Monday, August 9, 2010

Fantasy Football 2010 - Top 24 RBs

1. Chris Johnson - Fastest man in football, we all know what to expect from him. Not only is he shooting for 2,500 yards and Eric Dickerson's record, but he wants that MVP trophy, after feeling robbed by not receiving a single vote last season. With his mindset like that, expect big things from Johnson in 2010.

2. Adrian Peterson - Favre's decision to play this season will impact AP's value this season. If he does retire there is no doubt AP will be the focus of the offense and will see more carries, but defenses will stack the box and focus on shutting him down each week. However if Favre returns AP's value increases because the Vikings will be able to keep defenses off balance and can mix the pass and run well. As long as the fumbles are down Adrian Peterson should be another monster for fantasy owners.

3. Maurice Jones-Drew - MJD is an amazing talent and the #1 option on his team. Not only is he a threat running the ball but is one of the best receivers with great hands out of the back field. In his first four seasons he is averaging 50 catches a season. His small frame and quickness makes it difficult for defenders to bring down, so expect another 1,000+ yards, 10tds and 50 catches for MJD.

4. Ray Rice - You can call him MJD#2 because he is a mirror image of Jones-Drew. With his sophmore season under his belt, you can expect a more confident and experienced Rice in 2010. Lead all RB in receptions last year and he can run the ball too. If it wasn't for Willis McGahee taking TDs away from him, he could be a top 3 fantasy RB. Hopefully the Ravens will see his true value as a every down RB and will make him a true #1 and avoid platooning, which drives up Rice's value even more.

5. Frank Gore - Since Gore has landed in SF, there hasn't been much of a pass game. With a resurgent Alex Smith and good young targets in Davis and Crabtree, it should open up the field for Gore. Now with two first round draft picks spent on the OL, things are looking up for Gore.

6. Michael Turner - Built as a fullback, Turner is no easy guy to bring down. With his size and quickness its tough for any defense to defend Turner. Missing 5 games last season he still managed to run for 871 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Falcons suffered from the injury bug last year but getting everyone back healthy for this year should mean bigger and better things for Turner. If he can stay healthy, there is no reason to think he cant go back to his 2008 ways and rush for 1700 yards and 17 touchdowns. With Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White, it really opens the field up for Turner.

7. Steven Jackson - With the Rams drafting Sam Bradford #1, I think its going to be a nice combo with Jackson. With no real proven WRs to throw to, Bradford will dump a lot of passes off to Jackson who already has averaged nearly 55 catches over the past four years. As long as he stays healthy, this could be his breakout year after a few seasons on a dreadful Rams team. The 1,000+ yards is a given, but a combined 16 tds in the past 3 seasons, that's something Jackson could come close to this season IF he stays healthy.

8. DeAngelo Williams - Being a run first team has been huge for DeAngelo Williams. Splitting time with Jonathan Stewart has really hurt his production in terms of TDs, but he gets his touches and racks up the yards in bunches. However he is a risky fantasy player because of how good Stewart is and Williams does not see a lot of goal-line touches. However over the years we have seen him have plenty of 20+ yard touchdown runs with his speed.

9. Pierre Thomas - As long as he stays the starter in NOLA then hes worthy of a #1 RB in the fantasy world. With Drew Brees causing nightmares for defenses and driving the offense down the field, Thomas is going to get lots of touches by the goal line and continue to score TDs and be successful in the high scoring offense. Brees also has a lot of confidence in Thomas' hands as he dumps a number of passes off to him each week. Dont let Reggie Bush scare you away from Thomas, as it doesn't seem like the Saints trust Bush as a every down RB, only as a change of pace type guy. In this offense Thomas can be an absolute beast every single week.

10. Knowshon Moreno - It seems like the Broncos RB are always rushing for 1000 yards, and for that reason dont doubt Moreno will do any differently. He nearly reached the 1000 yard mark last year and only got 20 carries 4 times. He now will be the primary ball carrier this season for the Broncos and they are a run first team, especially with the trade of Brandon Marshall this off season. The fact that the Broncos play the Chiefs and Raiders 4 games out of the season are a good enough reason alone to have faith in Moreno to get it done in 2010.

11. Ryan Grant - Two seasons ago there wasnt much to be excited about with Grant. Yea he rushed for 1200 yards but on 312 carries he only had 4 tds, and lost 3 fumbles. Last season however he reminded fantasy players why he's worthy of being a top 10 RB as he rushed for 1253 yards and 11 touchdowns. With Green Bay scoring 30+ points in half of their games last season, and Aaron Rodgers gaining more confidence, expect huge things for Grant and this offense this season.

