Fantasy 101: Top 5 Running Backs

By Chris Wickersham

Next up in my fantasy position rankings are the top 5 running backs for the upcoming season:

1) Chris Johnson-Tennessee Titans: I know a lot of people would say no to Johnson as the top running back entering the 2012 season after a down year. However, I expect him to be the old ‘Chris Johnson’ from a couple years ago. Johnson did have a down year last year, but it also wasn’t a horrible year. He still rushed for over 1000 yards. Johnson was having a contract dispute last year and a major reason he started off very slow. He did not come into camp in a good shape and did not look good. Now he does not have that distraction this year and watch for a huge year.

2) Ray Rice-Baltimore Ravens: Rice keeps moving up every year on fantasy boards. He’s not the biggest RB, but that’s what makes him so effective. He has great speed and when he does not rush the ball, he’s a threat to make stuff happen catching the ball. The Ravens throw a lot of screens and one reason Rice racks up the fantasy points in yards and touchdowns. Also, he’s a tough runner that will go right after you and plow threw a defender, making him a great goal line running back (if they don’t give the ball to the FB).

3) Arian Foster-Houston Texans:  Foster came out of no where and is a top running back in and out of every year. I’m not going to lie, but I’m not a big Foster fan. But I can’t let my bias get in the way and put him low as he is a great runner. One reason that helps him is he has a great QB in Matt Schaub and a great WR in Andre Johnson … that helps the lanes open too. Like all top running backs now, he can catch the ball out of the backfield and a main reason the points tally up. Houston is an up and coming team so watch out for Foster.

4) LeSean McCoy-Philadelphia Eagles: McCoy is a surprise running back and now is a must have on most teams. I thought when the Eagles lost Brian Westbrook they wouldn’t find a great runner like him again. But I was wrong and McCoy is the guy they love to have. McCoy doesn’t do anything spectacular, but he does everything smooth and gets the job done at a high rate. He has great speed and when he’s in the open field, no one is going to touch him.

5) Ryan Matthews-San Diego Chargers: I didn’t think he would cut my top 5 of running backs, but I have huge hope for him. If he can clear all history of injuries and stay healthy, he will be a top running back for the upcoming season. When you have a QB that has a strong arm (Philip Rivers-if he can throw this year), that always help a RB put up huge stats. I expect a rebound year from Rivers and see Matthews with his best season of his young career.

If I were do the top 7 running backs, I would have had Michael Turner 6 and Maurice Jones-Drew 7. As you can see, I don’t have Adrian Peterson on my list. I do not know when he’ll play in a game, so I just could not put him in my rankings.

Fantasy tip: If you can, always try and draft a RB in the first round.

Tomorrow, I will have Fantasy 101: Top 5 wide receivers!

You May Also Like