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NFL Fantasy Betting – Ranking the top 20 running backs

Posted by Stan Simmons on 4/19/2012 9:53:13 AM
NFL fantasy bettingNFL betting players take their fantasy teams as seriously as their online betting, and with preseason right around the corner, it’s good to get as much information as possible. Here’s a look at the top 20 running backs in the league, beginning with a perennial 2,000-yard threat.

NFL fantasy betting: Running back preview

  • Peterson getting better and better
  • Jacobs is a touchdown machine
  • Big things expected from rookie Moreno

1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

Even if the Vikings get Brett Favre, don’t expect a drop in yards for Peterson, who led the NFL in rushing. In fact, he could get more yards as defenses won’t be able to key on him. If he has a weakness, it’s his hands: Peterson also led the league with nine fumbles.

2. Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants

Jacobs just signed a new contract and will be eager to prove to fantasy betting players that he was worth it. Eli Manning will have to develop the receivers, so that could mean even more carries for Jacobs, who had 15 touchdowns last year.

3. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Forte was the leading rookie rusher last year, and Jay Cutler coming to town can only open up the field for the 23-year-old. Forte can also catch the ball as well as any back in the league, and with a new and improved offense, the Bears’ sports betting odds should receive quite a boost.

4. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons should lean a little more on pivot Matt Ryan, especially with the acquisition of Tony Gonzalez, but don’t expect them to forget about Turner, who was second in yards and touchdowns. Playing in the NFC South doesn’t hurt, either.

5. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers

Williams topped the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 18 in 2008, and he had two games with four scores. He’ll be sharing time with Jonathan Stewart, who had an impressive rookie, so that may hurt his numbers just a bit, but not much.

6. Clinton Portis, Washington Redskins

Portis is a warrior who fights through injuries on a weekly basis, and he’s averaged over 1,300 yards over his seven-year career. The Redskins don’t seem to be very confident in Jason Campbell at quarterback, so expect another heavy workload for the former Miami Hurricane.

7. Thomas Jones, New York Jets

Jones was fifth in the league in rushing and scored a career-high 13 touchdowns, and now the Jets will be trying to ease rookie pivot Mark Sanchez into the league, which should mean a lot of carries for the 30-year-old.

8. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos

The Broncos’ backs were decimated by injuries, and they haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2006. With Kyle Orton at quarterback, Moreno, a standout at Georgia, should get plenty of opportunity to prove himself. He was the first running back taken in the draft, and has all the tools to be a star for a long time.

9. Marion Barber, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys’ receivers are awful, which means the Tony Romo-Jason Witten line will be keyed on. This makes Barber, who the Cowboys inexplicably went away from late in the 2008 campaign, even more important to Dallas’ betting chances.

10. Steve Slaton, Houston Texans

Many who make sports picks wondered if Slaton was durable enough to be a No.1 running back. He responded by leading the 2008 draft class in rushing yards, and he forms with Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, one of the most explosive offensive trios in the NFL.

11. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

12. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers

13. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars

14. Ryan Grant, Green Bay Packers

15. Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs

16. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers

17. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams

18. Willie Parker, Pittsburgh Steelers

19. Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals

20. Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia Eagles

For more NFL lines, odds and props as we head towards the season, visit the offshore sportsbook at

Stan Simmons first tasted football through the college game, but his football handicapping has strictly focused on the professional sport. Not many people devote as much time to the NFL as Simmons. For six days a week he works, labors and handicaps the sport, and on the seventh he rests as the games play out. Thoughts or questions?



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