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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Top 20 Fantasy Runningbacks for 2010

1.              Chris Johnson, RB Tennessee – After the season Chris had last year, this one is tough to argue.  The only cause for concern would be the amount of touches he got a year ago, 358 carries and 50 catches, but he should have had plenty of time to recover.  After setting the NFL single season mark for yards from scrimmage (every fantasy owners’ dream) with 2,006 yards rushing and 503 yards receiving, CJ’s goal is this year for the single season rushing mark.  Oh, did I mention he scored 16 touchdowns in 2009?  The Titans lost TE Alge Crumpler and C Kevin Mawae, which may hinder CJ’s productivity just a bit. 
2010 Prediction:  320 carries, 1800 yards, 16 touchdowns, 45 catches, 500 yards and 3 touchdowns
2.            Adrian Peterson, RB Minnesota – Another pick that is hard to argue, unless you are making the case for AP at spot #1.  The big question right now is whether Brett Favre will be back (he will) because it could play a role in AP’s number of carries.  Peterson’s downfall is the fumble, as he has coughed up the ball 20 times in his three years.  That said, he has scored more than 10 touchdowns (18 in 2009) and rushed for over 1,300 yards each of the last three years.  And in 2009, he doubled his career high reception total with 43 for 436 yards.  My prediction will change if Favre does not return
            2010 Prediction: 315 carries, 1,650 yards, 15 touchdowns, 30 catches, 300 yards, 2 touchdowns
3.            Maurice Jones-Drew, RB Jacksonville – MJD has been the heart and soul of Jaguars, playing much bigger than his 5’7” frame.  As long as the Jaguars have a lackluster passing attack expect MJD to carry their offense and rack up a good number of touchdowns.  He has also caught at least 40 balls in all four seasons that he has played.
            2010 Prediction: 325 carries, 1,500 yards, 13 touchdowns, 45 catches, 600 yards 1 touchdown
4.            Frank Gore, RB San Francisco– The only concerns here with Frank Gore are his number of carries and injuries.  However, if he is healthy he can carry the ball 275+ times with great success.  QB Alex Smith has yet to blossom, and the 49ers will look to Gore to carry them through the weak NFC West this year. 
            2010 Prediction: 275 carries, 1,350 yards, 11 touchdowns, 50 catches, 450 yards, 2 touchdowns
5.           Michael Turner, RB Atlanta – Michael Turner is coming back from an injury a year ago, but still managed to rush for 871 yards and 10 touchdowns while appearing in only 11 games.  In 2008 Turner rushed for 17 touchdowns, and at 244 pounds there is no reason his touchdown total should be less than that, especially as the Falcons offense continues to improve.
            2010 Prediction: 270 carries, 1,250 yards, 17 touchdowns, 4 catches, 35 yards, 0 touchdowns
6.            Ray Rice, RB Baltimore – The trade for Anquan Boldin will greatly help the Ravens but hurt Ray Rice’s fantasy productivity.  Look for the Ravens to become a more balanced offense this year, but Ray Rice will still be very productive and very involved.
            2010 Prediction:  260 carries, 1,250 yards, 10 touchdowns, 60 catches, 600 yards 2 touchdowns
7.           Rashard Mendenhall, RB Pittsburgh – Mendenhall became a huge factor in the Steelers’ offense a year ago, starting 12 games in his 2nd season.  He rushed for 1,108 yards and seven touchdowns.  Rashard will be the feature back this season, and with Roethlisberger suspended for 4-6 weeks the Steelers will look to Mendenhall early and often.  His touchdown numbers depend on the use of Jonathan Dixon as a goal line back.
            2010 Prediction: 280 carries, 1,300 yards, 12 touchdowns, 18 catches, 200 yards, 1 touchdown
8.            Ryan Grant, RB Green Bay – Yes, Aaron Rodgers is going to rack up yards passing, but the truth is Green Bay has a great offense and Ryan Grant is going to get a high majority of the carries.  Last year he ran for over 1,200 yards which he will be near again this year with a more experienced offensive line.
            2010 Prediction: 270 carries, 1,200 yards, 13 touchdowns, 20 catches, 180 yards, 1 touchdown
9.             Steven Jackson, RB St. Louis – Steven Jackson will continue to be a bright spot for the 1-15 Rams in 2010, carrying them to any success that they have.  Any running back that can carry the ball 324 times is worth a shot in fantasy, although his touchdown numbers have been low because the Rams are rarely in the redzone.
2010 Prediction: 325 carries, 1,350 yards, 8 touchdowns, 50 catches, 450 yards 2 touchdowns
10.            Ryan Matthews, RB San Diego –Normally I would not like to include a rookie in the top 10, but something has me really liking Matthews this season.  He has worked with the first team since his first day of practice and will get the majority of the carries for the Chargers.  They will likely be without WR Vincent Jackson due to a holdout, so look for a good number of carries for the rookie.  Darren Sproles will get the bulk of the pass-catching duties from the backfield.  
            2010 Prediction:  280 carries, 1,250 yards, 11 touchdowns, 7 catches, 100 yards, 0 touchdowns

The Best of the Rest:
11.  Jamaal Charles, RB Kansas City
12.  Deangelo Williams, RB Carolina
13.  Beanie Wells, RB Arizona
14.  Jonathan Stewart, RB Carolina
15.  Shonn Greene, RB NY Jets
16.  Cedric Benson, RB Cincinati
17.  Jahvid Best, RB Detroit
18.  Matt Forte, RB Chicago
19.  LeSean McCoy, RB Philadelphia
20.  Knowshon Moreno, RB Denver

Safest Pick: Adrian Peterson
Biggest Risk/Reward: Brandon Jacobs
Rookie Most Likely to Make an Impact: Ryan Matthews

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