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2010 Draft Prep: Finding dynamic duos for Draft Day

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Emmitt Smith is being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, and his biggest accomplishment is finishing his career as the NFL's all-time leading rusher.

Smith broke Walter Payton's record on Oct. 27, 2002, and his final carry in 2004 set the mark at 18,355 yards. It is a record that should stand for a long time based on how running backs are used these days. Even Smith is confident he will hold the record for a long time.

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"I'm not going to sit here and tell you the record is not going to be approached or broken, but I do know this: It's going to take an awful lot to get there because I know what it took for me to get there," Smith said in a conference call with CBSSports.com. "It's not easy."

Uh, Emmitt, you might want to say it's nearly impossible. Few teams use single-back systems any more, making it difficult for running backs to get enough carries in a single season, much less sustaining the longevity needed to approach Smith's record.

Running back by committee is all the rage these days, and last year showed just how much it's changed. Only six running backs in 2009 had at least 300 carries and only nine had at least 250 carries. That's the fewest amount of running backs to have at least 250 carries since 1993, when there were just eight.

This year, we have 10 teams expected to feature a single running back: Atlanta (Michael Turner), Cincinnati (Cedric Benson), Denver (Knowshon Moreno), Green Bay (Ryan Grant), Jacksonville (Maurice Jones-Drew), Minnesota (Adrian Peterson), Pittsburgh (Rashard Mendenhall), St. Louis (Steven Jackson), San Francisco (Frank Gore) and Tennessee (Chris Johnson).

But even that list could be lowered if you factor in backups like Correll Buckhalter in Denver, Toby Gerhart in Minnesota or Glen Coffee in San Francisco. We just believe that these 10 running backs have the chance to reach 250 carries, which gives them an opportunity to do more than the competition.

It makes life difficult for Fantasy owners because if you miss on a featured running back, then you're counting on a player who shares carries to play well in limited time. Fred Taylor, who went from a single-back system in Jacksonville to sharing carries with Jones-Drew and is now part of a committee in New England, said you don't always have to be the most talented running back to succeed.

"The running back position, about 75 percent of the time, is the luck of the hole," Taylor said in a recent interview with CBSSports.com. "Sometimes you can do things above and beyond to create something, those guys that have that. But it really doesn't matter who is out there. You just need somebody to be consistent. That's what teams are looking for in a two-back system. The day and age of backs playing a decade or longer, that might be gone because of the two-back system. It's going to drive a lot of people out."

Taylor, in his 13th season, has seen plenty of rushers come and go while he has adjusted to the change in the backfield for NFL teams. It's part of the reason he's still playing at 34.

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Thomas Jones, in his 11th season, has also adjusted from being a featured back to sharing carries in Arizona, Tampa Bay, Chicago and the Jets. He's now part of a tandem in Kansas City with Jamaal Charles, and Jones, 32, actually prefers to share carries.

"You can't just go through the season with one guy," Jones told CBSSports.com. "You have to have other guys that are capable. It's all about timing and who's playing well and who's making plays. At the end of the day, there's two or three backs who travel every week, and there's two or three backs that are expected to make plays when their number is called."

Despite 22 teams using committee situations, we still feel there are plenty of standout running backs for Fantasy owners to target. And we've broken down each committee from the best (Carolina) to the worst (New England).

Consistency was one of Smith's main attributes as he starred for the Cowboys and Cardinals for 15 seasons. He finished his career with 11 1,000-yard seasons and eight years with double digits in touchdowns.

More importantly, he had 13 years with at least 250 carries. Based on today's NFL, it's going to be nearly impossible for a running back to do that again.

Carolina Panthers
No. 1: DeAngelo Williams

Jamey Eisenberg projection: 247 carries for 1,333 yards, nine touchdowns and two fumbles; 25 catches for 191 yards and one touchdown
Dave Richard projection:259 carries for 1,268 yards, seven touchdowns and two fumbles; 28 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown
Current Average Draft Position : No. 13 overall (Round 2)
Williams has proven the past two years that he's an elite talent, and he can still get the job done even while sharing carries. He has 2,632 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns and 51 catches for 373 yards and two touchdowns the past two seasons. Last year he was limited by an ankle injury, but he's healthy this season and entering a potential contract year. He's also proven himself by averaging 5.4 yards per carry since being named the starter in 2008. We still value Williams as a No. 1 Fantasy running back, and he should be drafted in all leagues by the end of Round 1 or beginning of Round 2.

As more running backs by committee increase across the NFL, the number of carries for individual rushers is going down. From 1994-2008, there was an average of 15 running backs who had at least 250 carries. But last year was the first season since 1993 where there were less than 10. Will that number continue to decline? It's a good possibility based on how teams are sharing carries among their running backs. Below is a look at the past 20 years of how many running backs have had at least 300 carries and how many have had at least 250.
Year 300 250
2009 6 9
2008 5 13
2007 6 12
2006 10 17
2005 10 17
2004 9 17
2003 13 16
2002 9 19
2001 10 15
2000 8 19
1999 6 14
1998 11 17
1997 6 15
1996 11 13
1995 9 15
1994 7 12
1993 2 8
1992 5 13
1991 2 7
1990 0 6

No. 2: Jonathan Stewart
Jamey's projection: 210 carries for 932 yards, nine touchdowns and three fumbles; 15 catches for 152 yards
Dave's projection: 194 carries for 921 yards, eight touchdowns and one fumble; 16 catches for 121 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 43 overall (Round 4)
Stewart tops our list of the best No. 2 running backs based on his talent and how he performed last year. Stewart ran for 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns while sharing carries with Williams. The majority of his production came in Weeks 13-17 when Williams was dealing with an ankle injury, and Stewart had 589 yards and four touchdowns during those five games. He won't be as productive this year with Williams healthy, but Stewart is also expected to be at 100 percent following offseason foot surgery. Stewart should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy running back, and he should be drafted in Round 4 or 5.
RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Both. Goal-line option: Both. Receiving threat: Williams.

New York Jets
No. 1: Shonn Greene
Jamey's projection: 249 carries for 1,268 yards, 12 touchdowns and three fumbles; seven catches for 55 yards
Dave's projection: 232 carries for 1,029 yards, 10 touchdowns and three fumbles; eight catches for 68 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 20 overall (Round 2)
Greene will help the Jets replace Thomas Jones, and we expect him to be a star. Last year, Jones ran for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns, and Greene has the chance to come close to those stats. The offensive line for the Jets will likely take a hit with second-round draft choice Vladimir Ducasse expected to replace departed All-Pro left guard Alan Faneca, but there is still plenty of talent in front of Greene with All-Pro center Nick Mangold and All-Pro left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Greene has first-round talent in standard Fantasy leagues, and he should be off the draft board no later then the middle of Round 2.

No. 2: LaDainian Tomlinson
Jamey's projection: 180 carries for 678 yards, seven touchdowns and two fumbles; 31 catches for 254 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 165 carries for 671 yards, six touchdowns and one fumble; 26 catches for 204 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 84 overall (Round 7)
There are two ways to look at Tomlinson this year. On one hand, he's a bust if you're counting on him to relive his heyday with the Chargers. He's not the starter anymore, and at 31, he's clearly lost a step. But there's also a view of Tomlinson that should be encouraging for Fantasy owners. He's running behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, he should still be useful as a receiver and he's playing behind a first-year starter in Greene. If Greene gets hurt or struggles, Tomlinson's value would rise. He's worth drafting as a No. 3 Fantasy option with a mid-round pick. If you draft him as a starter you'll end up hurting your Fantasy team, but he should be considered a top reserve.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Both. Goal-line option: Both. Receiving threat: Tomlinson.

Miami Dolphins
No. 1: Ronnie Brown
Jamey's projection: 222 carries for 891 yards, seven touchdowns and two fumbles; 20 catches for 190 yards and one touchdown
Dave's projection: 183 carries for 782 yards, eight touchdowns and two fumbles; 22 catches for 187 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 39 overall (Round 4)
Brown is still the No. 1 option for the Dolphins, and he should do well now that he's expected to be healthy following last year's Lisfranc fracture in his right foot. He plays behind a tremendous offensive line, the Dolphins took pressure off the running game with the addition of Brandon Marshall, meaning fewer defenders near the line of scrimmage, and Brown is in a potential contract year. Injuries are a concern for Brown, but he's proven himself when healthy. Three times in his career Brown has had at least 200 carries (2005, 2006 and 2008), and he's averaged 944 yards and six touchdowns over that span. He's a solid No. 2 Fantasy running back worth a pick in Round 4 or 5.

As is the case with almost every tandem, Ricky's value depends on the health of Ronnie. (US Presswire)  
As is the case with almost every tandem, Ricky's value depends on the health of Ronnie. (US Presswire)  
No. 2: Ricky Williams
Jamey's projection: 145 carries for 643 yards, seven touchdowns and one fumble; 23 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 136 carries for 570 yards, six touchdowns and two fumbles; 18 catches for 126 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 87 overall (Round 8)
Williams was amazing last year when he took over for an injured Brown in Week 11 and played like a star. He finished the season with 1,121 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns and 35 catches for 264 yards and two more scores, but the majority of that production came when Brown was out, including three of his four 100-yard outings and five of his rushing touchdowns. Williams, 33, has the motivation of a new contract, but he will again return to his secondary role with Brown healthy. The Dolphins will still rely on Williams a lot, but you have to consider him a No. 3 Fantasy running back. He will likely finish closer to his 2008 stats (659 rushing yards and four touchdowns and 219 receiving yards and a touchdown), which isn't bad at all but half of his production from last year.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Both. Goal-line option: Both. Receiving threat: Both.

Kansas City Chiefs
No. 1: Jamaal Charles
Jamey's projection: 215 carries for 1,015 yards, four touchdowns and two fumbles; 39 catches for 259 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 205 carries for 951 yards, six touchdowns and three fumbles; 31 catches for 240 yards and two touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 34 overall (Round 3)
We didn't expect Charles to be part of a tandem after the way he played last season. Charles was a star in the second half of 2009 when he took over for Larry Johnson. He finished the season with 190 carries for 1,120 yards and seven touchdowns and 40 catches for 297 yards and one touchdown. If you project what Charles did in his final eight games for the entire season he would have had 320 carries for 1,936 yards and 14 touchdowns. Jones could duplicate his actual 2009 stats now that he's sharing carries this year, and he's still a solid No. 2 Fantasy running back. He should be drafted in all leagues in Round 3 or 4.

No. 2: Thomas Jones
Jamey's projection: 177 carries for 797 yards and eight touchdowns; 18 catches for 101 yards
Dave's projection: 161 carries for 702 yards and six touchdowns; 15 catches for 89 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 91 overall (Round 8)
Jones loses a lot of Fantasy value coming to the Chiefs after an outstanding three-year stint with the Jets. He averaged 311 carries for 1,278 yards and nine touchdowns over that span, but now he's going to a secondary role in Kansas City. He's also 32 and showed signs of slowing down last year when he was limited with a knee injury in the playoffs. We view Jones as a potential short-yardage option for the Chiefs, meaning he could score his share of touchdowns this year with Charles getting the majority of yards. Jones should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy running back in 2010.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Both. Goal-line option: Jones. Receiving threat: Charles.

New York Giants
No. 1: Brandon Jacobs
Jamey's projection: 210 carries for 948 yards, eight touchdowns and two fumbles; 20 catches for 133 yards
Dave's projection: 206 carries for 871 yards, seven touchdowns and two fumbles; 17 catches for 127 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 54 overall (Round 5)
Jacobs went from a stud in 2008 to a dud in 2009. His two-year streak of at least 1,000 rushing yards came to an end, and his touchdown total dropped by a staggering 10. He was terrible, and the disappointing thing was he had a career-high 224 carries and started 15 games. But we expect Jacobs to rebound this season since he's expected to be healthy, and the Giants should put more of an emphasis on their ground game in 2010. We think Jacobs is closer to the 1,089 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns he gained in 2008 than the way he played last year. If you can get Jacobs in Round 4 or later you'll be happy. He's going to return as a starting Fantasy option.

No. 2 Ahmad Bradshaw
Jamey's projection: 191 carries for 832 yards, five touchdowns and two fumbles; 25 catches for 22 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 187 carries for 855 yards, five touchdowns and two fumbles; 24 catches for 211 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 79 overall (Round 7)
Bradshaw is hoping to be 100 percent healthy this year after playing through foot injuries in 2009. He managed to have a productive season overall in 2009 with 163 carries for 778 yards (an impressive 4.8 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns and 21 catches for 207 yards. But Bradshaw is capable of more even while sharing carries with Jacobs. Remember, the Giants had a solid duo of Jacobs and Derrick Ward in 2008 when Ward ran for 1,025 yards and two touchdowns and caught 41 passes for 384 yards. Bradshaw is capable of that production, and we like him as a No. 3 Fantasy option. You can get Bradshaw with a late-round pick, and he's the type of player who will outperform his draft position.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Both. Goal-line option: Jacobs. Receiving threat: Bradshaw.

Dallas Cowboys
No. 1: Marion Barber
Jamey's projection: 191 carries for 758 yards, eight touchdowns and one fumble; 22 catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 187 carries for 811 yards, seven touchdowns and one fumble; 20 catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 55 overall (Round 5)
Barber is listed as the No. 1 option here because he's still the best Fantasy running back in Dallas based on his ability to score. But he might not be the starter this season, and that could be a good thing. When Barber was at his best for the Cowboys and Fantasy owners he was the No. 2 option behind Julius Jones. In 2006-07, Barber averaged 4.8 yards per carry and scored 24 rushing touchdowns. In his past two seasons as the starter, Barber has averaged just 4.1 yards per carry and scored only 14 rushing touchdowns. If the Cowboys can return Barber to that role he could re-emerge as a legitimate Fantasy star. But coming into the season he should be drafted as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy option even though he should still be the first Dallas running back selected in all leagues.

No. 2: Felix Jones
Jamey's projection: 162 carries for 780 yards, five touchdowns and two fumbles; 31 catches for 271 yards and three touchdowns
Dave's projection: 168 carries for 837 yards, four touchdowns and two fumbles; 19 catches for 155 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 61 overall (Round 6)
Jones isn't far behind Barber in their Fantasy value to enter the season, but Jones has a higher ceiling based on his potential. Jones showed his playmaking ability in last year's playoffs, and he's hoping to build off that performance. In two playoff games with Barber limited due to injury, Jones had 30 carries for 217 yards and a touchdown, including a 73-yard run, and four catches for 52 yards. The problem for Jones has been staying healthy since he's missed 12 games in his first two years. But we're expecting Jones to see a bigger role this year, and he's someone to target on Draft Day as a No. 3 Fantasy running back. Barber may end up with more touchdowns, which increases his value, but Jones can still produce enough to help your Fantasy roster for several weeks during the season.

No. 3: Tashard Choice
Jamey's projection: 77 carries for 301 yards and four touchdowns; 16 catches for 102 yards
Dave's projection: 61 carries for 242 yards and two touchdowns; eight catches for 69 yards
Average Draft Position: Not drafted
It's not often that we'll talk about three running backs in the same backfield, but Choice has proven to be a solid Fantasy option when he's gotten on the field. The problem is Choice will likely have to wait for an injury to be used in the majority of leagues, which has been the case the past two years when Barber and Jones have gone down. We don't recommend drafting Choice in standard formats, but he should be put on every owner's Scout Team. As Barber and Jones have shown, they are injury prone, and if they miss time, that's when Choice will shine.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Barber and Jones. Goal-line option: Barber. Receiving threat: All three.

New Orleans Saints
No. 1: Pierre Thomas
Jamey's projection: 211 carries for 1,023 yards, five touchdowns and three fumbles; 29 catches for 242 yards and one touchdown
Dave's projection: 189 carries for 842 yards, seven touchdowns and two fumbles; 32 catches for 256 yards and two touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 37 overall (Round 4)
There are 172 carries to go around in the Saints backfield this season, and we expect Thomas to get the majority of those attempts. The Saints allowed Mike Bell to play in Philadelphia this year, and he had 172 carries last season as part of the New Orleans running back by committee. With one less mouth to feed -- even though Lynell Hamilton will see somewhat of an increased role -- Thomas should benefit. He was a disappointment in 2009 with only one 100-yard outing, however he struggled with injuries all year and never had more than 20 carries in a game. But this season he's playing for a new contract, and he should be in line for a career year. We like Thomas as a No. 2 Fantasy option, and he's worth drafting as early as Round 3 in all formats.

No. 2: Reggie Bush
Jamey's projection: 111 carries for 444 yards, three touchdowns and three fumbles; 62 catches for 571 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 97 carries for 419 yards, four touchdowns and two fumbles; 68 catches for 556 yards and four touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 67 overall (Round 6)
Bush made the most of his chances last year with career lows in carries (70) and receptions (47), but he still averaged a career-high 5.6 yards per carry and matched his career high with eight touchdowns. If Bush gets increased touches, which is a possibility now that Bell is gone, he could be even better in 2010. We still view Bush as a No. 3 Fantasy running back. His value is higher in leagues where receptions count, but he should post solid stats across the board. Thomas is the better Fantasy option of this backfield, but Bush isn't far behind. And he could see an increase in value if the Saints increase his role on offense.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Thomas. Goal-line option: Thomas. Receiving threat: Bush.

Arizona Cardinals
No. 1: Beanie Wells
Jamey's projection: 211 carries for 965 yards, nine touchdowns and three fumbles; 18 catches for 211 yards
Dave's projection: 231 carries for 988 yards, seven touchdowns and two fumbles; 19 catches for 196 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 36 overall (Round 3)
Wells is hoping to pick up where last year ended when he finished the season with six touchdowns in his final eight games. As a rookie, Wells had 176 carries for 793 yards and seven touchdowns, but his sophomore campaign could be even better. The Cardinals could be shifting to a more balanced attack now that Kurt Warner has retired and Anquan Boldin is in Baltimore. The addition of All-Pro guard Alan Faneca should also help Wells succeed. Fantasy owners should consider Wells as a high-end No. 2 running back worth a pick beginning in Round 3.

No. 2: Tim Hightower
Jamey's projection: 114 carries for 447 yards, six touchdowns and four fumbles; 50 catches for 462 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 161 carries for 627 yards, seven touchdowns and one fumble; 31 catches for 256 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 95 overall (Round 8)
Hightower will slide into more of a secondary role this year with Wells expected to be the primary option, but don't expect Hightower to disappear. He's been a great receiver the past two seasons with 97 catches for 665 yards, and he's also done well as a goal-line option with 18 touchdowns. Wells will likely share in those red-zone opportunities this year, but Hightower should remain a vital part of the passing game now that Boldin is gone. We still view Hightower as a No. 3 Fantasy running back, and he's worth a mid-round pick in all leagues, with his value higher in leagues where receptions count.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Wells. Goal-line option: Both. Receiving threat: Hightower.

