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 RB Rankings - Players Worth The Price Of Football Tickets 
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Post RB Rankings - Players Worth The Price Of Football Tickets
RB Rankings - Players Worth The Price Of Football Tickets
by: Jay Nault

Today we’ll continue our look at players who by themselves are worth the price of football tickets by ranking the RB’s in the NFL who are a cut above the rest. A good RB can make a bad team a threat and a good team great. The “modern” RB presents a dual threat to opposing defenses, as the “new breed” of RB can both run and catch. There are still throw-back types who smash defenses in the mouth all day long, but they are more easily defended than the RB who can sprint out into the flat, catch a pass and break off a big play. As usual, more than statistics go into these rankings.

1. LaDainian Tomlinson

Tomlinson remains the best all-around RB in the NFL. He can run, he can catch, he’s fast enough to outrun defenders, and he’s basically a threat every time he touches the ball. He’s deceptively elusive, and he’s had years where he basically carried the Chargers’ offense. Drew Brees should thank “LT” for his new mega-contract with the Saints, as Tomlinson made Brees’ ability to pile up stats that much easier. He’ll do the same thing for Phillip Rivers as he takes over at QB for the Chargers.

2. Shaun Alexander

Alexander is the reigning NFL MVP, and there’s good reason for that. He’s big, strong, fast and versatile. He’s continually chewing up 4 or 5 yards per carry, and he’s got enough speed to break a long run. Alexander also seems to have an innate ability to score touchdowns. He’s the prototypical West Coast Offense RB, as he has great receiving skills and will block. He had a somewhat unfair reputation in recent years of being “soft,” but he put that to rest in 2005.

3. Tiki Barber

Barber was the Giants’ offense in many games last year, and many felt he should’ve been the MVP over Alexander. Barber ran for nearly 1,900 yards last year and he caught more than 50 balls out of the backfield. “Numbers” guys feel that Barber is too small to be durable, but like Alexander, he put that rap to bed in 2005 when he logged over 350 carries. Barber has helped young QB Eli Manning mature by taking a huge amount of pressure off of him with his running skills. Giants’ fans bought their football tickets for the sole purpose of seeing Barber in many games last year.

4. Larry Johnson

Many wonder if I’m crazy ranking “LJ” this low, as he tops many fantasy football rankings. However, this is reality, and Johnson has not done it long enough yet to outrank those above him in these rankings. He had an incredible second half of 2005, and he’s looking to continue that trend this season. However, he’s not a great receiver and he’s working with a new coach and a revamped offensive line that lost at least one future Hall of Fame-worthy player in LT Willie Roaf. 2006 will help define Johnson’s true skills.

5. Steven Jackson

Jackson is somewhat overlooked, but watch out for him this season. He rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and only got 250 carries. This year, Marshall Faulk is not playing, and the coaching change in St. Louis will most likely benefit Jackson. The Rams will be running more than they did under Mike Martz, but the Martz regime did force Jackson to develop his pass-catching skills. Jackson is a load, runs behind a good offensive line, and will be a RB that gives opposing coaches fits in 2006.

6. Honorable Mention

There are three RB’s who would be ranked in the Top 5, although each of them has a “but” next to their qualifications. Edgerrin James would be ranked, but he now plays behind a questionable offensive line in Arizona. Cadillac Williams would be there, but he needs to show he can play a full season, as his reputation for being injury prone was not dispelled last year. Kevin Jones would be there as well, but he hasn’t had an opportunity to become the “new” Marshall Faulk in Mike Martz’s offense. He could be there next year. Regardless, each of these three is still worth the price of football tickets, and each will be successful if healthy.

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By Jay Nault sponsored by . StubHub sells Chargers Tickets: , Patriots tickets, Colts tickets and all other football tickets. Please link to this site when using this article.

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Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:51 pm
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