2012 Fantasy Football Week 3: Running Backs (RB) Rankings / Projections

Sean E. Douglas@@seanfantasyinfoSenior Writer IIISeptember 18, 2012

Sep 16, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson (33) stiff arms the Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Nate Clements (22) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals defeated the Browns 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Hopefully you were patient enough to stick with Trent Richardson in your lineup last week because it paid off, big time. Richardson flashed the ability that had many of us hopeful he was ready for RB1 production coming into training camp. But a second surgery to his knee, and failing to play in the preseason was cause for concern.

Playing against the Bills this week I’m moving Richardson up as a RB1, but he will have harder matchups vs. teams like the Ravens and Steelers as the season progresses. Richardson is a workhorse back, and unlike Chris Johnson he has no problem with contact.

What Did We Learn From Week 2

- Chris Johnson continues to look soft. Sure, the rest of the offense isn’t doing him favors, but the offensive line is giving him some opportunities. While Johnson is conditioned this season, he continues to be an avoid contact player, and it was nice of him to throw his teammates under the bus after the game. At best he’s a flex play start at this point.

- Reggie Bush was terrific against the Raiders, but Oakland did a poor job wrapping up at the second level. Not only did Bush have a few big touchdown runs but rookie Lamar Miller came in clean up duty and torched them as well.

Bush is a RB1 at this point, but expect him to face stiffer competition this week against the Jets.

- Ryan Williams has struggled early on and his key fumble against the Patriots has opened the door for Wells to take on a majority of the Cardinals touches in the backfield. For now, Wells should be considered the option to start in fantasy leagues.

Sean’s Week 3 Watch List

- Andre Brown was solid as he filled in for Ahmad Bradshaw. Rookie David Wilson will be worked into this running game at some point, but he’s made some poor decisions on the football field thus far, and won’t be trusted as a starter week three.

- Mikel Leshoure is back and the Lions are reportedly working out veterans this week for depth. I still like Smith as the starter, unless we hear word of an injury or a demotion. While some believe Leshoure will start, I’m not buying that he will see a majority of the touches.

Leshoure has seen little time on the field, and this is basically his rookie year coming off an Achilles injury.

1 C.J. Spiller @ Browns
2 Arian Foster @ Broncos
3 Ray Rice Patriots
4 Maurice Jones-Drew @ Colts
5 Trent Richardson Bills
6 Reggie Bush Jets
7 LeSean McCoy @ Cardinals
8 DeMarco Murray Bucs
9 Marshawn Lynch Packers
10 Doug Martin @ Cowboys
11 Michael Bush Rams
12 Jamaal Charles @ Saints
13 Darren McFadden Steelers
14 Ryan Mathews Falcons
15 Stevan Ridley @ Ravens
16 BenJarvus Green-Ellis @ Redskins
17 Frank Gore @ Vikings
18 Adrian Peterson 49ers
19 Darren Sproles Chiefs
20 Steven Jackson (I) @ Bears
21 Alfred Morris Bengals
22 Willis McGahee Texans
23 Ben Tate @ Broncos
24 Mark Ingram Chiefs
25 Donald Brown Jaguars
26 DeAngelo Williams Giants
27 Andre Brown @ Panthers
28 Kevin Smith @ Titans
29 Shonn Greene (I) @ Dolphins
30 Beanie Wells Eagles
31 Jonathan Stewart Giants
32 Chris Johnson Lions
33 Isaac Redman @ Raiders
34 Michael Turner @ Chargers
35 Peyton Hillis @ Saints
36 Cedric Benson @ Seahawks
37 Jonathan Dwyer @ Raiders
38 Dayrl Richardson @ Bears
39 Mikel Leshoure @ Titans
40 Kendall Hunter @ Vikings

Week 3 Standard Rankings – QB | WR | TE | Flex | D |