When it comes to fantasy football, the NFC South—home to the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers—is where many fantasy owners will look to draft a quarterback, i.e., Drew Brees, Cam Newton or Matt Ryan, or a wide receiver the likes of Vincent Jackson, Julio Jones, Steve Smith or Roddy White, but you may want to take a second look at the division when selecting your team's first or second running back.
In addition to impacting real football results, running backs are the kings of fantasy football, and picking the right players to fill out your fantasy backfield can make the difference between winning and losing on a consistent basis.
Carolina had the NFL's third-leading rushing attack in 2011, gaining 150.5 yards per game on the ground. And the Falcons' Michael Turner was third in the NFL with 1,340 yards on 301 carries while New Orleans' Darren Sproles was the best pass-catching back in the league.
Though the NFC South will never be mistaken for the old Black & Blue division in the NFC North or the NFC East of the 1980s, the NFL's southeastern division is home to several of the league's most talented and accomplished running backs. There are at least a handful who you will want to consider to round out your fantasy team.
Here is a look at the top five fantasy football running backs in the NFC South, along with their fantasy rankings according to FantasyAlarm.com. All of the statistics used in this article were found through ESPN.com's NFL statistics page.