Here are my top 40 running backs for Week 9 (standard-scoring leagues).
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 ninth weekend.
NOTE: The Rams, Jets, Patriots and 49ers are all on byes.
Top 40 Backs For Week 9
1. Arian Foster vs. Buffalo
2. Ray Rice @ Cleveland
3. LeSean McCoy @ New Orleans
4. Matt Forte @ Tennessee
5. Marshawn Lynch vs. Minnesota
6. Darren McFadden vs. Tampa Bay
7. Adrian Peterson @ Seattle
8. Ryan Mathews vs. Kansas City
9. Jamaal Charles @ San Diego
10. Reggie Bush @ Indianapolis
11. Doug Martin @ Oakland
12. Alfred Morris vs. Carolina
13. Trent Richardson vs. Baltimore
14. Rashad Jennings vs. Detroit
15. Ahmad Bradshaw vs.Pittsburgh
16. Fred Jackson @ Houston
17. Willis McGahee @ Cincinnati
18. Chris Johnson vs. Chicago
19. Felix Jones @ Atlanta
20. BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Denver
21. Mikel Leshoure @ Jacksonville
22. Michael Turner vs. Dallas
23. Isaac Redman @ N.Y. Giants
24. C.J Spiller @ Houston
25. Jonathan Stewart @ Washington
26. Pierre Thomas vs. Philadelphia
27. Donald Brown vs. Miami
28. Alex Green vs. Arizona
29. LaRod Stephens-Howling @ Green Bay
30. Daniel Thomas @ Indianapolis
31. Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Dallas
32. Michael Bush @ Tennessee
33. Joique Bell @ Jacksonville
34. Vick Ballard vs. Miami
35. Rashard Mendenhall @ N.Y. Giants
36. Felix Jones @ Atlanta
37. Justin Forsett vs. Buffalo
38. Mike Goodson vs. Tampa Bay
39. Ronnie Brown vs. Kansas City
40. DeAngelo Williams @ Washington
1. Among tailbacks, Arian Foster (736 total yards) is the NFL leader in rushes (168), rushing touchdowns (nine) and total TDs (10). He also had a bye week to physically and mentally recharge for this Sunday's shakedown against the Bills, who have already surrendered 150 combined rushing yards five times.
2. In his last six games against the Browns (dating back to 2009), Ray Rice has per-outing averages of 123 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns. Of equal importance, the "worst" performance during that span was 92 total yards.
3. I've rightfully taken my share of hits for (wrongfully) recommending Reggie Bush over Doug Martin last week. But it won't scare me off from choosing Bush (639 total yards, three TD) over Martin (767 total yards, four TD) for any future Sundays—like this one. The Colts, Bush's Week 9 opponent, have allowed 110-plus combined rushing yards in five of their seven games.
4. In career games of 20-plus touches, Jacksonville's Rashad Jennings is a perfect 3-for-3 in racking up 100 total yards (with two total touchdowns). Please keep this in mind...since I don't anticipate Maurice Jones-Drew (foot injury) returning to the Jags lineup this season.
5. I need a few more days to settle on a ranking for Jamaal Charles, despite his three-game track record against the Chargers (87 total yards, one TD). Perhaps I'll figure Charles out...before Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel does.
6. Ryan Mathews (494 total yards, one TD) has a superb track record against Kansas City, with career averages of 99.5 total yards and 0.6 TDs. But there is one thing that drives fantasy owners batty:
How does a star back catch 91 balls for 740 yards over a three-year span—without notching at least one receiving TD?
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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