You can check out the top 10 quarterbacks for 2009 if you missed them. We now move ahead into the top 10 running backs.  As we look back at the backs we can easily see how hard it is to pick a top 10 back consistently from year to year.  They are more likely to get injured than quarterbacks (especially when you get flagged for disturbing them), they are more easily replaced, a couple fumbles can get them benched, coaches will ride the “hot hand” (which is as gross as it sounds), rookies may or may not show up, and, well, they can just suck. So why pick one first when you can get an almost kinda sorda guaranteed quarterback instead?  Well, I’ll let you consternate on that while we look at some running backs who led a lot of teams to fantasy glory.

1. Chris Johnson: It’s not like CJ fell out of the sky.  Everyone knew he had the skills.  Even lowly old me wrote, “One of the many rookie running backs to have big fantasy seasons last year, Johnson is explosive and can knock off an 80 yard TD at anytime.” And that’s lowly old me quoting a lowly old younger me. He ended up with quite a few of those 80 yard TD’s and broke some records along the way to 2,000 yards. He will be the #1 pick next year and I think he’ll deserve it. Preseason Rank #6, 2009 Projections:  1375/12 — 400/3,  Final Numbers:  2,006/14 — 503/2

2. Adrian Peterson: The consensus number one may not have lived up to expectations, but he still was a fantasy stud. His touchdown and receiving production went up which helped offset his pitiful rushing yardage.  I mean come on! 1,389 yards is downright Julius Jones-esque. His receptions more than doubled which bodes well for his future in this here league.  He also stayed healthy which some were worried about.  Unlike Kubiak, Major Dad doesn’t bench players for fumbling so I see no reason to worry about his dropsies. Preseason Rank #1, 2009 Projections:  1775/17 — 250/2,  Final Numbers:  1,389/18 — 436/0

3. Marice Jones-Drew: David Garrard was like a drunken carny slowing and speeding up the roller coaster that was MJD’s season, but overall MJD was the stud we thought he would be.  He will continue his ability to put the ball over the goal line and he didn’t have any trouble standing up to the beating given to him by the full time job.  Preseason Rank #2, 2009 Projections:  1250/15 — 575/5,  Final Numbers:  1391/15 — 374/1

4. Ray Rice: He shattered even the most optimistic of expectations and it came after a huge start by Willis McGahee.  He was a ppr monster devouring 78 receptions.  He saw a lot of red zone work, but he still had to compete with McGahee all year for touchdowns.   There is a chance Willis will move on to greener starting pastures in the offseason and if that happens, you’ll see Rice getting a lot of top 3 buzz. Preseason Rank #23, 2009 Projections 900/6 — 300/1,  Final Numbers:  1339/7 — 702/1

5. Thomas Jones: My biggest mistake of the year was undervaluing Jones. I had a tingly feeling in my nether regions that Leon Washington would split carries and outshine him.  I was wrong.  I was horribly wrong. Even if Washington hadn’t snapped in two, Jones still would have been the man. Even after being so gigantically wrong I will probably rank him low for the 2010 season once again.  Shonn Greene has looked good toward the end of the season and the lifespan of a NFL running back is short. Preseason Rank #27, 2009 Projections 900/7 — 100/1,  Final Numbers:  1402/14 — 58/0

6. Frank Gore: Gore was injured for three weeks, endured the Alex Smith “Air” show and still ended up studlying up studville with his studness.  He can’t seem to get all the way back to his 2006 form and gets nicked up a bit, but as long as he can continue getting 13+ games and 40+ receptions he’ll continue to put numbers up and down, and sideways, etc… Preseason Rank #10, 2009 Projections 1225/9 — 400/2,  Final Numbers:  1120/10 — 406/3

7. Ryan Grant: Mr. Grant showed me something this year.  No, don’t be gross.  He regressed in ’08 and I felt that was going to be a trend, but he only got stronger as the season went on this season. In the last 4 games he tallied 6 touchdowns.  There’s no reason to think the Pack won’t move the ball easily next season.  Grant will once again be selfish and not share his carries with anyone, and that isn’t easy to find in this here NFL.  Preseason Rank #17, 2009 Projections 1125/7, 250/0,  Final Numbers:  1253/11 — 197/0

7. Ricky Williams: Even before Ronnie Brown’s foot injury Ricky was putting up useful numbers. He was one of three RB’s in the last 25 years to run for over 1,000 yards at the age of 32.  Brett Favre is 40 years old!  RB’s need to get their stats and their money quick!  Ricky was out of the league and probably saved his body some wear and tear and I truly believe yoga helped him stay flexible, but he was wearing down toward the end of the season.  Ronnie Brown will be a risky pick with yet another injury, but I think Ricky needs him or he could break down pretty quickly next season. Preseason Rank DNR,  Final Numbers:  1121/11 — 264/2

9. Joseph Addai: Wow, it really is amazing how much TD’s boost fantasy numbers.  Wait, not amazing, just craptastic when it comes from a not so great player like Addai.  With Manning at the helm there is no way a Colt’s running back should average under 4 yards a carry.  In the last 2 years Addai has averaged 3.5 and 3.8. I believed Donald Brown would eventually take away a lot of Addai’s work and at points he was, but then he got brokened.  And I was sad.  Brown didn’t set the league on fire when he did play, but if he can stay healthy there is no way Addai gets 13 touchdown’s next year.  Preseason Rank #28, 2009 Projections 830/5, 225/2,  Final Numbers:  828/10 — 336/3

10. Steven Jackson: SJax’s tale is one woe and heroism wrapped in a 6’2, 238 pound beast of a man.  He was by far the only offensive weapon on his sorry excuse for a NFL team and saw 23 man fronts, moats, spikes, etc… He didn’t get into the endzone until week 8 and only totaled 4 TD’s all season.  It’s depressing that Joseph Addai had more fantasy points than SJax, but it’s a fact Jax. Skill doesn’t always win and this is a good lesson for all you young whipper long snapper fantasy footballers.   Preseason Rank #5, 2009 Projections 1325/13, 550/3,  Final Numbers:  1416/4 — 322/0

  1. Asdrubal Bastardo says:

    SJax is a man-beast. Imagine if he was on a good team! Hell even a below average team (Redskins? Lions? Seahawks?), he would be AP +1

  2. Rob says:

    So does Turner come in 11th or does he drop even more? And I’ve got to think that Jamaal Charles should be in there…..

  3. Doc

    Doc says:

    @Asdrubal Bastardo: It is a travesty! Barry Sanders might have had a better team!

  4. Broadstreetbrawler says:

    RCL update!

  5. Broadstreetbrawler says:

    just checked, they are updated, thanks

  6. Doc

    Doc says:

    @Rob: These are how they finished for 2009. The projections for 2010 aren’t out yet.

  7. Rob says:

    I’m a big dumb animal…I read too fast. Sorry man.

  8. Nate says:

    I’m just glad to see Grant get some love after getting razzed all year.

    Never would have thought he’d be my #1 RB after drafting him, Slaton, R. Brown and Mendenhall.

  9. Ian says:

    Doc, Who do you like this week in a PPR? Pierre Thomas of Beanie Wells?

  10. Ian says:

    Doc, Who do you like this week in a PPR? Pierre Thomas OR Beanie Wells?

  11. Doc

    Doc says:

    @Ian: For this week I like Beanie.

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