But what if you are deeper down the line?
So, this begs the question— who are the Ray Rices of 2010?
Last season, Rice had a total of 8 TDs, 2041 total yards, and 78 receptions. This Baltimore Raven definitely held his own against first and second overall picks and came at a low price. His average draft slot a year ago was about 40 th overall—round four, pick five in a 12-team fantasy league .
He won’t be as cheap this year, as people are expecting him to perform well and he will be in fantasy owner's top five picks, but there are some running backs out there who could follow in his footsteps.
Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy is entering his second season and he will be the Eagles number one running back with Brian Westbrook gone. He showed promising signs last year in his limited playing time, with 945 total yards, four TDs, and 40 receptions.
He will definitely need to be considered before round four in most fantasy leagues, and has a decent chance at putting up numbers similar to Ray Rice’s from 2009.
In the middle rounds, you may choose to draft Knowshon Moreno, RB for the Denver Broncos. He will most likely outproduce his draft position, leaving you very happy at the end of the season when he puts up impressive numbers.
As a rookie in 2009, Moreno had 1,160 total yards, 9 TDs, and 28 receptions. His role will increase in 2010, giving him a great opportunity to improve.
Matt Forte of Chicago could also be a good middle rounder.
In 2008, he put up impressive rookie numbers and although Chester Taylor has Chicago’s backfield clogged, Forte still has potential to flourish. A quick look back at how Mike Martz' offense affected Marshall Faulk leaves fantasy owners drooling over the possibilities for Forte in Chicago.
Donald Brown of the Indianapolis Colts could also have the opportunity to be very productive, as the future of Joseph Addai with the Colts is uncertain. Brown battled injuries last year, but could quickly become the starter if Addai struggles.
Laurence Maroney of New England is another back that a lot of people are down on, but could still surprise some people.
Entering his fifth season, Maroney is only 25 years old and still hasn’t seen 200 carries in a season.
Sammy Morris, Fred Taylor, and Kevin Faulk are getting older, so Maroney could get more touches this year.
Tashard Choice of the Dallas Cowboys won’t be setting any fantasy records this year, and with Marion Barber's growing injury concerns stemming from last season, a lot of focus has been shifted to Felix Jones.
Look for the former Razorback to step into a bigger role and shock some people.
Rice is a more obvious choice this year when choosing running backs in the early rounds and he will be more difficult to get after the numbers he put up, but these are a few of the guys who could have the type of numbers that Rice put up in 2009.