While the quarterback position (check out my Top 10 Fantasy QB’s) is very important, and, at times, very suspect, the RUNNING BACK position has the most value. In today’s NFL, the running back can earn his stripes through the running and passing game. Two or three good running backs could easily secure you a victory from week to week.

While there are several good backs in the league, the RB is also a position that swaps out talent constantly. A few seasons ago, Atlanta Falcons back Michael Turner served as a FB. A season later he was one of the elite backs in the league. Today he would probably still be in the Top 10 running back rankings, but nowhere near what he was before. The Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson would be another example of a back that has lost some of his luster over the past few seasons. For a position that has a playing life of about 5 years, you never know who could be at the end of their playing glory. One thing is for sure, every season seems to bring out a new star to salivate over.

Based on what we’ve seen from the running position as of late, here are my Top 10 Fantasy Football draft picks at the position.

10. DARREN MCFADDEN – Oakland Raiders
This is a team that is on the edge of being good, playoff contenders. Add in a full offseason, where they can work with Carson Palmer and learn the coach’s schemes, and hopefully a healthy season, and he could be a rock on your roster.

9. MARSHAWN LYNCH – Seattle Seahawks
One playoff carry, two seasons ago, seemed to rejuvenate Lynch’s career. This season, his team’s offense has gotten much better than any of his previous seasons. The additions of Matt Flynn at QB, and Braylon Edwards, Terrell Owen, and Kellen Winslow as strong receivers and blockers, will only open the field for his running lanes.

8. DEMARCO MURRAY – Dallas Cowboys
Murray proved his worth last season when injuries opened a door for him. With a QB like Romo at the forefront of their offense, Murray could have some big games. My only fear is the fact that Dallas seems to switch star backs every seasons. This is a team that has showcased Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and now Murray over the past two seasons.

7. RYAN MATTHEWS – San Diego Chargers
As I pointed out in my evaluation of Phillip Rivers, the Chargers have added weapons on offense, especially in the receiving core. This elevation of threat in the passing game will only spread the defense out for Matthews. Look for him to have a good season.

6. CHRIS JOHNSON -Tennessee Titans
As I stated before, CJ was once considered a sure #1 pick In any draft format. Lately, he has not put the same numbers, but he is still very dangerous. I personally think that after a drop-off in stats he will make a point to get his star status back this season.

5. MATT FORTE – Chicago Bears
Forte gives you 1000+ rushing yards each season, as well as snatches 50+ receptions. He is going to give you double-digit TD’s each season, and that’s with no real go-to guy in the receiving core. The Bears have added Brandon Marshall who will definitely assume that role, and will take some of the defensive focus off Forte. Not to mention, he is finally getting the money he deserves, and is a lot happier. His stock goes up this season.

4. MAURICE JONES DREW – Jacksonville Jaguars
MJD’s season ended with an injury last season, and he has openly expressed his discontent in Jacksonville. But he also knows that his position is one with a short shelf life, and he can’t waste a season being a disgruntled employee. He will come out with his same hardworking, focused, determination this season.

3. LESEAN MCCOY – Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have done a good job at putting the pressure on themselves this season. They are definitely the fastest, most dangerous, most under-achieving offense in the league. But they are refocused, healthy, happy (Desean Jackson), and ready to perform for Coach Reid. Expect McCoy to grind on the ground and in the passing game.

2. RAY RICE – Baltimore Ravens
Rice has been a solid rock in each of his previous four seasons. His QB is in a hunt to prove that he is a star at the position, but Rice is still the stud on “O”. He will continue to be the same reliable source this season. He put forth his greatest touchdown output last season, and I have a feeling he will add to it after a disappointing end to 2011.

1. ARIAN FOSTER – Houston Texans
Even with other top backs at the prime of their careers, Foster has emerged as the premier back in the league. It’s one thing to be good at rushing and receiving, but Foster can easily give you 100+ yards and multiple touchdowns through EITHER method. Not total. Separate. He has speed, power, elusiveness, and toughness. Last season started slowly due to injury, and he still ended with great fantasy numbers. Imagine what he’ll do this season, starting off healthy.

Here is my Top 10 at the running back position for this season. I will point out that my rankings could have one wrinkle. IF….Adrian Peterson is completely back from injury and ready to prove that he is still a stud, he could be a big catch. He won’t go in the 1st Round as in seasons before, but he could be a steal in the 3rd or 4th round.

  1. […] check out my Top 10 Fantasy Picks at the QB, RB, and WR positions by clicking on the highlighted […]

  2. […] the wide receiver role is by far the hardest to single out the best ten. My top Quarterback and Running back picks (CLICK TO VIEW) came easy since the names at the top tend to be the same each year. Aside from […]

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