My second tier of running backs are guys that you should be confident of drafting as the anchor to your fantasy team – except that they have one little thing that might make them into a bust. It’s not a big thing, maybe not even a very bad thing, but there’s just this nagging doubt at the back of my mind. In alphabetical order:
Marshawn Lynch, Buf – Lynch had two things that worried me. First was his on-going legal problems, but those seem to be behind him now. The second was new starter Trent Edwards, who looked ok in limited time last season but has yet to prove himself ready for prime-time. That’s a small worry though and the addition of rookie WR James Hardy will certainly help the offense. I expect Lynch to at least match his 1115 yd, 7 TD performance from last season. The fact that he doesn't have a driver's license any more actually lowers his risk.
Adrian Peterson, Min – As some commenters have noticed, Peterson was conspicuous by his absence in the top tier. He’ll get a special write-up later
Clinton Portis, Was – Portis is a guy I almost put into my top tier, but there are two things bothering me here as well. The passing game is a concern: I like Jason Campbell, I like Chris Cooley, I like the fact that they drafted two rookie WRs – but I don’t know if I like them all together. I'm also worried that new Head Coach Jim Zorn will use Ladell Betts more than Joe Gibbs did. Overall though, Portis will be a great fantasy RB1. He actually got stronger as last season went on, finishing with 112 carries and 5 TDs in his final five games. In an 8 team league you may be able to get him early in the second round, which would be an absolute crime.
Michael Turner, Atl – Turner is also an interesting case, so more on him later. Notice how I'm stretching these out? Pretty sneaky sis!