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Fantasy Football RBs: The Final Big Board

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Time for more Fantasy Football. Also, check out the WR's.

I used a method this year of statistical analysis to eliminate some of the crapshoot picks. It's not the Bible by any means, but it might keep you from drafting Maurice Jones-Drew as anything more than a flex back. Here are the criteria:

Games over 10 fpts/Games Played or Started - guys like Ryan Grant and Ernest Graham didn't see a lot of carries until they were declared the starter; I then multiplied this percentage by 16 to get some kind of consistency factor; LT and Westbrook were the only backs to grade out at 100%; Ryan Grant and Willis McGahee were the only other backs to crack 80%; point being, there's two overwhelming choices for the top backs

Offensive Line - I had to use somewhat subjective rankings by cbssportsline on the OL rankings of all 32 teams; the points were as follows: 1-5 = 2 points; 6-14 = 1 points; 15-20 = 0 points; 21-25 = -1 point; 26-32 = -2 points

Under 30 - This seems to be the age backs begin to breakdown at; everyone under 30 received 1 point and over 30 a -1 point deduction

Health - This is a little subjective as well mainly because I believe it's important and should be heavily weighted; major injury in the last year or hamstring/knee going into the season = -4 points; intermediate injury like ankle sprain going into the season = -3 points; missing more than 1 game per season = -1 point; a combination of missing games and minor injury = -2 points

Platoon - Is the guy a situational back (ala Bush/Jones-Drew) or does he share carries? Plus 1 point for being the man and getting goalline carries; -1 point deduction for situational dudes

Starter - Related to platoon, but you damn sure want your high pick getting carries; Plus 1 for starters; Negative 1 for off the bench guys

Good Team - I feel this is the most underrated outside the injury thing; Guys on sucky teams end up getting behind early and get eliminated from the game plan; Plus 1 for winning team; 0 for .500 football; and -1 for losing team

Over 10 TDs - RBs who either have consistently in the past, did last year, or have a great shot this year received 1 point

Over 12 TDs - plus 1 point

Over 15 TDs - plus 1 point; LT and Addai were the only ones who hit this number

And, all those gave us a total of points and here's how the breakdown turned out. There's some surprises in here that definitely affected my draft picking last night, but my big money draft is this Sunday. The rookies involved some guess work and I wouldn't recommend using this for your draft in rookie only leagues.

Elite Backs

1. LT - 25.0 points - any scoring system that I developed that didn't result in him being #1 would have been flawed; I based most of the criteria on the reasons LT is successful; good team, good OL, starter, goalline, durable, consistent, etc.

2. Brian Westbrook - 24.0 points - no matter the circumstances, Westbrook either produces in the running or passing game; he's surprisingly more durable than his reputation

Tier 1 Backs

3. Joseph Addai - 18.7 points - solid, but definitive #3 ranking; you can kick someone's ass with a guy like this

4. Ernest Graham - 17.1 points - I'm not shitting you; dude was consistent, gets goalline carries, and out-produced higher regarded backs last season once declared the starter; Gruden will use him to run and catch the ball, and with Cadillac out, he'll be getting the bulk of the workload; might pick up Cadillac later in the season, but if Graham continues to be productive, he won't be stealing many touches; I had the first overall pick and chose LT last night, then got Graham at the end of the 2nd round; wait on him, he'll be a steal in the late 2nd or early 3rd

5. Clinton Portis - 17.0 points - he gets the work; runs hard and is underrated as a goalline back

6. Adrian Peterson - 16.3 points - this was the 2nd big surprise; everybody remembers the 250 yard games; no one remembers the games where teams stacked 8 in the box and made Tavaris Jackson beat them

7. Marion Barber - 16.0 points - TD machine

Tier 2 Backs

8. Ryan Grant - 14.8 points - would have been in the tier 1 group, but received a 2 point deduction for health going into the season

9. Jamal Lewis - 14.7 points - don't be scared of him; he's only missed 7 games in the last 6 years and 2 in the last 3; Cleveland has a much better OL than Baltimore

