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Undervalued RBs

Read the introduction to this series if you haven't yet.

Doug Martin - TB ADP: 69 overall, RB 25 11 votes

Mike Brown - Let's face it, there's nothing sexy about drafting a guy named Doug Martin. It sounds boring. But believe me, when you're watching your leaguemates select plodders like Shonn Green and BenJarvus Green-Ellis just ahead of you, smile all the way to the title when they leave Martin on the board for you. He's an excellent receiver and only has to beat out the underachieving LeGarrett Blount for the starting job in Tampa. At the very least, those receiving skills ensure that he will have SOME significant role in the team's offensive gameplan in 2012. And at best, you add a starting RB for what should be a vastly-improved offense for a fraction of the cost of a typical RB2.

Jeff Haseley - Greg Schiano handpicked Martin to be the team's RB of the future. His Ray Rice-like ability could have a Ray Rice-like impact on a Bucs team that is seeking a versatile back. I don't see Martin scoring a lot of touchdowns though, not with LeGarrette Blount receiving most, if not all of the goal line carries. If Martin can eclipse 35-40 receptions, which I think he can, he has a legit chance of finishing in the Top 20.

Ryan Hester - New head coach Greg Schiano has no loyalty to LeGarrette Blount and will treat the two as equals despite Blount's tenure thus far. In fact, if Schiano leans either way, it'll most likely be toward Martin. He was a first-round draft pick -- Schiano's second as an NFL head coach. He'll want to prove himself and his regime right. Schiano also has a past with small, stout backs having been the head coach of Ray Rice at Rutgers. Look for Martin to take the reigns and be involved in the passing game while Blount is used as a change-of-pace and perhaps a goal line TD vulture.

Steve Holloway - Rookie Doug Martin is an all-around solid running back and was drafted into a really nice situation. The Buccaneers have an improved offensive line and added Vincent Jackson to their receiving options. There is no doubt that Martin does several things much better than LeGarrete Blount and should see abundant opportunity in what should be a much improved Buccaneer offense.

Marc Levin - Martin is available outside the top-24 RBs and in the 7th round, and he is likely to be given as much opportunity to take over the feature back role in Tampa Bay as Trent Richardson in Cleveland. Not that Martin is going to match Richardson's numbers, but if he gets 75% of what owners expect from Richardson, he will have been a value draft pick. Given his receiving skills out of college, his value is elevated in PPR leagues.

Bob Magaw - One of the consensus two RBs available in the 2012 draft with a three down skill set (an increasingly vanishing rare breed), unlike the far higher, top three overall selection Trent Richardson, Martin arrives on a team with significantly greater offensive firepower and surrounding talent. Compared by some scouts to Ray Rice, he was hand picked by Rice's former Rutgers HC Greg Schiano. The more favorable intersection of talent AND opportunity makes Martin more likely than higher profile starting rookie RB Richardson to out produce his current fantasy standing.

Jeff Pasquino - Whenever a rookie running back gets taken in the first round, you have to take notice. Martin was regarded as a Top 3 tailback entering the 2012 draft, and now he lands in an ideal spot to come in and hit the ground running. LeGarrette Blount will quickly be passed on the depth chart as Martin becomes the feature 3-down back. Martin represents solid value with Top 15 running back upside considering that he will be on the field so often even in his first year.

Aaron Rudnicki - I'm just not a believer in LeGarrette Blount and I think the new coaching staff in Tampa is going to give Martin a great chance to become the lead back right away. Richardson deservedly gets a lot of attention among the rookie runners this year, but Martin is going to a much better situation. Tampa added Vincent Jackson, has a very good offensive line, and I expect a rebound season from Josh Freeman under center. This is a team that underachieved last year but has the talent to be an effective offense, and Martin has a reasonable chance to put up RB2-type numbers.

Chris Smith - There are always running backs coming out of college that immediately step in and do a good job in the NFL. Of all the NFL positions, it may be the easiest one to start out of the gate as long as the player has some competence in pass protection. Doug Martin has a phenomenal blend of balance, quickness, power and tenacity and he will get plenty of touches and fantasy points even if he is sharing the field with veteran LeGarrette Blount. Martin has future fantasy start written all over him in my opinion and is a steal after the 4th round.

