This is an article from the Aug. 10, 2009 issue
|SI PLAYER RANKINGS FOR 2009 with 2008 stats||RUSHING YDS. PER GAME||100-YD. GAMES||RECEPTIONS||RECEIVING YDS. PER GAME||TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS||BYE WEEK|
|1. Adrian Peterson, Vikings||110.0||10||21||7.8||10||9|
|2. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers||94.7||8||22||7.6||20||4|
|3. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars||51.5||2||62||35.3||14||7|
|4. Steve Slaton, Texans||80.1||4||50||23.6||10||10|
|5. Michael Turner, Falcons||106.2||8||6||2.6||17||4|
|6. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers||69.4||2||52||26.6||12||5|
|7. Steven Jackson, Rams||86.8||4||40||31.6||8||9|
|8. Matt Forte, Bears||77.4||3||63||29.8||12||5|
|9. Brian Westbrook, Eagles||66.9||3||54||28.7||14||4|
|10. Clinton Portis, Redskins||92.9||6||28||13.6||9||8|
|11. Brandon Jacobs, Giants||83.8||4||6||2.8||15||10|
|12. Frank Gore, 49ers||74.0||3||43||26.6||8||6|
|13. Ryan Grant, Packers||75.2||4||18||7.3||5||5|
|14. Joseph Addai, Colts||45.3||1||25||17.2||7||6|
|15. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins||57.3||3||33||15.9||10||6|
|16. Chris Johnson, Titans||81.9||4||43||17.3||10||7|
|17. Marion Barber, Cowboys||59.0||3||52||27.8||9||6|
|18. Thomas Jones, Jets||82.0||5||36||12.9||15||9|
|19. Marshawn Lynch, Bills||69.1||3||47||20.0||9||9|
|20. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers||52.3||2||8||2.9||10||4|
|21. Felix Jones, Cowboys||44.3||0||2||1.7||3||6|
|22. Kevin Smith, Lions||61.0||2||39||17.9||8||7|
|23. Julius Jones, Seahawks||46.5||2||14||4.4||2||7|
|24. Jamal Lewis, Browns||62.6||0||23||11.1||4||9|
|25. Derrick Ward, Buccaneers||64.1||2||41||24.0||2||8|
|26. Willie Parker, Steelers||71.9||4||3||1.2||5||8|
|27. LenDale White, Titans||48.3||2||5||1.0||15||7|
|28. Pierre Thomas, Saints||41.7||1||31||18.9||12||5|
|29. Ray Rice, Ravens||34.9||1||33||21.0||0||7|
|30. Chris Wells, Cardinals*||119.7||8||8||4.7||8||4|
|31. Reggie Bush, Saints||40.4||0||52||44.0||6||5|
|32. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos*||107.7||7||33||30.2||18||7|
|33. Darren McFadden, Raiders||38.4||1||29||21.9||4||9|
|34. Cedric Benson, Bengals||62.3||3||20||15.4||2||8|
|35. Larry Johnson, Chiefs||72.8||3||12||6.2||5||8|
|36. T.J. Duckett, Seahawks||10.8||0||0||0||8||7|
|37. Justin Fargas, Raiders||60.9||1||10||3.7||1||9|
|38. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers||56.3||2||23||17.4||4||8|
|39. Leon Washington, Jets||28.0||0||47||22.2||8||9|
|40. Fred Jackson, Bills||35.7||1||37||19.8||3||9|
|41. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs||22.3||1||27||17.0||1||8|
|42. Donald Brown, Colts*||160.2||11||21||9.6||18||6|
|43. Jerious Norwood, Falcons||30.6||0||36||21.1||6||4|
|44. Willis McGahee, Ravens||51.6||3||24||13.3||7||7|
|45. Glen Coffee, 49ers*||98.8||5||16||8.4||11||6|
|46. Shonn Greene, Jets*||142.3||13||8||3.8||20||9|
|47. Darren Sproles, Chargers||20.6||1||29||21.4||6||9|
|48. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers||14.5||0||2||4.3||0||8|
|49. Ricky Williams, Dolphins||41.2||1||29||13.7||5||6|
|50. Tim Hightower, Cardinals||24.9||0||34||14.8||10||4|
|51. Fred Taylor, Patriots||42.8||1||16||7.5||1||8|
|52. LeSean McCoy, Eagles*||114.5||6||32||23.5||21||4|
|53. James Davis, Browns*||57.8||2||14||9.5||11||9|
|54. Chester Taylor, Vikings||24.9||0||45||24.9||6||9|
|55. Andre Brown, Giants*||59.0||1||29||23.8||9||10|
|56. Maurice Morris, Lions||44.2||2||19||10.5||2||7|
|57. Tashard Choice, Cowboys||29.5||0||21||11.6||2||6|
|58. Kenneth Darby, Rams||14.0||0||19||18.3||0||9|
|59. Laurence Maroney, Patriots||31.0||0||0||0||0||8|
|60. Kevin Faulk, Patriots||33.8||0||58||32.4||6||8|
|61. Jerome Harrison, Browns||16.4||0||12||7.7||2||9|
|62. LaMont Jordan, Broncos||45.4||0||0||0||4||7|
|63. Sammy Morris, Patriots||55.9||2||17||12.4||7||8|
|64. Le'Ron McClain, Ravens||56.4||1||19||7.7||11||7|
*Rookie (college statistics)
• If you get the top pick in your draft, don't overthink it. Take Adrian Peterson. Please.
