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Running Backs

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ON THE RISE

RONNIE BROWN,Dolphins
He led Miami in rushing last season, and Ricky Williams's exile means he'sofficially the man now.

BRIAN WESTBROOK,Eagles
As Philly turns more toward the ground game, look for him to flirt with the1,000-yard mark.

FRANK GORE,49ers
Last season as a rookie he ran for more yards per carry than fellow Miami alumEdgerrin James. This year he's the favorite to get the lion's share of thecarries.

ON THEDECLINE

SHAUN ALEXANDER,Seahawks
It'll be impossible to match his MVP stats, especially without All-World guardSteve Hutchinson.

COREY DILLON,Patriots
He turns 32 in October, and rookie Laurence Maroney is knocking on thedoor.

CURTIS MARTIN,Jets
His 3.3 yards per carry was a career low. Though he pledges a comeback, he'stoo risky to count on.

SLEEPERS

DEUCE MCALLISTER,Saints
He appears to be fully healed from a torn ACL, and new coach Sean Payton willplay him and Reggie Bush together, creating matchup problems.

CHESTER TAYLOR, Vikings
He'll thrive behind new blocker Hutchinson, who joins one of the league'sbetter offensive lines.

KEVIN JONES,Lions
In Mike Martz's wide-open offense he'll play the Marshall Faulk role, which hasfantasy owners drooling.

DESIGNATEDSCORERS

MIKE SELLERS,Redskins
He moves into the backfield after being one of the league's most reliable pointproducers as a tight end.

BRANDON JACOBS,Giants
He could be an every-down back, but with Tiki Barber around he'll play largelyin short-yardage situations.

LENDALE WHITE,Titans
A load at 6'1", 235 pounds, he has a nose for the goal line (52 TDs on theground, plus five through the air, at USC over the last three seasons).

IMPACTROOKIES

REGGIE BUSH,Saints
Few players have his ability to take a pitch the length of the field.

DEANGELOWILLIAMS, Panthers
Behind oft-injured DeShaun Foster, he's worth a relatively early pick,especially in keeper leagues.

JOSEPH ADDAI,Colts
Rule No. 1 in Indy is Protect Peyton, so Addai has a big advantage over DominicRhodes in the quest for playing time: Addai is an excellent blocker.

BUYER BEWARE

FRED TAYLOR,Jaguars
After missing 31 games in his eight-year career, he's too fragile andinconsistent to count on, except as a late-round pick for depth.

RON DAYNE,Broncos
The Heisman Trophy winner has a chance to start, but he could lose carries toTatum Bell and Cedric Cobbs.

THOMAS JONES,Bears
His numbers last season were spectacular, but a contract dispute has led tomajor uncertainty.

 

SI PLAYER RANKINGS FOR 2006 With 2005 stats

GAMES

RUSH YARDS

YARDS/
CARRY

100-YARD GAMES

REC. YARDS

YARDS/
CATCH

TOTAL TDS

BYE WEEK

1.

Larry Johnson, Chiefs

16

1,750

5.2

10

343

10.4

21

3

2.

LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers

16

1,462

4.3

5

370

7.3

20

3

3.

Shaun Alexander, Seahawks

16

1,880

5.1

11

78

5.2

28

5

4.

Clinton Portis, Redskins

16

1,516

4.3

9

216

7.2

11

8

5.

Edgerrin James, Cardinals *

15

1,506

4.2

9

337

7.7

14

9

6.

Tiki Barber, Giants

16

1,860

5.2

8

530

9.8

11

4

7.

Ronnie Brown, Dolphins

15

907

4.4

2

232

7.3

5

8

8.

Rudi Johnson, Bengals

16

1,458

4.3

4

90

3.9

12

5

9.

Cadillac Williams, Buccaneers

14

1,178

4.1

6

81

4.1

6

4

10.

Steven Jackson, Rams

15

1,046

4.1

2

320

7.4

10

7

11.

Kevin Jones, Lions

13

664

3.6

0

109

5.5

5

8

12.

Brian Westbrook, Eagles

12

617

4.0

1

616

10.1

7

9

13.

LaMont Jordan, Raiders

14

1,025

3.8

3

563

8.0

11

3

14.

Warrick Dunn, Falcons

16

1,416

5.1

5

220

7.6

4

5

15.

Willis McGahee, Bills

16

1,247

3.8

5

178

6.4

5

8

16.

Reggie Bush,† Saints *

13

1,740

8.7

8

478

12.9

19

7

17.

Chester Taylor, Vikings *

15

487

4.2

0

292

7.1

1

6

18.

Corey Dillon, Patriots

12

733

3.5

2

181

8.2

13

6

19.