Chicago Bears
No. 1: Matt Forte
Jamey's projection: 202 carries for 863 yards, four touchdowns and two fumbles; 48 catches for 385 yards and one touchdown
Dave's projection: 192 carries for 738 yards, three touchdowns and two fumbles; 32 catches for 226 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 59 overall (Round 5)
With the Bears running backs it all starts with new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, and he doesn't have a good history in the backfield. Outside of Marshall Faulk, Martz has hurt more than helped some talented rushers in Steven Jackson, Frank Gore and Kevin Smith. But Forte has the chance to produce like Faulk. In 2008 he led all running backs in receptions with 63 for 477 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 1,238 yards and eight touchdowns and endeared himself to Fantasy owners. Then came last year when Forte struggled with injuries, a poor offensive line and the addition of Jay Cutler. But Forte should enjoy playing for Martz, especially now that he's healthy, and Martz should take advantage of Forte's skills as a receiver. He's the best Bears running back to target, and he's worth drafting as a No. 2 Fantasy option in all leagues.

No. 2: Chester Taylor
Jamey's projection: 154 carries for 688 yards, three touchdowns and one fumble; 33 catches for 288 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 161 carries for 647 yards, four touchdowns and one fumble; 28 catches for 243 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 114 overall (Round 10)
Taylor showed in Minnesota he was a great complement to Adrian Peterson, and he'll do the same thing in Chicago with Forte. The Bears signed Taylor as a free agent with the hope he can be a good insurance policy in case Forte gets hurt and also take pressure of Forte in the backfield. Taylor has proven to be a solid receiver, which will help in Martz's offense, and he should also run well when given a chance. His value is higher than when he was with the Vikings since he only averaged six carries a game behind Peterson, but Taylor is still the secondary option for the Bears. He should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy option on Draft Day.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Both. Goal-line option: Both. Receiving threat: Both.

San Diego Chargers
No. 1: Ryan Mathews
Jamey's projection: 237 carries for 1,019 yards, eight touchdowns and three fumbles; 35 catches for 333 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 252 carries for 1,084 yards, six touchdowns and three fumbles; 28 catches for 191 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 19 overall (Round 2)
In his rookie season in 2001, Tomlinson rushed for 1,236 yards and 10 touchdowns and caught 59 passes for 367 yards for the Chargers. That started an amazing nine-year run for Tomlinson in San Diego, but now he's gone. Mathews gets the chance to step into his role, and we expect Mathews to become an instant Fantasy sensation. Norv Turner plans to use Mathews quite a bit, and while we're not expecting him to play like Tomlinson did as a rookie, he shouldn't be far off. Consider Mathews a Top 15 Fantasy running back, and he should be drafted in Round 2 in all leagues.

No. 2: Darren Sproles
Jamey's projection: 115 carries for 514 yards, four touchdowns and one fumble; 43 catches for 383 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 83 carries for 396 yards, two touchdowns and one fumble; 25 catches for 208 yards and two touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 128 overall (Round 11)
Sproles has proven to be an excellent receiver out of the backfield in San Diego the past two years with 74 catches for 839 yards and nine touchdowns over that span, and he could be even better in that department this season. With Vincent Jackson suspended for the first three games and threatening a lengthy holdout, the Chargers could rely on Sproles more in the passing game. He could also see an increase in carries -- he had a career-high 93 last year -- with an inexperienced starter ahead of him, but Sproles' main Fantasy value is in leagues where receptions count. He's worth drafting as a No. 3 Fantasy option with a mid-round pick.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Mathews. Goal-line option: Mathews. Receiving threat: Sproles.

Cleveland Browns
No. 1: Jerome Harrison
Jamey's projection: 200 carries for 765 yards, three touchdowns and one fumble; 31 catches for 324 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 140 carries for 609 yards, four touchdowns and two fumbles; 28 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 101 overall (Round 9)
Harrison helped many Fantasy owners win a championship last season with his incredible three-game stretch to close the year. He took advantage of three poor opponents in Kansas City, Oakland and Jacksonville to run for 561 yards and four touchdowns while getting more than 30 carries in each game. It was the first time he was given a chance as the lead rusher, and he more than lived up to the billing. Including Week 4 against Cincinnati, when Harrison had 29 carries for 121 yards, each time he had at least 20 carries in 2009 he had at least 100 yards. This year, Harrison will share carries, but he's expected to start. He's also motivated to prove last year wasn't a fluke while trying to earn a new contract. Now, he's not going to play at the level he finished at last season, but he should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy running back on Draft Day. He should also be drafted ahead of Hardesty.

No. 2: Montario Hardesty
Jamey's projection: 188 carries for 777 yards, eight touchdowns and two fumbles; 11 catches for 79 yards
Dave's projection: 205 carries for 862 yards, five touchdowns and two fumbles; nine catches for 59 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 82 overall (Round 7)
Even though Harrison should be better than Hardesty this season, it won't be by much, and both Browns running backs qualify as No. 3 Fantasy options. This is the type of running back split similar to Carolina and Miami, only on a lesser talent level. Hardesty will likely be the goal-line option, giving him the chance for more touchdowns, but Harrison is the better receiver. Hardesty has the chance to be among the best rookie running backs this year, but he has to stay healthy after dealing with multiple leg injuries in college at Tennessee. But he showed his talents with 1,306 rushing yards as a senior, and we love his upside. Again, Harrison should be drafted first, but Hardesty should go right after him on Draft Day. And taking both Cleveland running backs as top reserves might not be a bad idea since the Browns best chance this year is to run the ball.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Both. Goal-line option: Hardesty. Receiving threat: Harrison.

Baltimore Ravens
No. 1: Ray Rice
Jamey's projection: 249 carries for 1,301 yards, seven touchdowns and three fumbles; 43 catches for 611 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 252 carries for 1,226 yards, seven touchdowns and three fumbles; 43 catches for 380 yards and two touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 5 overall (Round 1)
Rice has become a Fantasy star after his performance in 2009 when he had 1,339 rushing yards and seven touchdowns and 78 catches for 702 yards and another score. It will be hard for Rice to duplicate another 2,000-yard season with the Ravens adding weapons on offense with Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth, but don't expect much of a dropoff. And maybe he can be more involved in the red zone this season. He is a standout Fantasy option worth drafting as high as No. 4 overall in all formats.

