Rice up, Thomas Jones down in 2010 RB ranks

Updated: January 19, 2010, 4:30 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

Now comes the hard part for Chris Johnson. The Tennessee Titans running back topped the 2,000-yard rushing mark, which I think will make him the top pick in most 2010 fantasy football drafts. But what happens when he can't match his 2009 success? Only five other running backs have ever rushed for 2,000 yards in a season, and none of them ever did it a second time. Congratulations to Johnson, but hey, the pressure is on for a repeat performance. Fantasy footballers are certainly watching. Just ask the fellow who some of us thought would reach the 2,000-yard plateau this season.

Poor Adrian Peterson. The consensus first overall choice in 2009 drafts hardly had a poor season, but it doesn't seem that way. In fact, he improved his numbers from 2008, going from 254 fantasy points to 265. I found it silly Peterson owners complained about him this season, especially when he ended up outscoring every NFL running back for fantasy purposes not named Chris Johnson. Peterson led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns, three more than second-place Maurice Jones-Drew, and just missed the top 10 for receptions among running backs, adding this new feature to his game. Peterson was hardly a fantasy bust. Being the first overall pick doesn't mean your season is a disappointment if you didn't finish first in scoring. If you want to make Peterson the first pick in 2010 drafts, I certainly wouldn't argue.