2012 Fantasy Football Dynasty RB Rankings (07/26/12)

2012 Fantasy Football Dynasty RB Rankings (07/26/12)

Welcome to The Dynasty Guy’s Inaugural RB Rankings for the 2012 season. These rankings assume a PPR scoring format and are intended for dynasty leagues only! While the upcoming season is taken into consideration, players are ranked on a 3+ year horizon. Act accordingly! If you want to know who is better this year, go look at redraft league projections. Make sure to scroll all the way down for analysis/commentary.

Click to show rankings….

1 – Ray Rice BAL

2 – LeSean McCoy PHI

3 – Arian Foster HOU

4 – Ryan Mathews SD

5 – Chris Johnson TEN

6 – Maurice Jones-Drew JAX

7 – Trent Richardson CLE

8 – Matt Forte CHI

9 – Darren McFadden OAK

10 – Jamaal Charles KC

11 – Adrian Peterson MIN

12 – DeMarco Murray DAL

13 – Marshawn Lynch SEA

14 – Johnathan Stewart CAR

15 – CJ Spiller BUF

16 – Doug Martin TB

17 – Darren Sproles NO

18 – Mark Ingram NO

19 – Reggie Bush MIA

20 – Frank Gore SF

21 – Steven Jackson STL

22 – Kendall Hunter SF

23 – Ben Tate HOU

24 – David Wilson NYG

25 – Ahmad Bradshaw NYG

26 – Rashard Mendenhall PIT

27 – Roy Helu WAS

28 – Ronnie Hillman DEN

29 – Isaiah Pead STL

30 – DeAngelo Williams CAR

31 – Ryan Williams ARZ

32 – Stevan Ridley NE

33 – Shane Vereen NE

34 – BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN

35 – Toby Gerhart MIN

36 – Michael Turner ATL

37 – Fred Jackson BUF

38 – Donald Brown IND

39 – Jahvid Best DET

40 – James Starks GB

41 – Isaac Redman PIT

42 – Pierre Thomas NO

43 – Michael Bush OAK

44 – Shonn Greene NYG

45 – Mikel Leshoure DET

46 – Chris Wells ARZ

47 – Lamar Miller MIA

48 – LaMichael James SF

49 – Jacquizz Rogers ATL

50 – Rashad Jennings JAX

51 – Willis McGahee DEN

52 – Felix Jones DAL

53 – Robert Turbin SEA

54 – Bernard Scott CIN

55 – Mike Goodson OAK

56 – Peyton Hillis KC

57 – LeGarrette Blount TB

58 – Daniel Thomas MIA

59 – Bernard Pierce BAL

60 – Bryce Brown PHI

61 – Evan Royster WAS

62 – Kevin Smith DET

63 – Alex Green GB

64 – Mike Tolbert CAR

65 – Joe McKnight NYJ

66 – Jonathan Dwyer PIT

67 -Taiwan Jones OAK

68 – Cyrus Gray KC

69 – Tim Hightower WAS

70 – Javon Ringer TEN

71 -Chris Ivory NO

72 – Bilal Powell NYJ

73 – Delone Carter IND

74 – Johnny White BUF

75 – Knowshon Moreno DEN

76 – Kahlil Bell CHI

77 – Dion Lewis PHI

78 – Marcel Reece OAK

79 – Michael Smith TB

80 – Danny Woodhead NE

81 – Chris Polk PHI

82 – Jason Snelling ATL

83 – Vick Ballard IND

84 – Chris Rainey PIT

85 – Terrance Ganaway NYJ

86 – Leon Washington SEA

87 – Dan Herron CIN

88 – Jordan Todman MIN

89 – Montario Hardesty CLE

90 – Brandon Saine GB

91 – Brandon Jacobs SF

92 – Justin Forsett HOU

93 – Ryan Grant FA

94 – Daryl Richardson STL

95 – LaRod Stephens-Howling ARZ

96 – Jackie Battle SD

97 – Ronnie Brown SD

98 – Edwin Baker SD

99 – Chad Spann PIT

100 – DJ Ware NYG

101 – Chris Ogbonnaya CLE

102 – Joseph Addai FA

103 – Jamie Harper TEN

104 – John Kuhn GB

105 -Da’Rel Scott NYG

106 -Mario Fanin DEN

107 – Lance Ball DEN

108 – Brandon Jackson CLE

109 – Bobby Rainey BAL

110 – Steve Slaton MIA

111 – Jeremiah Johnson DEN

112 – Brandon Bolden NE

NOTES: This list is intended to be a gauge of current and future VALUE, it is not a scoring projection. This is intended for use in dynasty leagues for player valuation and as a tool to analyze trade offers.

For example, the top 3 guys are fairly interchangeable on the trade market, but if I were moving one for someone ranked lower than that, let’s say Trent Richardson, I’d want additional compensation. The farther apart they are on the list, the more additional value you should be receiving in other areas of the trade.

Tier 1 (The ELITE)

You’ll find Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy and Arian Foster firmly affixed at the top of any dynasty ranking worth the paper it is written on. It’s all about preference. If were picking in a startup, I’d grab Ray Rice before the other two. Ray Rice is a fantasy monster and it only gets better in PPR leagues.  He racked up over 2,000 total yards last year and RR2K, as I affectionately refer to him, isn’t going to slow down any time soon. At the end of last season it appeared that Cam Cameron finally figured out who breads his butter and started riding his stud RB a lot more. With no significant competition on the roster, you can count on Rice to be a high scoring bell cow for the next several years.

LeSean McCoy is a little young and will possibly gather more attention and respect from your dynasty league mates. Some owners are consistently focused on age and while it used to be that people started to shy away from running backs that were nearing 30, that magic number has crept down considerably. Many owners start to discount RB value as young as 27-28, so if you have an age-centric league, McCoy is probably the top dog in terms of fantasy value. I do have a few concerns about McCoy, but they aren’t major. First of all, he scored 20 touchdowns last year. Touchdown production typically varies from year to year and is almost impossible to predict. There are a lot of weapons on the team and I don’t think that McCoy will find the endzone as much this year. Vick wasn’t Vick, Celek was a forgotten man until the end of the season, Maclin was never himself after his mystery illness at the beginning of the season and we all know that DeSean Jackson was putting in minimum effort. Vick is going to run a few more in, Celek is going to covert, DJax will turn in some 60 yard+ TD’s and Maclin will be a better redzone target. Will McCoy be a top back? Of course he will. His usage rate will remain high and as long as Andy Reid is coaching, you can bet your house that the starting RB will catch at least 50 balls. Just don’t be surprised if the TD numbers fall a little.

Arian Foster’s fantasy value couldn’t possibly be any higher and you’ll find him perched atop most RB ranking lists. If I go by gut, which I usually do, I have to slide Foster down the list. Based solely on numbers and production (which is what fantasy is all about), Foster is a proven fantasy stud. The pessimist in me sees a few problems though. First of all, I’m a believer that a large portion of his fantasy value is tied into the system he plays in and the quality of his line. The same can be said about most running backs, but follow along with me for a second. Remember Steve Slaton? Remember when he came out of nowhere in ’08 and put up almost 1,700 total yards, 10 TD’s and 46 receptions? Is Steve Slaton an elite back? No. Ben Tate was even able to put up a top 25 RB season without even starting the majority of games, in fact, Tate put up four 100 yard performances in games he didn’t even start. I’m not saying that Foster isn’t good; I’m just saying that the system he plays in and the quality of his line plays a major role in his success… maybe more than any other RB. Elite offensive lines don’t last forever and you can bet that the Texans will try to keep Foster fresh as much as they can, which means a moderate dosage of Ben Tate. I’m very worried that Ben Tate will eat into Fosters touches. Will Foster be top 10? Of course he will. Will he finish in the top 3? I’m not so sure. I could be completely wrong, but I like to play devil’s advocate from time to time.

Tier 2

Ryan Mathews, Chris Johnson & Maurice Jones Drew are all capable of throwing up a top 5 fantasy performance this year and in the coming years, but all three have concerns surrounding them that drop their values below the Rice/McCoy/Foster level. Mathews had over 1,500 yards and 6 total TD’s last year. It was nice to see him live up to the hype he received when he was drafted and almost play a full 16. Injuries continue to be a concern, but his numbers should increase this year. If he had stayed healthy last year, his stats extrapolate to over 1,700 total yards for a full season. I don’t think that’s out of the questions and he could approach the 2,000 total yard mark this year or next. He should catch a few more passes now that Vincent Jackson is gone and that just helps his value.

Chris Johnson took a step back last year and his fantasy stock took a major hit. Smart owners will see the real value that CJ2K has to offer. If I told you a running back held out of camp, went into the season completely out of shape, was beyond unmotivated, played under a new coach and with a new quarterback and STILL put up 1,500 total yards, would you be down on him? That’s what Johnson was able to do last year under those exact circumstances. He’s been working out like crazy and is reported to be as motivated as ever. If you give me a RB that’s rushed for 2,000 yards in a season and if his floor is 1,500 and 4, I’ll take him every day of the week. The 4 TD’s from last year were an aberration. CJ is in line for a BIG year.

Maurice Jones-Drew is somewhere pouting right now. He deserves a good deal and if he played for a competitive team, he might be able to get one. Unfortunately for MJD, the Jaguars are horrible and as good as he is, they aren’t going to make the playoffs or sell more tickets if he gets a new contract. JAX constantly struggles to fill seats and they aren’t going to spend any more money on MJD than they have to. MJD isn’t stupid though; he’ll hold out for a while and prove his point but he’ll be back in time to start week 1. There are some concerns about the heavy usage rates he has endured over the last several years, but the returning rushing champ has legs the size of oak trees and he can handle the load. Many people have the misconception that MJD has bad knees, legs or injury concerns, but he’s actually extremely reliable. He has never started fewer than 14 games in a season and his rushing average was actually up last year (4.7, the 2nd best of his career). He has several years of elite production left and If Gabbert/Garrard can take even a little bit of heat off him, he’ll easily out produce his touchdown total from last year (8).

Tier 2.5 

Trent Richardson is being valued at INSANE levels in dynasty leagues right now and many owners wouldn’t trade him straight up for one of the guys in the 2nd tier. Richardson makes it this high on the list based solely on hype, college production, trade value and projection. I’m a believer. He’s going to get all of the touches he wants in Cleveland and they will ride him until the wheels fall off. That might not be good for his longevity, but it’s good for fantasy owners. There are very few true workhorse backs left in the NFL and it’s nice to see a new one given the opportunity. If Richardson plays the way everyone expects him to, he’ll have to move up into untouchable territory (if he isn’t there already).

Tier 3 (Injury Concerns Galore)

Matt Forte, Darren McFadden, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and Demarco Murray are all coming off seasons where they suffered significant injuries. Each one has the potential to be a top 5 back in PPR leagues, but they definitely come with inherent risk. All of these guys are interchangeable in terms of value due to differences in age, situation, type of injury, production history, etc. There are positives and negatives with each one, but the risk/reward ratio is relatively equal across the board. Owner preference prevails.

Tier 4

Marshawn Lynch, Jonathan Stewart, CJ Spiller, Doug Martin and Darren Sproles- As we get later into the rankings, I’m just going to hit the highlights and point out guys that I think can make a significant jump in value. I’ve never been a Marshawn Lynch fan and recent developments have only reinforced that opinion. I’ve seen too many running backs like Lynch get paid and quit playing (Johnson, Larry). He just isn’t worth owning. Jonathan Stewart has to be one of the most frustrating players to own in the history of fantasy. He always performs well. It always looks like he’s going to get a bigger role in the offense. It never happens. JStew seems like he’s been around forever, but he’s still only 25. He still has a lot of potential, but his TD totals have dropped precipitously in the past two years. Cam Newton doesn’t help the matter, but we’ll stay on the Jstew bandwagon for one more season. CJ Spiller was one of my breakout favorites last year and I picked him up in all of my leagues. The move paid dividends when Fred Jackson broke his fibula. Spiller proved that he can be an elite fantasy back by averaging over 20 points per game during the final 5 games of the season. He’ll have an expanded role this year and will work his way to the top of the depth chart. Doug Martin is only this high because of the trade value he is seeing on the market. I think everyone is going overboard with him. There are NO guarantees that he even sees the majority of touches, let alone takes over the role by himself. Take a deep breath, folks. Sproles is a PPR machine, but his age is advancing. He’s a great piece for a contender.

Tier 5

Mark Ingram, Reggie Bush, Frank Gore, Steven Jackson

Ingram is trending up, but his knees may betray him. Bush played over his head last year, but Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller don’t scare me (but Miller is getting close). Frank Gore and SJax are going to start seeing fewer and fewer touches over the upcoming seasons, but they can still power a team to a championship as an RB2. For all the skepticism that Gore receives, he was still 6th in rushing yards last year. That wasn’t his issue, his issue was his lack of involvement in the passing game.

Long Term Bets…..

Kendall Hunter, Ben Tate, David Wilson, Ronnie Hillman, Isaiah Pead and Ryan Williams are some of my favorite long term picks. I LOVE Hunter and Wilson.  I’ll have a post about Hunter coming in the next few days, but his trade value has taken a hit this offseason and he can be had fairly easily. Lamar Miller and Robert Turbin are an injury away from very productive roles in their respective offenses. You can read more about Turbin here.

Who to watch?

Bryce BrownCyrus Gray and Daryl Richardson. Brown was considered the number one running prospect in the entire nation when he graduated from high school in Wichita, KS (ahead of a guy named Trent Richardson). He was mishandled by his family and the hype went straight to his head. After bouncing around in college and not taking things seriously, Bill Snyder straightened him out a little at KState (ED: Mentally. Read the comments below for more). This is his last chance to prove himself and he seems to realize it. Brown could be the steal of the century if he stays focused. Do you know what is standing between Cyrus Gray and significant touches in Kansas City? Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis. Actually, it’s just Hillis. The KC brass is CONVINCED that Jammal Charles is more productive when he sees 12-15 touches per game and not more. They’re right. Does anyone think Hillis will play a full 16 this year? I don’t. If he does, will he even be back next year? Gray will have an opportunity. If you aren’t convinced that Pead can be an every down back and replacement for SJax, keep an eye on Daryl Richardson. 

-TDG

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2 responses to “2012 Fantasy Football Dynasty RB Rankings (07/26/12)

  1. how exactly did Bill Snyder straighten out Bryce Brown? Brown showed up to K-State expecting to be handed the starting spot and Snyder didn’t give it to him. Brown finished at K-State with 3 carries for 16 yards.

    Long-term I’d put my money on Chris Polk. He may have been undrafted but he gained over 4,000 yards in college.

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