Running Back News And Notes
June 13, 2013 | Jeff
Greetings from Fake Football Land. The weather is beginning to heat up (not here in Seattle but I picture other locations being sunny), and fantasy football news is beginning to surface as we begin the all-important summer months that will shape our draft boards and cheat sheets like a football shaped ball of clay. Plenty of news has surfaced regarding the running back position this week, the most interesting of which are noted below, so get to scrolling!
Ahmad Bradshaw: The Indianapolis Colts signed former New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw to a one year contract this week, which throws a significant wrench in the fantasy value of Vick Ballard. Ballard had a decent rookie campaign in 2012 with 814 yards rushing, but lacked big play ability as he chugged along to a mere 3.9 yards per carry (tied with Shonn Greene, ewwwww). I have bumped Bradshaw up into the late 20’s in my 2013 running back ranks, while Ballard drops to 40th behind other backup running backs with more upside. In case you’re curious, and I know you are, Donald Brown is now toast in the realm of fake football so tuck his name into the deep corner of your brain next to your locker combination. Bradshaw should have a decent season ahead of him if his troublesome feet hold up, as he will provide a far more versatile back for Andrew Luck to utilize on all downs.
Willis McGahee: Grandpa Willis was released by the Broncos, presumably to fix himself an Arnold Palmer and cozy up in a rocking chair on his front porch. This means that Denver’s backfield is in the hands of rookie Montee Ball. Although fellow running backs Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno are still in town, Ball should end up with the bulk of the carries in Denver and will feed off the passing prowess of Peyton Manning and his barrel full of playmaking receivers. Ball’s ADP will skyrocket from here on out and will be interesting to follow as fantasy drafts approach. I would be comfortable with Ball as a mid to low-end RB2 right now with plenty of room this summer for him to improve his fantasy stock.
Reggie Bush: As Carlos Monarrez from the Detroit Free Press reported, Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan declared that Bush’s involvement in Detroit’s offense “is going to be pretty substantial.” Our main man C.D. Carter already highlighted Bush’s potential for serious fantasy point production in PPR leagues in 2013, but Bush may also find himself in the top 15 of standard leagues as well if he can stay on the field and reap the benefits of Matthew Stafford zinging what seems like 94 passes a game. I’ve got Bush at 20th in my current running back rankings, with room to rise.
Rashard Mendenhall: Word out of Arizona is that Mendenhall appears to be the number one back in Cardinal land. While this doesn’t technically qualify as news, as Mendy was brought in for this purpose, there are a ton of running backs on the Cardinals roster including Ryan Williams and rookies Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington, and this is the first hint of clarity that has leaked from the desert. If you are a dues paying member of the “Blame 2012 on the quarterbacks and Bruce Arians will save the world” club, then feel free to hop on board with Mendenhall in the middle rounds after you snag Larry Fitzgerald early. I would rather grab Williams or one of the rooks late, but we will see how the summer shakes out.
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