Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 11/17/14

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 16: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Lucas Oli Stadium on January 16, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

If fantasy football ruled the world all we would be talking about are quarterbacks and running backs, so let’s pretend just for a minute that it does. The AFC North has its share of talent at both positions, last month we ranked and broke down the talented group quarterbacks that this division has to offer, well now it’s time to do the same for the running backs.

1) Baltimore Ravens: Ray Rice

Ray Rice is one of the best running backs in the NFL, let alone the AFC North, so it should be no surprise that we have him at number one on this list. But you can rest easy Steelers fans as Rice and the Baltimore Ravens have yet to come close on a long-term deal for the former Rutgers stand-out, who last year averaged 4.7 yards a carry.

While The Ravens from office doesn’t seem to know what to do when it comes to pleasing Rice off the field they do know how to help him out on the field. They added full-back Vonta Leach to the mix and Rice’s number rose. Last year alone Rice had 1364 yards rushing on 291 attempts and scored a total of 12 touchdowns while only putting the ball on the ground twice.  Rice has the potential to cause a lot of problems for the AFC North for years to come, if only the Ravens can work out a long-term deal, so Steelers fans have your fingers crossed they can’t.

2) Cincinnati Bengals: BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Zero fumbles in 510 career attempts, means you’re something special, and Green-Ellis is something special. While he isn’t the greatest thing to happen to the run game since Barry Sanders he is a good first option in a solid run committee. Green-Ellis will be starting along-side Bernard Scott this up-coming season. While he is no stranger to a multi-back system, Green-Ellis, who just left the New England Patriots, where last season he ran for a total of 667 yards on 181 attempts. Not too shabby, oh and did I mention he scored 11 touchdowns and didn’t drop the ball once.  

3) Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashard Mendenhall.

He promised us he would be starting come opening day, while chances are that he will start the season on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. The fact is when he comes back he will have a shot at being the starting running back. His back-ups will and should think otherwise so that we know we are getting their all while he is gone. The Steelers have Isaac Redman slated as the starter in his place. Redman should fill Mendenhall’s void just fine, but really he just isn’t the same player that Mendenhall is. Some within the media do have Redman taking Mendenhall’s spot from him, but after last year’s numbers can you honestly say that.

Last year before his injury, not that there was much left to the season, Mendenhall was averaging 4.1 yards per attempt tying his career average. He also ran for 928 yards on 228 attempts, so if he played the rest of that last game he could have had himself close to 1,000 yards rushing. But what ifs are what run the media not the football field.

4) Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson

While speaking of what ifs in the NFL, this man maybe one of the bigger what if’s in the AFC North. Trent Richardson, a guy we all know Jim Brown doesn’t care for, but the people in Alabama love him. None of us really know how well he will fare in the NFL, he has had knee issues in the past and his offense isn’t the best in the league. He does have the potential to be a great running back, while many have compared him to Emmitt Smith. The only issue is there a slew of guys no longer player a few years in who had great potential. The jury is still out on Richardson until we see him padded up in a NFL game.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Paul Pierce could opt out of contract, join Clippers

Report: NBA exploring moving start of Finals up

Isaiah Thomas: Danny Ainge wants my input on free agents

Brian Matusz suspended eight games for substance on arm

Report: Ray McDonald arrested again for domestic violence

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball players in the military: A tribute

'Free Tom Brady' rally draws about 150 Patriots fans

LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win in OT thriller

Report: Adrian Peterson will skip Vikings first OTAs

Corey Brewer: We got our butt kicked, it was embarrassing

Brian Kelly hints Notre Dame will have fast offense

WATCH: Khris Davis trolls umps after controversial homer

Is Adrian Peterson leveraging himself out of the league?

Mascot creates controversy with 'Police Lives Matter' sign

The Talented Mr. Blatt

The curious case of Frank Kaminsky

Is the Cavs' Matthew Dellavedova a dirty player?

LeBron lifts Cavaliers to brink of Finals, but are they ready?

Will Phil Jackson give himself a chance to succeed with Knicks?

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

WATCH: Al Horford ejected for elbowing Matthew Dellavedova

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Pierce could opt out of contract

Could the NBA Finals be moved up?

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Is Dellavedova a dirty player?

Ballplayers in the military: A tribute

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.