Matt Waldman - While most of the focus will be on Trent Richardson in Cleveland, Tampa Bay's rookie runner Doug Martin has the third down skills to contribute immediately as the Buccaneers feature back. Incumbent starter LaGarrette Blount did not display good pass protection skills despite flashing that potential as a college player. Martin was far more consistent in college and I believe head coach Greg Schiano selected Martin because the former Boise State star runs with a style that is a nice blend of Frank Gore and Ray Rice. Schiano recruited and coached Ray Rice at Rutgers and I think he wants a back he can keep on the field and use in nearly every facet of the game just like he did with Rice. Blount has starter talent, but he hasn't endeared himself to the team with his work ethic and questionable off-field behavior. Schiano is not a "let's party with the players" coach as rumored about Raheem Morris based on a player I spoke with last year. Tampa will evolve into a disciplined, hard-nosed team if Schiano has success and Martin will lead the way. I think it starts this year behind quality guard play along a promising offensive line.

Jason Wood - Greg Schiano is a hard nosed coach that believes you win games the old fashioned way -- play good defense, and control the ball. His Rutgers teams were at their best when Ray Rice and Brian Leonard were dominating the offensive touches. If anyone thinks rookie Doug Martin is going to lack opportunities, they either haven't paid attention to Schiano's preferences or they're giving LeGarrette Bloiunt way too much credit. Martin has no flaws in his game -- he's as fundamentally sound and NFL-ready as any back outside of Trent Richardson. While I'm not sure the Bucs offensive line is stout enough to propel Martin into RB1 territory, I would happily draft him as my RB2 after targeting the WR/TE/QB positions for a round or two.

Stevan Ridley - NE ADP: 90 overall, RB 36 5 votes

Andy Hicks - With the departure of Benjarvus Green-Ellis to the Bengals, one of Joseph Addai, Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley should be a productive back for the Patriots this year. It should come down to Vereen or Ridley, and you can probably get both at good prices. Ridley looked like a potential lead back in spurts last season and with more opportunities at an excellent draft price, he is worth the gamble.

Marc Levin - In the last five years, "the lead back" for the New England Patriots, from Benjarvus Green-Ellis to Lawrence Maroney to Kevin Faulk, has finished at least in the top-30 for fantasy running backs. Green-Ellis finished as a top-24 running back each of the last two years. Ridley looks like he has the inside track to the Patriots' lead back role this year, but this analysis applies to Shane Vereen if he ends up as the team's lead back. Ridley is the RB35 and Vereen is the RB51. Draft the Patriots' lead back at RB35 or later, and expect at least a top-30, with a reasonable shot at a top-24, fantasy running back finish.

Jeff Pasquino - Now that BenJarvus Green-Ellis is in Cincinnati, the goal line job for the Patriots falls to Stevan Ridley. Anyone who had Green-Ellis last year as a touchdown machine knows how valuable Ridley can be in a similar role. Ridley will be the power back this year and the workhorse in the fourth quarter, running out the clock and racking up touchdowns against tired defenses. Even if New England uses a committee approach to their backfield, Ridley should be the most valuable fantasy Patriots back.

Chris Smith - Ridley is a big, talented 2nd year running back. At 225-pounds, he is a load to bring down in single tackle situations, has a nice burst and averaged 5.1 yards per carry in limited work last year. Somebody is likely to emerge as the top option coming out of the Patriots backfield and I expect at least 170 carries from Ridley in 2012.

Jason Wood - Anyone that claims to know how Bill Belichick plans to divvy the running back carries is lying. I'm not even sure Belichick knows yet. But I also don't think the Patriots are dead set on using a multi-headed committee, either. The Patriots are the most flexible personnel organization in the NFL, and will go with what works. I believe Ridley is what works. Ultimately Ridley and Shane Vereen should deliver a dynamic 1-2 punch for a team that will run for 1,800-2,000 yards in a typical season. Ridley won't cost a lot on draft day, but both he and Vereen stand a good shot at emerging as an every week fantasy contributor. Target both is possible, but Ridley offers the slightly better value.

