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Runnin' Wild

Lets face it, its nearly impossible to win your league when you don't have good running backs, or ones who have the schedule in their favor.  Yes it helps to have a Drew Brees or a Peyton Manning as well but besides the top 3 or 4 quarterbacks, the rest of the QB's selected will ultimately put up similar numbers each week.  So each year you face the dilemma during your draft when you want to draft a running back who faces the most amount of weak defenses throughout the year. Lets take a look at the running backs this year who can post some huge stats more than a couple of times this season... 

1. Frank Gore - Gore benefits from playing in a weak NFC West, and has the luxury of playing 6 of his games against the Cardinals, Rams and Seahawks.  The Rams were 31st in rushing yards allowed, and tied for last in touchdowns allowed. He missed the first meeting with the Rams last year due to an injury, but burned them for 107 yards and 2 TDs to finish the season. He will also face the worst ranked rush defense in Oakland as well who gave up the most yards and tied with the Rams for most touch downs allowed.   Gore will also face the Broncos and Chiefs.  Looks like a big year lined up for Franky this year.

2. Maurice Jones-Drew - MJD has turned into a beast on the field, and plays in a division with all middle of the pack run defenses which shouldn't slow him down at all.  His monster games will come in week 7, 11, and 14 when he faces Kansas City, Cleveland and the Raiders.  Getting a 30th ranked run defense in Buffalo before the snow starts falling shouldn't hurt either.

3. Ryan Matthews/Darren Sproles - The Chargers play 4 games against the Chiefs and Raider, arguably the two worst run defenses in football.  The mix between Matthews and Sproles should keep the two of them fresh throughout the season while they tire out defenses, which means big things for the Chargers run game.  Besides the Pats, Titans and Bengals, its smooth sailing for the Chargers running backs.

4. Jamaal Charles/Thomas Jones - Despite splitting time, the Jamaal Charles Thomas Jones duo should produce nicely in Kansas City this year.  Very similar to the Chargers schedule as they play in the same division, Christmas will come early and often for these guys as they get to face the Raiders twice, as well as soft run defenses like Cleveland, Buffalo, Seattle and St. Louis.

5. DeAngelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart - As if this duo needed any more help, having Matt Moore at quarterback will open the field for more running room in 2010.  They do face a stingy Falcons defense twice this year, but four of their games will be against the Saints and Buccaneers, who combined gave up 35 TDs last season, both finishing in the bottom 10 of the league.  They will also see the Browns, Rams and Seahawks in the middle of the season.  So you can expect to see Williams handle the bulk of the carries and break out for a bunch of long TD runs this year, but also look for Stewart to get his share of the ball especially from the goal line where he will have plenty of punch ins from a couple yards out.

As you can see there is a pretty obvious trend going on here.  The NFC and AFC West run defenses suck and will face a number of good running backs this year.  Do not be afraid to draft any of the guys who will split time here, as there will be plenty of opportunities to score some TDs this season.