Man, we are almost halfway through this NFL season.
Hard to believe right?
I find it hard to think of another NFL season that has had more intrigue, however.
If you play fantasy football, you know what I'm talking about.
Even if you don't, there have been many, many surprise performers this season, like the pictured Arian Foster, who leads the NFL in rushing.
Needless to say, this list of the top running backs in the NFL has changed a lot since week one.
Well, maybe not the top guy...
Sure, he's only 50th in the NFL in rushing. But he also missed the first two games of the season.
And based on the his last game, he is the guy for Arizona going forward, as he received 20 carries to Tim Hightower's 4 against New Orleans.
He definitely has one of the best chances of anyone on this list to move up.
This is probably a very short stay for Ivory, who simply dismantled the Bucs defense on Sunday.
158 yards on 15 carries is all he did. That's it.
And no one seems to know when Pierre Thomas is getting back either.
Hmm...maybe he'll be on this list next week too...
Speaking of guys who could fall of this list soon, there's Brandon Jackson, who somehow is 22nd in the NFL in rushing.
But the Packers certainly can't be pleased with his efforts, considering he had a golden opportunity once Ryan Grant went down.
Other than shredding the Redskins last week, Jackson hasn't done a whole lot.
He really needs to do well this week against Minny.
The other head in Miami's two headed monster, Williams continue to fuel the Fins run game with toughness between the tackles, despite his age.
He's going to be the only one on this list who hasn't scored a touchdown though.
You want to know who is 19th in the NFL in rushing?
You're looking at him.
Hard to believe, especially with a certain other much older running back making waves in New York these days.
I find it hard to believe, though, that it will last much longer...
This may seem a bit high for the uber-talented Williams, but let's face the facts: Carolina just stinks these days.
Williams is in a similar situation to Stephen Jackson, only things actually may be better in St. Louis.
What makes it even worse for Williams is Jonathan Stewart steals carries from him.
Slightly good news though for Williams: Jimmy Clausen is out, Matt Moore is back in.
Hopefully that means teams won't stack the box quite as much.
At least that's the hope.
This is definitely another guy who could make a serious leap in the charts over the next few weeks.
The biggest concern for Matthews had to be once he got over his injury, would he get carries?
After all, Mike Tolbert has been impressive.
But Sunday showed that Matthews (12 carries to Tolbert's 3) is the go to guy in San Diego, although Tolbert will steal some goal line carries.
It looks like there is no where to go but up for the rook.
I'm going to get some serious flack for this one, but Lynch's debut did surprise me quite a bit.
Granted, Justin Forsett outperformed him, but Lynch got more carries (17 to 10), and also scored a touchdown.
He seems to now be the featured back for the 'Hawks for the near future (although I don't know why they don't give Forsett a chance).
Now that the aforementioned Lynch is out of the way in Buffalo, it's finally Jackson's time to take the reins.
Oh, never mind.
That C.J. Spiller kid is waiting.
He may not last here too long. But in the meantime, Jackson has a golden opportunity to reclaim last season's magic.
Yet another guy who could make a big leap up these charts now that he's the 'Boys main back, Jones has looked good the last two games.
I mean really good.
Sure, his rushing was off against Minnesota, but that's the Vikings we're talking about.
What he did against Tennessee, whose D has been impressive this season, is worth talking about: 15 carries, 109 yards.
Yes, he does still have Barber to worry about, but Jones has also added another weapon to his arsenal: receiver out of the backfield, as he caught 10 passes this past Sunday.
He could very well become a Ray Rice lite before too long.
I continue to believe in this guy.
Yes, he is injury prone. But have you seen Detroit's offensive line?
The guy is a rookie. Give him a break would you?
I guarantee he'll get over 1,000 yards this season. Mark my words.
While many of the aforementioned backs' stocks have or are going up, Hillis's is going down.
While I think he has the opportunity to be a Mike Alstott type back, he just doesn't have the weapons around him, or a defense that can get teams off the field.
Still, some of the things Hillis has done thus far have been very impressive, and he is one to keep an eye on throughout the rest of the season.
The old man sure did look good against Houston didn't he?
He could be a little higher on this list but for two words: Jamaal Charles.
It appears from recent games that Charles is the man in Kansas City, but Coach Haley does seem to like to ride the hot hand.
Erego, Jones will see a good deal of action throughout the rest of this season.
At least for this week, Torain cracks the top 20.
But that injury late in the Colts game certainly has to worry the Skins fans.
Still, that was all after the destruction had been done: 20 carries, 100 yards, and 2 TDs.
Note to any fantasy owners: always start backs playing Indianapolis...
This may seem a bit high for the proclaimed "bust," but I have two good reasons for this.
For starters, word is he'll be back this week, and Michael Bush didn't look good against San Fran.
And secondly, you realize he's still 16th in the NFL in rushing? Despite missing a couple of games?
That's impressive since it is Oakland we're talking about.
What Benson did last season was extremely impressive. More than I ever thought he could.
But this year he seems to have taken a major step back.
He looks older...more worn...not as quick.
In fact, I'm of the opinion that the Bengals should get Bernard Scott more involved.
But since he's still the man in a running offense, he's right here in the middle of the rankings.
I really keep thinking that one of these days, Brown will just go off, and finally prove to be that great running back many saw at Auburn.
The problem is, he only gets just over half the carries for Miami.
The good thing though?
He's not injured.
Forte has certainly done a good job of putting last season behind him.
He's still not at his rookie level, but the Chicago offensive line is a big reason for that for sure.
With his skill set, and being in a Mike Martz offense, however, he has no where to go but up on this list.
He wasn't even supposed to play this week.
And then he goes and out and does extremely well.
Of course, he got injured at the end again.
Yep. Sounds like we're talking about Joseph Addai.
He's definitely not being helped by the timeshare going on in KC, but then again the Chiefs are running the ball a lot this year.
But of all the guys on this list, he's definitely averaging the most yards per carry in 6.3.
Make no mistake, it's only a matter of time before Charles has a monster game.
Very quietly, McCoy is having himself quite a season for Philly, despite the fact he's struggled with injuries, and has had to deal with a QB controversy.
McCoy won't wow you with any of his performances, but the Eagles could probably use some stability right now.
And that is what McCoy provides.
It was really tough to keep him outside the top 10.
But I believe the return of Big Ben takes some of the offensive focus off Rashard.
Still, he got 84 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland this past weekend.
I'm interested to see what he does the rest of the year, however.
Pocket Hercules has run for a lot of yards this year.
The problem is that he doesn't have many touchdowns (one to be exact).
That sounds like the exact opposite of what he usually does, doesn't it?
Rice had his breakout season last season for sure.
This season it's been a little difficult to get going, as for some reason the Baltimore offense has somewhat sputtered, despite all the weapons at their disposal.
I imagine though that Rice, who has rushed for 221 yards the last two games, will get going soon.
What's impressive about Turner is that despite the fact that he was injured in the first quarter against Arizona, he still has 466 yards.
If he hadn't gotten injured in that game, he may have 100 additional yards on that total, good for fourth in the NFL.
Although he's had a couple of rough outings this year, Turner just keeps plugging away, and could be back in the top five soon.
Probably more so than any other back on this list, Frank Gore has proven his worth as a receiver this year, with 33 catches for the Niners.
He's going to struggle with inconsistency with the offense he's in, but Alex Smith might be over his issues, and the offensive line is going to get better.
And to top it all off, Gore has a cake schedule from here on out.
It's looking good by the bay.
Never expected to see this guy this high again did you?
But let's all be honest with ourselves: LT looks like the old LT.
Maybe it's the offensive line (look what it did for Thomas Jones). Maybe it's the fact that he's in a running offense.
But even then, he's looked a lot more explosive than last year.
Will it continue? Now that I'm not so sure of.
Bradshaw has taken the starting job and run with it. No pun intended.
If now he could only shake away that pesky Brandon Jacobs from stealing his goaline carries...
Maybe that's what they're talking about in the picture:
Ahmad: Hey man, could you stop stealing my touchdowns!
Brandon: What? Haha! That's funny!
Or maybe not...
Here's the stark reality: this guy just doesn't get enough credit for what he does in St. Louis.
Have you heard him complain all that much? No.
I guarantee that most of the backs on this list would complain if they played for the Rams (although this year is a bit different).
But Jackson continues to toil in the mediocre St. Louis offense week after week.
And really, he's the engine that drives the offense, even though Sam Bradford has done well.
And the fact that he's still 5th in the league in rushing is very impressive. To me at least.
This is one guy who could fall down this list very soon.
I mean, he is a great story and all. And he has run very well this season for a team that's not used to running.
But with the emergence of Derrick Ward, Foster could lose some carries.
And Houston may eventually get back to passing more.
Just a theory though. Who knows? Foster could be at the top of the rushing ranks come January.
But I doubt it.
A good case could be made for Peterson to be number one (who you've probably figured out by now).
After all, the dude is an athletic freak, and has proved it this season despite some serious issues on the Vikings offense.
Others would say he actually doesn't need to be this high. After all, he hasn't scored all that many touchdowns, and much of his yards came against the Lions.
But the reason he's here is because he's actually averaging the highest yards per game of any running back in the NFL, despite averaging 4.9 yards a carry (less than many in the top 20 in the NFL right now).
If he continues this pace, he'll rush for 1,760 yards. Pretty impressive if you ask me.
Is there any real reason to argue here?
Okay, you may point out a couple of subpar games this season.
My response is what running back hasn't had them this season?
Granted, the last touchdown he scored on Monday in Jacksonville was rediculous (and nearly undid me in fantasy), but there's no discounting his talent.
And don't look now, but he's only 39 yards behind Foster for the lead, despite averaging over a yard less a carry...hmmm....