The running back well doesn't run dry at the #30 spot. Oh no. A quick glance at the next group of tailbacks reveals a whole bunch of past point producers and young fellas primed for a breakout 2010.
So should you forget that your league includes running backs in the starting lineup, and the booze begins to wear off around Round 8, there's a still a chance that you could find a couple of fantasy stars below. Though I don't recommend that route to your fantasy championship destination.
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 66 OL Ret: 4 Off Ret: 8
Well it seems like Eugene Jarvis will finally be healthy. Last season was ended with a lacerated kidney. And when one looks up the word lacerated he sees synonyms cut, wounded and my favorite...mangled. So the fact that Jarvis will be ready to go this fall is outstanding. His return will provide a huge boost for the Kent State offense, and fantasy owners will likely nab a real gem in the later rounds.
2009 Stats: 37-158 RuYd 1 RuTD 6-38 ReYd 0 ReTD Pts: 25.60
2010 Projs: 185-925 RuYd 9 RuTD 26-322 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 190.70
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 62 OL Ret: 4 Off Ret: 10
Granted another year, the diminutive MiQuale Lewis will return to anchor the Ball State offense. Unfortunately, this is not the same unit of two years ago. Fortunately, this is not the same unit as one year ago. So he won't score 22 touchdowns, nor will he score five. We're gonna hope the line and offense as a whole improves, and we split the difference.
2009 Stats: 181-871 RuYd 5 RuTD 28-151 ReYd 0 ReTD 1 RuConv 2 Fumb Pts: 134.20
2010 Projs: 221-1009 RuYd 10 RuTD 30-235 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 190.40
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 9 OL Ret: 3 Off Ret: 8
It's rare that a New Mexico State running back gains more than 1,000 yards, but Smith did just that in 2009. He'll be the team's workhorse in 2010, and one of the few draftable commodities in Las Cruces.
2009 Stats: 246-1016 RuYd 1 RuTD 11-48 ReYd 0 ReTD 1 Fumb Pts: 112.40
2010 Projs: 235-1183 RuYd 9 RuTD 13-108 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 189.10
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 111 OL Ret: 4 Off Ret: 7
The veteran Plancher has been granted another year of eligibility, and he'll be the mix for serious carries in 2010. He's scored 11 times over the past two seasons, and new coach Skip Holtz will likely lean on this veteran back when the tough yards are needed.
2009 Stats: 129-581 RuYd 5 RuTD 6-37 ReYd 0 ReTD 2 Fumb Pts: 91.80
2010 Projs: 204-1019 RuYd 10 RuTD 18-131 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 187.00
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 118 OL Ret: 4 Off Ret: 9
Polk electrified as a freshman on the way to 1113 rushing yards, and though he sat out spring ball with a shoulder injury, look for this sophomore to pick up where he left off in 2009. The presence of Jake Locker will allow Polk room to run, and another 1,100 yard season (but with nearly double his five scores from a season ago) appears in the cards.
2009 Stats: 226-1113 RuYd 5 RuTD 25-171 ReYd 0 ReTD 3 Fumb Pts: 158.40
2010 Projs: 211-1033 RuYd 9 RuTD 25-225 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 185.80
Home Games: 5 EOS Off: 43 OL Ret: 2 Off Ret: 4
Geter finished up strong in 2009, and we're looking for this to continue in 2010. The offense loses Sheehan, Barnes and three offensive linemen, but we still think this unit will move the ball a little bit. Don't know why we think this, we just do. Willie Geter: 200 touches, 1000 yards and about 12 scores. Accept it and move on.
2009 Stats: 176-706 RuYd 9 RuTD 42-407 ReYd 1 ReTD 1 Fumb Pts: 171.30
2010 Projs: 190-832 RuYd 10 RuTD 34-298 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 185.00
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 114 OL Ret: 3 Off Ret: 5
Evan Royster, prepare for a whole bunch of carries this season. The senior, one of the Big Ten's top fantasy backs, will be expected to carry the load for a Penn State offense that will be rather inexperienced at some key spots, most notably under center. Royter's YPC dropped in 2009, and his touchdowns fell from 12 in 2008 to 8 a season ago. The sledding may be tough this year, but expect Royster to be closer to the 12 scores of his sophomore campaign.