No. 2: Willis McGahee
Jamey's projection: 122 carries for 551 yards, six touchdowns and one fumble; 18 catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 133 carries for 580 yards, seven touchdowns and one fumble; 16 catches for 108 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 127 overall (Round 11)
McGahee will again be in a secondary role for the Ravens behind Rice, and he hopes to help Fantasy owners in the same manner he did in 2009. McGahee had seven touchdowns in the first four games of the year and seven touchdowns in his final six games. While it's hard to expect 14 touchdowns again, he could find the end zone quite a bit and gain more than 629 total yards, which is all he had last year. He should still be a useful Fantasy reserve even though Rice will get the majority of carries, and we like McGahee with a late-round pick in all leagues.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Rice. Goal-line option: McGahee. Receiving threat: Rice.

Indianapolis Colts
No. 1: Joseph Addai
Jamey's projection: 202 carries for 883 yards, eight touchdowns and three fumbles; 43 catches for 265 yards and one touchdown
Dave's projection: 208 carries for 802 yards, nine touchdowns and three fumbles; 36 catches for 231 yards and two touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 33 overall (Round 3)
If you look at Addai's game log from 2009 you'll notice he didn't have one 100-yard rushing performance and topped out at 79 rushing yards in Week 13 against Tennessee. But his overall stats are solid, and that's what you get from Addai, who finished last year with more than 1,200 total yards and 13 touchdowns. In three of his first four years in the NFL, Addai has had at least 200 carries. He's averaged 994 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns and 44 catches for 342 yards and four touchdowns over that span. And the best part is he's done the majority of that work while sharing carries, whether it was Dominic Rhodes or his current backfield mate. We still value Addai as a high-end No. 2 Fantasy option, and he gets the added bonus of being in a potential contract year. He should be solid once again.

No. 2: Donald Brown
Jamey's projection: 137 carries for 502 yards, four touchdowns and two fumbles; 32 catches for 228 yards and three touchdowns
Dave's projection: 118 carries for 477 yards and four touchdowns; 21 catches for 155 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 122 overall (Round 11)
Brown was a tremendous disappointment as a rookie last year and was limited to 11 games because of injury. He's hopeful of bouncing back and contributing more, but he's clearly the No. 2 option behind Addai. We still expect Brown to see his share of touches, but he should be considered a Fantasy reserve this year. Brown will be better than his rookie season, but he might have to wait until the Colts let Addai leave like they did with Marshall Faulk, Edgerrin James and Rhodes. That's how management in Indianapolis treats running backs, and once Addai is gone, that's when Brown will show off his skills.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Both. Goal-line option: Addai. Receiving threat: Both.

Philadelphia Eagles
No. 1: LeSean McCoy
Jamey's projection: 243 carries for 1,075 yards, four touchdowns and three fumbles; 44 catches for 254 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 231 carries for 952 yards, four touchdowns and three fumbles; 41 catches for 268 yards and two touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 38 overall (Round 4)
McCoy will be the starter for the Eagles this season with Brian Westbrook no longer with the team, and McCoy has the chance to post Westbrook-like stats. He is a good runner and receiver, and he showed that as a rookie in 2009 with 637 rushing yards and four touchdowns and 40 catches for 308 yards. He also showed he could handle the starting job with four games with double digits in Fantasy points in the first five games after Westbrook initially got hurt. We feel like McCoy is ready to become a star. He should be considered a solid No. 2 Fantasy running back to start the season, and he's worth a pick beginning in Round 3.

No. 2: Mike Bell
Jamey's projection: 135 carries for 559 yards, eight touchdowns and three fumbles; 16 catches for 90 yards
Dave's projection: 116 carries for 449 yards, four touchdowns and two fumbles; eight catches for 57 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 151 overall (Round 13)
Bell resurrected his career with the Saints in 2009 when he had 172 carries for 654 yards and five touchdowns. He was an injury replacement for Thomas and Bush, and the Saints also used him as a goal-line option. Bell is the type of running back that comes through when given a chance. Twice in his career he has at least 155 carries, which was last year with the Saints and 2006 with the Broncos. In those two years he averaged 4.1 yards per carry and scored 13 touchdowns. With the Eagles, Bell will be the No. 2 running back, but McCoy has never been a full-time starter. While McCoy has the chance to be a standout running back, there's still a chance for Bell to make plays, and he should be drafted with a late-round pick.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: McCoy. Goal-line option: Bell. Receiving threat: McCoy.

Houston Texans
No. 1: Ben Tate
Jamey's projection: 215 carries for 909 yards, five touchdowns and three fumbles; 26 catches for 256 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 209 carries for 869 yards, five touchdowns and one fumble; 15 catches for 104 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 65 overall (Round 6)
Tate might not start in Week 1 for the Texans, but he's going to finish as the best running back in Houston. And he should be the second-best rookie running back this year behind Mathews. Tate should continue the tradition of Auburn running backs thriving in the NFL, from James Brooks and Bo Jackson to Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams. The only players in school history who ran for more yards than Tate were Jackson, Brooks, Joe Cribbs and Williams. Tate has good size (5-foot-11, 220 pounds) and speed (4.34 in the 40-yard dash) and is better suited on first and second down, but he also can be a productive receiver out of the backfield. We like Tate as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy running back, and he should be drafted in all leagues in Round 5.

No. 2: Steve Slaton
Jamey's projection: 144 carries for 584 yards, three touchdowns and three fumbles; 44 catches for 341 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 153 carries for 589 yards, two touchdowns and three fumbles; 34 catches for 268 yards and three touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 109 overall (Round 10)
Slaton went from a rookie sensation to a sophomore dud when injuries and fumble problems ruined his year in 2009. He had offseason neck surgery, but he's expected to be healthy for the start of the season. But Slaton will end up as the second-best running back in Houston behind Tate. Slaton's best asset should be his skills as a receiver since he had 94 catches for 794 yards and five touchdowns in his first two years. The Texans will end up throwing a lot, so Slaton will still be productive as a No. 3 Fantasy running back. His value is higher in leagues where receptions count, but Slaton is an excellent reserve to stash on your roster in the event that Tate struggles in his rookie year.

No. 3: Arian Foster
Jamey's projection: 71 carries for 351 yards and three touchdowns; 12 catches for 81 yards
Dave's projection: 96 carries for 370 yards, two touchdowns and one fumble; nine catches for 84 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 140 overall (Round 12)
Foster ended the offseason program as the starter for the Texans, but we'd be surprised if he's on the field for the first offensive play in Week 1. Foster is better suited as a backup running back in Houston based on Tate's expectations and Slaton's ability when healthy. Look for Foster to end up getting few carries in 2010 if both guys ahead of him are healthy, and he should only be drafted with a late-round pick in deep leagues this year.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Tate. Goal-line option: Tate. Receiving threat: Slaton.

