With the all-but certain assumption that Adrian Peterson will this yearâ€™s No. 1 pick, it gives owners who have the No. 2 pick plenty of options. There is no clear-cut favorite when selecting with the No. 2 pick
After Peterson gets selected No. 1, it then becomes a matter of preference. You should obviously still target running backs, as they areâ€”and will remainâ€”the bread and butter of fantasy teams. Although quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and wide receiver extraordinaire Calvin Johnson can pile up the points by the truckloads, you should wait on those guysâ€”especially if you have the No. 2 pick.
Listed below is the case for each running back to be selected No. 2.
Arian Foster: Houston Texans
Sure, his nagging injuries and previous workload is a concern, but Foster is all but certain to be ready for Week 1. You donâ€™t finish in the top 3 in running back production for the last three years by accident. As long as you handcuff Foster with backup Ben Tate, you will get great production from the Texansâ€™ back this year.
Jamaal Charles: Kansas City Chiefs
Charles has shown that he can carry fantasy teams with his across-the-board production and his 1,509 rushing yards and six total touchdowns in the 2012 season is proof positive of that. With new coach Andy Reid calling the shots, expect even better numbers from Charles this year, as Reid loves his dual-threat running backs (think Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy).
C.J. Spiller: Buffalo Bills
Spiller is just starting to tap his vast potential. Last year we saw what Spiller can do if given the chance for increased carries, as he was spectacular in 2012 with 1,244 rushing yards, eight total touchdowns and an eye-popping 6.0 YPC. Spiller will be the Bills offense, and his off-the-charts athleticism will be put to great use this year. Expect a career year.
Doug Martin: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Busting right out of the gate last year was the one they call the â€œmuscle hamster,â€ Doug Martin. Martin lived up to all the billing and finished 5th in the NFL in rushing yards (1,312) and tied for 5th in rushing touchdowns (11) among RBâ€™s in 2012. Martin has no other running back threatening to cut into his time and he has proven to be a tough, durable and dynamic back. At 24, Martin just starting to warm up.
Marshawn Lynch: Seattle Seahawks
One of the more bruising and powerful backs to lean on in drafts is Marshawn Lynch. â€œBeast Modeâ€ is showing no signs of slowing down, as he is coming off back-to-back years of posting over 1,200 (1,590 last year) rushing yards and more than 10 touchdowns. The Seahawks are committed to being a running team, and with offseason acquisition Percy Harvin out for an extended time, expect the Seahawks to keep pounding the rock with Lynch.
Ray Rice: Baltimore Ravens
When you think safe and dependable, you think Rice. Rice has not missed a game in four years and he has produced as a No.1 running back for four straight years , with four straight years of posting more than 1,100 rushing yards while averaging 8.2 touchdowns. While Bernard Pierce will somewhat cut into his carries, Rice is still the go-to-guy in Baltimore. With the Ravens losing Anquan Boldin in the offseason and with Dennis Pitta going down with an injury, the Ravensâ€™ offense will revolve around Rice and the running game.
Trent Richardson: Cleveland Browns
Although overshadowed somewhat by Martin and to some degree Alfred Morris, Richardson had himself quite a rookie campaign. Richardson racked up 950 rushing yards and 12 total touchdowns. Although he was banged up last year and missed one game, Richardson looks refreshed this year and is primed for a breakout year. Donâ€™t be surprised if Richardson finishes in the top 5 in point production among running backs.
LeSean McCoy: Philadelphia Eagles
Remember when McCoy was a top-3 back? Oh yeah, that was prior to last year. How soon we forget. McCoy somewhat struggled last year and had to deal with a concussion later in the season. Well now that he is healthy once again and in a new hurry-up offense suited for his talents, McCoy is poised to return to his elite-level ways. Donâ€™t be shy about drafting McCoy early this year, as he should be in line to put up around 1,200 rushing yards and 10-plus touchdowns. It would be wise, though, to handcuff McCoy to Bryce Brown, as Brown showed last season he can be a capable running back in his McCoyâ€™s place.