Sports

The 80s Child Actress Guide To Drafting Your Fantasy Football Running Backs

Day 2 of my universally beloved and 100 percent correct fantasy football analysis continues with everyone’s most important position, the running backs. Unlike QBs, a championship-caliber team needs three RBs to win, which means that there are never enough to go around, and when it comes to planning my draft, no matter which pick I have been blessed or burdened with, I always spend way too much time worrying about RBs over the other positions, because GOD JUST GIVE ME TWO HEALTHY RUNNING BACKS FOR THE WHOLE SEASON SO I CAN WIN THIS.

Conveniently enough for my meaningless, unoriginal scheme of associating popular culture with my slightly unorganized fantasy football position rankings, yesterday was Soleil Moon Frye’s 38th birthday, so I thought I’d dip into the pool of one of my favorite go-to topics – 80s teen actresses who grew up in front of the world and either lost their minds or turned out pretty rad. Frye was always kind of the leader of the pack, because even though she had her own TV show at such a young age, she grew up without selling her organs for crack money or inventing a new drug that is made from mixing dead squirrels in buckets filled with paint thinner. In fact, Frye has always been so normal that she’s almost boring because of it.

But in the world of fantasy football – *high fives all around for awful transition* – being normal and boring can sometimes play to our advantage, which is why I’ve meaninglessly ranked Frye so high up on this list, but first the disclaimer:

I am not an expert. I do not pretend to be a fantasy football analyst or expert, and I shall not be held accountable should you use this advice while drafting your fantasy teams. I will, however, brag and take credit if you win, because that is how life works, you sucker chumps. Enjoy!

The Alyssa Milanos

Jamaal Charles

Where he’ll be drafted: First overall, no later than 3rd
Where you should draft him: First overall, no later than 3rd

I have the No. 1 pick in my league that really matters. As of right now, and barring any kind of injury or decision to travel the world to smoke weed and practice yoga, I am taking Jamaal Charles. Realistically, I could flip and coin and take him or LeSean McCoy, so there’s no reason for people to be like, “Yo, you’re insane if you think McCoy isn’t better.” McCoy’s great, and he did very well for me last year, but I’m going to give Charles a whirl this time. That could change, but you don’t really care.

LeSean McCoy

Where he’ll be drafted: Second overall, no later than 3rd
Where you should draft him: Second, but first is an option, too

I love that Shady takes his trash talk game so seriously and constantly wants to prove that he’s the best RB in the NFL by saying, “I’m the best RB in the NFL.” The reason that I prefer Charles to McCoy this season is that I think McCoy has more weapons around him that will be doing a lot of work for the Eagles. The Chiefs may have to lean on Charles more than any other team does (aside from the Vikings), and that’s also why my mind could change as soon as I watch some preseason action.

Adrian Peterson

Where he’ll be drafted: Third or 4th, maybe 5th
Where you should draft him: Third, I guess

Like McCoy, AP is great because he believes he’s the best and won’t stop running over everyone until his legs give out. He might catch a break on offense if Cordarelle Patterson is as good as described in this preseason, but the Vikings still need a QB. I never ever ever ever ever ever count Peterson out, because I drafted him two years ago and he carried me to a championship, but I worry about the fact that he has to do so much on an offense that is already guaranteed to be playing from behind. Bottom line – he’s still way better than most of the rest of these guys.

Matt Forte

Where he’ll be drafted: Third, fourth or fifth, anything after is a gift
Where you should draft him: Third or fourth

How you value Forte comes down to a few questions:

1) Would you rather have him or Peyton Manning? (If you’re in a PPR, the answer is already Forte.)
2) Do you trust Forte to put up similar or better numbers from last year in an offense that has the league’s best WR tandem?
3) IS MATT FORTE ELITE?!?! Just kidding. That question is stupid. Don’t ever ask that f*cking question about any athlete.

The Tiffani Thiessens

Eddie Lacy

Where he’ll be drafted: Top 5 with potential to slide a few spots
Where you should draft him: Probably as the fifth best RB, but that doesn’t mean No. 5 overall

Eddie Lacy is a very talented RB and he has a ton of potential. Last season he proved that, but he had to because – TWIST! – Aaron Rodgers was out and the Packers were struggling to move the ball. Now, I’m no Miss Cleo, but I think that the Packers will be inclined to run the ball more despite their love of the pass-pass-pass offense because of the combination of keeping Rodgers safe and taking advantage of Lacy’s talents. That’s all very optimistic, obviously, and if I’m Miss Cleo, then maybe I can tell you that he’ll total 1,500 yards and rush for 11 TDs again, but I’m not, okay? Only Matthew Berry is psychic.

