Friday, September 26, 2008

Don't Bench Peterson - RB Rankings for Week 4

I mentioned on the Daily News Stampede that we would talk about Adrian 'Purple Jesus' Peterson and then forgot with all the other news. I know the matchup is tough but -
DON'T. BENCH. PETERSON. Houston ran well against them last week (Slaton topped 100yds), Peterson is healthy and he can bust a huge run at any time. Don't bench him UNLESS you have any of the six guys ahead of him - and even then run him as your #2. And just how the heck did you get one of those other backs anyway? (well, Reggie Bush I can see....)

Onto the rankings --

In many leagues, Reggie Bush has topped their rankings so far this year. PPR or not, the yardage totals he has put up have been impressive. This week he is the offense and Brees will throw to him a ton. Bush's value is not as a between the tackles RB - in part because the Saints have not blocked for the run very well. The 49r defense is better than you think - but Bush is a threat to bust a long run on a screen pass and I think he will put up very good numbers as the Saints put up a lot of yards to try and win with a shaky defense.

On the other side of the field is Frank Gore - Gore has flourished again and reminded people just how good he is. The Saints are bad against the pass which means JT O'Sullivan & company will throw more than run BUT Gore, like Bush, can bust a big play at any time and Gore has been used in the pass game enough to give him good value even when they are not running as much. The Saints run D is also shaky (22nd in the league) so Gore is a great bet to play well this weekend.

Tomlinson looks healthy and that's a good thing for his owners. The Raiders are middling against the run but have given up five ground TDs so far. Tomlinson was shaky last week save for the TD looks but will be closer to 100% and will put up good numbers and at least a TD against the Raiders. The Chargers will grab them by the throat and not let go - so even if Rivers throws effectively - and he will - LT will get his.

'Dis Mah Son' as Cecil calls him, has a prime matchup against the Rams this weekend and Lynch will take advantage of it. St Louis is dead last in defense and gives up 180+ yards a game on the ground. The only thing keeping him from maybe being first or second on this list is the insistence of Dick Jauron in using Fred Jackson to the extent he does. I expect great things from Lynch this week - or if you are a Rams fan - great and terrible things as he runs your team into the ground.

Felix Jones has been great so far - everything the Cowboys have hoped for. Marion Barber has been even better. Barber has compiled very good totals his first three weeks and against a Redskins defense that is middle of the road vs the run and give over 100yds per game on the ground, Barber will continue his winning ways. Despite the fact that Washington has only given up a pair of touchdowns on the ground, I think Barber will find the end zone again this week. It will be a dogfight game - always is with NFC East teams - and Barber will step up to bat.

You will notice that #15 is a combined ranking for Westbrook and Buckhalter - as it's a GTD I split the difference and ranked the position for the team. I think Buck will probably put up at the 15 rankings here - whereas Westy will probably do better if he gets the start. But with the doubt, I placed them a little farther back - also the run D in Chicago is tough, though in part because you can throw on them all day and that's what McNabb will do. It may limit Buck a bit as Westbrook sees more passes than Buckhalter usually does. (Despite the nice catch and run last week)

Chris Johnson (16) is a tough play that I still say you might have to go with him due to upside and big play ability. Ryan Grant (14) is healthy and that's great - should be very productive going forward as the oline is finally getting it's game on. McFadden (26) has a toe owie still and that is worrying me since Kiffin says it is bothering him VERY much. I would rather be cautious if possible than see Mike Bush steal all my carries.

Running Backs
  1. Reggie Bush, Saints vs. 49ers
  2. Frank Gore, 49ers at Saints
  3. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers at Raiders
  4. Marshawn Lynch, Bills at Rams
  5. Marion Barber, Cowboys vs. Redskins
  6. Clinton Portis, Redskins at Cowboys
  7. Adrian Peterson, Vikings at Titans
  8. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars vs. Texans
  9. Steven Jackson, Rams vs. Bills
  10. Matt Forte, Bears vs. Eagles
  11. Michael Turner, Falcons at Panthers
  12. Jamal Lewis, Browns at Bengals
  13. Larry Johnson, Chiefs vs. Broncos
  14. Ryan Grant, Packers at Buccaneers
  15. Brian Westbrook/Correll Buckhalter, Eagles at Bears
  16. Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Vikings
  17. Chris Perry, Bengals vs. Browns
  18. Felix Jones, Cowboys vs. Redskins
  19. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers vs. Packers
  20. Fred Taylor, Jaguars vs. Texans
  21. Thomas Jones, Jets vs. Cardinals
  22. Steve Slaton, Texans at Jaguars
  23. Edgerrin James, Cardinals at Jets
  24. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. Falcons
  25. Selvin Young, Broncos at Chiefs
  26. Darren McFadden, Raiders vs. Chargers
  27. Pierre Thomas, Saints vs. 49ers
  28. Michael Pittman, Broncos at Chiefs
  29. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers vs. Ravens
  30. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs. Falcons
  31. LenDale White, Titans vs. Vikings
  32. Fred Jackson, Bills at Rams
  33. Willis McGahee, Ravens at Steelers
  34. Tim Hightower, Cardinals at Jets
  35. Le’Ron McClain, Ravens at Steelers

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