With Rushing Title on the Line, RBs Have Plenty To Play for: Week 17 Rankings

Jeremy Alpert@@pyroman1acSenior Analyst IIJanuary 1, 2011

ATLANTA - AUGUST 13:  Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on August 13, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Week 17 RB Player Rankings

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Also, check out the rankings for QBs, WRs, and TEs

1. Michael Turner (vs Car)

“The Centaur” has been a mythical beast against the Panthers since coming over to Atlanta in 2008.  In five games against them, he's averaged 100.2 yards on 4.7 YPC while totaling eight TDs during that time.

With Atlanta needing a win to secure the NFC crown and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, count on them to lean on their workhorse to the tune of 25-plus carries this Sunday.

2. Arian Foster (vs Jax)

Foster is in the drivers seat for the 2010 rushing crown as he currently leads Jamaal Charles by 56 yards and Chris Johnson by 111 with just one game to go.  Houston has nothing to play for, so look for them to do everything they can to get their star running back the first rushing title by an undrafted player since Priest Holmes won it back in 2001.

3. Adrian Peterson (@ Det)

Purple Jesus has a chance to end his year on a high note this Sunday versus a Lions team that allowed him to rush for 160 yards and two TDs against them back in Week 3.  Neither the Vikings nor the Lions have a chance to make the playoffs, so expect this to be a wide open game on the offensive side of the ball with each team's defense likely to take more chances than normal.

4. Jamaal Charles (vs Oak)

The Chiefs are locked into a home game in the first round of the playoffs, so there's only two things they have to play for—An undefeated 2010 home record and a rushing title for Jamaal Charles.

Oakland currently ranks as the fourth-worst defense against the run, so if the Chiefs can get Charles off to a hot start, expect them to let him go off for as many yards as he can get as he trails Arian Foster by just 56 yards going into the final week of the season.

5. Chris Johnson (@ Ind)

CJ2K has just 1,175 yards to go to reach his goal of 2,500 rushing yards on the year and believe me, he still thinks he has a shot.  Most fantasy owners would consider Johnson's year a disappointment but by normal standards, eight 100-yard games and 11 TDs are pretty darn good.

Three weeks ago against this same Colts squad, CJ28 put up 111 rushing yards with a TD, numbers that should have no problem repeating themselves as the only thing left for the Titans to play for is to knock Indy out of the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

6. Ray Rice (vs Cin)

Rice had a nice game against the Bengals back in Week 2 totaling 117 yards on 20 touches, but I'm expecting more than that in this one.  Of his five total TDs on the season, four of them have come at home.

If Baltimore wants to go anywhere in the playoffs this year, they'll need to continue to get their best playmaker involved the way they have over the past three weeks.  Expect at least 25 touches and every opportunity to get the Ravens rolling on Sunday.

7. Ahmad Bradshaw (@ Was)

The 5’9” Little Engine That Could put up 97 yards and two TDs on 25 carries against the Redskins four weeks ago and if the trend continues, you'll see a real nice game out of Ahmad this Sunday. 

With Hakeem Nicks out of the lineup and the Giants needing a win just to have a chance at the playoffs, expect them to use the same playbook that beat Washington the first time around—which means plenty of carries from Bradshaw.

8. Rashard Mendenhall (@ Cle)

Mendenhall has a legitimate shot to land within the top-five rushers this year—currently seventh—and you can bet the farm he'll be working his ass off to do just that this Sunday.

With the Steelers still needing a win to secure a first-round bye in the playoffs, Mendenhall has no chance of being rested and will be used the way he normally is—meaning he'll get 20-plus touches and have every opportunity to put up the same stats he did the first time around against the Browns—99 total yards, one TD.

9. Steven Jackson (@ Sea)

The Beast has been labeled as 'injury-prone' throughout his career as he had just one 16-game season under his belt in his first six seasons. 

However, this year could change that perception as he'll be starting his 16th game this Sunday and actually has a chance to lead the league in rushing attempts—currently first with 319 carries, Turner has 317.

The Rams need to win this game to make the playoffs and I guarantee you the coaching staff knows that their best chance of doing so is to ride the legs of the veteran Jackson over the arm of rookie QB, Sam Bradford.

10. Fred Jackson (@ NYJ)

Last year, Fred Jackson had 850 rushing yards going into the final week of the season, so what did the Bills do knowing they were already out of the playoffs?  They handed the ball to FJax 33 times to which he responded with 212 yards giving him 1,062 on the season.

Again, the Bills are out of the playoff hunt while Jackson sits over 100 yards away from the 1,000-yard mark (892 yards). 

With the Jets likely to sit their starters for at least one half of play, I expect Freddy to get the same opportunity as last year to put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for the Bills this Sunday.


Week 17 Rankings for QBs, WRs, and TEs


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