The dreaded “running back by committee” has left the number of viable #1 fantasy running backs few and far between.
There are only a few clear cut No. one, non-time share, top-tier running backs: Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner, Steven Jackson and Frank Gore.
PPR or non-PPR, most people would anoint Chris Johnson the No. one running back this year. Even if he is only half as good as last year, we are looking at 1,250 total yards and eight TD—that alone would make him a good No. two on your team.
Much has been written about the year after a 2,000-yard season. Eric Dickerson, Jamal Lewis, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis and OJ Simpson all had significant declines the following season.
The most similar to Johnson in that group were probably Sanders and Simpson: both of them made their living with moves as opposed to power.
In addition, all the other running backs, aside from Eric Dickerson, ran for 2,000 yards in their fourth year or later. That’s a few more years of pounding than Johnson has received.
It’s possible that Chris Johnson had his career year during his second season, but do you really want to risk the chance that this is just the beginning?
Like we did with the Receivers, let’s examine the No. two Running back. There is one distinct difference in assessing the No. one running back: is it a PPR or non-PPR league? This distinction can really change the balance of power.
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