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2007 Fantasy Football Busts - Running Backs
Huddle Staff
August 9, 2007
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends

David Dorey's Running Back Bust

Laurence MaroneyLaurence Maroney, New England
This is sort of an odd bust pick since Maroney has so many positives this year and could (operative word) end up scoring 12 or more touchdowns. With Corey Dillon gone, Maroney takes over and won’t share the ball unless somehow the Patriots believe more in Sammy Morris than other teams have. The problem with Maroney is that the Patriots do like to spread the wealth and Kevin Faulk and Morris could figure in. Plus Maroney takes over the full-time role  and yet even as a part-timer in 2006 he suffered from torn rib cartilage and a knee sprain. He also did almost no training in the offseason with the team thanks to shoulder surgery that the Patriots finally disclosed and he’s been wearing the red shirt when he does join the team recently. Given his history of durability issues, the almost total lack of reliability in the Patriots injury report and the fact that Tom Brady now has all new toys to play with in Randy Moss, Donte’ Stallworth and Wes Welker, the chances are too high that Maroney could be a bust this year to bother with him.  He’ll be a weekly question mark all season most likely.

Scott Boyter's Running Back Bust

Jamal Lewis, Cleveland
Avoid any Brown like the plague. With an unsettled quarterback situation and an offensive line in flux, Lewis will not even be worth a flyer. Center LeCharles Bentley is returning from a severe knee injury, and tackle Ryan Tucker will be suspended the first four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Sports Illustrated's Peter King might have been impressed with Lewis during his visit to Cleveland's camp, but the Browns look like they're going to be a disaster. I'd pick a second kicker or defense before I wasted a choice on Lewis.

Brent Clement's Running Back Bust

Frank Gore, San Francisco
Gore put up huge numbers last year on the weak NFC West, but folks that is about to change.  The Cardinals, Hawks and Rams are all better defensively than a year ago, and teams will force Alex Smith to beat them through the air, instead of Gore on the ground,  in 2007.  The fact Gore is being drafted in the top 3, ahead of LJ and Alexander among others,  is the reason he makes my bust list.  He should still be a top 10 back, but is not worthy of his draft position in most drafts.

Michael Courter's Running Back Bust

Jamal Lewis, Cleveland
Is anyone buying this bill of goods, the “Jamal Lewis Renaissance in Cleveland”?! The NFL Network would like you to believe that there are great things in store for Lewis running behind a newly-improved Cleveland Browns offensive line in 2007.  Despite the admirable moves in the off-season by Phil Savage and his staff, the Browns offensive line will be starting a rookie at left tackle (albeit a talented one in Wisconsin’s Joe Thomas) and pricey free agent OG import Eric Steinbach is already hurt, most likely missing several weeks, possibly all of pre-season, with a sprained knee.  It will take a year or two for this unit to jell and the balding tread on Lewis’ tires does not have that much time to give.

Bob Cunningham's Running Back Bust

Willie Parker, Pittsburgh
Everyone seems to be so high on this kid.  And yes, he’s very talented with break-away speed.  But Parker doesn’t run with good vision on a consistent basis – it drove former coach Bill Cowher bonkers.  And any back who comes out of the game near the goal line cannot be a top-half-of-the-league guy.  With Najeh Davenport scalping short TDs, Parker is a middle of the pack guy at best.

Joe Levit's Running Back Bust

Brandon Jacobs, NY Giants
Simply put, I don’t think the team is as talented this season as last. The subtractions of Tiki Barber and Luke Petitgout will have an impact. Jacobs will still rumble for 8-10 touchdowns, but Reuben Droughns will get enough carries to make Jacobs a waste of a pick in the second to fourth rounds of a draft.

Kevin Ratterree's Running Back Busts

Shaun AlexanderShaun Alexander, Seattle
30 years old.  On a declining offense.  Coming off an injury plagued season.  And worst of all a guy that I am not sure still has the burning desire to play this game.  And he is being drafted mid first round.  Bust is written all over this one.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
I am real nervous about Peterson in this first season.  Coming off a broken collarbone does not prohibit me from drafting a guy, but running behind a raw quarterback, and facing 8 man fronts all season might.  Peterson tore up the college world, but I fear that the situation he will find himself in now will yield drastically different results.  Probably overvalued in his debut season.

Willis McGahee, Baltimore
The offensive line he will be running behind may not be any better than the one he left in Buffalo.  And his quarterback can't complete a pass longer than 20 yards.  McGahee will find lots of linebackers in his face in the few instances he is able to muster his way across the line of scrimmage.  Still overvalued, but this will probably be the last season that happens.  Avoid the Christmas rush and jump off this wrong way train right now.

Paul Sandy's Running Back Busts

Jerrious Norwood, Miami
I was a big advocate for Norwood last season and was begging for the Falcons to use him more. However, the regime change in Atlanta has caused me to sour on the second-year back—at least for this season. New head coach Bobby Petrino has ditched the zone blocking scheme in favor of a power rushing game. Unfortunately the offensive lineman who have carried over from last year aren’t suited for that style and will likely struggle to adjust. Add in the uncertainty at the QB position and it’s looking like a dismal season for the Falcons offense, which will be an albatross on Norwood’s production.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
Contrary to popular belief the biggest knock on Peterson isn’t his bum collarbone. It also isn’t that he’ll be splitting time with Chester Taylor. Peterson’s major issue is that the Minnesota passing game is the worst in the NFL. How Minnesota got to a point where Brooks Bollinger is the team’s best QB and Bobby Wade is their top WR is beyond me. Peterson can expect to see eight or even nine man fronts all season. The kid’s got a bright future just not a bright 2007.

Darin Tietgen's Running Back Bust

Brandon Jacobs, NY Giants
Already hinted towards this in the discussion on Eli Manning, but I just don’t think Jacobs has what it takes to be an every-down back in the NFL.  The guy is 6’4”, first of all.  He’s listed at 264 lbs.  The next tallest starting RB is Steven Jackson (6’2”) and the next heaviest is Jamal Lewis (245 lbs.)  What does this mean?  Well, at this height, he tends to run rather upright, and at this weight, he’s definitely not going to be a juking or “slippery” type of runner.  He has never been a pass-catching back, so if the Giants want a “Tiki-like” back in their offense, that points to Reuben Droughns, not Jacobs.  Jacobs’ stats, despite supposedly being the “featured back”, is probably going to be very similar to his 2006 stats, TD-wise.  He’ll most likely improve on the 423 yards he gained last year, but does 800 yards and 10 TDs sound like a RB1 for fantasy purposes?  Let someone else reach for Jacobs, and grab Droughns six or seven rounds later.

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