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Sizing Up the Running Backs
David Dorey
June 29, 2009
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Other Positions: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends

In all positions, size does matter to at least some degree. Obviously talent is critical but without the size to play in the NFL - does it really matter how fast a player is or how well he can pass the ball? The intent of these positional reviews is to arm yourself with the conventional wisdom about fantasy positions and typically what is successful. There are always exceptions to every rule, but it is nice to know the rule in the first place. There is a surprising amount of consistency in the measureables of star players.

# Team 2008 Top Ten Ht. Wt. Age Exp.
1 CAR DeAngelo Williams 5'9" 217 26 3
2 ATL Michael Turner 5'10" 244 27 5
3 MIN Adrian Peterson 6'1" 217 24 2
4 CHI Matt Forte 6'2" 216 24 1
5 NYJ Thomas Jones 5'10" 215 31 9
6 HOU Steve Slaton 5'9" 201 23 1
7 SD LaDainian Tomlinson 5'10" 221 30 8
8 WAS Clinton Portis 5'11" 223 28 7
9 JAC Maurice Jones-Drew 5'7" 208 24 3
10 PHI Brian Westbrook 5'10" 203 30 7
    Average Top 10 5'10" 217 27 5

Height - Though there are taller backs, the average always ends up around 5'10" every year. Height is not a success factor for a running back by any measure.

Weight - Most backs tend to be between 210 and 220 pounds so Michael Turner is the big exception to the rule. Around 215 pounds means enough size to get through the line and enough speed to keep on running.

Age/Experience : Always a big variation and two rookies ending up top ten made 2008 a youthful year. Typically, no more than one rookie makes into the top ten and recent years have seen none come close. Interesting that Thomas Jones was already 30 last year when he had a career year and Tomlinson and Westbrook hit the mark in 2009.

Drafted Team Name Ht. Wt. Age
1.12 DEN Knowshon Moreno 5'11" 217 22
1.27 IND Donald Brown 5'10" 210 22
1.31 ARI Chris Wells 6'1" 235 21
2.21 PHI LeSean McCoy 5'10" 198 21
3.01 NYJ Shonn Greene 5'11" 235 24
3.10 SF Glen Coffee 6'2" 197 22
4.11 CAR Mike Goodson 6'0" 196 22
4.29 NYG Andre Brown 6'0" 228 23
4.34 SD Gartrell Johnson 6'0" 225 23
5.33 PIT Frank Summers 5'10" 240 24
5.37 TEN Javon Ringer 5'9" 202 22
6.12 BAL Cedric Peerman 5'10" 208 23
6.19 DET Aaron Brown 6'1" 196 24
6.22 CLE James Davis 5'11" 210 23
6.36 CIN Bernard Scott 5'11" 220 25
7.02 STL Chris Ogbonnaya 6'1" 225 23
7.03 KC Javarris Williams 5'11" 215 23
7.06 CIN Fui Vakapuna 6'1" 245 25
7.31 ARI LaRod Stephens 5'7" 180 22
7.41 JAC Rashad Jennings 6'1" 231 24

Rookies: Last year will set expectations sky high for ruinning backs this year and 2009 will not see that happen again. The first two players drafted both fit into the stereotypical size for a runningback but Chris Wells comes in bigger and taller than the norm though still less than Michael Turner. LeSean McCoy also may get some time releiving Brian Westbrook and he's almost the same size.