Montee Ball

Where he’ll be drafted: Top 10
Where you should draft him: Late first round

The reason that Lacy and Ball fall into the Tiffani Thiessens is because everyone falls in love with them early on, while we have no idea what their long term potential is. For all we know, they could wind up causing all sorts of drama for Brandon Walsh and Steve Sanders, and then they’re more of a villain than they are America’s sweetheart. I don’t like second year RBs, especially when they’re both in heavy-throwing offenses. The reason that the experts and people blowing up the average draft spot of these two in mock drafts love them so much is because they have so much upside in front of them. If I have a pick like No. 6 or lower, though, I’m probably going to grab one of the elite WRs and then grab one of the next level RBs with my second pick.

The Soleil Moon Fryes

They’ll show the kids following in their footsteps how to do it right and they’ll get the job done. Eventually, they might even start a parenting blog and help people who raise children in the limelight know what red flags to look for. But probably not, because that makes no sense.

Marshawn Lynch

Where he’ll be drafted: No one on Earth knows right now
Where you should draft him: Honestly, I’m not touching him

Lynch ended his holdout and showed up to camp like some expected he would, but between that and the report that he wanted to retire after the Super Bowl, I’m pretty concerned that his role is at risk of being reduced to let Christine Michael get in on the action. Then again, for all we know, Pete Carroll probably made him a bong made of Skittles and they spent the last two weeks getting baked together, and now Lynch is ready to run for 2,000 yards and 20 TDs. Still, it’s a lot more fun to take a guy who doesn’t have red flags.

DeMarco Murray

Where he’ll be drafted: End of the first round, early second
Where you should draft him: Late second round

Murray had a four-week chunk of brilliance in the fantasy playoff weeks last season, so people are probably still pretty sweet on him for that. Some people don’t like Murray, while others believe this is going to be his best season yet. I’m kind of stuck in the middle. Like, I have the No. 12 pick in a league, so I’m obviously considering him along with the entire second tier of RBs that will be available. I’ll probably take a WR1 and RB2 with those back-to-back picks, and when I think of Murray being that RB, my response is basically…

However, if I imagine that I have a mid-to-late second round pick, I’m like…

So take that for what it’s worth.

Alfred Morris

Where he’ll be drafted: Early second round
Where you should draft him: Early second round

I love The Natural. Everything about him seems so genuine and cool, so I want him to be one of the best RBs in the game for as long as he can. If the Redskins are as strong offensively as they should be this season, then he’s at least in line to have numbers like his rookie season. Of course, there’s also a chance that he loses reps because of speedy badass Chris Thompson’s evolution in the passing game and Lache Seastrunk’s presence, but I can’t see how Jay Gruden doesn’t fall in love with A-Mo like the rest of us.

The Christina Applegates

She had a few meaningless and forgettable performances prior to Married with Children in 1987, but then she had her breakout campaign and one of the strongest careers of any actress of the last 30 years. The only exception was The Sweetest Thing. That was a heaping pile of crap. Let’s pray these guys don’t have The Sweetest Thing in them.

Giovani Bernard

Where he’ll be drafted: Late first, early second
Where you should draft him: Late first if you have balls, definitely in the early second

I assume there’s a lot of buzz around Bernard. There should be. The Bengals offense should be pretty great this season – I already regret calling Andy Dalton my fantasy QB sleeper of the season, but I ain’t care – and Bernard is versatile enough to rack up yards on yards, as well as receptions for us PPR dorks. The only problem is his endurance, and will he be able to run a whole season or will he put up more games like the last three of the season, when he carried 39 times for 75 yards.

Le’Veon Bell

Where he’ll be drafted: Second round
Where you should draft him: Mid-second round

I like Bell. He seems like he has plenty of promise to be that workhorse Steelers RB that carries 30 times per game and wears defenses out. Pittsburgh will need it, because the receiving game is going to be questionable beyond Antonio Brown. Health will be the key, but Bell should be great.

Zac Stacy

Where he’ll be drafted: Mid-to-late second round
Where you should draft him: Mid-to-late second round

Stacy was my “I’ll just stash this guy away for a few weeks” pickup early last season when it became clear that the Rams had no clue what they were doing at RB. This season they’ve added Tre Mason, but I don’t think he’s going to make a difference. He shouldn’t. If he does, it’ll be borderline criminal, because Stacy earned a full season as the starter. The only caveat is that he gets the 49ers and Seahawks twice.

Andre Ellington

Where he’ll be drafted: Late second
Where you should draft him: Early third

When’s the last time that an Arizona RB did anything of value in fantasy? That’s an honest question, I’m not trying to be smarmy or cynical. Without looking it up, I can’t really recall the last time that I had a Cardinals RB. That’s not to say that Ellington can’t break the trend, I just won’t get my hopes up too much about a guy who has the 49ers and Seahawks on his schedule twice. I know I just sang the high praises of Stacy, but he was at least great last season. Ellington might be the outright starter, but I’ll go with the guy who already proved something.

The Danica McKellars

McKellar was a goddess to boys in the 80s, but the heyday ended and suddenly it was “What have you done for me lately?” She has made a resurgence of late, mostly because we’re all suckers for nostalgia, so can these once-beloved stars and promising talents do the same?

Arian Foster

Where he’ll be drafted: Late first maybe, late second is more likely
Where you should draft him: Late second

Foster has been a fantasy god before, but these last two seasons have been incredibly disappointing for a guy who used to command Top 3 pick status. The Texans didn’t do much to fix their little QB problem either, so Foster’s going to have his hands full. I’m not really big on the rebound, but if the value’s right, you can’t knock having Foster as your RB2.

Ray Rice

Where he’ll be drafted: Third, fourth or maybe even the fifth round
Where you should draft him: Fourth round if the talent is becoming scarce

I have friends who won’t draft Ray Rice the person and others who have sworn off Ray Rice the running back after last season. I had him last season and it sucked. Of course the Ravens are saying that he’s looking better than ever, but that is their job. Also, Rice looking great in practice is a good way to distract people from that other stuff, but when it comes to fantasy, nobody’s going to flat out boycott Rice. Honestly, I hate just mentioning the guy right now.

Doug Martin

Where he’ll be drafted: Late second round
Where you should draft him: Early third round

Doug Martin could come back from his injury and be awesome, or he could struggle and suck. Meanwhile, the Bucs have Charles Sims and those other guys that did a decent job filling in for Martin last season. I guess preseason will reveal more about his status, but I can’t see Martin, a franchise RB, getting a heavy workload in the early weeks. At the same time, though, people are probably going to think I’m high for saying he’d drop to the third round, so at least someone will benefit from my insanity.

C.J. Spiller

Where he’ll be drafted: Fourth or fifth round? Third maybe? No, fourth. Definitely the fourth.
Where you should draft him: Who the hell knows?

Remember last season? This guy was a Top 5 pick in most leagues. He was on the verge of breaking out and becoming a fantasy superstar. What happened was appalling. Now there are rumors that the Bills want to trade him or that he’d be able to walk after this season if he doesn’t get his act together. What a magnificent run of events in two seasons. Still, I’ll always take the guy in his contract year as a fourth round value pick.

Trent Richardson

Where he’ll be drafted: Almost of the same as above
Where you should draft him: Seriously, just copy and paste everything but contract year

I was livid when the Browns traded Richardson to the Colts for a late first-round pick. I was cursing the Dolphins for not getting in on that and securing a franchise RB. And then Richardson continued to have an impossibly awful season with a significantly better franchise. Now, there are reports that he’s so much better in the new and improved Colts offense and yadda yadda, blah blah blah. Obviously, it’s looking like Ahmad Bradshaw might end up being the better middle-round value pick.

The Nicole Eggerts

If any young actress was going to give Milano a run for her money as the queen of the 80s teen actresses, it was Eggert on Charles in Charge. Good lord, she changed the way I looked at life. Then Blown Away happened in 1993 and, while that was certainly something particularly life-changing to my teen years, that just sort of ruined the image. I’m sure a million guys would call me crazy for saying that.

Reggie Bush

Where he’ll be drafted: Third round (PPR will obviously mean more)
Where you should draft him: Third or fourth

I’ve never been big on Bush, even as I play in a PPR league. He was spectacular last season in fantasy numbers, but he was still inconsistent. I’ll take him as my RB3 every day, but even then I’m taking my chances on going thin at WR.

Joique Bell

Where he’ll be drafted: Within 10 picks of Bush
Where you should draft him: Fourth round

He’s the better Lions RB from a “traditional” perspective, but his numbers are even more inconsistent. He’s good for vulturing a few TDs, but trying to anticipate that is like predicting when to turn the sex scene off when your mom walks in while you’re watching Blown Away.

