fantasy football     JOIN THE HUDDLE    


2004 Player Rankings: Running Backs
Updated: September 8, 2004
Player Rankings Projected Stats Cheat Sheets
QB  |  RB  |  WR  |  TE  |  PK  |  DF  |  Top 120 QB  |  RB  |  WR  |  TE Performance  |  TD Only   |  Auction  |  Keeper
= Rising   = Falling  |= Good Upside= Higher Risk  |  About the Rankings

Rnk Running Back Tm Bye
  1 La. Tomlinson SD 10
  2 Priest Holmes KC 5
  3 Ahman Green GB 9
  4 Deuce McAllister NO 8
  5 Shaun Alexander SEA 4
  6 Clinton Portis WAS 7
  7 Edgerrin James IND 6
  8 Jamal Lewis BAL 6
    Tier 2    
  9 Fred Taylor JAX 9
  10 Marshall Faulk STL 8
  11 Kevan Barlow SF 7
  12 Domanick Davis HOU 7
  13 Rudi Johnson CIN 5
  14 Corey Dillon NE 3
  15 Stephen Davis CAR 3
    Tier 3     
  16 Chris Brown TEN 9
  17 Curtis Martin NYJ 3
  18 Thomas Jones CHI 5
  19 Brian Westbrook PHI 5
20 Michael Bennett MIN 4
  21 Travis Henry BUF 3
  22 Tiki Barber NYG 6
  23 Kevin Jones DET 4
  24 Duce Staley PIT 7
  25 Lee Suggs CLE 8
    Tier 4     
  26 Quentin Griffin DEN 10
  27 Julius Jones DAL 4
  28 T.J. Duckett ATL 9
  29 Tyrone Wheatley OAK 10
  30 Warrick Dunn ATL 9
  31 Charlie Garner TB 8
  32 Eddie George DAL 4
  33 DeShaun Foster CAR 3
  34 Stephen Jackson STL 8
  35 Willis McGahee BUF 3
36 Lamar Gordon MIA 10
    Tier 5    
  37 Moe Williams MIN 4
  38 Mike Alstott TB 8
  39 Michael Pittman TB 8
  40 Tatum Bell DEN 10
  41 William Green CLE 8
  42 Emmitt Smith ARI 6
  43 Jerome Bettis PIT 7
  44 Reno Mahe PHI 5
  45 Ron Dayne NYG 6
  46 Greg Jones JAX 9
  47 Onterrio Smith MIN 4
  48 Anthony Thomas CHI 5
  49 Richie Anderson DAL 4
  50 Tony Hollings HOU 7
  51 Garrison Hearst DEN 10
  52 LaMont Jordan NYJ 3
  53 Kevin Faulk NE 3
  54 Najeh Davenport GB 9
  55 Amos Zereoue OAK 10
  56 Chris Perry CIN 5
  57 Troy Hambrick OAK 10
  58 Shawn Bryson DET 4
  59 Justin Fargas OAK 10
  60 Tony Fisher GB 9
  61 Chester Taylor BAL 6
  62 Antowain Smith TEN 9
63 Travis Minor MIA 10
  64 Derrick Blaylock KC 5
  65 Dominic Rhodes IND 6
  66 Ladell Betts WAS 7
  67 Terry Jackson SF 7
  68 Zack Crockett OAK 10
  69 James Jackson CLE 8
  70 Musa Smith BAL 6
  71 Maurice Morris SEA 4
  72 Josh Scobey ARI 6
  73 Mewelde Moore MIN 4
  74 Larry Johnson KC 5
  75 Artose Pinner DET 4
  76 Michael Turner SD 10
Click here for Complete
Analysis and 3 Year Stats for all Running Backs
Player Change Was Now Date
Lamar Gordon NR 36 09/07/04

Gordon signed with the Dolphins and should be nearly an immediate starter. But the Dolphins are still likely to use RBBC and struggle with a bad offensive line.

Travis Minor 36 63 09/07/04

Minor falls with the signing of Lamar Grodon.

Julius Jones 37 27 09/05/04

Jones gets a bump up with Eddie George looking like really has played too much, too long. Jones has not shown bigtime ability yet, but his opportunities should be higher than believed before George looked ineffective.

Fred Russell 70 NR 09/05/04

Russell was released by the Dolphins at the 53 man roster limit.

Damien Anderson 66 NR 09/05/04

Anderson was cut at the 53 man roster limit.

Cedrick Cobbs 74 NR 09/05/04

Cobbs was placed on the PUP list.

Dorsey Levens 75 NR 09/05/04

Levens was cut at the 53 man roster limit.

Troy Hambrick 72 57 09/01/04

Hambrick was traded to the Cardinals for undisclosed draft picks where he once again finds himself behind Emmitt Smith and yet without that bothersome optimism and confidence he had two years ago. Hambrick will likely figure in given the age of Smith, but he has already proven to be only back-up quality at best.

