2011 Top 10 RB Rankings (Early)

This is the third and final installment of the early top ten list for the upcoming season for the running back position. I have taken a look and listed my top ten at the quarterback and wide receiver position. Some of these players could potentially move up or down depending on schedule and the possibility of a rookie making an impact.

Albeit a bit late I take a look at the top ten running backs for the upcoming season. Just like the QB position I looked at their 2010 statistics, ranking them based on total fantasy points, yards, receptions, TDs, rating and their strength of schedule for 2011 based off 2010 records (courtesy of ESPN).

Foster, Arian: Break out year in 2010, with a healthy offense, no reason Foster won’t keep producing big numbers.
Peterson, Adrian: Consistent and still one of the best. He needs a QB in order to make him even more effective. No way do I pass on ADP.
Turner, Michael: Numbers down a bit in 2010, but if he is healthy, ATL has one of the best offensive lines and he will put up some good numbers.
Johnson, Chris: The QB issue worries me, as CJ is talented, but not sure all his talent can make up for 8 stacked in the box.
Charles, Jamaal: Better of the duo in KC, would love to see him get 250-300 carries, should put up more TDs in 2011.
Mendenhall, Rashard: Put together a solid 2010, but there is the potential for a let down post Super Bowl. I still like him in 2011.
Jackson, Steven: A durable runner/receiver who is very productive. Now he needs to find the end zone more.
McFadden, Darren: Big performer in 2010, always loses some games to injury, need 225-250 carries to put up similar numbers in 2011.
Green-Ellis, BenJarvus: Busted out in 2010 as an unknown and with Brady and the Pats offense should put up some solid stats.
McCoy, LeSean: This kid does it all out of the backfield, but sometimes is lost in the shuffle with all the talent on the offense.

Here are those who just missed out on the top ten list after being ranked, but could finish higher than their current position.

Bradshaw, Ahmad: He’s a FA, but as a Giant will split with with Jacobs, still could break 1000 yards in 2011.
Benson, Cedric: Unimpressive and inconsistent 2010 season, with questions at QB, Benson could end up suffering a decrease in stats.
Jones-Drew, Maurice: Came on late last season, was a bit short on TDs, but some good yardage. Knee surgery during the off season we’ll see how he looks in training.
Rice, Ray: Solid yardage, but lost out on the TDs to McGahee. I like Rice to bust out in 2011 with no one bogarting his TDs.
Forte, Matt: All or nothing for Forte last year, now past the sophomore slump, I expect more consistent numbers.
Hillis, Peyton: Injury to Hardesty gave him his shot and he capitalize. A healthy Hardesty cuts into Peyton’s production.

As with my other lists, there are names missing and players would could potentially move into the top ten. I believe Knowshon Moreno has the talent and offense (if Orton remains QB) to be a top ten player. Right now with question marks at QB, he doesn’t make this list.

I have no doubt Frank Gore will return from his hip injury in full fitness and potentially be a top five RB. But after missing a portion of last season I am not including him right now. LeGarrette Blount should be the main RB in Tampa Bay in 2011 and his stats should see a bump with the Caddy not parked, not playing a major role. Might be an outside candidate for the list, but I think he needs another full season, we’ll see.

Other notable players not listed, but could have some sort of impact; whoever rushes the ball in GB, be it Ryan Grant, James Starks or Brandon Jackson. All signs point to Grant who could return to prominence. Brandon Jacobs came on stronger in the later part of 2010, could get a good bump is Bradshaw departs NY. Lastly, Ryan Torain of Washington was a pleasant surprise last year with Portis done with the Skins, Torain will carry a bulk of the work.

2011 Top 10 WR Rankings (Early)

This is the second in a series of lists I have been working on as we race towards April 6 and the court ruling by a judge for the players or the owners over the CBA. This list, as with many of my off-season activities could be for not if their silence continues to speak volumes and the owners potentially lock out the players.

This week I take a look at the top ten wide receivers for the upcoming season. Just like the QB position I looked at their 2010 statistics, ranking them based on total fantasy points, yards, receptions, TDs, rating and their strength of schedule for 2011 based off 2010 records (courtesy of ESPN).

I assume we will see Russ Bliss over at Fantasy Football Starters kick out his early top ten list at the wide receiver position as well. It will be interesting to see how they compare and differ.

White, Roddy: needs some help opposite of him, but this kid can do it all, run, catch and score.
Jennings, Greg: big season in 2010, should only improve this year, but could see Rodgers spread the ball more.
Fitzgerald, Larry: the QB situation is questionable, but Fitz is the complete package, should quietly have a solid year.
Wayne, Reggie: injuries in 2010 saw Wayne excel (again!), more health at the WR position, but Reggie gets his share.
Johnson, Andre: big game player, should only improve with Schaub and be a top WR selected.
Johnson, Calvin: Megatron should get a performance boost with a healthy QB and running game.
Bowe,  Dwayne: don’t think he can repeat his 2010 performance, he is the #1 in KC, but didn’t catch 54% of balls his direction.
Nicks, Hakeem: injuries in 2010 set him back, but is a favorite for Manning, look for a good follow up season.
Wallace, Mike: good rapport with Big Ben, put a full season in and Wallace increases his targets/receptions.
Lloyd, Brandon: a flash in the pan, but could crack the top ten, QB controversy in Denver?

Some might question the list I have put together. Others will be surprised not to see either DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin on the list. Both WRs will have good years if Vick remains healthy. I believe Steve Johnson and Mike Williams (TB) need to prove 2010 was not a fluke, both should improve on their performances this season as well. Finally, Austin Miles was beset by the injury to Romo, with a healthy QB I think Miles has a shot for the top ten.

Larry Fitzgerald might come as a surprise at #3 based solely on the lack of a consistent QB in the desert for the Cardinals. I am hedging my bet that Arizona signs a proven veteran, which can only lead to good numbers for Fitzgerald. Missing from the list, Anquan Boldin who didn’t make a big impact in Baltimore his first year, but after a year with Flacco, they could gel a bit more and see a slight increase.

Another missing “star” is Marques Colston. One would believe this kid should be all pro with Drew Brees at QB, but last year Colston struggled. He did have one stretch of 7 games, but owners were frustrated with him all season. He has proven to be consistent over the years, but I don’t believe he is a top ten WR.

Finally, Santana Moss, no longer a youngster at 31 years old and 10 years in the NFL. He continues to put up solid numbers, even in a difficult year for the Redskins. Best thing that could happen to Moss is a change of venue to boost his numbers and production.