Low-tier running back analysis

by Cory J. Bonini on August 30, 2010 @ 17:40:00 PDT

 


Mike Bell | Philadelphia Eagles | 6-foot, 225 pounds | 5th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: Bell was dormant for two years after bursting onto the scene with the Denver Broncos in 2006. His 2009 showing with the New Orleans Saints made fantasy owners remember his name, but Bell defected for the Eagles in the offseason. Coming off a 172-654-5 season, Bell will back up LeSean McCoy in Philly. Expect a fair number of goal line touches for the Arizona product. The oft-injured Bell makes for a No. 5 fantasy back, as well as a handcuff to McCoy.

Javon Ringer | Tennessee Titans | 5-foot-9, 205 pounds | 2nd year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: We expect Ringer to see an increased workload in his second year. Now that LenDale White (Broncos) is out of the picture, coupled with Chris Johnson's massive 2009 touch burden (408), the former Michigan Stater should have mild fantasy value. He's a bit of a deep sleeper, but it will take an injury to Johnson before he sees meaningful carries.

Jonathan Dwyer | Pittsburgh Steelers | 5-foot-11, 229 pounds | Rookie

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
4686182332132814560114

Fantasy tip: The Georgia Tech product has quality size and can take over games at times. He'll battle with Mewelde Moore in camp and could see a marginal workload during the regular season. Dwyer is a late-round speculative pick in deep leagues.

Mewelde Moore | Pittsburgh Steelers | 5-foot-11, 209 pounds | 7th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: Moore will battle rookie Jonathan Dwyer for third-down and change-of-pace chores, behind starter Rashard Mendenhall. The veteran rusher needs to be more explosive for fantasy owners to consider him as a playable commodity. The younger Dwyer may overtake him sooner rather than later; Moore is only worth drafting in leagues of at least 20 rostered players.

Fred Taylor | New England Patriots | 6-foot-1, 228 pounds | 13th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: Injuries cut Fragile Fred's first year with the Pats short (six games), but he is looking very good in camp this offseason. Age (34) isn't on his side, but Taylor could emerge as the lead back if Laurence Maroney struggles early on. Even still, leave Taylor for the wire in standard formats.

Joe McKnight | New York Jets | 5-foot-11, 194 pounds | Rookie

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: The agile rookie shrugged off an offseason ankle sprain to showcase his talents in a training camp scrimmage. He looked healthy and figures to have a mild role in the offense (likely a special teamer for now), unless an injury finds LaDainian Tomlinson, which has been a common occurrence in the past few years. McKnight shouldn't be considered in standard formats.

Julius Jones | Seattle Seahawks | 5-foot-10, 208 pounds | 7th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: Often injured, Jones hasn't played a full season in two years. He will be 29 years old before the season kicks off. The former Notre Dame rusher has to battle his way past Justin Forsett and a healthy Leon Washington (leg). Jones is, at best, a late-round flier pick in deep leagues (18-plus rounds).

Anthony Dixon | San Francisco 49ers | 6-foot-1, 233 pounds | Rookie

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
1353271770204-9170103

Fantasy tip: The punishing rookie rusher is battling veteran Brian Westbrook for backup duties to Frank Gore. We see Dixon as a potential touchdown vulture, but that's tough to bank on for fantasy purposes. Draft him as a sixth back or as a handcuff to Gore. 

Derrick Ward | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 5-foot-11, 228 pounds | 7th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: Ward will be 30 before the season begins, but he doesn't have nearly the mileage of most seven-year vets. He could be part of a hot-hand committee, at best, sharing time with Cadillac Williams. At worst, Ward is released by the team since Kareem Huggins has enjoyed a strong offseason. Ward is coming off a down year, but he is a multi-faceted contributor and deserves a late-round selection as a sixth back.

Bernard Scott | Cincinnati Bengals | 5-foot-10, 197 pounds | 2nd year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: Scott carried the ball 74 times last year for 321 yards (4.3 per carry) in 13 games. Should starter Cedric Benson find himself on the mend once again, Scott is next in line to tote the rock. Fantasy owners should handcuff Scott to Benson. Take a late-round chance on the second-year back if you're looking for a speculative sixth fantasy back.

Brian Westbrook | San Francisco 49ers | 5-foot-10, 203 pounds | 9th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: The veteran was added by the 49ers, but his role isn't very clear. Starter Frank Gore is a good receiver, which may limit Westy's value. At best, he's worth a late-round flier in point-per-reception contests.

