Monday, May 9, 2011

Fantasy Football Insider: Who could be the Top Fantasy Running Backs in 2011?

The NFL lockout continues as the 2011 NFL Draft comes to a close and we are all now stuck in a state of “football limbo”. There won’t be much movement at all now in the NFL as we wait for things to get settled so teams are going to remain pretty much the same way that the did last year until all of this is settled.

With NFL teams taking to the air much more now than they have in the past it’s safe to say that the role of the running back on an NFL team has diminished. We have seen this happen over the past few years but fantasy football fans should not let themselves worry about the production from running backs.

Running backs are an important part of any fantasy roster and can have huge games which allow fantasy owners to win games and win their leagues.

Some of the top fantasy football running backs during the 2010 season include Houston’s Arian Foster, Cleveland’s Peyton Hills and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson and these players promise to have good seasons in 2011.

But will they be ready for the 2011 season thanks to the lockout? Will the 2011 season even be ready for them?

Let’s assume that the season is going to go on as normal? Which players will be the top running backs in 2011?

We will find out as we look at the top five fantasy running backs heading into the 2011 season.

(Note: This is in no particular order).

1. Chris Johnson-Tennessee Titans-Tennessee’s quarterback situation is going to a little tenuous in 2011 so they will probably try to rely on Johnson much more this coming season. This means big dividends for fantasy football owners that pick Johnson. If you can get him early take him.

2. Peyton Hillis-Cleveland Browns-The Browns will have quarterback Colt McCoy starting to open the season and as they try to ease him into his starting role it’s possible that they could use the running game to help take some of the pressure off of McCoy. Hillis is now a proven running back and will help the Browns have success on the ground next year.

3. Matt Forte-Chicago Bears-The Bears ended up having a lot of success on offense, especially in the second half of the season and he’s a valuable dual threat both running the ball and catching it. The Bears will continue to use him often as a key part of their offense and he should see some strong numbers again in 2011.

4. Adrian Peterson-Minnesota Vikings-Peterson is always an ideal pickup in any fantasy football season and he might be called upon early and often if the Vikings have rookie Christian Ponder as their starting quarterback. Look for him to have a big season in 2011 as long as he can stay healthy and hold onto the ball.

5. Darren McFadden-Oakland Raiders-After a long wait Raiders fans and those fantasy football owners that selected him got what they wanted out of McFadden and being that they have the head coach that was last year’s offensive coordinator coming back he may get even more touches this season and could do even better than he did last season.

There could be a couple rookie running backs that might be worth a mid round look. Guys like New Orleans Saints Mark Ingram and Detroit’s Mikel Leshoure could have good seasons. Keep an eye on these guys as the season progresses as they might be worth a longer look.

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