Shane Vereen - NE ADP: 145 overall, RB 52 5 votes

Heath Cummings - It was Vereen working with the starters at Patriots OTAs which, if you know Head Coach Bill Belichick, could mean everything or nothing. I still think Vereen is the most complete package the Patriots have available in the backfield, and if he stays healthy that should mean he should at least be in line for 50% of the work. I'm not big on betting on Patriots' running backs, but with an ADP of 145, Vereen is a great value.

Steve Holloway - Shane Vereen is a value play based on his extremely low ADP. Drafted in the second round a year ago, ahead of 3rd rounder Steven Ridley, he is a gifted all-around back with skills that the Patriots have lacked at the running back position for several years. They again will likely employ a committee approach, but Vereen at RB 52 is the best candidate to play on all downs.

Dave Larkin - The talent of Shane Vereen, with his silky smooth athleticism and freakish cutback ability, will win out in the end in New England. That is my hope, at least. Some positive reports have emerged lately about Vereen, noting that he is taking first team reps at running back in OTAs. Be under no illusions, though; Vereen will likely form part of a committee including Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead. Vereen must improve in pass protection to be the main back for the team. If Vereen manages to improve that area of his game and show the coaches what he can do in camp, do not be surprised if he claims the primary job and doesn't look back.

Matt Waldman - Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss predicted Vereen would be an impact player in 2011's training camp, but the Pat's second-round pick got hurt and was buried on the depth chart while rehabbing the leg injury. He did flash his burst on a touchdown run at the end of a Chiefs game during the season, but otherwise he bid his time for 2012. Now's that time, and Vereen is currently working with with the first-team offense. As fellow staffer and Patriots fan David Yudkin points out, the reps could simply be a chance for the team to evaluate Vereen after a year on the bench to see what they have at this stage of his career. Yudkin also likes to remind readers that the Patriots are a committee team at the running back position. These are sensible and logical points. So are these: Vereen is explosive, agile, a strong receiver, and he has enough talent to become the lead back in the Patriots offense. As the 145th player at this current iteration of ADP, I'm buying.

Mark Wimer - Shane Vereen didn't get a lot of work during 2011 due to lingering injuries, but he's seen a lot of work with the first team during 2012 OTAs, and Vereen was more highly regarded than Stevan Ridley coming in to New England from the 2011 draft. I like Vereen to beat out Ridley for top dog in the Patriots' committee - he should smash his current ADP of 52nd running back taken off the board.

Ahmad Bradshaw - NYG ADP: 37 overall, RB 18 4 votes

Heath Cummings - I really like Bradshaw's chances of starting off hot. His only competition for carries comes from rookie David Wilson, and it's hard to believe that Wilson will be up to speed in week 1. Injuries have to be part of the reason for Bradshaw's lower ranking, but I'll bet on the 26 year old's foot ahead of the older guys like Michael Turner, Steven Jackson, Fred Jackson and Darren Sproles who all have better ADPs right now.

Will Grant - Bradshaw has always been a dual threat -- both running the ball and catching it out of the backfield. Brandon Jacobs has moved on, leaving Bradshaw to be the Thunder AND the Lightning in New York. Rookie David Wilson will certainly take a few carries from Bradshaw, but he has the potential to be a top 15 RB.

Marc Levin - With Brandon Jacobs gone from New York, Bradshaw is primed to take over the feature back role and rush for double digit TDs. With a floor that seems to be in the 1200/10 range, great value exists drafting Bradshaw in the late 3rd as the 17th running back off the board. Owners should expect him to outperform all the RBs drafted ahead of him up until at least RB12 (Jamaal Charles).

Aaron Rudnicki - Bradshaw has been held back at times by the presence of Brandon Jacobs, but he will finally get a real chance this year to take over the Giants backfield. The rookie David Wilson will provide some insurance, but this is Bradshaw's team and I expect him to improve significantly on the 171 carries he put up last year. Most defenses are going to be worried about the passing game so Bradshaw should also find plenty of room to run. This is a talented player with a great opportunity in front of him.

