Chris Wesseling

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AFC Projected Carries

Wednesday, August 18, 2010




Denver Broncos
Coach: Josh McDaniels | Average Rushes/Year: 405
Projected 2010 Carries: 395


The Broncos were a pass-first team in McDaniels' first year, but the defense's dominant start did allow him to lean on a strong ground game through November. That won't be the case this year with All-Pro Elvis Dumervil taking nearly 50 percent of the team's sacks to the sidelines. Kyle Orton will be playing catch-up all season long.

Knowshon Moreno: 260
Correll Buckhalter: 95
Justin Fargas: 25
LenDale White: 15

Moreno (hamstring) is expected to be fully healthy by the end of preseason action. On the heels of an impressive offseason, he gets a slight uptick in touches at Buckhalter's expense. Buck is nursing a wonky upper back/neck as he enters his age-32 season. Neither Fargas nor White is a threat to Moreno's weekly touches. He's a rock-solid RB2.

Houston Texans
Coach: Gary Kubiak | Weighted Average Rushes/Year: 371
Projected 2010 Carries: 370


Kubiak has presided over one of the league's more pass-friendly offenses over the past few seasons while maintaining at right around 370 rushing attempts per year. New coordinator Rick Dennison has a background in the ground game, but the personnel (Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Jacoby Jones) dictates a continued reliance on the aerial attack.

Arian Foster: 215
Steve Slaton: 125
Jeremiah Johnson: 20
Chris Henry: 10

The line for now trendy Foster love starts behind Rotoworld. We were hyping the former Tennessee star as a Dynasty deep sleeper once the Texans snatched him up after last year's draft. By mid-November we were promoting him as the potential answer in Houston. Although Ben Tate's season-ending broken fibula has killed Foster's sleeper potential for this year, it certainly offers more clarity in this backfield: Foster is Batman; Slaton is Robin. Draft accordingly.

See Arian Foster's projection and rank in our online draft guide.

Indianapolis Colts
Coach: Jim Caldwell | Average Rushes/Year: 338
Projected 2010 Carries: 355


Only one team in the league (Cardinals) ran the ball less than the Colts in Caldwell's debut season. Indy's 3.5 yards per carry was also the second most futile mark in the NFL. Team president Bill Polian laid the blame squarely at the feet of his offensive line, yet he did nothing substantive to upgrade the unit. This will remain the Peyton Manning Show.

Joseph Addai: 190
Donald Brown: 140
Mike Hart: 25

Brown's assorted injuries and pass-protection woes ("God damn-it, Donald!") led to Addai hogging 65 percent of the carries last season. That won't happen again this year. Addai is due to hit free agency in 2011, and the Colts want to see what they have in their explosive 2009 first-rounder. Addai is being overdrafted as a reliable RB2.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Coach: Jack Del Rio | Weighted Average Rushes/Year: 390
Projected 2010 Carries: 390


Over the last two seasons, David Garrard's pass attempts have skyrocketed while the Jags' rushing attempts have plummeted. That's not by design. Del Rio wishes he could return to the glory days of 2007 (522 rush attempts vs. 469 pass attempts), but his defense keeps putting him behind the eight-ball.

Maurice Jones-Drew: 300
Deji Karim: 50
Rashad Jennings: 40

As long as he stays healthy, Jones-Drew is one of the handful of backs in the league that can be counted on for 300 carries. Possibly the most well-rounded player at his position, MJD rarely comes off the field. Keep an eye out for rookie Karim, who turned heads in offseason practices. He should give Jennings a run for the primary backup job while picking up occasional third-down work.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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