Jamal Lewis, Ravens

15

906

3.4

2

191

6.0

4

7

20.

DeAngelo Williams,† Panthers *

11

1,959

6.3

10

78

6.5

19

9

21.

Frank Gore, 49ers

14

608

4.8

1

131

8.7

3

7

22.

Cedric Benson, Bears

9

272

4.1

0

3

3.0

0

7

23.

Julius Jones, Cowboys

13

993

3.9

1

218

6.2

5

3

24.

Willie Parker, Steelers

15

1,202

4.7

5

218

12.1

5

4

25.

Tatum Bell, Broncos

15

921

5.3

3

104

5.8

8

4

26.

Domanick Davis, Texans

11

976

4.2

3

337

8.6

6

5

27.

Reuben Droughns, Browns

16

1,232

4.0

3

369

9.5

2

6

28.

Deuce McAllister, Saints

5

335

3.6

1

117

6.9

3

7

29.

Curtis Martin, Jets

12

735

3.3

1

118

4.9

5

9

30.

DeShaun Foster, Panthers

15

879

4.3

2

372

10.9

3

9

31.

Mike Anderson, Ravens *

15

1,014

4.2

4

212

11.8

13

7

32.

LenDale White,† Titans *

13

1,302

6.6

6

219

15.6

26

7

33.

Fred Taylor, Jaguars

11

787

4.1

3

83

6.4

3

6

34.

Joseph Addai,† Colts *

13

911

4.9

5

180

9.0

10

6

35.

Chris Brown, Titans

15

851

3.8

0

327

13.1

7

7

36.

Dominic Rhodes, Colts

13

118

3.0

0

88

7.3

4

6

37.

Thomas Jones, Bears

15

1,335

4.3

5

143

5.5

9

7

38.

Ahman Green, Packers

5

255

3.3

0

147

7.7

0

6

39.

Ron Dayne, Broncos

10

270

5.1

0

17

5.7

1

4

40.

Mewelde Moore, Vikings

16

662

4.3

2

339

9.2

3

6

41.

Brandon Jacobs, Giants

16

99

2.6

0

0

--

7

4

42.

T.J. Duckett, Falcons

14

380

3.1

0

63

10.5

8

5

43.

Cedric Houston, Jets

12

302

3.7

0

66

8.3

2

9

44.

Sammy Morris, Dolphins

16

58

3.6

0

54

6.8

1

8

45.

Ladell Betts, Redskins

12

338

3.8

0

78

7.8

2

8

46.

Ryan Moats, Eagles

7

278

5.1

1

7

1.8

3

9

47.

Mike Sellers, Redskins

15

1

1.0

0

72

6.0

8

8

48.

Kevan Barlow, 49ers

12

581

3.3

1

241

7.8

3

7

49.

Duce Staley, Steelers

5

148

3.9

0

34

5.7

1

4

50.

Lee Suggs, Browns

8

15

1.9

0

26

4.3

0

6

51.

Greg Jones, Jaguars

14

575

3.8

2

65

6.5

4

6

52.

Priest Holmes, Chiefs

7

451

3.8

0

197

9.4

7

3

53.

Ciatrick Fason, Vikings

13

62

1.9

0

0

--

4

6

54.

Najeh Davenport, Packers

5

105

3.5

0

3

1.5

2

6

55.

Laurence Maroney, †Patriots *

11

1,464

5.2

8

170

10.0

11

6

56.

Antowain Smith, Texans *

16

659

4.0

1

46

3.8

3

5

57.

Marion Barber, Cowboys

13

538

3.9

1

115

6.4

5

3

58.

Michael Turner, Chargers

16

335

5.9

1

0

--

3

3

59.

Michael Pittman, Buccaneers

16

436

6.2

1

300

8.3

2

4

60.

Marshall Faulk, Rams

16

292

4.5

0

291

6.6

1

7

61.

Samkon Gado, Packers

8

582

4.1

3

77

7.7

7

6

62.

Chris Perry, Bengals

14

279

4.6

0

328

6.4

2

5

63.

Shawn Bryson, Lions

16

306

4.8

0

284

7.7

1

8

64.

Maurice Morris, Seahawks

16

288

4.1

1

48

9.6

1

5

*New team for2006 season †*College stats

SI.COM

For David Sabino's expanded analysis of the top 10 ateach position, go to SI.com/fantasy.

TWO PHOTOS

HEINZ KLUETMEIER (BROWN); MICHAEL C. HEBERT (MCALLISTER)

TWO PHOTOS

JEFF LEWIS/US PRESSWIRE (SELLERS); AL MESSERSCHMIDT/WIREIMAGE.COM (TAYLOR)