Ryan Matthews

Where he’ll be drafted: Late third, probably the fourth
Where you should draft him: Fourth if you can strategically pinpoint a value pick with your fifth rounder

Matthews was awesome in the final four weeks of last season, as he showed us all why the Chargers have kept giving him chances. He didn’t have a lot of competition at RB last season, other than Danny Woodhead, and now he has Donald Brown there, too. I don’t think Matthews will lose many carries, but when it comes to the Chargers, I’m so ridiculously high on Keenan Allen and Ladarius Green that I don’t really want Matthews.

Stevan Ridley

Where he’ll be drafted: Fourth round, maybe fifth
Where you should draft him: Inside of a cannon that will then fire him into the sun

Yes, I’m still bitter that he fumbled in Week 1 and basically ruined his season. He was my ridiculous value pick in the fourth round last season and he ended up being a wasted pick. Oh well. No way I use a pick on him this year unless it’s in the seventh round or later. Also, I’ll just save myself time and say now that Shane Vereen is a better pick in the fifth round, as is James White in later rounds.

Chris Johnson

Where he’ll be drafted: Fourth or fifth round
Where you should draft him: Fifth round

Picking a Jets RB has been a waste for more years than I can remember. I’m pretty sure I had Curtis Martin in his final season and then Shonn Greene in each of his Jets seasons, and it was all terrible. Now you put a pissed off CJ1K behind a better offensive line and there’s at least a chance that he shows some flashes of old CJ2K. I can’t ever bring myself to pick a Jet, but in the fourth or fifth round (and especially if I’m thin at RB) I could do a lot worse.

The Candace Camerons

I used to have a huge crush on Candace Cameron, but then she got a little older and she was just okay. She had her moments, but she was no Aunt Becky.

Frank Gore

Where he’ll be drafted: Fifth or sixth round
Where you should draft him: Sixth round

The 49ers are a bit of mystery with this new offense that they’ve been talking about, but that doesn’t matter. Gore’s touches are going to be maybe half of what he’s used to, and we’re going to see more of Carlos Hyde and (hopefully) Marcus Lattimore. Gore’s still great for a RB3, though.

Fred Jackson

Where he’ll be drafted: Fifth or sixth round
Where you should draft him: Sixth round

At 33 years old, Fred Jackson is the Abe Vigoda of RBs. But even when Spiller crapped the futon last season, Jackson stepped up and was awesome in some games. I think Bryce Brown could end up making an impact if Spiller sucks again (or is traded) but Jackson will still play with the best of them considering he doesn’t have nearly as many miles as most guys his age.

Darren Sproles

Where he’ll be drafted: Eighth round
Where you should draft him: Eighth or ninth round

Even in a PPR league, I don’t see much value in Sproles anymore. “But Burnsy, Chip Kelly, bro!” Between Nick Foles and McCoy, there will be plenty of TDs coming from this Eagles offense, and I see Sproles as the guy who is good for one big catch in each game, and that’s about it.

The Jodie Sweetins

These guys showed so much promise early on, then they were addicted to meth or perhaps didn’t get a chance to star on their own, or they were injured, and then they came back looking for a fresh start on a new show or team. What a spectacular metaphor.

Ben Tate

Where he’ll be drafted: Fifth round
Where you should draft him: Fifth or sixth round

Before that whole Josh Gordon mess, I had Ben Tate on my super-secret “I sure hope I can snag this guy in the fourth or fifth round” list, but now? Meh. I don’t think there’s a Browns player worth taking. Amazing how one guy’s pot-smoking can throw everything off.

Rashad Jennings

Where he’ll be drafted: Sixth or seventh round
Where you should draft him: Seventh round

Like the Browns, I’m not digging any Giants players this season either, but I do have a little crush on Andre Williams right now, so we’ll get to that shortly.

Maurice Jones-Drew

Where he’ll be drafted: Seventh or eighth round
Where you should draft him: As late as he’s still there and you don’t need any other positions

I don’t necessarily think that MoJo is going to be good, because the Raiders are terrible, but I’ve always liked MJD and I hope he has a nice bounceback season, mainly because Darren McFadden has been such a colossal waste of space and it would be hilarious of MJD of old showed up and made him look foolish.

The Lark Voorhies

Once so spectacularly wonderful and now… God, what a shame.

Knowshon Moreno

Where he’ll be drafted: Ninth round?
Where you should draft him: Don’t. Don’t even think about it.

I’m a Dolphins fan who thought that this Moreno signing was pretty smart – a cheap deal for a one-year guy who needed to prove that he can be a star on a Peyton Manning-less team. So he shows up out of shape with a piss poor attitude and a bad knee. Awesome. I’d be surprised if he even plays for the Dolphins at all.

The Tina Yothers

There was a time when the nation loved these guys or maybe had hope for them, but then it was like, “Yikes, time to move on.”