Buffalo Bills
No. 1: Fred Jackson
Jamey's projection: 199 carries for 784 yards, four touchdowns and one fumble; 22 catches for 198 catches and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 177 carries for 734 yards, four touchdowns and one fumble; 23 catches for 193 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 97 overall (Round 9)
Running back is the best position for the Bills, and it's not close. And the best running back in Buffalo remains Jackson. We rank the running backs in this order: Jackson, C.J. Spiller and Marshawn Lynch, but none are standout Fantasy options. Barring an injury or Lynch being traded, all three are going to split time and ruin the potential of one having a solid Fantasy year like Jackson did in 2009 when he had more than 1,400 total yards and four touchdowns. Still, if you're looking for the running back to draft first, go with Jackson. He's going to get the most touches each week, and he has the chance to be used at the goal line. Spiller has the higher ceiling, but in 2010, Jackson is the best running back to target for the Bills. He can be a useful No. 3 Fantasy option.

No. 2: C.J. Spiller
Jamey's projection: 154 carries for 614 yards, three touchdowns and three fumbles; 41 catches for 344 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 202 carries for 938 yards, four touchdowns and four fumbles; 26 catches for 231 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 73 overall (Round 7)
The Bills needed help at quarterback, offensive line and wide receiver in the NFL Draft. They didn't need a running back even if Spiller has the chance to be the next Chris Johnson. He isn't going to do it in Buffalo, at least not this year, and Spiller doesn't have a line to run behind or a quarterback to get him the ball. Spiller will likely see the ball about 15 times a game as a running back, receiver and Wildcat quarterback, and he's also going to play on special teams. We love Spiller's upside -- he's a lock with a first-round pick in rookie-only leagues -- but we don't see him making a huge impact as a rookie. When ranking the rookie running backs, consider Mathews, Tate, Jahvid Best and Hardesty as better Fantasy options this year. He should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy running back in seasonal leagues on Draft Day.

No. 3: Marshawn Lynch
Jamey's projection: 111 carries for 457 yards, four touchdowns and one fumble; 15 catches for 100 yards and one touchdown
Dave's projection: 88 carries for 336 yards and three touchdowns; five catches for 32 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 147 overall (Round 13)
There's a good chance Lynch could be traded before the start of the season, and it's clear the Bills are headed in a different direction after drafting Spiller and keeping Jackson. But once upon a time Lynch was a Fantasy star, and he could still be productive if given a chance. In his first two years in the NFL in 2007-08, Lynch had 2,635 total yards and 16 touchdowns. Off-field troubles put him in the doghouse for the Bills, and the emergence of Jackson and presence of Spiller put Lynch at No. 3 on the depth chart this year. But you should still spend a late-round pick on Lynch on Draft Day. Spiller is going to be used in a variety of roles, and Jackson is not your typical every-down running back based on his work on special teams. That could leave Lynch getting more touches than you think each week, and he'll be motivated to prove he's still a quality running back.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: All three. Goal-line option: Jackson and Lynch. Receiving threat: Jackson and Spiller.

Oakland Raiders
No. 1: Michael Bush
Jamey's projection: 185 carries for 785 yards, six touchdowns and two fumbles; 15 catches for 90 yards
Dave's projection: 192 carries for 808 yards, five touchdowns and two fumbles; 13 catches for 88 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 103 overall (Round 9)
This is the first time we're ready to tout Bush as the No. 1 running back for the Raiders. That's because Justin Fargas is no longer in Oakland and Darren McFadden has continued to struggle. The Raiders plan to use Bush and McFadden in tandem, and Bush has shown in limited carries he can be productive. He's only carried the ball 218 times for 1,010 yards and six touchdowns the past two years, but his 4.6 yards per carry is solid. Bush is more of a traditional rusher, and he should also be used near the goal line. We like Bush as a No. 3 Fantasy running back, and we would take him ahead of McFadden. We think Bush is worth a late-round pick in all leagues, and don't be surprised if he starts for you by the end of the season, especially in deeper formats.

No. 2: Darren McFadden
Jamey's projection: 151 carries for 621 yards, two touchdowns and two fumbles; 37 catches for 351 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 134 carries for 509 yards, two touchdowns and three fumbles; 34 catches for 312 yards and three touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 110 overall (Round 10)
While Bush is better suited to carry the ball on first and second down, McFadden is the better receiver. In two seasons, McFadden has 217 carries for 856 yards (3.9 yards) and five touchdowns. Where McFadden shines is catching the ball with 50 catches for 530 yards, and he will likely be used in passing situations. The addition of Jason Campbell will help the Raiders' offense, and McFadden should benefit from the improvements in Oakland this year. Draft Bush first this season, but McFadden is also worth a late-round pick. His value is higher in leagues where receptions count.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Bush. Goal-line option: Bush. Receiving threat: McFadden.

Seattle Seahawks
No. 1: Justin Forsett
Jamey's projection: 163 carries for 785 yards, five touchdowns and two fumbles; 33 catches for 303 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 184 carries for 792 yards, five touchdowns and two fumbles; 16 catches for 98 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 90 overall (Round 8)
Forsett might not be the starter for the Seahawks to open the season, but he is the running back to target. He has the potential to be a significant contributor for your Fantasy team. Last year, Forsett had 114 carries for 619 yards (an impressive 5.4 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. He also added 41 catches for 350 yards and a touchdown, and he's a candidate for 1,200 total yards and seven touchdowns. We consider Forsett the best offensive player in Seattle, and he should be drafted as a No. 3 Fantasy running back with a mid-round pick. But don't be surprised if Forsett is starting for you by the end of the season because he has potential to be a star.

No. 2: Julius Jones
Jamey's projection: 183 carries for 702 yards, three touchdowns and one fumble; 18 catches for 109 yards
Dave's projection: 161 carries for 616 yards, two touchdowns and two fumbles; 12 catches for 68 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 146 overall (Round 13)
Jones has struggled in his first two years with the Seahawks, yet he remains a candidate to start and play a prominent role in the ground game. We expect Forsett to be the best running back in Seattle this year, but Jones is still going to get his share of carries. He hasn't rushed for 700 yards in a season since 2006, which was also the last time he scored more than two rushing touchdowns in a year. Jones is worth drafting with a late-round pick, but don't reach for him as anything more than a No. 4 Fantasy option.

