2012 Fantasy Football Week 8: Running Backs (RB) Rankings / Projections

Sean E. Douglas@@seanfantasyinfoSenior Writer IIIOctober 22, 2012

Oct. 21, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) stiff arms New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson (21) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. The Saints defeated the Buccaneers 35-28. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

Perhaps the Buccaneers only gave Doug Martin 16 carries because they are playing a Thursday night game this week. Then again, if we look at his past three games, the coaching staff only called his number 13 times last week and eight times in the game before that.

Time will tell us what the Buccaneers think the ideal workload for Martin really is, but I have to believe his slow start—when he was getting the football 20 times or more—may have something to do with the reduction in touches.

If so, it would be a wise move to give him the football more as he’s clearly made big plays in recent weeks and is running tougher on contact.

Last week we watched two stout run defenses in Seattle and San Francisco surrender 100-yard performances on short rest, so even though Martin will face a Vikings defense that is strong at home, he might have an advantage because of the short week.

Let’s keep him in the lineup as a quality RB2, and hopefully LeGarrette Blount continues to run ineffectively like he did against the Saints.

What Did We Learn From Week 7?

It’s going to be awhile before I can say with true confidence that Chris Johnson is back to being the runner we used to know, but we can say he’s worth keeping in the lineup at this point. Following up on a 91-yard performance against the Steelers, Johnson went for close to 200 yards on the ground against the Bills with two touchdowns.

We did see backup Jamie Harper steal a couple touchdowns away from him, and it appears Johnson will continue to lose out on goal-line opportunities. Still, he’s a RB1 play against the Colts this week and should be in the lineup going forward.

Ahmad Bradshaw saved his day with extra work in the passing game and a goal-line touchdown as he carried the football only 12 times. Bradshaw was seen in an argument on the sidelines, apparently because the veteran wanted the football more.

Unless Bradshaw can put together multiple practices we should expect his workload to remain the same as the Giants work Andre Brown in behind him.

Anyone think Frank Gore is over the hill still? Well, there’s no denying he’s not the same player he once was in terms of workload, but Gore’s big day against the Seahawks is just a reminder that he has plenty left in the tank.

Unfortunately, like Steven Jackson, Frank Gore also had to spend his prime years on a bad team. Unlike Jackson, Gore is benefiting from playing on one of the better teams in football in his later years.

The Rams have been stout against the run this year, but Alex Green was just horrible against them. We should expect better things from the second-year tailback this week, but he’s just an emergency flex play option.

Sean’s Week 8 Watch List

Adrian Peterson was terrific against the Cardinals as he beat up on a good front seven. On short rest for a Thursday night game, let’s keep an eye on Peterson’s nagging ankle injury that has kept him out of some practice drills over recent weeks.

The Broncos need to get the running game going early on against the Saints. Playing at home, Peyton Manning will have the benefit of a quiet crowd (when he’s on the field), so audibles won’t be a problem. Let’s see if Denver feeds Willis McGahee over 20 times, as it would be wise to keep Drew Brees sitting on the sidelines.

Jonathan Dwyer stepped up and ran the football for over 100 yards against the Bengals last week. Hopefully, the Steelers will give him another big workload and keep Isaac Redman and especially Rashard Mendenhall out as they recover from injuries.

1 Jamaal Charles Raiders
2 Adrian Peterson Buccaneers
3 Chris Johnson Colts
4 Matt Forte Panthers
5 Marshawn Lynch @ Lions
6 Frank Gore @ Cardinals
7 Ryan Mathews @ Browns
8 Willis McGahee Saints
9 Alfred Morris @ Steelers
10 LeSean McCoy Falcons
11 Darren McFadden @ Chiefs
12 Doug Martin @ Vikings
13 Stevan Ridley @ Rams
14 Michael Turner @ Eagles
15 Ahmad Bradshaw (I) @ Cowboys
16 Trent Richardson (I) Chargers
17 Jonathan Dwyer Redskins
18 Mikel Leshoure Seahawks
19 Darren Sproles @ Broncos
20 Steven Jackson Patriots
21 Shonn Greene Dolphins
22 Rashad Jennings @ Packers
23 Felix Jones (I) Giants
24 Reggie Bush @ Jets
25 LaRod Stephens-Howling 49ers
26 Vick Ballard @ Titans
27 Alex Green Jaguars
28 Shane Vereen @ Rams
29 Jonathan Stewart @ Bears
30 Pierre Thomas @ Broncos
31 Phillip Tanner Giants
32 Montario Hardesty Chargers
33 Danny Woodhead @ Rams
34 Dayrl Richardson Patriots
35 Michael Bush Panthers
36 Kendall Hunter @ Cardinals
37 Andre Brown @ Cowboys
38 DeAngelo Williams @ Bears
39 Joique Bell Seahawks
40 Baron Batch Redskins

Week 8 Standard Rankings – QB | WR | TE | Flex | D |