Friday, October 3, 2008

RB Rankings for Week 5

For the breakdown of some of the backs, scroll past the list.

Running backs
  1. Marion Barber, Cowboys vs. Bengals
  2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings at Saints
  3. Frank Gore, 49ers vs. Patriots
  4. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers at Dolphins
  5. Steve Slaton, Texans vs. Colts
  6. Matt Forté, Bears at Lions
  7. Marshawn Lynch, Bills at Cardinals
  8. Brian Westbrook, Eagles at Redskins
  9. Joseph Addai, Colts at Texans
  10. Michael Turner, Falcons at Packers
  11. Clinton Portis, Redskins at Eagles
  12. Chris Johnson, Titans at Ravens
  13. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers at Broncos
  14. Reggie Bush, Saints vs. Vikings
  15. Larry Johnson, Chiefs at Panthers
  16. Brandon Jacobs, Giants vs. Seahawks
  17. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. Chiefs
  18. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Chargers
  19. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars vs. Steelers
  20. Edgerrin James, Cardinals vs. Bills
  21. Ryan Grant, Packers vs. Falcons
  22. Julius Jones, Seahawks at Giants
  23. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs. Chiefs
  24. Felix Jones, Cowboys vs. Bengals
  25. LenDale White, Titans at Ravens
  26. Rudi Johnson, Lions vs. Bears
  27. Selvin Young, Broncos vs. Buccaneers
  28. Deuce McAllister, Saints vs. Vikings
  29. Fred Taylor, Jaguars vs. Steelers
  30. Chris Perry, Bengals at Cowboys
  31. Laurence Maroney, Patriots at 49ers
  32. Jerious Norwood, Falcons at Packers
  33. Le’Ron McClain, Ravens vs.. Titans
  34. Sammy Morris, Patriots at 49ers
  35. Warrick Dunn, Buccaneers at Broncos
Marion Barber carried the ball eight times, while TO was targeted 17 and TO was complaining? Well, expect the Cowboys to serve both the master of practicality (run the ball more) and insanity (throw the ball to TO and hope he doesn't drop it) fully this week against an epically bad Bengals team. There will be plenty of love to go round and Barber will have a solid week against a D that will probably get out of his way as he runs towards the end zone.

Adrian Peterson is a guy who needs to find the end zone more regularly, though last weekend was just fine as far as I was concerned. The Saints' run D isn't steller and they have been allowing 122 yards per game. They have only given up 3 TDs so far this season and had a good game against Frank Gore last week. Am I worried? No, if anything Gore had an off game and I think that with Sedrick Ellis going down for a month or so, it will be tough for the Saints to come back with a second good game against a top runner. Also I do not expect the Vikes to be as far back at the end of the first half as the 49rs were, which hurt Gore overall.

Speaking of Frank Gore - for some reason folks are undervaluing him this week, as if last week was more than an aberration - or the Pats were still dominant. The Pats will not leap out to a near 21 point lead like the Saints did. As such, expect Gore to have a good amount of carries and while the Pats are not as bad as they looked in week 3, they have given up an average of 140 yards a game though the overall TD total was wierdly inflated by the Ronnie Brown plays last week. Are the Pats that confused at this point? One has to assume they will make adjustements for the 49rs game plan - but that won't stop Gore from doing soem damage on the ground.

LaDainian Tomlinson is finally healthy and while the defense he faces is tough, he'll find a way to score you points. With Phillip Rivers playing well though (save for last week), the defense will not be able to merely key upon LT. Still, how often do people shut LT down?

Sneaking into the top five is Steve Slaton against a D that got tore up by Taylor and Jones-Drew behind a trashed offensive line. Slaton put up good numbers against Tennessee and has shown a great nose for open space as well as an ability to break tackles and work for the shorter yards. Slaton will probably have about his best week this week, good timing during the bye weeks. He'll drop back to RB 2 for the most part after this, but he's a great start this week.

Other guys worth noting: Matt Forté is a great start as well against a terrible Detroit defense and he nearly snuck into the top 5. Forté will continue to be a steller value where you drafted him and I don't think Kevin Jones will cut into his production this year until near the end of the season if he burns out.

Brian Westbrook (8) appears healthy and though he faces a tough matchup, you start him. I have tailed him back production-wise this week but he will put up very good numbers this week and should be healthy throughout the game.

Reggie Bush (14) normally would reside much higher on the list but against a tough D, I knocked him back even though he will get good yards through the air as well. I think he will find himself pretty contained for he most part.

Larry Johnson (15) was great last week, but the Panthers will make it tough on him to repeat and may jump out far enough ahead to make him less of a factor as the game goes.

That's all for this week - if you have questions abotu the rankings or your lineup, feel free to email me at thunderingblurb(a) I will turn them around asap AND will be here all weekend updating various player injuries and doing college reviews as well.

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