Michael Bush - CHI ADP: 80 overall, RB 33 4 votes

Will Grant - I think Matt Forte will sign his contract and be there for week 1. That being said, Michael Bush has proven that he can be a solid contributor and an every down back in Oakland. I think by the time Forte gets into uniform, Bush will have proven enough to earn more of a 50-50 split than he would have had if Forte were there from day 1.

Ryan Hester - Can Bush to be selected as a late-round "high-upside backup RB" pick that fulfills that upside two straight years on two different teams? I believe he can. Last season -- much like this season -- Bush is behind a very talented player on the depth chart who is an injury risk. Add in the fact that Matt Forte is unhappy with his contract situation and could miss some or all of camp, and Bush will find himself as a coaching staff favorite. He showed last season that he is a starting-quality RB.

Marc Levin - The Matt Forte contract situation does not look good. If the holdout lasts into the preseason or longer, owners who are able to draft Bush at his current ADP are likely to be rewarded with a running back who will at least split carries, and might be the starting back, when the season opens. Even if Forte returns before the preseason ends, Bush has shown he can produce when given opportunities, and Forte was known to vanish in games last year, even before his season tailed off due to injury. Adding Bush in the 8th round as an RB3/4 is likely to pay off for owners.

Jeff Pasquino - The Bears have been staring at a holdout from starting running back Matt Forte for quite a while, so Bush afforded them both insurance against a holdout and also a backup plan in case Forte gets injured. Bush is a very capable NFL running back who has performed well whenever asked, and he had several chances to show his skills when Darren McFadden was hurt last season. Bush may well be the starter in Chicago in September if the Forte contract situation gets ugly.

Shonn Greene - NYJ ADP: 63 overall, RB 24 4 votes

Steve Holloway - Shonn Greene played second fiddle to Thomas Jones and LaDainian Tomlinson in his first two seasons, but topped 1,000 yards last year while averaging 4.2 ypc and played the receiving role better catching a career high 30 passes. His role this season should include around 20 carries per game and similar targets in the passing game.

Maurile Tremblay - Green is the lead ball-carrier in a run-heavy offense. He was the No. 18 fantasy running back last season, and with LaDainian Tomlinson out of the picture, he should get a larger workload this season rather than a smaller one. Yet he is being drafted as a low-end RB2.

Mark Wimer - Shonn Greene is the featured runner for the Jets, a team that loves to grind out games with their running backs. Greene should see enough action to outperform his current ADP.

David Yudkin - Greene didn't exactly light the world on fire, but LaDainian Tomlinson is out of the picture and New York didn't make a major move to replace him. Greene ranked 18th last season and Top 10 down the stretch, making him a value pick as the 24th running back off the board in non-PPR leagues.

Jahvid Best - DET ADP: 76 overall, RB 30 2 votes

Heath Cummings - If you're drafting Jahvid Best this season, you're drafting based on potential, and that potential is high. This offense is a juggernaut, and Kevin Smith showed what a back could do toward the end of last year. Of course Best may just be one hit away from retirement, but he may also be one season from a top ten ranking. The Lions offense coupled with Best's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield make him too hard for me to pass up starting in round 5.

Mark Wimer - Jahvid Best has struggled to stay healthy so far, but when he has been on the field of play he's been a great-looking, dual-threat back. The Lions' offense is powerful and teams have to respect their passing game, leaving plenty of room for a slashing runner like Best to carve up big chunks of the field at a time. He's got a lot of upside at his current ADP.

Donald Brown - IND ADP: 99 overall, RB 38 2 votes

Dave Larkin - It may be last chance saloon for Donald Brown's faltering career in Indianapolis, but the infusion of youth on offense should help his cause immensely in 2012. Brown, a runner who builds up speed and is not especially elusive, will benefit from the Colts' improved offensive line, boasting more physical players than last year like Ben Ijalana, Winston Justice and Mike McGlynn. The Colts will employ more of a power-based running attack, which I believe will suit Brown's decisive, downhill style. In 2011, 415 of Brown's 645 rushing yards came after first contact.

Jeff Tefertiller - The Indianapolis Colts let Joseph Addai go this offseason and the veteran back signed in New England. This move left Donald Brown as the starter. The former first round pick was slow to put it all together through most of his first two seasons as a professional but flashed plenty of potential last season. The Colt offense is young and will need to run the ball to keep the pressure off rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. Even though Brown did not play in the first four games last year, he still finished as a RB37. If he can stay healthy, expect a Top 25 season for Brown. He is a steal in the eighth round.

