5-5 star--2 4 star--1 3 star--3 2 star--5 1 star
This isn't a very good schedule for Tomlinson. Even if he looks back in form before the season, hesitation will be induced by the NFCE teams and the Ravens, Steelers and Titans at the least. You want more than 8 obvious starts from your first round pick. With the injury concerns, which lead me to believe he may never regain his form, I would steer clear of picking him. Even if he puts together a solid season, his points may come in bursts against his good matchups, leaving you out to dry in certain weeks. On the other hand, if anything happens to Tomlinson, Sproles will be a solid play in his six divisional games and against Cleveland. He is a solid late round pick, if he is on the Chargers next year. If he is elsewhere, Bennet could put up solid numbers.
3 5 star--4 4 star--2 3 star--3 2 star--4 1 star
You most likely weren't planning on picking a Broncos running back very highly. This schedule certainly won't change your mind. With a new coach, who may be more prone to employ a feature back, and an oline that looked outstanding in 2008, the stage could have been set for a highly drafted rookie to be a revelation. But there are just two many obstacles on this schedule. There is a great opportunity for long term success, so if Moreno winds up here, he is a great midround choice in a keeper league. Next year they won't be up against the NFCE and AFCN. Until then, I'd avoid Broncos tailbacks.
5 5 star--2 4 star--1 3 star--4 2 star--4 1 star
The question here is what other people in your draft think of McFadden and what you think happens with Bush. If your confident by draft time that McFadden is the feature back, he could be an amazing rb or solid second. If you grab him in the 4th or later you won't feel bad sitting him during those bad matchups and exploit those 5 star matchups against KC, Denver and Cleveland, you will be happy. Similiarly, if you think Bush will be a contributor, he makes a great play against the aforementioned matchups and is worth a late round flier. If people in your league think McFadden will be a beast next year, I'd look elsewhere, there are too many unplayable matchups for a Raiders rb to worth a high pick.
4 5 star--4 4 star--1 3 star--3 2 star--4 1 star
Larry Johnson didn't look good for most of the year, but he put up some points in his 5 star matchups. He has 8 quality matchups this year and he has the potential to really slip in fantasy drafts this year. You shouldn't be the one to keep him from slipping but if you can grab him late he should reward you in 5 star games. If Johnson isn't a Chief, the same logic applies to Jamal Charles.
6 5 star--2 4 star--1 3 star--4 2 star--3 1 star
A very favorable schedule for the AFCN teams this year, with matchups against the AFCW and NFCN. (At first glance the NFCN looks bad, but in reality, your getting two automatic sits against the Bears and Vikings and two automatic starts against Detroit and GB. No tough decisions for 2nd tier backs.) There are a few sits for Parker here, but he may be rightfully slipping because of injury risks. He is worth the gamble as your second or third back. The 6 5 star games will look very appetizing and you can sit him when necessary. I also really like Moore as a last round flier. If Parker goes down, Moore is an incredible play against the 8 good matchups here. Keep your eye on the injury report.
6 5 star--2 4 star--2 3 star--4 2 star-2 1 star
Slightly better schedule than the Steelers have, as the Ravens avoid the Titans. If the 3 man committee is still intact, I'd hesitate to draft anyone, but McClain is the top choice. If McGahee is gone by draft time, McClain will satisfy as your third back. He would still be splitting carries with Rice, but he'd be getting the majority and the goal lines; a poor man's Jacobs. You would feel comfortable starting him 10 times. One of the best potential third rbs out there.and a capable number 2. If McGahee stays, McClain still is worth those 6 starts and is a potential 3rd rb/very good 4th.
6 5 star--2 4 star- -1 3 star--3 2 star--4 1 star
You want Cedric Benson as your 4th rb. It's that simple. He earned the starting spot at the end of the season, and hopefully, he may be overlooked by next summer. The Bengals offense may be terrible, but he put up solid yardage with that same terrible offense at the end of 2008. And when it comes down to it, you'll want to start him against the Browns twice, as well as the Lions, Packers, Chiefs and Broncos. He is most likely going to be started in his two 4 stars as well.
5 5 star--2 4 star--1 3 star-- 4 2 star--4 1 star
The factors that apply to the other AFCN teams don't apply as much to the Browns for one reason: they don't have two games against the Browns. If Jamal Lewis remains as the feature back he should improve his stats somewhat upon last year. There are some favorable matchups here, but you don't want him unless he slips to your 4th rb. But with Harrison taking some of the carries and all those intradivisional games, this is a situation you'd most happily avoid.
2 5 star--3 4 star--7 3 star--3 2 star--1 1 star
This isn't a spectacular schedule but it's one that can be taken advantage of by a feature back. Lynch will face only overly difficult matchup(Titans) and you'll get your usage out of him. This schedule is a slight boost to Lynch's fantasy value. He'll eat up Cleveland and KC and put up solid points against12 teams. Consider him firmly near the the top of the second tier.
2 5 star--4 4 star--7 3 star--2 2 star--1 1 star
Similar to the Bills for the most part, and would be a pretty good schedule for a feature back, which I don't think Jones will be next season. A new coach should realize the value of Leon Washington or possibly use a high draft choice on a new back. If you have a higher opinion of Jones's 2009 value, then this is a good schedule for him, with 9 matchups you'll feel comfortable about. If this ends up being a committee at all, that spells trouble for a schedule with few premium opponents.
3 5 star--3 4 star--5 3 star--3 2 star--2 1 star
This would be a decent schedule if we had any idea who would be running the ball next year. It's not a good enough schedule to risk a pick on someone whose role is unclear, but its solid enough so that if someone is looking strong, they would be a quality pickup. Maybe something will be made clear before your draft, but I wouldn't count on it.
2 5 star--4 4 star--5 3 star--3 2 star--2 1 star
Like their AFCE brethren, the Fins have a schedule that would work for a feature back. Your view of their prospects depends on whether you think they have a feature back. I wouldn't be surprised if Ronnie Brown has a huge year, but I'm put off by his usage at the end of 2008. This isn't a schedule for a back that's splitting carries.
5 5 star--1 4 star--7 3 star--1 2 star--2 1 star
Jones-Drew is looking at a banner year. This could be the best running schedule in the league. It's is one of the two best for a feature back, at the least. There are only three bad matchups, meaning you'll play MJD in 13 games. The whole of the AFCS is set up for positive schedules with both western divisions on tap. The Jags schedule is bolstered by the extra matchups against Cleveland and Buffalo, giving them 5-5 star matchups. Combine the schedule with the removal of Fred Taylor from the Jags ground game(he carried the ball 140 times this year, Jones-Drew should get some of those) and an oline returning from injuries and MJD looks like a very solid bet. Even if they pick up another back to take Taylor's spot, Jones-Drew would still be in a spot to improve on his top 10 finish this year.
3 5 star--2 4 star--7 3 star--2 2 star-2 1 star
Another good schedule for a stud running back. The problem here is that I'm not convinced Slaton will be one in 2009. I believe Houston will look for a complement in either the draft or free agency, leaving Slaton in a committee. As good as Slaton was this year, this schedule isn't favorable to a back that shares the backfield duties. There are few premium matchups, even if they also have relatively few terrible matchups. Moreover, Slaton will not be the goal line back. If however, the Texans continue with just Slaton, he has a very favorable schedule.
3 5 star--1 4 star--10 3 star--1 2 star--1 1 star
Absolutely ideal schedule for a first tier running back. Chris Johnson, coming off of a year in which he established himself in the top 10 as a rookie, will enjoy an increased workload. Its likely that White will continue to grab carries and vulture touchdowns, but its unlikely he will do so at the rate he did this year. Against the defenses, Johnson will more often put it in from outside the 5. The Titans line is very strong and should continue to open up holes next year. If you pick Johnson, he will be in your lineup for all but two weeks at the least. There is a risk of touchdown thefts remaining, but if you understand that, he will be an underrated back this August.
4 5 star--1 4 star--7 3 star--1 2 star--3 3 star
This is the worst schedule in the AFCS, but it is still well above average. There are still 12 very playable matchups and 4 5 star games. It looks very promising for Addai to have a bounceback year if he stays healthy. He is still the unquestioned feature back of a stellar offense that will put a lot of points on the board. Addai should get the bulk of the carries and the goal line touches. The oline should be healthy for 2009. The reward is very high for Addai. If he add the points Rhodes got this year to his own, the season would have been deemed fantasy success.The risk, however is also high. Addai's health is a concern as well as the runblocking ability of the Colts oline. 2008 wasn't pretty. If you're drafting for security up top, you should be wary of picking Addai in the first round. After the first tier is gone, his upside will be too much to pass up. As long he's in the Colts lineup, he'll be in yours in all but those 1 star matchups.