Leonard Weaver | Philadelphia Eagles | 6-foot, 250 pounds | 4th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: A talented pass-catching fullback, Weaver averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year and scored four total times. He will see a decent number of goal line touches but has to contend with Mike Bell in this area of the field. Weaver isn't worth drafting in standard formats.

Peyton Hillis | Cleveland Browns | 6-foot-2, 250 pounds | 3rd year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
1757662161361241810114

Fantasy tip: A quasi-fullback, Hillis averaged 4.9 yards carrying the ball as a Denver Bronco during the first two years of his career. An offseason deal sent him to Cleveland, where he needs an injury to either Montario Hardesty or Jerome Harrison before he sees significant playing time. Avoid him in all normal-sized leagues.

Brandon Jackson | Green Bay Packers | 5-foot-10, 216 pounds | 4th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: The 24-year-old Jackson sits behind Ryan Grant on the depth chart but could be pushed by rookie James Starks (hamstring). At best, Jackson is Green Bay's third-down back. For fantasy purposes, he is a shaky handcuff to Grant and probably should be left for the wire.

Jason Snelling | Atlanta Falcons | 5-foot-11, 223 pounds | 4th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: Snelling filled in well for injured starter Michael Turner last year by averaging 4.3 per tote and scoring five total times in 14 games (two starts). He is the top handcuff to Turner, whose workload is expected to be reduced this year. Jerious Norwood (hip) is still battling his way back from injury, so Snelling could have an increased role in 2010. Nevertheless, he isn't worth more than a late-round handcuff pick.

Rashad Jennings | Jacksonville Jaguars | 6-foot-1, 228 pounds | 2nd year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
2052458489984623291702150248

Fantasy tip: Maurice Jones-Drew's chief backup, Jennings averaged 5.2 yards per carry in his 2009 rookie season. He is a capable receiver but doesn't figure to see enough of a workload to be relevant to fantasy owners in 2010. He's a handcuff to MJD in deep leagues.

Brian Leonard | Cincinnati Bengals | 6-foot-1, 225 pounds | 4th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: The injury-prone Leonard (foot), who could wind up as Cincy's third-down back, suffered a midfoot injury, which may turn out to be a Lisfranc sprain. If this is the case, he will miss the 2010 season. Should he play, Leonard has mild value as a sixth back in point-per-reception setups.

Mike Tolbert | San Diego Chargers | 5-foot-9, 243 pounds | 3rd year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
51911953453519251181550237

Fantasy tip: A load to bring down, Tolbert, a fullback, scored four times last year and could see a slight workload increase in 2010. He's efficient (5.9 yards per carry) and has respectable hands. Yet, he's not draftable.

Willie Parker | Washington Redskins | 5-foot-10, 212 pounds | 7th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: Fast Willie is quickly sinking on the depth chart. He has reportedly fallen to No. 4 behind Ryan Torain, but this could be a motivational ploy. Either way, Parker's fantasy value is at an all-time low. Avoid him on draft day.

James Starks | Green Bay Packers | 6-foot-2, 218 pounds | Rookie

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
3777216366132814580114

Fantasy tip: We like Starks' chances to be a goal line back for the Packers this year, assuming he can return to health soon (hamstring). Brandon Jackson and improving his blocking skills stand in his way of being a third-down back. Don't bother drafting Starks in single-year leagues, though.

Maurice Morris | Detroit Lions | 5-foot-11, 216 pounds | 9th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: The veteran back hasn't played a full season since 2006, and he is now third on the depth chart. Running back Kevin Smith (knee) is making strides in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and rookie first-rounder Jahvid Best figures to start. Morris isn't worth considering in any format.

James Davis | Cleveland Browns | 5-foot-11, 218 pounds | 2nd year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: Entering Year 2, Davis is buried as the third back on the depth chart. He is coming off a shoulder separation that cost him all but two games in 2009. In his limited work, he was held to 1.7 yards per carry and 1.3 per reception; avoid him in all leagues.

Le'Ron McClain | Baltimore Ravens | 6-foot, 260 pounds | 4th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: The Ravens completely changed McClain's role in 2009 and made him more of a true fullback. He scored 11 total times in '08, compared to just twice last year. He doesn't touch the ball enough to warrant fantasy consideration.

Jacob Hester | San Diego Chargers | 5-foot-10, 203 pounds | 8th year

2010 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Run Att Run Yds Run TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD Tot TD
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi

Fantasy tip: San Diego has given Hester just 40 carries in two seasons. Behind rookie Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and fullback Mike Tolbert, Hester doesn't see enough looks to matter for fantasy leaguers.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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