Fantasy football ADP: Discussing the top 60 running backs (non-PPR)

Sixty running backs. That’s a lot, but you need at least 60 if you play in a 12-team league.

Not so sure you’ll get more backs in my own personal rankings — which will be forthcoming — but you might get better ones. You’re also not going to get all 60 running backs on this page. That’s just more than you’ll want to read in one sitting. You can get the first 30 with this click, or wait until the link at the top of the rankings.

By reading the blurbs about these running backs, no matter how long or short, it should be blatantly obvious whether I agree or disagree with a player’s average draft position (pulled from www.mockdraftcentral.com).

Where necessary, analysis will be expanded in upcoming redraft and dynasty rankings.

ADP: Top 60 running backs

*ADP from 8.10.10

Top 30 | Top 60

31. Fred Jackson (76.46) — The No. 1 running back in Buffalo. You know how Pierre Thomas outscores Reggie Bush in New Orleans? Jackson is Pierre Thomas, C.J. Spiller is Reggie Bush.

32. Darren McFadden (79.18) — Maybe Jason Campbell gives this offense a fresh start. Maybe McFadden benefits from it. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, but it still feels like we’re reaching for a Reggie Bush-type here, especially if Michael Bush is healthy.

33. Reggie Bush (82.19) — Oh, Reggie, you’ve been mentioned so many times and never in a very flattering way. Without PPR his value takes a huge hit. This is too high.

34. Ahmad Bradshaw (82.61) — BTB (Better Than Bush) and the top Giants back to own in 2010. Both Jacobs and Bradshaw have injury concerns. But Bradshaw’s a better home run threat and more of an option in the passing game at a three-round discount over Jacobs.

35. Michael Bush (84.76) — Coming out of college, Bush was one of those “if he’s healthy” players. He’s shown flashes of his capabilities. He’ll likely split carries with Darren McFadden, but Bush will likely end up being the most fantasy roster-worthy player in Oakland this season. For whatever that’s worth.

36. Montario Hardesty (88.28) — Remember that whole “if he can stay healthy” thing. Write it on a tag and attach it to Hardesty. However, there should be little doubt the Browns chose Hardesty to be a feature back and he’ll get ample opportunity to be the lead back in Cleveland. … Wait for it. … For whatever that’s worth.

37. Thomas Jones (90.23) — Look, I’ll be the first to admit I’m a Thomas Jones apologist, but I see reports saying Jones is No. 1 on the depth chart and Jamaal Charles is No. 2 and that it’s not representative of what will play out during the season. I call BS. Jones could easily beat out Charles and be the Chiefs lead back. I’m not saying it’s a no-brainer, I’m just saying that in the 10th round of your draft, you’re throwing things against the wall in the hope something big sticks. Ignore his age and throw Jones.

38. Cadillac Williams (90.73) — “If he’s healthy” makes another happy return to these rankings, but Cadillac is another player who could provide good value at his draft slot barring injury.

39. Clinton Portis (94.20) — There’s only one other player with a better value this late in your draft. Will Portis be reinvigorated under his old coach, Mike Shanahan? Will Donovan McNabb give the Redskins a more balanced attack and Portis more room to run? We don’t know. That’s why Portis is a sleeper. My money is on yes to both questions.

40. Donald Brown (94.87) — The Colts will start giving him more carries at some point. … in 2011, maybe? Addai is too good and Brown’s pass-blocking is just abominable. I’d consider him as a Flex2 if your league is that deep or as a handcuff to Addai. That line of thinking makes him overvalued in the 10th round.

41. Steve Slaton (95.16) — From a fantasy perspective, consider Slaton the No. 3 back in Houston, making him overvalued at this slot. Own Arian Foster and Ben Tate first and second (or second and first in dynasty leagues).

42. LaDainian Tomlinson (112.74) — There is a wide range of views on Tomlinson this season. He could be a lot better or worse for fantasy football teams than people think. We do know the Jets are built to run the ball, that Shonn Greene is gifted but unproven over a whole season and that LT can catch the ball and has a nose for the end zone.

43. Justin Forsett (112.95) — Is Justin Forsett the guy or is Leon Washington the guy? Forsett finished strong last year, but in any case this offense was not good last season. Maybe Pete Carroll can work miracles. If you’re more of a gambler, skip Forsett and wait for Washington.

44. Laurence Maroney (114.04) — It seems every preseason we get these stories about the new Laurence Maroney. After his second season, I’ve never bought it. It’s not just Maroney’s fault. That team has too many serviceable running backs and would be foolish to not run a committee.

45. Darren Sproles (116.76) — There is no doubt that Sproles will steal third-downs from Ryan Mathews. This is still too high, but at least he’s not as overrated as he was in 2009.

46. Tim Hightower (118.25) — I’m sky high on Beanie Wells in 2010, so Hightower still feels a bit overvalued here. He’ll catch some passes and have a role in the offense, it just won’t be as significant as it was last year.

47. Chester Taylor (119.21) — His skills are perfect for a Mike Martz system and Taylor was good enough to steal touches from a back like Adrian Peterson. He’ll steal the starting job from Matt Forte.

48. Willis McGahee (156.08) — Even though he may still vulture touchdowns in Baltimore, McGahee won’t vulture as many. Consider him a handcuff to Ray Rice in 2010 and little more.

