Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2011 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings

Alright. We’re slowing down to a shuffle with the Free Agency moves. Welcome to day two of the preseason position breakdowns. Let’s take a look at the 2011 Fantasy Football class of running backs. I included a little bit of explanation for a handful of them. And either you guys really enjoyed the quarterback rankings or are a little bit shy. I want some comments people! Tell me what you think about the running back class of the 2011 Fantasy Football Draft. And let me know if you want an explanation on any of the guys. Click the link to read the list...

Follow these links to see rankings of other positions:
Quarterback - Running Back - Wide Receiver - Tight End - Kicker/Defense

1. Adrian Peterson – AP goes number one. He is the most consistent back year in and year out and this year should be no exception.
2. Arian Foster – Blew us all away last year, but I have to question if that will get to his head. Also have to question how the Texans will use him after seeing how they treated top running Steve Slaton just a few years ago.
3. Jamaal Charles – Last season he became their true number one back. I don’t expect him to slow down at all. And now he has another WR to take some pressure off of him.
4. Ray Rice – He’s not this high in most other boards, but I love him in PPR. I also expect more TDs from Rice this season. He’s making a fantasy football comeback and whoever lands him in the bottom of the first round is lucky.
5. Chris Johnson – I think the only reason he is this low on my list is because I think so highly of Charles and Rice. Don’t think that Johnson being number 5 here is any sign of a decline. The only thing going against him is that defenses will be stuffing the box even more this year.
6. Maurice Jones-Drew – Down to six because of injury concern. And again, he has no WRs to take pressure off him.
7. LeSean McCoy – PPR darling. Vick will steal some ground yardage, but expect the same as last year.
8. Rashard Mendenhall
9. Darren McFadden – Another guy who could arguably be higher on the list, but lack of a skilled QB and WR corps drops him. He could see some big numbers in PPR as well.
10. Frank Gore
11. Ahmad Bradshaw – I expect him to become more of a true number one guy after seeing how the Giants didn’t let him slip away. He’ll get the respect he deserves in the 2011 fantasy season.
12. Steven Jackson – Slowly falling every year. There is only so much punishment one man can take. STL needs to land another RB to take some heat off of Jackson.
13. Michael Turner – Will never have the season he did in 2008.
14. DeAngelo Williams
15. LeGarrette Blount
16. Matt Forte – I liked him a lot more before Marion Barber swooped in. Forte will see good numbers and most of the carries, but I have to think Barber will take a lot of TDs from him.
17. Peyton Hillis – I’m going to call last season a fluke. And Madden Curse.
18. Ryan Mathews
19. Felix Jones – Mega-sleeper in PPR. Will still split time but he is by far the most talented Cowboy RB.
20. Knowshon Moreno
21. Jahvid Best
22. Shonn Green
23. Fred Jackson
24. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – I’m just avoiding the New England running back committee at all costs. They have at least six running backs who will be touching the ball each game.
25. Cedric Benson
26. Ryan Grant
27. Ryan Torain – Being pegged by a lot of fantasy football experts as this year’s sleeper. Until I know the quarterback’s name and see someone besides Santana Moss set up, I’m not going to say it.
28. Mark Ingram
29. Daniel Thomas – Honestly don’t know where to put him. Preseason should tell us how much of a role he and Reggie Bush will play in the Dolphins offense. I expect a pretty even split.
30. James Starks – I like him more than Ryan Grant. I think the Packers will too once Week 4 rolls around.
31. Ryan Williams – If Kolb and Fitz take to the air like we are all thinking they will, it could open up the ground for this relatively unknown running back.
32. Marshawn Lynch
33. Joseph Addai
34. Pierre Thomas
35. Mikel LeShoure
36. C.J. Spiller
37. Brandon Jacobs
38. Beanie Wells
39. Mike Tolbert – Pretty much only a TD guy.
40. Tashard Choice
41. Willis McGahee
42. LaDainian Tomlinson – Preseason will let us know how the Jets will treat him. You would think they stick to the same routine as last year, but we’ll have to look at his legs.
43. Michael Bush
44. Reggie Bush
45. Roy Helu – I like him more than Torain, but it’s probably only because of his name.
46. Danny Woodhead
47. Montario Hardesty
48. Darren Sproles
49. Rashad Jennings – Move him way up the boards if MJD goes down.
50. Thomas Jones – Falling out of Kansas City’s good graces. I expect a heavy workload cut for him.


  1. Ryan Mathews was supposed to be huge last year but due to those injuries Tolbert took on the work load. How well do you do you think Mathews will do this season after spending a lot of last year sitting out?

  2. That's So RavensAugust 2, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    shonn greene that far down? even with LT in decline, one of the best O-lines in football, a running-oriented offense, no history of injury, and one of the easiest schedules against crappy run defenses? i know last year was below expectations, but i'm thinking this is greene's breakout year. i'm psyched to try to snatch him in the 5th round...

    also, you guys posting different ranking for PPR and regular leagues or will we be left up to our own devices? thanks.

  3. Lots of things to address with this comment.

    1) I absolutely love your name. You should be very proud of it.

    2) Shonne Greene is one of a few players whose status can change immensely by the end of the presesason. He did not impress last season, so that has to deduct a little bit. And, though I do have LT pretty low, until he proves that he is going to slow down this year, he is going to drop Greene's stock for me. Because of his performance last year, he could prove to be a steal and have a lot of people slapping their heads. But as of now, he doesn't make my top 20. Still too much to figure out before his stock goes up.

