Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 40 Tailbacks in Standard-Scoring Leagues

Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterOctober 16, 2012

Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson (628 total yards, 2 TD) has per-outing averages of 133 total yards and 2.5 touchdowns in his last two games against the Cardinals.
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson (628 total yards, 2 TD) has per-outing averages of 133 total yards and 2.5 touchdowns in his last two games against the Cardinals.Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Here are my top 40 running backs for Week 7 (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 seventh weekend.

NOTE: The Dolphins, Eagles, Chargers, Falcons, Broncos and Chiefs are all on byes.

Top 40 Backs For Week 7

1. Arian Foster vs. Baltimore
2. Maurice Jones-Drew at Oakland
3. Adrian Peterson vs. Arizona
4. Stevan Ridley vs. N.Y. Jets
5. Ray Rice at Houston
6. Chris Johnson at Buffalo
7. Matt Forte vs. Detroit
8. Darren McFadden vs. Jacksonville
9. Fred Jackson vs. Tennessee
10. Trent Richardson at Indianapolis
11. Ahmad Bradshaw vs. Washington
12. Frank Gore vs. Seattle
13. Alfred Morris at N.Y. Giants
14. Doug Martin vs. New Orleans
15. Marshawn Lynch at San Francisco
16. Mikel Leshoure at Chicago
17. Darren Sproles at Tampa Bay
18. Steven Jackson vs. Green Bay
19. C.J. Spiller vs. Tennessee
20. Felix Jones at Carolina (assuming no Demarco Murray)
21. Alex Green at St. Louis
22. Shonn Greene at New England
23. BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Pittsburgh
24. Jonathan Stewart vs. Dallas
25. Michael Bush vs. Detroit
26. Rashard Mendenhall at Cincinnati
27. Daryl Richardson vs. Green Bay
28. Vick Ballard vs. Cleveland
29. William Powell at Minnesota
30. Isaac Redman at Cincinnati
31. DeAngelo Williams vs. Dallas
32. Brandon Bolden vs. N.Y. Jets
33. Pierre Thomas at Tampa Bay
34. Mike Goodson vs. Jacksonville
35. Ben Tate vs. Baltimore
36. Kendall Hunter vs. Seattle
37. David Wilson vs. Washington
38. LeGarrette Blount vs. New Orleans
39. Joique Bell at Chicago
40. Toby Gerhart vs. Arizona

Quick Hitters

1. Chris Johnson has certainly been a polarizing figure in fantasy circles. In fact, I'm sure a large faction of owners unloaded him for 60 cents on the trade dollar two or three weeks ago—just to get off the roller coaster. But here's a stat we can all embrace: For Weeks 4-6, the Bills surrendered an absurd average of 247 rushing yards per game.

2. I've heard people use the word "disappointing" when describing Arian Foster's Sunday stats. But I don't really share that sentiment. Yes, he had only 41 total yards, but the two TDs more than made up for the lack of touches/yards against Green Bay. Here's another way of seeing it: Tampa Bay's Doug Martin had 131 total yards (76 rushing) against Kansas City, and yet he finished with fewer standard-scoring points than Foster.

3. With four outings of 95 total yards and/or one touchdown, Stevan Ridley (575 total yards, four TD) had earned a "Get Out Of Fantasy Jail Free" card, long before his 34-yard clunker against the stout Seahawks. And now he draws a juicy Sunday matchup against the Jets, who've allowed 160 combined rushing yards four times this season.

4. This is the perfect time to trade for Maurice Jones-Drew (494 total yards, two TD)—fresh off his bye week and right before he dominates the next four opponents on the Jaguars' docket (Raiders, Packers, Lions, Colts). Hmmm...methinks this might be the season's most doable four-pack of games for any elite rusher.

5. I wanted to assign a higher ranking to Marshawn Lynch (519 total yards, two TD), but I just can't shake the following thought: What are the odds of the 49ers yielding 100-plus yards to a pair of rushers in back-to-back home games? For what it's worth, Lynch averaged 88 total yards/0.5 TDs against San Fran last year.

6. How's this for a scheduling quirk: Adrian Peterson faced the Cardinals in four straight seasons (2008-11), and during that span, he averaged 149 total yards and 1.25 touchdowns. Can he be similarly stellar in Minnesota's fifth consecutive battle with Arizona?

7. It wasn't my intention to list three successive variations of "green" for Nos. 21-23 (Alex Green, Shonn Greene, BenJarvus Green-Ellis)...but it makes for a good ending anecdote.

Jay Clemons
can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.