Top 40 Running Backs For 2010: Final Preseason Rankings

There have been some major rumblings surrounding running backs this past, especially Maurice Jones-Drew.  How does that news affect the rankings?  How about the performances from this past weekend?  Let’s take a look, as we continue our week roundup of our final rankings prior to the start of the season (barring some major news):

  1. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans
  2. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings
  3. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars
  4. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens
  5. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers
  6. Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams
  7. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons
  8. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers
  9. Ryan Grant – Green Bay Packers
  10. Rashard Mendenhall – Pittsburgh Steelers
  11. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles
  12. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers
  13. Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos
  14. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers
  15. Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals
  16. Cedric Benson – Cincinnati Bengals
  17. Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chief
  18. Shonn Greene – New York Jets
  19. Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints
  20. Ronnie Brown – Miami Dolphins
  21. Arian Foster – Houston Texans
  22. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears
  23. Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions
  24. Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys
  25. C. J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills
  26. Joseph Addai – Indianapolis Colts
  27. Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants
  28. Marion Barber – Dallas Cowboys
  29. Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants
  30. Clinton Portis – Washington Redskins
  31. Thomas Jones – Kansas City Chiefs
  32. Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders
  33. LaDanian Tomlinson – New York Jets
  34. Chester Taylor – Chicago Bears
  35. Cadillac Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  36. Justin Forsett – Seattle Seahawks
  37. Jerome Harrison – Cleveland Browns
  38. Montario Hardesty – Cleveland Browns
  39. Ricky Williams – Miami Dolphins
  40. Reggie Bush – New Orleans Saints


  • There have been a lot of rumors surrounding Maurice Jones-Drew and his knee problems. While he may not have undergone surgery, it still has to be considered a concern. Is it enough to downgrade him? I don’t think so, but I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to flipping him with a healthy Ray Rice if you don’t want to shoulder the risk.
  • The injury to Sidney Rice likely makes Adrian Peterson and the running game an even greater importance to the Vikings offense. Does that justify slotting Toby Gerhart at the bottom of this list? Probably not, since Peterson will remain “the man”, as well as Albert Young getting some consideration for touches, but certainly keep him in mind if you need a depth option.
  • LaDanian Tomlinson rushed the ball 11 times for 86 yards, including romping for 43 yards this past weekend. Would it be that big of a surprise to see the Jets give Tomlinson a few more carries, cutting into Shonn Greene’s touches? I had Greene lower then most (18th), so he stays static on our rankings, but Tomlinson gets a bit of a boost.
  • Seeing Beanie Wells lose a fumble this week, considering his problems there as a rookie, has to be at least a little bit concerning. I wouldn’t panic, but it’s going to have to be monitored closely, as it could cost him some carries if it persists.
  • Should owners have concerns regarding Jahvid Best? I mentioned recently that I’d prefer to draft him as a RB3 (click here for the article), though he certainly showed off his talent over the weekend. He played just one drive, rushing once for 51 yards as well as picking up a completion for 10 yards. While he’s moved into the Top 24, I’d still prefer getting him as a RB3, as there is still some risk involved.
  • Interesting that it was Ahmad Bradshaw, not Brandon Jacobs, starting the Giants third preseason game. That certainly jumps him ahead of Jacobs on draft boards, with Jacobs falling a few spots.
  • The Browns running back situation is a mess, as I’ve already discussed (click here to view). It’s probably a situation you want to avoid, outside of generating depth.
  • Our discussion of the Redskins running back situation (click here to view) is almost a moot point, with Clinton Portis now suffering from a sprained ankle. Larry Johnson may play a bigger role, though Ryan Torian is worth keeping an eye on as a deep sleeper. The bottom line? The Redskins running back situation is convoluted and none of them should be considered more then a RB3.
  • Joseph Addai now has concussion concerns. If he proves healthy, he could move up a spot or two and become a low-end RB2.
  • Is Pierre Thomas a breakout or bust? To see my thoughts on the matter, click here.
  • With Arian Foster rushing for 110 yards and a TD, while adding four catches for 16 yards, is there any doubt who the Texans RB1 will be? That’s not to mention, he did it against the Cowboys, a defense that certainly is not a pushover. He’s draftable as a low-end RB2.
  • Michael Bush has suffered a broken thumb, likely opening up starting duties for Darren McFadden early in the season. That gives him a chance to earn full-time starting duties if he can put things together, so he’s certainly worth the flier.
  • For a closer look at LeSean McCoy, make sure to check out my recently article on him where I discussed why I’d rather have him as a RB2 (click here for the article).
  • Can Matt Forte have a rebound campaign? Check out my thoughts by clicking here.

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Who is ranked too high?  Who is ranked too low?

Make sure to check out Rotoprofessor’s 2010 rankings:

Also, make sure to check out our recent rookie rankings:

Make sure to check out our baseball site by clicking here.
Top 60 Wide Receivers For 2010: Final Preseason Rankings
Top 25 Quarterbacks For 2010: Final Preseason Rankings

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