Fantasy Football 2012 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs (Updated 08/05/12)
With training camps well underway there has definitely been movement in our rankings. Let’s take a look at how things currently setup among the Top 40 running backs:
- Arian Foster – Houston Texans
- Ray Rice – Baltimore Rice
- LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles
- Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans
- Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars
- Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers
- Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders
- Matt Forte – Chicago Bears
- Trent Richardson – Cleveland Browns
- Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks
- DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys
- Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams
- Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers
- Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills
- Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs
- Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings
- Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants
- Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins
- Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons
- Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints
- Shonn Greene – New York Jets
- Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots
- Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Cincinnati Bengals
- Willis McGahee – Denver Broncos
- Roy Helu – Washington Redskins
- Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers
- James Starks – Green Bay Packers
- Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints
- Kevin Smith – Detroit Lions
- Toby Gerhart – Minnesota Vikings
- C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills
- Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins
- DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers
- Michael Bush – Chicago Bears
- Peyton Hillis – Kansas City Chiefs
- Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts
- Bernard Scott – Cincinnati Bengals
- Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions
- Jahvid Best has yet to be cleared to return to the field due to concussions, creating significant questions about him moving forward. Do we really expect him to stay healthy all year? When will he be cleared and how much can we actually expect him to play? While I wouldn’t invest heavily in Kevin Smith, he is suddenly looking like the better option for fantasy owners who are drafting early, though he has his own injury risks.
- There has been quite a buzz around Stevan Ridley over the first few days of training camp as all reports have him getting the bulk of the first team looks. Is that always subject to change? Absolutely, but right now he needs to be bumped up draft boards.
- Will Marshawn Lynch be suspended for his DUI? It remains to be seen, but things are extremely close between the running backs in his range, so the threat of missing time is going to drop him a few spots in the rankings. I wouldn’t avoid him, obviously, but one must be cautious.
- There are no more contract concerns for Matt Forte. Obviously, the rest of the issues (like the presence of Michael Bush taking his goal line carries) remain, however, so I’m not pushing him up to the Top 5. That said he is looking like a better pick at this point.
- According to John Clayton of ESPN (click here for the article), “Under Schottenheimer’s system and Fisher’s philosophy, the Rams will be a run-first team featuring Jackson and supplemented by second-round choice Isaiah Pead. Pead is a Darren Sproles-style back with speed, decent hands and an ability to run up the middle well.” While we all know Steven Jackson is going to be the lead back, could Pead really start to eat into his touches in order to keep him healthy? It is definitely something to monitor this preseason as it would have an impact on Jackson’s value.
Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings:
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