By The Troll
1. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego – Consistent fantasy beast is fully healthy, and still in his prime. Regarded by many as the number 3 running back in fantasy football, which is a huge mistake.
2. Shaun Alexander, Seattle – A year after breaking the league record for touchdowns in a season, Alexander must adjust to life without Steve Hutchinson. Beware the Madden curse.
3. Larry Johnson, Kansas City – Just a heads up: Without Willie Roaf, Johnson is averaging just 1.7 yards per carry on runs to the left side. The loss of Roaf and fullback Tony Richardson to go along with the addition of certifiable idiot Herman Edwards drop Johnson’s value. Just because Reggie Bush takes him 1st overall doesn’t mean you should make the same mistake.
4. Steven Jackson, St. Louis – The Rams plan to run the ball more under new head coach Scott Linehan. Jackson averaged 4.1 yards per carry last season, cracking 1,000 yards on only 254 attempts. With 100 more carries, expect Jackson to approach 1,500 yards and score double-digit touchdowns.
5. Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati – With Chris Perry out of action for the time being, there is no reason Johnson can’t either match or improve on his 12 scores last year. Very consistent back who never rushed for under 65 yards in a game last season, and also never sees 8 men in the box.
6. Clinton Portis, Washington – Shoulder injury has turned this slam dunk into a question mark. If you draft him high, it is a must to handcuff him to TJ Duckett.
7. Ronnie Brown, Miami – Is now unquestionably the MAN in Miami. Nearly rushed for 1,000 yards last season on only 207 carries. The added threat of a passing game should also keep his tidy 4.4 yards per carry average from dipping.
8. Edgerin James, Arizona – It’s unknown as to how well James will perform without the Colts’ dominant offensive line to open holes for him. One thing that is for sure, however, is that barring injury, James will be good for double-digit scores.
9. Tiki Barber, New York Giants – Hey, wanna know the dumbest thing you could possibly do in fantasy football? How about spending a top five draft pick on a 31-year old running back that gets taken out on the goal line? Bingo! We got bingo!
10. Lamont Jordan, Oakland – How well will he fit into Art Shell’s offense? Expecting an improvement on last year’s 13 touchdowns would be ridiculous. However, if Aaron Brooks can ever find his ass with both hands, an improved Raider passing game should mean a more productive 2006 for LJ, yardage-wise.
Best of the Rest
11. Willis McGahee, Buffalo
12. Carnell Williams, Tampa Bay
13. Willie Parker, Pittsburgh
14. Kevin Jones, Detroit
15. Dominic Rhodes, Indianapolis
Avoid Like the Plague : Fred Taylor, Jacksonville – Fragile Fred’s career is dead.
The Troll’s Top Sleeper : Laurence Maroney, New England – Should Cory Dillon suck again, the Pats won’t hesitate to turn to Maroney. If that happens, watch out, as Maroney could be this year’s Larry Johnson.