Here are my top 40 running backs for Week 2 (standard-scoring leagues).
To clarify, this countdown doesn't lean on a particular stat; it's merely an educated best guess of which rushers will tally the best combination of total yards and touchdowns for the NFL's second week.
Unlike last weekend, there isn't one particular combination of "star" and "susceptible run defense" that demands the No. 1 spot.
So, when in doubt, simply stack your top five with elite rushers.
Top 40 Backs For Week 2
1. Arian Foster @ Jacksonville
2. C.J. Spiller vs. Kansas City
3. Ray Rice @ Philadelphia
4. Ahmad Bradshaw vs. Tampa Bay
5. LeSean McCoy vs. Baltimore
6. Frank Gore vs. Detroit
7. Matt Forte @ Green Bay
8. BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Cleveland
9. Darren McFadden @ Miami
10. Chris Johnson @ San Diego
11. Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Houston
12. Jamaal Charles @ Buffalo
13. Stevan Ridley vs. Arizona
14. Marshawn Lynch vs. Dallas
15. Adrian Peterson @ Indianapolis
16. DeMarco Murray @ Seattle
17. Reggie Bush vs. Oakland
18. Michael Turner vs. Denver
19. Steven Jackson vs. Washington
20. Shonn Greene @ Pittsburgh
21. Darren Sproles @ Carolina
22. Doug Martin @ N.Y. Giants
23. Kevin Smith @ San Francisco
24. Trent Richardson @ Cincinnati
25. Donald Brown vs. Minnesota
26. Willis McGahee @ Denver
27. DeAngelo Williams vs. New Orleans
28. Isaac Redman vs. N.Y. Jets
29. Beanie Wells @ New England
30. Alfred Morris @ St. Louis
31. Cedric Benson vs. Chicago
32. Michael Bush @ Green Bay
33. Ben Tate @ Jacksonville
34. Peyton Hillis @ Buffalo
35. Jonathan Dwyer vs. N.Y. Jets
36. Roy Helu @ St. Louis
37. Ryan Williams @ New England
38. Mike Tolbert/Jonathan Stewart vs. New Orleans**
39. Tashard Choice vs. Kansas City
40. Curtis Brinkley vs. Tennessee
40a. Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Denver
** It's still too early to gauge whether Carolina's Jonathan Stewart (ankle) will be ready to go Sunday.
1. I talked to Arian Foster on Monday (via Bleacher Report's web show "Fantasize Me"), and he had no idea how the rumor/published report of a "sore knee" got started leading up to Texans-Dolphins. Whatever the case, Foster (75 total yards, two TD in Week 1) and his sore calf should be fine against the Jaguars on Sunday.
2. C.J. Spiller has been ready for his fantasy close-up for some time. In his last four games without Fred Jackson as a full-time running mate, Spiller has per-outing averages of 150 total yards and 1.25 touchdowns.
3. Against the Bengals on Monday, Ray Rice needed only 13 touches (10 runs, three catches) to collect 93 total yards, two touchdowns and 26 PPR points. Just imagine the type of damage Rice could inflict in games where Baltimore leans on him in the second half. At this point, Rice is an untouchable commodity in trade circles, short of a blockbuster two-for-one or three-for-one deal.
4. One painfully mediocre game (51 total yards vs. New England) won't alter my preseason prediction for Chris Johnson—1,700 total yards or your money back. However, if Johnson should be a non-factor (read: fantasy failure) against the Chargers on Sunday, he'll likely be downgraded on the "untouchable" trade scale.
5. I wasn't necessarily planning to go all-in on Maurice Jones Drew (95 total yards on Sunday) until Week 3 or 4. But the knee injury to Rashad Jennings has accelerated Jones-Drew's workload and, by extension, his status in this countdown.
For what it's worth, MJD (no preseason due to contract holdout) boasts per-outing averages of 117.2 total yards and 1.2 touchdowns in his last five games against the Texans (Week 2 opponent).
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!