Nicks Top 10 Fantasy Running Backs

Fantasy football is almost here! Yes it’s TRUE! It will soon be time to decide whether you should chance it on Chris Johnson, or Jamaal Charles as your Choice. Maybe Arian Foster is your Forte. Perhaps it’s our own Mathews that Drew your attention. I am here to make sure that your team can be as nice as Rice, or if you don’t want to listen, will have it smelling like Snelling!

10-Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG – Let’s be honest he had a beat up regular season, but he did show promise and he was coming back from injury. Bradshaw shows great playmaking skills and speed to go along with it. The Giants will increase the load a little bit as Jacobs headed for the coast. I think his production will go up as he assumes the leadership role (in the backfield).

9-Trent Richardson CLE – YES, he is a rookie, and YES he is going to get a big workload to carry. People should think twice due to that VERY fact. Let’s be honest outside of a young quarterback situation, no wide outs, and one offensive lineman what do they have? A great defense, and now a running back. The only question I do have about him is if he is capable of handling the load. Trent basically is stepping into the same type of team that he had at Tuscaloosa. He can be something special, but for now we can keep him here.

8-Fred Jackson BUF – He’s tough, coming off a great year, and a little banged up. The Bills also strike me as a team who are going to be a pretty pass happy team. When it gets cold out in upstate New York Jackson will carry a heavier load. Last year Jackson pretty much just ran the door over. Showing everyone that you can do whatever you want in life! Nobody could have projected the year Fred had, except for him of course. He’s coming off of injury too, but you get a back who does well in the pass offense as well. So there may be some risk, but the price of reward is worth having.

7-Chris Johnson TEN – We all know this man is capable of KILLING IT! It seemed like he took last year off. Yes, Matt Hasselbeck was his quarterback. Yes, Kenny Britt went down. That means CJ had pretty much no supporting cast, but that is still no excuse for a stud that claims he was going to hit 2,500 yards. CJ definitely can get the job done but the reason why I put him this low is due to the fact that he needs to prove to me he can play at that 2,000 yard mark still. For the right price it’s a great risk considering the fact that CJ has been around for 4 years. Johnson can still have a lot in the tank.

6-Michael Turner ATL – We all know who this guy is! Turner the Burner has all the potential in the world is he on the climb? No, but last year he was consistent and played tough. Atlanta has shown they like to establish the run before airing it out. Turner picked it up a little bit during the Fantasy Playoffs. That shows his value as pretty good. He can definitely be on the edge of being a main piece of your team.

5-Ryan Mathews SD – OUR VERY OWN! Ryan has sprung onto the scene and has gotten progressively better EVERY YEAR. The “Running Beast,” as I like to call him, is valuable not only in the running game but in the passing game as well. Mathews has big play ability and has enough of a supporting cast not to be the main focal point of a defense… YET! Ryan plays hard and has done the best possible job that he can to shake the health tag. He still gets banged up a little bit and that will have an effect on his ranking but the guy has shown he is a stud. Why is he not number 1? It seems like he will do a great job fighting for extra yards and a real nice run but then, WHOOPS! Out comes the ball! The fumble problem followed a lot of running backs and he shows the determination of wanting to get better. So I think that he will solve it this year. Mathews is on the up, so if you draft in a PPR league (Point Per Reception), or a big play bonus league he will help you.

4-Maurice Jones-Drew JAC – You would think that Jacksonville doesn’t have a lot to brag about. ESPECIALLY with AA meetings being the place to be now. (Too soon?) While Blackman needs to control his problem (in which I hope he does, because I wish the best for people), MJD hasn’t missed a stride. They might as well have called themselves the Jacksonville Jones-Drews. He took all the work load on and then some. Will it be the same this year? Maybe not, BUT that could be a good thing. If he can get some help that can take some of the focus, it could lead to more big gains. I wouldn’t shy away from MJD just because of where he is, Shy away from him if you want a high end quarterback. Jones-Drew is still a great Fantasy running back.

3-Arian Foster HOU – Arian scared a lot of us and doomed them as well. Arian got hurt at possibly the worst time. While he kept telling everybody i’ll be ok, we were saying well where are the yards. Injuries always scare me but they are a part of the game. He bounced around very nicely last year even with the hamstring issue. As long as he can make it to the start of the reg season healthy he will be fine. This a is running back that you can build around on your team. He will get you consistent yards and touchdowns, and not to mention break for a couple big gain touchdowns. Also this is another running back who is on a team that supplies him with a couple of different threats as well as a good defense. Texans should win a lot of games this year so that should get him a couple more carries too.

2-Ray Rice BAL – This man is THE MAN when it comes to PPR leagues. Ray is small but posses massive mountain moving power in his legs! Rice has great balance and can squeeze through the holes most can’t, with ease. You can easily gain another 6 or 7 points a week out of him just in receptions. That’s not even counting yards, touchdowns, and receiving yards. Another great quality outside of of the passing game is ball security Ray Rice RARELY fumbles. The only person better with ball security? Our very own LT! This man should be second or third overall pick hands down in your league. Falls any lower then 4 and  he is a STEAL. Grab him if you have the opportunity, you won’t regret it.

1-LeSean McCoy PHI – LeSean may just be the second best running back we may ever see play in this generation. His explosion through the hole, balance, and sheer dominance have yet to be matched in my opinion. No defense can really contain this guy. Which means big yards, big gains, and big points. Another running back who will KILL it in PPR leagues. I figure him to be the best running back this year. He was close to the title last year and the Eagles held him out week 17 for safety reasons. This man has it all the skill, the ability, the knowledge, and the drive to be one of the best we have seen. McCoy always will score touchdowns and give you yards. With that being said GRAB HIM WHILE YOU CAN, cause you won’t catch him come regular season hits. The only drawback is he plays in the NFC East which may be getting stronger every year, but it hasn’t slowed him up yet. VERY, VERY solid pick.

Honorable Mention: Marshawn Lynch, Matt Forte, and Darren Sproles.

Fantasy football is a different monster. You can know football, and be bad at Fantasy football. The first year I played I placed 6th out of 12. Then I learned that numbers are a different game then the actual game. Running backs are hard to find and rely on due to the injuries and consistency. If I were you maybe look quarterback first due to the fact that a great one is a keeper and outside of them hurting themselves, you’ll be safer. From that first year, 2004, I have not placed lower then 6 out of 12. Last three years I finished as follows: 2011 4th and 2nd (two leagues) 2010 2nd and 3rd (two leagues) 2009 1st and 3rd (two leagues). I do have some credentials to my name. So what does your list look like?

-Joey Nicks

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