2012 NFL Fantasy Football Week 2: Running Backs (RB) Rankings / Projections

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2012 NFL Fantasy Football Week 2: Running Backs (RB) Rankings / Projections
Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

I’ll admit it; I bet against Adrian Peterson making an impact Week 1 and I was wrong. Peterson looked good and it’s a terrific sign for the Vikings that he was back on the field and playing well.

Then again, we have seen talented players come back after major injuries/illness (Wes Welker, Jeremy Maclin) and have big games early on, only to look average through the course of the season.

Only time will tell what Peterson will do for his fantasy owners but a Week 2 matchup against the Colts makes him an RB1, even if he touches the football less than 20 times. Expect Toby Gerhart to work with Peterson, but the all-world running back is clearly an every-week starter at this point.

What Did We Learn From Week 1?

- Fantasy owners with Frank Gore in their lineup were probably disappointed to see Kendall Hunter in the game early on. Then we looked up and Gore had 16 carries for over 100 yards and an impressive touchdown run from over 20 yards out.

Gore is finished as a feature back in the NFL, but the 49ers are wise to keep him on a pitch count, especially early in ball games. As defenses breakdown through the game, Gore should benefit with fresh legs, and that makes him a productive RB2, especially with Brandon Jacobs out of the lineup.

- Other than a few exchange problems with Robert Griffin III, rookie Alfred Morris had himself a nice game. For now, Morris has earned himself the right to be the starter against the Rams, but expect Roy Helu to continue to work as the third-down option.

- Not only did DeAngelo Williams fall on his face, but the Panthers seemed to abandon the run early on. 

In the end, Tampa Bay won in time of possession, and this is what I’m afraid of when it comes to Carolina’s chances of making the playoffs. The defense still needs some work, but if Jonathan Stewart is out again, consider Williams a worthy play as a flex option against the Saints.

We should expect boom or bust numbers from the Panthers running game, until the defense picks it up.

- Every year a few starting tailbacks fall to injury early on, and it opens the door for talented backups to make an impact. This was the case for C.J. Spiller as Fred Jackson went down with what looked to be a nasty knee injury. Jackson is likely to be down for at least a couple of weeks, so consider Spiller a must-start.

Just temper your expectations on his performance because Spiller benefited from the Bills being down, which led to the Jets defense easing up on the run game.

- It was Knowshon Moreno working in third-down situations and not Lance Ball for most of the Broncos matchup against the Steelers. Moreno had a touchdown but was unimpressive most of the game, missing blocking assignments, and dancing around in the backfield.

Heck, he even took about ten hours to find an open lane for his touchdown run, but for now, it appears he has a role in this offense.

Sean’s Watch List For Week 2

- Maurice Jones-Drew still needs to work his way back into football shape but with Rashad Jennings sustaining another knee injury, the star tailback will be the feature option against the Texans. A tough matchup, but Jones-Drew is a must-start from this point on.

- As expected in Atlanta, the times are changing as Matt Ryan led his team to 40 points against the Chiefs, via the passing game. Even in a blowout win, Michael Turner ran for less than 40 yards. Expect him to have a better day against the Broncos, but perhaps Turner is only a flex play option, even in standard leagues for the rest of the season.

- Cedric Benson has a couple of good runs against the Bengals, everyone jumps up and down, he moves up draft boards and then does nothing Week 1, even though the 49ers were daring Green Bay to run the football. Don’t feel too bad about Benson’s performance as the 49ers run defense is so good, they can play a gap short against Benson and still shut him down.

Expect better production against the Bears this week, but unless your desperate for a flex option, he’s just a bench player on your team at this point.

1

Arian Foster

@ Jaguars

2

Ray Rice

@ Eagles

3

Matt Forte

@ Packers

4

Darren McFadden

@ Dolphins

5

Jamaal Charles

@ Bills

6

C.J. Spiller

Chiefs

7

Adrian Peterson (I)

@ Colts

8

LeSean McCoy

Ravens

9

Ahmad Bradshaw

Bucs

10

Doug Martin

@ Giants

11

Maurice Jones-Drew

Texans

12

DeMarco Murray

@ Seahawks

13

Frank Gore

Lions

14

Willis McGahee

@ Falcons

15

Stevan Ridley

Cardinals

16

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Browns

17

Chris Johnson

@ Chargers

18

Steven Jackson

Redskins

19

Marshawn Lynch

Cowboys

20

Alfred Morris

@ Rams

21

Trent Richardson (I)

@ Bengals

22

Reggie Bush

Raiders

23

Michael Turner

Broncos

24

Donald Brown

Vikings

25

Shonn Greene

@ Steelers

26

DeAngelo Williams

Saints

27

Cedric Benson

Bears

28

Mark Ingram

@ Panthers

29

Darren Sproles (I)

@ Panthers

30

Kevin Smith (I)

@ 49ers

31

Ronnie Brown

Titans

32

Jonathan Dwyer

Jets

33

Michael Bush

@ Packers

34

Peyton Hillis

@ Bills

35

Kendall Hunter

Lions

36

Beanie Wells (I)

@ Patriots

37

Toby Gerhart

@ Colts

38

Roy Helu

@ Rams

39

Ben Tate

@ Jaguars

Week 2 Rankings – QB | WR | TE | Flex | D |

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