RB LaMichael James, Oregon


49ers, 2nd round. Ore.: Junior who has declared for 2012 draft. Below-average size. Average hand size. Game is similar to Jahvid Best.

Positives: Ultra-quick and ultra-fast. Very good vision, balance, and lateral movement. Generally reliable, soft hands. Knows how to use a stiff-arm. Burrows through traffic. Also used in short yardage. Runs fair routes. Bounces around like a pinball with contact, but strong lower body keeps him going.

Negatives: Fairly weak upper body. Hurt right elbow in October and missed two games. Hurt left elbow in late November. Overruns his blockers at times — needs to be more patient.

Projection: As we’ve seen with other small RBs not named Sproles (see Jahvid Best and Jacquizz Rodgers), lack of bulk and height likely adds up to unimpressive fantasy numbers due to injury. He also enters a very crowded RB depth chart, with Gore, Jacobs, Kendall Hunter, and 2012 undrafted free agent Jewel Hampton. More likely to take touches from Hunter and Hampton than anyone else on the depth chart. If used like Sproles, he could put up RB2 numbers in a PPR league. RB4 numbers at most in standard leagues.

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