Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fantasy Football Talk With Gary McClune- RB Edition

2 Man Weave Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings

1. Adrian Peterson 2. Jamaal Charles 3. Arian Foster 4. Ray Rice 5. Chris Johnson 6. LeSean McCoy 7. Darren McFadden 8. Rashard Mendenhall 9. Maurice Jones-Drew 10. Frank Gore 11. Peyton Hillis 12. Michael Turner 13. Matt Forte 14. LeGarrette Blount 15. Steven Jackson 16. Shonn Grenne 17. Felix Jones 18. Knowshon Moreno 19. Ahmad Bradshaw 20. Beanie Wells 21. Jahvid Best 22. Ryan Mathews 23. Tim Hightower 24. BenJarvus Green-Ellis 25. DeAngelo Williams 26. Mark Ingram 27. Marshawn Lynch 28. Ryan Grant 29. Cedric Benson 30. Reggie Bush 31. Fred Jackson 32. Mike Tolbert 33. Daniel Thomas 34. Brandon Jacobs 35. Joseph Addai 36. James Starks 37. Jonathan Stewart 38. Willis McGahee 39. Pierre Thomas 40. CJ Spiller 41. LaDainian Tomlinson 42. Michael Bush 43. Rashad Jennings 44. Ben Tate 45. Jerome Harrison 46. Jason Snelling 47. Roy Helu 48. Justin Forsett 49. Javon Ringer 50. Thomas Jones

Q. Is Chris Johnson on the decline? Does his lockout worry you in the least?

A. Physically, not in the slightest. I honestly didn’t see the holdout lasting this long (September 1st). Word out of Tennessee is that a deal could get done this weekend. If it doesn’t, I’d start to worry. Regardless of the holdout, I still have him ranked as my 5th running back. If he continues to hold out past this weekend, you have cause for concern. If you’ve already drafted or draft before you hear any news on CJ2K (worst nickname ever) then grab Javon Ringer later in your draft as a handcuff, or even rookie Jamie Harper in deeper leagues.

Q. Is the Madden curse real? (Ed note. This year's cover boy is Peyton Hillis)
A. Let’s see: Daunte Culpepper throws 23 interceptions the year he’s on the cover, blows out both his knees and is never the same. Marshall Faulk makes the cover, never rushes for 1,000 yards again. Coming off an MVP season, cover boy Shaun Alexander follows up with a broken bone in his foot and becomes a shell of the back he once was. Michael Vick breaks his leg in 2004 after appearing on the cover, missing the first 12 games of that season. 2006, Donovan McNabb jumps out of bounds, AND GUESS WHAT, he tears his ACL. I’d be lying if I said making the cover of Madden had nothing to do with the fact that I own no Peyton Hillis stock in any of my leagues this year.

Q. What kind of number do you see some of the young guns putting up this year. McCoy, McFadden and Blount.

A. One of these things is not like the other. Shady and Run DMC (two awesome nicknames) are PPR gold. Blount will be lucky to catch 20 balls this year. He might, however, have more carries and rushing touchdowns than the others. 2,000 all purpose yards for McCoy should be expected. I think both McCoy and McFadden have a shot at cracking the top 5 if their cards fall right. The only knock on McCoy has nothing to do with him, but the man behind him on the depth chart. Apparently a good chunk of fantasy owners believe Ronnie Brown is still a serviceable running back. He’s there for nothing more than insurance and to give McCoy an occasional breather, seeing no more than a quarter of the touches in that offense. On the other hand, McFadden’s only problem is avoiding the injury bug. Only playing in 13 games last year due to hamstring and turf toe injuries, he still managed 1,157 yards rushing, as well as 507 receiving yards on 47 catches. Raiders head coach Hue Jackson is in love with McFadden, and has tailored a run blocking scheme specifically for him. If he stays healthy, he could realistically finish as the number one fantasy back this year.

Q. What back would you advise owners to stay away from at all costs, a la Clinton Portis these last two seasons in Washington?

A. Michael Turner. With the Falcons leaning more and more on the arm of Matt Ryan, selling the farm for Julio Jones (who looks every bit as good as advertised), and re-signing Jason Snelling, the signs are all there. With no contribution in the receiving game, a reduced workload, and coming off another year of 300+ carries on those 29 year old legs (which equates to roughly 76 in running back years), I’m avoiding Turner like the plague. Even if he does stay healthy through 16 games this year, Snelling will be stealing touches and replacing Turner on 3rd down. He might touch 1,000 yards, but I just don’t see him getting double digits in the TD column. Being drafted in many leagues as a mid-to-low end RB1, he won’t live up to his ADP. Give me LeGarrette Blount or Felix Jones, who could be had up to 3 rounds later with similar production.

Gary will be back later in the week to discuss WR and TE's. Check out his Quarterback Preview and catch his weekly podcast "I Ain't Even Mad" on itunes, or by clicking here.


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