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The Neutral Zone – The Only ’09 Fantasy Cheat Sheet You’ll Need – Running Backs

Adrian PetersonThis is the second of a five-part series this week. Over the next week, I will provide you with the ultimate draft cheat sheet. All of the sheets were developed by myself and a few members of the South Jersey Fantasy Football League, collectively. Special thanks to Ricardo Martinez and Will McCafferty for their input. Printing these articles is encouraged.

Monday – Quarterbacks
Tuesday – Running backs
Wednesday – Wide Receivers
Thursday – Tight Ends & Kickers
Friday – Defense & Special Teams

As I sit here typing this, I have three draft guides in front of me. I’m referencing the draft guides from Sports Illustrated, NFL.Com Magazine, and ESPN the Magazine. They each have very different lists with one constant. That constant involves the number one fantasy running back and some guy nicknamed “All Day”.

Here at the Camel Clutch Blog, and more specifically, The Neutral Zone, we don’t always follow the norm. We don’t always agree with everyone else. In fact, we write out own rules – or in this case, cheat sheets. Don’t get me wrong, Adrian Peterson is a fantastic back. The guy is flat out sickening. He’s the complete back. He’s the new LaDainian Tomlinson. He is not, however, the back I want on my fantasy team.

The guy I want is the Atlanta Falcons Michael Turner. He led the league in carries last year, ran for 1,700 yards, 17 touchdowns, and only turned the ball over twice. ESPN ranks him second, has him third, and Sports Illustrated was able to rank him fifth in between obvious drinks of an alcoholic beverage. “All Day” Adrian Peterson comes in at a very close second on this list. He ran for 1,760 yards in 2008, with 10 touchdowns, and 21 receptions totaling 125 yards. DeAngelo Williams was extremely impressive in 2008 with over 1,500 yards rushing, 121 yards receiving, and 20 total touchdowns. With Jake Delhomme a year removed from Tommy John surgery, look for Williams to have a similar season.

1. Michael Turner, Atlanta
2. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
3. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina
4. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville
5. Steve Slaton, Houston
6. Chris Johnson, Tennessee
7. Steven Jackson, St. Louis
8. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego
9. Matt Forte, Chicago
10. Marion Barber, Dallas
11. Frank Gore, San Francisco
12. Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants
13. Clinton Portis, Washington
14. Thomas Jones, New York Jets
15. Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia
16. Joseph Addai, Indianapolis
17. Kevin Smith, Detroit
18. Pierre Thomas, New Orleans
19. Ryan Grant, Green Bay
20. Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo
21. Knowshon Moreno, Denver
22. Ronnie Brown, Miami
23. Derrick Ward, Tampa Bay
24. Larry Johnson, Kansas City
25. Willie Parker, Pittsburgh
26. Ray Rice, Baltimore
27. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina
28. LenDale White, Tennessee
29. Darren McFadden, Oakland
30. Reggie Bush, New Orleans
31. Cedric Benson, Cincinnati
32. Jamal Lewis, Cleveland
33. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia
34. Julius Jones, Seattle
35. Chris Wells, Arizona
36. Felix Jones, Dallas
37. Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants
38. Leon Washington, New York Jets
39. Sammy Morris, New England Patriots
40. Tim Hightower, Arizona

Rising Star – Steve Slaton. Slaton really emerged during the second half of last season. He comes into 2009 as the starter for the Texans. He is extremely versatile and the newest product in the Tomlinson/Westbrook line of running/receiving running backs. He put up a solid 1,282 yards on the ground while adding an addition 377 yards in the air. With a full year under his belt, Slaton will be a star back in 2009. Apologies to: Matt Forte, Knowshon Moreno, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, and Chris Wells

Sleeper – LeSean McCoy. McCoy is in his rookie season and will definitely get his share of touches. Remember what Correll Buckhalter did last year with his chances. Brian Westbrook is a question mark this year, as he always seems to be. Westbrook seems to be returning from injury quicker than expected but you just never know with him. Westbrook is guaranteed to miss at least 4 games just from being banged up. McCoy will take away from Westbrook’s plays and will shoulder the load when he’s gone. Apologies to: Chris Wells, Felix Jones, and Leon Washington.

Brett Clendaniel is 25 and married to an awesome girl named Tashia. Brett has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Brett currently works for QBC-TV2 of South Jersey and 1240AM WSNJ. Sports are his passion and Philly teams are what he religiously follows. Brett is also a big fan of the Red Sox and the Cincinnati Bengals. Brett also have great passion for professional wrestling and mixed-martial arts. Brett loves to talk about any of them all the time. “I am flattered to be asked to share my opinions with all of the loyal readers of the Camel Clutch Blog! I hope you enjoy my articles.” Please e-mail him any time with questions, comments, or feedback of any type at

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