Chris Wesseling

Draft Analysis

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Down with ADP: QBs & RBs

Tuesday, August 23, 2011




Running Backs

First Round ADP

Arian Foster, 1.02
Adrian Peterson, 1.02
Jamaal Charles, 1.04
Ray Rice, 1.04
Chris Johnson, 1.05
LeSean McCoy, 1.08
Rashard Mendenhall, 1.09

Foster looked great in his first preseason game. All things considered, it's hard to argue against him at No. 1 overall. … The Rotoworld brain trust is split on Adrian Peterson. Evan Silva is worried about the offensive line crumbling while Gregg Rosenthal points out Peterson's unbelievably consistently run of four straight top-three fantasy finishes. I'm with Rosey on this one. I'd also like to point out that two of Peterson's top-three finishes came in 2009 and 2010, running behind Pro Football Focus' 28th- and 32nd-ranked run-blocking line in the NFL. This is nothing new for All Day.

I don't have any sage advice on Chris Johnson other than to emphasize that disputes generally don't get solved in the NFL until the last minute. If he's dropping to the fifth or sixth pick, I'm jumping all over him and handcuffing Javon Ringer in the 13th round or so. The missed training camp doesn't concern me in the least. He's a running back -- just give him the ball and tell him to run like Forrest Gump. Each owner will have to decide on their own risk tolerance regarding the contract squabble. … There's a substantial gap between the first five backs and the next group, but you already knew that.

Second Round ADP

Maurice Jones-Drew, 2.01
Darren McFadden, 2.02
Michael Turner, 2.03
Frank Gore, 2.06
Steven Jackson, 2.08
Matt Forte, 2.11

Rotoworld lumps McFadden in with McCoy and Mendenhall, so we certainly believe he's a bargain at this price. Despite an early-camp performance that was labeled "spectacular," McFadden has actually seen his ADP drop from late-first to early-second over the past three weeks. DMC is already practicing again, so the fractured orbital bone is no concern whatsoever. … The primary concerns with Turner, Gore, and S-Jax are age and workload. … So far so good for Jones-Drew's knee, though questions about his workload remain. … Forte is a safe pick, but Marion Barber looks like the goal-line back.

Third-Fourth Round ADP

Peyton Hillis, 3.02
LeGarrette Blount, 3.02
Ahmad Bradshaw, 3.08
Shonn Greene, 3.09
Jahvid Best, 4.02
Knowshon Moreno, 4.07
DeAngelo Williams, 4.08
Felix Jones, 4.08
Ryan Mathews, 4.08

With the exception of one back, this is another group with very little separation. Jones' injury history may be cause for pause, but he's the one with the best odds of joining the first tier of fantasy backs if health cooperates. A change-of-pace and Mr. Outside to Marion Barber's Mr. Inside early in his career, Jones has emerged as a complete back since camp started. In addition to his trademark homerun-hitting ability, Jones is now lowering his pads and finishing off runs in preseason action. Throw in an explosive offense and the league's best run-blocking line, and Jones has all the ingredients for a top-10 fantasy season.

Greene and Blount don't contribute on passing downs. I'm letting someone else deal with the possibility of a weekly kidney-punch if there's no trip to the end zone. … Mathews and Bradshaw are being drafted as full-fledged feature backs even though they're clearly in committee attacks. The ADP is a round too high on both. … Best is another injury risk but a potential goldmine in PPR leagues.

Fifth-Sixth Round ADP

Ryan Grant, 5.03
Mark Ingram, 5.04
Cedric Benson, 6.02
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 6.02
Beanie Wells, 6.06
Daniel Thomas, 6.06
Marshawn Lynch, 6.08
Fred Jackson, 6.12

Ingram should be going at least a round -- if not two -- higher. As Footballguys.com's Jason Wood argues, the myths working against Ingram are easily debunked. The Saints aren't too pass-heavy to support a top fantasy back, coach Sean Payton hasn't always enforced a committee backfield, and rookie running backs have enjoyed plenty of fantasy success over the past half-decade. Even if he begins the season splitting touches with Pierre Thomas, Ingram is locked in as the red-zone back with the potential for 12-15 touchdowns in a high-scoring offense. The first-rounder has turned enough heads in camp that the New Orleans Times-Picayune is predicting a 1,000-yard season as a rookie. Go Bold with Ingram; this horse will pay off.

The other back to target in this group is Wells, who has the look of a 275-touch workhorse with Ryan Williams out for the season. … I'd make Grant someone else's concern. He's going to have to hold off James Starks all season long. … Benson is Bengalized. … Thomas is behind Reggie Bush and has shown no ability to get more than what's blocked. … Lynch, Green-Ellis, and F-Jax are pure RB3/flex options. Lynch is an ordinary talent stuck in a bad offense, BJGE will have to hold off better talents, and Jackson is now locked in a battle with C.J. Spiller.

Seventh-Ninth Round ADP

Joseph Addai, 7.03
Mike Tolbert, 7.06
Tim Hightower, 7.11
Jonathan Stewart, 7.12
Reggie Bush, 7.12
Pierre Thomas, 8.05
LaDainian Tomlinson, 8.12
Brandon Jacobs, 8.12
Michael Bush, 9.07
James Starks, 9.08
C.J. Spiller, 9.12

Locked in as the Redskins' starter, Hightower is the back to target as a RB3 if he falls this far. … The Dolphins are intent on making Reggie Bush a feature back, and the early returns are surprisingly promising. The injury-prone dancer is entering uncharted waters in year six, though. Let someone else reach in standard-scoring leagues. … Jacobs could end up leading the Giants' backfield in yards and scores. … Spiller's ADP should rise now that he's pushing Fred Jackson, though all Bills are hands-off behind an embarrassing collection of talent on the O-Line. … Addai is an injury risk and "just a guy" as an NFL talent. … Tomlinson is showing no leg drive. … Stewart, Thomas, Michael Bush, and James Starks are high-end handcuffs.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter.


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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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