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Fantasy Football Rankings - Tier 4 Running Backs

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Previous posts: Tier 1 - Tier 2 - Tier 3

My Tier 4 running backs are the better RB2s you’ll have a chance to draft.  None of these guys are dependable RB1 material, although if you use your first round pick on a QB or a WR then you’ll probably end up with one of these guys as your top RB. That has either a little risk or a lot of risk, depending on where you’re drafting.  In alphabetical order:

Ronnie Brown, Mia – Before Brown went out with a season-ending injury, it was possible he was the best running back in fantasy, depending on your league scoring.  With 991 total yards and 5 total touchdowns through only seven games, he was well on his way to a Westbrook-esque season.  Let’s not forget that he put up those stats on a team that lost all seven of those games.   The only thing stopping me from putting him in Tier 3 is the screwed up QB situation, which could be anybody from rookie Chad Henne to Josh McCown.  I want to believe that Ronnie Brown is a fantasy stud, but I can’t just yet.

Jamal Lewis, Cle – Lewis has always been a problem for me, I'll go into that later. 

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jax – Jones-Drew couldn’t top his spectacular rookie season, but 768 rushing yards and 9 rushing TDs isn’t too bad no matter how you look at it.  The only reason he’s put in Tier 4 is that he’s sharing time with Fred Taylor and that prevents him  from fully breaking out.  Then again, Taylor will turn 32 this season.  Taylor is an iron man, but eventually the Jags are going to start transitioning away from Taylor and towards J-D.  You’d think.   Don’t they?  I like Jones-Drew’s odds to improve on last year’s stats.

Jonathan Stewart, Car – Stewart also gets the special treatment later on.

Willie Parker, Pit – Poor Willie Parker.  He was a top five pick in last season’s fantasy drafts and to justify the confidence he rushes for 1316 yards including eight games with 100+ rushing yards.  So what happens?  The Steelers draft a RB in the first round and Parker drops to Tier 4.  Wow.  Parker averaged over 20 carries a game in 2007 and there’s no way we’ll see that with Rashard Mendenhall hanging around.  In fact, with the Steelers now having three better-than-average WRs (Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and rookie Limas Sweed) , the entire Pittsburgh rushing game should take a step back.  Maybe several steps.  It’s very possible Parker won’t hit 1000 rushing yards this season, and he won’t score enough touchdowns to make up for it.