2009 Fantasy Football Keeper Rankings: Running Backs | Sharapova's Thigh

Back with some more fantasy football keeper rankings. I recently posted my quarterback rankings. Wide receivers soon to come as well.

You'll see basic rankings on a ton of sites, so I decided mix it up and focus on keepers. Basically with the keeper rankings, we're looking at players that would be valuable to keep for 3+ seasons ideally. Therefore, you have to take into consideration other things that you wouldn't in a normal league, such as age, their likely/unlikely development, the likely/unlikely development of players on their team, etc.

Even if you aren't in any keeper leagues(hell, I don't know if I'll be even), it's still basically a look at who the top running backs in the league should be over the next few years. These rankings could easily change quickly, especially with the younger guys that we don't know enough about yet. You could argue pretty much every person on this list should be ranked differently, so feel free to chime in with your take.

I'm doing these rankings based on standard scoring systems. If you're in a PPR(point-per-reception) league, take that into consideration and try to adjust accordingly, or post a question in the comments and I'll do my best to answer it.

Anyway, here's my top 40 keeper running backs...

1. Adrian Peterson.
Age: 24.
2008 Stats: 363 Carries, 1760 Yards, 4.8 AVG, 10 TD. 21 Receptions, 125 Yards, 0 TD.

The best running back in the game. He's just 24 and not slowing down anytime soon. Injuries have yet to be a problem and they were overblown coming into the NFL. He had a freak collarbone injury, we weren't talking about serious leg issues. Anybody's going to get hurt in this game and Peterson is no more "injury-prone" than your usual running back. Draft him, and celebrate.

2. Maurice Jones-Drew.
Age: 24.
2008 Stats: 197 Carries, 824 Yards, 4.2 AVG, 12 TD. 62 Receptions, 565 Yards, 2 TD.

To some this might seem high for MJD, but look at his production in this league over 3 years in what's been a shared role with Fred Taylor: 2533 yards, 4.8 AVG, 34 rushing TD, 148 receptions, 1408 receiving yards, and 4 receiving TD.

Now, he's the clear #1 running back in Jacksonville, and still just 24 years old. He should put up huge numbers and for a long time.

3. Matt Forte.
Age: 23.
2008 Stats: 316 Carries, 1238 Yards, 3.9 AVG, 8 TD. 63 Receptions, 477 Yards, 4 TD.

What a rookie season for the Bears running back. He pretty much was the offense, and got called upon more than you'd like a rookie running back to be. He saw 80% of the Bears' backfield(running back/fullback) carries. Naturally, this has led many to worries that he's going to get hurt. The Bears are concerned as well, and plan to give Kevin Jones many more carries this season. He's finally 100%, for the first time since coming over from the Lions. Remember, the 26-year-old Jones was a solid running back with lots of potential in his days with the Lions, so if he's back to himself, he can help keep Forte fresh. If you're now worried about Forte possibly not getting enough touches, don't. As Lovie Smith will tell you, the Bears get off the bus running.

Furthermore, the addition of Jay Cutler at quarterback, along with what should be improved offensive line play should open up some more holes for Forte. Last year, he had 8 defenders in the box a lot ready to pounce on him. Now he'll have more running lanes open.

I look for Forte to get less carries this year, but for his average to go up into the 4.2-4.4 range. He's still going to get you double-digit touchdowns, and in a PPR league, all of his receptions will make him a gold mine for you. Oh, and he's just 23, so there should be at least a few more years of it.

4. Steven Jackson.
Age: 25.
2008 Stats: 253 Carries, 1042 Yards, 4.1 AVG, 7 TD. 40 Receptions, 379 Yards, 1 TD.

With just 12 games played in each of the last 2 seasons, Steven Jackson's been a bit of a frustrating player for many fantasy owners. The numbers are still pretty damn good at the end of the season, but he has the ability to be a top-3 fantasy running back and we're of course all greedy when we use a 1st round pick on him.

