If you play fantasy football, and if you're reading this article you probably do, the number one thing you fear is blowing your draft by wasting your first round pick on a guy who doesn't live up to expectations.
Right now, you may be having flashbacks to drafts of past years and nightmares named Clinten Portis, Larry Johnson, Steve Smith, or LaDainian Tomlinson.
While running backs continue to be the most drafted players in first rounds of fantasy drafts across the country, the position has also produced the biggest disappointments for fantasy owners in recent years.
Whether it's simply not producing, sharing the load, or going down with a season-ending injury, running backs often make the difference between a trip to your league's fantasy Super Bowl and missing the playoffs.
By comparison, both the quarterback and wide receiver positions have produced the most consistent fantasy performers over the past three seasons. And without a doubt, this phenomenon no doubt goes hand in hand with the NFL's increased emphasis on throwing the ball and a shift away from feature running backs.
In fact, and this theory was initially tough for this 20 year fantasy football veteran to swallow, but if you can get your hands on a couple top ten wide receivers and a top five quarterback in your draft's first three rounds, you have a great chance of having a successful year...no matter who your running backs are.
Remember, there are always breakout running backs to be had in the later rounds. Just ask owners of guys like Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice, and Marion Barber last year.
All three of those players outperformed first-rounders Matt Forte, Steve Slaton, and Michael Turner.
So here goes, the 12 most consistent fantasy performers worthy of first round consideration in your draft this year...enjoy.