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Last year, most people either took Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew or Chris Johnson. This year, I think it’s safe to say we can throw Arian Foster into the mix.
In 2010 Adrian Peterson rushed for 1,298 yards and 12 TD. He also caught 36 passes for 341 yards and a score.
Last year AP was without a competent offensive line, had a poor offensive attack behind him and a bad season for the Vikings altogether. Yet, last season was the worst of his career, and that’s saying something. One thing we can count on from the Vikings this year is an improved offensive line and that should tack on another 100 yards.
As his career has worn on, he has also become more involved in the passing attack, making him even more attractive in PPR leagues. He also has squashed any concerns about his injury history in college by missing just three games in his first four years in the league.
Chris Johnson ran for 2006 yards in 2009 and was widely considered as a consensus number one pick. He followed through with a respectable season, running for 1,364 yards and 11 TD. Johnson was a duel threat as well and caught 44 passes for 245 yards and a TD.
Johnson was the victim of the quarterback controversy last year, as teams were able to focus on stopping the speedster and is evidenced by his drop in yards per carry from 5.6 (2009) to 4.3 (2010.) Still, he got over 300 carries and found his way into the endzone plenty of times.
The Titans’ quarterback issues are still in the air and Johnson should have a similar season again this year, worthy of at least a top 5 pick.
Maurice Jones-Drew is a short, quick running back who specializes in making people miss in the open field. He has made most of his damage catching the ball, but has developed into an every down back despite the criticism from the “experts.” Last year, he ran for 1,324 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught 34 passes for 317 yards and two scores.
MJD has seen his reception total drop each of the last three years (he had 62 receptions in 2008,) yet he remains a top option in PPR leagues, as I expect him to rebound and up his total this year.
The biggest problem with MJD though, is that he doesn’t find his way into the end zone very often, due to the fact that he is simply not a goal-line back. MJD is a very good option, but I probably wouldn’t take him at number one in either PPR or non-PPR leagues.
I am proud to say that I was able to pick up Arian Foster last year before the season started (our draft was held before Ben Tate got hurt.) Foster ended up being my team MVP, and I rode him to the league-best record. Foster racked up 1,616 yards and 16 TD on way to his first rushing title.
Oh, but wait, there’s more! Foster was lethal in the passing game, picking up 66 receptions for 604 yards and two TD.
There’s only one thing I don’t like about Foster. He just seems primed for a letdown. I still expect him to rack up 1,200 plus yards on the ground, but not top pick worthy. I think it’s safe to say he could hit a sophomore slump because he only played six games his rookie year.
2011 Fantasy Football top 5:
1. Adrian Peterson
2. Chris Johnson
3. Arian Foster
4. Maurice Jones-Drew
5. Jamaal Charles