Top Ten Running Backs for 2009

Mar 10, 2009

This is my preseason top ten.

Click here for my Midseason revised rankings.

Click here for my Second Half rankings.

1.  Adrian Peterson – All Day led the league in rushing and scored double-digit TDs again.  Sure, the loss of Matt Birk will hurt, but Peterson shouldn’t miss a beat.  He’s looking to add some muscle mass this offseason without losing any speed.  A bigger AP with the same speed and quickness.  Scary.

2.  Michael Turner – Burner Turner did not disappoint in his first shot as the feature back.  He struggled early against good defenses, but scored in seven of his last eight games.  As Matt Ryan progresses at QB, it will become more difficult to key in on Turner.

3.  Matt Forte - I love Forte’s versatility.  As a rookie he had the third most receiving yards for a Running Back.  Second if you discount Kevin Faulk, who isn’t a feature back.  He had 1715 total yards and 12 combined TDs.  Even if he has a 10% Sophomore slump dip in production, he’d still be good for over 1500 total yards and 10-11 TDs.

4.  Maurice Jones-Drew – With Fred Taylor heading to New England, MJD should be huge in 2009.  He’s always good for 400+ receiving yards and double-digit TDs.  Give him 300-320 carries and you could be looking at nearly 2000 total yards and 15+ TDs.

5.  Ronnie Brown - Last year Ronnie had 214 carries to Ricky Williams’ 160.  I think the split will be even more in Ronnie’s favor next year.  With Ronnie another year removed from his knee injury, he should be closer to the 2007 back that had 991 total yards and five combined TDs in seven games.

6.  LaDainian Tomlinson - LT battled through a variety of ailments last year and still managed to produce 1536 total yards and 12 combined TDs.  Not only do I think he’ll be healthy in ’09, I think he will be motivated.  I don’t see pre-2008 LT, but a better version that last year’s model.

7.  Clinton Portis – CP was severely overworked last year, but he still remains on the right side of 30. I see him producing similar numbers next year, only spaced out a whole lot better.  Jim Zorn will do a better job managing Portis’ carries so he doesn’t wear down at the end of the year.

8.  Brandon Jacobs - You would think Derrick Ward’s departure to Tampa Bay would have a significant impact on Jacobs’ value.  I don’t think so.  Ahmad Bradshaw will likely pick up most of the slack. As long as Jacobs can stay healthy, there isn’t any reason he couldn’t run for 1200+ yards and scored 18+ TDs.

9.  DeAngelo Williams – You must think I’m crazy putting D-Will this low after leading all RBs in scoring last year.  I’m sorry, but I don’t see another 1700 total yards from him.  Furthermore, there is little to no chance he approaches 20 TDs again.  Jonathan Stewart played a major role last year, and I think the split will be a little closer to 50/50 this year.

10.  Steven Jackson - Steven Jackson’s strong finish (637 total yards and 4 combined TDs in his last five games) is sticking in my mind more than the most forgettable 19 games he had in 2007 and the first part of 2008.  If he can stay healthy he has a chance to leapfrog several of the guys above him.  I haven’t completely forgotten though, which is why he’s in the ten spot.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

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24 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Todd Latzke
    March 10th, 2009 at 9:00 am #

    Where are your other Top ten FF Rankings (QB, WR, TE)???

  2. LestersLegends
    March 10th, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    I will be releasing them one at a time.

  3. CK0712
    March 10th, 2009 at 9:08 am #

    Awesome list Lester’s, I love me some Turner that’s for sure!!

  4. LestersLegends
    March 10th, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    I just hope his performance doesn’t make SD think Sproles can replace LT. He’s no Turner.

  5. CK0712
    March 10th, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    AAAAAA no, i don’t think that will happen Lester’s!! I like sproles, i think he’s got some solid moves….but i agree, that ain’t happenin!

  6. Joe Zwierzynski
    March 10th, 2009 at 6:14 pm #

    Is this fantasy or real life? Either way, as a Giant fan, I’d rather face a few of these guys rather than Barber III or Westbrook.

  7. LestersLegends
    March 10th, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    Fantasy Joe. I think MB3 and Westy both take step backs in 2009.

  8. Daily Haze: Another chance to Twitter with TH | The Hazean
    March 11th, 2009 at 6:01 am #

    [...] Ronnie Brown is looking to make a return to the fantasy football top-10 next season. [Lester's Legends] [...]

  9. CK0712
    March 11th, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    lester’s u r right…westy isn’t going to be the breakout that he’s been. eagles organization saw to it, that they ran him into the ground. he’s rehabbing from his surgery (as you know), so no telling what is going to happen this up coming season!

  10. David Funk
    March 11th, 2009 at 7:09 am #

    AD is one of the hardest working players in the league, and to think he’s adding more muscle mass is indeed scary. Like the love the former Sooners star at No. 1!

    You know I agree about Forte’s versatility. I think he’ll have right around the same numbers. I do wonder a little bit about John Tait’s retirement at tackle, and how that will effect the running game. Still, Forte’s versatility is undeniable.

    Nice post!

  11. LestersLegends
    March 11th, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    CK – agree. i don’t see him playing all 16 games
    david – pace just came available.

  12. Top Ten Wide Receivers for 2009 | Fantasy Sports Blog
    March 11th, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    [...] Past Top Tens Running Backs [...]

  13. 2timechamp
    March 28th, 2009 at 1:17 am #

    It’s never too early to discuss Fantasy Football…

    My list would go…

    1. Adrian Peterson
    2. Michael Turner
    3. Maurice Jones Drew *will be my choice if i was picking
    4. Clinton Portis
    5. Brian Westbrook
    6. Ronnie Brown
    7. Brandon Jacobs
    8. Matt Forte
    9. DeAngelo Williams
    10. LaDainian Tomlinson

    Honorable Mention:
    Marion Barber III
    Steven Jackson
    Reggie Bush

  14. LestersLegends
    March 28th, 2009 at 5:50 am #


    Westy scares me because of injuries, but I totally see where he can be in the top five. MB3 scares me because I think they’re going with all three rbs next year.

  15. rcsizzle1mcgrady
    September 30th, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    steven jackson should be 1

  16. LestersLegends
    September 30th, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    Not sure what games you’re watching

  17. prwrrrandkr
    November 1st, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    deangelo should be #2 and AP #1

  18. LestersLegends
    November 2nd, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    Actually on average MJD is #1 followed by AP, Chris Johnson, and Ray Rice. Though, I wouldn’t rank CJ that high simply because his numbers are skewed by the two monster games.

  19. prwrrrandkr
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    2timechamp what are u talking about ronnie brown #6 have you seen his runs I say he should be #25

  20. LestersLegends
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    Ronnie gets little respect. He’s currently 9th in fantasy scoring in non-PPR leagues.

  21. prwrrrandkr
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    top 10 running backs
    #1 adrian peterson
    #2 deangelo williams
    #3 chris johnson
    #4 thomas jones
    #5 michael tuner
    #6 maurice drew- jones
    #7 ray rice
    #8 matt forte
    #9 reggie bush
    #10 darren sproles

  22. LestersLegends
    November 12th, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    Forte has been awful. Bush is an afterthought.

  23. prwrrrandkr
    December 29th, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    thomas jones and michael turner have about the same amount of stats. so michael turner could be #4 and jones #5

  24. LestersLegends
    December 29th, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    Turner has killed fantasy teams though whereas Jones has been a rock.

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