2009 Stats: 205-1169 RuYd 6 RuTD 16-187 ReYd 2 ReTD 1 Fumb Pts: 183.60
2010 Projs: 200-1012 RuYd 10 RuTD 15-145 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 181.70
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 96 OL Ret: 3 Off Ret: 6
Will Bradford be this year's Montario Hardesty? Lane Kiffin took advantage of Hardesty's skills last season at Tennessee, loading him down with 282 carries. While the running back wet bar at USC is better stocked, we do expect Kiffin to be a bit less sharing than his predecessor. Bradford is most likely to benefit from the coaching change.
2009 Stats: 115-668 RuYd 8 RuTD 1-2 ReYd 0 ReTD Pts: 115.00
2010 Projs: 184-992 RuYd 11 RuTD 10-102 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 181.40
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 57 OL Ret: 5 Off Ret: 8
Stewart appears the last man standing in the Colorado backfield, and with Darrell Scott moving on, Stewart should serve as the workhorse back in Boulder. He made a nice leap a season ago, and though we have little faith in Dan Hawkins or the passing attack, Stewart will make a fantasy owner happy.
2009 Stats: 198-804 RuYd 9 RuTD 12-65 ReYd 0 ReTD 3 Fumb Pts: 140.90
2010 Projs: 218-915 RuYd 10 RuTD 24-168 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 180.30
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 120 OL Ret: 4 Off Ret: 8
Get over the fact that Robinson runs for overlooked Iowa State. This kid can flat out play, and many of those bigger programs in the Big 12 hardly play a lick of defense themselves. Last year he was not only a stud running the rock (231-1193-5) he also took four of his 18 receptions to the house. He and Austen Arnaud may be forgotten on a national level, but fantasy owners are well-aware of what coach Paul Rhoades has at his disposal.
2009 Stats: 231-1193 RuYd 5 RuTD 18-263 ReYd 4 ReTD 1/1 Pass 4 PaYd 263 PaTD 1 Fumb Pts: 206.00
2010 Projs: 217-1016 RuYd 7 RuTD 18-224 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 178.00
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 92 OL Ret: 1 Off Ret: 5
A funny thing happened on the way to the dynamic running back duo of Bryce Brown and David Oku running wild in Knoxville. The dude that recruited these two ditched em, Bryce Brown appears to have followed out of town, and David Oku doesn't look like an every-down back. But Tauren Poole sure does. A great spring has made this junior the clear favorite to emerge as the starting tailback at UT, and a damn good one at that.
2009 Stats: 10-85 RuYd 0 RuTD 1-9 ReYd 0 ReTD Pts: 9.40
2010 Projs: 218-1046 RuYd 9 RuTD 16-94 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 174.00
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 97 OL Ret: 1 Off Ret: 5
Provided Locke returns from his moped accident this spring, there's a very good likelihood that he'll surpass the 1192 yards from scrimmage and eight scores from a season ago. Provided an inexperienced offensive line gels quickly, and I'll admit this is not a sure thing.
2009 Stats: 196-908 RuYd 6 RuTD 31-284 ReYd 2 ReTD 1/1 Pass 2 PaYd 2 Fumb Pts: 168.84
2010 Projs: 198-829 RuYd 7 RuTD 29-270 ReYd 3 ReTD 1/1 Pass 3 PaYd Pts: 171.42
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 28 OL Ret: 4 Off Ret: 9
In Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker the Horned Frogs have one of the nation's top 1-2 punches at tailback. And this will scare many fantasy owners away. Their workload was nearly identical in 2009, and so too was their production. Joseph Turner's departure will mean there are about 150 carries to split, and we think that both backs are pretty good bets for 1000-10.
2009 Stats: 101-637 RuYd 4 RuTD 8-170 ReYd 3 ReTD 3 Fumb Pts: 122.70
2010 Projs: 149-892 RuYd 9 RuTD 11-152 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 170.40
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 52 OL Ret: 2 Off Ret: 8
Michael burst onto the scene with a dynamite freshman campaign in 2009, gaining over 900 yards from scrimmage while scoring ten times. He's an outstanding talent operating in a dynamic offense, though he'll have to share snaps with Cyrus Gray, thus his fantasy ceiling doesn't quite match up with his enormous talent.
2009 Stats: 166-845 RuYd 10 RuTD 15-66 ReYd 0 ReTD 4 Fumb Pts: 151.10
2010 Projs: 187-935 RuYd 10 RuTD 14-74 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 166.90
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 24 OL Ret: 3 Off Ret: 6
Darius Marshall has moved on, but in Martin Ward the Thundering Heard has a pretty capable runner to take his place. Ward was highly regarded coming out of high school, and he had a very nice year (81-390-3) a season ago. As the draft is winding down and guys are throwing out names, call out Martin Ward.
