The Silver Bullet

An opinion in popular sports

Shawn’s Pre-Draft Tips: 2008 Fantasy RB’s

If you are anything like me you are gearing up for your fantasy football (FF) draft. If you are just like me then you are also gearing up for your fantasy baseball playoffs, sorry, I had to throw that in there! 

Now depending on the league you are in you have to put more of an emphasis on certain positions, and of course I am talking about the RB position. So here are 5 tips on RB’s to take into your draft.

1. Draft Tomlinson!!! Okay, this is a given but there is no doubt that LT is the most consistent RB in football and in FF consistency in that position equals wins! And even though LT has not been the top point-getter in a season ever, he is always in the top five and almost always the top RB. Plus the running back position is the hardest to find a spot start for in any given week so they draw such huge importance. Basically this tip boils down to, if LT is available then you draft him. Last season I saw a draft result where Tomlinson went 5th!?!?!? 

2. Be weary of Steven Jackson. Not only is the Las Vegas born running back in the middle of a very public hold-out which has led him to miss all of the pre-season, but the Rams offense is also suspect if you ask me. Issac Bruce is gone and now no one is going to take that double-team of Torry Holt. Holt himself is entering his 10th season and reports of a stiff back for Holt is coming out of the Rams’ camp. Quarterback Marc Bulger has a banged up knee and shoulder and is coming off the worst statistical year of his career where he threw more interceptions(15) the touchdowns(11) in 2007. The Rams ineffectiveness to spread the field will cause them to run Jackson more, but defenses won’t have to cheat on the pass and running lanes might be harder for Jackson to find.

3. In deeper leagues (20 teams or more) don’t be afraid of the “two-headed monster” when it comes to your RB’s. And in smaller leagues don’t be afraid to hand-cuff your RB’s. I have been playing FF for 6 years now and started off with a mentality that if I had the number one guy I was all good right…WRONG!!! Running back is one of those position where injuries happen all the time (except for LT)! In leagues of twelve teams or less it is not a bad idea to draft your top RB’s back up in the later rounds. Just ask Priest Holmes owners in 2004 & 2005(Larry Johnson, 2,431 yds and 29 TD’s in two years as a back-up/split-back), Fred Taylor owners in 2006 (Maurice Jones-Drew, 941 yds and 13 TD’s while technically starting only one game), and Lamont Jordan in 2007 (Justin Fargas, 1,009 yds and 4 TD’s with 7 starts). For you deep leaguers, if you have one of those dreaded late first-round picks where you feel you have to pick up a second tier RB instead of a Carson Palmer or Plaxico Burress, DON”T!!! With all the coaches going with a two running back system now-a-days, there will be plenty of backs to pick up in the second round especially if you have a snake-style draft format. Here are a few teams that could fit the bill: San Fransisco (Gore & Foster), Miami (Brown & Williams), Seattle(Jones, Duckett & Morris), Jacksonville (Taylor & Jones-Drew), Chicago (Jones & Peterson) NY Giants (Jacobs, Ward & Bradshaw) , and even Minnesota(don’t sleep on Chester Taylor, not with A. Peterson’s injury history).

4. Best late round RB sleeper.Michael Turner has always been one of those guys where you would think “if he just gets his chance.” Backing up LT those chances were slim to none, but not anymore. Turner has the reputation of being a big play back and is now the starter in Atlanta. Against the Colts, in their 2nd pre-season game, Turner was the Falcons’ offense. In the two series that he played, Turner had 4 carriers and 115 YARDS!!! Even though defences will focus in on Turner and the running game, first year head Coach Mike Smith’s smash-mouth style of football will still guaranteeTurner plenty of carries. Combine that with the fact that the Falcons took Matt Ryan with their first-round pick (third overall) shows that Coach Smith will be committed to the passing game and stretching out the field to create more running lanes for Turner. I know Turner comes with risk but that is why I call him the best sleeper, not the best player.

5. Remember when you draft the RB position you are drafting that player’s offense more so then any other position. Running backs rely on a good offense for everything. Even if the game is a blowout, quarterbacks still air-out the ball, maybe even more so, while the runnig back will often become an extra blocker more than a extra reciever.And if your running back is on a good offense then expect a lot more garbage yards late in the game as a team runs the ball to kill the clock.

 

If you have any fantasy questions just leave a comment or e-mail me at shawn@silverbulletsports.com and I will address it in a future post.

-Shawn.

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August 18, 2008 - Posted by | 49ers, Blogroll, Fantasy Advice, Fantasy Football, Fantasy Sports, Football, NFL, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, shawncamilleri, Sports, thesilverbullet

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