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2005 Player Rankings: Change Tracker - Running Backs
Updated: September 5, 2005
  Change Tracker: Rankings: Projected Stats: Cheat Sheets:
Performance Rankings
Rank Player Team Bye
Tier 1
  1 LaDain. Tomlinson SDC 10
  2 Shaun Alexander SEA 8
  3 Edgerrin James IND 8
  4 Priest Holmes KCC 5
Tier 2
  5 Domanick Davis HOU 3
  6 Deuce McAllister NOS 10
  7 Willis McGahee BUF 9
  8 Corey Dillon NEP 7
9 Kevin Jones DET 3
10 Julius Jones DAL 9
11 Jamal Lewis BAL 3
  12 Clinton Portis WAS 3
  13 Tiki Barber NYG 5
  14 Rudi Johnson CIN 10
Tier 3
  15 Curtis Martin NYJ 8
  16 Ahman Green GB 6
  17 Steven Jackson STL 9
  18 Lamont Jordan OAK 5
  19 Brian Westbrook PHI 6
  20 Carnell Williams TB 7
  21 J.J. Arrington ARI 6
22 Cedric Benson CHI 4
  23 Ronnie Brown MIA 4
  24 Chris Brown TEN 10
  25 Warrick Dunn ATL 8
26 Kevan Barlow SF 6
Tier 4
27 Mike Anderson DEN 9
  28 DeShaun Foster CAR 7
  29 Michael Bennett MIN 5
  30 Fred Taylor JAX 7
  31 Larry Johnson KC 5
32 Jerome Bettis PIT 4
33 Marshall Faulk STL 9
  34 T.J. Duckett ATL 8
  35 Thomas Jones CHI 4
  36 Lee Suggs CLE 4
37 Tatum Bell DEN 9
Tier 5
38 Mewelde Moore MIN 5
  39 Reuben Droughns CLE 4
40 Ryan Moats PHI 6
41 Willie Parker PIT 4
42 Ricky Williams MIA 4
  43 Duce Staley PIT 4
44 Travis Henry TEN 9
  45 Brandon Jacobs NYG 5
46 Stephen Davis CAR 7
  47 Michael Pittman TB 7
48 William Green CLE 4
49 Nick Goings CAR 7
  50 LaBrandon Toefield JAX 7
  51 Frank Gore SF 6
52 Verron Haynes PIT 4
53 Anthony Thomas DAL 9
  54 Ciatrick Fason MIN 5
  55 Alvin Pearman JAX 7
  56 Kevin Faulk NE 7
57 Marion Barber DAL 9
  58 Najeh Davenport GB 6
  59 Marcel Shipp ARI 6
  60 Moe Williams MIN 5
61 Vernand Morency HOU 3
  62 Chester Taylor BAL 3
  63 Dominic Rhodes IND 8
  64 Derrick Blaylock NYJ 8
  65 Greg Jones JAX 7
  66 Cedric Houston NYJ 8
  67 Ladell Betts WAS 3
68 Lamar Gordon MIA 4
  69 Shawn Bryson DET 3
  70 Tony Fisher GB 6
  71 Justin Griffith ATL 8
  72 Mike Alstott TB 7
  73 Jonathan Wells HOU 3
  74 Michael Turner SD 10
  75 Chris Perry CIN 10
  76 Damien Nash TEN 10
  77 Darren Sproles SD 10
  78 Justin Fargas OAK 5
  79 Aaron Stecker NO 10
  80 Ron Dayne DEN 9
  81 Maurice Morris SEA 8
  82 Travis Minor MIA 4
  83 Tony Richardson KC 5
  84 Antowain Smith NO 10
  85 Artose Pinner DET 3
  86 Kenny Watson CIN 10
  87 Adrian Peterson CHI 4
  88 Musa Smith BAL 3
  89 Maurice Hicks SF 6
  90 Shaud Williams BUF 9
  91 Rock Cartwright WAS 3
  92 James Mungro IND 8
  93 Arlen Harris STL 9
Player Change Was Now Date
Lamar Gordon NR 68 09/05/05
Gordon was picked up by the Eagles and while it is too early to say he will have any role, he might be worth a late flyer in your draft. Gordon is now the biggest back in PHI and could reprise the "Levens" role for the Eagles this year with Buckhalter out.
Player Change Was Now Date
Assorted na na 09/04/05
The 53 man cuts dropped Lamar Gordon and Mike Cloud from the rankings. Eric Shelton was also removed as he was placed on IR.
Player Change Was Now Date
Assorted na na 09/03/05
There were several very small changes made based on the week four games. Since there were many and yet no change that large, they are just marked with an arrow.
Player Change Was Now Date
Stephen Davis 54 50 09/01/05
Davis is being touted as healthy and may get limited time in the final preseason game. He deserves to rise slightly in the rankings but that still does not mean you have to draft him. He has injury problem written all over him with microfracture surgery last year. He's better off on someone else's team.
