2012 Fantasy Football RB Rankings

Wednesday, 08 August 2012 12:35 PM Written by 

rayrice_08082012

1. Ray Rice - Lots of RB these days split time with other back.  That isn't the case with Ray Rice.  He's Mr Everything for the Baltimore Ravens and he does it all very well.  Runs good, catches lots of passes, scores plenty of TDs.  Everything you could ever hope for.

2. Arian Foster - Probably one of the most valuable fantasy football players the past two years, gets a slight down grade due to the offensive line changes, but its still a pretty talented OL and will keep Foster valuable.

3. LeSean McCoy - When its not Michael Vick lugging the ball around, its Shady McCoy.  He doesn't carry it as much as you'd probably like, but at 4.8 yard per carry and 17 TDs, I don't think it really matters.  Not to mention he's a great pass catcher as well.

4. Chris Johnson - With the exception of a few games, CJ2K was miserable.  Usually had around 50 yards a game, no TDs.  This happens when you give a guy a heavy workload every year.  He's coming off a relatively light workload last year with just 317 touches.  He should bounce back in a weak division.

5. Darren McFadden -Oh man, here we go again.  Great numbers, but played in just 7 games last year.  He'll be fresh, but will he be healthy?  The Raiders shouldn't be as dependant on their running game as they had been with Carson Palmer under center, but I'd pick up Mike Goodson too, just in case.

6. Ryan Mathews - Lots of optimism for the Chargers running game this year as the former first rounder had a strong finish to his 2011 season.  Thinking that this carries over to this year, he could be one of the top three RBs in the league this year.

7. Maurice Jones-Drew - Considering he plays for Jacksonville and has a rookie QB handing him the ball, 2011 ended up pretty nice for MJD with 1,980 total yards and 11 TDs.  However, keep on eye on his contract hold out right now.  Doesn't look like its going to get resolved anytime soon.

8. Matt Forte -The King of "One Big Week, Three Bad Weeks" has some company in the backfield in the form of Michael Bush.  His big weeks and passing catching abilities keep him valuable, but don't expect too many TDs with Bush behind him.

9. Marshawn Lynch - Lynch's big run against the Saints in the 2010 playoffs carried over to the 2011 season, but not until the second half.  Lynch was a pretty big disappointment until November, so you can expect this type of consistency from Lynch as he always has been really good or really bad.

10. DeMarco Murray - He's everything they were hoping Felix Jones would be and he's more than that.  The speedster has taken the starting reigns away from Jones (at least temporarily) and put up some very impressive numbers in his games as a starter before getting injured.  Definitely own Jones if you own him.  This could go either way.

11. Adrian Peterson - Hey, isn't this guy usually MUCH higher on the list?  In case you forgot, Purple Jesus Tom Brady-ied his knee at the end of last season (torn ACL and MCL) and has been recovering all off season.  There is some question as to whether he'll play in Week One.  Just think of him as this years Peyton Manning, except I'm hoping he actually comes back.

12. Jamaal Charles - Unlike AP, Charles blew out his ACL in Week Two.  So he's been recovered for awhile now, however a lot of RBs that tear their ACL never come back the same and he has Peyton Hillis to deal with in the backfield now.

13. Steven Jackson - So goes Steven Jackson, goes the Rams offense.  As one of the very few reliable weapons the Rams have, they'll be dependant on him again to be their workhorse.  More touches doesn't necessarily mean more fantasy points though as has been the case the past few years where the numbers have been good, but not great considering the number of touches.

14. Frank Gore - While the Niners offense did much better last year, Gore personally took a step back.  His rushing numbers down and his receiving numbers were way down with only 17 catches after two years of 45+ receptions.  Now Brandon Jacobs will be behind him.  While he'll be fresher and that's great for SF, its bad for Gore owners who know he won't be touching the ball like he had been prior to 2011.

15. Michael Turner - My top rated RB from a couple years ago is barely making this list now.  The crystal in Turner's hand has turned red as he's now 30 and its time to watch the downward spiral.  The Falcons have said he won't be getting 300 carries this year and that's bad news as the volume of carries is what was keeping Turner so valuable.  Maybe a fresher Burner will do better than an overworked one.

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.