He finished 2008 with a few great games, showing he's healthy. He's also in a new offense that will have a big focus on the running game, but has also been getting more work as a receiver in the offense, so he may get more opportunities to catch the ball as well. What this all means is, his fantasy production should only improve.

5. Michael Turner.
Age: 27.
2008 Stats: 376 Carries, 1699 Yards, 4.5 AVG, 17 TD. 6 Receptions, 41 Yards, 0 TD.

After seeing Turner in limited action as a Charger, we all could tell he should probably be a starting running back in the NFL, but weren't sure just how productive he'd be once given the opportunity. So he signed with the Falcons last offseason , got the chance to finally start, and ran for 1700 yards and 17 touchdowns. Not bad.

He's 27 already though, and is far more valuable in standard leagues than PPR leagues as he does pretty much nothing in the receiving department.

6. Chris Johnson.
Age: 23.
2008 Stats: 251 Carries, 1228 Yards, 4.9 AVG, 9 TD. 43 Receptions, 260 Yards, 1 TD.

Up front let me just say that he's 6th because LenDale White's going to take away some of his carries, particularly at the goal line ones, which is obviously a big deal. If you draw up a perfect fantasy running back though, Chris Johnson's pretty close to what you'll get. Over 1000 yards on the ground, likely double-digit touchdowns on the ground in the future, probably 50+ receptions, the ability to hit the home run on a few receptions, etc. He's an all-around stud and only 23.

7. Frank Gore.
Age: 26.
2008 Stats: 240 Carries, 1036 Yards, 4.3 AVG, 6 TD. 43 Receptions, 373 Yards, 2 TD.

After Frank Gore blew up in 2006 with 1695 rushing yards, a 5.4 AVG, 8 rushing TD, and 61 receptions, and 485 receiving yards, many thought he was the next Marshall Faulk/LaDainian Tomlinson fantasy superstar. Since then he's been very good, running for over 1,000 yards and catching 96 passes the last 2 years, but his TD total has been a disappointment. Part of that is certainly due to the rest of his offense not giving him enough red zone opportunities to run a few easy touchdowns in.

You know you're getting at least solid production from him, and we've seen he's capable of more. He should still have 3-4 very good years left.

8. Marshawn Lynch.
Age: 23.
2008 Stats: 250 Carries, 1036 Yards, 4.1 AVG, 8 TD. 47 Receptions, 300 Yards, 1 TD.

Marshawn's 1st 2 seasons in the league have been quite similar on the ground. In 2007, he ran for 1115 yards and a 4.0 AVG, with 7 TD. He followed that up in 2008 with 1036 yards, a 4.1 AVG, and 8 TD. The big difference in his stats were in the receiving game, where he caught 47 passes in 2008 after just 18 in 2007. That really made him more intriguing as a fantasy option, and we know he's going to run for over 1,000 yards. Add in an offense that should be improved with the addition of Terrell Owens, and Lynch may get more goal line opportunities.

9. Steve Slaton.
Age: 23.
2008 Stats: 268 Carries, 1282 Yards, 4.8 AVG, 9 TD. 50 Receptions, 377 Yards, 1 TD.

Pretty much Chris Johnson's fantasy twin, and you could argue Slaton belongs where I have Johnson. They're each 23 years old entering their 2nd years, each ran for over 1200 yards, averaged 4.9(Johnson) and 4.8(Slaton) yards rushing, ran for 9 TD, had over 40 catches, caught a touchdown pass, etc.

The difference is Slaton's in an awesome offense that will throw the ball a ton with a solid quarterback in Matt Schaub, and arguably the best wide receiver in the game in Andre Johnson and other great pass-catching options. Still that also helps his chances of getting goal line carries, and he's still going to get 300+ touches. If you're looking for a great gamble that could hit the jackpot, and at least are assured of very good production, here's a great choice, especially in PPR leagues.

