Top 10 Fantasy Running backs: Part 2

James StarkCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2008

This is Part 2 of my top 10 rankings of players at each position, according to fantasy value. In Part 1 of the series I explained to you my top 10 quarterbacks. Now it's time for running backs. Having a solid rushing attack on your fantasy football team is key to have a successful season. The running back position is indeed the most important of all positions to your fantasy team. I highly advise for you to only pick a running back in the first round, unless Tom Brady is available in the later part of the first round. Any of my top 10 has the potential to be number 1.

Here are my personal top 10 fantasy running backs for 2008........

1.) LaDainian Tomlinson

Over the last three seasons he averages 23 TD per season, 1,500 yards rushing, and 56 receptions with 450 yards  receiving. He's been the top back the last few seasons, and I see him continuing that trend.

2.) "Yo" Adrian Peterson

Peterson could easily be your number one guy but their's on problem, durability. Peterson has been injury prone over his short career, not good for a guy running the ball a lot. However, if he can stay injury free for an entire season, he'll put up colossal numbers making you wish you never passed him by. Expect a monster season or a monster injury.

3.) Brian Westbrook

You probably would have never guessed that Brian Westbrook had the 2nd most points for fantasy running backs last season. Has the pass happy Andy Reid changed his strategy? Not really. Westbrook caught 90 balls for 771 yards. But he still ranked 3rd in rushing with 1,333 yards on only 278 attempts. Between running and catching he gave the Eagles a total of 12 TD. It's time for Westbrook to earn a little more respect.

4.) Steven Jackson

On most fantasy boards Jackson was placed at number 2 last season. Can you go wrong with 2,300 total yards and 16 TD for 2006? Last season, yes. With an injury filled season Jackson failed to put up big numbers. His new offensive coordinator Al Saunders said "he's going to use him like he used Priest Holmes." Good sign for those who draft a "healthy" Steven Jackson.

5.) Joseph Addai

Even though Addai only ran for 1,072 yards, he still posted 15 TD. Those numbers put him at number 3 for running back fantasy value. You may see more carries from Addai this season, before Manning overcomes a little rust from his infection.

6.) Frank Gore

With a higher-risk Mike Martz offense you may see Gore in larger spaces than ever. If he uses Gore liked he used Marshall Faulk, you may see Gore's value for next season sky rocket. Gore did grab 53 balls for 436 yards, which put him as one of the 49ers top receiving threats. Larger holes, more catches which equals into an explosive season. He may put up double-digit TD for the first time in his career.

7.) Marion Barber

If Barber earns a full-time role as the running back for the Cowboys, Barber could easily be a top 3 back. With the departure of Julius Jones you would think so. However, Felix Jones fills in the role for Julius, and you will see another 2 back system. Don't you dare think about passing on Barber in the late first or early second round because you will regret it. Barber has put up 28 TD over the last 2 seasons, and a 14+ TD season will be no surprise to me. He ranked seventh overall in value for running backs, and if he gets that full-time job, watch out LT.

8.) Ryan Grant

Ryan Grant was a savior to Green Bay fans and his fantasy owners. He averaged 5.1 YPC which was only second behind Peterson among top backs. If Grant can continue his success, he'd belong in the top-tier of running backs without a doubt in my mind. In 10 starts he ran for 956 yards along with 8 TD. With Rodgers under helm, expect more carries but less YPC. Other tan Westbrook, Grant is the most underrated halfback in the NFL.

9.) Clinton Portis

I'm still not 100% sold on Portis yet. Personally, he's too risky of a pick for me although he ranked 5th among fellow running backs. 3.9 YPC isn't quite good  enough for me, but 11 TD is. With Ladell Betts right behind him itching to get in, I don't see Portis being productive. He's injury prone, there's Ladell Betts, and I don't fell comfortable with him. He doesn't sound worthy of my top 10, but he was 5th best at his position, and I guess I have no choice  but to put him in my top 10.

10.) Marshawn Lynch

Expect a breakout season from Marshawn Lynch. No he wasn't a top 10 back last season, but expect the best this season. Lynch owns the explosiveness and 7 TD as a rookie, not bad. With Dick Jauron as the head coach you can expect Lynch to touch the ball numerous times in a game. He's also a great security blanket for the inexperienced Trent Edwards at quarterback.

Honorable Mentions:

Larry Johnson-Call me crazy but 3.5 YPC doesn't sound attractive to me.

Willis McGahee- Finished the season TD happy, i'd be happy with him.

Willie Parker- If he returns back to his old self, hello Top 5.

Jamal Lewis- 1,304 yards rushing, 11 total TD=solid numbers.

Maurice Jones-Drew- Fred Taylor is 32, Jones-Drew is emerging. Expect big things.