Fantasy Football: Running Back Rankings-ADP-Sleeper Update

Lee Johnson@FantasyFBSchemeSenior Analyst IAugust 29, 2010

CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears runs past Paris Lenon #51 of the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Time is flying by leading up to the 2010 Fantasy Football season. There is only about a week and a half and one full weekend for those that have not held their fantasy football drafts yet. We personally feel that it is best to hold off as long as you can before having your draft, with the preseason injuries and depth charts changing things. Speaking of changing things, they also keep our rankings changing with the times. We have updated our Redraft Running Back Rankings and Average Draft Position.

We have a change in our ADP data now. We were previously using Mock Draft Data, but we are now putting in the data from some live draft results from, CBS Sports, and ESPN to give a more accurate look for you on where these players may be taken. We have also changed the display of the data from round/pick to overall pick number for those leagues with different amounts of teams. For example, a player picked with the eleventh pick in the second round doesn’t add up for a ten team league.

So with a fresh batch of rankings, let’s check out some player movement and possible sleepers…

Ryan Mathews (#11 to #9): This is not a big leap, but significant in the top 10. We were a little standoffish on Mathews when we first started the season’s rankings a couple months ago, waiting to see how things played out for the rookie in the preseason. He has been nothing but impressive this far in. In very limited work he is showing that he is going to have some big play ability (runs of 16 and 18 yards) as well as hands to catch the ball.

The first game of the season will be more telling, of course, when it comes to how many touches Darren Sproles will take. From our seat right now though, it looks like Mathews is the real deal and can be worth an early second round pick.


Matt Forte (#37 to #27) :So Mike Martz is in town and there are concerns that he is going to put a damper on Matt Forte’s fantasy stock. Bringing even more questions was the arrival of Chester Taylor from the rival Minnesota Vikings. Since Taylor’s specialty up north was catching passes, people assume that will be his role in Chicago.

People forget that Matt Forte led the league in 2008 for Running Back receptions with 63. He was third for Running Back Receptions in 2009 with 57. The man can catch the ball. Chester Taylor arriving isn’t going to make him less capable.

Aside from a good pass catcher, Chester Taylor is also a good backup Running Back. We feel that will be his roll in Chicago the way that the preseason is playing out, causing a jump in Forte’s rank. Matt Forte should make for a very solid second running back that can come cheap. If you are one of those going after WRs and QBs with earlier picks and can swing getting Forte as a second back, you may be ahead of the game!

Here is a look at how the Top Five play out. For the full list, see our Running Back Redraft Rankings.

Rank Player Bye MFL CBS ESPN
1Chris Johnson, TEN91.351.231.5
2Adrian Peterson, MIN42.272.232.4
3Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC94.163.763.9
4Ray Rice, BAL84.884.864.9
5Frank Gore, SF97.37.597.7