10. DeAngelo Williams.
Age: 26.
2008 Stats: 273 Carries, 1515 Yards, 5.5 AVG, 18 TD. 22 Receptions, 121 Yards, 2 TD.

Of all of the non-rookies, this is the toughest guy to rank for me. Don't want to put him too high, don't want to put him too low, so here he is at #10. He was simply sensational last year for the Panthers as the above numbers show, but can he come anywhere close to duplicating it? It's very questionable, and this is coming from somebody who has talked this guy up like crazy since his Memphis days in college.

Even if he can match the the 5.5 yards per carry, it's unlikely he gets as many touches in the future with 2008 1st-round pick pick Jonathan Stewart at running back as well. That's my real concern, because Stewart was damn impressive himself(more on him later), and there's no doubt they're just going to get him more and more touches in the coming years.

11. Knowshon Moreno.
Age: 22(on July 16th).
2008 Stats: N/A(Rookie).

A lot of people would have him ranked even in the top 8 or so, I just want to see it from him first. Coming into the league, he's a better fantasy prospect than Forte, Chris Johnson, and Slaton were. He's going to rack up a ton of receptions out of the backfield, and should be put up big numbers on the ground if the Broncos give him the chance. It's a pass-first offense with new coach Josh McDaniels coming over from New England, and there's weapons in Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, and Tony Scheffler to make it even more likely they stick to that gameplan.

Still, the Broncos used a first round draft pick on him with a defense that needs a lot of help, so they must plan on making him a huge part of the offense in the near future.He can definitely be a top-3 fantasy running back.

12. Clinton Portis.
Age: 27.
2008 Stats: 342 Carries, 1487 Yards, 4.3 AVG, 9 TD. 28 Receptions, 218 Yards, 0 TD.

An absolute workhorse that has run for at least 1,200 yards in 6 of his 7 seasons in the league. Even with 2052 carries in that span, he's running as well as ever and is still just 27. Very dependable.

13. Kevin Smith.
Age: 22.
2008 Stats: 238 Carries, 976 Yards, 4.1 AVG, 8 TD. 39 Receptions, 286 Yards, 0 TD.

Here's the real sleeper to me. Kevin Smith put up terrific numbers in his rookie season, but few noticed because he played on the winless Lions. He's just 22, has already shown that he can run for 1,000 yards, ran for 8 touchdowns on a team that didn't give him many chances at the goal line, and caught 39 passes.

He's an all-around solid running back, and while it likely won't be this year, the pieces are starting to get in place for the Lions to have a pretty good offense with Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson also in it.

14. Beanie Wells.
Age: 20.
2008 Stats: N/A(Rookie).

The rookie out of Ohio State is a horse. He should also be the first better than average running back the Cardinals have had in quite awhile. Their offense is still lethal, and they're going get Wells plenty of chances to take it into the end zone at the goal line.

Prediction that you'll never remember: Beanie will have at least 30 total touchdowns after 3 seasons.

15. Marion Barber III.
Age: 26.
2008 Stats: 238 Carries, 885 Yards, 3.7 AVG, 7 TD. 52 Receptions, 417 Yards, 2 TD.

MB3 was a bit of a disappointment in 2008, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry. Still, he was able to find the end zone 9 total times and caught 52 passes.

The problem is it appears he could be losing his job as the #1 back, and could be back to mainly goal line carries(which is at least a good thing of course), and being the "closer", to wear down the defense late in the game with his physical, powerful running style.

16. Brandon Jacobs.
Age: 27.
2008 Stats: 219 Carries, 1,089 Yards, 5.0 AVG, 15 TD. 6 Receptions, 36 Yards, 0 TD.

The 6'4", 264 pound Jacobs is the clear #1 running back for the Giants, even with the impressive Ahmad Bradshaw backing him up. He might not get more than 200 carries per season over the next 2-3 years, but he'll continue to reach double-digit touchdown totals.

17. Darren McFadden.
Age: 21(22 on August 27th).
2008 Stats: 113 Carries, 499 Yards, 4.4 AVG, 4 TD. 29 Receptions, 285 Yards, 0 TD.

McFadden dealt with turf toe much of the year which likely played a part in his inconsistent play.
His rushing totals can double and he's capable of 45+ receptions. If the rest of his Raiders' offense could improve, that would help as well.

18. Reggie Bush.
Age: 24.
2008 Stats: 106 Carries, 404 Yards, 3.8 AVG, 2 TD. 52 Receptions, 440 Yards, 4 TD.

First off, isn't crazy to think Reggie Bush is just 24? He just turned it 2 months ago as well.

In PPR leagues, Bush is money as he's racked up 213 catches in 3 seasons. The total would be even more if not for injuries limiting him to 22 total games over the last 2 years. However, he's been a disappointment running the ball, as many thought he would be at the NFL level. His highest rushing average so far is 3.8 yards per carry. Until he shows that can improve there, he's not a top-15 fantasy running back.

19. Ronnie Brown.
Age: 27.
2008 Stats: 214 Carries, 916 Yards, 4.3 AVG, 10 TD. 33 Receptions, 254 Yards, 0 TD.

The Wildcat formation did wonders for Ronnie Brown in 2008. He doubled his previous season-high in touchdowns with 10. Heck, he even threw a touchdown pass. The problem is the Wildcat won't be fooling teams too much in 2009. I still think he'll run for around 1,000 yards and get double-digit total touchdowns. He's still the clear #1 in Miami and should be for at least a couple more seasons.

20. Jonathan Stewart.
Age: 22.
2008 Stats: 184 Carries, 836 Yards, 4.5 AVG, 10 TD. 8 Receptions, 47 Yards, 0 TD.

If DeAngelo Williams were to get hurt, Stewart moves into the top 10. As it stands now, Stewart is the #2 running back and that's going to be the case until Williams starts struggling big time or gets hurt. He's still going to get about 200 carries, and he got 10 touchdowns on just 184 last year.

Long term, Stewart is definitely more valuable as he's just 22, and will definitely be starting somewhere at some point.

21. LeSean McCoy.
Age: 21.
2008 Stats: N/A(Rookie).

I'm a huge LeSean McCoy guy and think he can be a superstar in the NFL. He's a great fit in Philadelphia as Brian Westbrook's replacement, as he's going to be able to let the Eagles run their patented screen passes. He has incredible moves in the open field and could put up monster numbers in this offense both on the ground and as a receiver.

Like Stewart, he has more value if we're talking 4-5 years down the road, as he's still blocked by Westbrook and just turned 21. Westbrook's 29 though, so it's unlikely he'll be atop the Philadelphia depth chart for too much longer. McCoy could be a fantasy stud for years, but again, I'd like to see what he can do out there in an NFL uniform first. I like his chances to be a top 5 fantasy back more than a bust though. This would be a great gamble to take and I'd definitely at least consider taking him ahead of a few guys I currently have ranked ahead of him.

22. Pierre Thomas.
Age: 24.
2008 Stats: 129 Carries, 625 Yards, 4.8 AVG, 9 TD. 31 Receptions, 284 Yards, 3 TD.

What a surprise Pierre Thomas was last season. He won a lot of fantasy owners titles last year as a late season pickup off the waiver wire. It appears he's the #1 running back going into the season, but are the Saints ready to basically give up on Reggie Bush being that guy already? They should be, but we'll see.

Thomas is just 24 and will produce on that team. Even if his yards per carry drop, he's still going to get goal line chances with Deuce McAllister no longer there, and a boatload of catches in the electrifying Saints offense.

