Overrated / Underrated Fantasy Running Backs

Entering your fantasy draft, it's easy to get caught up with watching ESPN, the NFL Network, and reading many of the numerous periodicals and websites dedicated to fantasy football. Rule #1 is not to get caught up in the hype. Here are some players, who in our opinion, are overrated (often drafted too high), and some undervalued players, sleepers if you will.

Some of our overrated running backs include Laurence Maroney of the Patriots, Brian Westbrook of the Eagles, and Marion Barber of the Cowboys.

Laurence Maroney - New England Patriots

He'll probably be at the top of someone's list; after all, he plays for the high scoring, record setting Patriots. But, I'd be careful here. He doesn't hold up well and has Sammy Morris back, who played well in his absence last year and may be the goal line threat. Kevin Faulk will also steal time. The Patriots score too many ways for him to be your primary back.

Brian Westbrook - Philadelphia Eagles

Although he is by far the best threat to score for the Eagles, his health is always a concern. The Eagles have added depth to the WR and RB positions so not to overwork Westbrook. He has never finished a full season, so beware picking him at or near the top of your fantasy draft.

Marion Barber - Dallas Cowboys

What, you say? This guy is a stud. How can he be overrated? He's not overrated as a football player, but there is a caveat. He never has and probably won't carry a full load. The 'Boys selected RB Felix Jones with their first, first-round pick. That should tell you something. Although we think Barber will be a safe pick, be careful of another RBBC (Running Back By Committee) in Cowboy land.

Some of our underrated picks are Thomas Jones of the Jets, Edgerrin James of the Cardinals, and rookie Matt Forte of the Bears.

Thomas Jones - New York Jets

The Jets paid ex- Pittsburgh Steeler Alan Faneca a ton of money to bolster their running game, along with Fullback Tony Richardson who led the way for guys like Adrian Peterson last year and Larry Johnson when he was in Kansas City. He could be drafted well below the value he will have this year and could be a very pleasant surprise.

Edgerrin James - Arizona Cardinals

As we check a lot of mock drafts, James is being drafted late. The Cards didn't address any RB concerns until late in the draft, reassuring James of his starting role. Being a top ten fantasy producer last year, coupled with a potentially explosive passing game, and Edgerrin James might be a later round steal.

Matt Forte - Chicago Bears

With Cedric Benson blowing his chances in Chi-Town, and a pretty miserable passing threat, the Bears would love to pound the ball. Although Forte is a rookie, and maybe a bit of a gamble, he's a big guy and played well for Tulane which didn't have a very good offensive line and still put up decent numbers. Keep your eye on him and see if gets the starting nod. Oh...and stay away from Adrian Peterson. It's the other Adrian Peterson you want; the one on that wears purple.

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