2012 Fantasy Football: Best Team Running Back Combos

By Andrew Fisher

Even with the increased focus on quarterbacks and tight ends this year, still arguably the most important position in Fantasy Football is running back. Everyone has their draft strategy when it comes to backs. One such strategy many owners use, is the 1-2 running back punch, in which the owner drafts a starter and his backup from a particular team.

While just the strategy itself is a legitimate way to score points each week, if the starter is injury prone, drafting their backup is essential.

Top Running Back Combos – “The 1-2 Punch”

Reggie Bush/Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins

After many years of being a Fantasy bust, Bush finally produced last season, topping 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career. While Bush certainly isn’t the superstar some once projected him to be, he’s now a great option for your FLEX spot.

However, with Bush’s history of injury, and the fact the Dolphins give a good amount of carries to Thomas, he and Bush become a package deal.  Not that Thomas isn’t a good late round option for your bench alone, but if you’re going Bush, you’ve got to take Thomas.

Peyton Hillis/Jamaal CharlesKansas City Chiefs

With Jamaal Charles coming off ACL surgery, Peyton Hillis figures to get his fair share of carries. Hillis was a bust last year, but his new role should serve him well. In the Chiefs preseason opener, Hillis was used as a receiver out of the back field, and scored on a short pass play.

Charles is nearly a full year since his injury, and already seems to be regaining his form. In the opener, his speed and quickness were there. While you can’t count on the Charles of 2010, he will be a solid producer this season.

Adrian Peterson/Toby Gerhart – Minnesota Vikings 

If you’re going to roll the dice and take Peterson in the first few rounds, Gerhart is a must have for your bench. In all the mock drafts I’ve done, Peterson is still going in the second and third rounds consistently, so if you wnnt him, you’re going to have to act quick.

If anyone is going to come back at high level after ACL surgery, it’s AP. He’s determined to be out there week one, and with the Vikings taking him off the PUP list Sunday, all indications are that he will be ready. Gerhart looked solid in the opener, and will most certainly get more carries this year. It’s possible both of these guys could finish between 750-1000 yards a piece.

Matt Forte/Michael Bush – Chicago Bears

With the acquisition of Bush, some are questioning how high they should take Forte, given the fact he will be getting fewer carries overall, and near the goal line. The easy solution? Draft them both. They are two different types of running backs that should compliment each other well. In deep leagues, starting both of these guys each week won’t be a bad call.

Arian Foster/Ben Tate – Houston Texans

Here we’ve got the No.1 overall projected pick, and his back up. In theory you know what you’re going to get from Foster (hopefully lights out numbers), while Tate is arguably the best backup in the league. There’s nothing wrong with drafting Tate merely as an insurance policy, or if you go with the 1-2 punch, either way Tate is the right call if you go Foster early.

Projections have them exceeding 2200 yards rushing, 800 yards receiving, and scoring over 20 touchdowns, or about 425 Fantasy points…

Other combos to keep in mind:

Isaac Redman/Rashard Mendenhall

DeMarco Murray/Felix Jones

James Starks/Cedric Benson

Darren Sproles/Mark Ingram

Check out all the latest Fantasy Football projections here

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish










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