No. 3: Leon Washington
Jamey's projection: 59 carries for 271 yards, one touchdown and one fumble; 28 catches for 201 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 66 carries for 283 yards, one touchdown and one fumble; 22 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns
Average Draft Position: No. 175 overall (Round 15)
Washington is trying to resurrect his career in Seattle after suffering a broken leg last October when he was with the Jets. He's likely to earn a similar role to what we saw from him with the Jets so long as he's healthy. Washington is expected to share carries with Forsett and Jones, so while he's capable of being a solid Fantasy contributor, which he showed in 2008 when he had 448 rushing yards and six touchdowns and 47 catches for 355 yards and two more touchdowns, he's probably not going to see many opportunities. He will be worth drafting with a late-round pick based on his ability to catch the ball, but he's no more than a Fantasy reserve in the majority of formats. He has slightly more value in leagues where receptions count.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Forsett and Jones. Goal-line option: None. Receiving threat: Washington.

Detroit Lions
No. 1: Jahvid Best
Jamey's projection: 188 carries for 854 yards, five touchdowns and two fumbles; 37 catches for 277 yards and two touchdowns
Dave's projection: 223 carries for 940 yards, four touchdowns and three fumbles; 29 catches for 225 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 54 overall (Round 5)
Best should also be considered as one of the top rookies this year based on his talent and ability. Best, who ran for 2,668 yards, caught 62 passes and scored 35 total touchdowns at Cal, is hoping to prove he should have been a higher selection than No. 30 overall in the NFL Draft. His status was likely affected by a history of concussions, but he said he's fine. The Lions offense is counting on Best to be a playmaker and improve a stagnant running game. He's drawn comparisons to Barry Sanders based on his speed and shiftiness, but he has a long way to go to live up to Sanders' lofty status. Still, Best has plenty of potential and is worth targeting as a No. 2 Fantasy running back.

No. 2: Kevin Smith
Jamey's projection: 156 carries for 584 yards, four touchdowns and one fumble; 19 catches for 145 yards and one touchdown
Dave's projection: 159 carries for 607 yards, three touchdowns and one fumble; 23 catches for 167 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 142 overall (Round 12)
Smith is coming off a torn ACL in Week 14, and there have been differing reports on his health heading into the season. He could be fine for Week 1 or he could start out on the PUP list. It has put his value in doubt, and it's a big reason why we like Best as a solid Fantasy running back. If Smith is able to practice in training camp and doesn't suffer a setback with his knee then he could end up as a No. 3 Fantasy running back. He has played well when healthy, but Best is clearly the future in Detroit. But if Smith is limited or on the PUP list then he's only worth a late-round pick on Draft Day.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Both. Goal-line option: Smith. Receiving threat: Best.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No. 1: Cadillac Williams
Jamey's projection: 246 carries for 1,008 yards, five touchdowns and two fumbles; 22 catches for 172 yards and one touchdown
Dave's projection: 223 carries for 912 yards, five touchdowns and one fumble; 25 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown
Average Draft Position: No. 58 overall (Round 5)
Williams didn't have a career high in yards, touchdowns or catches in 2009, but he did set a new career mark in a category important to him -- games played. Williams, who was plagued by knee injuries the previous two years, played all 16 games for the first time. He is looking to build on last year's accomplishment, and we like him as a potential starting option. The best thing about Williams is you can draft him as a No. 3 Fantasy running back, and he should help your team throughout the season. He had seven total touchdowns in 2009 and will be a key cog in Tampa Bay's offense. He also got stronger as the year went on and finished the season with 43 carries in his final two games. That bodes well for his outlook in 2010, and we expect him to play well in a potential contract year.

No. 2: Derrick Ward
Jamey's projection: 166 carries for 654 yards and three touchdowns; 20 catches for 141 yards
Dave's projection: 125 carries for 484 yards, two touchdowns and two fumbles; 15 catches for 124 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 157 overall (Round 14 overall)
Ward burst on the Fantasy scene in 2008 with the Giants when he gained 1,409 total yards and two touchdowns playing behind Jacobs. But Fantasy owners wanted to forget about Ward last year after he was terrible with Tampa Bay. Ward had only 559 total yards and three touchdowns as Williams was the star for the Bucs. Williams will again lead the Tampa Bay backfield, but Ward should improve this season. How much remains to be seen, but he's worth a late-round pick. The Bucs have little talent on offense, so Ward will get his share of touches behind a stout offensive line. And if Williams -- who has an injury history -- gets hurt again then Ward could end up starting. Hopefully we'll see the Ward of 2008, which is what the Bucs are hoping for as well.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Both. Goal-line option: Williams. Receiving threat: Ward.

Washington Redskins
No. 1: Clinton Portis
Jamey's projection: 217 carries for 902 yards, six touchdowns and two fumbles; 18 catches for 156 yards and one touchdown
Dave's projection: 227 carries for 945 yards, six touchdowns and one fumble; 14 catches for 117 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 65 overall (Round 6)
The last time Portis played for coach Mike Shanahan he was a Fantasy star. When both were in Denver in 2002-03 before Portis was traded to Washington, Portis had at least 1,500 rushing yards in each season with 29 touchdowns. But he was a ball hog then as the Broncos couldn't get enough of his productivity, and now he's part of a crowded backfield. Portis, who will be 28 when the season starts, is also coming off an injury-riddled year in 2009 (he only played in eight games due to a concussion) and was limited to a career-low 494 rushing yards and one touchdown. Portis now has some sleeper potential since he will fall in drafts due to his perceived lack of youth, but he still has the upside to be a solid No. 2 Fantasy option. He's worth drafting beginning in Round 5 and hopefully he can stay healthy this season.

No. 2: Larry Johnson
Jamey's projection: 180 carries for 684 yards, five touchdowns and one fumble; 17 catches for 87 yards
Dave's projection: 134 carries for 517 yards, five touchdowns and one fumble; 13 catches for 74 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 138 overall (Round 12)
Johnson is hoping Shanahan's influence can help resurrect his career. From 1995-2008 with Denver, Shanahan coached 11 individual 1,000-yard rushers. That's the kind of coach Johnson needs after falling out of favor with Fantasy owners following a bad 2009, when he was released by Kansas City and nonexistent with Cincinnati. This year, Johnson, 30, will likely be the No. 2 running back in Washington behind Portis, but Johnson is going to see his share of carries. There's also been speculation that Johnson will be used in short-yardage situations, which means he could be a goal-line option in the red zone. Johnson isn't exactly the same player we remember from 2005-06 when he ran for more than 3,500 yards and scored 40 touchdowns with the Chiefs. But if Portis struggles then Johnson can possibly have a bounce-back year if Shanahan can work his magic again.