Reggie Bush - MIA ADP: 47 overall, RB 20 2 votes

Jeff Pasquino - Reggie Bush had his best rushing season ever in the NFL last year for Miami, averaging five yards per carry and topping 1,000 yards on the ground. His touchdowns (six) and receptions (43) were a little more modest than you would want from a top running back, but the Dolphins have said that they want to use him more, especially as a receiver. With a young quarterback in Ryan Tannehill about to take over, playmakers with speed will be valuable. Daniel Thomas, the backup to Bush, also has not shown much which elevates Bush to a stable starting tailback.

Maurile Tremblay - Last season, Reggie Bush became the running back many expected him to be when he was the second overall pick in the 2006 draft. He finished the year with four straight 100-yard rushing games before missing week 17 due to injury. When his season ended after week 16, he was the No. 9 fantasy running back. I don't worry as much as most do about Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller cutting into Bush's carries this season.

Jamaal Charles - KC ADP: 25 overall, RB 12 2 votes

Heath Cummings - I expect that once Jamaal Charles gets into camp and shows that he is healthy, his ADP will skyrocket. Don't be concerned about the presence of Peyton Hillis, Charles has always shared the load and he's always excelled in that role. There are less than a handful of backs in the league that can match Charles' potential and maybe only one (Chris Johnson) that matches his big play ability. A healthy Jamaal Charles in the second round may just be the steal of your fantasy draft.

Will Grant - Charles was a top five pick last season before he went down to injury. He's got come competition this year with Peyton Hillis, but he's still one of the best point-per touch back in the game. I'm not sure if it's Hillis or the injury that's driving Charles into the third round but he's well worth that type of pick.

Frank Gore - SF ADP: 39 overall, RB 19 2 votes

Andy Hicks - Is easy to think that Frank Gore could be less productive with the addition of Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James as well as all the new receivers, but Gore has been the centerpiece of this offense for a long time and he surely has to be more involved in the passing game this year. With opposing defenses forced to focus on a better passing game, Gore will be back to his best.

Maurile Tremblay - Gore was the No. 12 fantasy RB last season. The fantasy community is expecting a significant drop-off, viewing him as a middling RB2 rather than a borderline RB1, but I think the expectation is premature. Gore can't keep putting up big numbers forever, but I'm betting he's got another year in the tank, and the 49ers plans to reduce his workload will be forgotten when they need to put the ball in Gore's hands to win games.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis - CIN ADP: 62 overall, RB 23 2 votes

Ryan Hester - From undrafted free agent to committee back to lead back, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has made a relatively slow rise to prominence. This season, however, he gets to show what he can do as the top RB on his team. Some knocks on him are that he has never carried the full load and that he was successful against nickel defenses (which were a result of New England's high-powered passing attack). However, Cincinnati is a balanced team that emphasized the run, and he's in line to get the lion's share of those carries. No one thought Cedric Benson had anything left before his breakout 2010 season, and I see Green-Ellis' potential at a similar level to that. Remember, there's a shortage of true lead backs out there in today's running-back-by-committee NFL.

Maurile Tremblay - After being part of a committee in New England for the past several years, Green-Ellis will get a shot as the Bengals' featured back, and he should be more successful than Cedric Benson was in that role last season. If Green-Ellis can be a three-down back for the Bengals, he should be a solid fantasy RB2.

Fred Jackson - BUF ADP: 34 overall, RB 16 2 votes

Dave Larkin - Do not forget that Fred Jackson was on course to be a top five running back in fantasy football last season before his injury. Discount the age, too; Jackson has only 818 career carries despite the fact he is 31 years of age. Buffalo rewarded him with a new contract, justifiably putting their trust in him to be the lead in a committee at the very least in 2012. C.J. Spiller was impressive towards the tail end of last season, but if Chan Gailey had to pick one of these two backs to trust for an entire season, I would bet that he would choose Jackson. Keep in mind that Jackson reached nearly 1,000 yards rushing in only ten games last season.

