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Running Backs

Aug. 04, 2008
Aug. 04, 2008

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Aug. 4, 2008

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Running Backs

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This is an article from the Aug. 4, 2008 issue

SI PLAYER RANKINGS FOR 2008 with 2007 statsGAMESCARRIESRUSH YDSREC. YDSTOTAL YDS/GM100-YD GMSTOTAL TDsBYE WEEK
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers163151,474475121.86199
2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings142381,341268114.96138
3. Joseph Addai, Colts152611,07236495.74154
4. Brian Westbrook, Eagles152781,333771140.36127
5. Marion Barber III, Cowboys1620497528278.631210
6. Steven Jackson, Rams122371,002271106.1265
7. Clinton Portis, Redskins163251,262389103.241110
8. Frank Gore, 49ers152601,102436102.5269
9. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins7119602389141.6454
10. Jamal Lewis, Browns152981,304248103.55115
11. Michael Turner, Falcons16713161620.8117
12. Larry Johnson, Chiefs815855918693.1346
13. Willis McGahee, Ravens152941,20723195.95810
14. Marshawn Lynch, Bills132801,11518499.9386
15. Ryan Grant, Packers1518895614573.4588
16. Darren McFadden, Raiders*133251,830164153.410175
17. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars1516776840778.3297
18. Brandon Jacobs, Giants112021,009174107.5564
19. LenDale White, Titans163031,11011476.5576
20. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers1522289832481.531010
21. Willie Parker, Steelers153211,31616498.7826
22. Selvin Young, Broncos1514072923164.0218
23. Julius Jones, Seahawks1616458820349.4024
24. Reggie Bush, Saints1215758141783.2069
25. Fred Taylor, Jaguars152231,2025884.0557
26. Thomas Jones, Jets163101,11921783.5425
27. Edgerrin James, Cardinals163241,22220489.1377
28. Laurence Maroney, Patriots1318583511673.2364
29. Matt Forte, Bears*123612,127282200.89238
30. Kevin Smith, Lions*144502,567242200.613304
31. Justin Fargas, Raiders142221,00918885.5445
32. Rudi Johnson, Bengals1117049711055.2148
33. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers*132801,722145143.69139
34. Ricky Williams, Dolphins1615015.0004
35. Ahman Green, Texans67026012363.8028
36. Andre Hall, Broncos10442166928.5028
37. Chester Taylor, Vikings1415784428180.4278
38. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers*132621,681318153.88196
39. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants12231901216.8114
40. Kenny Watson, Bengals1617876337471.1278
41. Chris Taylor, Texans†4281234040.1018
42. Jerious Norwood, Falcons1510361327759.3017
43. Felix Jones, Cowboys*131331,162176102.961110
44. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers1614471717555.8259
45. Marcel Shipp, Cardinals161541254.1017
46. Sammy Morris, Patriots6853843569.8234
47. Kolby Smith, Chiefs1611240714834.7126
48. Antonio Pittman, Rams11381391514.0005
49. Warrick Dunn, Buccaneers1622772023859.91410
50. Chris Johnson, Titans*132361,423528150.15236
51. Maurice Morris, Seahawks1414062821360.1054
52. Deuce McAllister, Saints324921535.7009
53. Adrian Peterson, Bears1615151042058.1148
54. Jason Wright, Browns166027723331.9015
55. Ray Rice, Ravens*133802,012239173.2102510
56. Pierre Thomas, Saints125225215133.6129
57. Kevin Faulk, Patriots166226538340.5014
58. DeShaun Foster, 49ers1624787618266.1149
59. Fred Jackson, Bills85830019061.3106
60. Ladell Betts, Redskins169333517431.80210
61. Correll Buckhalter, Eagles14623138728.6147
62. Brian Calhoun, Lions47353517.5004
63. Jesse Chatman, Jets1412851516148.3115
64. Brandon Jackson, Packers117526713036.1118

*Rookie (college statistics)
† 2006 stats

On the Rise

• 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.

On the Decline

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.

Sleepers
• 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.

Keep an Eye On

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.

Buyer Beware

• 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.

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PHOTODALE ZANINE/US PRESSWIRE (TURNER)PHOTOJASON ARNOLD/ICON SMI (BROWN)PHOTOBRAD MANGIN (BARBER)SMART PICK Already a big scorer (28 touchdowns over the past two seasons), Barber will pick up more carries with the departure of Julius Jones to Seattle.PHOTOSCOTT BOEHM/GETTY IMAGES (FORTE)PHOTOGRAY QUETTI/CAL SPORT MEDIA (TAYLOR)