Fantasy Football 2012: 7 Running Backs That Will Break Down

Kenneth Hicks@hicks_kennyCorrespondent IIJuly 13, 2012

Fantasy Football 2012: 7 Running Backs That Will Break Down

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    The 2012 fantasy football season will feature a plethora of running backs that are ready to breakout, but there are just as many seasoned veterans ready to break down.

    The term "breakdown" for a running back in fantasy football can be for multiple reasons: too many touches, too many seasons, getting older and too many injuries.

    As a result, let's take a look at seven fantasy football stars that will break down and become busts in 2012.


    Honorable Mentions that just missed the cut:

    Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins 

    Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders

    Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

    Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars

Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons

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    Michael Turner has been a consistent fantasy football star for the Atlanta Falcons.

    In three out of his four seasons with the Falcons, Turner has put up 300-plus carries, 1,300-plus rushing yards and 11-plus rushing touchdowns.

    That is great production in fantasy football and worthy of a high draft pick in 2012, right?

    Unfortunately, people forget Turner also played with the San Diego Chargers for four seasons as well.

    Moreover, Turner, will be entering his ninth season in 2012 and turned 30 back in February.

    That is a lot of mileage for Turner, and the Falcons coaching staff knows it. That us why Turner will be part of a committee approach in 2012 with the Falcons.

    The end of a promising fantasy football career for Turner starts in 2012, as he will break down and become a dreadful fantasy football bust.

Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams

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    Steven Jackson has been one of the most consistent fantasy football superstars in his eight-year career for the Rams with over 12,000 total yards and 60 total touchdowns.

    However, all those fantasy football points came from over 2,500-plus touches, and it is just a matter of time before Jackson suffers the same breakdown fate as Michael Turner.

    Like Turner, Jackson will be entering his ninth season in 2012, and Jackson and will turn 29 later this month.

    Moreover, Jackson has much more mileage on his legs than Turner, and Rams coach Jeff Fisher knows this, as he drafted Isaiah Pead in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft.

    Furthermore, the injuries for Jackson have also been piling up over the years, and all that wear and tear will lead to him ultimately breaking down, becoming a fantasy football bust in 2012.

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers

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    In the fantasy football world, Frank Gore has been an absolute beast in his seven seasons with the 49ers, putting up 10,000 total yards and 52 total touchdowns.

    Again, great fantasy football stats, but the wear and tear of 2,000 total touches, numerous injuries and turning 29 this past May are all signs Gore will be on the decline very soon.

    I know the 49ers coaching staff is well aware of Gore breaking down, because why else would you acquire Brandon Jacobs from the New York Giants via NFL free agency and LaMichael James in the 2012 NFL draft?

    Don't forget the 49ers already have Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon on their roster .

    If you do the math, that is five running backs including Gore.

    The five running back committee in place, the wear and tear of seven NFL seasons and turning 29 are all signs of Gore breaking down, becoming a fantasy football bust in 2012.

Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills

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    Fred Jackson was a fantasy football superstar in the first 10 games of 2011 with over 1,300 total yards and six touchdowns before a fractured fibula ended his season prematurely.

    The beneficiary of the injury was C.J. Spiller, who really stepped up in Jackson's absence from Week 12 to the end of the season with over 600 total yards and five total touchdowns.

    Although Jackson is the starter on the Bills' depth chart to start the 2012 season, don't forget Jackson is 31 years old (85 in football years), is entering his sixth season, coming back from a major injury and will be in a timeshare with Spiller going forward.

    Moreover, coming back from an injury is hard enough in the NFL, and coming back from an injury at age 31 in the NFL is almost damn near impossible, especially as a running back, when the average career is three seasons.

    Furthermore, look for Jackson to suffer a major step back in 2012.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

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    Adrian Peterson has been an absolute fantasy football beast in his five seasons with the Vikings putting up 8,000 total yards and 67 total touchdowns.

    However, Peterson is coming off a torn ACL and MCL that occurred late in the 2011 season.

    As a result, it is still unclear whether or not he will be ready to start the 2012 season.

    The timeline for coming back from two major injuries to compete at high level is a long road of recovery.

    Therefore, when Peterson comes back in 2012, he should drafted with caution anywhere after the second round of your fantasy football draft.

    Additionally, Peterson will be entering his sixth season in 2012 and has been the workhorse back with over 1,500 carries for the Vikings since he entered the league in 2007.

    All the hits and injuries will definitely limit Peterson in 2012.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

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    Marshawn Lynch returned to fantasy football beast mode in 201,1 in a contract year, as he had 1,400 total yards and 13 total touchdowns.

    As a result, Lynch got paid like an elite running back in March, collecting $31 million over the next four years with $18 million guaranteed.

    Although Lynch did have his best season as a pro in 2011, there were five games of note that he rushed for under 45 yards, which is a bit of a concern.

    In fact, Lynch was so inconsistent in the first four weeks of the season that that he was dropped in most fantasy football leagues.

    Moreover, the payday will indeed go to Lynch's head as he will return to the Lynch of 2010 who was a terrible fantasy football bust.

    Additionally, Lynch is also entering his sixth season and although he is only 26, he has an aggressive running style that will ultimately lead to his body breaking down in 2012.  

Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos

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    Willis McGahee had a breakout fantasy football season for the Broncos in 2011 with nearly 1,200 yards rushing and five total touchdowns.

    But let's be honest, McGahee is coming off 249 rushing attempts in 2011, which is 40 more attempts than he had in 2009 and 2010 combined with the Baltimore Ravens.

    In McGahee's nine NFL seasons, he has amassed nearly 1,800 carries, is now 30-years-old and his day in the sun is ultimately over.

    This will be the year McGahee will break down and become just another fantasy football bust.