Top Fantasy Football Runningbacks

Posted by Jason Hawk on May 19, 2013 

Pre Draft 1st Edition

1. Adrian Peterson - All Day - Reining MVP - Minnesota Vikings

     Man you looked like a genius if you unabashedly selected AP in the first round last year.  ACL Sma-CL, he was a man possessed to not only beat his stigma of comeback gentililty - but to pave the way to an MVP season.  The Vikes in the offseason tried to stockpile their receiving threats after losing Percy Harvin in Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson.  I think the both of them should make for an even trade for Percy and as along as Matt Cassell doesn't have to take any snaps the Vikings offense will be just fine with Adrian handling the rock.  He saw plenty of 8 man fronts and beat them routinely last year.  This is a future hall of Famer in the prime of his career and no one should question his No.1 status.


2. Arian Foster - Houston Texans

      He led the league in carries last year which is always a cause for concern the following season.  While he didn't seem to get anywhere close to an injury but it must be mentioned and with a healthier Ben Tate the team may reduce his workload.  But with the other side of the ball playing lights out defense the run game will be the key to closing out games in Houston.  Arian remains one of the most dangerous receiving tailbacks as well on screens and swing passes.  If AP is a clear No.1, Arian is an unquestioned No.2.  There 's a big drop off for the next handful.


3. Ray Rice - Baltimore Ravens

     For the month of December and through many a playoff game, Bernard Pierce looked electric for the Superbowl Champions.  Ray Rice was still a huge part of the AFC Championship game and the jitterbug is a huge part of the passing game - even more so now with the loss of Anquan Boldin.  But again I worry that for the first time since Ricky Williams there is an honest time share brewing in Baltimore.  His touches may go down and he's never been a strong touchdown producer as much as he is points per reception.


4. Marshawn Lynch - Seattle Seahawks

     Seattle is loaded right now.  They promise to be a preseason contender in the NFC and their division foes look to be their strongest competition.  Running a stud in your lineup from a winning team is always a safe bet and the Skittles Beastmode is a great bet.  I had Marshawn much higher than most projections and depth charts last year and he stayed healthy and strong.  Pete Carroll has confidence in his pure bred and with the running threat of Russell Wilson, he'll continue to produce.


5. Doug Martin - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

     The next three running backs are all rookies as the class of 2012 was a stellar one.  With the trade of LeGerrette Blount and Shiano's focus as a defense ball control team Doug Martin is my pick as the best of the litter.  He led the league in rushing for a good month late in the year and had multiple 150+ multiple touchdown games.  He's injury free and there is no threat to take carries away.


6. Alfred Morris - Washington Redskins

     If I was building a team I would rather have Trent Richardson but if I'm drafting a fantasy team gimmie Afred.  Mike Shannahan produces great run games even if Kirk Cousins is the man behind center.  And don't be fooled.  Robert Griffin might have been rookie of the year but without Morris, the team never makes it to the playoffs.  He came out of nowhere but Shannahan's zone blocking scheme will make whomever the starter is a star


7. Trent Richardson - Cleveland Browns

      Trent Richardson is the best of the Alabama crop in the NFL and he runs behind the best offensive tackle but a new system, the scary possibility of Jason Campbell being his quarterback and overall a team destined to finish last in its division has to limit his potential.  On a good team he could be a top 3 fantasy option but you have to play in reality to score quality fantasy points.


8. LeSean McCoy - Philadelphia Eagles

     The next three backs are all speed juke masters who play on poor teams.  Who knows how the Chip Kelly experiment will work out in the NFL.  His no huddle dynamic offenses subject his quarterback to tons of hits but most runningbacks have been successful.  Because of the high pace he likes to use more than one.  If LeSean can hold up injury wise he should be an decent pick.  But his missed time due to concussion and the league's current culture of being precautious with head injuries is a queston mark next to my top runningback last year preseason in fantasy.


9. C.J, Spiller - Buffalo Bills

     I'm just as in disbelief as you were last year that C.J. blew up.  Sure Fred Jackson again went down to injury but man did Spiller explode.  Call me skeptical but I doubt his wow potential with a rookie starting quarterback, shaky offense line and a tough division to play against.  His big play thirst and near 10 yard per carry output in certain games makes him a top 10 must but worth nothing higher than a number 9 slot. 


10.  Jamaal Charles - Kansas City Chiefs

     Jamaal Charles didn't have the Arian Peterson factor but he was relatively able to stay healthy.  Unfortunately for him he played on the worst team last year.  Alex Smith is not much of an upgrade but at least there's no threat for carries with the team releasing Peyton Hillis.  One of my poker buddies wants to draft him first overall.  I won't go that far but just provide this guy average blocking and he's an 80 yard touchdown chance every play


The next 5

11. Steven Jackson - Atlanta Falcons   14.Maurice Jones Drew - Jags

12. Frank Gore - San Francisco 49ers   15. Matt Forte - Bears

13. Stevan Ridley - New England Pats


Injury Concerns drop these guys down a tad

Darren McFadden / Reggie Bush / DeMarco Murray / Ryan Mathews


Time to draft these guys a LOT earlier this year

David Wilson / Vick Ballard / LaMaar Miller / Chris Ivory


Top Rookies (in order)

Le'Veon Bell / Montee Ball / Giovanni Bernard / Eddie Lacey


Top Backup Handcuffs or Timeshares

Johnathan Franklin / Mikell Leshoure / Ben Tate / Fred Jackson


Hawk's Sleeper's to Select Late

Andre Brown / Shane Vereen / Willis McGahee or Knowshon Moreno  


Don't believe the hype on these guys

Montee Ball / BenJarvis Green Ellis / Reshard Mendenhall / Jonathan Stewart

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