When the NFL draft was concluded and the players who were picked were announced, the usual routine of people reporting that the top five NFL offensive players had been chosen was in full swing. The usual battle of who will be the best player on their team continues, as do the fantasy football points of who will be the overall best NFL running back. A look at the first week’s results tells a different story. Let’s look at the offensive numbers for the five most popular players who were selected and see who did the best against the run and who didn’t.
The statistics for this one were very impressive. Leveon McCoy ran for a career-high six touchdown passes, and he covered the least amount of yards among running backs (including Michael Vick). Heading into his week two match up he looks like he has a lot of support from the Eagles coaching staff and the receiving core, and the Charger’s offense couldn’t be better. San Diego will travel to New Orleans to take on the undefeated Saints in a game that has the potential to be high-scoring.
Jamaal Charles had another great game, but this one came against a team that is just not as strong on the defensive end as the Chiefs. With this in mind, it is easy to see why he ranks so low in the fantasy football pecking order. DeMarcus Ware also had a great day, carrying the ball 10 times for a career-best 25 yards and catching two passes for a touchdown. That gives Ware an opportunity to move into the top five at running back for the second straight week. He has done it before with Ware and should do it again this week.
It is amazing how many people want to put Leveon or Jamaal in the top five at running back right now. They would be so much better served to list other players who deserve the honors. That being said, it is still crazy that people continue to put Leveon or Jamaal ahead of other players who are deserving to be in the top five. I am not here to say that either is bad, although they both are very good. I am merely telling you why you should consider other names on your fantasy football draft day.
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering which running back to take in drafts. First, think about yards per carrying and overall touches. Yards per carrying is a terrific way to evaluate the best runners because if a player is getting more yards per carrying than the next guy, that is a pretty good sign that he is doing something well. Also, take a look at the overall touches. The more Touchdowns a running back has the more valuable he is.
The top five in most leagues are a bunch of different people. While that list is certainly worth making fun of, the fact is that there are only a handful of truly elite players in the mix. Jamaal Charles has been good, but he is not the guy who is consistently producing top 5 fantasy stats. Even with his great season, it is not clear that he is a top 5 fantasy choice right now.
Leveon Stafford has been solid as a fantasy quarterback, but he has been no better than Foles this year. Foles has been a below-average starter, allowing multiple touchdown passes in just one-half of football. As bad as Stafford has been, it seems as though the Jets simply cannot get anything going on the ground. Unless they draft Tajh Boyd or someone else that becomes a difference-maker on the outside, this could be another major disappointment for them come draft day.
The bottom five are not much different than the top five. A lot of the running backlist is the same as it was a year ago, except for some potential tweaks. People love Robert Griffin and think he will turn into the answer at quarterback, but that may be wishful thinking. The same applies to the wide receiver position. Some people love Darrius Carson, but I don’t think he is as good as his teammate Brandin Cook. Carson has been effective as a deep passer, but Cook is looking like the man to replace Luck in the passing game.