Josh Scobey 57 92 09/01/04

Scobey sniffs the rare air of being the #2 only momentarily before once again sliding back to more familiar ground.

Garrison Hearst 61 52 08/31/04

Hearst moves up with Mike Anderson going on Injured Reserve. It is still unlikely that he does anything long-term this season, but until Bell catches on he will serve as the #2 behind Griffin.

Michael Bennett 17 20 08/29/04

Bennett will miss one to three weeks after spraining his right knee and may not be ready to play against Dallas in the opener. He drops three spots from the missed production and increased risk.

Dorsey Levens NR 75 08/26/04

Sneaks into the rankings with the acquisition by the Eagles but suppress your expectations.

Mewelde Moore NR 73 08/26/04

Moore will serve as the backup to Michael Bennett while Onterrio Smith is suspended for four games and then will back-up Moe Williams.

Antowain Smith 51 61 08/26/04

Smith will not be used in relief of Chris Brown unless absolutely neccessary due to injury.

Ron Dayne 35 45 08/26/04

Back down where he started. Dayne was not nearly as effective in his second preseason game and should not be considered much differently than if he never broke two long runs against an always giving KC defense.

Reno Mahe 50 45 08/26/04

Looked good against the Steelers and cemented the #2 role behind the less than durable Westbrook.

Quentin Griffin 34 26 08/26/04

Griffin has weathered the storm and remains the #1 RB in Denver. Thanks to Tatum Bell's broken finger, the true challenge never happened and the Broncos show of Mike Anderson lately is more related to trying to showcase him for a potential trade. He may not last the entire season, but he deserves a bump up as the starter for a team that likes the run.

Chris Brown 18 16 08/26/04

Brown looks like a safe bet to be a solid player this year and could easily do better than this ranking. We have yet to see what his durability will be like and he does run upright without shying from contact.

Clinton Portis 5 6 08/26/04

Portis gets a slight nudge down from a shakier looking line and the fact Shaun Alexander looks like a safer play this early.

Julius Jones 43 37 08/22/04

While Jones has not been spectacular in preseason, he has been very solid and recent statements by the coaching staff supports that both he and George will be getting playing time this year. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, it will likely be swapping roles between George and Jones for different games than merely downs.

Onterrio Smith 44 46 08/22/04

Smith gets a drop thanks to his four game suspension to start the season. While he will miss the first month, he still could be a nice draft pick available much deeper for you that only pays off later in the season.

Lee Suggs 33 25 08/22/04

Suggs gets another bump up as he continues to play well and hold onto the starting slot in Cleveland. Last night both he had Green had six carries each. Suggs had 63 yards and two TD's while Green only managed 24 yards. There still is no guarantee both will not be mixed this season but Suggs continues to hold to the primary role.

William Green 40 42 08/22/04

Green is not playing badly, but most importantly he is being showed up by Suggs in preseason games and the risk is greater that Green is not the eventual winner of the primary back derby.

Brian Westbrook 23 20 08/21/04

Westbrook gets a bump up with the loss of Buckhalter but after only 116 carries last season, he already was having a hard time staying healthy. Westbrook is only 5'8" and about 200 pounds. He will see more work from the Buckhalter injury but it is not the style of the Eagles to use a single back and Westbrook has not shown the durability to be one regardless.

Reno Mahe NR 50 08/21/04

The Eagles only had four running backs on their roster and just lost Buckhalter. That should mean that Mahe steps up into a #2 role now unless someone else is brought in. Mahe is only 5'10, 210 lbs. so he is not the same size of Buckhalter. At this early date, Mahe is the best candidate for a biggger role in the wake of the Buckhalter injury. Eric McCoo is the only other running back on the Eagle's roster right now.

Correll Buckhalter 30 NR 08/21/04

Buckhalter falls out of the rankings in light of his torn patellar tendon in his right knee. He is expected to miss the 2004 season.

Tony Hollings 65 50 08/20/04

The Texans continue to assert that Hollings will get upwards of 10 carries a game and he has looked good enough this summer to give him the benefit of doubt. While this seems to suggest a drop for Domanick Davis is in order, the reality is that the four backs behind him all have sharing questions as well.

Damien Anderson 54 64 08/20/04

Anderson is now #3 on the depth charts in Arizona, though eventually they may get there this season.

Josh Scobey 67 57 08/20/04

Scobey is now considered the #2 RB in Arizona, over Damien Anderson

Troy Hambrick 60 72 08/20/04

All the current talk about the Raiders and Wheatly does not share one thing - no one talks about Hambrick. He's likely to drop even more.

Amos Zereoue 63 55 08/20/04

Zereoue gets a bump since the offense has been starting him as the third down back so far in preseason.

