For the few of you that conclude your fantasy football season in Week 17, I've updated my rankings for this week earlier this morning. Here are some notes about running backs and rush defenses heading into Week 17:
- With one week to go, Texans running back Arian Foster leads all running backs in rushing yards (1,436) and receiving yards (594). With 64 more rushing yards and six more receiving yards, Foster will become only the sixth running back to have a 1,500-600 season.
- Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles trails Foster by 56 rushing yards despite having 80 fewer rushing attempts. Although the Chiefs will host a first-round playoff game, Charles expects to play a lot and said "I’m still trying to get the rushing title."
- Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who missed last week's game, will miss Week 17 and have surgery on his knee this offseason. That means Rashad Jennings will get his second start of the season. Last week, Jennings finished with 15 attempts for only 32 rushing yards.
- Only two running backs have rushed for 10-plus touchdowns without a fumble this season: Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and New England's BenJarvus Green-Ellis. It's a great turnaround for Peterson, who fumbled 16 times over the past two seasons. For the Law Firm, he now has 309 rushing attempts and no fumbles in his career.
- Bucs rookie LeGarrette Blount, undrafted and later released by the Titans, leads all rookies in rushing and only needs 59 yards to reach 1,000. The last Bucs' running back to reach the 1,000-yard milestone was Cadillac Williams in 2005. Blount has exceeded 100 rushing yards in three of his past four games.
- Cleveland's Peyton Hillis has had a challenging four-game stretch. He hasn't scored a touchdown and has only one game (versus Buffalo) with more than 60 rushing yards during that span. Hillis, who has missed the last three days of practice, faces the Steelers, who have the league's stingiest rush defense, this week.
- Saints running back Pierre Thomas sat out of Saturday's practice after tweaking his ankle on Friday and will be a game-time decision for Week 17 against the Bucs. Tampa has allowed the fifth-most rushing yards (133.4 per game) and second-most yards per carry (4.7) this season.
Here are my top 10 fantasy running backs for Week 17:
1. Arian Foster, Texans (vs. JAX)
2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings (at DET)
3. Michael Turner, Falcons (vs. CAR)
4. Chris Johnson, Titans (at IND)
5. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs (vs. OAK)
6. Steven Jackson, Rams (at SEA)
7. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers (at CLE)
8. Ray Rice, Ravens (vs. CIN)
9. Ryan Mathews, Chargers (at DEN)
10. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants (at WAS)
See our full top 40 running back rankings for Week 17.
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