The smell of football is in the air. Here are my 2012 Week 1 fantasy football running back rankings.
1. Arian Foster, Houston Texans
The number one running back is a TD machine and a dual-yardage threat. Opens against Miami.
2. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
Vick is banged up so the Birds should lean a little on McCoy against the Browns.
3. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
Rice has a challenge against Cincinnati, but he is also a dual threat. He ran for 295 yards against them last year.
4. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
It will be interesting to see how he shares with Michael Bush and what appears to be an improved passing attack. Great match-up against the Colts.
5. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
The Pats’ offense could take away the running game, but he can do damage in the passing game and can break one from anywhere.
6. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Truly showed his Beast Mode last year, but Arizona did keep him out of the end zone in both meetings.
7. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
He’s lethal when he’s healthy, which he is right now. He should do well against he Chargers.
8. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Has a great NFL debut lined up against the Panthers, who struggle against the run.
9. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
Averaged 5.5 ypc last year. With injuries in the passing game, it could be a heavy workload against the Giants.
10. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Returns from his knee injury to face the Falcons. Dual threat that can score from anywhere.
11. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
I’m reluctant to bet against All Day despite his short recovery time and lack of preseason.
12. Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills
I don’t love his Week 1 draw against the Jets, but he gets the job done. He was much better than he got credit for last year before going down.
13. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
I think he’ll see less work, but I think initially he will get plenty of action as the Niners clash with the Packers.
14. Shonn Greene, New York Jets
I used to like Greene, but he has lost my support. That said, Buffalo struggles to stop the run.
15. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams
He has a lot of carries under his belt, but I think he’ll be good early on. Faces the Lions.
16. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons
He will have to put it in the end zone to have a big game this year as the team has moved more towards the passing attack. Opens against Kansas City.
17. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers
Jonathan Stewart is banged up, which could lead to a solid game for D-Will against the Bucs.
18. Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints
Serving as Drew Brees’ security blanket pays big dividends. Opens against Washington.
19. Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants
Will be pushed by David Wilson, which should provide motivation against Dallas.
20. Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins
Was last year a fluke? We won’t get an accurate reading against a tough Houston team.
21. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals
The Law Firm is steady, but I don’t love his match-up with Baltimore.
22. Cedric Benson, Green Bay Packers
Tough draw against the Niners, but GB’s passing attack should open things up.
23. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns
If he does play, he could see limited snaps against the Eagles. I wouldn’t blame you for keeping him on the bench in this one.
24. Ronnie Brown, San Diego Chargers
I don’t know if Ryan Mathews will be able to play against the Raiders. If not, Brown could have a solid game.
25. Rashad Jennings, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jennings should get the start, but I don’t love his prospects against the Vikings. Mojo will get work.
26. Kevin Smith, Detroit Lions
I like his match-up with St. Louis, but I fear his ankle could end his day early.
27. Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers
Redman takes on Denver, but I am concerned with his ability to stay healthy.
28. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Probably the only time you’ll see him this low. I’m not sure how he’ll do or how many touches he’ll get.
29. Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos
Tough opening match-up against Pittsburgh. Plus, this is Peyton’s show now.
30. Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts
The Luck Era begins. Brown could find it difficult to move the chains against the Bears.
31. Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals
I don’t like his match-up against Seattle and don’t think their line or QB play will help his cause.
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