Running backs: The sleepers, busts and top picks to watch
Sleepers to watch. Busts to avoid. Rookies who will make a instant impact. Complete rankings for every position. And much more advice. Get ready for your draft with our complete 2008 fantasy football preview.
POSITION BREAKDOWNS:RB | QB | WR | TE | K | DEF
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Michael TurnerFalcons: Out of San Diego and a starter at last, the free-agent signee will account for most of Atlanta's offense.
LenDale WhiteTitans: He ran for 1,110 yards and seven TDs last year with torn knee cartilage. Now he's healthy.
Ryan GrantPackers: He was the lone back to average more than one rushing TD per game after Thanksgiving.
Willie ParkerSteelers: Worried about his workload, the Steelers drafted Rashard Mendenhall in the first round.
DeAngelo WilliamsPanthers: Yes, DeShaun Foster is gone, but Williams has fallen behind first-round pick Jonathan Stewart.
Rudi JohnsonBengals: When Johnson was out last year, his understudies did well enough to push the vet toward expendability.
Ronnie BrownDolphins: The NFL's total yards leader when he tore his ACL in Week 7, he appears healthy and ready for a big comeback.
Earnest GrahamBuccaneers: From Nov. 4 through Dec. 2, only Justin Fargas (106.0) averaged more yards per game than Graham's 101.8.
Julius JonesSeahawks He'll beat out Maurice Morris as the starter -- but as in Dallas, he could miss out on goal-line touches.
Matt Forte Bears: He will be an every-down back in an offense that desperately needs a strong ground attack.
Darren McFaddenRaiders: The No. 4 pick will have his opportunities to fulfill the high expectations Oakland has for him.
Kevin SmithLions: The NCAA's 2007 rushing leader, from Central Florida, is a dark-horse candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Ricky WilliamsDolphins: He's more motivated than ever and his quest for a big payday could translate into big fantasy points.
Pierre ThomasSaints: Worth a look because Reggie Bush is a receiver, Deuce McAllister is a medical risk, and Aaron Stecker is old.
Chris Taylor Texans: This coaches' favorite missed '07 with a knee injury; he could emerge as a late-season force.
Fred TaylorJaguars: He was a fantastic story last season, but it's a risk to count on the oft-injured 11-year vet to be anything more than your third running back.
Justin FargasRaiders: Oakland re-signed him to a rich multiyear contract after his breakout '07 season, but he'll still have to fight off McFadden all season.
Kevin JonesBears: You should make this your draft-day tradition: Let someone else take a chance on the oft-disappointing Jones.
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers: Project a season of 1,500 yards, 400 yards receiving, 18 TDs and pray you get the No. 1 pick out of the hat. 2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings: His lone faults are a time-share with Chester Taylor and the fact that he's not an option in the passing game (only 19 receptions last year). 3. Brian Westbrook, Eagles: Westbrook still scares owners because of his durability issues, but he's played 15 games in each of the last two seasons and is a monster in PPR leagues.4. Steven Jackson, Rams: The Rams were a mess last year, but the offensive line should be better this year, so project a much improved season for Jackson of 1,300-plus rushing yards, 300-plus receiving yards and 12 TDs. 5. Joseph Addai, Colts: Addai assumed the starting RB job last year for Indianapolis and topped 1,000 yards (1,072) for the second straight year while scoring 15 total TDs.
-- Compiled by SI Staff
Click here for our entire Top 75 Running Backs Rankings.
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