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Fantasy Football Top 30 Running Backs for 2011: Updated as of August 17

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Fantasy Football Top 30 Running Backs for 2011: Updated as of August 17
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Week 1 of the preseason has come and gone and fantasy drafts continue to grow closer.  Let’s take a look at how performances and injuries may have affected our running back rankings:

  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. Peyton Hillis – Cleveland Browns
  17. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers
  18. Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants
  19. Cedric Benson – Cincinnati Bengals
  20. Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos
  21. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers
  22. Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions
  23. Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins
  24. Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys
  25. Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints
  26. Ryan Grant – Green Bay Packers
  27. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers
  28. Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills
  29. Joseph Addai – Indianapolis Colts
  30. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots

Thoughts:

  • Chris Johnson remains out due to his holdout and at this point we have to start getting concerned about his status for the beginning of the season.  It’s hard to imagine the Titans letting this get that far, but who really knows.  I would still keep him towards the top of draft lists, at least for now, but the closer we get to Opening Day his value could start to sink.
  • There’s a ton of upside with Ryan Mathews, but is he actually going to get enough carries to justify using him?  With Matt Tolbert sharing carries, it’s hard to draft him as a RB2.  For more on why he is a potential bust, click here.
  • The upside of Felix Jones is getting more and more appealing.  He looked great in the first preseason game, with three carries for 23 yards as well as one reception for 16 yards.  Tashard Choice, when healthy, will spell him at times, but Jones will likely be the starter for an offense with incredible potential.  He’s a low-end RB2/high-end RB3 with the potential to perform as a top 15 back, though it is possible that his carries are limited to about 15 per game.  There’s a lot to like, but keep his value in perspective.
  • Tim Hightower?  Ryan Torrain, when healthy?  Roy Helu?  The Redskins running back situation looks to be a mess, doesn’t it?  Makes it tough to depend on any of the choices.
  • With Mikel Leshoure officially placed on injured reserve, the team picked up Jerome Harrison, in addition to having Maurice Morris, to try and be the backup to Jahvid Best.  In other words, Best should be the main back in Detroit.  The question is, can he stay healthy long enough to be a viable option?  He’s definitely worth the risk as a RB2, but I would still keep expectations in check a bit.
  • Ryan Grant vs. James Starks…will the Packers split carries?  Will one or the other emerge as the regular running back?  It’s enough of a question to consider Grant more of a RB3 at this point.

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

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