Jordan and I have written down a handful of questions to help you in your draft day decision process. We're going to address the running back position. If you've got any additional questions about Running Backs in the 2011 NFL season, post it in the comments. And if you missed out Quarterback Q&A, stop being so damn lazy and scroll down a post.
Next up... Wide Receiver Q&A
1) Who is the best running back for the 2011 NFL fantasy football season? Who will you be taking number 1?
Andrew: I have a funny feeling that Arian Foster isn't going to be defending his title in this one. Houston has a weird way of turning once-strong RBs into huge fantasy busts (see Domanick Williams 2004-2005 and Steve Slaton 2008-2009). My number one pick is Adrian Peterson. It's a consistency thing. 110 yards per game and 13 TDs last year, despite the QB mess. Won't be his best season, but he's solid enough to count on.
Jordan: My number one is AP. All day. He is consistent. He might not be as exciting as Johnson or Foster, but that could be because we're used to him. Those two are brilliant, no doubt, but they don't have the body of work that AP has. He plays in favorable conditions every week (read: dome), and is THE offense for the Vikings this year.
2) Who is the top running back who will be taken outside of the first 2 rounds?
Jordan: Blount, without a doubt. He is playing for what will be a LOADED offense. Plus, the culture in TB has always been run-first. Since the days of Alstott and Dunn, this has been their identity, though they only had Cadillac to carry them. This is their man, and with defenses having to respect their receivers and the best new QB since Ryan and Rogers, the box won't be as loaded as once used to be.
Andrew: I think we could see big things out of Felix Jones this year, if he can stay healthy. He has graduated to the number one spot. I expect this to be his breakout year. Hopefully he can bump to about 20 carries per game and land 8+ TDs this season. He is around number 20 in most pre-draft profiles I have seen, and is a good pickup in round three or four.
3) Which running back is 2011's big sleeper?
Andrew: Rashad Jennings. When he was counted on late last season he showed up, getting almost 500 yards, 4 TDs and about 6 valuable receptions per game in the last six of the season. Should Jones-Drew hesitate after his surgery, Jennings could take over the number one role, and he could see more carries this year, even if MJD seems alright.
Jordan: I'm picking a Bengal here in Bernard Scott. Benson is getting older, may have been a one year fluke (if "fluke" is the word you use for someone that was projected to be great but never quite was), and is a general bonehead. He's also a free agent and just got arrested. I think he was drinking and he may have smoked pot in front of the officer. He also might have killed a baby by stepping on it. At any rate, I don't really see him as reliable. Scott got 5 yards per touch last year, so even if he doesn't take the full load from week 1, he will get opportunities on the special teams and out of the backfield. He's going to be a stud, as long as Benson's track history proves reliable.
4) Which running back will have the best rookie?
Jordan: The dude from Miami. Ricky Williams is older than dirt and Ronnie Brown has injuries and miles. Oh, and they're free agents. The Dolphins wanted this guy and paid for him: They traded picks just to move up and snatch him. They'll spend money on free agents, but they're not going to bring back both of their old-timers. He'll see a lot of touches, regardless.
Andrew: As much as I'd like to see DeMarco Murray team up with F. Jones for an insane 1-2 punch this year, I understand that I have a better chance of finding Atlantis under my apartment. Really only two guys to even consider here, Mark Ingram and Daniel Thomas. Ingram will have the better career, Daniel Thomas (as Jordan so eloquently put "the dude from Miami"), the better season.
5) Who is the most overrated running back?
Andrew: There are certain players that you couldn't pay me to draft. So I have a couple to avoid. I don't see the continued hype for Michael Turner. Had the lowest average of his career last season, and has done nothing to show me that he can be as elite as his 2008 campaign. Also making the list are Steven Jackson (there is only so much one man can do), Ryan Mathews (fool me once...) and Jahvid Best (drafting LeShoure is not the best sign for an injured second year player).
Jordan: MJD or Gore, but both for the same reason: injuries. Their bones are made of glass and though they're competitive as hell, that doesn't help anyone when they're not actually doing anything. Sure, they'll be good in the first handful of games, but as the hits add up, so do their chances of breaking, pulling, or tearing something.
6) Which NFL team's running back committee will you completely avoid in 2011 fantasy football?
Jordan: I'm avoiding the Patriots like the plague. Yes, they are a great running team, but that's the problem. They play as a team of runners. That doesn't help very much in fantasy. BJGE is great, no doubt, but the Evil Genius is just as likely to give it to his fourth RB as he is to this stud.
Andrew: As per usual, besides Brees, I'm hesitant to touch anything from New Orleans. I'm saying no thanks to their RBs and WRs this year. Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, Chris Ivory, Mark Ingram and God only knows who else. I'll pass.
7) Which sophomore running back will have the best fantasy football season?
Andrew: LeGarrette Blount. I did some off-season writing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year, so I might be a little biased. But he came out of nowhere for over 1000 yards in 13 weeks. The Bucs did nothing in the offseason to show that he will have any competition for the starting role. His only weakness seems to be as a receiver.
Jordan: Best will have the best season. Yes, that was on purpose. The Lions drafted a goal-line guy, which, as a man, should only piss him off. He WILL run his ass off and WILL redeem everyone that thought he was the next Barry. Okay, if you thought he was the next Barry, you're a f#cking moron. There will never be another MJ. There will never be another Barry. Detroit may have Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and the car business might be back, but Barry is gone. Period. Draft Best and shut the hell up.
8) Who is 2011 Fantasy Football's Arian Foster/ Peyton Hillis that will break out of nowhere?
Jordan: Ryan Torain, though I'm not sure if "break out" is the term I would use. Shanahan does this thing where everyone hates him, and McNabb does this thing where he shows everyone what a pussy he is. And then Washington does this thing where they lose. A lot. But those things are not relevant in fantasy land. If he stays healthy, which I think he will, he'll get some very, very good yardage and some decent TD numbers to boot.
Andrew: Bernard Scott could have a big year for the Bengals since we don't really know what is going to happen to Cedric Benson. So I think i'm going to put my money on the player who had nearly 250 yards per game in his final college season two years ago.