Five Overvalued Fantasy Football Running Backs

Who are the most overvalued fantasy football running backs?

8/13/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Was your 2012 fantasy football season derailed thanks to spending your draft picks on players like Ryan Mathews, Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, DeMarco Murray, or Willis McGahee? None of those players finished the season with a top-100 fantasy ranking, and it just so happens that they were the five players I named in last year's overvalued running back list. 2013 offers a much deeper class of running backs, and there seem to be a lot of reliable fantasy starters. To be honest, I've had a hard time finding many running backs that I feel are clearly being drafted too high, so I'm going to have to nitpick a little bit. Nevertheless, here are my overvalued fantasy running backs for the 2013 season:

Note: All average draft positions (ADP) are according to Yahoo.

Alfred Morris (WAS): Considering his 2012 ADP, Morris was likely a fantasy MVP in most leagues after coming out of nowhere to run for 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns. A player who possesses just enough of everything to be an effective runner, I expect Morris to put together another good year, but he does carry some risk at his current ADP of 11.4. Head coach Mike Shanahan tends not to care how great a player was last season - or even last week, for that matter. Shanahan wants the ball in the hands of the player who is running well at that very moment. With talented third-year runner Roy Helu backing up Morris, one bad play could land Morris in a timeshare, causing inconsistent production on a weekly basis. As a rookie in 2011, Helu had a three-game stretch late in the year during which he averaged 111.3 rushing yards (144.3 total yards) per contest. Already entrenched as Washington's third-down back, Helu could begin eating into Morris' early down work simply by showing well in passing situations. Once again, I like Morris, but there are definitely some risks taking him in the late-first/early-second round.

Aug 8, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) runs out on the field before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Jackson (ATL): A player who has rushed for 1,000+ yards in eight straight seasons heading to a team with a top-10 offense looks like a formula for tons of fantasy points, but there are more aspects to consider with Jackson signing in Atlanta. The 30-year-old runner has endured a massive workload to this point in his career, racking up 438 more carries than any other active player in the NFL - and his 407 career catches only make that workload more grueling. That heavy workload could catch up with Jackson in his tenth season, resulting in injury. The Falcons could also decide to limit his workload to keep him fresh throughout the season, using backup Jacquizz Rodgers frequently between the 20's. Rodgers played more snaps than starter Michael Turner last season, and is certainly capable of spelling Jackson whenever called upon. In addition, the Falcons are clearly a pass-first team (ranked 8th in pass attempts, 26th in rush attempts in 2012), and they just lost arguably their best offensive lineman, right tackle Tyson Clabo. Jackson has been plenty productive and durable over the past four seasons, but his yards per game have dropped steadily over that span, and his smaller role in a pass-first offense with a talented backup at the age of 30 make him risky at his 17.7 ADP (11th among running backs).
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