Fantasy Football Advice: Every Down Running Backs?

I was recently asked the question what running backs I think will be “every down backs” for this season? That was a hard question to answer because many teams are going away from “every down backs" and towards a shared backfield as everyone knows. So I tried to come up with a list of possible running backs who may accomplish this.

I am going to define a "every down back" as someone with 250+ carries or more. So some teams that run a lot like the Jets and Carolina may have multiple backs that meet this criteria for fantasy purposes. In 2002 there was 19 RBs that had 250+ carries. Last season there was just 9. Here was my first list of candidates:

1. Chris Johnson
2. Adrian Peterson
3. MJD
4. Frank Gore
5. Michael Turner
6. Steven Jackson
7. Cedric Benson
8. DeAngelo Williams
9. Ryan Grant
10. Shonn Green
11. Ryan Matthews

There are not many “every down backs” anymore with so many teams going with two to ease the load and not tax one back too much. For this reason if you don't get a top 5pick, I don’t think you should go after running backs early. Instead, you should concentrate on wide receivers and stock pile running backs later and one of them should be good if not more.

It is very hard to predict who will be every down backs because of injuries and other players who may take away from carries, even receivers, etc.

I am really big on Ryan Grant for where he is going. Again, he isn’t a top tier guy, and I wouldn’t reach for him, but he is every down back so I like him. If you don’t get a top six pick or so then I would go after a guy like Grant. Look at how many carries he has had the past two years
It is for this reason I don’t like Grant for years to come but for the next year or two. Then he will fall apart.

The Jetss like to run like crazy. Last year, as a team, they ran almost 700 times. Thomas Jones had 331 attempts last year and with Shonn green getting those carries he should be golden. Another guy to go after in late 1st round.

Both Carolina backs could get that many because they run so much. Especially DeAngelo Williams, but both should get carries. I don’t like Ryan Matthew for where he is going, but he will get the ball a lot because I think the rest of the team will not be good and be a disappointment.

From my initial list I would be worried about Turner, Benson, and to some degree Jackson staying healthy, but I don’t have that much to prove it on, just sort of a hunch. Jackson is coming off back surgery this offseason and he has had a lot of carries the past few years.

Here are the guys I think will get 250+ this season:
1. Chris Johnson
2. Adrian Peterson
3. MJD
4. Frank Gore
5. DeAngelo Williams
6. Ryan Grant
7. Shonn Green
8. Ryan Matthews

Out of those 8 guys it is hard to say who will really be every down backs. That is something very hard to predict. Personally I would only trust: Chris Johnson, AP, MJD, Gore, Grant, Greene, and Williams. I would be surprised if someone else emerges, but a guy like Mendenhall could, especially with Big Ben being out a few games.

What do you think?


Sexy Rexy said...

I'm glad you clarified because if you think colloquially and literally of "every down back"- I don't think AD falls into that mix b/c Chester Taylor was the teams 3rd down back.

I think the better way to say this is "legit #1 back"

First, I think the obvious choice you missed is Rashard Mendenhall.

Next, I think the following guys will fall into this category: Arian Foster and Matt Forte already fall into this category

I think Felix Jones and Justin Forsett will enter it but I'm not confident about it right now

Lastly, I think Pierre Thomas, Michael Bush, and Jamaal Charles are so close will not get to this level because there back ups will "just good enough" to prevent them

Cubsfan4evr said...

Do you want me to change the title? For fantasy purposes "every down backs" don't necessary get the ball every literal time, because every back gets a few carries off, but that they get it enough to have a big impact.

I like Rashard Mendenhall, but don't know if he will get 250+ carries, but you are probably right.

With Chester Taylor being Matt Forte's backup I don't know if Forte will get there. I think Forte will still get the ball a lot, but I do think Taylor takes away from his carries enough that he will be closer to 200 to 220.

As good as we think Arian Foster will be, they still have Slaton who has to get some carries (not enough for his fantasy value) and their head coach has a history of liking two backs so this third guy is in the mix I hear, may get a few reps. So I think he is close, but like Forte closer to 200.

I agree Pierre Thomas, Michael Bush, and Jamaal Charles are very close and if it wasn't for their backups, I would have put them on the list. Especially Charles came to mind if it wasn't for Jones.