Team Name Ht. Wt. Age Exp. Team Name Ht. Wt. Age Exp.
ARI Chris Wells 6'1" 235 21 0 MIN Chester Taylor 5'11" 213 30 7
ARI Tim Hightower 6'0" 216 23 1 NE Laurence Maroney 5'11" 220 24 3
ATL Jerious Norwood 5'11" 202 26 3 NE Sammy Morris 6'0" 220 32 9
ATL Michael Turner 5'10" 244 27 5 NE Fred Taylor 6'1" 228 33 11
BAL Ray Rice 5'8" 205 22 1 NO Pierre Thomas 5'11" 215 25 2
BAL Willis McGahee 6'0" 232 28 6 NO Reggie Bush 6'0" 203 24 3
BUF Marshawn Lynch 5'11" 215 23 2 NYG Brandon Jacobs 6'4" 264 27 4
BUF Fred Jackson 6'1" 215 28 2 NYJ Leon Washington 5'8" 202 27 3
CAR Jonathan Stewart 5'10" 235 22 1 NYJ Thomas Jones 5'10" 215 31 9
CAR DeAngelo Williams 5'9" 217 26 3 OAK Michael Bush 6'1" 245 25 1
CHI Matt Forte 6'2" 216 24 1 OAK Darren McFadden 6'2" 210 22 1
CIN Cedric Benson 5'11" 220 27 4 OAK Justin Fargas 6'1" 220 29 6
CLE Jamal Lewis 5'11" 245 30 10 PHI Brian Westbrook 5'10" 203 30 7
DAL Felix Jones 5'10" 200 22 1 PIT Rashard Mendenhall 5'10" 224 22 1
DAL Marion Barber 6'0" 220 26 4 PIT Willie Parker 5'10" 209 29 5
DEN Knowshon Moreno 5'11" 217 22 0 SD Darren Sproles 5'6" 181 26 4
DEN Correll Buckhalter 6'0" 217 31 8 SD LaDainian Tomlinson 5'10" 221 30 8
DEN LaMont Jordan 5'10" 230 31 8 SEA Julius Jones 5'10" 208 28 5
DET Kevin Smith 6'1" 211 23 1 SEA T.J. Duckett 6'0" 254 28 7
GB Ryan Grant 6'1" 226 27 2 SF Frank Gore 5'9" 217 26 4
HOU Steve Slaton 5'9" 201 23 1 STL Steven Jackson 6'2" 231 26 5
IND Joseph Addai 5'11" 214 26 3 TB Derrick Ward 5'11" 228 29 4
JAC Maurice Jones-Drew 5'7" 208 24 3 TB Carnell Williams 5'11" 217 27 4
JAC Greg Jones 6'1" 254 28 5 TB Earnest Graham 5'9" 225 29 5
KC Larry Johnson 6'1" 230 30 6 TEN Chris Johnson 5'11" 200 24 1
MIA Ronnie Brown 6'0" 232 28 4 TEN LenDale White 6'1" 235 25 3
MIA Ricky Williams 5'10" 226 32 8 WAS Clinton Portis 5'11" 223 28 7
MIN Adrian Peterson 6'1" 217 24 2            