Mark Wimer - Fred Jackson was among the top fantasy running backs during 2012 until he suffered a broken leg. C.J. Spiller showed that he is a legitimate NFL back while Jackson was out, and the team has been open about their intentions to share the work fairly equally this year. However, I think the Bills' offense is on the rise, and there should be plenty of work to go around - and I like Jackson to make a big impact during his time on the field.

Adrian Peterson - MIN ADP: 26 overall, RB 13 2 votes

Andy Hicks - Three months before the start of the season, Adrian Peterson is making excellent progress from his knee injury and until discouraging news is received, he should be counted on to continue his excellent career to date. Ten or touchdowns in every season, a 4.8 yards a carry career average, and a dynamic threat in all facets of the game. As a precaution you may need to add Toby Gerhart, but Peterson is such value right now in the early 3rd round.

Jeff Tefertiller - This is the first season of his career you can draft Adrian Peterson in the third round. Yes, he is coming off a nasty knee injury, but Peterson is already beating teammates in uphill sprints. Even if he misses a couple of games to begin the season, Peterson is a bargain in the third round of fantasy drafts. The Vikings have a young offense and will rely on the talented running back to carry the offense once again. He has always produced great numbers and the trend should continue.

Isaac Redman - PIT ADP: 73 overall, RB 28 2 votes

Ryan Hester - Redman is an interesting "point-counterpoint" situation this season. On one hand, he enters the season as the unquestioned starter on his team (a rare non-committee situation in today's NFL). On the other hand, he might only be that guy for seven weeks -- at which time Rashard Mendenhall comes off the Physically Unable to Perform list and gets some carries. I like Redman because of the old saying a bird in the hand. You know what you're getting right out of the gate. Many teams that win fantasy championships do so because of waiver pickups anyway. So when Mendenhall gets back, boost your RB corps with transactions. Maybe you'll even get lucky and Redman will be so effective that he maintains the starting job throughout the year.

David Yudkin - Redman filled in admirably for fallen comrade Rashard Mendenhall at the end of the 2011 campaign. Redman scored double digit fantasy points in three games after he took over for Mendenhall, averaging 126 yards from scrimmage in his two starts. Mendenhall's status is still up in the air and Redman could have a stranglehold on the starting tailback spot for all or most of the season.

Trent Richardson - CLE ADP: 21 overall, RB 11 2 votes

Bruce Hammond - Richardson is probably the best running back to enter the league since Adrian Peterson and will be a workhorse from the start. He has speed and power, catches the ball well out of the backfield, and the Browns have said that he will carry the full load. With all the running back by committee teams in the league, a true three-down back is hard to come by. One with this much ability is rare. He should outperform his ADP of RB11 in his rookie year.

Jason Wood - Fantasy owners used to avoid rookies at every position EXCEPT for running back. But recent rookie struggles from high profile rookies like Jahvid Best, Mark Ingram and others has scared off the average league manager. Trent Richardson is being drafted 11th among running backs, so it's not as though he's being completely ignored. Yet, I believe he's still not getting the respect he deserves. Richardson will be the focal point of the Browns offense this year, and will not be treated with kid gloves by Pat Shurmur. He could see 300+ carries and another 30-40 receptions. With his vision and power, Richardson will produce as long as he gets the touches. In an era where so few teams feature one runner, Richardson could, and should, finish as a top 10 fantasy star in his first season.

Jacquizz Rodgers - ATL ADP: 156 overall, RB 56 2 votes

Jeff Haseley - Rodgers did not see a lot of playing time last year as a rookie, but this year could be another story. New offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter is expected to run a more diverse offense, which will include more involvement in the passing game for the running backs, namely Rodgers. Koetter did wonders with Maurice Jones-Drew at Jacksonville, he can definitely get Rodgers more involved. I think Michael Turner will handle most of the rushing duties, but Rodgers will see plenty of targets as a receiver and could turn into a good start in PPR leagues.

Aaron Rudnicki - The Falcons are undergoing some changes on offense this year and plan to pass the ball quite a bit more than they have. Michael Turner doesn't appear to be a great fit for this new offensive philosophy, and that should create a great opportunity for Rodgers to emerge. He can fill a Darren Sproles-type role here where he makes the most of the 10+ touches per week he gets. At this point in the draft, I think he represents some extreme value with the chance to dramatically outperform his current ADP.

