Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mid Round Talent-Third Tier

These are the guys that you want as your third and fourth running backs. They should be available after you've filled out your receivers. I've already mentioned 2 backs, including the first two tiers and tweeners, so by the time that these rbs are going, most people already have three backs. It also may be possible that you grabbed three of the first two tiers, but in any case, you want one of these guys in the midrounds. These are the guys that might be somewhat risky but have a high ceiling, or maybe they have a promising schedule where you get six games where they are a solid play. They could also be guys whose total value is just higher than where they will likely get drafted. Every draft is different and it could be that some of these guys go earlier. Most likely, they get taken after most of the 26 backs already mentioned.

Le'Ron McClain-Ravens 2008: 18th
McClain has a good schedule with a lot of great matchups. He finished 18th this year. If McGahee is gone, McClain's numbers should be at least as good as 2008. If they aren't they might be just as good anyways. It's possible his draft value is higher than I'm predicting, but I like his value here. If McGahee is gone, McClain could approach the end of the second tier. Dominating defense, solid oline, and a punishing back that is that poor man's Jacobs combo of leading the committee and being the goal line guy

Jonathan Stewart-Panthers 2008: 22nd

Carolina's schedule is hard, but I've said before I like Stewart to grab a higher percentage of the team's points this year. I would imagine he should finish somewhere around 18-22 in points. Since there should be at least 2 backs taken already, he has value in the midrounds.

Earnest Graham-Bucs 2008: 42nd
Last year Graham was forced to play fullback for a while, and had significant injury time. This year he should return to the starting role and vastly outperform 2008. If he does, is there any reason to think Thomas Jones will outscore him this year? I don't think so, but there will be a vast difference in draft position. Add in the fact that the Bucs have a pretty good running schedule and he a very solid pick here.

Cedric Benson-Bengals 2008: 46th
Benson only started the last part of 2008. Extending those numbers to a full season would make him a solid pick to finish around 20th. Add in the Bengals great schedule, and Benson is an astounding pick here. Taking Benson as your third or especially fourth means you can start him only in those great matchups while sitting him against the Ravens and Steelers. I really want Benson next year, I'm just trying to figure out how long I can wait to take him. Here's hoping he gets no hype heading into the season.

Jamaal Charles-Chiefs 2008: 65th
Larry Johnson is as good as gone. Do you want a feature back that has six games against the AFC West? I know I do, and that's what Charles should be this year. He should do in 2009 what Johnson did this year; light up bad teams and give you no qualms about sitting him the other weeks. That's exactly what I want from a back at this point of the draft.

Ryan Grant-Packers 2008: 23rd
Grant quietly finished 23rd this year after being drafted much higher. Without the hype he likely slips to around 30. Yet the same conditions that apply to him being drafted so highly last year still apply. Even more so as last year I was not so confident of him being the feature back. He put the yards up last year, just without the touchdowns. That should even out more and he is a solid bet to finish in the top 20. Additionally, its a great schedule for a spot starter, with 5 premium matchups.

Jamal Lewis-Browns 2008: 32nd
Lewis was 32nd last year against a tough schedule. Against a moderate schedule this year he should be back in the twenties. Moreover over 32 backs have been taken by the time you are snagging him. The Browns have to be better this year, meaning there is some upside to Lewis too. The counter is that Jerome Harrison could be taking more carries in 2009. The gamble there is worth if in this point of the draft for someone you will start about 5 times.


  1. I don't like ernest graham next year. I can see him not winning the starting job. But I guess if you can get him as your fourth back it's a risk you're willing to take.

  2. Could be right. That's one of those things I'll be looking at we approach the season. If it looks like another Bucs back is going to get the nod, things change. The important thing now, is to keep track of what we think the Bucs rb prospects are.