Fantasy Football Rankings Watch: Running Backs - Early August 2011
Rankings Watch Overview
It is still early in August, and with the lockout freshly lifted – fantasy football fans have not had much of a chance to see who is rising and falling. For those of you who rely on a magazine or printed lists to draft – please take note of the players below. Their value has likely moved since your sheet was published.
The new Gridiron-Guru dynamic decision engine is churning out updates daily based on news, stats and environmental factors. My goal is to summarize the most important changes in our fantasy football rankings. Our new rankings sheets are the first “full access” display of our decision engine – giving you complete access into our world.
Last season, our engine predicted Peyton Hillis and Danny Woodhead’s rise to fantasy stardom – which won two of our leagues for us – and contributed to many of your fantasy championships.
Check out the latest rankings changes - we promise it will help you win this season.
Value Increasing Sharply
Ryan Torain, Redskins RB#21 GIG: 48.9
Simply put Gridiron-Guru believes that Ryan Torain will have his fantasy football breakout year in 2011. The statistical evidence is strong. Torain’s major bugbear will be health. We have predicted Torain to miss some time – but to still post some impressive numbers when healthy. His ability to score well when healthy makes him an ideal RB3 or RB4.
- Ryan Williams, Cardinals RB#26 GIG: 46.4
Ryan Williams entered the NFL as a promising rookie that was buried behind to talented contributors. Things have changed. Tim Hightower was shipped out to Washington, and Chris “Beanie” Wells continues to frustrate with the inability to unlock his potential. Williams has flashed early and often this summer – and looks the part of a dynamic play maker for the Cardinals.
- Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers RB#13 GIG: 63.6
Mendenhall is one of few premier backs in the NFL that does not have much competition for the starting role. He is the unquestioned starter in Pittsburgh and the fact that the Steelers did little to add a challenger behind Mendenhall bolsters his value slightly.
- Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks RB#19 GIG: 51.4
Much like Mendenhall, Marshawn Lynch’s value takes a tick upward based on the fact that he is the unquestioned starter in Seattle. The front office made moves to improve the team around him which means more opportunities and red zone opportunities. Lynch finished the season with a full display of his “beastfu” during Seattle’s victory over the Saints in the playoffs.
- Reggie Bush, Dolphins RB#20 GIG: 49.8
Reggie Bush is a name that our team has been watching closely. He came into the league as an elite talent but never lived up to the hype. In Miami, the Dolphins entire front office is on thin ice. They are a “win now” team if there ever was one and that level of desperation may be what unlocks Bush’s elite talent. At worst, the coaching staff won’t hesitate to run Reggie Bush into the ground because there may be no tomorrow for them.
- Tim Hightower, Redskins RB#29 GIG: 42.3
Tim Hightower was dished to the Arizona Cardinals to make room for Ryan Williams. Hightower will play a significant role in the Washington offense – even when Ryan Torain is healthy. Given the fact that we are projecting Torain to miss some time, Hightower gets a boost in value. He is a “must handcuff” if you take Torain and an intriguing RB4 or RB5 to stash on your bench for games when Torain is licking his wounds.
Deep Sleeper Potential – Value Rising
- Shane Vereen, Patriots RB#39 GIG: 35.6
- Jordan Todman, Chargers RB#63 GIG: 25.7
- Kendall Hunter, 49ers RB#65 GIG: 24.5
- Ryan Mathews, Chargers RB#23 GIG: 47.6
Many fantasy experts were quick to anoint Ryan Mathews as the next “big thing” in fantasy football last season. He landed in an ideal spot, and was replacing a legend in San Diego. Mathews has shown glimmers of home run potential but is frequently dinged. In addition, The Chargers have found a banger in Mike Tolbert, and they are committed to using him. That means a dreaded RBBC in San Diego.
- Jonathan Stewart, Panthers RB#34 GIG: 38.4
When DeAngelo Williams resigned in Carolina, you could practically hear the air come rushing out of Jonathan Stewart’s tires…at least from a fantasy value perspective. He dropped from a top 15 RB to a Tier Six RB. That’s pretty rough. He has fantasy value in 2011 – but he is a “stash ‘em on the bench and hope for an injury” guy now.
Other Notable Drops in Value
- Mikel Leshoure, Lions Injured Reserve
- Mike Goodson, Panthers RB#78 GIG:19.1
- Keiland Williams, Redskins RB#84 GIG: 16.1
Please consult our dynamic rankings for daily updates to the position:
- 2011 RB Rankings – PPR
- 2011 RB Rankings - Standard
- Check out Gridiron-Guru for more Fantasy Football Advice & Fantasy Football Rankings