Rotoprofessor’s Top 10 Fantasy Football RB Rankings

May 28, 2009

Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

Just as we did with Quarterbacks recently (click here to view) let’s take an early look at the potential Top 10 Running Backs for 2009.  Obviously, a lot can change between now and draft day, so this list is likely to change (and be expanded) as we get closer.

  1. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings - Do I really need to say anything to explain this pick?  I don’t think so.
  2. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons - The addition of Tony Gonzalez may limit his TD chances, but does anyone actually expect him to duplicate his 17 TDs from ‘08?  The move will help keep teams from keying on the run, opening up a few more lanes for him to burst through.
  3. LaDanian Tomlinson – San Diego Chargers - I don’t care what anyone says, he is still one of the best backs in the game.  Look for him to rebound from a “down” year when he only rushed for 1,110 yards and 11 TD.
  4. Brian Westbrook – Philadelphia Eagles - The team selected Lesean McCoy in the second round, which you would think would hinder his value.  On the contrary.  A second useful back will help keep Westbrook healthy, hopefully allowing him to stay on the field the entire season.
  5. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers - The team got a huge gift in Michael Crabtree, which should allow Gore to rebound from a surprisingly disappointing season.  Mike Martz is gone and now they have a passing threat to help open things up.  That seems like a good mix to me.
  6. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars - Fred Taylor is finally gone, so it is time to find out if Jones-Drew can carry the load.  He is a risk, but just a mild one. 
  7. Clinton Portis – Washington Redskins - Mr. Consistency, he seemingly gets the job done year in and year out.  You pretty much know what you are going to get, but is that a bad thing?
  8. Ryan Grant – Green Bay Packers - Only 4 TDs?  Really?  There’s just no possible way that continues in 2009.  With added scoring, he has a chance to really shine this season.
  9. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears - I know, with Jay Cutler in place the passing game is going to get more focus, but that may actually help Forte.  With that threat, teams will not be able to stack eight in the box, opening up a few more running lanes.  Also, those December games in Chicago certainly aren’t very conducive to big throws.
  10. Steve Jackson – St. Louis Rams - He is the Rams offense, which should allow him to get significant yardage once again this season. 

Other Notables:

  • DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers - I just don’t buy a repeat of his 5.5 yards/carry or 18 TD. He is more of a RB2 in my book, a solid one, but still not the player I want as the focal point of my fantasy team.
  • Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants - Even with Derrick Ward gone, the Giants will limit Jacobs’ touches in order to keep him healthy. They drafted Andre Brown and still have Ahmed Bradshaw, who definitely will get his chance to play.
  • Marshawn Lynch – Buffalo Bills - His three game suspension certainly hurts his potential ranking.
  • Thomas Jones – New York Jets - Will Leon Washington get increased touches? He wants big-time money and the Jets are going to have to find out if he is worth it. Toss in Jones’ own contract concerns and who knows how things will play out.
  • Larry Johnson – Kansas City Chiefs - If he can stay healthy he’ll have the chance to do some major damage. Cassell’s presence gives defenses something else to worry about, opening up some running lanes.
  • Willy Parker – Pittsburgh Steelers - He’s an injury risk on a team that has good depth.  That means his carries could be limited, but I would still predict a return to being a 1,000+ yard back.  Unfortunately, he could lose a few goal line carries.

What do you think?  Who got left out of the Top 10 that you feel should be included?  Who should be removed from the list?

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

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8 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. My Amazing Weight Loss Story
    May 28th, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    Thanks for posting, I truly enjoyed reading your newest post. I think you should post more often, you evidently have natural ability for blogging!

  2. David Funk
    May 28th, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    Definitely agree with AD at the top of the list.

    Also, good point about Forte and December games considering they have many home games in the second half of the season.

    Nice analysis as always!

  3. LestersLegends
    May 28th, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    AD kicks butt. I think I had Forte higher when I ranked them, but that was pre-cutler.

  4. 3rdStoneFromTheSun
    May 28th, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    good list

    hoping Slaton cracks it in ’09

    Greene also may get carries in NY

    2 cats I like as dark horse candidates = Pierre Thomas of the Saints, and Bernard Scott of the Bengals

  5. FantasyFootballNinja
    May 30th, 2009 at 2:52 am #

    Dude, this list is bunk. Grant over Forte and Jacobs. No freakin Way.

  6. JC
    May 30th, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    1. Michael Turner
    2. Adrian Peterson
    3. Matt Forte

    Get your rankings for free at

  7. IndianSpice
    June 1st, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    You don’t have Chris Johnson on your list what so ever. Did you really forget one of the best RBs in the game now?

  8. Skipsp1124
    June 1st, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    LOL, seriously do you have an extra spot in your league? No Chris Johnson…Thomas Jones, LJ, and Willie Parker as notables? These guys aren’t even top 20 backs anymore. Don’t get me wrong I like your twist on things but just b/c a player did this and that in the past does not make them elite anymore. If you want to hitch your wagon to LT and Westbrook over guys like Jackson, MJD, Forte, and Gore in the first round that is some huge risk that I would not advise. Here’s my non-ppr redraft list:

    Tier one: AP, MJD, Turner
    Tier two: Forte, Johnson, Jackson, Gore
    Tier three: Williams, LT, Slaton, Portis, Westy, Jacobs

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