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.


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Michael Turner Falcons: Out of San Diego and a starter at last, the free-agent signee will account for most of Atlanta's offense.

LenDale White Titans: He ran for 1,110 yards and seven TDs last year with torn knee cartilage. Now he's healthy.

Ryan Grant Packers: He was the lone back to average more than one rushing TD per game after Thanksgiving.

Willie Parker Steelers: Worried about his workload, the Steelers drafted Rashard Mendenhall in the first round.

DeAngelo Williams Panthers: Yes, DeShaun Foster is gone, but Williams has fallen behind first-round pick Jonathan Stewart.

Rudi Johnson Bengals: When Johnson was out last year, his understudies did well enough to push the vet toward expendability.

Ronnie Brown Dolphins: The NFL's total yards leader when he tore his ACL in Week 7, he appears healthy and ready for a big comeback.

Earnest Graham Buccaneers: From Nov. 4 through Dec. 2, only Justin Fargas (106.0) averaged more yards per game than Graham's 101.8.

Julius Jones Seahawks 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 McFadden Raiders: The No. 4 pick will have his opportunities to fulfill the high expectations Oakland has for him.

Kevin Smith Lions: The NCAA's 2007 rushing leader, from Central Florida, is a dark-horse candidate for Rookie of the Year.

Ricky Williams Dolphins: He's more motivated than ever and his quest for a big payday could translate into big fantasy points.

Pierre Thomas Saints: 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 Taylor Jaguars: 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 Fargas Raiders: 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 Jones Bears: 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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