Fantasy Football Rankings 2011: Top 30 RB and Transactions

Eric StashinSenior Writer IAugust 2, 2011

HOUSTON - JANUARY 02:  Running back Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans scores as he is tackled by Courtney Greene #36 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

All the running backs have not signed quite yet (Ahmad Bradshaw remains unsigned at this point), though the moves that have been made have definitely changed the landscape a bit.  Let’s take a look at where everyone currently stands:

  1. Arian Foster—Houston Texans
  2. Adrian Peterson— Minnesota Vikings
  3. Chris Johnson—Tennessee Titans
  4. Jamaal Charles—Kansas City Chiefs
  5. Ray Rice—Baltimore Ravens
  6. LeSean McCoy—Philadelphia Eagles
  7. Darren McFadden—Oakland Raiders
  8. Michael Turner—Atlanta Falcons
  9. Rashard Mendenhall—Pittsburgh Steelers
  10. Frank Gore—San Francisco 49ers
  11. Maurice Jones-Drew—Jacksonville Jaguars
  12. Steven Jackson—St. Louis Rams
  13. Matt Forte—Chicago Bears
  14. Shonn Greene—New York Jets
  15. LeGarrette Blount—Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  16. Ahmad Bradshaw—New York Giants
  17. Peyton Hillis—Cleveland Browns
  18. DeAngelo Williams—Carolina Panthers
  19. Ryan Grant—Green Bay Packers
  20. Cedric Benson—Cincinnati Bengals
  21. Knowshon Moreno—Denver Broncos
  22. Jonathan Stewart—Carolina Panthers
  23. Ryan Mathews—San Diego Chargers
  24. Daniel Thomas—Miami Dolphins
  25. Mark Ingram—New Orleans Saints
  26. Fred Jackson—Buffalo Bills
  27. Jahvid Best—Detroit Lions
  28. Felix Jones—Dallas Cowboys
  29. Joseph Addai—Indianapolis Colts
  30. BenJarvus Green-Ellis—New England Patriots


  • This was supposed to be the year that Jonathan Stewart stepped in as the every-down back for the Panthers.  Instead, they opted to resign DeAngelo Williams and now we are back to the two-headed monster system.  While we’ve seen both players pile up the yards in the past, the presence of Cam Newton now adds another wrinkle to the mix.  Neither are now RB1 and more likely mid-range RB2, at best.  Either could emerge by year’s end as great selections, but it is a huge risk.
  • People may look at the acquisition of Reggie Bush as a reason to shy away from Daniel Thomas, but I would significantly disagree with that theory.  Bush has proven to be a change-of-pace back who plays in passing downs, but his name value is a lot greater than his fantasy appeal.  Thomas should get the bulk of the carries and produce.
  • I know Mathews was a disappointment in his rookie year, but injuries did play a role (played in 12 games, started nine).  Still, don’t discount his year of experience.  He still has the same upside that he did heading into 2010, so it’s hard to take a rookie (i.e. Thomas or Ingram) ahead of him.
  • The presence of C.J. Spiller is going to continue to cause some to be concerned about Jackson’s potential.  He rushed for 927 yards in 2010, a year after picking up 1,062 yards.  He should continue to receive the bulk of the carries in Buffalo, making him a solid FLEX in all formats.
  • While Jahvid Best may start the year getting the bulk of the carries, does anyone believe that Mikel Leshoure can’t quickly start stealing touches and relegating Best to more of a change-of-pace option?  It makes it tough to depend on him as anything more than a depth option.
  • The Broncos didn’t bring in a main back to compete with Moreno, but don’t discount the addition of Will McGahee, who could steal some touches.  Still, it appears like Moreno will get another chance to live up to the hype.  He did improve his yards per carry in his second year (4.3, up from 3.8), and was a receiving threat (37 receptions, 372 yards, three TDs in just 13 games).  He should be considered a low-end RB2, but one with tremendous upside.  While I’d much rather have him as a FLEX, he’s worth the gamble.
  • While Ahmad Bradshaw has not yet resigned with the Giants, does he really have any other option at this point?  It just feels like a matter of time before he re-ups.
  • Can Mark Ingram be a viable fantasy option in the New Orleans’ backfield?  Take a look at my thoughts and why I would be concerned by clicking here

Make sure to check out the rest of the early rankings from Rotoprofessor: