2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs 11-20 <br> By Steve Strange
By Steve Strange. Steve Strange, a graduate of Penn State's Center for Sports Journalism in 2006, is currently writing Fantasy is Reality, a book geared around the commissioner aspect of fantasy sports. Steve has been playing fantasy sports of all sorts and sizes since 1997. Feel free to e-mail Steve questions and comments at [email protected].
These 2010 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings will be updated often throughout the summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out the other 2010 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2010 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs. Bye: 4.
The Chiefs' 2009 regular season ended with Jamaal Charles rushing for 259 yards against Denver in Week 17.
What to Like: Charles finished 2009 rushing for more than 100 yards in his final four games.
Concern: March 9, 2010 will be remembered as a day of infamy for those hoping to draft Charles this season. That's the day the Chiefs signed Thomas Jones to a two-year contract. Jones has more than 9,000 career rushing yards, and is sure to steal carries and receptions.
X-Factor: Charlie Weis was dismissed from South Bend, and is now calling plays at Arrowhead. Weis is a good offensive coordinator, and maybe he can help Matt Cassel. Charles, who caught 40 balls last year, would benefit from an improved passing game.
Charles averaged 5.9 yards per carry last season. He's explosive, he catches the ball, and Thomas Jones is aging. Draft Charles and enjoy the upside.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 1,100 rushing yards. 42 catches. 300 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
Ryan Grant, RB, Packers. Bye: 10.
Ryan Grant is a proven commodity in a good offense.
What to Like: Grant has a stranglehold on the running back job. With Aaron Rodgers slinging footballs, defenses can't stack the box. Grant is in a great situation.
Concern: He doesn't have that explosive, big-play aspect to his game.
X-Factor: Grant only has two catches in his last five regular season games. Hopefully that disturbing trend doesn't carry into this season.
It does not matter if you're in a 14 team league, or an RB nut: You can't draft Ryan Grant in the first round. Grant simply isn't a fantasy stud, but he can supplement a stud's numbers.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 1,200 rushing yards. 20 catches. 160 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers. Bye: 6.
Williams blew up in 2008 running for 1,515 yards and scoring 20 touchdowns. An injured ankle ruined the final five games of his 2009.
What to Like: Williams enters 2010 in a contract year. It's human nature to kick it up a notch when millions of dollars are at stake.
Concern: Jonathan Stewart slices off a lot of Williams' fantasy value. Stewart eats half of Williams' carries, and is often deferred to at the goal line.
X-Factor: John Fox and company love to run the football, and the team is weak at quarterback. Even in a timeshare, DeAngelo will still get his.
I'm one of those guys who love to draft running backs early and often, and I always try to avoid running back in timeshares. I would rather gamble on a runner who has a chance to get all of the carries.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 1,100 rushing yards. 24 catches. 240 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos. Bye: 9.
I'll never forget watching Knowshon Moreno as a Georgia Bulldog. He shred the death and destruction, Will Muschamp-led Auburn Tigers defense in 2007. No doubt he has NFL-caliber talent.
What to Like: Moreno's got power, quickness and pass catching ability. He's the undisputed starting running back in Denver.
Concern: Moreno wasn't great in his rookie season (he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry). Hopefully he worked out the NFL kinks, and is ready to be the dominant force he was in the SEC.
X-Factor: Like everyone else on this list after Ryan Grant, Moreno will see carries stolen. Correll Buckhalter is a solid back who had 120 carries and 31 receptions as a Bronco last season.
Josh McDaniels comes from the Bill Belichick "Let's pick a player up off the practice roster and start him at running back" pedigree. Factor in Moreno's talent accordingly.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 1,100 rushing yards. 30 catches. 215 receiving yards. 8 total TDs.
Shonn Greene, RB, Jets. Bye: 7.
Greene became a 2010 fantasy force about five months ago. He racked up 263 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Jets playoff victories over Cincinnati and San Diego.
What to Like: Greene has everything. He's a complete back with a great offensive line and a coach who loves old school football.
