NPC’s 2011Fantasy Draft Guide: Running Backs

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I have been writing for NPC for a little while now, and finally I am getting to write about one of my favorite topics out there….fantasy football!

As the reigning champion in my own personal league….whatever that counts for…..I hope to impart some wisdom onto Steeler nation to help you win your fantasy league as well this year.

For the last week NPC has been breaking down every position from kickers to wide receivers, and giving you all the information you need to draft a solid team. Today I have the pleasure of breaking down the most important position in fantasy football, the running backs.

While there are many different formats for fantasy football leagues, I come from a ppr (points per reception) type league, and therefore I am going to curtail my list of top-ten running back picks around that style. Now without any further adieu, here is my list of top-ten backs for the 2011 season.

1. Adrian Peterson
The number one back in the league now and for the foreseeable future is easily Adrian Peterson. Peterson’s combination of talent and durability make him the best pick to select No. 1 overall if you are lucky to have that pick in your league. He has been a top-five point gainer in all of fantasy football for four consecutive seasons, and I do not see him slowing down this year. Pundits have often looked at Peterson’s fumbling issues as a reason to downgrade the star back, but last season Peterson silenced his critics by losing the pigskin only once throughout the entire season.
Prediction: 1,600 rushing yards, 35 receptions, 13 touchdowns

2. Chris Johnson
Last season, Chris Johnson predicted he would rush for 2,000 yards. While he finished well short of that goal, he still went on to have a good season by any running back’s standards. Think of how high expectations are for a running back if a 1,364 yard season is considered a let down. While Johnson’s offensive line leaves much room for improvement, the quarterback situation in Tennessee should be slightly more reliable with Matt Hasselbeck behind center. Look for Johnson to rush for about 1,600 yards and to catch about 45 passes this season in what will almost assuredly be a huge year for the superstar back.
Prediction: 1,674 rushing yards, 45 receptions, 8 touchdowns