49. Marshawn Lynch (171.81) — In a perfect world, Lynch provides value here by stealing his job back and being the back we were led to believe he would be. The world is not perfect. Expect him to waste away as the No. 3 RB on a bad offense.

50. Leon Washington (174.04) — Take a chance on Washington in the 18th round. Coach Pete Carroll expects Washington to do great things in the offense. There are health concerns here, but Washington would be potent in a single-back offense.

51. Toby Gerhart (197.86) — A must-own for Adrian Peterson owners, and a must-grab for owners looking for a potential touchdown vulture in the 20th round. I wouldn’t be shocked if, by the end of the season Gerhart has swiped double-digit TDs in that offense. He’s also a good enough all-around back to take over if Peterson gets hurt.

52. Tashard Choice (215.94) — In what I expect to be a very high-powered offense there will be room for only two running backs. If the Cowboys use all three it will hurt all of their fantasy values. That said, Choice has the potential to make fantasy waves when Felix Jones gets injured and comes much, much cheaper than his backfield compatriots.

53. Glen Coffee (235.61) — He’s supposed to be Frank Gore’s backup, but don’t be surprised if Anthony Dixon swipes it from him by midseason. Coffee wasn’t great filling in for Gore last season, so I’m not sure I’d handcuff him even with Gore’s injury history.

54. Arian Foster (252.06) — The current No. 1 running back in Houston. Yes, Steve Slaton will be given his carries and the Texans didn’t draft Ben Tate to carry water bottles from the locker room, but no teams No. 1 back should be available this late in the draft. Pick him earlier.

55. Larry Johnson (256.29) — Only pick Johnson if you already picked Portis. There’s potential in Washington for a 50-50 committee like they run in Miami, but Johnson hasn’t impressed me enough in recent seasons for me to believe.

56. LenDale White (268.69) — White’s value depends on a lot of things. He needs to not be a doof and needs both Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter to stay injured. That’s a needy running back that I don’t need clogging up my roster unless I know for sure he’s starting.

57. Kevin Smith (287.02) — If I own Jahvid Best I want to be sure I get Smith. If Smith is fully recovered he could steal some carries, but more importantly, when the diminutive Best gets run into the ground and carried of to the IR you can plug Smith into his spot.

58. Mike Bell (287.64) — Will steal touchdowns and carries in Philadelphia just like he did in New Orleans. The Eagles brought him in because they don’t like LeSean McCoy’s chances of developing into a goal-line back.

59. Bernard Scott (289.08) — Not a huge fan of Cedric Benson or Scott, but if you own one you better own the other.

60.  Javon Ringer (290.01) — Chris Johnson’s backup. Although you shouldn’t expect him to be Chris Johnson when he takes the field, Tennessee’s offense is built around their superstar runner. You don’t have to waste a high pick on Ringer to see if he’s ready to take advantage of the opportunity if it arises.

Be sure to check out all of our dynasty rankings, redraft rankings, rookie rankings and ADP rankings on our appropriately named 2010 fantasy football rankings page.

6 Responses to “Fantasy football ADP: Discussing the top 60 running backs (non-PPR)”


  1. Junior

    Always enjoy the insight. After the 1st and 2nd rounds, what do you think about the strategy of only targeting RBs from the AFC and NFC West?

  2. ep

    @Junior: Thanks for the comment and compliment.

    Targeting players on western teams helps when it comes to will-he-play, won’t-he-play questions in leagues where you can change your lineup right until game time. It’s a good plan, but always stay flexible.

    Don’t zero in on a player from one of those two divisions predraft. You could get “your guy” but end up missing a better option at the same position and immediately regretting it.

    Been there. It’s not a good feeling.

  3. CJones

    I look forward to seeing Anthony Dixon on the grid iron after watching his explosive running style at Mississippi State University – Go Bulldogs! Did you see his preseason game this week? 21 rushes, 100 yds, 1 TD – that stat line looks unsurprisingly familiar to his 2009 college numbers [5.4 YPC, 126.5 YPG, 1.1 TDPG]. Despite a school W-L record of just 20-29 during his career in the brutal SEC, he still managed to rack up 3,994 rushing yards and 42 TDs at MSU. Give this man a good d-line, and sit back and enjoy – just don’t expect to be impressed by his interview skills.

  4. ep

    @CJones: I own Frank Gore in a 12-team, keep-10 dynasty league that drafted Sunday. I got an email about his performance right after I had selected Dixon in the fourth round.

    Even if Coffee had not retired, I would have picked Dixon as Gore’s backup/eventual replacement. Unfortunately, I never saw any of his games at MSU, but I can’t wait to see what he’s capable of in the NFL.

  5. CJones

    @ep:
    He is not afraid to lower his shoulder to pick up extra yards and I witnessed him drag/push many defenders across the goal line. He also has enough speed to get around the corners and make them pay if they leave him any running room. A large portion of his yards come from constantly pushing his legs until after the play is over – he’s not the quickest on the field, but he will pound it out consistently, which is where the majority of his value lies. Look to see him in short yardage and goal line plays in the near future.

    As a parting gift, here is a little of what you can expect from Mr. Dixon:
    51 Yard TD
    Dixon hurdles defender for 1st down
    Dixon’s 252 yard game

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