No. 3: Willie Parker
Jamey's projection: 40 carries for 150 yards, one touchdown and one fumble; 21 catches for 140 yards and one touchdown
Dave's projection: 44 carries for 160 yards and one fumble; 22 catches for 147 yards
Average Draft Position: Not drafted
Parker might not make it to Week 1 with the Redskins and could be looking for a new team before long. He's only listed here based on his name value, but Portis and Johnson are the running backs to target from Washington. Parker was a standout running back with the Steelers, but those days are over. At 29, it appears like his best days are behind him, and he should not be drafted in the majority of leagues.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: Portis and Johnson. Goal-line option: Johnson. Receiving threat: None.

New England Patriots
No. 1: Laurence Maroney
Jamey's projection: 189 carries for 836 yards, five touchdowns and two fumbles; 14 catches for 119 yards
Dave's projection: 179 carries for 701 yards, six touchdowns and two fumbles; 10 catches for 86 yards
Average Draft Position: No. 106 overall (Round 9)
Just when you were ready to write off Maroney he bounced back last year with a career high in carries (194) and rushing touchdowns (nine) and also added 757 rushing yards. While those stats aren't overly impressive, Maroney was one of the best Fantasy running backs for six games from Week 6-12. He had eight touchdowns over that span, including a six-game scoring streak. Fumble problems eventually led to his demise in the eyes of Bill Belichick (he had four fumbles in the final eight games of the year), and he will return to sharing carries again with a loaded backfield. But Maroney is still the most talented running back in New England, and he's entering a potential contract year. We still view him as a No. 3 Fantasy running back, and he's worth drafting as a top reserve with the chance that he can go on a hot streak once again.

No. 2 Sammy Morris
Jamey's projection:
116 carries for 444 yards and three touchdowns; 18 catches for 124 yards
Dave's projection:
91 carries for 356 yards and two touchdowns; seven catches for 63 yards
Average Draft Position:
Not drafted
Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light said in an interview with CBSSports.com this offseason that his choice as the best running back in New England is Morris. "He's been the consistent guy from the standpoint of when he's in there he always makes great plays," Light said. "Unfortunately, he's had to battle some of these injuries. I look to him having a great season. He prepares as hard as any of those guys that we've ever had. I look for him to take a large part of the load there at the running back position." The biggest problem for Morris is staying healthy. He hasn't played a full season since 2005, and he will be 33 this season. The good thing is he's in a contract year, and he's proven that he can be productive for a certain stretch when given a chance (in 2008 he had five touchdowns in his final nine games). Because of that he's worth a late-round pick as someone to stash on your roster, especially if Maroney struggles again.

No. 3: Fred Taylor
Jamey's projection: 124 carries for 480 yards, two touchdowns and one fumble; 10 catches for 61 yards
Dave's projection: 117 carries for 468 yards and three touchdowns; six catches for 37 yards
Average Draft Position: Not drafted
Taylor is far from the running back he was in his heyday with the Jaguars, but he showed last year he could be productive when given a chance -- and when he's healthy. He only played in six games in 2009, his first year with New England, because of an ankle injury, but he scored four touchdowns and had 21 carries for 105 yards against Atlanta in Week 3. Taylor appeared in great shape this offseason and is looking forward to this year. "I'm motivated to show I still got it," Taylor said in an interview with CBSSports.com. We believe him, but he's still no better than a No. 4 Fantasy option. He's only worth a late-round pick in deep leagues, and he should be drafted after Maroney and Morris are gone. And, keep in mind, Kevin Faulk remains a part of this committee also, which is why they are last on our list. There are just too many mouths to feed.

RBBC Attributes: First and second down use: All three. Goal-line option: Maroney. Receiving threat: Morris (and Faulk).

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can also follow Jamey at @jameyeisenberg . Do you have a question or a comment for our Fantasy staff? Drop us a line at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com .

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Player News
A.J. Green staying loyal to Andy Dalton
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/10/2014) Bengals receiver A.J. Green told NFL Network he's hoping quarterback Andy Dalton receives a contract extension. "We came in together and that is the great thing for me and him," Green said. "I know he's my guy. I don't want any other quarterback throwing me the ball. I think he feels the same way about me."

Green said he's built chemistry with Dalton in their three years together.

"He feels confident that whether I'm double covered, triple covered, it don't matter I'm going to come down with the ball," Green said. "And I feel like we've grown over these last three years and I feel like this year is going to be another key year for us."


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by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
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"The next step for him is to get him into the daily grind, put the pads on and go pound it," Campen said of Sherrod. "That's his next step, but we've been very pleased with where he's come from."


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by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
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Chris Ivory's carries expected to drop
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
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The paper said it will be interesting to see how Ivory reacts to a smaller workload. "One of the reasons he was unhappy in New Orleans was he was part of a crowded backfield and did not feel he was being used enough," the paper said. "Will he bite his tongue if he is riding the bench?"


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Getting rid of Andre Johnson would be costly
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/10/2014) The Texans would incur $12 million in dead money on their salary cap if they cut or trade receiver Andre Johnson, reports ESPN.com. Johnson has asked for a trade, but the Texans are resistant to the idea, according to NFL Network.

Johnson is owed $21.5 million over the next two seasons. He's unhappy with the direction of the team, which is rebuilding with a new coach and new quarterbacks.


Eddie Lacy not content
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/10/2014) Packers running back Eddie Lacy set a franchise rookie rushing record with 1,178 yards last season while scoring 11 touchdowns. He won't take anyone by surprise in 2014, a challenge he's preparing for.

"I just need to regain focus," he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "Don't let what I did last year flow over into this year. It's a new team, it's a new season and a new year pretty much."

"I know it's going to be a lot tougher than last season," Lacy added. "But we have the greatest quarterback in the NFL, and with him being back there, it's not just like they'll be able to stack the box and focus on me. They have to play him, because if not, he's just going to kill them through the air. So I still think I have a bit of breathing room.

"I think it will be tougher, because it's not like you're surprising everyone. When you first come in, people doubt you. They know what you did in college, but they don't know if it will translate to the next level. But once you get that year in and people see what you've done and it's no longer surprising, they're going to prepare for you the way they prepare for whoever else is good at that position."


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(7/10/2014) The Falcons are "certain" receiver Julio Jones will "return to his old explosive self," reports ESPN.com. Jones is coming off foot surgery and is waiting for doctors to clear him to go all out. 

Jones says he's running routes and feels no pain in his foot.


Report: Browns 'not likely' to cut Josh Gordon
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