Player Change Was Now Date
J.R. Redmond 91 NR 08/30/05
Redmond was placed on injured reserve by the Cardinals.
Player Change Was Now Date
Cedric Cobbs 69 NR 08/30/05
Cobbs was released by the Patriots.
Player Change Was Now Date
Assorted na na 08/29/05
There were several very small changes made based on the week three games. Since there were many and yet no change that large, they are just marked with an arrow.
Player Change Was Now Date
Maurice Clarett 65 NR 08/29/05
The Broncos released Clarett. He may land with another team but unless something develops later in the season, forget Clarett for 2005 - if not beyond.
Player Change Was Now Date
Cedric Benson 26 22 08/29/05
Benson has finally signed and will have almost two weeks time before the first game and a chance to see a little time in the final preseason game. There is no doubt that he will be a slow starter for the Bears as he catches up, but once that happens - and it may only take a matter of a couple of weeks, he should assume the primary, full time load. The Bears have a nice rushing schedule this year and Benson should enjoy good production once he acclimates with the team.
Player Change Was Now Date
Mike Anderson 36 31 08/28/05
Anderson's hold on the starting job only gets stronger every day and his big run last night only makes it more apparent that he will start out as Denver's tailback. He rises no further because even with one run during a meaningless preseason game, he still is a 32-year old back that has only had one good season in the NFL which was four years ago.
Player Change Was Now Date
Tatum Bell 29 35 08/28/05
Bell continues to fall with Mike Anderson not only remaining in the #1 spot on the depth chart, but also Ball failing to get almost any carries in the third preseason game while Anderson ripped off a 95 yard run. While Bell has value and it is hard to believe that Anderson has lasting power, Anderson is now the first Denver back to take in a draft.
Player Change Was Now Date
Willie Parker 47 43 08/27/05
Parker reeled off an impressive 51 yard run last night against the Redskins and was promptly removed from the game since the Steelers did not want to risk getting Parker injured since both Staley and Bettis are ailing. The fact that Parker was pulled and Verron Haynes was used speaks volumes about the pecking order. Parker could surprise this year if Staley continues his injury ways, though the speedster would not likely be used near the goal line or in short yardage situations regardless.
Player Change Was Now Date
Jerome Bettis 30 32 08/27/05
Bettis suffered a strained calf in the exhibition game last night and while that injury is not considered to be serious, his age and the impressive run by Willie Parker deserves just a slight adjustment down.
Player Change Was Now Date
Thomas Jones 37 35 08/26/05
Benson's holdout continues to prop up Thomas Jones. The impasse continues and even if resolved at this late date should ensure that Jones will get decent playing time at the start of the season.
Player Change Was Now Date
Cedric Benson 23 26 08/26/05
The greatest rookie that no one has seen continues to holdout and even though he had a meeting in Chicago yesterday, he did not sign. He drops here again but there was some optimism spawned when Benson met with GM Jerry Angelo. It is not time to write him off this season, but reasonably he cannot be considered as good as if he had even a week or two of training camp.
Player Change Was Now Date
Lee Suggs 33 35 08/25/05
Suggs now has a high ankle sprain which could make his status for the season opener in doubt. He's been a constant injury problem and while he is likely the best back in Cleveland, it doesn't matter when he is wearing ace bandages more than a uniform. Suggs is the best bet of the trio of he, WIlliam Green and Reuben Droughns to be fantasy relevant this year, but that doesn't necessarily mean any of them will, at least not reliably.
Player Change Was Now Date
William Green 83 53 08/25/05
Green shoots up the board from relative obscurity to being marginally interesting because Lee Suggs is hurt yet again and Reuben Droughns has not been able to cement a position yet. Green has looked good and impressed the new coaching staff so he likely will get a shot but the Brown's rushing attack mostly looks like something to avoid this season.
Player Change Was Now Date
Correll Buckhalter 49 NR 08/24/05
CBuck is just plain snake-bitten. Buckhalter underwent surgery to repair a torn patella tendon in his right knee. Buckhalter, who took a helmet to his surgically repaired knee early in training camp and has not practiced since, will spend his second straight season on injured reserve. He originally suffered the injury in August 2004 in a preseason game against Baltimore.
Player Change Was Now Date
Ryan Moats 46 40 08/24/05
With Buckhalter out of the picture now, Moats has to take a bigger role. The Eagles could still add another back to the fold before the season starts but regardless, Moats looks even more appealing now.
Player Change Was Now Date
Stephen Davis 57 49 08/23/05
Davis is getting closer to playing again and deserves a bump up but he comes with such huge risk, he's likely better allowing someone else to draft. Foster will be the starter for how ever long he remains healthy but it now appears that Davis will likely get a chance to end his career by playing once again and being injured once again.
