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The Top 10 RB At Season’s End

As you well know, the Top 10 runningbacks ranked for the upcoming season never end that way. At best, six or seven will make it back to the class of RB1, yet regardless of your league, it’s amazing at the lack of original thinking employed when it comes to drafting. We all know the safe picks: Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice. We all know the risk-reward picks: Michael Turner, Frank Gore, Steven Jackson. These guys have done it before, so despite some injury concerns you know what you’re getting. Then we’re left with the rest of the Top 10, which is a mish-mash of high-risk high-reward, but more likely bitter disappointment. I’m talking the DeAngelo Williams’, the Rashard Mendhenhall’s, the Pierre Thomas’, the Shonn Greene’s or Jamaal Charles’. Like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, you may fool yourself into being excited, but once the season starts you’re left wondering, “What in the heck did I just pay for?”

It may be easy to pick out the last four guys in the Top 10 and say “they won’t be back next year.” More than likely, one of these guys will retain that Top 10 distinction and one of the big six will play his way into a bad season and be deemed a “good value pick” in 2011. You don’t want to be that guy who picks a runningback that will be deemed a “good value” next season, believe me. I’m talking to you, ‘guy that picked Matt Forte last year.’ OK, sure, it’s awesome to be the guy that picked Shonn Greene as a RB52 last year and brag and say “I knew back then he’d be a top runningback in this league.” Sure you did. Never mind the fact you drafted Clinton Portis and Kevin Smith as your starters. I’m calling those guys out right now.

Throw away your magazines and your website rankings. Let’s get ahead of the curve instead of wasting away in the tailwind. Here’s your Top 10 runningbacks at season’s end. Draft this year accordingly.


  1. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
    – OK, I played it safe here, but as much as we all try to find a chink in the armor (fumbling, rumblings of losing goal line carries to Toby Gerhart), with the loss of Chester Taylor the Vikings are going to lean on ‘A.P.’ even more. A career season is on the horizon.


  1. Maurice Jones Drew, Jaguars
    David Garrard and the ragtag of young receivers are just good enough to get defenders out of Maurice Jones-Drew’s way. He proved that he could be the man last year and there’s nothing stopping him from doing it better this year.


  1. Ryan Mathews, Chargers
    – Mathews’ average draft position is dangerously close to the Top 10 as it is, but he’ll be a lock Top 5 come next season. If you’re sitting at five and are unsure about the Frank Gore/Michael Turner/Steven

    triumvirate, take Mathews.


  1. Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells, Cardinals
    Tim Hightower will give way to Beanie as quick as you can say, “and starting at runningback, Tim Hightower.” Already, Wells has checked into the game.


  1. Chris Johnson, Titans
    – There’s going to be a letdown. You know it. I know it. How much of a letdown is the only debate.


  1. Michael Turner, Falcons
    – He bounces back fairly well, but the Falcons don’t ride him as hard as they should, and Jason Snelling takes advantage, which will hamper Turner’s numbers.


  1. Jahvid Best, Lions
    – Best does his best Chris Johnson 2009 impersonation: gets roughed up a couple of games, but becomes a lock for the Top 10 in 2011.


  1. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos
    – There was more hype for

    in his rookie season and he’s sufficiently skating under the radar for 2010,  especially, with Ryan Clady out until the season, but expect a big season.


  1. Pierre Thomas, Saints
    – Playing for the ever-elusive big-time contract,

    Thomas stays healthy and puts on a show in

    New Orleans


  1. Frank Gore, 49ers
    – You can’t kill him, even though the 49ers try. Gore puts up his typical awe-inspiring season despite missing his requisite 2-3 games.

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