Fred Russell 62 69 08/20/04

Russell had a nice run last week but is being primarily considered as a kick returner since he is only 5'7" and 193 pounds. Even in the current mess in Miami, Russell is likely to only get occasional spot duty if that. Leonard Henry has dropped from the rankings.

Sammy Morris NR 63 08/20/04

Morris is the current #2 in Miami though played mostly as a fullback up until now. The Dolphins are still looking at bringing in a new player (latest - James Jackson) so there is little confidence that Morris will be the one.

Tyrone Wheatley 37 26 08/16/04

Wheatly ran strong in the first preseason game and received accolades from HC Turner who is looking for a power back. Encouraging too was the improved line play of the Raiders so far. He is old and he has never done that much in his career, but this may be the stage he needs. He distanced himself from the veritable heap of runners in Oakland lately.

Thomas Jones 25 19 08/16/04

Jones rises in the rankings as one of the dwindling number of runners who have a lock on the starting role for his team. So far, the new regime is very happy with their free agent pick-up this season and he has been fast and strong in camp.

Chris Brown 25 18 08/16/04

Brown is looking strong and running hard in camp and preseason games. What he looks like is Eddie George five years ago.

Willis McGahee 40 37 08/16/04

McGahee has been impressive in scrimmages and exhibition games so far and is certainly working his way into a rotation at the very least. He's looked good enough to publicly concern Henry and is likely to rise more depending on more work and coaching decisions. If you have Henry, you better have McGahee.

Travis Henry 17 20 08/16/04

Henry is watching McGahee get better and better and has already asked to be traded if he is not the starting running back. The slide down may only be starting if McGahee continues to impress.

Tiki Barber 15 21 08/16/04

Barber was the starting RB in the first preseason game, but the two long Dayne scores does not help his case. Chances are Barber will still play better than Dayne and deserves to be drafted first but his numbers are almost certain to be watered down this season and his touchdowns reduced significantly.

Ron Dayne 45 36 08/16/04

Dayne recorded two long touchdowns of 29 and 67 yards in the exhibition game against the Chiefs and "showed something" with a slimmer form and a faster run. A dose of reality so far is that his other nine runs only netted 22 yards and he was facing one of 2003's worst rushing defenses (and that was when they had their first team in all game). What it mostly does is devalue Barber, since Dayne has not given the Giants a reason not to use him much more. Barber has admitted that his carries apparently will be much reduced this season. It is still a little early for the Dayne bandwagon quite yet, but it is headed in the right direction.

Jamal Lewis 6 8 08/16/04

Lewis remains, appropriately, a tier one back but falls behind Alexander and Edgerrin James with the potential of a court case in November. It could still be delayed or even dismissed and regardless, Lewis claims he will not miss any playing time even if it is held. The slight risk that offers makes him the end of tier one. If it is delayed or dismissed, he goes back to #6 on the board.

Lee Suggs 38 33 08/09/04

Suggs is helping his case to remain the #1 RB in Cleveland with four carries for 80 yards during the scrimmage with the Bills that included a 50-yard run. William Green only managed six yards on five carries. He is the current front runner for the job and appears to be maintaining it.

William Green 33 38 08/09/04
The big performance (though only four runs) by Suggs in the scrimmage had the coaches more impressed than with Green who only managed six yards on five carries. Green needs a bigger showing to regain the starting role and so far has not done it.
Josh Scobey NR 67 08/09/04
Scobey is currently #3 on the ARZ depth charts but is battling with Damien Anderson for the #2 role. Scobey is making ground on Anderson but also has undrafted rookie Larry Croom impressing coaches.
Damien Anderson 67 54 08/09/04
Now that Shipp is gone for the season, the #2 spot behind Emmitt becomes even more interesting. Anderson is ranked here merely as the front runner but training camp will be used to determine the #2 RB in Arizona.
Marcell Shipp
52 NR 08/09/04
Shipp now is considered likely to be out for the season with a worse fracture than initially hoped. He will be receiving pins to help it heal but he is being dropped from the rankings.
Emmitt Smith 53 43 08/07/04
While no one expect Emmitt will produce big for 16 games (if actually any) but the loss of Shipp for 8 to 12 weeks means Emmitt is the unquestioned man in ARI for the first month or two.
Marcell Shipp
34 54 08/07/04
Shipp has suffered a bad dislocation of his ankle and is expected to miss 8 to 12 weeeks while he recovers. With ankles, it could be shorter or longer but given that he was taken by stretcher from the field, err on the long side. He will be back and by then, Emmitt may be ready to sit down so Shipp has value from mid-season onwards.
Damien Anderson NR 67 08/07/04
With Shipp out, Anderson is the most likely RB to move up to the #2 spot behind the old man Smith. Not only does the ground game look weak in ARZ this season, but Anderson is being challenged by Josh Scobey and could end up being passed on the depth charts. Scobey is a faster player and likely a better fit for Denny Green's offense anyway. Training camp will determine the winner.