Early 2011 Fantasy Football RB Rankings

Jun 9, 2011


.
The lockout had yet to be settled, but the show must go on. Here’s an early look at the 2011 running back rankings.
.
1.  Arian Foster, Houston Texans:  As if leading the NFL in rushing (1616 yards) wasn’t enough, he added 66 catches for 604 yards. Oh, and he had 18 total touchdowns (16 rushing, 2 receiving). He’s the perfect back for Houston’s zone blocking scheme.
.
2.  Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings: With a rookie quarterback likely leading the way the focus of the Vikings’ offense will shift back to All Day. He’s ran for at least 1298 yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of his four season.
.
3. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans: He didn’t top 2000 yards again, but 1364 yards and 11 touchdowns (along with 244 yards and another score receiving) is nothing to shy away from. He’ should be a tremendous value.
.
4. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs: Charles should get a heavier workload this year, which is scary considering he ran for 1467 yards on 230 carries (6.4 ypc). He is less likely to score a touchdown than the top three, which is why he’s at four, but he’s capable of being the most productive fantasy back in the league.
.
5.  Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons:  Obviously in PPR leagues, his value takes a hit, but few backs can off 100 yards and a score just about every time he takes the field.
.
6.  Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers:  His tweets can stir up controversy, but when it comes to running the football, the kid is alright. 1273  yards and 11 touchdowns last year and he’ll be just 24 if and when the season starts.
.
7.  Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders:  Run DMC finally lived up to the hype, collecting 1664 total yards (1157 rushing) and ten touchdowns (seven rushing) in 13 games. If he can stay healthy, he could rank right up there with the big four.
.
8.  Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens:  Rice will probably never be a touchdown guy, but he’s a yardage (and PPR) beast.  He’s averaged over 1900 total yards over the past two seasons.
.
9.  LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles:  McCoy caught 78 passes for 592 yards and two touchdowns. Those are solid receiving numbers. Don’t forget about the 1080 rushing yards (5.2 ypc) and seven rushing touchdowns. He’ll be just 23.
.
10.  Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars:  Mojo showed the toughness to battle through injuries last year, but I don’t know if he could be as effective (1641 total yards, seven total touchdown) if his knee acted up again.
.
11.  Shonn Greene, New York Jets:  I know he was supposed to be a beast last year, but LaDainian Tomlinson ran like a kid in the early going. This is the year Shonn puts it all together.
.
12. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams:  Jackson had just 3.8 yards per carry last year and six touchdowns, but the offense should be improved in Sam Bradford’s second year.
.
13.  Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers:  When he’s healthy there are only a few backs that can match his production. Unfortunately he’s averaging just 13 games the past two year.
.
14.  Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers:  Stewart had a disappointing season, but the ability is still there. If D-Will doesn’t return, J-Stew will climb the ranks.
.
15.  Matt Forte, Chicago Bears:  Forte bounced back with 1616 total yards (1069 rushing) and nine touchdowns (six rushing). He’s particularly valuable in PPR leagues.
.
.
Also check out:

. .

5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Florida
    June 9th, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    No Peyton Hillis? Fail. No way some of the guys near the bottom of this list are better than Hillis. Jonathan Stewart? Please. His career per game average is under 60 yards a game.

  2. LestersLegends
    June 9th, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Fail? It’s an opinion. People are entitled to have opinions that aren’t on par with you.

    J-Stew has shared the backfield with D-Will and still managed an 1000 yard season and two double-digit TD seasons.

    When he got at least 15 carries last year he averaged 108 yards per game. In 2009 he averaged 126.2 yards when he got 15 carries.

    The Browns have already said they are going to lessen Hillis’ workload next year. Montario Hardesty was drafted to be their primary ball carrier. Hillis played too well to not get plenty of touches, but Hardesty will get his.

  3. Fantasy Football
    June 18th, 2011 at 3:29 am #

    The information which i got from your post is what i was looking from a long time.Thanks.

  4. stealcity
    June 22nd, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    J Stewart may push top 10 this year-like your top 15 ranking of him

  5. LestersLegends
    June 22nd, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    Sounds like D-Will could be an unrestricted FA so I think Stew can climb into the top ten like you suggest.

Leave a Comment


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties