Thursday, January 10, 2013

Top 5 Fantasy NFL Running Backs of 2012

     Although the pro game has grown increasingly pass oriented, a good run game is still relevant to the winning formula.  That being said, finding good running backs for your fantasy team is a difficult task.  The nature of the position makes them prone to injury. Many teams don't even use a feature back anymore, preferring to split carries between two or even three rushers.   That makes the good ones even more valuable because running backs are still the backbone of a fantasy team.  You can never have enough of them on your team.  Here are the top 5 scoring running backs in my league this year:

Adrian Peterson
1.  Adrian Peterson-  I don't think anyone could have imagined Adrian Peterson having the type of season he was able to put together this year.  He had major surgery on his knee in the off season, the kind that leaves most people never fully the same.  His team is weak at the quarterback position, which means opposing defenses know he is going to get the rock.  Despite all this, Peterson was able to come within 9 yards of Eric Dickerson's all time single season rushing record.  He pretty much carried his team to the playoffs, running for 2097 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Eclipsing 2000 yards rushing in a single season cements his status as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.  I have a feeling there are still more great seasons to come with Peterson.  This year he scored 347.40 fantasy points in my league.

Doug Martin
2.  Doug Martin-  Martin was another surprise at the running back position this season.  Many thought Tampa Bay over reached by taking him in the first round of the 2012 draft.  Martin proved his naysayers wrong, rushing for 1454 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Muscle Hamster was one of this year's steals in the fantasy draft.  He greatly overachieved most predictions on his production.  In my league, Muscle Hamster ran wild for 311.60 fantasy points on the season.  He is a legitimate candidate for rookie of the year.

Arian Foster
3.  Arian Foster-  Foster has been one of, if not the most consistent running backs over the last 3 years in terms of fantasy value.  He routinely produces at a high level and has made a home at the top of the draft in most fantasy leagues.  Foster led all running backs in rushing touchdowns with 15.  He had another 1k yard season, rushing for 1424 on the year.  Foster is the focal point of the Texans offense, it requires him to run the ball effectively for it to be successful.  Foster reaped 302.10 fantasy points from opposing defenses in my league this year.  That number would have been even higher, but Foster suffered from a heart condition in week 16 knocking him out of the game early.  Unfortunately for a lot of people week 16 is the championship game in most fantasy leagues.  If you had Foster in your line up, most likely things didn't go to well for you that week.  More important is that Foster seems to have recovered from his condition.  An irregular heartbeat can be very serious if not treated properly.   It is something Foster has a history of, but it hasn't really effected his career for the most part.  Hopefully that continues to be the case.

Ray Rice
4.  Ray Rice-  Rice is another model of consistency.  The Baltimore running back rushed for over 1000 yards for the 4th straight season.  He had 8 rushing touchdowns on the year and remains the Ravens top offensive threat.  It will be interesting to see how Rice's production will be effected with the new offensive coordinator in Baltimore.  I have a feeling they will try to go more pass heavy, but either way Ray will still be an important part of what the Raven's do.  Rice ended the season with 283.10 fantasy points.

Marshawn Lynch
5. Marshawn Lynch-  Lynch, coupled with Seattle's rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, made for a lethal combination this season.  The Seahawk offense exploded on opponents for over 40 points three games in a row.  Lynch racked up 1590 yards with 11 rushing touchdowns this season and seems to get better every year.  He lived up to his nickname and went beast bode on his opponents for 269.60 fantasy points in 2012.  Lynch's Seahawks are an exciting team to watch and have a serious shot at going to the Super Bowl this year.


     2011 was a record year for quarterbacks in fantasy football. After the season, some of my league mates where unhappy with the amount of fantasy points being scored by quarterbacks.  They felt that if you were not lucky enough to draft an elite quarterback (Brees or Rodgers) your chances of winning were very small.  The league commissioner responded to this by making receptions count for 1 fantasy point.  This obviously skews the point totals, raising the scores of players with a higher number of receptions.  

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