The 2009 NFL fantasy football season is right around the corner, and it appears that the running backs at the top of draft lists are changing somewhat. It used to be easy to know the number one pick in a fantasy football draft. These days, the running back position is loaded with top notch stars, and goes very deep. Here is a look at the ten best running backs in fantasy football for the 2009 season:
1. DeAngelo Williams – Many people will take exception to my putting Williams at number one on this list, but the numbers do not lie. The guy was simply a monster last season, and proved that he is for real. If the doubters watch Williams this season closely, they will see that for themselves.
2. Adrian Peterson – While Peterson is certainly one of the best in the league, the Vikings will not be focusing on the run nearly as much as they did last year. With Favre at the helm, the Vikings will throw the ball. That could help or hurt Peterson, but either way he will get his 1200-1500 yds.
3. Michael Turner – It seems like ages ago that this guy was considered no more than a talented backup to LaDanian Tomlinson. Now Turner is one of the premiere running backs in the league. In fantasy football, he is especially good because of his goal line carries. Turner will be a great pick in 2009.
4. Matt Forte – This guy is going to be very special, and with Jay Cutler under center he might even get better. The reason? Cutler is a wonderful screen passer, and Forte will do some damage catching the football. This will make him even more valuable in fantasy football circles.
5. Maurice Jones-Drew – The only concern with Drew is the fact that injury looms. Something about the Jaguars running game just screams injury, but that could be due to the years of Fred Taylor at running back. Either way, this guy is talented and makes a great pick early in round one.
6. LaDanian Tomlinson – Finally healthy, Tomlinson is ready to prove that he is not washed up in fantasy football. The guy is unreal with the football when he is healthy, and he is more than capable of putting up another monster season. It remains to be seen if he will be able to shake off the nagging injuries of the last several seasons.
7. Clinton Portis – Portis is one of those guys that has simply been beaten to death over the years. He has taken more hits than any running back in football in recent years, and yet just comes back for more every week. That dependability puts him high on this list because fantasy football is all about being on the field. Unless Portis is half dead, he will be there.
8. Steve Slaton – Slaton is a guy that could explode onto the fantasy football scene this year. He showed signs of that last season in a year when he pretty much carried the Texans running game. Slaton is a special talent that is a great steal if you get him cheaply.
9. Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs is just a bull. Bulls get in the end zone, and score points. Expect plenty of that from Jacobs with Ward being traded away.
10. Steven Jackson – The only reason Jackson is not higher on this list is because he plays with the Rams. The guy simply has had no help. The Rams have made some moves towards changing this, but it is a year or two away still.