2010 Fantasy Football's Top 10 RB's Not Named CJ, AP or MJD
Preparing for your 2010 fantasy football draft is simple...if you have a top three pick.
Once Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew are off the board, which running backs should you target?
Here are your top ten running backs to target once the "Big Three" have been spoken for:
1. Ray Rice - Ravens
Without a doubt, the best running back outside of the "Big Three" is Ray Ray. In fact, he may have a better year than any of the "Big Three."
He’s got a better overall offense than Chris Johnson or Maurice Jones-Drew with the addition of Anquan Boldin.
The only thing that may hurt him will be the use of Willis McGahee or Le'Ron McClain near the end zone.
Either way, Ray Ray is going to put up big numbers and be a fantasy stud, especially in PPR leagues, where he can gain points catching the ball out of the backfield.
2. Michael Turner - Falcons
If you’re drafting late in the first round, Mike Turner may be your blessing. Look for Mike to bounce back and be that “burner” again, despite an injury-plagued 2009 season.
Atlanta has a nice fantasy playoff schedule with games in Carolina and Seattle that would look to feature Turner’s running attack.
They also have a game vs. New Orleans in which if Atlanta wants to win, they’ll have to keep the ball on the ground and out of Brees’ hands.
I look for “The Burner” to be the Comeback Player of the Year and post 300+carries, 1500+yards, 10+TD’s which all may mean for your fantasy team… CHAMPIONSHIP.
3. Cedric Benson - Bengals
Ochocinco may have been doing a dance when Cincinnati signed Terrell Owens, but I guarantee that Benson was the choreographer.
Cedric had a nice 2009 season, but look for him to get more red zone opportunities with the addition of Owens.
Carson Palmer needs to live up to the hype he gained before his knee injury and shake off the elbow injury.
This should be a year in which the Bengals offense makes it easier for their great defense.
With no other RB behind Benson, look for him to post 300+ carries and be your fantasy stud.
4. Steven Jackson - Rams
Jackson is an interesting player to watch. He has all the tools you want in a running back.
He can run, catch, has size and speed, but plays in one of the worst offenses in the league.
If the addition of Sam Bradford at the quarterback position pans out, then SJax is primed to have a great fantasy year.
He is one of the few every down RB’s in the league without a RB committee around him.
After coming off back surgery, will he be able to handle the load? That’s the big question for him and his fantasy owners. **Buyer Beware**
5. Frank Gore - 49ers
Gore has been San Francisco’s lone bright spot in their offense for the past four years. He’s one of the few every down RBs with no back-up threat.
If Alex Smith can play up to his first-round pick selection, then Gore may have a shot at fantasy stardom.
Frank typically has a great first half of the year, but then due to injuries, slumps in the second half.
If he can stay healthy, he may be a steal in the late first- or second-round for your fantasy squad.
6. Rashard Mendenhall - Steelers
Again, playing without a RB committee is a hard thing to find in the NFL now, so Mendenhall is a great option for fantasy owners.
Pittsburgh is looking to return to their roots by being a smash-mouth, run-defense oriented team again, especially with Ben Roethlisberger on the shelf for at least four to six games.
Look for Rashard to have a ton of carries and catches out of the backfield in the first couple of weeks.
Mendenhall may get your team off to the start it needs to make the playoffs.
7. Jamaal Charles - Chiefs
Charles had a big second half last year. He was able to post huge numbers with everything from running the rock, catching out of the backfield, and kick returns.
If your league is a PPR league, then JC may be a great pickup.
Kansas City will most likely be down big points in the second half of games and rely heavily on the pass to get them back in the game.
I look for Charles to post 40-60 catches this year or better and be a great pick me up for your cause.
8. DeAngelo Wiliams - Panthers
Williams is a great low second-round pick up. The only problem for owners is the competition from Jonathan Stewart.
If the NFL magically made their stats into one, then we would have the number one pick year in and year out.
Baring injury, Williams has received more carries and is more versatile catching the ball, but Stewart has been the hammer.
Stewart has been getting more and more carries late in the year to preserve Williams, so if they’re in the playoff hunt DeAngelo’s stock will drop.
If your staring Williams in the face, hopefully you’ve taken a better QB already.
**Buyer Beware** He’s either gonna give you a big year or be the reason you’re out of the playoffs.
9. Ryan Grant - Packers
The only thing good about Grant is that he plays for a high-powered offense and doesn’t have much competition from Brandon Jackson.
He seems to only play big in the playoffs (fantasy & NFL).
Other than that, he tends go into hibernation because his regular season fantasy numbers don’t match him being the every down back for a great offense.
Aaron Rodgers will have a big year, but if Green Bay wants to contend for a championship Grant has to be a bigger part of their offense.
10. Beanie Wells - Cardinals
Wells is now the man in the desert. Tim Hightower may steal some goal-line scores, but look for Beanie to carry the load.
Without Kurt Warner, look for Arizona to feature a more running back friendly offense… if they want to win the NFC West again.
On The Outside Looking In:
Shonn Greene - Jets - With LaDainian Tomlinson looking to steal carries Greene's stock falls and only time will tell how much.
Don't get too worried though, Greene is a monster who will put up great numbers by season's end.
Knowshon Moreno - Broncos - Due to the losses of superstars in Denver, Knowshon will have to carry the load.
Barring any injuries, look for him to get points from everywhere out of the backfield.
Ryan Matthews - Chargers - This rookie comes in with great hype. Realistically, he plays in a pass first offense with another RB making a ton of money.
I look for him to have some good games, but his overall season to be average or just a little bit above. I wouldn’t make him your first RB, but may be a good situational second.
Check his matchups and he may even be great trade bait for you to get your team over the hump and into your fantasy playoffs.
Written by Mike Rodriguez exclusively for the www.thefantasyfix.com.
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