23. Rashard Mendenhall.
Age: 22.
2008 Stats: 19 Carries, 58 Yards, 3.1 AVG, 0 TD. 2 Receptions, 17 Yards, 0 TD.

I liked Mendenhall a lot as an NFL prospect, and liked his chances to succeed even more when the Steelers drafted him. The Steelers are of course committed to the run game, and whoever is getting the carries there is going to put up huge numbers. Mendenhall's rookie season was cut short thanks to a Ray Lewis hit that fractured his shoulder. He should be good to go for this year, but is still likely going to be at best 2nd on the depth chart with Willie Parker there. The Steelers used a 1st round pick on Mendenhall, and he should be the primary back in time. If you can afford to to wait a bit on a back, here's a good choice. Mendenhall's value should be much higher in 2 or 3 years than it is now.

24. Ryan Grant.
Age: 26.
2008 Stats: 312 Carries, 1,203 Yards, 3.9 AVG, 4 TD. 18 Receptions, 116 Yards, 1 TD.

Grant drove fantasy owners nuts in 2008. He'd look outstanding one week, then disappear the next. The 4 touchdowns were particularly disappointing, as was the 3.9 yards per carry after running for a 5.1 average in 2007. He's the #1 back in Green Bay, and it doesn't appear there's anybody that will take the job away anytime soon. The Green Bay offense is better than most seem to think it is, and Aaron Rodgers will only improve. Expect Grant to double, or come close to doubling his touchdown total of last year, but I wouldn't bet on him to run for more yards this time around either.

25. Joseph Addai.
Age: 26.
2008 Stats: 155 Carries, 544 Yards, 3.5 AVG, 5 TD. 25 Receptions, 206 Yards, 2 TD.

Addai was a major disappointment last year, running for only 3.5 yards per carry. In 2006 he ran for an average of 4.8 yards on the ground, and then 4.1 in 2007. So the signs are there, but he's still just 26 and in a superb Colts offense. However, they're high on rookie running back Donald Brown and it's likely Brown will be cutting into Addai's carries soon, possibly even replacing Addai as the starting back. Be careful with this one.

26. Brian Westbrook.
Age: 29(30 September 2nd).
2008 Stats: 233 Carries, 936 Yards, 9 TD. 54 Receptions, 402 Yards, 5 TD.

If we're talking this season only, move Westbrook up a dozen spots at least. But he'll be 30 when the season starts, and he's declining. He's still money in PPR leagues because of all of his receptions, but I wouldn't predict he'll top 1,000 yards rushing again. LeSean McCoy will be the starting back there soon and should at least take some carries away from Westbrook this year.

27. LaDainian Tomlinson.
Age: 30.
2008 Stats: 292 Carries, 1,110 Yards, 3.8 AVG, 11 TD, 52 Receptions, 426 Yards, 1 TD.

Like Westbrook, if it's a standard league, move him way up. You could consider taking LT in the top 5 still even. However at 30, it's tough to count on him to be effective for too much longer. Last year's 3.8 yards per carry was his lowest average since his rookie season(3.6) in 2001.

The age of 30 usually means a major decline is very near for running backs. Maybe LT can keep running for over 1,000 yards per season for 2 or 3 more years, but the odds are every bit as good he's on the bench or looking for a roster spot by then too. Just ask Shaun Alexander.

28. Donald Brown.
Age: 22.
2008 Stats: N/A(Rookie).

The Colts used a 1st round pick this year on Brown, which shows how little their confidence is in Joseph Addai to get it back together and be an elite starting back. Yes they're going to keep telling you how every team needs 2 good running backs in this league, but using a 1st round pick on one is a bit alarming.

Part of me still thinks Addai will be effective for a bit longer, and prevent Brown from being the fantasy star he could be. The sooner he gets into the lineup the better with Peyton Manning up to 33 years old. If the talk in the next few weeks is that Brown could be getting more carries than Addai, he'd move way up on this list.