Mike Goodson - OAK ADP: 157 overall, RB 57 1 vote

Jason Wood - I'm high on Taiwan Jones' opportunity, too, as both he and Goodson have the advantage of playing behind Darren McFadden. McFadden is a rare talent but he's missed 19 games in four seasons and has only one 200+ carry campaign. Goodson was stuck behind Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams in Carolina, but in his two career 20-carry games Goodson ran for 100 and 120 yards, respectively. In a league where any runner with an opportunity for touches has value, Goodson should be considered a key late round pick as either a handcuff for McFadden or a high upside flier.

Roy Helu - WAS ADP: 54 overall, RB 22 1 vote

Jeff Tefertiller - It would be difficult for many fantasy footballers to name the second-year ball carrier who touched the ball 200 times for 1,019 total yards last season as a rookie, including a 4.0 yards per carry average. Yes, it is Roy Helu. Helu is now being drafted in the fifth round even though he was RB9 from week nine through the end of the season. He benefited from the Tim Hightower injury and showed his play-making ability on an inert offense. With the addition of Robert Griffin III and Pierre Garcon, the Washington offense will provide plenty of opportunity for the former Nebraska star. He is an excellent option in PPR leagues, catching at least two passes in all games but week one. The 14 receptions in week nine against San Francisco were a season high. Overall, Helu makes a great RB2 in the fifth round of PPR leagues.

Tim Hightower - WAS ADP: 184 overall, RB 62 1 vote

Dave Larkin - Mike Shanahan is a difficult coach to trust, to put it mildly. He changes running backs about as often as I blink. Tim Hightower's injury last year allowed rookie Roy Helu to take over the lead role, and he performed well in the role. Hightower is behind the eight ball as far as securing the primary role, but he cannot be forgotten about. His ADP indicates that may well be the case, however. Hightower is a low risk, late round selection that could see more time than people think and be a productive RB4.

Ronnie Hillman - DEN ADP: 134 overall, RB 48 1 vote

Matt Waldman - I've been studying Hillman since his junior year for the Rookie Scouting Portfolio. He's an explosive runner with excellent skill at changing directions and underrated production between the tackles. His skill set and style remind of what Tiki Barber and I believe he can develop into the workhorse that Barber became for the Giants in the final years of his career. He'll likely begin the year splitting time in the Broncos offense with Willis McGahee, but if he can produce consistently in the passing game as both a blocker and receiver, he'll earn enough time to become the lead back. Here's one running back that Cecil Lammey and I agree on with equal enthusiasm.

Mark Ingram - NO ADP: 84 overall, RB 34 1 vote

Bruce Hammond - Ingram has an ADP of RB34, and I think people have over-reacted to his disappointing rookie season. He suffered from turf toe and other assorted injuries most of the year and never was able to get rolling. This year I see him getting the lion's share of the carries and short touchdowns, and justifying the Saints' decision to trade up and take him in the first round of the draft last year. Yes Sproles will get his fantasy production but mostly in the passing game, but I see Ingram getting plenty of production too in this high-powered offense. An ADP of RB34 is way too low in my opinion.

Ryan Mathews - SD ADP: 7 overall, RB 5 1 vote

Mike Brown - I might be putting myself on a dangerous limb here with Mathews' laundry list of injuries in his brief career, but in 2012 Mathews is the guy who is going to win leagues for a lot of owners drafting at the end of the first round. If you go in the first five picks and want to take a safe guy, by all means go for it. But from the middle of the round on, Mathews is the guy you want. He's got everything you could possibly want...a track record of success, fantastic talent, multi-faceted game (excellent receiving skills), an every down back...and to top it all off, in a supposedly up and down 2011 he still finished as the #7 RB in fantasy. Considering his backfield mate Mike Tolbert left the team for Carolina, Mathews will no longer have to relinquish a few extra pass targets per game, red zone carries, or have touchdowns vulture at the goal line. I'm all-in.