Player Change Was Now Date
Troy Hambrick 85 NR 08/23/05
Cut by the Cardinals, Hambrick has no fantasy value.
Player Change Was Now Date
Ryan Moats 47 46 08/23/05
Moats is looking better every day that Buckhalter is still out. It's not that he will replace Buckhalter so much as it means heavier use of Brian Westbrook and the sooner he gets injured and needs to be subbed by Moats.
Player Change Was Now Date
Correll Buckhalter 40 48 08/23/05
Though Buckhalter is in a great spot for some fantasy production this season, his knee continues to be a problem for him. He is not practicing and will visit doctors yet again to see what the solution or prognosis is. With a significant injury history already, Buckhalter looks like a bigger risk than reward this year.
Player Change Was Now Date
Michael Pittman 46 42 08/23/05
Pittman gets a bump up with Garner out of the picture. He'll remain behind Carnell Williams but if the need arises, he'll be the one to spell or replace Cadillac with no competition from Garner.
Player Change Was Now Date
Mewelde Moore 45 39 08/23/05
Moore moves up with Bennett already dinged up and the season has not began. There is speculation that Moore may end up as the starter purely by coaches choice. Add in a fragile Bennett ahead of him and he seems almost a lock for some starts this season.
Player Change Was Now Date
Ciatrick Fason 49 54 08/23/05
Fason has a high ankle sprain which is just delaying his development for a few weeks but he wasn't wowing anyone anyway. He deserves a drop in the rankings just because he does not appear to be likely for much playing time but with the Vikings, he may get called up by mid-season or later.
Player Change Was Now Date
Charlie Garner 64 NR 08/23/05
Garner hasn't healed well and will start the season on the PUP list if in fact he is not released. Drop him from your draft plans in all cases.
Player Change Was Now Date
Ronnie Brown 25 22 08/19/05
Now that Brown is in camp, we can see what the best running back in the best year for running backs really looks like. There is already speculation that Ricky Williams is merely auditioning for the eventual trade right now and Brown should have enough time before the season starts to get into the flow of being a pro.
Player Change Was Now Date
Cedric Benson 21 23 08/19/05
Benson is still unsigned and is the only first rounder not under contract. The Bears have issued their final offer and the Bears training camp is now over. This doesn't mean Benson will have no value, but the longer this goes, the more likely he will take time before being given a full role. Not to mention the entire Bears' coaching staff and management now feel the heat from being the final team that has not signed their first round pick.
Player Change Was Now Date
Thomas Jones 42 38 08/19/05
At least one person is enjoying the holdout of Benson. Jones hold on the starting role for at least the initial games gets stronger every day that Benson stays away.
Player Change Was Now Date
Fred Taylor 44 31 08/15/05
Taylor finally is given his bump up since reports are that he is running well and shows shiftiness again though he has yet to really practice. Chances are he will play this season, he will get hurt, and he will disappoint the person who drafted him. But his upside makes him worthy of drafting - just not as a starter for your team. And get Toefield. Maybe Pearman too.
Player Change Was Now Date
LaBrandon Toefield 29 41 08/15/05
Fred Taylor looks more like he will play this season though he has not practiced. Toefield is truly only backup quality as a runner and will lose time for however long Taylor is actually healthy.
Player Change Was Now Date
Cedric Benson 19 21 08/15/05
Benson slips a few spots since he has not signed yet and is losing valuable practice time. The loss of Grossman also cannot be viewed as favorable for the offense. Benson is very talented and will be a good runner in the NFL. He has the best rushing schedule of any rookie tailback but his absence likely will have him receive more limited time in the early part of the season. Particularly considering the Bears will need a good blocker from their running backs on passing downs.
Player Change Was Now Date
Correll Buckhalter 27 39 08/15/05
CBuck's knee is still a problem which sends shivers of dread through any fantasy owner burned by him in the past. It is the same knee that had a torn patella tendon last year and he is not as fast as he should be with soreness in the joint. He could fall farther if he does not return to health.
Player Change Was Now Date
Thomas Jones 48 42 08/15/05
With Benson sliding, Jones has to go up. It looks like at the least he will be getting more third down time since Benson is not learning how to pass block and with the frustration of the team over the holdout, Jones could be getting more playing time early in the season anyway.
Player Change Was Now Date
Frank Gore 43 52 08/15/05
Gore had dislocated his shoulder and chipped a bone in the process last week. There is still some concern that the injury could last into the season so hoping for an early strike on a sleeper is more unlikely now.
Player Change Was Now Date
Kevan Barlow 28 26 08/15/05
Gets a pop up thanks to Gore looking less likely to steal time.
