1. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
The Baltimore Ravens ranked 20th (122.8 yards per game, 15 rushing touchdowns allowed) in run defense during the regular season. Ray Lewis’ return has helped turn things around defensively, but the continue to struggle against the run. The Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots combined for 128.3 rushing yards per game. They have buckled down when it matters though, as they have not allowed a playoff rushing score. Frank Gore had 1448 total yards and nine touchdowns (eight rushing, one receiving) during the regular season. He had continued to shine during the playoffs, combining for 257 total yards and three touchdowns in wins over the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons. His performances are even more impressive considering the record-setting performance Colin Kaepernick had against the Packers and were playing from behind for most of the NFC Championship game. The Niners have a massive, mauling offensive line, which gives them an edge in the Super Bowl.
2. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
It has been a long time since the Super Bowl featured two running backs of this caliber. Rice finished with 1621 total yards and 10 touchdowns. He had 316 total yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Ravens’ three playoff wins. The 49ers finished the year ranked 4th in rushing defense (94.2 yards per game, seven touchdowns). They held the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons to 92.5 yards per game. Even if the Niners slow Rice on the ground, he’s still capable of getting his through the air.
3. Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens
Pierce has emerged, averaging 59 total yards per game during the playoffs. He 216 yards in the final two games of the season. He runs with a great deal of power and is a nice complement to Rice’s style. The Ravens have confidence in the rookie and he’ll likely play a solid amount of meaningful snaps.
4. LaMichael James, San Francisco 49ers
James is an electric runner that is a great change-of-pace to Gore. That said, he had just 66 total yards in the two playoff wins. Between Gore and Kaepernick, there just isn’t enough to go around for James.
5. Anthony Dixon, San Francisco 49ers
Dixon hardly gets any carries, but he is a threat for a short vulture touchdown.
Also check out:
- Super Bowl XLVII Fantasy Football QB Rankings
- Super Bowl XLVII Fantasy Football WR Rankings
- Super Bowl XLVII Fantasy Football TE Rankings
- Super Bowl XLVII Fantasy Football K Rankings
- Super Bowl XLVII Fantasy Football DEF Rankings
- Super Bowl XLVII Pick
- Early Fantasy Baseball Rankings