Welcome to our 2009 edition of Fantasy Football’s Running Back Rankings. UPDATED as of Mar. 30, '09.
Nothing extraordinary happened in the running backs' market this offseason, except for Derrick Ward moving from the New York Giants to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving a RBBC situation with a good OL to another one with a lesser OL.
Fred Taylor went to the Patriots, leaving Maurice Jones-Drew as the new feature back in Jacksonville.
The Denver Broncos monopolized the other available RBs of note by adding J.J. Arrington, Correll Buckhalter, and LaMont Jordan to their already numerous stable of runners.
Even with Mike Shanahan gone, fantasy owners are left wondering who their starting RB will be next season.
The San Diego Chargers, looking to avoid having another one of their backups flourish in greener pastures ala Michael Turner, franchised Darren Sproles and restructured the last two years of LaDainian Tomlinson contract.
Knowing that L.T. will still be a Charger, how does that affect his value? Will he still be a top-10 pick?Which players moved up from our last rankings, and which ones moved down?
Did we rank Larry Johnson? With Deuce McAllister out of New Orleans, is Pierre Thomas finally a top-10 selection? Did we clear the position's logjam in Baltimore?
1) Adrian Peterson (Vikings) – The most talented running back in the NFL that made the "Sophomore Jinx’s believers look like they live in a fantasy world, deserves the No. 1 spot in the rankings.
How much did he improve from a standout first season where he posted 1,341 yards, 12 TDs, six 100-yard games, and an average of 95.8 Ypg?
In his second season, only the TDs total slipped from 12 to 10, but his yards (1,760), 100-yard games (10), and YPG (110) improved considerably playing in all 16 games.
He will still continue to run behind a great offensive line in 2009 that provides him with holes bigger than the "Grand Canyon,” and will count on the front office to provide him with a respectable passing game this offseason.
2) Michael Turner (Falcons) – Turner exceeded expectations in 2008 by amassing 1,699 yards and 17 touchdowns. With a young QB in Matt Ryan that is getting better by the minute, he’s the real deal and should dominate fantasy leagues again in 2009.
3) DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) – Jonathan Stewart splitting time with him scares us a little bit, as he had 184 carries for 836 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. That didn’t stop Williams from topping 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns. This guy’s for real.
4) Matt Forte (Bears) – The good news is that he is the only real weapon on his offense and that will warrant him a ton of touches. The bad news is he is the only real weapon on his offense and defenses will stack eight in the box to stop him...