Concern: LaDainian Tomlinson is now in town. Tomlinson had 12 touchdowns last season, while averaging 3.3 yards per carry. It almost seems the Jets brought Tomlinson in specifically to vulture Greene's touchdowns.
X-Factor: This is important: Greene had zero receptions last year. Yep, a goose egg for the season. I don't care that he was Thomas Jones' backup for the bulk of 2009. In the world of fantasy football that doesn't get it done.
There's a lot to like about Greene, but the small sample size and L.T. addition scare me a little.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 1,350 rushing yards. 6 catches. 34 receiving yards. 8 total TDs.
Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins. Bye: 5.
Injuries and Ricky Williams have bloodied up Brown's fantasy worth the last couple of seasons. It's easy to forget that Brown has real deal talent on a team that loves to run.
What to Like: Brown is the starting running back, and the primary quarterback of the Wildcat. He sees a ton of touches, and could even chip in a few passing points.
Concern: ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary "Run Ricky Run" was awesome. Those who watched know that Williams is capable of running for 1,500 yards this year or quitting the game tomorrow.
X-Factor: Brandon Marshall should make the Dolphins passing game more vertical. Marshall should eliminate the option of playing nine in the box against the Wildcat.
Brown is a running back who catches the ball, scores touchdowns and plays quarterback. Sleep on him at your own risk.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 1,000 rushing yards. 25 catches. 200 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
Chris Wells, RB, Cardinals. Bye: 6.
Wells is the starting running back in a completely transformed offense.
What to Like: With Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin gone, the team could turn to Wells to grind it out. Remember: Ken Whisenhunt comes from a Bill Cowher pedigree, and loves to run the football.
Concern: Wells only had one game with over 100 yards rushing in 2009 (Week 15 at Detroit).
X-Factor: Tim Hightower had 63 receptions to Wells' 12. Hightower is also effective near the goal line. He strikes me as a Kevin Faulk-type player; somebody too steady to keep off the field.
Wells is in position to succeed.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 1,100 rushing yards. 13 catches. 145 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers. Bye: 10.
The Chargers drafted Mathews with the 12th overall pick so obviously they like him. He played college ball at Fresno State.
What to Like: Mathews is projected to carry the load for a good Chargers offense.
Concern: Darren Sproles is one of the best burners in the game, and his touches increase every season. I think it's a mistake to discount him.
X-Factor: Unless you're a diehard college football or Fresno State fan, you haven't seen a lot of Mathews. It's hard to draft what you don't know.
Everyone seems to be pretty high on Mathews. I plan to wait and watch for a year before investing.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 1,100 rushing yards. 18 catches. 160 receiving yards. 8 total TDs.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers. Bye: 6.
Stewart is a bruising back who scores touchdowns.
What to Like: Stewart's risk factor is very low. He's going to split carries with DeAngelo Williams, and pound away behind a good offensive line. The edge goes to Stewart at the goal line.
Concern: Stewart's reward factor is also very low. Williams catches more passes.
X-Factor: Williams got hurt last year, and Stewart was money during that time frame. If Williams goes down, Stewart's value skyrockets.
You know what you're getting with Stewart: good, but not great fantasy production.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 1,050 rushing yards. 15 catches. 120 receiving yards. 9 total TDs.
Joseph Addai, RB, Colts. Bye: 7.
Addai has no big-play ability, but he's still the starting the running back in Indianapolis.
What to Like: Thanks to the greatness of Peyton Manning, Addai gets a lot of touchdowns. Addai is a good pass catcher, which makes him a solid fit in the Colts offense.
Concern: Addai averaged 3.8 yards per carry last year, and 3.5 per rush in 2008. He has rushed for more than 100 yards once in his last 40 games.
X-Factor: Donald Brown should play a bigger role in the Colts offense this year if he can improve his pass blocking and stay healthy.
I watched a lot of Peyton Manning football last decade, and remember Addai running slowly and softly quite often. He's very valuable as the starting running back in Manning's offense, though. Keep a close eye on Addai and Donald Brown in the preseason.
Projected 2010 Fantasy Stats: 600 rushing yards. 30 catches. 250 receiving yards. 10 total TDs.