Steven Jackson

Where he’ll be drafted: Sixth or seventh round
Where you should draft him: Sixth round

If the Falcons receivers and O-line can stay healthy, then maybe S-Jax has another solid season in him. However, I think we’ll slowly see more and more Devonta Freeman as the season progresses, and S-Jax will be limited like Gore so Atlanta can make a big playoff push.

Pierre Thomas

Where he’ll be drafted: Eighth round or later
Where you should draft him: Same

Thomas is usually good for a few solid games, but again, you can’t predict that. He also has Mark Ingram, who claims that he’s poised to become the best RB in the NFL, and Khiry Robinson, who I think will be an outstanding late value pick, to compete with, so as usual the Saints aren’t giving us much in the RB department.

Toby Gerhart

Where he’ll be drafted: Who the hell knows?
Where you should draft him: When all hope is lost

Gerhart probably won’t see much preseason action with his injury, which means that Jordan Todman and Denard Robinson (and hopefully Storm Johnson if the Jags love me) will see more action in the preseason, and a lot can change. Gerhart is there to be the starter, sure, but it’s still Jacksonville.

Lamar Miller

Where he’ll be drafted: Sixth round or later
Where you should draft him: Eighth round or later

As a Dolphins fan, I really like Miller. I think he has the tools to be a good RB. Hopefully, Moreno was the fire in his b-hole to start playing smarter, and I assume that any Dolphins RB will be better this year with last season’s O-line horsesh*t a thing of the past.

DeAngelo Williams

Where he’ll be drafted: Eighth round
Where you should draft him: Eighth round or later

It doesn’t matter how old he is or how many seasons he’s been in the NFL, I always hope that Williams suddenly has a monster 2,000-yard season. He was go great in college and I always thought he’d be an all-time great in the NFL, and it has been disappointing to say the least. Sigh.

Danny Woodhead

Where he’ll be drafted: Ninth round or later
Where you should draft him: Same

Woodhead might be good for five awesome games during the season, but who’s starting him unless your RBs all die in Week 1? Take him when you’re building your bench and then trade him to the guy who thought that Ball would be a steamroller.

The Olsen Twins

The kids that we shouldn’t really talk about until a more appropriate time.

Bishop Sankey

Where he’ll be drafted: Late second or third round
Where you should draft him: Third round, preferably the fourth

I loved ESPN’s pre-draft series this year that gave us a good look at my boy Blake Bortles and some other NFL hopefuls. Sankey was one of those guys and he has the swagger of an NFL RB. I hope he has a good career, but I’m not sure he’s going to be as good as people think he’ll be right away. I certainly wouldn’t use a third rounder on him when there are still top WRs out there.

Terrance West

Where he’ll be drafted: Really late
Where you should draft him: Really, really late

We’re getting into backup RBs now for teams that have offensive debacles right now, so this is basically a bench filler.

Devonta Freeman

Where he’ll be drafted: Ninth or tenth round
Where you should draft him: Ninth round if your starters are solid

Again, I think a lot of people are expecting Freeman to steal carries from S-Jax progressively through the season, so if your bench is deep enough to stash him away, Freeman’s a solid sleeper.

Andre Williams

Where he’ll be drafted: He might not
Where you should draft him: Eleventh round or later

If Jennings can’t handle the starting job for the Giants, Williams will get a better shot and he has reportedly been watching a lot of Adrian Peterson film. That could mean he’s very serious about his career, or he’s a stalker.

The Josie Davises

They’re stuck behind stars and would absolutely love a shot to shine on their own. In years past, this category would have been significantly longer, but I don’t think there are too many stellar backups waiting in the wings these days.

Bernard Pierce

Where he’ll be drafted: Within 10 picks of Ray Rice by someone hoping he is awesome for the first two weeks and steals the job
Where you should draft him: Eighth round or later

My biggest concern with the Ravens is that their O-line sucks. Rice took a lot of heat for his crappy play last season, but the line had plenty of problems, too. That’s why Pierce wasn’t any better when he got his carries. If that’s the case this season, they’ll both be worthless again.

Khiry Robinson

Where he’ll be drafted: Ninth round or later
Where you should draft him: Same

Saints RBs are never very valuable unless they’re named Sproles or you can predict when Pierre Thomas will have his big games. I think Robinson has the most upside for exciting performances this season, but he’s still nothing more than an RB4 in that offense.

(If I didn’t mention an RB, that means he’s either not on my radar or worth my time, or I’m just dumb and shouldn’t try to name them all off the top of my head.)

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