Fantasy Football 2012 Week 8 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs
There are questions about the running back situations in Pittsburgh, Dallas, Green Bay and Arizona, among others. How do those situations impact the rankings? How can Chris Johnson be considered the top option? Let’s take a look:
- Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Indianapolis
- LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Atlanta
- Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at Cleveland
- Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Tampa Bay
- Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Oakland
- Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – at Arizona
- Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – at Detroit
- Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – at New York Jets
- Alfred Morris – Washington Redskins – at Pittsburgh
- Willis McGahee – Denver Broncos – vs. New Orleans
- Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – vs. Carolina
- Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders – at Kansas City
- Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Minnesota
- Trent Richardson – Cleveland Browns – vs. San Diego
- Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants – at Dallas
- Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – at Philadelphia
- Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots – at St. Louis
- Rashad Jennings – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Green Bay
- Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – at Denver
- Vick Ballard – Indianapolis Colts – at Tennessee
- Mikel Leshoure – Detroit Lions – vs. Seattle
- Shonn Greene – New York Jets – vs. Miami
- Jonathan Dwyer – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Washington
- Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – vs. New York Giants
- Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – vs. New England
- LaRod Stephens-Howling – Arizona Cardinals – vs. San Francisco
- Alex Green – Green Bay Packers – vs. Jacksonville
- Michael Bush – Chicago Bears – vs. Carolina
- Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – at Denver
- Daryl Richardson – St. Louis Rams – vs. New England
- Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – at Chicago
- Kendall Hunter – San Francisco 49ers – at Arizona
- Jamie Harper – Tennessee Titans – vs. Indianapolis
- DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – at Chicago
- Montario Hardesty – Cleveland Browns – vs. San Diego
- Mike Goodson – Oakland Raiders – at Kansas City
- Andre Brown – New York Giants – at Dallas
- Danny Woodhead – New England Patriots – at St. Louis
- Philip Tanner – Dallas Cowboys – vs. New York Giants
- Toby Gerhart – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Tampa Bay
- The reemergence of Chris Johnson continued in Week 7, as he rushed for 195 yards and 2 TD. That gives him over 100 total yards in three of the past four weeks. Now he draws an Indianapolis defense allowing 141.7 rushing yards per game and 8 TD. It should be another impressive showing. I know it’s tough to have him sitting atop these rankings, but it is hard to find a potentially better option.
- Adrian Peterson looks completely healthy, but he draws a Tampa Bay defense that has been beaten up by the pass and is allowing just 76.0 yards per game. Do I think he’s going to be shut down? Of course not, but there is enough worry to keep him from sitting atop the rankings.
- Maybe this will be the week the Eagles lean on LeSean McCoy? He’s scored 3 TD (one rushing, two passing), but has a favorable matchup and Michael Vick continues to struggle. You have to think it’s only a matter of time.
- It has been a very slow start for Ryan Mathews, though he had 26 touches in Week 6 and finally appears primed to live up to the preseason expectations we all had for him. With the Browns being in the bottom 10 in the league against the run, look for him to possibly post his first 100-yard rushing game of the year.
- The New Orleans Saints have been beaten up by teams running the football this season, allowing 160.3 rushing yards per game as well as 8 TD. The problem? The Saints could easily turn this into a shootout, with Peyton Manning being capable of matching them play-for-play. That keeps McGahee’s potential down a little bit, pushing him outside the top 5.
- Trent Richardson is banged up and draws a tough match-up against San Diego. We are going to keep him on the rankings, for now, but there’s a chance he doesn’t play or is limited in how long he can go. Owners are going to have to be very careful and monitor the news, but he is more of a RB2 at this point.
- Well, it was a nice one-week explosion for Felix Jones, wasn’t it? As it is there is a chance DeMarco Murray returns to the lineup (though we are leaving him off the rankings until we have more information on that), but Jones failed to impress with just 44 yards and 15 carries and is banged up himself. He’s a low-end option at best, and probably better left as a FLEX play if Murray is not dressing.
- Shonn Greene didn’t have quite the same performance in Week 7, though he did manage 54 yards and 1 TD on a day that the Jets went pass-heavy. He did temporarily leave the game with an injury and, while he did return, fantasy owners will have to monitor the news just in case. Even a healthy Greene would be a risk against a Dolphins defense that is among the best in the league against the run. Consider him a RB2, at best.
- I know Alex Green struggled in Week 7 (35 yards on 20 carries), but St. Louis isn’t the worst rushing defense in the league. This week, he draws a Jaguars team allowing 147.3 rushing yards per game and 8 TD. As a RB2, he’ll be worth the risk as the team appears to be committed to him, for now (though that status is questionable), and the favorable matchup.
- Steven Jackson is no longer the lead back, as he is sharing touches with Daryl Richardson. That leaves both as more of FLEX options for now.
- Time will tell if Rashard Mendenhall is back in Week 8, but Jonathan Dwyer opened eyes in Week 7 (122 yards on 17 carries) and the Steelers could easily go pass-happy against the Redskins. Dwyer would be my top choice, but even he is more of a low-end option.
- It was a monster game for LaRod Stephens-Howling, rumbling for 104 yards and 1 TD while adding 45 yards on 4 receptions. There were concerns about his ability to operate as a lead back, due to his size, and it is unlikely he gets as many opportunities this week. The 49ers' defense has been porous against the run in recent weeks (Ahmad Bradshaw and Marshawn Lynch have gone for over 100 yards in back-to-back weeks), so I would consider Stephens-Howling more of a low-end RB2/FLEX option.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings:
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