Thursday, October 9, 2008

Top 20 RBs Forward (10-14)

So turns out I did 6 first time out, not 5 which explains why it took longer to do the synopsis than I anticipated. So you got a Baker's 5. I guess at the end, you'll get the last post with the top 4 - ooo the antici............pation.

First group here:
Top 20 RBs (15-20)

Again, the breakdown of each RB will look like this:

Remaining Schedule:Wk6, Wk7, Wk8,Wk9, Wk10, Wk11, Wk12, Wk13, Wk14, Wk15, Wk16 (bold is common fantasy playoff sched)
Analysis: This dude is good/bad and here is why....
Synopsis: example opportunity + good sched - injury worry - receptions = B+

So here are the next 5 - (and not a bakers 5 like the last time):

10) Clinton Portis
Remaining Schedule:
STL, CLE, @DET, PITT, DAL, @SEA, NYG, @BAL, @CIN, PHI (tough playoff sched)
Analysis: I love Clinton Portis. Guy is one of the most underrated stud backs in Fantasy Football every single year. That said, he has lost a step. He clearly does not have the burts he once did, despite beating teamates in sprints at practice. Must feel very different with pads on. Still, he puts points up and is an absolute workhorse. But like Westy, Barber and Jacobs, he is in a tough division. What you can say is, he just played two of those defense and blew them out of the water. 121 vs Dallas and 145 vs Philly?

Barber struggled against Philly and Washington. Westy had 2 TDs vs Dallas but was only saved via his receptions yard-wise. Same against Washington with one less TD and less ground yards. He got hurt vs Pittsburgh. Portis is more consistant than Barber and healthier than Westbrook. While he lacks the upside of either, he's playing exceedingly well against tough foes as well as cupcakes.
Synopsis: consistency/reliability + opportunity + achievement in hard matchups - tough schedule = B

11) Brian Westbrook

Remaining Schedule:
@SF, BYE, ATL, @SEA, NYG, @CIN, @BAL, AZ, @NYG, CLE, @WAS (tough playoff sched)

Analysis: I moved Westy around more than anyone else on this list. In fact, I had someone else here not five minutes before I wrote this. Let's look at why: He plays in the toughest division to run on, bar none - all 4 teams in the top 10 vs the run (as of 10/9). And just in case that isn't enough, he gets Baltimore as well. He why not Tennessee too?

As long as we're piling on, he's banged up again. He would have been in a better position had it just been a sprained ankle, but it's broken/fractured ribs which bother him whenever he moves. Those are not things that heal quick. They may trot him out this week, when they should bench him and give him time to heal. If he plays this week, it's only going to aggravate those ribs and take longer to get healed. It ain't all grim for him though - he catches the ball a ton, is in a dynamic offense and is a huge reason why the offense goes. If he can get healthy, he could be healthy. Still, it's brutal road going forward with this guy.
Synopsis: opportunity + dynamic offense + receptions - big injury concern - very tough sched = B/B-

12) Marion Barber III

Remaining Schedule:
@AZ, @STL, TB, @NYG, BYE, @WAS, SF, SEA, @PIT, NYG, BAL (brutal playoff sched)
Analysis: Hey I found someone with a tougher schedule than Westbrook! Again, this is not to say Barber won't produce points. But you can't like most of what you see there, assuming things stay similiar to now. It IS a theme with the NFC East RBs - it's not easy for them in this division. Barber is a bruiser and he will get his yards most of the time, but Dallas can air it if need be and watch out for Felix Jones. While he will not steal a ton of carries from Barber, he certainly will eat into them. Jones brings an intriguing X-factor into the offense and they can't keep him off the field.

The last two games, Barber's targets are down as well. Funny thing is, Jones' haven't gone up. Barber can catch the ball so we'll see if he gets more looks over the next few weeks. Would I like to own Barber? Yes. He'll get the carries to put up points most times. But the division is brutal and so is the schedule.
Synopsis: health + dynamic offense - tough schedule + unknown impact (Felix factor) = B-

13) Maurice Jones-Drew
Remaining Schedule:
(middling/good playoff sched)
Analysis: I think this is about the only RB on this list in a pure RBBC. And no Taylor here either, though he has a great schedule as well. But MJD does more with less and consistently. The split carries hurt for sure. But I think Taylor keeps Jones-Drew fresh as often as MJD keeps Taylor fresh. Like Westbrook, MJD survives on his receptions right now. He's been tremendously effective in the past. Problem is - that was the past. In the 'what have you done for me today' mentality of Fantasy Football, MJD is a guy many owners have tried to divest themselves of. I can see why - bad production, annihilated offensive line which is only just recovering. Poor play by the rest of the offense.

But we've seen a couple of all right games from him. The oline is starting to pull it together. MJD has some fantastic matchups and we know he can take advantage of them. I know many have tried to get rid of him - I am saying GET him. I believe both he and Taylor will bounce back and MJD is the type of player who only needs a seam to open and he's gone. It's a tad risky - again the oline is still a work in progress. But I think he will be back to a solid RB2 status over his next few games and a great matchup guy going forward.
Synopsis: ability + good schedule + several great matchups - developing offense - oline questions - split carries = B-

14) Brandon Jacobs
Remaining Schedule:
@CLE, SF, @PITT, DAL, @PHI, BAL, @AZ, @WAS, PHI, @DAL, CAR (Brutal playoff sched)
Analysis: Let's be honest - Brandon Jacobs is pretty freaking good. I don't know he's as talented as some of the other backs in his division, but he is productive and is workign hard for that new contract. The whole 'hot hand' thing scared some owners off but he's been consistent so far and anyone who did draft him has been content. He had one sub-par game against Cinci - though all the Giants struggled and it was an odd game. Other than that he's been money, even against Washington. Despite that, I still hate the schedule. And it's a tough one, not only with games against all division rivals. In some cases he gets them twice! And for good measure he sees Baltimore and Pittsburgh as well as a decent Carolina run D.

So far he's been money in the bank, but he faces some real challenges this season and has an absolutely brutal schedule for your fantasy playoffs. By the end of week 9 (Dallas) we'll have a good idea how he will do after several bruising weeks. Until then, mark me as 'concerned'. Let's not forget he was banged up a lot last year and with this tough schedule, could break down again this year. Also, he wasn't a TD machine last season - so far, looks like more of the same though he is nearly at last year's mark of 4 already.
Synopsis: opportunity + dynamic offense + ability - tough schedule - injury worries = B-

That's it for now - you may see the next five today. Depends on prep for the Drive Block (10pm EST/7pm PST on But I will work on it for you. Again, feel free to comment here on the site or email me....

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