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While You Were Sleeping: Running Backs

My fellow fantasy football comrades,

It has been too long since we last spoke. Much has happened since the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl in February. Revolutions have broken out in the Middle East, America’s greatest villain has finally been defeated and the greatest action hero of the 1980’s had this year’s biggest scandal.

Since the lockout began, much of the news has been negative. A great deal of the drama took place in courtrooms and the 2011-12 season seemed farther and farther away. Recently, though, the news has taken a more positive spin as nearly all media outlets have been reporting that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement deal might be only weeks away.

This can only mean one thing. It’s time to start thinking about fantasy football again. And this year is special, more special than most seasons. This is the season where owners will have a chance to steal a title from their fellow owners. The lockout has been dragging on for so long that many fantasy football owners have become complacent and understandably so, there just hasn’t been that much real news lately.

Think about the exponential growth in the popularity of fantasy football over the last couple years. Owners have become accustomed to the never ending season: Super Bowl, free agency, draft, organized team activities, training camp, preseason, regular season. The last labor stoppage was more than 20 years ago, and while fantasy football was definitely around then it certainly wasn’t as popular as it is now.

This is a new situation. I submit to you that a large section of owners have been sleeping. And there’s no telling when they’ll wake up. This represents an unparalleled opportunity for the more crafty and prepared owners to win a title this year just because they were awake taking notes while the rest of their fellow owners were caught napping.

This article on running backs represents the first of a series of articles meant to get owners up to speed on what’s been happening since the lockout began. In the coming weeks we’ll talk about quarterbacks, wide receivers and finally tight ends. I’ll rank the Top 10 at each position and then then list the best sleepers and busts.

Before we get started, I should mention one last thing. It’s the beginning of July. The football season, hopefully, will begin in September. Free agency has yet to happen. Training camp seems years away. We don’t even know how many preseason games we’ll get based on the new agreement. There is much that will happen, which can and will drastically alter the fantasy landscape. These rankings and predictions are based on information that could change rapidly in the coming weeks. This isn’t a final rankings. It is only a starting point, my friends.

Top 10 Fantasy Running Backs

1) Adrian PetersonWhen you have the number one overall pick in the draft, you want someone that’s reliable and can carry your team for an entire season. Peterson has proven year after year that he can be relied on to do just that. He”s had four straight seasons of 1,600 total yards and earned the trust of owners. While the quarterback situation is sketchy at best in Minnesota, Peterson has conclusively shown that poor quarterback play (2010 Brett Favre, Tavaris Jackson) does not limit his fantasy production. He’s as safe a bet as you can get in this draft and someone who is starting to make the case that he’s the best fantasy player of the last decade.

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