2009 Stats: 81-388 RuYd 3 RuTD 4-7 ReYd 0 ReTD Pts: 57.50
2010 Projs: 200-921 RuYd 10 RuTD 11-83 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 166.40
Home Games: 8 EOS Off: 74 OL Ret: 4 Off Ret: 8
Mario...now is the time. We've been on Mr. Fannin for the last couple of years, and it appears he's ready to make a major move. He's the #1 going into fall camp, and he brings a great deal of versatility to an offense that should post a fair share of points. Don't get caught up in his 34 carries for 285 yards while backing up Ben Tate; rather, take note of his 42 catches for 413 yards. The Auburn offense should run through Fannin, though the arrival of stud tailback Michael Dyer should cause concern.
2009 Stats: 34-285 RuYd 0 RuTD 42-413 ReYd 3 ReTD 1 Fumb Pts: 87.80
2010 Projs: 162-841 RuYd 8 RuTD 18-209 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 165.00
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 58 OL Ret: 3 Off Ret: 8
In Anderson we see a very nice sleeper option at running back. With Charlie Strong at the helm we look for a little offensive rejuvenation, thus Anderson's numbers in 2010 will more closely resemble those from 2008, when he posted nearly 1150 yards from scrimmage while scoring 12 times.
2009 Stats: 89-473 RuYd 5 RuTD 12-89 ReYd 0 ReTD 1/1 Pass 0 PaYd Pts: 86.64
2010 Projs: 172-860 RuYd 9 RuTD 21-189 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 164.90
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 15 OL Ret: 5 Off Ret: 9
We were high on McGuffie in 2008, but we were also worried about his running style getting him in trouble in the Big Ten. Unfortunately the latter came to fruition as McGuffie fell victim to injuries and some suspect coaching decisions. Namely putting McGuffie on kickoff return his first week back from suffering a concussion. The past is behind him, and he will now get a chance to run away from Conference USA defenses. Much like Shawnbrey McNeal last year, he's going to an offense that is not known for producing top running backs, but that could change with McGuffie in the backfield.
2009 Stats: 0-0 RuYd 0 RuTD 0-0 ReYd 0 ReTD Pts: 0.00
2010 Projs: 136-775 RuYd 7 RuTD 21-263 ReYd 3 ReTD Pts: 163.80
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 25 OL Ret: 3 Off Ret: 7
The end of Harvey Unga's collegiate career has created a huge void in the Cougar backfield, one we expect J.J. Di Luigi to fill. We see split snaps, but Di Luigi should emerge as a decent free agent option in deeper leagues.
2009 Stats: 45-248 RuYd 3 RuTD 22-270 ReYd 4 ReTD Pts: 93.80
2010 Projs: 143-701 RuYd 7 RuTD 30-327 ReYd 3 ReTD Pts: 162.80
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 110 OL Ret: 3 Off Ret: 7
Don't mention Darren Evans and Wally Pipp in the same sentence just yet. Sure he was lost for the season only to see Ryan Williams emerge as one of the nation's best backs, but Evans is back and ready to provide Frank Beamer with two outstanding options out of the backfield. Sure the split carries will cause both backs to slide, but haven't we seen enough backfields like Barber III/Maroney, Spiller/Davis, DeMarco/Brown to know that two backs can emerge as national fantasy factors?
2009 Stats: 0-0 RuYd 0 RuTD 0-0 ReYd 0 ReTD Pts: 0.00
2010 Projs: 153-879 RuYd 11 RuTD 11-84 ReYd 0 ReTD Pts: 162.30
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 36 OL Ret: 2 Off Ret: 6
Sure Tim Hiller has left Kalamazoo, but this offense if far from in rebuild mode. There is talent up front and out wide, thus there's a very good chance that Winchester finds plenty of space against MAC foes. In fact he could push past 1,000 yards from scrimmage with double-digit scores.
2009 Stats: 46-148 RuYd 1 RuTD 5-18 ReYd 0 ReTD 1 Fumb Pts: 22.60
2010 Projs: 211-912 RuYd 8 RuTD 19-171 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 162.30
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 72 OL Ret: 4 Off Ret: 6
Look for Andre Ellington to emerge now that C.J. Spiller has moved on to the NFL. Ellington will serve as the breakaway threat, though Jamie Harper's bulldozing ways will drive owners nuts.
