The last three weeks of the NFL preseason has given fantasy football owners a look at youngsters and veterans who are returning from injuries. A number of story lines have developed among the top running backs in the league and that will affect how and when an owner drafts for that roster spot.
Maurice Jones-Drew has supplied owners with some terrific point totals over the last three years, but the Jacksonville Jaguars star is likely done playing for the team and drafting the diminutive back is not a good idea at this time.
Three of the best backs in the league are also quality receivers and give owners an edge with their production. Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, and Matt Forte are all must-have players if available, but for those owners that miss out on these players, several more quality backs are waiting in the wings.
Adrian Peterson has yet to play this preseason, but the Minnesota Vikings and football experts expect the running back to return by the start of the season. If healthy, Peterson is a top five back, but drafting the former first round draft pick does come with caution as it is not really known when he will play.
Darren McFadden is another back coming off an injury filled year, but the Oakland Raiders back has played during the preseason and showed flashes of the back he was in 2010. With the loss of Michael Bush, McFadden could have a huge year on the West Coast and owners who need a special player could get a steal in the second or third round with the Raiders star.
Injuries are playing a big role in the draft process and finding a good group of running backs is important. Research and waiver wire watching is a must in leagues, especially for fantasy football owners who are new to the game, but having a strong group of proven NFL players is a must if an owner wants to contend for a league title.