29. Shonn Greene.
Age: 23(24 August 27th).
2008 Stats: N/A(Rookie).

With Thomas Jones potentially holding out, and at 33 years old on top of that, the rookie out of Iowa could find himself getting a lot of carries for the Jets very soon. If not this year, he's the leading candidate to be the Jets starting running back in 2010 and beyond. For keeper leagues, young running backs that are going to get touches is what you're looking for.

Green is a bowling ball and figures to at worst be a solid goal line back.

30. Ray Rice.
Age: 22.
2008 Stats: 107 Carries, 454 Yards, 4.2 AVG, 0 TD. 33 Receptions, 273 Yards, 0 TD.

There's no clear #1 back in Baltimore, but odds are LeRon McClain or Willis McGahee will end up getting the most carries this year. Ray Rice impressed in his playing time last year though, and fantasy owners particularly took notice of his 33 catches out of the backfield. Rice is just 22, and a terrific guy to take a chance on.

31. Felix Jones.
Age: 22.
2008 Stats: 30 Carries, 266 Yards, 8.9 AVG, 3 TD. 2 Receptions, 10 Yards, 0 TD.

The Cowboys' #2 running back only had 30 carries in his rookie campaign, but averaged an incredible 8.9 yards per carry over them. There's rumors that he could split carries with Marion Barber this year, and you know the Cowboys have the intention of getting the 2008 1st round pick starter's playing time in the future, if not yet this year. Jerry Jones loves him, and Jerry will get what he wants.

32. Ahmad Bradshaw.
Age: 23.
2008 Stats: 67 Carries, 355 Yards, 5.3 AVG, 1 TD. 5 Receptions, 42 Yards, 1 TD.

With Derrick Ward in Tampa Bay, Bradshaw becomes the #2 running back for the Giants. Ward had 223 touches in the role last year. Bradshaw, who just turned 23 in March, impressed in his playing time the last 2 years, and there's reason to believe he can put up big numbers if given the chance.

33. Derrick Ward.
Age: 28(29 August 30th).
2008 Stats: 182 Carries, 1025 Yards, 5.6 AVG, 2 TD. 41 Receptions, 384 Yards, 0 TD.

Derrick Ward can start in this league, but will he ever really get that chance? He's been terrific as a backup to Brandon Jacobs the last 2 seasons for the Giants, and signed a 4-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason. The talk is he could be splitting carries with Earnest Graham. That definitely wouldn't be a good thing and might take him off this list. If he can officially be the starter, he can be a solid secondary running back option for your fantasy team for 2-3 years.

34. Willis McGahee.
Age: 27.
2008 Stats: 170 Carries, 671 Yards, 3.9 AVG, 7 TD. 24 Receptions, 173 Yards, 0 TD.

As 1 of 3 good running backs in Baltimore, it's going to be tough for McGahee to get more than the 170 carries he had last year. In fact, I think this ranking is a little generous and we might not see a season better than last year unless he changes teams, or there's an injury to Ray Rice and/or LeRon McClain.

35. LenDale White.
Age: 24.
2008 Stats: 200 Carries, 773 Yards, 3.9 AVG, 15 TD. 5 Receptions, 16 Yards, 0 TD.

White's a really difficult player to rank, in that we don't know how many carries he's going to get with Chris Johnson ahead of him now on the depth chart. If he continues to get the goal line carries like last year, he still has a lot of value. At just 24, it's also possible he ends up on another team with some more good years left.

36. Larry Johnson.
Age: 29.
2008 Stats: 193 Carries, 874 Yards, 4.5 AVG, 5 TD. 12 Receptions, 74 Yards, 0 TD.

LJ had his highest yards per carry in 2008 since 2005 when he averaged 5.2 on the ground. He'll be 30 in November though, and is on a team that will likely be playing from behind a lot. A couple more solid seasons are probably in the tank, but don't expect too much. The days of Larry Johnson being a top fantasy back are over.

