Fantasy Football Player Analysis: Running back

by Cory J. Bonini on July 23, 2012 @ 02:26:46 PDT

 

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13) Ahmad Bradshaw | New York Giants | 5-foot-9, 198 pounds | 6th year

2012 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
881283945442426321872301337

Fantasy analysis: Despite a smallish frame, injuries and sharing carries, Bradshaw has developed a nose for the end zone in the past three seasons. He scored a career-high nine rushing touchdowns on 171 carries last year, adding two more through the air. Brandon Jacobs is gone, and rookie David Wilson enters the picture. Wilson is closer in style to Bradshaw than Jacobs was, but it should be primarily Bradshaw's job, barring injury. Speaking of which, Bradshaw is no stranger to physical ailments, most notably nagging foot problems. The veteran back had bone marrow taken from his hip and injected into his foot this offseason, but he should be perfectly fine for Week 1 of the preseason, unless he has a setback. Draft him as a risk-reward No. 2 fantasy back in all scoring formats; his ADP is the early third round.

14) Matt Forte | Chicago Bears | 6-foot-2, 218 pounds | 5th year

2012 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
2412811047119768647049353913711

Fantasy analysis: The addition of running back Michael Bush and a mild contract squabble points to a problematic year ahead for Forte. He is also coming off a knee injury that cost him six games last year. The versatile back is a PPR monster and has only improved as a rusher in recent years. Forte's role in the passing game is bound to be reduced with the addition of reception hog Brandon Marshall on roster. Rookie Alshon Jeffery also has a possession receiver profile. Working in Forte's favor, however, is the promotion of Mike Tice to offensive coordinator. He has a trench-first mentality and should improve the offensive line, as well as employ a ground-first mentality. Fantasy owners are mistaken if the view Forte as a No. 1 back this year; he has too much working against him to take that risk. His ADP is 16th overall.

15) Shonn Greene | New York Jets | 5-foot-11, 228 pounds | 4th year

2012 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
549419934957177490158

Fantasy analysis: The biggest problem with drafting Greene this year may be Tim Tebow. The quarterback could be used in goal line situations and scarf too many scores from the burly back. Greene no longer has LaDainian Tomlinson to contend with and could see a hefty dosage of touches in 2012. The fourth-year back is coming off a somewhat promising 2011 season and is entering a make-or-break year with the Jets. New offensive coordinator Tony Sparano should keep the emphasis on the ground-and-pound mentality that worked so well for the Jets just a few short seasons ago. Greene, who has little proven talent as competition for touches, is a low-risk, potentially high-reward No. 2 fantasy back that you can land at the price of a fourth-round pick, on average.

16) Roy Helu | Washington Redskins | 5-foot-11, 216 pounds | 2nd year

2012 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
44842193690235412562990204

Fantasy analysis: Helu is easily the most talented back in Washington, but that means almost nothing to Mike Shanahan. The belief is that Shanny doesn't want Helu to touch the ball more than 17 times per game, which is all he needs to shine. The backfield is muddied by the return of Tim Hightower (knee), whom we have little faith in as he returns from a knee reconstruction. Rookie Alfred Morris could cut into the workload, and Evan Royster, while nothing special, is a big body to steal goal line work. Respectability at quarterback will go a long way, too, and Washington's offensive line has improved, on paper. Helu is a fantastic pass blocker, which will help keep him on the field. Draft him as a somewhat risky No. 2 fantasy back. Helu is undervalued as the 32nd running back off the board in ADP figures. His early sixth-round average placement offers minimal risk.

17) Fred Jackson | Buffalo Bills | 6-foot-1, 215 pounds | 6th year

2012 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
1141544886384637432703140147

Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills

Fantasy analysis: Jackson is coming off a broken leg and is 31 years old. While he doesn't have the mileage most backs do at his age, it still has to be mentioned. The Bills saw their future in C.J. Spiller when F-Jax was on the mend last year. Could they utilize the younger back more in 2012? Jackson is a dual threat in the stats sheet and has a lot of value in point-per-reception setups. However, so does Spiller. Both backs will be used in the backfield at the same time in certain situations. It could be a nightmare trying to decide which one will get the majority of work any given week. Partially because the Bills have invested a fair amount of short-term money in Jackson, he is the better bet. His determination and hunger to succeed - to prove people wrong - is what really drives our ranking of him. He is a low-end No. 2 fantasy back in PPR leagues and usually comes off the board in the third round.

18) Beanie Wells | Arizona Cardinals | 6-foot-2, 229 pounds | 4th year

2012 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 analysis: Wells showed a nose for the end zone in his breakout 2011 season, rushing for 10 touchdowns in 14 games - one more score than he had in his previous 29 career games. The Cardinals' offensive line is built for power-run blocking. Arizona's quarterback situation is up in the air, but that didn't slow down Wells last year. Ryan Williams returns from a catastrophic knee injury to offer competition for touches. We are not particularly worried about Williams having a big role given the nature of a torn patella tendon's recovery time. Wells is coming off a minor knee scope; he played with the injury throughout the 2011 season. His average draft placement is the early third round.

Running backs 19-24 await you with a click of the mouse!

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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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