Ok, the QBs and WRs have been ranked, so it is time for me to give you my RB rankings. Before I do, I want to say this, you can NEVER have too many RBs. A solid stable of RBs of take you to your fantasy football playoffs moreso than any other position and I am a big proponent of always drafting RBs with your first 2 picks. Also, since most leagues require starting at least 2 RBs and some even more, you have to make sure you have solid RBs each week to maximize your points. I believe your RB2 and RB3 are more important than your QB1. Consider this, the average per week point difference between the top QBs and those in the middle of the pack is maybe 3-4 points per week. So why waste a high draft pick on a QB? Rather use that 3rd, 4th or 5th round pick on an RB, because the average per week point difference between top RBs and the lower tier is probably about 2x what it is for QBs. This is almost always the case, regardless of your scoring format. Please bear this in mind…you have been so warned. Now, let’s take a look at my RB rankings for a PPR format, because that is my favorite format…on the other side…
- Adrian Peterson, Minnesota - AP is THE offense in Minnesota and with a vet like McNabb at the helm, teams will have to respect the passing game a bit, so I think AP will have an outstanding year. And don’t think he isn’t going to be motiviated considering the lottery ticket Chris Johnson just cashed. Adam Schefter is on record that he believes AP’s next deal will top CJ’s, so he has to demonstrate he is worth it.
- Arian Foster, Houston – Sure, Hammygate has me a little bothered, but I predict Foster will play in Week 1 and put my own hard earned money down against our very own, Boomer, to put my money where my mouth is. I am not sure Foster will surpass last year, but Houston boasts an excellent offensive line and explosive offense that opens things up for him.
- Ray Rice, Baltimore – Gone are his TD vultures and in his 4th year, I believe Rice really asserts himself around the goalline. Also, in the last 3 years combined, Rice leads all RBs in receptions and in a PPR league, that is money!!!
- Chris Johnson, Tennessee – Similar to AP, C2KJ is THE man in Tennessee and with an ample vet QB to lead the offense, CJ should see plenty of touches and I am sure the brass in TN want him to EARN that paper they just gave him. Plus, CJ is that good and might end up in the top 2 of fantasy points for RBs by season’s end. The slight downgrade is due to limited time to limber up for the season and the dreaded fear of Hammygate Part II in TN.
- Jamaal Charles, Kansas City – The kid has it all, especially in a PPR format. My biggest concern with him is if the Chiefs offense is going to be as anemic in the regular season as they were in the preseason. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and keep Charles in my top 5.
- LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia – This is where my board gets interesting…Shady McCoy is almost a LOCK for 65-70 receptions, but will he get the carries around the goalline or score enough in general to warrant this spot? I think so.
- Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh – I know he isn’t great in a PPR league, but it is hard to ignore his 13 TDs last year. The Steelers have suggested he will be more involved in the passing game and if he is, he will be a value at this position.
- Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville – MJD was a bit of a disappointment last year and I was well invested in him. That said, I don’t think he would have played in the 4th preseason game, his only game work in preseason, unless he was healthy. Also, if Rashad Jennings knee injury lingers, MJD could see an increase in his workload over last year. Plus, he is a stud in the passing game.
- Matt Forte, Bears – You have heard me pontificate about Forte a lot on this blog. He is the most undervalued RB in fantasy and reality football. All he does is produce and the numbers bear it out. But all that aside, Bears fans, didn’t Forte look to have a little extra giddy up in his game during the preseason? I think so and if Teddy KGB from the movie Rounders talked to Jerry Angelo, it would sound a little something like this, “Jerr-dy, he beaaat you…straiggghht up…pay that meeaan his mahney.”
- Michael Turner, Atlanta – Similar to Mendenhall, not an ideal PPR player, but double-digit TDs from your RB are nothing to sneeze at and you could do worse than Turner here.
- Darren McFadden, Oakland – You either love him or hate him, because there is no inbetween with Run-DMC. His has proven fragile in his short career, but he does have a high ceiling, so that is why he made the list, but if it were me…I don’t want him on my squad.
- Steven Jackson, St. Louis – SJax has had a heavy workload in his career and one of two things could happen this season…that continues to be the case and SJax has his standard numbers OR Josh McDaniel’s offense clicks in St. Louis and Sjax has less of a load, but more production because he will be fresher. If the latter, Sjax, could have a huge year, but being close to the age of 30, this spot on my board seems about right.
- Frank Gore, San Francisco – I wish I could rank Gore higher, because he has so much appeal in a PPR and he is that talented, but coming off of an injury and in a brand new offense, I don’t expect Gore-like numbers, but he is talented enough and will be leaned on very heavily that he belongs in the top 15.
- Shonn Greene, NY Jets – Another player who cost me last year, but I think his role has been well defined and he will be the MAN in NY. I think he is a candidate for double-digit TDs for sure.
- Ahmad Bradshaw, NY Giants – Bradshaw is great in a PPR format and while he loses some goalline work, his role in the passing game makes him very worthy of a spot in the top 15.
- LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay – In his second year, Blount wants to prove he belongs and will get the work to do it. Not a great pass catcher, but would make an excellent RB2 on your squad.
- Beanie Wells, Arizona – I guess you could say he is the last man standing since Tim Hightower was traded and rookie Ryan Williams got broken, but I think this is a make or break year for Wells and I think he is definitely RB2 worthy.
- Felix Jones, Dallas – Jones has talent, but he hasn’t proven he can be the man. I think he is an RB2 with some upside.
- DeAngelo Williams, Carolina – Skills galore, but on perhaps the worst team in the NFL. Can you say, 10 in the box? Regardless, he will get touches, so he needs to be on your radar.
- Ryan Matthews, San Diego – Once bitten, twice shy??? The kid is uber talented and is a first round draft pick, so I think he will get the work to succeed, but you will have to make sure you grab Mike Tolbert as a mandatory handcuff.
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