Week 2 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 12, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 09: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings during opening day against Jacksonville Jaguars on September 9, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Jaguars 26-23 in overtime. (Photo by Andy King/Getty Images)
Andy King/Getty Images

Which breakout performers from Week 1 can be depended on in Week 2 (like C.J. Spiller or Alfred Morris)?  Who has become a risky play (Michael Turner maybe)?  Is Adrian Peterson back to full strength?  Let’s answer those questions and all the rest with our running back rankings for Week 2:

  1. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – at Jacksonville
  2. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – at Philadelphia
  3. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Baltimore
  4. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – at Indianapolis
  5. Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders – at Miami
  6. DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys – at Seattle
  7. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – at Green Bay
  8. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Houston
  9. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
  10. C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills – vs. Kansas City
  11. Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – at Buffalo
  12. Alfred Morris – Washington Redskins – at St. Louis
  13. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New York Giants
  14. Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants – vs. Tampa Bay
  15. Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots – vs. Arizona
  16. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – at San Diego
  17. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Detroit
  18. Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Dallas
  19. Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – vs. Oakland
  20. Trent Richardson – Cleveland Browns – at Cincinnati
  21. Steven Jackson – St. Louis Cardinals – vs. Washington
  22. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – vs. New Orleans
  23. Willis McGahee – Denver Broncos – at Atlanta
  24. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Denver
  25. Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
  26. Jonathan Dwyer – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. New York Jets
  27. Michael Bush – Chicago Bears – at Green Bay
  28. Kevin Smith – Detroit Lions – at San Francisco
  29. Shonn Greene – New York Jets – at Pittsburgh
  30. Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Minnesota
  31. Ronnie Brown – San Diego Chargers – vs. Tennessee
  32. Peyton Hillis – Kansas City Chiefs – at Buffalo
  33. Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – at New England
  34. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – vs. New Orleans
  35. Cedric Benson – Green Bay Packers – vs. Chicago
  36. Ben Tate – Houston Texans – at Jacksonville
  37. Ryan Williams – Arizona Cardinals – at New England
  38. Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
  39. Isaac Redman – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. New York Jets
  40. Kendall Hunter – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Detroit


  • Did Adrian Peterson give any indication that he was a player coming back from a serious knee injury?  In Week 1 he had 84 rushing yards and 2 TD, showing no signs of rust and giving fantasy owners no reason to doubt him.  In other words, immediately consider him as a Top 5 option once again.
  • With Fred Jackson out of action the Bills have turned to C.J. Spiller.  We have all heard about his talent (seemingly for years), and it was nice to see him explode against the Jets for 169 yards and 1 TD while adding 2 receptions for 25 yards.  Granted, the performance did come in what was initially a blowout, so we do have to take it with a small grain of salt.  That said, he is a low-end RB1 this week and could quickly emerge as a breakout performer.
  • Are we still concerned about Maurice Jones-Drew since he missed the bulk of the preseason?  Expected to slowly get worked into the mix, he had 77 yards on 19 carries in Week 1.  While there’s still some risk, he is a RB1 once again.
  • If Ryan Mathews is healthy he is a must use fantasy option.  However, that remains to be seen so we have to leave him off the rankings for now.  Hopefully we get word as to his status sooner rather than later so we can adjust our plans.
  • Kevin Smith had a good first showing, but can we really expect a great performance against the San Francisco 49ers?  He’s a low-end option, at best, this week based on the matchup.
  • Is Alfred Morris actually the man in Washington right now?  Who knows, but after a strong performance in Week 1 you would at least think he is going to get the opportunity to carry the load again in Week 2.  Against the Rams he definitely should be considered a RB2 option with plenty of upside, though this is Mike Shanahan so fantasy owners need to proceed with caution.
  • The San Diego Chargers allowed just 45 yards rushing and zero TD in Week 1.  Couple that with the serious concerns that are growing regarding Chris Johnson and there has to be major concern at this point.  Would I recommend benching CJ2K?  Of course not, but he really needs to show us something this week before his stock completely drops.
  • Darren Sproles didn’t have a single rushing yard in Week 1, but he had 5 receptions for 1 TD and also had a two-point conversion.  However, without guaranteed touches like other running backs, can we actually depend on him?  I’d be much more comfortable with him as my FLEX option.
  • Many expect Michael Turner to have a down year, and he lived up to those “expectations” in Week 1 with just 32 yards on the ground.  With the Falcons shaping up to being a passing team this season I wouldn’t expect things to suddenly get better.  He’s an option, but as a low-end RB2/FLEX and nothing more right now.
  • There are reports that Jonathan Dwyer will carry a much larger load in Week 2 (click here for the article from Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).  Taking on a Jets defense that was torched for 195 yards and 1 TD on the ground in Week 1, he becomes a very intriguing play.  As a FLEX option I would definitely consider using him.
  • Who will the Cardinals lean on, Ryan Williams or Beanie Wells?  Until one of them emerges, neither are more than FLEX fodder.

Make sure to check out our Week 2 rankings: