NFL Fantasy Football Week 6 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

Eric StashinSenior Writer IOctober 12, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 26: Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball past Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on September 26, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Titans beat the Giants 29 - 10. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

There are still some running backs battling injuries.  Others have some intriguing matchups.  Yet others finally erupted for their owners.  Let’s take a look at how I currently have them ranked for Week 6 (these will be updated later in the week depending on the news):

  1. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – at Jacksonville
  2. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Oakland
  3. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – at New England
  4. Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants – vs. Detroit
  5. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Dallas
  6. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – vs. Kansas City
  7. Rashard Mendenhall – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Cleveland
  8. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – at Philadelphia
  9. LaDanian Tomlinson – New York Jets – at Denver
  10. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Atlanta
  11. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Tennessee
  12. Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – vs. San Diego
  13. Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – at Tampa Bay
  14. Joseph Addai – Indianapolis Colts – at Washington
  15. Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – at San Francisco
  16. Ryan Torain – Washington Redskins – vs. Indianapolis
  17. Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – at Houston
  18. Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions – at New York Giants
  19. Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – at Minnesota
  20. Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – at St. Louis
  21. Ronnie Brown – Miami Dolphins – at Green Bay
  22. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at St. Louis
  23. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – vs. Seattle
  24. Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – vs. New York Jets
  25. Brandon Jackson – Green Bay Packers – vs. Miami
  26. Shonn Greene – New York Jets – at Denver
  27. Ricky Williams – Miami Dolphins – at Green Bay
  28. Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – at Chicago
  29. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – vs. Baltimore
  30. Peyton Hillis – Cleveland Browns – at Pittsburgh
  31. Carnell Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. New Orleans
  32. Ladell Betts – New Orleans Saints – at Tampa Bay
  33. Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants – vs. Detroit
  34. John Kuhn – Green Bay Packers – vs. Miami
  35. Thomas Jones – Kansas City Chiefs – at Houston
  36. Marion Barber – Dallas Cowboys – at Minnesota
  37. LaGarrette Blount – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. New Orleans
  38. Willis McGehee – Baltimore Ravens – at New England
  39. Chester Taylor – Chicago Bears – vs. Seattle
  40. Justin Forsett – Seattle Seahawks – at Chicago


In his first start replacing the injured Clinton Portis, Ryan Torain had just 40 yards on 16 carries (while adding four receptions for 27 yards).  He should continue to see carries and gets a good draw this week against a Colts defense allowing 142.2 rushing yards per game.  The Redskins certainly will be motivated to control the clock in an attempt to keep the ball from Peyton Manning, so consider Torain a RB2 again this week.

Arian Foster has been great this season, but he put up a forgettable 25 yards against the Giants in Week 5 and draws a Chiefs defense allowing just 80.5 rushing yards per game.  He should rebound, and the outlook is that he will play in Week 6 (he got banged up this past week), so consider him a RB1 this week.

Will the Steelers try to protect Ben Roethlisberger some in his first game back, using Rashard Mendenhall more this week?  It certainly is possible, so keep that in mind.
Ahmad Bradshaw enters Week 6 third in the league in rushing with 449 yards (averaging 4.9 yards per carry). 

He looked good against a tough Texans defense, despite having a banged up ankle.  The Lions are seventh worst in the league against the run, as well as having allowed five rushing TDs.  Look for him to continue to feast, and given the interception troubles of Eli Manning, Bradhsaw is a top-five option this week.

If Frank Gore and the 49ers offense had been performing well, he’d be the top back on the board this week going against the Oakland Raiders (allowing 147.8 rushing yards per game).  Unfortunately, he is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry thus far, so it’s tough to put him at the top of the heap.  Still, he’s among the elite options this week.

LeSean McCoy was hurting?  You could’ve fooled me, after he went for 92 yards on the ground (with a touchdown), as well as picking up five receptions for 46 yards.  At this point there’s no reason to worry.

Pierre Thomas has missed the past two weeks, but will he return this week?  We won’t know until later in the week, most likely, so for now we’ll leave him in the mix and will adjust things later on.

Felix Jones got 15 carries (and went for 109 yards), as well as picking up four receptions (for 17 yards).  The Cowboys keep talking about getting Jones more involved in the offense and at this point he has to be considered more valuable then Marion Barber.
After missing Week 5, chances are Darren McFadden could again be out for Week 6.  He’s been left off these rankings for now.

If Steven Jackson is hurting or not, he clearly seems determined to play through it.  He managed 114 yards in Week 5, so there is no reason to downgrade him now.

Maurice Jones-Drew’s Week 5 performance could’ve been so much better, though a wrist injury sidelined him for a time, giving Deji Karim more carries then normal.  Held to just one TD on the season and still battling the wrist injury, Jones-Drew owners need to be cautious moving forward.

Chris Johnson finally looked like his old self, with 131 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries (6.9 yards per carry).  In an offense that is geared towards the run and with his talent, the matchup doesn’t really matter.  He’s one of the elite backs in the game.
How do Ray Rice owners feel now that he has finally posted a 100+ yard game?  It’s about time, huh?

Peyton Hillis has the unfortunate task of facing the Steelers defense while being banged up and the Browns being forced into playing their third string QB.  It has the makings of a disappointing day, but he’s still worth considering as a low-end RB2.

Will Knowshon Moreno return or won’t he?  It’s certainly not an ideal situation, with the New York Jets on the schedule.  We’ll rank him for now, as it would appear like he’s going to play.

Sooner or later Ryan Mathews is going to return to the starting role, but for now he’s likely to continue sharing carries with Mike Tolbert.  Against the Rams, both should hold value as potential RB2.

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 6 Rankings: