With training camps right around the corner, fantasy football is getting hot. Chris Johnson's 2000 yard season came out of nowhere, making him the No. 1 fantasy football player and running back.
So who's next? Players coming off a 2000 yard season usually don't have that spectacular of a season the next year, so the door is wide open and who's running through it?
Let's take a look at the top 20 fantasy football running backs, and if you disagree, leave a comment and make a debate, but please don't hate. This stuff is usually all opinion, right Matthew Berry?
Super Bowl champ, coming off a nice productive year for a pass-happy offense. He put up only 793 yards and six touchdowns, but he did miss four games due to injury and with Mike Bell gone, his only competition is Reggie Bush, and he's nothing more then a receiving back.
Yep, that's right. A rookie.
Jahvid Best can laugh off the rumors that he'll be an injury-prone back. He was injured in college, but there is a reason Detroit traded back into the first round to get him. His explosive speed and ability to change direction can only mean headaches for defensive coordinators.
With Kevin Smith out six games, Best is the go to guy on a young team, and he'll turn some heads.
Only 685 yards and three touchdowns last year, but Jerry Jones has lobbied for this kid out of Arkansas to be the starter. He backed up Darren McFadden in college and has backed up Marion Barber in the pros. His electrifying speed and ability to make people helped him average 5.9 yards per carry. Not too many backs can say the same thing.
Watch out for King Felix.
That's right, another rookie.
The kid who was drafted out of Fresno St at No. 12 overall by the San Diego Chargers has big shoes to fill with the departure of LT.
He put up some great numbers at Fresno St. (1,808 yards and 19 touchdowns) but there will be a rough transition for a rookie who looks to be an every down back in a system that will rely on him since their star wide receiver Vincent Jackson is suspended.
With that being said he'll still make the top 20.
Patrick Willis couldn't catch him and Tim Hightower fumbled away the starting job. With Wells already named the starter, and the loss of Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin. The Arizona Cardinals might turn into a run first team. If so, they've got the perfect guy. Beanie backed up Tim Hightower most of the year but late in the season Ken Whisenhunt new to make the switch. It paid off. Beanie had 793 yards and seven touchdowns last year as a rookie and can only get better.
With no real option at quarterback, Moreno should thrive in this offense. The loss of Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler only shows that the Broncos might become another run-first team.
While they did draft Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas in the first round, head coach Josh McDaniels has high praise on this kid out of Georgia, who rushed for 947 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie.
He was relied on most of the year and, with the "Wild Bronco" package, he could find even more touches this year.
Thanks a lot Thomas Jones. Since Kansas City went out and signed Thomas Jones to a 2 year deal, Jamaal Charles took a "hit".
Thomas looks to be a third down/goal line back, but most of the carries will still go to Jamaal. He's got quick feet and great speed to make defenders eat his dust.
He came on late last year but when give then opportunity he succeeded. It's not a bad idea to give him an opportunity on your fantasy teams.
Well, the only burning that went on with Michael last year was his wheels. They burnt out. After injuring his right ankle early in the season, Turner was never able to fully recover. He missed five games, but should not be considered "injury prone".
He still found the end zone ten times and rushed for 871 yards. He would be a reach in first rounds, but could be a steal in second rounds. With himself and Matt Ryan both healthy, they could return to dominant form.
Thanks a lot, LT.
This second-year pro would be in the top eight if it was for the Jets' acquisition of LT. With that being said, when opportunity came in part of Leon Washington's season-ending injury, Greene became "The Man".
Rex Ryan used this kid and he excelled, rushing for 540 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season and put up outstanding the numbers playoffs, even beating LT on his own turn in the AFC Divisional playoffs.
The Jets have handed him the keys and brought in backups, they parted ways with Thomas Jones, and now, Greene can make you some, if you rely on him and play in money leagues.
One half of "Double Trouble", he's the power guy.
When DeAngelo Williams went down to injury, "JStew" stepped right in and took over. He wasn't backing down and he is a ground and pound back. There's something to be said for a "back up" who ran for 1,133 yards and found the end zone ten times.
This former Oregon Duck can be a reach for No. 1 fantasy RB, but a steal at a second. If you draft him, try to get his counterpart. To Be Continued....
It's continued. Here is the elusive side of "Double Trouble".
As previously mentioned, D-Will did miss some games due to injury, but if you look back at the numbers and compare them to Jonathan Stewart's, they're nearly identical. Don't forget he did miss three games, but the stats are there.
Fantasy football is all about stats; 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns are good stats. Carolina has a shaky quarterback situation, which means they'll rely on this dynamic duo quite a lot. You can't go wrong with either of these players.
After hitting a bumpy road to begin his career in Chicago, the Bengals got Cedric Benson late in the 2008-09 season and he showed some promise. In 2009-10, Benson, at different points, even led the league in rushing.
His 1,251 rushing yards and six touchdowns led the Bengals to the AFC North title and, more importantly, a lot of fantasy owners banked off this guy that many figured was done. He isn't done and, while his recent law issues might get him suspended a maximum two games, he deserves this ranking.
You might think, Ryan Grant? This high? Yes, this high.
Grant finished right around this area last year, and we all know Green Bay is a pass-first team. But if his team is pass-first, then shouldn't 1,253 yards and 11 touchdowns impress everyone, including fantasy vets?
Well, his most productive season was last year and it may create a balance in Green Bay's offense. I like him a lot this year; not enough to crack the top five, but enough to make it inside the top five. Could be a nice option as your No. 1, but a better No. 2.
Thank you, Sam Bradford.
Steven Jackson has been a risk for the past couple seasons because he has done absolutely everything for the St. Louis Rams and it has worn his body down. Now that the Rams have a viable option at quarterback in Sam Bradford, S-Jax might see less touches and yards, but he will see more opportunities to find the end zone.
He had 1,416 yards, but only four touchdowns. If he can remain healthy and score more, Steven Jackson will soon find himself among the best fantasy running backs.
Talk about risks?
Well, he has been injured before and it might seem like a stretch to put "Mendy" this high, but without Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers will rely a lot on Mendenhall, which means one thing. Fantasy owners are licking their chops.
1,108 yards last year and seven scores; his numbers are going to go up, barring an injury. But without an injury, he could be a steal and one of the best fantasy running backs in 2010-11. Clearly, the AFC North is the place to find fantasy running backs (Benson, Mendenhall and Ray Rice, who's coming soon)
I know, I know you think. I'm crazy, but please, before you comment and rip into me, let me explain, please.
Yes, indeed Chris Johnson ran for over 2,000 yards last year (2,006 to be exact) and 14 touchdowns. So why is he so low? I'm not a believer of curses and there is no such thing as a 2,000 yard curse. It's called history.
There have only been six players who have ran for 2,000 and if you look at their following season, the numbers take a decline. Throw in the fact he's wanting a new contract, CJ will not repeat last year's numbers. CJ is still a top-five guy, he's just not No. 1.
I hope you've calmed down now.
He's a workhorse, which is the reasoning for him at four. Sooner or later, the workload will catch up to him and his production will slip a little.
In PPR (Point Per Reception) leagues, MJD is a stud, and even in Non-PPR, he's a stud. 1,391 yards and 15 scores is a stud, but the problem that lies here is he got those numbers off of 312 carries.
Don't be alarmed, fantasy owners. You can still take him at any top spot because the Jaguars are built around him. Want proof? They let Fred Taylor go so the "Little Engine That Could" could have all the attention.
The third AFC North running back to crack the top ten, and the last.
Here it is, at this point and time, I am very high on Ray Rice. Some of you might think I'm crazy because the Ravens just got Anquan Boldin and he'll see less touches. I do not believe so.
If there is any Raven that will see less production, I think it is Derrick Mason. Rice was able to pickup 1,339 yards and find the end zone seven times, while only carrying it 254 times. Willis McGahee is still in B-More as well, but Rice is the present and future. He can guide your team to a trophy.
A good friend of mine might appreciate this ranking for his favorite team's running back, but then again, I may not have many friends after this ranking.
Yes, Frank Gore is number two on my board. I know your thinking he's injury prone, he can't play a full season, and there's no way he'll be a top two guy.
But I disagree, and while I'm no expert, 1,120 yards and 10 scores put him at No. 6 last year, even though he missed 3 games and had a shaky offensive line. San Fran has upgraded the O-line and, if he can remain healthy all season, Gore is a steal. Gore is a winner, Gore is No. 2 among Fantasy running backs.
I know, I know what your thinking. This guy is out of his mind. Chris Johnson at five, Frank Gore at two and now Adrian Peterson at one? Yes, Adrian Peterson at one.
"This guy fumbles all the time, he fumbled twice in the NFC championship game!"
He did fumble twice in the NFC championship game and six times in the regular season, but he scored 18 times. 18 touchdowns and 1,383 yards.
For "All Day", that's a bad season. Yes, Favre might come back and Minnesota will throw a lot, but with C. Taylor gone, AP has the keys now its time to deliver and he will. No. 1 running back for the 2010-11 fantasy football season.
Good luck to everyone.