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Arian Foster tops the list of 2011's best running back.
Most experts agree that a fantasy team will live and die with its running backs. Therefore, this is the position we will start with and the one you should give the most attention to.
Here are my top five running backs for 2011.
1. Arian Foster (HOU)
This Texans running back exploded onto the scene and was the most productive back in 2010. Foster was probably not taken in the early rounds of your draft, but whoever decided to grab him now looks like a genius.
Foster is the most complete back in the NFL. He was the leader in both rushing yards and touchdowns this season and had more yards receiving than any other running back. Foster was a huge part of Houston's game plan, and even when the Texans fell behind they did everything they could to get the ball in his hands.
Don't overthink it. He's the obvious No. 1 choice, and he deserves to be—there's no reason to think he will be any less productive next year.
2. Jamaal Charles (KC)
Charles put up almost 1,500 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving—and that was while splitting carries with Thomas Jones. Kansas City will likely focus more on Charles next year as Jones gets older, and that includes more carries at the goal line. Charles could even challenge Foster for the top spot.
3. Chris Johnson (TEN)
Johnson was last year's No. 1 choice in most fantasy drafts. Despite a few games where he didn't receive many touches once the Titans fell behind, Johnson continued to be productive when he had the ball in his hands.
With all of the changes going on in the Tennessee organization, CJ2K will be the one constant, and I expect the Titans to lean on him. Chris Johnson will return to form next year and be one of the best backs in the league.
4. Adrian Peterson (MIN)
Peterson was another back picked at the top of last year's drafts. Like the Titans, the Vikings are a team experiencing a lot of changes. Again like the Titans, Minnesota knows that Peterson is the most productive player and will continue to feed him the ball.
5. LeSean McCoy (PHI)
I struggled with the choice of whether to put McCoy or Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis in the fifth spot. Hillis, though, wore down towards the end of last season, and I'm just not sure if I can trust him yet. Meanwhile, McCoy is a huge part of the Eagles offense in both the running and passing games. He's not only consistent but also has the potential to have big games every week.