In 2012 football fans saw a crazy year for running backs. Adrian Peterson came back from an injury to almost break the NFL single-season rushing record, Trent Richardson played with injured ribs and still produced at a high level, and Marshawn Lynch continued to show the world what beast mode is all about.
In the fantasy football world there seems to be few favorites when it comes to selecting a running back. Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Doug Martin, Marshawn Lynch, and C.J. Spiller are my top five running backs and have been coming off the draft boards very early. Last season Adrian Peterson clearly took home the title of being the best fantasy running back. He produced at a level that no other running back could, but will he take home the title this year or will someone else be the top fantasy running back at the end of the season?
Martin was a rookie sensation last season. This guy was most likely your flex play last season until we all realized this rookie could run. On 319 attempts, Martin rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Buccaneers feed the ball as much as they could, since he kept producing week after week. Yes, for many of us it may be scary taking a guy who has only had one good season, but I have him ranked as the number two running back this season.
The Buccaneers know they have a decent passing game but the running game will be their focus. Don’t worry too much about this guy only having one season of success. I am focused on the upside with Martin and unless there is an injury, we can expect him to be a top five running back in 2013-14 but will he take home the fantasy football running back crown?
Foster is ranked as the number three running back according to my top 200 fantasy football rankings but he could easily be the number one running back. Foster has proven himself year after year to be one of the best in the league. Last season he rushed for 1,424 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. The Texans were one of the top rushing teams in the 2012-13 and Foster had the most attempts last season with 351. He does tend to lose some carries to backup running backs but he should easily be a top five running back at the end of the year. Let’s face it Peterson and Foster have been battling for the top position for a few years, can Foster regain the crown?
Spiller busted on to the scene last season when Fred Jackson got injured. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry on 207 attempts and rushed for 1,244 yards. You may think 207 attempts is not a huge number but he has a new offensive coordinator and head coach who I believe are going to feed him the ball all day.
Expect Spiller to have 20+ touches a game rushing and possibly a few receiving yards. He is a speedster that can juke in and out of traffic easily. This kid has a knack for finding the smallest hole and bursting through it. Expect him to have some big games in the 2013-14 season, but will it be enough to place him at number one?
Lynch is a beast that looks to be reviving his career in Seattle. He averaged just around five yards a carry on 315 attempts. He was third in rushing last season with 1,590 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. Lynch has been consistent in the past few years and can be considered a top-five running back. He has a great offensive line in front of him and I think Lynch could be in for the best season of his career this year, but can he make the push for the number one spot?
Peterson should be the first player drafted regardless of his position but will he finish as the top running back at end of the year? Last season he proved to fantasy football players and NFL fans why he should be considered the best running back in the league. Last season Peterson finished with 348 attempts, 2,097 yards rushing, and 12 touchdowns.
Peterson seems to be a fantasy football player’s best friend; because he not only provides a lot of rushing yard points, he also gets a lot of points for touchdowns. Indeed, it’s hard to argue that this guy won’t be number one at the end of the season, but all great things must come to an end.
About the Author: Nate Gerst
I'm a contributor at Sports Unbiased, and a Fantasy Football and NFL writer. My goal is to bring you the facts that can help you win your fantasy league. Once the facts are provided the rest is up to you.