    3) We don't publish separate PPR and Standard rankings. The leagues that we play in are PPR based, so we tend to lean in that direction. Our rankings throughout the year are in the order of who we predict will be getting the most points that week in a PPR league. If you have any questions regarding PPR, standard, or any other variation of league. Just leave us a question in the comments and we will answer it on a one-on-one level.

    Thanks for reading!

  4. I have a thing about drafting rookies. It doesn't matter how talented they are coming into the draft, I always take off a few spots, just because they have no NFL experience. To me, Ryan Mathews is repeating his rookie season. Barring an injury, he will be getting more looks than last year and perform better. But he hasn't proven himself. We have no idea how effective he will be. Until I see that, he will remain relatively low.

    My personal opinion is that he will do pretty well. Not reaching the top 10 in RBs, but he will have a good year. The Chargers will once again have a great offense, and defenses won't be able to pack the box due to V. Jackson and A. Gates. Tolbert will likely steal a lot of his TDs though.

  5. How do you feel about Lynch? I feel he should be a little higher.. he's the clear cut #1 and the Seahawks have improved their receiving weapons..

  6. Brainless BrainiacAugust 3, 2011 at 3:27 AM

    What draft strategy should I take this year? My league is 16 deep so I really have to figure out how to approach it. I know that deciding who to pick up is primarily based on who is available at the time but if you were in my shoes in a ideal situation how would you daft? Ex. 2 RB in first 2 rounds QB in 3 rd ............
    Thanks for the advice

  7. I suppose you can mark him as a sleeper. He is still young, seems to have been rejuvenated in Seattle, but still, besides the playoff game, he didn't really have impressive fantasy stats last year. He will be seeing a bit of a time share with Forsett, and it doesn't matter how fantastic has receivers are, Tavares Jackson is still his quarterback.

    If you want him as a sleeper experiment, he could very well pay off for you, I would advise against taking him very high though.

  8. First thing, try to find yourself a mock draft that will have 16 teams. Do a live one or two, then take a look at some other ones that have been completed. Find a fantasy team from them that you are impressed with, and note how they did it.

    When you are talking about a league this big, strategy can change based on draft position. Because the list of elite running backs is relatively slim compared to other positions, I would prefer to be one of the last picks and go RB/RB and maybe be lucky enough to land a Bradshaw/Blount or McFadden/Turner combo.

    Toward the middle rounds I'd take my RB and if there is still a good one left by my next play, I would take another RB. If not. The highest receiver if he is a top 5 guy (which he likely will be).

    First/second/third pick. Take the best RB available. Then probably a WR.

    Unless you get a QB in round 2 or 3, wait it out, there is still talent in the middle. Basically this advice is just scratching the service. My advice is to find out your drafting position if you can, and then hit the mocks.

  9. When do you recommend taking idp's; like which rounnd? my league has 19 starters including 5 idp's.

  10. Fantasy football is an offensive league first. So make sure you fill up all of your offensive starters first. It's not worth it to reach too high up for anyone on defense (this does depend a little on scoring) I am in a handful of IDP leagues, but I prefer standard. Easier to track, you don't see a lot of tackles in the highlight reel.

    A few variables to consider...

    1) Does your league have return yards? If so, many of the best returners in the game are corners or safeties. Snatch up those who perform well returning kicks. They will deliver far more in the long run. I'd go mid round if you are in a return yardage league.

    2) Does your IDP league have defensive positions or is it just IDP? If it is not broken into DB, LB and DL, then you are going to want to stack up on linebackers and probably ignore the rest. LBs get more points and there are a lot of them to choose from. Stick to the late middle or late rounds for this.

    Overall, if it is basic IDP with position (DB, LB, DL) then you want to stick to the later rounds. Draft your offense and some backups first. There are always going to be a ton of good defensive players on waivers for you to choose from in the middle of the year, so don't get too caught up in it.

  11. What do you think about the Ronnie Brown signing in Philadelphia? I have the 6th draft position in a 12 person league and though my 1st choice is Ray Rice, I feel as though he will be gone by that time. Thus, I am deciding between McCoy and Mendenhall. Any thoughts?

  12. In nearly every mock I've seen, Rice is going either 5 or 6. AP, Foster, CJ and Jamaal Charles are all ahead of them, and every now and then someone will stupidly spring for Vick or snag Andre Johnson. So, there is a chance that Rice will fall to you.

    I think that Brown joining the Eagles does hit McCoy a bit. But he is still ahead of Mendenhall for me. Honestly, I think both are a reach with pick 6. Part of me wants to go against how I normally draft and say, screw it go for Andre Johnson. You get the best receiver in the league and are almost guaranteed 1400 yards and 10 scores. Nearly 100 catches too if youre PPR. Its not a bad move. You might even be able to get Mendenhall in round 2 if he falls, or a solid rusher like Forte, Gore or McFadden.

    Or, if you aren't opposed to a little gamble, you can get Jones-Drew. I know that I said it up top about the injury, but you have to think about what he can do if he remains healthy. You know they will be going to the ground a lot more. And don't forget his 6-game run last year where he had over 100 yards per game. As long as that knee is up to the task, MJD will be back to his former glory.

    Hope that helped

  13. It has always been fantasy for a football lover, to find himself or herself in a football battle field, where their players would be standing prepared to win.Fantasy Football has a big effect on every bodes life.

  14. Very eloquent. You stay safe now. Sleep it off.