by John Gustafson
In 12 team leagues, these guys would be considered your starting RBs. I’ll be releasing my full rankings of RBs as we get closer to the draft, then update them once the rookies have their destinations. I’ll also expand on my analysis, but here’s some tidbits to hold you over. In the style of Twitter, I tried to keep my comments under 140 characters.
1. Chris Johnson, Ten- CJ28 does it all and I don’t expect a let down in 2010. He’s the surest thing at RB this year. Dare I say, he eclipses his 2009 numbers?
2. Adrian Peterson, Min- All Day should have the old man coming back in 2010. That hurts his consistency, but it gives him more room to run. No Taylor may help too.
3. Ray Rice, Bal- Ray Ray From Around the Way was a PPR machine last year. Boldin’s presence helps the offense but may cut into his catches. Still love him though.
4. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jac- Maurice Just-Dominates lived up to the hype last year, but there’s some rumors CJ Spiller is coming to town. I don’t see it, sorry Jags fans.
5. Steven Jackson, StL- If he had any support on offense, we’d talk about him as #1b after CJ28. Should be relied heavily upon again in 2010 behind the young Bradford.
6. Frank Gore, SF- His inability to stay healthy is infuriating but his supporting cast is great. However, he needs to remain the focal point if 49ers are to succeed.
7. Joseph Addai, Ind- Most are worried about Donald Brown, until further notice, I’m not. Addai doesn’t get a lot of love, but he’s the lead back in a top offense.
8. Rashard Mendenhall, Pit- I hope Mendy’s ready to work now that Holmes is gone. The Steelers may be limited in streching the field which would mean more dump offs for Mendy.
9. Shonn Greene, NYJ- The Jets let go of Thomas Jones after a career high in rushing for a reason. Not to mention, Greene will run behind the NFL’s best OL.
10. Pierre Thomas, NO- As long as Thomas can get the bulk of Bell’s carries and not Hamilton, Thomas will be fantasy gold next year. He needs to stay healthy though.
11. Ronnie Brown, Mia- He needs to stay healthy and is facing a suspension for his little drinking escapade, so he’s a tentative #11, but upgrading w/the addition of Marshall.
12. Fred Jackson, Buf- I love Jackson, but with a new OC in town who knows what will happen? Lynch might get traded which would be the business for Jackson backers.
13. DeAngelo Williams, Car- It’s hard not to like DeAngelo, but it’s easy not to like his situation. Fellow stud Jonathan Stewart is a threat to steal carries any given week.
14. Jerome “The Ghost” Harrison, Cle- Everyone knows I love the Ghost & was pegging him as the lead back long before Mangina. Hopefully he can hold off James Davis & keep it rolling in 2010.
15. Jamaal Charles, KC- Word on the street is Charles is still the starter. He’d be ranked higher if Jones weren’t brought in the mix. Jones could help Charles longevity though.
16. Justin Forsett, Sea- Hopefully Uncle Pete gives JF a chance to start this year like he deserves. If he does, he’ll be PPR gold. He’s the only guy on this offense I like.
17. Cedric Benson, Cin- Expect to see him in the top 10? Not going to make my top 10 when you don’t catch the ball and miss games because of injury. Like him, but not buying high here.
18. Michael Turner, Atl- The same issues that I have holding Benson back are the same ones facing Turner. I’m not confident, he can return to the stud status he attained in 2008.
19. Knowshon Moreno, Den- Another back that everyone is high on, but I’m not. I’ve been had by 2nd year players before & Moreno fits that profile especially with Marshall gone.
20. LeSean “Shady” McCoy, Phi- A lot of people are ready to write off McCoy, I’m not. Philly released Westbrook for a reason. Their offense is potent & he quietly had 40 catches in 2009.
21. Steve Slaton, Hou- Despite popular belief, Slaton put up solid numbers in 2009 & he should be their starter if they don’t draft a RB next week. However, that’s a big IF.
22. Jonathan Stewart, Car- Stewart was the 15th highest scoring RB last year in a timeshare and nursing a bum league. Scary to think what he could do healthy and as a lead back.
23. Matt Forte, Chi- I’m not expecting this ranking to last. You don’t go out and drop some serious coin on Chester Taylor if you’re happy with Forte.
24. Felix Jones, Dal- This is an extremely generous ranking for Jones, but he gets a chance to start like Jerry Jones is calling for, it won’t be. Jones is lightning in a bottle.