacobs should turn in great numbers for a third round selection.
He’ll find the endzone this week.
Sammy Morris @ NYJ
WW wonder and part of the Belichick RB shell game, Morris is a
tough inside runner who stands to benefit most from the QB change.
The Patriots will lean heavily on the running game with Cassel
behind center. The Jets rushing D was only middling last season,
and you could do worse in a RB#2 this week.
Justin Fargas @KC
One of the more under-appreciated runners in the NFL, Fargas got
short shrift when McFadden was drafted and he dropped off the
radar. McFadden is slightly dinged up and KC poses far less of
an obstacle than the Broncos did, so I’d expect even better
numbers this week. Play him as a very solid RB#2.
Running Backs Who Will Under Perform
Relative To Their Draft Position And Recent Hype
Steven Jackson v. NYG
There’s little to suggest that the very strong Giants line
will be distracted by any other Rams offensive player enough to
do anything but lay the wood to Steven Jackson early and often.
Yes, he was drafted top five and you should never bench your studs…but
I’d start FWP over Jackson this week. Just sayin’.
Maurice Jones-Drew v. BUF
He bombed against the Titans last week and the Bills have a tough
front line to match. Casualties to the Jags offensive line could
make this a season to forget for the mighty mite. Unless the cupboard
is bare, I’d bench ‘im until performance merits otherwise.
Clinton Portis v. NO
Definitely the unsexiest top ten pick, Portis was selected for
his rock-steady numbers, and not his upside, but even now that
has to be called into question. Unless Campbell suddenly groks
the WCO, there just won’t be much room to run for the talented
Portis. The Saints can be run on, but the Redskins should fall
behind early and be forced to pass, or whatever Washington calls
anything other than a running play.
Kevin Smith v. GB
Yes, he had a decent outing against the Falcons, but the Packers
will be stiffer on the ground. He’s a very low-end RB#2
prospect this week.
Jamal Lewis v. PIT
The Steelers have Lewis’ number, and the vaunted Browns
pass attack is still in the hanger. Look elsewhere for RB#2 numbers.