Wednesday, August 3, 2011


NFL free agency is well underway and there have already been scores of changes that will impact this fantasy football season.  So in our second look at the 2011 fantasy football running back rankings, lets see how things currently stand now that there is some more clarity at the position.

1. Chris Johnson
2.  Adrian Peterson
3.  Arian Foster
4.  Ray Rice
5.  Maurice Jones-Drew
6.  Jamaal Charles
7.  Michael Turner
8.  LeSean McCoy
9.  Frank Gore
10. Rashard Mendenhall
11. Darren McFadden
12. Steven Jackson
13. Peyton Hillis
14. Ahmad Bradshaw
15. Matt Forte
16. DeAngelo Williams
17. Knowshon Moreno
18. Ryan Grant
19. Mark Ingram
20. LeGarrette Blount
21. Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis
22. Ryan Matthews
23. Daniel Thomas
24. Cedric Benson
25. Jahvid Best
26. Joseph Addai
27. Ryan Torain
28. Fred Jackson
29. Shonn Greene
30. Beanie Wells
31. Brandon Jacobs
32. Mike Tolbert
33. Jonathan Stewart
34. Ryan Williams
35. Reggie Bush
36. James Starks
37. Michael Bush
38. Mikel Leshore
39. Roy Helu
40. CJ Spiller

-Last season we had the Big Four of Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Maurice-Jones Drew, and Chris Johnson.  This season I think it drops down to a Big Three and it includes a new member in Arian Foster to go with holdovers Peterson and Johnson.  After those three go, than you have your next tier of Rice, Jones-Drew, Mendenhall, McCoy, Turner, McFadden, Gore, and Charles.  All number 1 guys but not the slam dunk ones like the top 3. 
-Jamaal Charles pound for pound is the most exciting pure runner in the game in my opinion.  He has a lot of Barry Sanders in him and he can score anytime he touches the ball.  He also is an adept receiver out of the backfield.  The problem again is the fact Thomas Jones will be back to steal carries and goal-line scores.  Thats just part of the territory with Charles.  Downgrade him a bit in TD heavy leagues.
-Ray Rice is the guy I am hard after this season.  Willis McGahee has been given his walking papers and he has the chance to get the goal-line carries for the first time in his career.  Throw in the fact he catches over 60 passes a season and runs for over 1,200 yards and you have a potential fantasy football MVP there.
-Jones-Drew is being downgraded unnecessarily in a lot of publications.  Sure his numbers were down last season, but he finished very strong in 2010 and he was hurt for the majority of the season.  He is still only 27 years old and was a part-time guy when he first came into the league so dont even think he is already losing it.  Take advantage of the slight discount.
-The rookie running back that will make the biggest impact in my mind this season is the Dolphins' Daniel Thomas who can both run and catch the football.  Think back to what Matt Forte did in his rookie season for an idea of what Thomas might be able to supply this season.
-Darren McFadden is an awesome talent but he scares the hell out of me due to the fact he is always hurt.  Big time bust material there but also big time talent that could supply crazy numbers if he avoids getting hurt.
-DeAngelo Williams is interesting to me in that he will come at a major discount this season after injuries ruined his 2010 season.  He is back with a new deal and ready to resume his role as a big time fantasy football back.  Dont forget he was a first round pick in most leagues last season and he is also still way too young to be worried about a dropoff in production.  Another guy to take advantage of the discount this season.

Thats all for now.  As always check back for more as we go along.  Also feel free to post your thoughts below.

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