2009 Stats: 68-491 RuYd 4 RuTD 11-55 ReYd 0 ReTD 3 Fumb Pts: 78.60
2010 Projs: 146-812 RuYd 8 RuTD 21-209 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 162.10
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 72 OL Ret: 4 Off Ret: 6
Harper will serve as the thunder to Andre Ellington's lightning. However don't assume Harper is just a lumbering batting ram. This dude combines power with some breakaway speed of his own, thus it's Harper that may have the higher ceiling of the two backs. His good hands out of the backfield also make Harper one that could emerge even in weeks when he's not seeing carries on the ground.
2009 Stats: 80-418 RuYd 4 RuTD 11-49 ReYd 0 ReTD 1 Fumb Pts: 70.70
2010 Projs: 155-777 RuYd 10 RuTD 16-86 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 158.30
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 65 OL Ret: 3 Off Ret: 7
Alexander teams with Austyn Carta-Samuels to provide Wyoming with a young and talented backfield. He averaged 4.7 ypc and scored seven times as a freshman, and we expect comparable digits in 2010.
2009 Stats: 136-640 RuYd 7 RuTD 8-101 ReYd 0 ReTD 2 Fumb Pts: 116.10
2010 Projs: 181-850 RuYd 8 RuTD 15-171 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 156.10
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 35 OL Ret: 2 Off Ret: 3
Bolden appears ready to step in and provide a lift following Dexter McCluster's departure. It's rebuild mode in Oxford, but Bolden is capable of taking control of this offense.
2009 Stats: 128-612 RuYd 4 RuTD 20-209 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 112.10
2010 Projs: 164-739 RuYd 8 RuTD 24-212 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 155.10
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 93 OL Ret: 3 Off Ret: 9
Willis is the key to the Hoosier attack, as a decent season from this young back will go a long way towards helping Ben Chappell wing it down the field. The offensive line returns, and Willis shined in 2009 contests against Michigan, Northwestern and Purdue. This could be a 1000-10 back...seriously.
2009 Stats: 123-607 RuYd 6 RuTD 10-88 ReYd 0 ReTD 1 Fumb Pts: 105.50
2010 Projs: 173-865 RuYd 8 RuTD 16-140 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 154.50
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 67 OL Ret: 2 Off Ret: 6
Caper had a very nice freshman campaign in East Lansing, however the ground game as a whole struggled. And as the season wore on it became clear that fellow freshie Edwin Baker had more gamebreaking skill, though this may not be all bad for Caper. Look for Caper to bulk up a bit more in the next couple of years, and there's a chance he could emerge as the man around the goal line.
2009 Stats: 120-468 RuYd 6 RuTD 3-47 ReYd 0 ReTD Pts: 87.50
2010 Projs: 176-828 RuYd 10 RuTD 11-85 ReYd 0 ReTD Pts: 151.30
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 20 OL Ret: 1 Off Ret: 5
DeMaundray Woolridge moves on and takes 18 touchdowns with him, and while we can't expect that pile of touchdowns to automatically go to someone else, Princeton McCarty appears poised for a nice bump in production. In fact we're looking for double-digit scores from this junior.
2009 Stats: 115-680 RuYd 3 RuTD 11-202 ReYd 2 ReTD 1 Fumb Pts: 118.20
2010 Projs: 153-750 RuYd 10 RuTD 12-102 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 151.20
Home Games: 6 EOS Off: 22 OL Ret: 5 Off Ret: 11
Avery is a great runner in an offense that scores points in bunches. However it's Doug Martin's role as touchdown machine that limits Avery's potential. He has 21 scores in three seasons, so he's not chopped liver. But there's a likelihood that Avery is a wee bit overvalued on draft day.
2009 Stats: 209-1151 RuYd 6 RuTD 23-257 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 182.80
2010 Projs: 145-796 RuYd 7 RuTD 16-169 ReYd 2 ReTD Pts: 150.50
Home Games: 7 EOS Off: 29 OL Ret: 3 Off Ret: 8
After a good season and great bowl game in 2008, we expected big things from Scott in 2009. However injury woes limited this rising senior to only 85 carries. Now, we again are optimistic about Scott, but the emergence of Davin Meggett and the presence of Caleb Porzel and D.J. Adams has us worried about carries spread around a bit too much. Scott should see the majority of carries this season, but his game-to-game production may leave a bit to be desired.
2009 Stats: 85-425 RuYd 4 RuTD 12-101 ReYd 0 ReTD 3 Fumb Pts: 76.60
2010 Projs: 165-852 RuYd 7 RuTD 19-167 ReYd 1 ReTD Pts: 149.90