Lamar Miller - MIA ADP: 186 overall, RB 63 1 vote

Chris Smith - First of all, any time later in the draft, the player being selected likely has some risk of boom or bust attached to him or else he is nothing more than a roster spot on your team. It makes sense to target players with upside and Miller certainly qualifies. He was expected to be a much higher draft pick than he was this year, will be playing with a chip on his shoulder, and is playing in Miami where he played his collegiate football and his slashing style of run fits into the Dolphins plans. With both Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas also in the crowded backfield, he will have to do very well to emerge but he is without question a player whose stats can exceed his current draft position.

Kevin Smith - DET ADP: 142 overall, RB 50 1 vote

David Yudkin - Jahvid Best is struggling to get back on the field. Mikael LeShoure hasn't even made it on to the field yet and may be suspended. While Kevin Smith hasn't been a pillar of good health either, at least he's been productive when he's played. It may not have been pretty, but Smith scored double digit fantasy points in four games late in the season (0 PPR) with a 4.9 YPC. He only played in seven games last season and ranked 39th. This year is he coming off draft boards as the #50 running back taken.

C.J. Spiller - BUF ADP: 75 overall, RB 29 1 vote

Chris Smith - Spiller appeared to be a major draft bust after his first season. However the former 9th overall pick began to emerge last year, showcasing the elite elusiveness and speed that made the Bills so eager to insert him into the offense. He scored six touchdowns on only 146 touches, averaged 5.2 yards per carry and will see even more work. He is sharing time with Fred Jackson, who has a nice story and is a good player. However Jackson is aging and a fast start by Spiller could mean more and more work as the year progresses.

Pierre Thomas - NO ADP: 113 overall, RB 44 1 vote

Jeff Haseley - Thomas is currently the 50th RB being taken in redraft leagues. Last year, in limited duty, with Darren Sproles exploding all around him, he still managed to finish inside the Top 30. If Mark Ingram continues to suffer from injuries and not be as productive as advertised, Thomas could see more playing time, resulting in more production. Even if Ingram improves in year two, Thomas is still a part of the short ranged receiving game and should still rack up the receptions. He is a great value pick as a RB4. I fully expect him to outperform his ADP.

Michael Turner - ATL ADP: 35 overall, RB 17 1 vote

Matt Waldman - Say what you will about Michael Turner's age and Jacquizz Rodgers' talent, but I'm betting on the veteran power runner for one more year of top-12 fantasy runner production. He played well despite offseason groin surgery. The I thought the problem with the running game in Atlanta was the play calling under former coordinator Mike Mularkey, who tried too often to run the ball outside rather than between the tackles. There's a time where coaches can outsmart themselves with attempting timely, unpredictable calls and I thought early in the season Mularkey was culpable of just that. Rodgers may flash lead back talent, but I don't see the second-year runner earning more than 20 percent of the touches in Atlanta this year unless Turner gets hurt. In fact, I think that number his high. While the team wants to surround quarterback Matt Ryan with weapons, I think they were most successful last year when they stopped trying to be an explosive, down field passing offense and reverted to its identity as a power running team that uses the play action game for strong success through the air. I think his spot as the No.17 running back is 10 spots too low and I think that's pretty drastic value considering the weight fantasy owners place on picks in the first 3-4 rounds of a draft.

DeAngelo Williams - CAR ADP: 77 overall, RB 31 1 vote

Steve Holloway - DeAngelo Williams finished as running back #29 last season, even while he had 7 games with single digit carries. I suspect that the Panthers' backs will score more TDs this season as Newton's rushing TDs drop back to a more reasonable level. Williams will likely be more of a factor in the passing game than a year ago when he caught only 16 passes, averaging a career low one catch per game.

Ryan Williams - ARI ADP: 114 overall, RB 45 1 vote

Jeff Haseley - Williams is currently the 45th RB off the board, which should continue to climb as the season nears. He is nearly fully recovered from a torn patella tendon in his knee. If he regains his explosiveness, like most anticipate, he could unseat Beanie Wells as the lead RB for the Cardinals this year. He is one to watch in training camp and preseason. When healthy, Williams is a far better talent and all-around player than Wells. His fantasy stock will soar if he is named starter before week 1.

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