Height Weight Age Experience
Brandon Jacobs 6'4" Brandon Jacobs 264 Fred Taylor 33 Fred Taylor 11
Matt Forte 6'2" Greg Jones 254 Ricky Williams 32 Jamal Lewis 10
Darren McFadden 6'2" T.J. Duckett 254 Sammy Morris 32 Sammy Morris 9
Steven Jackson 6'2" Jamal Lewis 245 Correll Buckhalter 31 Thomas Jones 9
Chris Wells 6'1" Michael Bush 245 LaMont Jordan 31 Correll Buckhalter 8
Fred Jackson 6'1" Michael Turner 244 Thomas Jones 31 LaMont Jordan 8
Kevin Smith 6'1" Chris Wells 235 Jamal Lewis 30 Ricky Williams 8
Ryan Grant 6'1" Jonathan Stewart 235 Larry Johnson 30 LaDainian Tomlinson 8
Greg Jones 6'1" LenDale White 235 Chester Taylor 30 Chester Taylor 7
Larry Johnson 6'1" Willis McGahee 232 Brian Westbrook 30 Brian Westbrook 7
Adrian Peterson 6'1" Ronnie Brown 232 LaDainian Tomlinson 30 T.J. Duckett 7
Fred Taylor 6'1" Steven Jackson 231 Justin Fargas 29 Clinton Portis 7
Michael Bush 6'1" LaMont Jordan 230 Willie Parker 29 Willis McGahee 6
Justin Fargas 6'1" Larry Johnson 230 Derrick Ward 29 Larry Johnson 6
LenDale White 6'1" Fred Taylor 228 Earnest Graham 29 Justin Fargas 6
Tim Hightower 6'0" Derrick Ward 228 Willis McGahee 28 Michael Turner 5
Willis McGahee 6'0" Ryan Grant 226 Fred Jackson 28 Greg Jones 5
Marion Barber 6'0" Ricky Williams 226 Greg Jones 28 Willie Parker 5
Correll Buckhalter 6'0" Earnest Graham 225 Ronnie Brown 28 Julius Jones 5
Ronnie Brown 6'0" Rashard Mendenhall 224 Julius Jones 28 Steven Jackson 5
Sammy Morris 6'0" Clinton Portis 223 T.J. Duckett 28 Earnest Graham 5
Reggie Bush 6'0" LaDainian Tomlinson 221 Clinton Portis 28 Cedric Benson 4
T.J. Duckett 6'0" Cedric Benson 220 Michael Turner 27 Marion Barber 4
DeAngelo Williams 5'9" Marion Barber 220 Cedric Benson 27 Ronnie Brown 4
Steve Slaton 5'9" Laurence Maroney 220 Ryan Grant 27 Brandon Jacobs 4
Frank Gore 5'9" Sammy Morris 220 Brandon Jacobs 27 Darren Sproles 4
Earnest Graham 5'9" Justin Fargas 220 Leon Washington 27 Frank Gore 4
Ray Rice 5'8" DeAngelo Williams 217 Carnell Williams 27 Derrick Ward 4
Leon Washington 5'8" Knowshon Moreno 217 Jerious Norwood 26 Carnell Williams 4
Maurice Jones-Drew 5'7" Correll Buckhalter 217 DeAngelo Williams 26 Jerious Norwood 3
Darren Sproles 5'6" Adrian Peterson 217 Marion Barber 26 DeAngelo Williams 3
Jerious Norwood 5'11" Frank Gore 217 Joseph Addai 26 Joseph Addai 3
Marshawn Lynch 5'11" Carnell Williams 217 Darren Sproles 26 Maurice Jones-Drew 3
Cedric Benson 5'11" Tim Hightower 216 Frank Gore 26 Laurence Maroney 3
Jamal Lewis 5'11" Matt Forte 216 Steven Jackson 26 Reggie Bush 3
Knowshon Moreno 5'11" Marshawn Lynch 215 Pierre Thomas 25 Leon Washington 3
Joseph Addai 5'11" Fred Jackson 215 Michael Bush 25 LenDale White 3
Chester Taylor 5'11" Pierre Thomas 215 LenDale White 25 Marshawn Lynch 2
Laurence Maroney 5'11" Thomas Jones 215 Matt Forte 24 Fred Jackson 2
Pierre Thomas 5'11" Joseph Addai 214 Maurice Jones-Drew 24 Ryan Grant 2
Derrick Ward 5'11" Chester Taylor 213 Adrian Peterson 24 Adrian Peterson 2
Carnell Williams 5'11" Kevin Smith 211 Laurence Maroney 24 Pierre Thomas 2
Chris Johnson 5'11" Darren McFadden 210 Reggie Bush 24 Tim Hightower 1
Clinton Portis 5'11" Willie Parker 209 Chris Johnson 24 Ray Rice 1
Michael Turner 5'10" Maurice Jones-Drew 208 Tim Hightower 23 Jonathan Stewart 1
Jonathan Stewart 5'10" Julius Jones 208 Marshawn Lynch 23 Matt Forte 1
Felix Jones 5'10" Ray Rice 205 Kevin Smith 23 Felix Jones 1
LaMont Jordan 5'10" Reggie Bush 203 Steve Slaton 23 Kevin Smith 1
Ricky Williams 5'10" Brian Westbrook 203 Ray Rice 22 Steve Slaton 1
Thomas Jones 5'10" Jerious Norwood 202 Jonathan Stewart 22 Michael Bush 1
Brian Westbrook 5'10" Leon Washington 202 Felix Jones 22 Darren McFadden 1
Rashard Mendenhall 5'10" Steve Slaton 201 Knowshon Moreno 22 Rashard Mendenhall 1
Willie Parker 5'10" Felix Jones 200 Darren McFadden 22 Chris Johnson 1
LaDainian Tomlinson 5'10" Chris Johnson 200 Rashard Mendenhall 22 Chris Wells 0
Julius Jones 5'10" Darren Sproles 181 Chris Wells 21 Knowshon Moreno 0

Other Positions: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends

Related Articles

* Ease of Schedule for Quarterbacks
* Ease of Schedule for Running Backs
* Ease of Schedule for Receivers
* Player Consistency Rankings
* 2009 Coaching Changes and Their Fantasy Impact
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