The Golden Age of Running Backs is seemingly passed. While there is one current back who could end up in conversations of all time greats, the game and how running backs are used have changed over the past few years. Few backs are given the ball 25 times game after game, season after season like in the days of yore, and if they are given the ball that much, they don’t last long. More and more teams are looking for a tandem of backs to compliment each other, chipping away at the carries for the primary back. This is great for depth; not so great for finding star running backs.
WalterFootball.com took a look at the backs who carried the ball 380 times or more over the past 25 years and according to their findings, only three times did a running back bounce back and not have a disappointing season.
While no back had that many in 2012, three backs, Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson, and Alfred Morris, had 335 carries or more. While this isn’t the deciding factor in selecting a running back, it should be considered.
There are so few sure things among running backs these days. The physical toll rushers pay in the game is precariously high and year-to-year longevity is always a crap shoot. Most leagues start just one quarterback and two running backs. If there are 12 teams in the league, quarterback is much deeper in quality depth than running back.
I like to take running backs early but there is such a risk they will under perform. Guess wrong and it will be long year.
Here are my choices for the top 10 running backs for 2013: Click “Next” to proceed through the list.