Fantasy Football Week 2 Running Back Rankings

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 16, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs the ball against Stephen Cooper #54 of the San Diego Chargers on September 14, 2009 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)


While it seemed to take forever for the season to kickoff, Week one seemed like it came and went in a blink of an eye. And talking about the blink of an eye, that can be said about a few different things this week. Like the Cleveland Browns defense not being able to see Adrian Peterson throughout the game en route to him going off for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns. Also, a potential change of roles in San Diego as LaDainian Tomlinson (ankle injury or not) was stuck watching from the sidelines as Darren Sproles torched the Oakland Raiders with the game on the line.

There will be many other stories that unfold during Week two, but as usual in attempt to get you prepared for your crucial fantasy football match-up we bring to you the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week 2 Running Back Rankings.

Key Abbreviations: YPC (Yards Per Carry), YPG (Yards Per Game)

1. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) @ Detroit

What a way to start out 2009 by going off for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns against Cleveland Browns. Peterson owners have to be licking their chops as now he gets to face the Detroit Lions rush defense which is every bit as bad as the Browns. Peterson has averaged more than a 100 yards per contest against the Lions and has a pair of touchdowns in 4 career games. There is no doubt that he will once again have a successful week, making him our running back play for Week two.
Point Projection: 24 points

2. Michael Turner (Atlanta Falcons) vs. Carolina

After an outstanding 2008 season big things are expected in 2009 for this running back. It was supposed to start Week 1 against Miami but he was only able to scrape up 65 yards. Things will change this week though as his last contest against the Carolina Panthers saw Turner going for 117 rushing yards and four touchdowns. While the touchdowns won’t be as plentiful, Turner will still end up with solid numbers as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing season opener.
Point Projection: 19 points

3. Brian Westbrook (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. New Orleans

With Donovan McNabb likely out in Week two with broken ribs you can expect the bulk of the Eagles offense to be laid upon their running game. This is fine though as Westbrook is one of the best in the business and should have no problem seeing an increase in his workload. Westbrook went for 12 fantasy football points in Week one and is expected to at least match those numbers and most likely trump them. His last game against the New Orleans Saints saw Westbrook going for 109 yards and even with the loss of McNabb and offensive line man Shawn Andrews we fully expect Westbrook to exceed 120 total yards and a TD in this game. .
Point Projection: 18 points

4. DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers) @ Atlanta

The leading fantasy football running back of 2008, DeAngelo Williams started the season off well against a formidable Philadelphia Eagles defense as he went for 79 total yards and a touchdown. Things get easier this week as he faces the Atlanta Falcons; an improving, yet still a lot to be desired rush defense. Expect 100+ yards and at least one touchdown from the fourth year veteran. In fact, his last match-up against the Falcons resulted in 120 total yards and a touchdown. Good things are in store for Williams and his fantasy owners.
Point Projection: 18 points

5. Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. Arizona

We know the Arizona Cardinals shut down the San Francisco 49ers rushing offense and limited them to just 21 rushing yards but this has the makings of being a dream matchup for Maurice Jones-Drew owners as long as they don’t allow the Cardinals to extend a huge lead early in the game. The Jaguars are going to want to keep the high powered Cardinals offensive off of the field and to do that you keep the game close by pushing the team’s offense through the running back. That would be Jones-Drew. Expect a repeat of his production from Week one against the Indianapolis Colts in which he went for 100+ total yards and a touchdown en route to 17 fantasy points.
Point Projection: 17 points

6. Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans) vs. Houston

The almost always stellar Chris Johnson had a rough Week one, but that was to be expected as he faced the stout Pittsburgh Steelers defense. This week though we like his chances to make us remember his great rookie year as he faces the Houston Texans, a team that allowed 190 rushing yards in the season opener. Speaking of rookie years, Johnson did struggle against the Texans during both games last season but with a year under his belt and knowing that the Texans defense is not that good, solid yards and a touchdown is not only expected, it is mandatory.
Point Projection: 16 points

7. Ryan Grant (Green Bay Packers) vs. Cincinnati

While Ryan Grant didn’t get off to quite the start that we had hoped yardage wise, he still finished with 12 fantasy points; a solid week regardless. This week he faces the Cincinnati Bengals defense, a big downgrade from the Chicago Bears defense, so bigger things are expected. Grant has never played Cincinnati in his career but without any reference of what he may or may not do, one thing remains; Grant is looking at a bounce back year against a defense that was solid in Week one but has been horrible in years past. Factor in the high powered Packers passing attack against the Bengals and you have the perfect ingredients to dazzling week in Green Bay that ends with Grant being one of the top backs in Week two.
Point Projection: 16 points

8. Clinton Portis (Washington Redskins) vs. St. Louis

Clinton Portis has tore up the St. Louis Rams defense throughout his career. In three games he has averaged over 100 yards and 1+ touchdown per game. That should continue this week as he was able to put up over 70 yards against a tough New York Giants defense. With the Rams rushing defense surrendering 167 yards in Week one you can expect Portis to reach pay dirt and go over 100 rushing yards..
Point Projection: 16 points

9. Frank Gore (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Seattle

While Frank Gore struggled with yardage in Week one against the Arizona Cardinals, he punched in a touchdown on the ground and also had another touchdown through the air. That is the complete opposite of what Gore has done in his seven career games against the Seahawks in which he has averaged 126 total yards but only has two touchdowns. Look for the 49ers offense to clear some lanes for Gore and for him to have tons of yardage in this game. His yardage should be enough to make him a RB1 but the projected touchdown will seal the deal..
Point Projection: 16 points

10. Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams) @ Washington

Steven Jackson is full of talent, perhaps more than anyone in the league when it comes to an all around game and that is why he is always touted highly week after week. For instance in Week one he put up only 67 yards against the Seattle Seahawks but has dominated the Redskins during his career, averaging 135 total yards and nearly a touchdown per game. Will his dominance continue? We believe that he will do well enough to start as a RB1, but don’t expect Jackson to produce the type of numbers he normally would against this offense.
Point Projection: 15 points

11. Marion Barber (Dallas Cowboys) vs. NY Giants

Dallas came out and said that Barber and Felix Jones would see an equal split in carries; so what happened in Week one? Barber proved that he was the more better runner (even before Jones was banged up), at least for a week. Barber is definitely the main back in Dallas and has his work cut out for him against a New York Giants defense that spend Week one containing Clinton Portis. Barber has struggled mightily in 8 career games against the G-Men, but that should change this week. 80 total yards and a touchdown is what the Bruno Boys Crystal Ball is predicting.
Point Projection: 14 points

12. Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens) @ San Diego

Ray Rice, a sophomore back that has never faced the San Diego Chargers, looks to repeat his Week one performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in which he went for 120 total yards. Granted the Chargers are a tougher defense than the Chiefs but we are starting to think Rice is the real deal. Having gone as a RB3 in many leagues this year, Rice should end up as a RB2 if he continues to run like he did in the season opener. This will be another week in the journey towards that goal as he is expected to be a huge part of both, the rushing game and the receiving game. Triple digit yardage is expected once again from the youngster from Rutgers.
Point Projection: 14 points

13. LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers) vs. Baltimore  **CHECK INJURY STATUS**

Despite Tomlinson hauling in nine fantasy points in Week one, this is not what his owners wanted out of him. Not only did Tomlinson lose a fumble for the first time in over 1,000 touches he suffered an ankle injury that forced him to watch from the sideline for a good portion of the second half. The Chargers are calling it an ankle injury and say he will be day-to-day but you are going to want to monitor his status throughout the week. Despite a tough matchup against one of the perennial run stopping defenses in the Baltimore Ravens you aren’t in a position to write off LT just yet.
Point Projection: 14 points

