Fantasy Football Week 7 Rankings: Running Backs

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IOctober 22, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Runningback LaDainian Tomlinson  #21 of the San Diego Chargers runs against the Denver Broncos during Monday Night Football on October 19, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Six weeks are in the books, and there have been some pretty big surprises and some truly painful let downs. In between though, is pretty much what the Bruno Boys had expected for the season as we nailed most of what we’ve seen. And, hopefully while we are nailing our rankings, you are nailing down your wins in your own personal fantasy leagues. If not though, don’t give up hope; there is still some time. But, I'm not going to lie, if you are 0-6, things are going to be tough; real tough.

In fact, it will be tougher than a running back having to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, a challenge Adrian Peterson will encounter this week. Whether you are winning and want to keep it up or are losing and need a shot of adrenaline for your team, you will find it here in the Bruno Boys Fantasy Football Week Seven Running Back Rankings.

1. Michael Turner (Atlanta Falcons) @ Dallas

Last week against the Chicago Bears, Michael Turner had a respectful week of 10 fantasy points with 46 total yards and a touchdown. While owners expected more, especially following his 27 point effort the week before, Turner’s numbers were good for an off-week. Don’t fret though, as Turner gets to turn on the burners this week against the Dallas Cowboys; a rush defense that has given up over 100 rush yards per contest. The Cowboys have been fairly stringent on giving up the rushing touchdown, but Turner should change that this week and make the Cowboys defense his inferior.

Point Projection: 21 points

2. DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers) vs. Buffalo

DeAngelo Williams was definitely back in good form this past week with a triumphant 172 total yard, two touchdown game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This week, Williams will face the putrid Buffalo Bills rush defense, one that has given up 27.3 fantasy points per game to opposing runners. Another big outing is to be expected from Williams, alleviating fantasy owners’ concerns regarding his 7.3 point outings in weeks three and five.

Point Projection: 20 points

3. LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers) @ Kansas City

LaDainian Tomlinson enjoyed a solid Week Six against the much improved Denver Broncos defense as he went for 100 total yards on 21 touches. The upswing is encouraging, as many owners have been disappointed by his unimpressive start this year. The upswing should continue this week, though. The matchup LT gets in Week Seven against one of the league’s worst rush defenses in the 25th ranked Kansas City Chiefs is just too good to not take notice.

Point Projection: 16 points

4. Frank Gore (San Francisco 49ers) @ Houston **Check Injury Status**

Frank Gore was having one of the better starts for any back in 2009—until he had to limp off the field with an ankle injury. The good news is that he has a good shot at being back in the lineup in week 7 following the 49ers’ bye. Coming off a bye-week, Gore should be fully rested and his injury healed enough to produce some serious stats on the field against the Houston Texans. In 2009, the Texans rank near the bottom in every rush defense category that there is. Going against Gore won’t help them.

Point Projection: 19 points

5. Joseph Addai (Indianapolis Colts) @ St. Louis

Coming off of a bye week, Joseph Addai gets to face the St. Louis Rams’ pathetic rush defense—which ranks 26th in the league. Despite the fact that Addai is getting a majority of his fantasy points through touchdowns, this week should prove different as the Rams have given up 132.5 rushing yards per game this season. Even with his backfield mate Donald Brown stealing some touches, Addai is a very nice play this week.

Point Projection: 18 points

6. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) @ Pittsburgh

Last week we cautioned you to be a bit even keel on expectations for Adrian Peterson against the Baltimore Ravens. And what did he do? Peterson totaled 166 yards of offense. Even though Peterson will be traveling to Heinz Field to play the Pittsburgh Steelers, the improvement in the Vikings passing game will keep the defense honest enough to allow Peterson a very nice handful of solid plays in week seven. Play him as your RB1 with confidence.

Point Projection: 17 points

7. Cedric Benson (Cincinnati Bengals) vs. Chicago

In Week Six, Cedric Benson had 10 fantasy points against the Houston Texans. While not a great showing against the one of the league’s worst rush defenses, Benson did rack up his fourth TD on the year. Benson will be going against the Chicago Bears defense this week; a defense that has given up five rushing TDs in five games. Benson will travel to his old city and make the Bears regret the day that they released him.

Point Projection: 16 points

8. Thomas Jones (New York Jets) @ Oakland

As soon as people started jumping off of the Thomas Jones bandwagon, he showed up to the tune of 227 total yards and a touchdown in the Jets loss to the Bills in week six. That should quiet the critics. This week against the Oakland Raiders, a team that is allowing opposing running backs to tally 22.8 fantasy points per game, Jones should be in store for another big game. Two-hundred plus yards may not happen, but 100+ yards and a score is definitely a possibility.

Point Projection: 16 points

9. Steve Slaton (Houston Texans) vs. San Francisco

After a very slow start to the season, Steve Slaton has been on fire as of late (at least as a receiver), including last week’s 145 total yards and one TD effort against the Cincinnati Bengals. This week, Slaton takes on a slightly above NFL average San Francisco 49ers’ rush defense. While some confidence has been lost in this young back due to his struggles in the ground game, this is still a very nice play for him, one that he should take complete advantage of.

Point Projection: 16 points

10. Ryan Grant (Green Bay Packers) @ Cleveland

In week six against the Detroit Lions, Ryan Grant accumulated 107 total yards offense, continuing his 2009 season of consistency as Grant has 9-12 fantasy points in every contest he’s played in this year. This week, Grant gets to face the Cleveland Browns, a rush defense that has not only given up an insane amount of rushing yards (165.3 per game), but also well over a touchdown per game. Grant will eat up the Browns, making him a great play this week.

Point Projection: 16 points

11. Matt Forte (Chicago Bears) @ Cincinnati

Matt Forte has been on again, off again all season long. Last week, he was off as he accumulated only 60 yards on 20 touches with no visits to the end zone. Look for the Bears’ back to rebound this week. While the Cincinnati Bengals defense has done well this year, they have allowed 20+ fantasy points to opposing running backs over the past two weeks. The Bears will want to keep Cincinnati’s offense off of the field as much as possible and a great way to do that is to ride Forte hard. Look for an increase in normal workload for Forte (based on this season) and another solid rushing week in the books.

Point Projection: 16 points

12. Ronnie Brown (Miami Dolphins) vs. New Orleans

Part of a wicked combination with Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown has helped lead the Miami Dolphins back to respectability after a slow start to the season. Brown has been dominating, and in fact, it is time to seriously start considering him as a must play every week. If the Dolphins are going to have any chance whatsoever with keeping up with the New Orleans Saints this week, Brown will need to produce. Knowing that he will get a heavy workload, Brown will produce enough to be a low-end RB1 in deeper leagues.

Point Projection: 15 points

13. Marion Barber (Dallas Cowboys) vs. Atlanta *CHECK INJURY STATUS**

When healthy, Marion Barber is the main back for the Dallas Cowboys. The problem is that he is a bit banged up. And, with three running backs in the backfield for the Cowboys, carries will be spread out. But, despite Barber’s lingering injury, he faces an Atlanta Falcons defense that have allowed plenty of yardage on the ground (118.2 yards per game). The Cowboys will be looking to put their full arsenal ground-attack at work in week seven with Barber leading the way.

Point Projection: 14 points

14. Brian Westbrook (Philadelphia Eagles) @ Washington

Brian Westbrook went for 141 total yards against the Oakland Raiders, proving that he does still have it in him to have a big game. Despite the high-powered aerial attack that the Eagles possess, Westbrook should still get enough touches to qualify as a RB2 in week seven against the Washington Redskins. Just remember though, if the game gets out of hand, it would not be shocking to see the Eagles lean on LeSean McCoy just a bit more, decreasing Westbrook’s value some.

Point Projection: 14 points

15. Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams) vs. Indianapolis

Against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week Six, Steven Jackson continued what has been a season long story. He accumulated a nice stack of yards, 128 to be exact, but didn’t find pay dirt. Each week, Jackson keeps getting fed the rock and against the Indianapolis Colts, it will be no different. In fact, look for Jackson to be an even bigger part of the Rams receiving game as they try to keep pace with the Colts. The Colts’ rush defense is giving up over 100+ rushing yards per game, giving Jackson’s fantasy owners hope in Week Seven.

Point Projection: 14 points