Top 10 Fantasy Football RBs in 2009
Looking at this year's crop of NFL running backs, it's tough to pick the top-10.
With just about every team attempting to run some sort of tandem in the backfield, it's no easy feat determining which backs will be receiving the majority of the carries, especially near the goal-line, where they matter most.
However, this is good news for fantasy owners, as there should be no shortage of quality RB options available—even later in most drafts.
Looking at the best options out there, it's amazing how young they all are—most of them are in their third or fourth year.
This goes to show just how brutal the position is on these players, and how amazing it is that they can ever manage to stay dominant for a decade or more.
That being said, there should be some significant changes in the top-10 from last year at this time. There were just too many great RB's that came out of the 2008 draft class—not to mention Michael Turner tearing it up in his first year as a starter.
So here is my final word of advice before getting this thing started:
Don't panic if you can't get a top-five or even top-10 RB. There are a TON of solid options out there.
10 - LaDainian Tomlinson
I really wanted to rank Tomlinson higher, but I'm not entirely convinced that he's going to be his old self again—even if he's 100 percent healthy.
I'm taking the conservative approach with him this year and assuming he'll at least duplicate his stats from last year—which is still a pretty damn good season.
9 - DeAngelo Williams
After a couple of disappointing seasons, Williams absolutely blew up in 2008. With the help of Jonathan Stewart, he gave the Panthers one of the deadliest rushing tandems in recent memory.
Even with Jake Delhomme injured for half the season, the Panthers barely missed a beat, as they picked it up with the run.
With Jake Delhomme not getting any younger, look for Williams to shoulder a heavy load again this year.
#8 - Chris Johnson
He's probably right up there with AP as the most explosive back in the game. The only thing stopping him from ranking higher is a guy named Lendale White, who tends to vulture a ton of goal line carries.
The Titans have a great offensive line and love to run the ball. Even without all the TD opportunities, Johnson's going to get his fantasy points each week.
7 - Clinton Portis
The Redskins' passing game still leaves a lot to be desired. This means that Clinton Portis will once again be the centerpiece of the Redskins offense. He should match last year's numbers, at the very least.
Washington's improved defense should help Portis get more touches per game as well.
6 - Steve Slaton
For a guy that didn't take over the starting job in Houston until a few games into the season, Slaton put up some amazing numbers.
Give him a full 16 games as the No. 1 back in Houston, and I think the results could be impressive.
Also, Schaub staying healthy will be huge, as Slaton will contribute heavily in the passing game as well.
5 - Brandon Jacobs
Derrick Ward is in Tampa Bay, and that means Jacobs is going to get that many more carries this year. If he manages to stay healthy, he's going to be a touchdown machine.
Also, Eli Manning isn't the same without Plaxico Burress to throw to. The Giants WILL be running the ball a lot this year. You can bank on that.
4 - Maurice Jones-Drew
The departure of Fred Taylor is Christmas come early to any fantasy owner who's lucky enough to snag MJD this year.
For the first time in his career, he'll be getting just about every carry for the Jags. If you look at his numbers since he came into the league, he has some of he best yard-per-carry totals in the game.
Double the carries each year, and he's a perennial MVP candidate—as well as a top fantasy scorer.
3 - Matt Forte
Finally, the Chicago Bears have found themselves a franchise running back.
Matt Forte reminds me of Marshall Faulk or Bryan Westbrook, as he managed to lead the Bears in receptions as well as carries last season.
With the addition of Jay Cutler at QB, Forte should increase his receptions—and find a few more holes in his opponents, as defenses will be forced to respect Cutler's arm.
2 - Michael Turner
Michael "The Burner" Turner exceeded everyone's expectations in his first year as a starter in Atlanta.
While he's bound to feel a bit exhausted after racking up a career-high in touches last year, there's no reason to think that it'll stop him from doing the same thing this year.
If anything, he should do even better.
The Falcons passing game will improve following the addition of tight end Tony Gonzalez. Defenses will now be forced to respect the pass at all times, leaving Turner open to run over the opposition.
1 - Adrian Peterson
Simply put, Adrian Peterson is the complete package.
He's explosive, powerful, and smart—not to mention that he's an excellent receiver out of the backfield, as well.
Barring an injury, AP will easily outpace all other running backs in terms of fantasy production. Now, if he could only cut down the fumbles...