Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs (Updated)

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 24, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 12:  Quarterback David Garrard #9 gives the ball to Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the NFL season opener game against the Denver Broncos5 at EverBank Field on September 12, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Injuries have caused a minor shakeup in our rankings.  Let’s take a look at how Knowshon Moreno’s surprising scratch, as well as all the rest of the news, affected things:

  1. Adrian Peterson - Minnesota Vikings - vs. Detroit
  2. Maurice Jones-Drew - Jacksonville Jaguars - vs. Philadelphia
  3. Ray Rice - Baltimore Ravens - vs. Cleveland
  4. Chris Johnson - Tennessee Titans - at New York Giants
  5. Frank Gore - San Francisco 49ers - at Kansas City
  6. Rashard Mendenhall - Pittsburgh Steelers - at Tampa Bay
  7. Michael Turner - Atlanta Falcons - at New Orleans
  8. LeSean McCoy - Philadelphia Eagles - at Jacksonville
  9. Steven Jackson - St. Louis Rams - vs. Washington
  10. Pierre Thomas - New Orleans Saints - vs. Atlanta
  11. DeAngelo Williams - Carolina Panthers - vs. Cincinnati
  12. Darren McFadden - Oakland Raiders - at Arizona
  13. Cedric Benson - Cincinnati Bengals - at Carolina
  14. Arian Foster - Houston Texans - vs. Dallas
  15. Ahmad Bradshaw - New York Giants - vs. Tennessee
  16. Ronnie Brown - Miami Dolphins - vs. New York Jets
  17. Matt Forte - Chicago Bears - vs. Green Bay
  18. Clinton Portis - Washington Redskins - at St. Louis
  19. Matt Tolbert - San Diego Chargers - at Seattle
  20. Jahvid Best - Detroit Lions - at Minnesota
  21. Tim Hightower - Arizona Cardinals - vs. Oakland
  22. Joseph Addai - Indianapolis Colts - at Denver
  23. LaDainian Tomlinson - New York Jets - at Miami
  24. Brandon Jackson - Green Bay Packers - at Chicago
  25. Jamaal Charles - Kansas City Chiefs - vs. San Francisco
  26. Jonathan Stewart - Carolina Panthers - vs. Cincinnati
  27. Fred Taylor - New England Patriots - vs. Buffalo
  28. Justin Forsett - Seattle Seahawks - vs. San Diego
  29. Marion Barber - Dallas Cowboys - at Houston
  30. Laurence Maroney - Denver Broncos - vs. Indianapolis
  31. Ricky Williams - Miami Dolphins - vs. New York Jets
  32. Shonn Greene - New York Jets - at Miami
  33. Peyton Hillis - Cleveland Browns - at Baltimore
  34. Thomas Jones - Kansas City Chiefs - vs. San Francisco
  35. Beanie Wells - Arizona Cardinals - vs. Oakland
  36. Jason Snelling - Atlanta Falcons - at New Orleans
  37. Felix Jones - Dallas Cowboys - at Houston
  38. Carnell Williams - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - vs. Pittsburgh
  39. Keiland Williams - Washington Redskins - at St. Louis
  40. Chester Taylor - Chicago Bears - vs. Green Bay


  • Reggie Bush is out for the next two-to-six weeks and his touches in the Saints offense need to go somewhere.  The likely new No. 2 back, Christopher Ivy, is returning from injury, so who knows how big of a role he’ll play this week.  Pierre Thomas’ potential value gets a little bit of a boost.
  • It came out of nowhere, but Knowshon Moreno will be out this week due to a strained hamstring.  Correll Buckhalter’s value likely stays the same, with Laurence Maroney taking over Moreno’s starting duties.  It sounds good, and he’s a bit of a sleeper, but I wouldn’t trust him as anything more then a FLEX option.
  • While listed as questionable on the injury report, all signs point to Beanie Wells making his 2010 debut in Week 3.  He’s tough to trust, however, as you wouldn’t think they would throw him right into the fire, especially with the revelation that he underwent arthroscopic surgery a few weeks back.  Consider him a low-end option for this week, but we all know he has the potential for so much more.  His potential presence hurts Tim Hightower’s value slightly.
  • While there’s a chance Ryan Mathews plays this week, it appears to be highly unlikely as he’s classified as doubtful on the injury report and hasn’t practiced.  Mike Tolbert takes his place and is usable as a RB2.
  • The revelations that the Packers don’t view Brandon Jackson as a RB1 certainly hurts his stock a bit.  As we mentioned in our Week 3 Sleepers (click here to view), John Kuhn could steal some carries and have similar value to Peyton Hillis.
  • Speaking of Hillis, Jerome Harrison missed practice all week and may not play.  He was a borderline option, at best, to begin with, so there’s no way to use him now.  Hillis is the man to use at this point if you want a Cleveland running back.
  • Clinton Portis is listed as questionable, but for now we’re going to leave him where we’ve got him ranked, as a usable RB2.  You may want to handcuff him with Keiland Williams, however, and check the news at around noon on Sunday if he’s in your plans.
  • Will the presence of Michael Bush hurt Darren McFadden’s value?  Not at this point.  McFadden has shown too much in the first few weeks.

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Who’s too high?  Who’s too low?

Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 3 Rankings: