Fantasy Football Player Analysis: Running back

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

 

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37) David Wilson | New York Giants | 5-foot-9, 205 pounds | Rookie

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
36761883381313191201750114

Fantasy analysis: Ahmad Bradshaw should be the primary toter all year, but he has a lengthy history of foot injuries. Wilson is a dynamic back who could play all three downs, if needed, but may specialize as a third-down option if he can prove his worth as a pass protector. That suggests greater value in PPR leagues. Wilson goes in the eighth round, on average, which is fair placement for the rook. Handcuff him to Bradshaw.

38) Toby Gerhart | Minnesota Vikings | 6-foot, 231 pounds | 3rd 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
26030093610865731372142550259

Toby Gerhart, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Fantasy analysis: The Stanford product should have an increased role in the early stages of the season while Adrian Peterson (knee) works his way back to full strength. Gerhart is a decent receiver, too, and he may be slightly undervalued. Consider him a fourth fantasy back and a handcuff to Peterson. He goes in the early ninth round, on average.

39) Pierre Thomas | New Orleans Saints | 5-foot-11, 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
1381785577073563694665111348

Fantasy analysis: Thomas enters training camp 100 percent healthy and looks to maintain a solid role in the offense. He logged 50 receptions and 562 rushing yards last year, scoring six total TDs along the way. His 2012 outlook is cloudy with Mark Ingram (knee) and Darren Sproles competing for touches, so temper your expectations. Fantasy owners opt for PT Cruiser in the ninth round, on average. He is a so-so No. 4 fantasy back.

40) Felix Jones | Dallas Cowboys | 5-foot-10, 215 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

Fantasy analysis: The speedster played in 12 games last year and figures to be a role player in 2012. He has big-play ability but struggled with fumbles last season. Jones makes for an acceptable handcuff to DeMarco Murray or a fourth fantasy back. His average draft position is the late 11th round, which is great value if he can stay healthy. He is slightly more valuable to PPR owners.

41) Jacquizz Rodgers | Atlanta Falcons | 5-foot-6, 196 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
2464972470234402352760204

Fantasy analysis: Rodgers wasn't very impressive as a rookie, but the coaching staff didn't do the best job at utilizing him. Expect that to change in 2012 under Dirk Koetter's play-calling. The former Jags OC loves to work in the screen game, and we all know Michael Turner won't be the back on the end of that pass. Rodgers has sneaky value in PPR leagues as a low-level sleeper. His ADP is the 16th round in regular setups.

42) Daniel Thomas | Miami Dolphins | 6-foot-1, 233 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
387814529513915621040114

Fantasy analysis: The K-State standout didn't quite separate himself as a rook last year. He started the season in a strong manner but suffered through injuries and played in 13 games. Miami's new zone-blocking system should enhance Thomas' chances for success. We are probably too low on him and will revisit his ranking in training camp once we have a better feel for his expected split with Reggie Bush. His ADP places him in the late ninth round.

43) Ben Tate | Houston Texans | 5-foot-11, 214 pounds | 3rd 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
22326389710474637432042370248

Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans

Fantasy analysis: Tate's 175-942-4 line last year was nothing short of impressive, but a closer look points to a considerable statistical regression in 2012. He touched the ball double-digit times in four games when Arian Foster was healthy, and three of those games were blowout wins. Tate averaged 14.6 attempts per game without Foster in the lineup and only 8.5 with him in, including half the touchdowns. A sixth-round ADP is too steep of a price to pay for insurance and RB4 production.

44) Michael Bush | Chicago Bears | 6-foot-1, 245 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

Fantasy analysis: The former Raider will back up Matt Forte and spell him on occasion. Bush is a versatile back but hit the wall in his final seven games last year, failing to average at least 4.0 yards per carry in six contests. He wasn't much better in games with limited touches, either, averaging 2.9 yards per tote when he touched the ball fewer than 11 times (4.0 YPC in games with at least 11 attempts). Bush's seventh-round ADP should drop now that Forte is under contract. Expect Bush, merely a handcuff to Forte, to fall in our rankings if Forte looks like his former self in training camp and the preseason.

45) Delone Carter | Indianapolis Colts | 5-foot-9, 238 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

Fantasy analysis: It is tough to gauge just what Carter is in the NFL after his rookie year; Indy's QB situation was just that atrocious. He should snipe some touches from Donald Brown each week; the sophomore back will be given a chance if Brown falters. Carter is a bowling ball and could see considerable goal-line work. His 18th-round ADP illustrates his worth as a low-risk, potentially high-reward back.

46) Isaiah Pead | St. Louis Rams | 5-foot-10, 197 pounds | Rookie

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
022-67830141028690102

Fantasy analysis: Pead is a shifty, change-of-pace back and could steal a lot of third-down work from Steven Jackson. S-Jax is no stranger to injury, either, which could pave the way for Pead to see considerable touches. His best value is in PPR leagues and as a handcuff for Jackson owners. Pead's ADP puts him in the 13th round in standard setups.

47) Ryan Williams | Arizona Cardinals | 5-foot-9, 207 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
033-2812201060400102

Fantasy analysis: Williams is coming back from a major knee reconstruction (torn patella tendon), which should dramatically affect his explosiveness in 2012. Beanie Wells is recovering from a minor knee scope and should receive the bulk of the carries this season. Williams' best value is as a late-round stash until later in the season. He is being overvalued as a ninth-round pick. It would be nearly miraculous if he was dynamic in 2012.

48) Kendall Hunter | San Francisco 49ers | 5-foot-7, 199 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

Fantasy analysis: The 49ers drafted LaMichael James this spring, but Hunter should be given priority in fantasy leagues. He will likely be the immediate backup to Frank Gore, with Brandon Jacobs serving as a short-yardage and goal-line option. Hunter and Jacobs would likely tag team if Gore were to fall to injury. PPR players should take a late-round flier on Hunter, especially if you're a Gore owner.

49) Evan Royster | Washington Redskins | 6-foot-1, 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
037-51450103-660102

Fantasy analysis: The powerful Royster averaged 5.9 yards per carry on 56 attempts in 2011, and he should have a larger role as a sophomore. We don't believe Tim Hightower (knee) will be ready to contribute in an effective manner until the second half of the season, which gives Royster a chance to showcase his talents. Take a gamble on him and recognize the potential for a running back carousel in Washington. Royster goes, on average, in Round 13.

50) Ronnie Hillman | Denver Broncos | 5-foot-10, 190 pounds | Rookie

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
681082864361316221261740114

Fantasy analysis: Hillman will get a chance to show off his skills this summer with Knowshon Moreno (knee) on the mend. We are very high on the rookie, primarily because Moreno may not make the team and Willis McGahee is on the wrong side of 30. Hillman is an explosive, multi-threat back but will have to prove himself as a pass protector to earn playing time. McGahee is one of the best in the business in this area, and Denver won't put Peyton Manning in harm's way. Hillman goes in the middle of the eighth round, which is slightly overvalued at this point.

51) Brandon Jackson | Cleveland Browns | 5-foot-10, 216 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

Fantasy analysis: A brutal turf toe injury sidelined him for the entire 2011 season, but Jackson is ready to go. He is a quality third-down back and could spell Trent Richardson in this role if the rookie struggles in pass protection. Jackson is worth considering as a fifth back in PPR leagues.

52) Joseph Addai | New England Patriots | 5-foot-11, 205 pounds | 7th 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: Addai still has value as a role player in PPR leagues, and he is a decent enough blocker to be trusted with protecting Tom Brady. Whether he makes the team is yet to be determined; if he does, Addai should be considered a fifth fantasy back in deep leagues that reward receptions.

53) LeGarrette Blount | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 6-foot, 247 pounds | 3rd 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
79119341491790604701710

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy analysis: The Bucs drafted Doug Martin to battle with Blount for the starting job. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that the burly back has lost this No. 1 role, but we still believe he will have substantial involvement in the offense. Handcuff him to Martin; Blount should otherwise be a late-round flier target (15th-round ADP).

54) Brandon Jacobs | San Francisco 49ers | 6-foot-4, 264 pounds | 8th 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: San Fran's backfield is a convoluted mess. Jacobs should see work as a goal-line or short-yardage back, but there is no guarantee. He never has been proficient in those situations anyway. Draft him as a roster-filler in deep leagues.

55) Danny Woodhead | New England Patriots | 5-foot-8, 200 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
53932393890261674765232426

Fantasy analysis: Woodhead is the classic overachiever and has endeared himself to the Patriots' coaching staff. He will have a limited role, and you're better off waiting to see how this backfield shakes out in training camp before investing anything more in him than a very late pick in deep PPR leagues.

56) Bernard Scott | Cincinnati Bengals | 5-foot-10, 198 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: Scott has failed to live up to even modest expectations but will get another crack at showing what he can do as a change-of-pace to BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Scott could surprise, as BJGE isn't special and could evenly share carries, or worse, if he doesn't play well. Scott is a flier pick in deep leagues (17th-round ADP).

57) Mikel Leshoure | Detroit Lions | 6-foot, 227 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
1656912411305-6300114

Fantasy analysis: Leshoure will miss the first two games because of a suspension. He isn't 100 percent recovered from an Achilles' tendon injury, and his role will be limited in this pass-first offense. Yet, he is worthy of a draft choice because of Jahvid Best's injury history and Leshoure's potential to find the end zone. Expect erratic performances. He's a No. 5 fantasy back with a 12th-round ADP.

58) Taiwan Jones | Oakland Raiders | 6-foot, 197 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

Fantasy analysis: Jones is a poor man's Chris Johnson. He has to beat out Mike Goodson for the No. 2 job behind the injury-prone Darren McFadden, which amplifies Jones' value if he wins the backup gig. He is a true flier choice as a fifth back or a handcuff to DMC; watch this battle in training camp.

59) Javon Ringer | Tennessee Titans | 5-foot-9, 213 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: The fourth-year back has been less than impressive in his NFL career. He caught 28 balls in 12 games last year, though, giving hope for added value in PPR leagues. He is an uninspiring handcuff to Chris Johnson or a very late gamble in large leagues.

60) Alex Green | Green Bay Packers | 6-foot, 225 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
040-11490104-22440102

Fantasy analysis: Green is coming off an ACL reconstruction and will not be 100 percent healthy until late in the year, if at all. He is vying for a third-down role but has a lot to learn and prove. Green Bay may turn to a free-agent veteran to back up James Starks. Stay tuned, and avoid Green for now.

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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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