• Don't let the presence of Jonathan Stewart in the Panthers' backfield keep you from using a high pick on DeAngelo Williams. Carolina will run the ball enough to keep both backs busy.
• Why isn't Michael Turner, who performed so well last year, rated even higher than No. 5? Look at the Falcons' schedule: Eagles, Giants, Jets, Pats, Redskins.... He'll be seeing a lot of tough run defenses.
• Matt Forte has actually been going No. 1 in some mock drafts, but I see his workload going down with Jay Cutler behind center in Chicago and a healthy Kevin Jones as his relief option.
• I'm not as high on second-year man Chris Johnson as most people, who expect he'll take over the Titans' backfield. LenDale White will still get plenty of work.
• Marion Barber dropped in my ratings because of what Felix Jones showed in 2008 before he got hurt. Jones will get the ball plenty between the 20s.
• Thomas Jones isn't going to do as well as he did last year for the Jets. New coach Rex Ryan will have a Ravens-style RB rotation that will include Leon Washington and rookie Shonn Greene.
• Whenever Detroit made good use of Kevin Smith last season, he got the job done. In games in which he had 20 or more carries, he averaged close to 100 yards.
• Why is Beanie Wells rated ahead of fellow rookie Knowshon Moreno, even though Wells was taken 19 spots later in the NFL draft? Because Moreno is joining a Broncos offense that looks like it could be a mess.
• Three seasons ago Larry Johnson was a top two fantasy back. This year he isn't even a lock to make the Chiefs.
• T.J. Duckett is a great value pick. He had more rushing TDs last year than Marion Barber and Frank Gore. Also, Seattle's new coordinator, Greg Knapp, who knows Duckett from Atlanta, directed offenses that were No. 1 in rushing from 2004 to '06.
• Earnest Graham was always an accidental starter in Tampa Bay. It isn't a promising sign for him that Derrick Ward was the Bucs' big free-agent acquisition.
• The Colts will use Donald Brown. When a team drafts a back in the first round, it's usually a bad sign for the incumbent.
• No one in Baltimore's committee backfield is worth taking all that high, but if you dive in, remember that the pecking order has changed. Last year it was Willis McGahee with a side of (Ray) Rice; now it will be the other way around.
• The Dolphins' drafting Pat White is not good news for Ricky Williams. The former West Virginia QB should take some of Williams's snaps in the wildcat formation.
• LeSean McCoy is the backup with the best chance of scoring big. He has Brian Westbrook--like skills, and given Westbrook's injury history, it's easy to imagine the rookie falling into a lot of playing time.
• Giants rookie Andre Brown is a guy I'd take a flier on. Many assume that the departed Derrick Ward's carries will go to Ahmad Bradshaw. I would bet that this fourth-round pick beats out Bradshaw.
• Le'Ron McClain looked good last year when he got a shot at tailback. Now he's back at fullback—at least until someone gets hurt.
Now on SI.com
Play Fantasy Football on Facebook. Go to SI.com/fantasy2009