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Staff Sleepers, Under and Over Valued Players - Running Backs
August 25, 2009
Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers  |  Tight Ends
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Eight staff writers have all been polled who their sleepers, undervalued and overvalued players are. To make this within context of your draft, we have shown the selections against the average draft rankings and are highlighting when at least three writers have a consensus on a player.

There was surprisingly little consistency among staff members compared to previous seasons. This is the year of the big running back coin slip it appears.

Sleepers (Players drafted as a backup that have the potential to perform like a starter)

(3 stars)

Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals - Strange to see positive vibes around Benson but his average draft position of #32 seems low to some since he will be a primary, fulltime running back. Granted - he is still a Bengal on a team that was one of the worst rushing teams in 2008, but he is finally at a place where fans and teammates actually like him and with minimal competition for his job.

James Davis, Cleveland Browns - Jamal Lewis is 30 years old and seemingly is walking on the edge of the cliff, ready to fall off at any moment.  Jerome Harrison is there to add third down duty but at 5’9” and 203, he’s not likely to hold up to being a primary back. Davis has the size (5’11” and 212 pounds) to perform the job and more importantly has looked the part in training camp so far. He’s a long shot, but with Lewis aging – he may not be that big of a surprise.

(2 stars)

Larry Johnson, Willie Parker, Ray Rice, Lendale White, Rashard Mendenhall, LeSean McCoy, Julius Jones, Leon Washington and Tashard Choice.

Undervalued (Players drafted as a starter but a great value where available)

(6 stars)

Ryan Grant, Green Bay Packers - You never hear much about him and he was a disappointment in 2008 when expectations were far higher, but most the staff members liked Grant to easily outperform his #19 Average Draft Position. The Packers proved they could still mount a passing game with Aaron Rodgers last year and now the rushing game should be more successful.

(3 stars)

LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers - This is a first for the certain Hall of Famer but his drop to #7 ADP is just too far for several staff members who see him still capable to crank out at least one more high level season. Tomlinson was also considered overvalued by two staffers so there's hardly any con census that he's sure to return to his highly productive yesteryears.

Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints - Deuce McAllister is gone and only Thomas is left in his place. The undrafted third-year player took the reins later last season and scored at least once in each of the final six games including taking over the role as a receiver since Reggie Bush was injured. Bush is still not 100% and never lasts, and Thomas remains the starter on a team with a dominating passing game to respect.

(2 stars)

Clinton Portis, Reggie Bush, Knowshon Moreno and Joseph Addai.

Overvalued (Players that are poor values where being drafted, if not outright busts)

(5 stars)

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears - His lofty #3 ADP is considered too high by most staffers a bit more concerned with his 3.9 yards per rush average and the fact that there was no one to share carries with last year but now Kevin Jones is healthy and knows the playbook and is expected to decrease the workload of Forte. Even the Bears coaches have expressed a desire to use Jones more for receiving while focusing Forte more on rushing. It was Forte's NFL-leading 63 receptions by a running back last year that really propped up his value in reception point leagues.

(3 stars)

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers - The biggest surprise of 2008 is expected to experience a downturn this season with Jonathan Stewart there to share the workload and the fact that the Panthers are going from one of the easiest schedules last year to one of the worst ones for 2009. Where Williams is drafted will say a lot about your league.

Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints - The usually electric Bush is now considered more likely to have a year worst than his #16 ADP thanks to the emergence of Pierre Thomas and the reality that Bush does not have the reliability to reach the next level. He just gets injured too much.

Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo Bills - Lynch being drafted as the #21 running back is much too high for three staff members who are scared off because of the presence of Fred Jackson who shared carries with him last year and the three game suspension that Lynch has to start the season.

Darren Sproles, San Diego Chargers - Sproles is overvalued so long as you buy into LaDainian Tomlinson remaining healthy and turning in a decent season. Sproles was a dynamic runner in some games as Tomlinson's replacement but the diminutive tailback should revert to his primary role on special teams.

(2 stars)

Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marion Barber and Jonathan Stewart.

Under Valued
or Sleeper
Over Valued ADP Rankings
as of 8/3
DMD  2V   DT   KR   PS  TVP  SG   SB 
    1 Peterson,Adrian                
  2 Jones-Drew,Maurice             O  
  3 Forte,Matt O O     O   O O
  4 Turner,Michael       O        
5 Jackson,Steven     U O       O
  6 Johnson,Chris             O O
7 Tomlinson,LaDainian U     O   O U U
  8 Williams,DeAngelo O     O       O
  9 Gore,Frank         O      
10 Slaton,Steve         U   O  
  11 Westbrook,Brian           O    
  12 Barber,Marion         O     O
  13 Portis,Clinton             U U
  14 Jacobs,Brandon   U            
    15 Brown,Ronnie                
16 Bush,Reggie O O U     O U  
    17 Smith,Kevin           U    
18 Thomas,Pierre U   O U U      
  19 Grant,Ryan U U U U U U    
  20 McFadden,Darren           U    
  21 Lynch,Marshawn   O   O   O    
22 Moreno,Knowshon   U   U     O  
  23 Addai,Joseph     U         U
  24 Ward,Derrick O              
  25 Jones,Thomas           O    
  26 Stewart,Jonathan O       O      
  27 Johnson,Larry     S       S  
  28 Wells,Chris         S      
  29 Parker,Willie     S         S
  30 Jones,Felix         S      
31 Rice,Ray   S O       S  
  32 Benson,Cedric S         S   S
  33 Brown,Donald     O          
  34 White,LenDale       S     S  
  35 Sproles,Darren O O O          
  36 Mendenhall,Rashard       S     S  
  37 Lewis,Jamal   S            
  38 McCoy,LeSean S         S    
  39 Jones,Julius S     S        
  40 Washington,Leon       S   S    
  41 Jackson,Fred   O            
  42 Bradshaw,Ahmad   S            
  43 Hightower,Tim               S
    44 Greene,Shonn                
    45 Taylor,Chester                
  46 McGahee,Willis     S          
  47 Norwood,Jerious     O          
    48 Graham,Earnest                
    49 McClain,Le'Ron                
    50 Charles,Jamaal                
    51 Bush,Michael                
  52 Taylor,Fred         S      
  53 Maroney,Laurence     S          
    54 Williams,Ricky                
  55 Choice,Tashard S           S  
    56 Faulk,Kevin                
    57 Harrison,Jerome                
    58 Scott,Bernard                
    59 Buckhalter,Correll                
    60 Jackson,Brandon                
  61 Davis,James S   S S        
  62 Morris,Sammy   S            
    63 Coffee,Glen                
  64 Jennings,Rashad S              
    65 Betts,Ladell                
  66 Fargas,Justin             S  
    67 Johnson,Gartrell                
    68 Jones,Kevin                
  69 Moore,Mewelde           S    
    70 Rhodes,Dominic                
    71 Hillis,Peyton                
    72 Jordan,Lamont                
    73 Brown,Chris                
  74 Morris,Maurice           S    
    75 Ringer,Javon                
    76 Jones,Greg                
    77 James,Edgerrin                
DMD: David Dorey
2V: John Tuvey
SB: Scott Boyter
PS: Paul Sandy
SG: Steve Gallo
DT: Darin Tietgen
TVP: Tim Van Prooyen
KR: Kevin Ratterree
O: Over Valued
U: Under Valued
S: Sleeper

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