Running backs in the 2012 draft have been very difficult to project so far. I think as training camp gets into full swing, Iâ€™ll have a better idea on which RB will be the main guy and which RB tandem will be an effective running back by committee (RBBC). Â Fantasy owners this year, even more than in the past, have to focus on grabbing a RB that has sole possession of that position.Â With the WR position being so deep, Â you MUST get yourself a RB that you can count on each and every week.Â That being said, we do not endorse reaching for a RB in the early rounds just to for the sake of it.
Here are a few RBs Iâ€™ll be targeting in this yearâ€™s draft. You may notice a few somewhat controversial names, but stay with me, weâ€™ll explain why these guys will make you look tremendously smart.
Chris Johnson â€“ Tennessee Titans : Some will point out that over the last three seasons CJ2K has seen a decrease in the numbers of yards rushing and TD total. What I see is a decrease in the number of carries, which for me, points out the fact that CJ2K will enter the 2012 season, fresh.Â I love the story, I love the fact that some people are forgetting about him and writing him off and I love the fact that heâ€™s pissed because heâ€™s been underutilized.
If the Titans can settle on a QB during training camp, this will only help the situation. For CJ2Kâ€™s sake I hope itâ€™s Jake Locker who has the mobility, arm strength and the ability to have touch on the ball when he checks down.Â If everything is true coming out of Titansâ€™ training camp, look for a tremendous increase in CJ2Kâ€™s numbers. My Projection : 1,200+ YDS, 10 TD, 60 REC 2 TD
DeMarco Murray â€“ Dallas Cowboys : If I were the Dallas Cowboys Iâ€™d look at this one magical number: every time DeMarco Murray carried the ball 20+ times (WK 7, 9-12) you won the game. Hopefully with the Ginger out as OC (Bill Callahan is now running the offense) they wonâ€™t abandon the run when they get down in the game.
Once again the big concern going into the 2012 season will be Murrayâ€™s health. This is probably not the first time youâ€™re hearing this, since it dates back to his playing days at Oklahoma State, but itâ€™s something you need to mark on your cheat sheet.Â His skill set is Top 10 for both PPR and Non-PPR leagues, which puts him at the end of the first round/beginning of the second.Â My Projection : 1,100+ YDS, 8 TD, 30 REC 1 TD
Doug Martin â€“ Tampa Bay Buccaneers : Itâ€™s amazing to read and hear some of the comments on Doug Martin. Iâ€™ve heard him compared to a poor-man’s Ray Rice because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Some have said that Martin reminds them of a young CJ2K because of his ability to elude tacklers.Â My take is that heâ€™s a kid out of Boise State that will be againstÂ LaGarrett Blount and thatâ€™s all the matters to me, right now.
If Martin wins the job out of camp he has the ability to be a nice RB2 for your fantasy team. Heâ€™ll catch the ball out of the backfield and should average 70-80 yds per game. My main concern will be what the Bucs have in store for Blount once they get inside the red zone. Â Blount probably gets those carries, but as of this writing that has not been announced, giving me hope.Â Martin is going 50 in ADP currently, which is a perfect spot for him. I think if heâ€™s taken in the fourth RD that is a bit of a reach. My Projection : 1,000+ YDS, 6 TD, 40 REC 1 TD
Michael Turner â€“ Atlanta Falcons â€“ Have you heard this before, â€œMichael Turner is done.â€ Or maybe this, â€œTurnerâ€™s entering his ninth season and last year had over 300 carries, avoid at all cost.â€ Dumb! Just dumb. Even with talk from the Falcons coaching staff that his carries will be reduced, Turner is still worthy of a low-end RB1 or an awesome RB2 for your team. Why? Well, because heâ€™s reliable and still has the ability to get you double-digit TD.
The one knock on Turner each year is his inability to catch the ball out of the backfield. No worries, you already know that, so you make up for it with your stud-RB or you select a TE that is the focus point of his teamâ€™s offense.Â Turner will do “dirt” (for the old people reading this) get the job done, and put up decent fantasy numbers at a position starving for points. My Projection : 1,000+ YDS, 10 TD, 15 REC 1 TD
BenJarvus Green-Ellis â€“ Cincinnati Bengals : Going a little deeper here with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but for the first time in his career heâ€™ll be the featured back. Iâ€™m expecting him to get anywhere between 230-260 carries, similar to what Cedric Benson did for the Bengals in 2010.Â If he can maintain his health and pound the rock once the Bengals get inside the red zone, Benson will be an excellent RB2 for your fantasy team.
The one big concern at this point in training camp is how the Bengals will use Bernard Scott. I spoke to two Bengals officials and they each told me Scott will be the third-down back and used in long yardage plays, making Green-Ellis the featured back.Â Thatâ€™s good news for fantasy owners. Keep track of his ADP prior to your draft, because I think heâ€™ll go a little earlier than expected the closer we get to opening kick-off. My Projection : 1,000+ YDS, 8 TD, 15 REC 1 TD