37. Laurence Maroney.
Age: 24.
2008 Stats: 28 Carries, 93 Yards, 3.3 AVG, 0 TD. 0 Receptions.

A lot of people would have him out of the top 50 keeper options at running back, but I'm not ready to give up on Maroney yet. He's in a pass-first offense in New England and it's questionable if his shoulder will be 100% when the season starts, but we've seen what the 24-year-old is capable of doing. If he's healthy, he can run in at least 5 or 6 as the explosive New England offense will give him some easy chances. A change of scenery would be a good thing for his game as well, and there's still plenty of time for that to happen. Be patient with Maroney, but don't throw him aside like a lot of people are.

38. Cedric Benson.
Age: 26.
2008 Stats: 214 Carries, 747 Yards, 3.5 AVG, 2 TD. 20 Receptions, 185 Yards, 0 TD.

Benson finished 2008 with a couple of monster games, albeit against the Browns and Chiefs. He'll likely be getting most of the carries on the Bengals though as they saw some good signs from him. As a Bears fan, I've seen enough of Benson and am well aware of his attitude to significantly doubt his future as an NFL back, but a starting running back that is just 26 has to be worth something for keeper leagues, right?

39. Tim Hightower.
Age: 23.
2008 Stats: 143 Carries, 399 yards, 2.8 AVG, 10 TD. 34 Receptions, 237 Yards, 0 TD.

2.8 yards per carry is God awful. 10 touchdowns isn't. He of course got all those touchdowns because the Cardinals were at the goal line more than Rosie O'Donnell's at the buffet. He's just 23, maybe that rushing average rises. I don't think he'll be ahead of Beanie Wells for very long on the depth chart though, if at all.

40. Willie Parker.
Age: 28.
2008 Stats: 210 Carries, 791 Yards, 3.8 AVG, 5 TD. 3 Receptions, 13 Yards, 0 TD.

He's still the top guy in Pittsburgh, although that will likely be Mendenhall soon. Fast Willie might have a couple more productive years left in an offense that stresses the running game, but don't be expecting to see much more of the 1,000+ rushing yards and 4.0+ yards per carry Willie Parker.

Update(8/24): Marshawn Lynch is of course suspended the first three games of the regular season. Move him down at least a few spots. If you have a legitimate stud already and are looking for a good back for more than just this year, sure, do as you wish. But he's going to at least miss three games already this year, and I'd be very hesitant to take him before the top-16 or so now.

Michael Turner isn't slowing down. He has about 12 billion rushing yards in the first two preseason games. If you're much more concerned about winning in the now and are not in a PPR league, I'd strongly consider taking him second.

DeAngelo Williams doesn't look like a fluke as well. He's the clear #1 in Carolina right now. A top-five fantasy season is very possible.

It's looking more and more like Chris "Beanie" Wells will not start the season as the #1 in Arizona, as he's been out with an ankle injury and Tim Hightower's impressed. Hightower would be the #1, and would be a solid late round gamble as he should get plenty of red zone opportunities like last year when he had 10 touchdowns. So knock Beanie down a bit from the #14 spot I had him.

Update(8/28): Knowshon Moreno is out for the rest of preseason with an MCL sprain. He should be able to go for week one, but word is he won't be near 100% then either. With Peyton Hillis continuing to impress and about 800 other running backs in Denver, it's possible Moreno won't make the impact many, including myself, thought he would for a bit.

Update(9/5): Rashard Mendenhall's had a very unimpressive preseason, and it appears he won't be getting many carries anytime soon:
Willie Parker didn't play in three of the four preseason games, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made it clear that he has no plans to rotate Parker and Rashard Mendenhall at running back.

"Willie Parker's our runner," Tomlin said Friday afternoon. "Rashard's done a nice job and he's going to get an opportunity to get his touches, but more important than anything else, Willie Parker is our runner."

Link(Pittsburgh-Tribune Review)

Movie Fast Willie up and Mendenhall down of course.

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