Hey everyone, I hope everyone has had a good week since my last post. A lot has gone on in the Dallas Cowboys organization this week. With T.O. running his vapid mouth again, to the Greg Ellis situation, we sure have had a lot to talk about. I recently watched a feature on NFL.com which was a round table discussion with Deion Sanders, Warren Sapp, and Marshall Faulk. They seem to think that Dallas is going to have a hard time winning 8 games this year. Lets hope that they are wrong. I personally, don’t care about ANYTHING Warren Sapp has to say about anything. Heres hoping that the Cowboys are the sleeper story of the next NFL season. I really need something to shut up the haters that live in my part of the world. The Baltimore/Washington DC area….Enemy Territory.
Anyhow, getting down to business at hand, I promised to start with the Fantasy ranking of each position. As preseason comes around, some of these rankings may change, due to injuries and other factors. I am going to start with the rankings for Running backs. I will be doing a top 12 list for all positions, due to the fact that most Fantasy leagues that I have played in have about that many teams competing. The numbers I put up in this article are based on LAST Season.
Michael Turner (ATL) – I may get flak for putting him at the #1 spot for this season, but I think that his numbers might be better than Adrian Peterson’s. This guy was a beast in every aspect of Fantasy football last year. Turner ran for 1,699 yards and scored a hefty 17 touchdowns for the season. He rarely fumbles, only losing the ball 3 times. He gets lots of touches in the Falcons offensive scheme and makes the most of them, averaging 106 yards per game.
Adrian Peterson (MIN) – This guy is a beast in every aspect of Fantasy football. He had 20 rushes over 20 yards last season, and also pulled together 1,760 yards rushing for the season. This guy is a workhorse if there ever was one. The only downside to having him as your main running is that of all the premier Running backs in the league, he only scored 10 touchdowns all season and also coughed up the ball 9 times.
Clinton Portis (WAS) – Even though he plays for the hated Redskins, Portis is a solid 1st round pick. He gets a lot of touches and averages about 4.5 yards per carry. He rushed for 1,487 yards last season. Portis can sometimes be streaky though. Last season, he exploded in the beginning of the season and kind of dropped off when the Redskins imploded last year. He also only scored 9 touchdowns. Bottom line, Portis will give you good numbers.
LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) – In past years L.T. was almost a sure bet for being the #1 overall Fantasy draft pick. However it is widely speculated that his performance is dropping off. I don’t know if I agree with this consensus, but it does seem to be a fact. Tomlinson ran for 1,100 yards last season and put up 11 TD’s. He didn’t have the carries that he usually did, due to injury, and if he stays healthy this year, he is definitely someone you want to pick up in the 1st round.
DeAngelo Williams (CAR) – He had a great season last year averaging 5.5 yards a carry and putting up 1,515 yards for the season. He was limited to only 273 carries but managed to score 18 times. His Fantasy numbers were great last year, the only question is, Will he be able to repeat the same success as last season?
Brandon Jacobs (NYG) – Jacobs is a bulldozer of a running back, he ended up in opponents end zones 15 times last season, and averaged 5 yards a carry. While he doesn’t get the carries some of the other premier backs do, he definitely makes the most of them. If he is still on the board in the 1st round by the time your pick comes along, he might not be a bad choice.
Steven Jackson (STL) – Although Jackson has had some injury issues in the past, he still gets the ball quite a bit with St. Louis’s receiving a liability. He got 253 carries last season and scored 7 times. Averaging 4.1 yards a carry isn’t anything to scoff at, but he also lacks that great offensive line. That being said, I expect Jackson to have a better season this year than last year.
Thomas Jones (NYJ) – Jones got off to a very slow start last year, however got his game going good at the end of the season. He rushed for 1,312 yards and put up 13 touchdowns. However it remains to be seen if he gets his contract woes fixed. With a new head coach and a new QB in Sanchez, I expect the Jets to rely heavily on their running game, very similar to the pre-Flacco Ravens.
Matt Forte (CHI) – Forte had some impressive numbers last season rushing for 1,238 yards and putting up 8 touchdowns. I might have even put him higher on the list. Hard to tell what his production will be next year. I do expect him to get more touches and have, at least, a slightly better season than last year.
Chris Johnson (TEN) – One of the only reasons why I put Mr, Johnson towards the bottom of this list is because of how heavily he has to share the ball with Lendale White. Lendale seemed to get most of the goal line carries and took a lot away from the value of Johnson. Even with that being the case, He still put up good stats. 1,228 yards rushing, and 9 TD’s. Had he have gotten those goal line touches, he may even be in the top 5 RB’s in the league.
Brien Westbrook (PHI) – Westbrook’s numbers have declined in the past few years, however what he lacks in touches, he makes up for in receiving. He put up a total of 14 TD’s last year and rushed for just under 1,000 yards. He might not rush more yards than some running backs but he is a dual threat and that makes him worth picking up.
Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX) – Jones-Drew is an up and comer and possibly should be higher on this list. He should get more carries this year than he did last year. Even with that being said he still put up 12 touchdowns with only 197 carries. If he gets another 50-80 carries he will put up huge numbers.
Okay so there you have it. Remember these lists aren’t gospel. If you know someone with a crystal ball that can read the future, you might want to check in with them. I hope that this article, at the very least, gives you something to think about for your pick for your running back. What do you guys think? Who are you hoping to pick up? Any sleepers out there that you might be able to pick up on the sly? Let me know. As always, I wish you guys the best and have a great weekend.