Fantasy Football Week 2 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

Eric StashinSenior Writer ISeptember 14, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 19: Running back Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens (L) is tackled by linebacker Jovan Belcher #59 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

It’s time to continue our look at the Week 2 rankings with the running backs.  There is a little bit uncertainty this week, with the unknown status of Arian Foster, Steven Jackson, Knowshon Moreno and a few others, so keep in mind that these could change by the end of the week:

  1. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – at Tennessee
  2. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Tampa Bay
  3. Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders – at Buffalo
  4. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – at Atlanta
  5. Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – at Detroit
  6. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Dallas
  7. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Philadelphia
  8. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – at New Orleans
  9. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Baltimore
  10. Peyton Hillis – Cleveland Browns – at Indianapolis
  11. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – at Miami
  12. Rashard Mendenhall – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Seattle
  13. Cedric Benson – Cincinnati Bengals – at Denver
  14. Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions – vs. Kansas City
  15. Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants – vs. St. Louis
  16. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – at New York Jets
  17. Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – at Washington
  18. Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – vs. Houston
  19. Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – vs. Oakland
  20. James Starks – Green Bay Packers – at Carolina
  21. Tim Hightower – Washington Redskins – vs. Arizona
  22. Shonn Greene – New York Jets – vs. Jacksonville
  23. Carnell Williams – St. Louis Rams – at New York Giants
  24. Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – at New England
  25. LeGarrette Blount – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Minnesota
  26. Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – at San Francisco
  27. Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – vs. Chicago
  28. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – vs. Green Bay
  29. Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – vs. Cincinnati
  30. Danny Woodhead – New England Patriots – vs. San Diego
  31. Joseph Addai – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Cleveland
  32. Brandon Jacobs  – New York Giants – vs. St. Louis
  33. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – vs. San Diego
  34. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at New England
  35. LaDainian Tomlinson – New York Jets – vs. Jacksonville
  36. Ricky Williams – Baltimore Ravens – at Tennessee
  37. Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – at Buffalo
  38. Ryan Grant – Green Bay Packers – at Carolina
  39. Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – vs. Chicago
  40. Willis McGahee – Denver Broncos – vs. Cincinnati


Michael Turner vs. Eagles defense

The Philadelphia Eagles got torched by the St. Louis Rams on the ground in Week 1 (154 yards and 1 TD).  To make matters worse, Steven Jackson left early in the game and didn’t return.  Does their showing tell us that Michael Turner could be in line for a big Week 2?  I would expect Philadelphia to make the necessary adjustments, so I wouldn’t read too much into the poor first game.  Still, 100 yards in the first game of the year certainly helps Turner’s cause.  It’s obviously early, but those calling for him being a huge risk seemed a little premature.

Jamaal Charles vs. Lions defense

LeGarrette Blount and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ running game was completely stuffed in Week 1 by the Lions.  They managed just 56 yards on 16 carries, with Josh Freeman leading the way (4 carries for 26 yards) and being the only person to break a run of more than 9 yards.  The Lions’ defense looks to be for real, making it a tough matchup for Jamaal Charles.  His ability in the passing game helps keep him a RB1, just not quite as high on these rankings then we would’ve thought.  As for Blount, don’t write him off quite yet, though consider him a FLEX option.

Matt Forte still a fantasy play

While Forte may have run for just 68 yards in Week 1, he also picked up 5 receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown.  That’s the threat that he brings to the table and will always keep him among the better options in any given week.

Ben Tate proved solid Week 1, but who will start Week 2?

If Arian Foster is healthy, is there any doubt that he will be a RB1 this week?  Unfortunately, that’s a pretty big if. Tate showed just what he’s capable of in Week 1 (116 yards and 1 TD) and will be a solid option if Foster is out.  For now we will be including Foster in the rankings, though we’ll update them later in the week if necessary.

Ahmad Bradshaw vs. Rams defense

After seeing LeSean McCoy slash the Rams in Week 1, how do you feel about Ahmad Bradshaw in Week 2?  He did receive more carries than Brandon Jacobs in Week 1 (13 vs. 6), as well as scored the Giants lone TD.  Consider Bradshaw a solid RB2 this week in all formats, with Jacobs of more of a low-end FLEX option.

Steven Jackson injury may open road for Cadillac

The early word is that Steven Jackson will be unable to go in Week 2 against the Giants.  For now we are going to leave him off the rankings, but if the news changes we’ll update things later on.  Carnell Williams showed in Week 1 that he does have something left in the tank and should be concerned a low-end RB2/FLEX option in all PPR formats.

Who's No. 1? New England running backs

Who is going to be the Patriots go to running back?  Danny Woodhead led the team in carries, though you never know if they will instead favor BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  With their desire to spread the ball around, I wouldn’t consider either more than a FLEX at this point.

James Starks or Ryan Grant for Week 2?

It has become clear that Starks is going to be the lead back in Green Bay, over Ryan Grant.  He looked good in Week 1 (57 yards and 1 TD) and should be considered a low-end RB2/FLEX option with a matchup against the Panthers this week.

Shonn Greene and Jets will return to the ground game Week 2

Shonn Greene clearly struggled in Week 1, but I have to think that the Jets will work to get him going in Week 2.  They desperately need him to be able to carry the load.  Keep him active for another week and hope that he can get things on track, though consider him a low-end RB2.

Knowshon Moreno's poor play, injuries should make owners weary

Moreno had a poor start to his 2011 campaign, rushing for just 22 yards (and adding 35 on 2 receptions).  Considering all the question marks hanging over him to begin with, this is not good news.  Yes, there was a hamstring injury that cost him some time, but it’s not like he was lighting it up to begin with.  If he plays consider him more of a FLEX option, though owners will want to handcuff him with Willis McGahee immediately.

Where is the game-breaking Chris Johnson?

Johnson is still trying to get his legs under him and draws a tough matchup.  I don’t want to drop him too far down the rankings, but there are concerns.

Make sure to check out the rest of Rotoprofessors Week 2 information:


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