Positional Rankings: Running Backs

Offense · Defense
Quarterbacks · Wide Receivers · Running Backs · Tight Ends · Center · Guard · Tackle

Pete Prisco ranks his top NFL players at each position, while thatlsk provided his list of top running backs. Also check out Prisco's Top 50

Running backs
1. Adrian Peterson, Vikingsthatlsk's Rankings

Games played: 16 Rushing yards: 1,760
Touchdowns: 10 Fumbles: 9
Analysis: He puts fear in defenses every time he touches the ball. Imagine if he had real help from the passing game?
1. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
Comment: A.P. is back with an even better offensive line. He has the size, strength, and vision to do a lot of damage this season. He also proved that he is durable and can hold up for an entire season after missing games in every year going all the back to his freshmen year in college. All Day should prove to be the best back in the NFL again this season.
2. Michael Turner, Falcons

Games played: 16 Rushing yards: 1,699
Touchdowns: 17 Fumbles: 3
Analysis: He answered a lot of questions last season as to whether he could be a feature back. Now he has to show he can do it again.
2. Michael Turner, Falcons
Comment: Turner looks to duplicate last year's success with the Falcons. The big back will be prime real estate in a declining backfield. Look for Turner to have another successful year as team's can't load the box with eight, because Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez will look to keep the defense honest with an improved passing attack.
3. Steven Jackson, Rams

Games played: 12 Rushing yards: 1,042
Touchdowns: 7 Fumbles: 5
Analysis: The injuries on the offensive line really hurt him last season, but that line will be better this season and so will Jackson.
3. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers
Comment: Williams gained 1,515 yards and scored 18 TDs as the featured back in the Panthers' offense. And will only look to improve on those stats. Finally given the chance to carry the full load in Carolina, he more than proved that he was up to the task by doubling his career rushing totals to that point.
4. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers

Games played: 16 Rushing yards: 1,515
Touchdowns: 18 Fumbles: 0
Analysis: He had his breakout season in 2008, but he will share more of the load with Jonathan Stewart in 2009.
4. Brian Westbrook, Eagles
Comment: Westbrook is coming off surgery and doesn't have the rushing totals of some of the other RBs on this list, but he more than makes up with his playmaking skills and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. If DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin can get open and get more balls thrown their way Westbrook might get the rest he needs and be able to finish the season strong.
5. Brian Westbrook, Eagles

Games played: 14 Rushing yards: 936
Touchdowns: 9 Fumbles: 2
Analysis: He's an all-purpose threat who can be an inside runner. He does have some injury concerns.
5. Clinton Portis, Redskins
Comment: Portis has become the workhorse of the Redskins' offense the past few years with over 300 carries. He did slow down at the end of last season but at only 27, he still has a lot left in the tank. If Jason Campbell can develop into a better QB, Portis can be just as product with a few less carries.
6. Chris Johnson, Titans

Games played: 15 Rushing yards: 1,228
Touchdowns: 9 Fumbles: 1
Analysis: This might seem high, but he only scratched the surface as a rookie. He has as much explosiveness as Peterson.
6. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
Comment: In what was considered a down year for L.T., most other backs would love those stats. He posted 1,100 yards and 11 TDs, which is nothing to sneeze at. He finished the last two years watching the Chargers end the seasons with losses while he sat on the bench. But if he can come back 100% healthy, he is still a top 10 running back in this league.
7. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers

Games played: 16 Rushing yards: 1,110
Touchdowns: 11 Fumbles: 1
Analysis: Is he done? I don't think so. He's ready for a bounce-back season.
7. Steven Jackson, Rams
Comment: Jackson was another elite back whom stumbled a lot last year with injuries but when healthy Jackson is one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL. With a nice combination of speed and strength Jackson can run by you or over you, expect him to come back healthy and be a threat in both the run and passing game.
8. Frank Gore, 49ers

Games played: 14 Rushing yards: 1,036
Touchdowns: 6 Fumbles: 6
Analysis: If the 49ers get better in the passing game, he'll be better. He's a tough inside runner who has the speed to rip off long runs.
8. Matt Forte, Bears
Comment: Forte is young and he's good. He performed well above average in his rookie season and is looking to build on it. With the addition of Jay Cutler, the Bears should really be able to spread the field, which will create running room for the young back. If Chicago can get the passing game going, Forte should have another monster year.
9. Steve Slaton, Texans

Games played: 16 Rushing yards: 1,282
Touchdowns: 9 Fumbles: 3
Analysis: He has an impressive rookie season and his numbers will be even better in 2009 if he stays healthy. He's a slashing runner.
9. Chris Johnson, Titans
Comment: Johnson is young, cocky and fast, he recently nicknamed himself every coaches' dream and while those are big words he more than backed it up in his rookie season. The combination of Johnson and LenDale White keep defenses guessing as to what is coming at them and Johnson is ready to show them just what he has to offer.
10. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars

Games played: 16 Rushing yards: 824
Touchdowns: 12 Fumbles: 6
Analysis: With Fred Taylor gone, his numbers will go up. Can he handle 20 carries a game?
10. Brandon Jacobs, Giants
Comment: Jacobs is 260 pounds of pure power. Even though he split time with other backs, Jacobs was able to pile up 1,000 yards and 15 TDs. Since Derrick Ward moved to a sunnier location with the Bucs, at least a quarter of Ward's 182 carries should belong to Jacobs. This could result in an easy 150 yards and a lot of punishment for some defensive players out there.

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