Tier 3 Backs

10. Brandon Jacobs - 12.6 points - injury and platoon deduction hurt what is otherwise an extremely productive back when he plays

11. Marshawn Lynch - 12.1 points - not too shabby

12. Willie Parker - 12.1 points - he gets yards, plays on a good team with a good OL; with Davenport gone and Mendenhall struggling, it appears he might be the goalline back; don't think we'll see a return to his 16 TD performance of 2006, but he should improve on the 2 he had in 2007; expect a lot of yards and 6-9 TDs; Big Ben likes to throw in the red zone

13. Steven Jackson - 12.1 points - this guy would be a lot higher if he played on a better team with a better OL

14. LenDale White - 12.0 points - another TD hog; wait on him, I got him in the 4th round as my flex player

Tier 4 Backs

15. Willis McGahee - 10.9 points - he might be underrated, but he's got some major injury concerns going into the season and a atrocious OL

16. Frank Gore - 9.5 points - inconsistent, bad team and lack of TDs hurts his stock

17. DeAngelo Williams - 9.2 points - dude has looked outstanding in preseason, but may lose some goalline carries to Stewart; has a rep as a scatback, but the guy weighs 220 with speed; he'll get in the endzone somehow; feel good if he's your flex, nervous if he's your #2 guy; he might be around in the 4th or 5th round

18. Laurence Maroney - 8.4 points - health concerns and platoon guy

Everybody Else

19. Larry Johnson - 7.0 points - health and OL issues

20. Reggie Bush - 7.0 points - utility guy

21. Michael Turner - 7.0 points - somewhat of a projection; OL and team hurt him

22. Justin Fargas - 7.0 points - productive, but this spot might should go to McFadden by mid-season

23. Chester Taylor - 6.7 points - does a lot with limited touches

24. Fred Taylor - 6.4 points

25. Selvin Young - 6.3 points

26. Ricky Williams - 6.0 points; some projection involved and assumption that he will be the starter; some minor upgrades to the OL should help as well

27. Edgerrin James - 6.0 points - inconsistent and bad OL

28. Thomas Jones - 6.0 points

29. Felix Jones - 6.0 points - he's got some things going for him the other rookies don't

30. Kevin Smith - 6.0 points - guy has looked good and appears to have won the starting gig for a shitty team and OL

31. Maurice Jones-Drew - 5.4 points - injury concerns going into the season, platoon guy, not the starter, and inconsistent; a lot of things working against him, but he will score some TDs

32. Darren McFadden - 5.0 points - dude has looked legit in preseason; Kiffin might start using him more if he makes big plays, but Fargas kept the #1 spot going into the season

33. Chris Johnson - 5.0 points - has added some pop to the Titans offense in the preseason; I grabbed him in the 11th last night to go with LenDale White

34. Julius Jones - 5.0 points - has looked pedestrian so far, and Morris might end up being the guy; my advice, stay away from Seattle backs if you're looking for dependability

35. Johnathan Stewart - 4.0 points - I think Williams is pretty good myself

36. Matt Forte - 3.0 points - someone will get the ball in Chicago, but I don't want him on my team unless as way back depth

37. Maurice Morris - 3.0 points - could move up if he beats out Jones

38. Rashard Mendenhall - 3.0 points - will get some carries relieving Parker and might end up as a goalline back, but that hasn't gone so well to date

39. Rudi Johnson - 1.8 points - health, bad OL

This should be far enough to fill out your roster about as far as I could get in an hour before my first draft last night. I may tweak it a little before Sunday by adding a strength of schedule factor based on the run defenses these backs will face. I didn't have that much time.

My Backs:

1st Round - LT - first time I've ever drawn this pick

2nd Round - Graham - a steal according to the above analysis

4th Round - White - good value as a flex player

11th Round - Chris Johnson - as depth for White and in case he turns into a homerun hitter at the flex position

12th Round - Darren Sproles - LT insurance

Tried to pick DeAngelo Williams in the 7th round, but the cbssportsline website froze up and instead I autopicked Todd Fucking Heap of Shit. Oh well, he's not a bad option at TE when healthy.