14. Steve Slaton (Houston Texans) @ Tennessee

One of the biggest surprises last year in fantasy football, Steve Slaton found himself on the struggling end in Week one as he had only 52 yards but the whole Texans offense struggled in that game. Even though he is facing the Tennessee Titans this week we wouldn’t be surprised to see a bounce back week out of Slaton in which you he racks up solid yardage and finds pay dirt for the first time. In his career he has averaged 108 yards and a half of a TD per game, playing consistent with his ranking.
Point Projection: 13 points

15. Darren McFadden (Oakland Raiders) @ Kansas City

Darren McFadden squares off against the Kansas City Chiefs this week in which will be a sure test to see if McFadden is as dominate of a back as people had predicted when he was drafted last year. The Chiefs rush defense is less than average and McFadden has an opportunity to blow the Raiders competition out of the water. In just his second NFL game a year ago, McFadden torched this very same Chiefs team for 164 rushing yards and a touchdown. Now we find it hard to believe he will repeat those totals but you can expect solid yardage and knowing the Chiefs defense a possible touchdown or two. This could be a huge week for the young back but due to his inconsistencies you have to remain optimistic but cautious when using him this week.
Point Projection: 13 points

16. Matt Forte (Chicago Bears) vs. Pittsburgh

Forte was arguably the best rookie running back of 2008, but he sputtered out of the gates against the Green Bay Packers in Week one as he rushed the ball 25 times at a average of 2.2 YPC. By all means this is not a red flag alert as it is still early in the year, but after the addition of Jay Cutler everyone expected a smoother path for Forte. Although it is only one game, the path wasn’t there. In fact it looked as if the defense was saying, go ahead, beat us with your arm. While the Pittsburgh Steelers are without Troy Polamalu, Forte still has a huge task at hand. A bounce back week is in the cards, but he will be nowhere near the top back this week.
Point Projection: 13 points

17. Julius Jones (Seattle Seahawks) @ San Francisco

Julius Jones was a huge disappointment for Seattle after signing as a free agent from Dallas. Things may have turned the corner though as the Seahawks stuck to their word and gave Jones starter touches as he had the pigskin in his hands 21 times for a total of 136 yards and a touchdown. Julius Jones has three touchdowns in three contests against the 49ers throughout his career so back to back solid weeks are expected from Jones. With the 49ers this week and the Indianapolis Colts in Week two you should be able to get low-to-mid tier RB2 value out of Jones until the Cardinals Week four bye.
Point Projection: 13 points

18. Fred Jackson (Buffalo Bills) vs. Tampa Bay

With Marshawn Lynch suspended for the first three games of the year, Fred Jackson will be getting the starts. And if he plays like he did on Monday Night Football he might cause a stir as to who the starter should be in Buffalo. Jackson was all over the field and he racked up 140 total yards and a touchdown en route to 20 fantasy points. His Week two opponent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked a step or two behind on defense last week and they should have their hands full with the speedy Jackson.. While we project solid yardage from Jackson in Week two, if he scores a touchdown it will propel him into a RB1 role. Start him with confidence.
Point Projection: 13 points

19. Brandon Jacobs (New York Giants) @ Dallas

Week one was not a very memorable one for Brandon Jacobs as the touchdown machine did not find pay dirt and he only accumulated 63 yards. The good news though is that his last game against the Dallas Cowboys Jacobs rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown. Granted he had a passing game around him then, so something in the middle with a TD would be a nice week for this bruising back.
Point Projection: 12 points

20. Thomas Jones (New York Jets) vs. New England

Leave it to the Jets to make it sound as if Thomas Jones best days were behind him; news flash people, he isn’t. Both Jones and Washington played a ton in Week one and Jones hit triple digit yardage while punching in a pair of touchdowns. This week he faces a much weakened Patriots defense in which Jones went for 104 rushing yards and a TD in his last meeting. While we don’t expect Jones to keep up the touchdown pace that he did last year, the Patriots are not the Ravens so solid yardage and a possible touchdown is in the cards.
Point Projection: 12 points



Fantasy Football Week 2 Running Back Rankings