This is the second article in a series looking at the fantasy impact of the 2010 Draft Class. In this segment we look at the running back position. I looked at the quarterbacks here .
Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers
If he is not projected to be the top rookie fantasy back by everyone I will be thoroughly surprised.
Mathews is a big physical runner that brings some fresh legs at running back for San Diego. With the high powered Chargers offense, Mathews should see ample opportunities to put the ball in the end zone in 2010.
Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions
My personal feeling coming into the 2009 college football season was that Jahvid Best would be the number one back coming out in the 2010 draft.
A freak head and back injury suffered while leaping into the end zone for a touchdown cost him the remainder of his final season at Cal.
Best should see most of the carries for Detroit this coming season. His main competition coming from Kevin Smith, still recovering from a nasty knee injury suffered toward the end of the 2009 season.
Even when Smith comes back, I look for Best to maintain his starting role in Detroit.
C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills
Spiller joins a crowded backfield in Buffalo. However, Marshawn Lynch appears to be in the doghouse with the current regime.
While Fred Jackson makes for a decent option at running back, he lacks the dynamic running and breakaway speed that Spiller possesses.
I look for Spiller to be worked in slowly, but could become a potential stud running back by the end of the season.
Ben Tate – Houston Texans
The Texans are another team with a crowded backfield.
The organization is very high on Tate however, and he figures to at least get first and second down carries for the team. For how potent Houston’s offense is, that may make Tate a decent RB2 option for 2010 and beyond.
Montario Hardesty – Cleveland Browns
Hardesty also enters a crowded backfield situation in Cleveland. Jerome Harrison showed some flashes last year against some weaker competition. Is he ready to be the full time back?
I doubt it.
James Davis is also there, and had had an outstanding preseason before an early season injury curtailed his rookie year.
Hardesty figures to be in the running back mix somehow, as you have to remember they did draft him prior to drafting Colt McCoy—their future quarterback.
He must fit somewhere in Holmgren’s grand scheme of things.
The remaining running backs of this draft class only figure to play complimentary or fantasy handcuff roles for their respective teams in 2010. The list of these backs includes:
Toby Gerhart – Minnesota Vikings
Joe McKnight – New York Jets
Jonathan Dwyer – Pittsburgh Steelers
James Starks – Green Bay Packers
Charles Scott – Philadelphia Eagles
Anthony Dixon – San Francisco 49ers (if he can beat out Glen Coffee)
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