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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2011 fantasy football rankings: Running backs

If you missed the first position rankings of the season, click here for a breakdown of the quarterbacks.

On to the players most of us can't live without in the first round of our draft: the running backs.

FRIDAY UPDATE: Chris Johnson ending his holdout, combined with concerns over Arian Foster's hamstring injury, have resulted in a shakeup of our original top six running backs.

Now that Johnson is no longer a threat to miss any games, and Foster is, we have Johnson at No. 2, followed by Ray Rice and Jamaal Charles. We dropped Foster to No. 5, one spot ahead of Maurice Jones-Drew.

If the injury is a threat to keep Foster out of the regular-season opener, it's a threat to bother him all year, which is a huge concern, obviously, for a player we considered No. 1 overall a few weeks ago. We'll have more on the values of Foster and Johnson on Saturday in a column in the print editions and at

Rank, player, team GP-Yds-TD-Rec
1. Adrian Peterson, Min 15-1,298-13-36
2. Chris Johnson, Ten 16-1,364-12-44
3. Ray Rice, Bal 16-1,220-6-63
4. Jamaal Charles, KC 16-1,467-8-45
5. Arian Foster, Hou 16-1,616-18-66
6. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jac 14-1,324-7-34
7. LeSean McCoy, Phi 15-1,080-9-78
8. Rashard Mendenhall, Pit 16-1,273-13-23
9. Frank Gore, SF 11-853-5-46
10. Michael Turner, Atl 16-1,371-12-12
11. Steven Jackson, StL 16-1,241-6-46
12. Matt Forte, Chi 16-1,069-9-51
13. Darren McFadden, Oak 13-1,157-10-47
14. Peyton Hillis, Cle 16-1,177-13-61
15. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG 16-1,235-8-47
16. LeGarrette Blount, TB 13-1,007-6-5
17. DeAngelo Williams, Car 6-361-1-11
18. Felix Jones, Dal 16-800-2-48
19. Ryan Mathews, SD 12-678-7-22
20. Jahvid Best, Det 16-555-6-58
21. Knowshon Moreno, Den 13-779-8-37
22. Ryan Grant, GB 1-45-0-0
23. Shonn Greene, NYJ 15-766-2-16
24. Beanie Wells, Ari 13-397-2-5
25. Cedric Benson, Cin 16-1,111-8-28
26. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, NE 16-1,008-13-12
27. Joseph Addai, Ind 8-495-4-19
28. Tim Hightower, Was 16-736-5-21
29. Daniel Thomas, Mia ROOKIE
30. Marshawn Lynch, Sea 16-737-6-22
31. Mark Ingram, NO ROOKIE
32. Fred Jackson, Buf 16-927-7-31
33. Jonathan Stewart, Car 14-770-3-8
34. Pierre Thomas, NO 6-269-2-29
35. James Starks, GB 3-101-0-2
36. Mike Tolbert, SD 15-735-11-25
37. LaDainian Tomlinson, NYG 15-914-6-52
38. C.J. Spiller, Buf 14-283-1-24
39. Michael Bush, Oak 14-655-8-18
40. Brandon Jacobs, NYG 16-823-9-7
41. Ryan Torain, Was 10-742-6-18
42. Willis McGahee, Den 15-380-6-14
43. Ricky Williams, Bal 16-673-3-19
44. Reggie Bush, Mia 8-150-1-34
45. Thomas Jones, KC 16-896-6-14
46. Danny Woodhead, NE 14-547-6-34
47. Ben Tate, Hou DID NOT PLAY
48. Javon Ringer, Ten 16-239-2-7
49. Donald Brown, Ind 13-497-2-20
50. Jerome Harrison, Det 12-330-1-12

Note: Yds are rushing yards only, TD are the back’s combined rushing and receiving touchdowns, and Rec stands for receptions. ... Statistics are from the 2010 season.

Quick slants: The electric Charles has totaled 2,587 yards rushing, 85 receptions, 765 yards receiving and 16 TDs the last two seasons. He has averaged 6.2 yards per carry in that span. ... Gore has missed a total of nine games the last three years. ... In three years with the Falcons, Turner has a combined 39 TDs, but only 23 receptions. ... The Rams' Jackson, who really has only had one big season, has a combined 10 TDs the last two years. ... The Panthers' Williams had a huge 2008, but has eight TDs in 19 games since. ... The Lions' Best had five of his six TDs in his first two games as a rookie. ... A possible sleeper is the Packers' Starks, who rushed for 315 yards in four playoff games last season. He could take over for Ryan Grant as the featured back at some point this season.

NEXT: Wide receivers

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