Fantasy Football Week 14: Rankings for the Top 50 Running Backs

Jeremy Alpert@@pyroman1acSenior Analyst IIDecember 6, 2012

Figuring out who the best fantasy football running backs will be from week to week is a little easier than predicting which wide receivers will shine, but it is by no means simple—especially in Week 14 with all the byes completed and yet another crop of injuries to deal with.

That's why those of us in the fantasy industry put together these lists for you—to give you an idea of what to expect from your players on any given Sunday.

With that, here are the weekend's top 50 running backs, along with some detailed analysis on the 10 best plays for the week.


50. Mike Tolbert (vs. Atl)

49. Ronnie Brown (at Pit)

48. David Wilson (vs. NO)

47. Marcel Reece (vs. Den, Thursday night)

46. Ronnie Hillman (at Oak, Thursday night)

45. Daniel Thomas (at SF)

44. Danny Woodhead (vs. Hou, Monday night)

43. Michael Bush (at Min)

42. Felix Jones (at Cin)

41. Justin Forsett (at NE, Monday night)

40. Peyton Hillis (at Cle)

39. Joique Bell (at GB, Sunday night)

38. Reggie Bush (at SF)

37. Isaac Redman (vs. SD)

36. Mark Ingram (at NYG)

35. Pierre Thomas (at NYG)

34. Jacquizz Rodgers (at Car)

33. Ryan Mathews (at Pit)

32. Alex Green (vs. Det, Sunday night)

31. Bilal Powell (at Jax)

30. Montell Owens (vs. NYJ)

29. Beanie Wells (at Sea)

28. DeAngelo Williams (vs. Atl)

27. Darren Sproles (at NYG)

26. Darren McFadden (vs. Den, Thursday night)

25. Jonathan Dwyer (vs. SD)

24. Mikel Leshoure (at GB, Sunday night)

23. Vick Ballard (vs. Ten)

22. Shonn Greene (at Jax)

21. Fred Jackson (vs. StL)

20. Michael Turner (at Car) 

19. Knowshon Moreno (at Oak, Thursday night)

18. Stevan Ridley (vs. Hou, Monday night)

17. Frank Gore (vs. Mia)

16. DeMarco Murray (at Cin)

15. Steven Jackson (at Buf)

14. C.J. Spiller (vs. StL)

13. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. Dal)

12. Matt Forte (at Min)

11. Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. NO)


Top 10 RB Plays for Week 14 

10. Alfred Morris (vs. Bal)

Alfred Morris is a beast and continues to show it on a weekly basis.

On Monday night, he was able to put up his fifth 100-yard game of the season, the most of any rookie running back in the league this year.

This weekend he’ll be at home against a Baltimore Ravens defense that has been able to be beaten on the ground this season.

They’ve actually done a lot better lately, but their best defensive player, Terrell Suggs, just went down to injury, so they might not play up to their recent standards this Sunday. 


9. Jamaal Charles (at Cle)

As has been the case throughout his career, Jamaal Charles is still having a bit of trouble finding the end zone.

However, he also just ran for his fifth 100-yard game last weekend and third in his last four games, so the kid is obviously on a bit of a roll.

Not that it makes much of a difference, but Charles is averaging 109 yards a game against the AFC North this season with just the Cleveland Browns left to play.

The Browns are probably the worst of the four teams (Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh), but they have been pretty stout on the defensive side of the ball lately.

They’ve had a bit of trouble with the speedier running backs, though, so I expect Charles to have a couple of big runs and an RB1-type day because of them. 


8. Chris Johnson (at Ind)

CJ2K hasn’t been able to hit the 100-yard mark the last couple of games and was held to his lowest rushing total (51 yards) since Week 5 by the Texans last weekend.

That said, I believe his minor skid takes a turn for the better this Sunday playing in a dome against the Indianapolis Colts.

Indy has allowed the sixth-most rushing touchdowns this season and the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs, so Johnson should have a real good chance at RB1 numbers here. 


7. Arian Foster (at NE, Monday night)

Arian Foster still leads the league in fantasy points right now due to his insane ability to get into the end zone, but for the third time in four weeks last Sunday, he was held to less than 3.5 yards per carry, so he’s obviously slowing down a bit.

The Texans have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, so they might be aiming to rest him a bit, though he hasn’t seen less than 18 touches in a game yet this season and I doubt Houston will want to show poorly on Monday night.

The Patriots, however, have a pretty stout rush D, so I don’t expect him to have one of his top-of-the-line games here.

Lastly, Houston could turn to the pass if they get behind, so Arian may not receive as many carries as he usually does.

Then again, this is Arian Foster we're talking about here. I wouldn't worry too much.


6. Ray Rice (at Was)

Ray Rice may still be fourth in the league in fantasy points this season, but it sure isn’t because the Ravens are getting him the ball a bunch.

Last week he only saw 13 touches in a last-second loss to the hated Pittsburgh Steelers, a mistake I doubt the coaching staff will make again anytime soon.

Plain and simple—Ray Rice makes this offense run.

This week he’ll be taking on a Redskins defense that’s better than you think defending the rush but has still allowed a running back to put up double-digit fantasy points against it in seven of its last eight games.

If Rice wasn’t so wishy-washy on the road, I’d have him ranked higher. 


5. Marshawn Lynch (vs. Ari)

“Fugly McSkittles” came through with an unexpected nice fantasy game for his owners against a top-tier Chicago Bears defense this past weekend.

Actually, it’s really not all that surprising seeing how he’s been able to come through on a fairly regular basis regardless of the opponent for almost two years now.

This week he’ll be facing an Arizona Cardinals team he’s seen three times since the beginning of last year, though he hasn’t seen much success against them.

In fact, he didn’t score a touchdown or run for more than 86 yards against them in any of those games, but streaks are meant to be broken.

If Shonn Greene can run for 100 yards against them last weekend, I expect Lynch to do so as well. 


4. Trent Richardson (vs. KC)

So Richardson was held to less than four yards a carry again last week against the lowly Oakland Raiders, but as usual, he found a way to put up nice fantasy numbers on the day by running in a late, three-yard touchdown.

It was the first time he failed to put up 100 total yards in a game since back in Week 7, but he’ll get it going again this Sunday against a mediocre Kansas City Chiefs defense.

I’m a bit nervous about the dreaded “rookie wall” coming up to meet him sometime soon, but it won’t be this week. 


3. Bryce Brown (at TB)

What a maniac this kid is!

With LeSean McCoy out of the lineup for the last two weeks, Bryce Brown has run for 347 yards and four touchdowns on just 43 carries, which comes out to a whopping 8.1 YPC.

The rookie is really something special to watch, as he not only has a ton of power in his legs but also more speed than you’d think for a 223-pound back.

He runs with a rare ferocity that can sometimes get him into trouble,  considering his three fumbles in the last two games, but Andy Reid wouldn’t dare tell him to slow down at this point.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been pretty good against the run this season, but Brown is on too much of a roll right now to think he’ll do anything but put up RB1 numbers. 


2. Doug Martin (vs. Phi)

The “Muscle Hamster” has been slowed of late, rushing for just 106 yards on 2.7 yards-per-carry over his last two games, but if there’s a team you’d like to face when things aren’t going too well at this point, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles.

Granted, the Eagles have allowed more through the air than on the ground during their recent downward spiral, but Martin is involved enough in the passing game to make a difference there as well, so I’m not too worried about that.

I’ll be very surprised if the rookie doesn’t put up 125-plus total yards and at least one touchdown this Sunday. 


1. Adrian Peterson (vs. Chi)

Adrian Peterson’s numbers speak for themselves, as he’s now on pace for 1,928 yards, 11 touchdowns and a 6.2-yards-per-carry average.

His big-play ability is obviously still there as well, as he currently leads the league with 17 runs of 20 yards or more (C.J. Spiller is second with 11).

Throw in the fact that he’s averaged 103.4 yards and 1.3 touchdowns a game against the Chicago Bears over his career and you’re pretty much assured of a big day out of Purple Jesus this weekend.

Oh, and did I mention that the Bears will be without Brian Urlacher for this game?


For rankings at all the positions, check out the: Pyro® Rankings.

For advice on who to start, check out the: Pyro® Start 'Em Sit 'Em

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