Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson has moved back up to the top of the running back rankings after what some would consider a disappointing start to the season.
Johnson has rushed for over 100 yards in two straight games and has been surprisingly consistent at getting into the end zone this season—something that many were critical of him on early in his career.
The Titans will be without Vince Young for the remainder of the season, which should mean an increased number of touches for the league’s most explosive player.
While his yards per carry may drop, we have to love that he’ll be given more chances now though the end of the season.
Not to mention, his remaining schedule is pretty nice with games left against Houston (twice), Jacksonville, Indianapolis (twice) and Kansas City—none of whom rank in the top half in the league at stopping opposing running backs.
The running back situation for the New York Giants has become a lot cloudier this week after Tom Coughlin publicly took away the starting job from running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
Bradshaw, who won the job early in the season, has had problems fumbling the ball this season and was struggling to find any running room prior to his most recent fumble against the Eagles last week.
The Giants will turn to Brandon Jacobs to start once again, and while Bradshaw may still end up getting the majority of the carries, the lack of confidence that the coaching staff has in him is very troubling.
Bradshaw moves down nine spots this week while Jacobs jumps up 10 spots himself.
Another running back committee that is difficult to understand is the one in San Diego.
Rookie back Ryan Mathews, who was the top pick in almost all fantasy dynasty drafts this offseason, has been injured throughout most of the season leading to Mike Tolbert and Darren Sproles touching the ball much more than we would have expected going into the year.
Tolbert has been so good, in fact, that he now ranks second in the league in total touchdowns at the running back position with 10 on the year and hit 100 yards rushing for the second time this season last week.
With Mathews still nursing an injury, Mike Tolbert may have supplanted him as the team’s top back as we reach the end of the 2010 season.
With Clinton Portis being placed on injured reserve, he has been dropped from the rankings this week. Ryan Torain is still hurt and while he is expected to be back soon, we may be seeing increased touches from Keiland Williams, who moves up eight spots this week.
Williams has had a few very nice fantasy performances in relief of Torain and Portis, so he may actually be the best back going forward, but we have to assume that Torain will be given every opportunity to keep the job when he gets back from injury.
The question is if he will stay healthy, which he has not done at any point during his short NFL career.
Thanksgiving Day gave us BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ fourth double-digit fantasy effort in his past five games. Despite largely splitting touches with Danny Woodhead (ranked 36th), Green-Ellis has been the Patriots’ goal-line back this season and continues to be a productive fantasy running back—something we haven’t seen in New England in quite some time.
Green-Ellis’ nine rushing touchdowns is an impressive number for a guy who has only received 20 carries once this season.
He remains fresh and while he has a difficult schedule coming up, his fantasy value is still on the rise—up four spots this week—due to the Patriots’ high-powered offense.