Running back is usually the cog or cogs of your fantasy football machine. With more teams switching to a committee approach its getting harder to rely on just one or two backs each and every week. That doesn't mean you want to ignore the position if you don't get one of the top 10 backs, you just may want to be more selective and look for great value. Who of us knew that Arian Foster, Peyton Hillis and LeGarrette Blount would be running backs that would have such a dramatic effect on the fantasy football landscape.
1. Chris Johnson - Tennessee Titans
Johnson is blazing fast and has the potential to go all the way every time he touches the football. His holdout is not great news but for the time being he sits atop the rankings.
2. Adrian Peterson - Minnesota Vikings
He seems to have solved the problem he had holding onto the football, which had become a concern. You know what you're going to get with Peterson, so feel free to grab him early.
3. Arian Foster - Houston Texans
Foster was running strong right from the first game of the 2010 season and didn't disappoint at the end of the season either. The question is, can he repeat his great season?
With the season he had and the fantasy numbers he put up, its surprising to find out he didn't have the most rushing attempts for his team. (See: Jones, Thomas) I could see Charles putting up even better numbers this year.
Jones-Drew gained more yardage than Chris Johnson, while playing in two fewer games. The knee injury is a concern but at this point you should still grab him.
He will no longer be looking over his shoulder, as McGahee was allowed to find another team. Rice should therefore be able to have the best season of his career in 2011.
Mendenhall should once again get the majority of the carries for the Steelers. The only draw back with him is his lack of action in the receiving game.
He finally put it all together in 2010. If he can lock up more of the touches for himself, McFadden could have an even better season this year.
Turner is a force to be reckoned with, especially in the red zone. Don't expect any receiving numbers, just a pure, solid rusher.
He is definitely affected by the emergence of Michael Vick. He creates numbers rushing and receiving but might put up even better numbers if Vick misses time.
11. Peyton Hillis - Cleveland Browns
Will he fall victim to the Madden Curse? If you believe in that, Hillis might just tear off another 1600 yard, 13 TD season and leave you cursing.
12. Steven Jackson - St. Louis Rams
Jackson does not have to carry the whole team on his shoulders any longer. The Rams now have a passing game and that should continue to help him face fewer defenders in the box.
Gore was having a great season when he went down with a hip injury. With the passing game still a question mark, he should put up some really nice fantasy numbers.
There was concern that Martz would diminish the value of Forte. It didn't happen and he will probably put up even better numbers this year, after a season in this system.
Bradshaw is back with the Giants this season. He is a very versatile back and should improve his numbers despite having Jacobs around.
16. LeGarrette Blount- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He was another one of the bigger surprises in 2010. Blount is pretty one-dimensional but at this point doesn't seem to have too much competition in the backfield.
Knowshon Moreno really needs to step up in his third season in the NFL. It's time for him to play like a first round pick and hopefully the coaching change will bring that out in him.
Just when you thought he was leaving, Williams re-signs a monster contract. He still has Jonathan Stewart with him, although that has not been too much of a problem in the past.
Mathews did not live up to all the hype that fantasy owners and pundits heaped on him before last season. With Mike Tolbert still around, expect some of Mathews touchdowns to be stolen.
20. Jonathan Stewart - Carolina Panthers
He is a great second head in a two-headed rushing attack. His touchdowns dried up in 2010 but should bounce back to a certain extent in 2011.
Green-Ellis became a reliable fantasy back in 2010. He has a nose for the end zone but is pretty non-existent in the passing game.
He really hit his stride with Seattle down the stretch and should be their primary back in 2011. If the passing game is reliable, Lynch should continue to be productive.
Jones will continue to share the workload with his fellow running backs. His speed is great but will he be able to reach the end zone more often.
24. Brandon Jacobs - New York Giants
With Bradshaw coming back, Jacobs role will remain the same. The appeal with him is his ability to score touchdowns.
Benson knows his place and that place is with the Bengals. He only signed a one year deal, so he should be motivated to play well, both on and off the field.
He tailed off a bit in 2010 but some of that was because of injury. Manning loves him and the Colts score a lot, so Addai should bounce back in 2011.
Greene did not make too much of a jump last season. LT is still on the team, which means Greene might have a good season instead of a great one.
He will be given every chance to succeed in the Saints high powered offense. It will be interesting to see how the carries get divided up.
Jackson's numbers might stay relatively the same because instead of sharing with Lynch, he'll now be sharing with C.J. Spiller. He is a reliable back.
30. Ryan Torain - Washington Redskins
He is also not alone in his backfield. Torain should be the main man in Washington but injuries or Coach Shanahan could throw a wrench into things.
Best is an amazing talent and is playing on a quickly improving offense. He should improve on 2010, since he played injured for most of last season.
32. Pierre Thomas - New Orleans Saints
He was hurt the majority of the 2010 season and is still part of a crowded backfield. I like Thomas and think he can carve out an important role on this team.
Which running back would you feel most comfortable with?
Chris Johnson (107 votes)
Adrian Peterson (335 votes)
Arian Foster (131 votes)
Jamaal Charles (98 votes)
671 total votes