Player Change Was Now Date
Willis McGahee 5 7 08/15/05
McGahee slips just a bit with the poor showing of J.P. Losman in the preseason opener. He's still a fine choice but with the passing game not looking very formidable yet, he carries higher risk.
Player Change Was Now Date
Duce Staley 27 39 08/11/05
Staley had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He is expected to miss the next month recovering from the surgery. That jeopardizes his starting in week one and beyond, given the track record he has for being injured. He's no younger this year and his risk is undeniably even higher.
Player Change Was Now Date
Willie Parker NR 49 08/11/05
Currently it appears that Parker will be taking over for Staley and he was more impressive last season than was Vernon Haynes. He could end up as a nice sleeper and a shrewd late draft pick if Staley's health continues to be a problem. With Bettis there to steal touchdowns, no other runner will turn in "fulltime" numbers but Parker could be an interesting fill-in.
Player Change Was Now Date
Jerome Bettis 34 31 08/11/05
Moves up with the news Staley had surgery and will miss the next month. He doesn't deserve too much more of a bump though since he's highly unlikely to turn into a big yardage player at his age. He should get more use with Staley questionable, but Bettis could not last an entire season as a primary ball carrier every game.
Player Change Was Now Date
Tatum Bell 20 27 08/11/05
The longer that Bell is not named as the clear #1 tailback for the Broncos, the more likely that he won't be one or at least remain one long enough to be worth a top 20 RB pick. He has definite potential and apparently growing risk.
Player Change Was Now Date
Clinton Portis 7 11 08/11/05
Portis drops not from any particular reason per se but just news that the offensive line still does not appear to be upgrading as much from last season as would be desired. That will likely result in the same pattern as last season - several monster games balanced by some very marginal afternoons.
Player Change Was Now Date
Chris Brown 19 24 08/05/05
While the acquisition of Travis Henry was reasonable enough, what is becoming more and more clear is that the Titans intend on using both Brown and Henry in some sharing scenario. Both have worked out equally with the first team in camp and HC Jeff Fisher has reaffirmed that he intends to use both backs during the season.
Player Change Was Now Date
Travis Henry 44 40 08/05/05
Henry has been working out with the first team in conjunction with Chris Brown and is intended to play much more than a mere relief role for the Titans. While he has not displayed the same game breaking skills as Brown, he is a better inside the tackle runner and could be used at the goal line and to reduce the carries - and wear and tear - on the fragile Brown.
Player Change Was Now Date
J.J. Arrington 26 23 08/05/05
Arrington gets a bump up after shining already in training camp and prompting HC Denny Green to already call his second round pick a steal. Arrington does not appear to have to worry much about Shipp or any other ball carrier for the Cardinals - this guy has been electric so far.
Player Change Was Now Date
Brandon Jacobs 52 41 08/05/05
The monster-sized bull has continued to show surprising speed and ability and deserves to be considered earlier in the draft. He seems an absolute certainty for short yardage and goal line carries.
Player Change Was Now Date
Tiki Barber 10 13 08/05/05
Barber appears even more likely to lose some carries and scores to the rookie Jacobs who is almost half again as big as Barber. While Dayne was a flop, Jacobs has every bit the look of thunder to Barber's lightning.
Player Change Was Now Date
Maurice Clarett 46 66 08/05/05
The Broncos running back situation has probably never been less clear and that says volumes for what a mess the group is to figure out. Clarett drops back and of course could vary between being a top ten back or having no carries all season. Clarett did sign a contract made up almost entirely of incentives so he has every reason to excel. Now he just has to convince HC Mike Shanahan that he is more worth of a start than the other three runners.
Player Change Was Now Date
Mike Anderson 45 36 08/05/05
Anderson goes up in the ranking since he is working out with the first team. That means everything or nothing in Denver. Anderson is returning from a torn groin muscle last season that placed him on IR. He adds a wonderful extra confusion to the already muddy backfield.
Player Change Was Now Date
Ron Dayne 75 83 08/05/05
Dayne falls in the rankings since he has not been working out with the first team but by the same token you can find HC Mike Shanahan saying glowing things about him if you look hard enough. While Denver backs deserve to be ranked, that does not mean you have to draft them.
Player Change Was Now Date
Ronnie Brown 23 25 07/27/05
Brown takes a slight tick down since he is currently holding out and Ricky Williams appears to be likely to take some time from him later in the season.
Player Change Was Now Date
Ricky Williams 53 50 07/27/05
Williams has shown up for training camp and HC Nick Saban is definitely supporting his return. This is no guarantee that Williams gets playing time or that he is not traded at first opportunity. The only sure thing is that Williams is back, he will miss the first four games due to an NFL suspension and he only weighs 213 pounds when he reported. He rises slightly because he should with his talent. It is a huge unknown what his impact, if any, will be this year but it is a risk worth taking this deep