July 21st…Could it be? The lockout is allegedly supposed to come to a halt on that date. If it does, it will replace my birthday, Christmas, Martin Luther King Day, and Canada Day. I will always remember that date. There are talks of our second annual “Paper Plate” fantasy league starting up in two weekends, so I’ve been doing some research (although last year I prepared a ton, but the beer got the best of me. I took McNabb in the 4th round…not a good idea. Thanks Miller High Life).
With all that said, the next installment of my fantasy preview is all about the running backs. The prized position on your squad, and I’ll show you who to pick.
1.) Adrian Peterson: Arguably the best running back in the league. This year, I would take him with the first pick. He averaged 13 touchdowns and 1,445.5 yards in his four years in the league, so you are pretty much guaranteed a top three (if not number one) running back every year. His injury worries can finally be laid to rest; along with his fumbleitis (he only had one). With rookie quarterback Christian Ponder arriving (have fun with that Vikings. Nothing better than reaching for a third round quarterback with the 12th pick. HA!), you can expect AP to carry the load once again. Chalk it up as the number one pick and the best running back for 2011.
2.) Chris Johnson: Is there a player more exciting than CJ? If he gets to the edge, chalk up some points because this mother fucker is scoring. He came back down to earth last year, only rushing for 1,366 yards after his 2,000 yard season. He averages 11 rushing touchdowns a year along with 45.6 catches a year, great for PPR leagues. The Titans also have a rookie under center, Jake Locker, so expect a lot of CJ this year. Not a bad conciliation if you can’t get Purple Jesus.
3.) Arian Foster: Where did this guy come from? 66 catches, 16 rushing touchdowns, and 1,616 rushing yards last year…good lord. Anyone who drafted him late or picked him up off of waivers last year reaped the rewards of one of the best fantasy years in recent memory, all while laughing in the faces of their envious league-mates. I would expect more of the same from Foster next year. If you select him, expect big things in the fantasy playoffs. The Texans are scheduled to play the Bengals, Panthers, and Colts during that time, each of which have bad rush defense. Those who are thinking he might be a one year wonder, just shut up. We aren’t talking about Steve Slaton here.
4.) Jamaal Charles: He led running backs in YPC last year with an average of 6.4 (only Mike Vick beat him for all rushers) and ended second in rushing yards last year behind Arian Foster. He could be the best back in the league. He is quick, explosive, and has unreal speed. He could be a number one pick if it wasn’t for one thing... Thomas Jones . Jones took a note from Willis McGahee’s playbook and looted touchdowns away from Charles. I have to think that the Chiefs will be smart and let Charles be the featured back, but who knows. Whoever picks Charles could be in for one hell of a season.
5.) Maurice Jones-Drew: A little bit of a down year for Mojo. He had 1,324 yards, which isn’t terrible by any means. In the second half of the season, he was averaging 128 yards. You had to be happy with that during a playoff run. He avoided the end zone like the god damn black plague last year, scoring only five touchdowns. You have to think he’ll turn that around and I can’t see the Jags having any faith in the stable of shitty quarterbacks, so Mojo will get his. Don’t be worried, scoop him up.
6.) Michael Turner: When you think of steady running backs, you think Turner. He had pretty good numbers last year; Turner finished third in rushing with 1,371 yards and 12 tuddies, while only averaging 4.1 yards a carry. He did set a career high last year though with 12 catches. Watch out Roddy White! But you know he’ll be getting the rock a ton, so enjoy the touchdowns.
7.) Steven Jackson: Shocked that he’s even at seven? Well don’t be. It’s hard to put him down on this list knowing what he can do. He had 1,241 yards and 6 tuddies last year, along with 46 catches. He’s a pretty steady running that is a good anchor for any fantasy team. Even though when you pick him you’ll for sure say “fuckin A”; I’m sure he’ll be just fine.
This is where it starts getting messy. There are honestly five guys you could put in these last three spots.
8.) Rashard Mendenhall: Fuck you Detroit, we could have Rashard in the back field, but NOOOOOOO, you had to go and grab a RIGHT FUCKING TACKLE! Sorry, I will never get over it. Mendenhall had a good fantasy year last season. He rushed for 1,273 yards and made reservations for six, 13 times. Nothing sexy here, but his solid production will keep you on top of your fantasy league.
9.) Frank Gore: I wasn’t even going to put him on the list (sorry Frank, you’ve screwed me over way to many times in the past), but he’s always good when he plays. He got hurt towards the last quarter of the season last year, but he managed to snatch up 46 grabs and run for 836 yards. He’s only played a full season once in his career, and that year he had 1,621 yards. He’s a great PPR running back and if he stays healthy, he can perform.
10.) You know what? I can’t choose who I want to put here, so there’s a tie:
10A.) Ray Rice: People were pretty pissed about Rice’s performance last year, but I hate to tell you, it wasn’t that different form the year before. He rushed for 119 more yards and scored two more touchdowns 2009 and caught 15 more balls. Ok, the catches are a pretty big difference but the yards aren’t. He still ended up with 63 grabs, which was third among running backs. If you get the same production as he did last year, when you select him as the tenth running back; you’ll be very pleased with your pick.
10B.) LeSean McCoy: If you’re not in a PPR League, you can pass on McCoy at this point. But if you’re not retarded, and play PPR, snatch my man up. His rushing was pretty gross last year, 1,080 yards, but he managed to get seven rushing tuddies. The main reason why you should pick him is because he had 78 grabs last year which is 14th among all players. That’s unreal. Sure, Mike Vick stole his rushing plays, but expect him to keep catching the ball.
P.S. If you try to make the argument that Peyton Hillis should have been on here, I will slap you in the face. Just because he’s white doesn’t mean he’s better than these players.
Once again, if you don’t like my placement of these players, lick my balls….Good Day.
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