12. Joseph Addai - With Peyton Manning getting older, he has yet to decline in talent. For that reason, you should love Addai as a RB option for your fantasy team. As long as he can stay healthy the touches will be there, as the Colts hope to cut down on the attempts by Manning. In PPR (points per receptions) leagues he is a great player. Addai added 53 catches and 3 tds to go along with his 10 rushing tds. Very similar to Grant in that Manning will move the ball down the field and give Addai the goal line touches he needs to be successful.

13. Rashard Mendenhall - Lets hope the shoulder can withstand all of the punishment early in the season without Big Ben. It might be a rough year for Mendenhall and the Steelers but you can't take away the fact he rushed for 1100 yards and 7 tds, after only rushing the ball 19 times in his rookie year before getting injured. Mendenhall has talent and regardless of whose behind center for the Steelers, you have to believe he's going to produce. He might not blow you away but hes going to be solid and reliable.

14. Ronnie Brown - Wildcat has confused opponents and that wont change this year. He took the field 7 times in 08 and 9 times last year but when he was on the field he has done damage. Barring any set back this year you can only assume the run game will be better this season with the acquisition of Brandon Marshall and the talent of Chad Henne. So assume 1100 yards 10 tds 30+ catches

15. Shonn Greene - Only 3 teams in the leauge ran the ball 50% of the time or more and the Jets lead the league at 56%. Greene is now the #1 RB on the depth chart and showed flashes of greatness last season. Greene's combination of strength and quickness will be nearly impossible to stop, not to mention an amazing offense line to protect him. The only two times he got 20+ carries this year was in the playoffs and he produced with 21 for 135 and a td against Cin and 23 for 128 and a td against SD. So give him 20+ carries each week and thats what you should expect from him this year. Dont expect catches out of the backfield, as that will be LT's job this year.

16. Ryan Mathews - Rookie RB who was a beast in college. Matthews will take over LTs job in San Diego but with Sproles still on the team he will have competition. The Chargers RB's are known for catches out of the back field but Matthews only had 19 catches (the same amount of TDs he had last year) for his career at Fresno State, so that is something he will have to work on.

17. Jamaal Charles - Charles will split time with Thomas Jones this year but he has proven he can get it done splitting time. He picks up yards in bunches and doesnt need 20+ carries to be productive. Rushing and receiving yards Charles will be around 100 yards every game and with his athleticism and speed he can break out any play for a TD, which makes him a great fantasy option.

18. Beanie Wells - Beanie Wells will be hit or miss this year. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with him. It all depends on what Matt Leinart does this year. You dont have to be worried about Hightower getting the majority of the carries as his main job is to catch out of the back field and get goal line carries. However if Leinart turns the ball over and cant move the chains then its going to be a long year for the Wells and the Cardinals.

19. Cedric Benson - Last year was the first time in Benson's 5 year career he rushed for over 1000 yards, and tied a career high with 6 tds. It's hard to believe he will be as productive as he was last season, but he can put up similar numbers. With the duo of Ocho Cinco and TO, Carson Palmer will have to spread the ball, which means less carries for Benson which could hurt his value. The Bengals play low scoring defensive battles (scored less than 20 in 10 of 16 games last year) so you cant assume lots of TDs this season for Benson.

20. LeSean McCoy - With Westbrook out, McCoy is the man in Philly. Weaver had a pro bowl season last year but he is not a true RB, and I think McCoy will get the majority of the carries. Kolb is finally getting a shot to prove himself, and I think he will look to McCoy for his saftey option. If he feels presured he will dump it off to McCoy and give him a chance to do something with the ball. It will be interesting to see how much confidence Andy Reid has in Kolb, and see if he goes back to the run style of football he used to run which would do wonders for McCoy owners.

21. Matt Forte - Forte is a tricky player to read. Has huge upside but has never proven anything yet. Very inconsistent, but has all the potential for a break out season. Having Cutler behind center kind of hurts Forte because of all the picks he throws but you have to assume he will eventually have a good season, so this might be the year.

22. Jonathan Stewart - I do not know why we had the Marion Barber/Felix Jones combo ranked higher than Stewart. Stewart was 9th in the league last year in rushing and there is no reason why the Panthers will not once again have 2 1000+ rushers. Believe it or not Stewart actually had more carries and yards than DeAngelo Williams. I just believe that Williams is the true starter and the potential for the bigger runs as he is so explosive. Do not be afraid to draft Stewart as a #1 RB.

23 and 24. Marion Barber/Felix Jones - If your in need for a #2 Rb this year, dont be afraid to pick up either Barber or Jones. It's going to be a weekly thing for who gets the bulk of the carries. You have to figure the hot hand will get the carries. Points will be scored through the air as well as the ground so if you want power then Barber is your best bet but if you want speed and the possibility of a huge break out game then go with Jones.

Other Good Options:
Reggie Bush
Rickey Williams
Justin Forsett
Fred Jackson
Jerome Harrison
Brandon Jacobs
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