Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings, Week 2: Rashard Mendenhall Bounces Back

Nathan WaddellCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2011

Mendenhall climbs back in to the Top 5
Mendenhall climbs back in to the Top 5Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As you may notice after glancing down through the rankings, there is a big-name, studly kind of fella that is a bit lower in the rankings than usual.  Let me explain just a bit.

Titans RB Chris Johnson could end up much lower than where he is ranked this week.  Of course, he has huge upside as well.  But his lack of involvement in Week 1 is distressing, and while we have to assume that the Titans' offensive staff will correct that issue, we have no evidence that they will.

It is also hard to ignore the way Baltimore bottled up Steeler running backs in Week 1.  All in all, Johnson's matchup is downright dreadful and while he is a player that is hard to sit, that is a tough decision you will have to wrestle with over the weekend.

Best of luck in Week 2.  

Remember, no matter what happens this week, it is still too early to smash the panic button.  

Rank Player Opponent Comments
1. Ray Rice v. TEN This will be the Ray Rice show all day on the ground.
2. Peyton Hillis  v. IND IND allowed 167 yards and two TDs to a couple of backup RBs in Week 1.  Hillis is due.
3. LeSean McCoy           @ ATL ATL allowed five receptions, 90 yards and a TD to RBs in Week 1.  That's kinda McCoy's thing.
4. Rashard Mendenhall                    v. SEA The PIT rushing attack struggled playing from behind in Week 1, but that won't be the case in Week 2.
5. Adrian Peterson @ TB The MIN offense is anemic, but Peterson will get his.
6. Matt Forte @ NOS Forte is in for a solid performance if QB Cutler can keep NO defense honest. 
7. Darren McFadden @ BUF McFadden is electric, posting 150 rushing yards in Week 1.
8. Jamaal Charles @ DET Charles is the main back now, and will play even in catch-up mode.
9. Jahvid Best v. KC KC allowed 154 rushing yards and a score in Week 1.  Expect more of the same.
10. Arian Foster @ MIA Even if Foster starts, expect to see Tate on at least a couple of series. 
11. Cedric Benson v. DEN Benson needs volume to produce, and he'll get it this week.
12. Felix Jones @ SF Jones is getting all of the touches, and making the most of them.
13. Michael Turner v. PHI If the game doesn't turn into a complete shootout, Turner should destroy the PHI defense.
14. LeGarrette Blount v. MIN MIN allowed 38 fantasy points to RBs in Week 1.  Blount should be back in the game plan.
15. Ahmad Bradshaw v. STL Rams destroyed my mobile RBs in Week 1, and Bradshaw is similar, but not the same.
16. James Starks @ CAR Will dominate the GB backfield, and will dominate the CAR defense. 
17. Frank Gore v. DAL DAL defense stingy in Week 1, allowing only 42 rushing yards.
18. Chris Johnson v. BAL
The upside is huge.  But the reality, at times, is not pretty.
19. Tim Hightower v. ARI Needs to be more decisive, but has the skills to pay a couple of bills.
20. Mike Tolbert @ NEP A bit banged up, but will get more scoring chances than his backfield rival.
21. Chris Wells @ WAS Displayed skills in Week 1 we've been waiting forever to see.
22. Maurice Jones-Drew @ NYJ Produced despite limited touches in Week 1, but won't be so lucky against NYJ defense.
23. Mark Ingram v. CHI Week 2 sets up to be more of an "Ingram" game than Week 1, but still not a huge role.
24. Fred Jackson v. OAK A "professional runner" if nothing else.  Solid every week and worth a flex start.
25. Cadillac Williams @ NYG Caddy will see plenty of rushing opportunities as well as targets in the pass game.
26. Shonn Greene v. JAX Should see a healthy number of carries, but no faith he can do much with them.
27. Willis McGahee @ CIN If Moreno is out, he'll get the call, but he's not much more than a straight ahead runner.
28. BenJarvus Green-Ellis                     v. SD Nothing flashy, but he'll get a cheap score if the NE offense finds themselves near the goal line.
29. Reggie Bush v. HOU He's the "feature back," but MIA doesn't trust him at the goal line.  You figure that out.  My head hurts.
30. Ryan Mathews @ NEP Most of his production will come in the passing game.  Just not trustworthy yet.
31. Joseph Addai @ CLE Might be underselling him here, because someone has to carry the rock.  But there is no upside to this offense.
32. Ryan Grant @ CAR He will get some carries, but he has clearly lost the battle to counterpart Starks
33. Pierre Thomas v. CHI He'll do his thing, but he'll have fewer catches than Sproles, and fewer carries than Ingram.
34. Brandon Jacobs v. STL He'll get carries, but not nearly as many as the preseason seemed to indicate.
35. DeAngelo Williams v. GB Split carries evenly with Stewart in Week 1, and Stewart looked better.
36. Danny Woodhead v. SD 14 carries in Week 1 is encouraging, but not likely sustainable.
37. Jonathan Stewart v. GB Stuck in a timeshare with no escape.  Not much upside here.
38. Darren Sproles v. CHI The Saints shouldn't trail, so this won't really be his type of game.  But worth a shot if desperate. 
39. Marshawn Lynch @ PIT Expect very little production.  Very, very little production.
40. LaDainian Tomlinson v. JAX Much more effective in the passing game, but won't be much need for him in Week 2.


If you have any sit/start questions, feel free to post them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @NathanWaddell.