(Ranking first on this list last week, Ben Tate has graduated from handcuff to temporary starting RB. If Arian Foster can reclaim the starting gig, Tate will likely reclaim the top spot on this list.)
1. Roy Helu, Washington Redskins (last week, unranked) – After going unranked last week, Helu (pictured) is number one with a bullet after posting 112 total yards in relief of Tim Hightower in Week 2. Helu closed out the Washington victory, and looked very impressive doing so.
2. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills (3) – The problem is starter Fred Jackson leads the league in rushing after two weeks. The good news is Buffalo plans on stretching out Spiller as a wide receiver, in an effort to get the talented RB on the field.
3. Bernard Scott, Cincinnati Bengals (unranked) – Scott is a last minute addition to this list, as he will fill in as a starter for Cedric Benson, who was just slammed with a three-game suspension. While this only gives him short-term value, the audition can only help Scott’s cause going forward.
4. Jerome Harrison, Detroit Lions (5) – Jahvid Best has been a vital cog in Detroit’s offense after two weeks, but he’s only averaging 3.5 yards per carry, and is a big injury risk at his current usage rate. Harrison would inherit a huge role if Best was to go down.
5. Michael Bush, Oakland Raiders (4) – Standing firm at number four on this list, Bush was efficient in Week 2, running four times for 23 yards and converting a goal line carry for a score. His usage at the goal line gives him some value even with a healthy Darren McFadden.
6. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys (unranked) – it didn’t take too long, but Felix Jones has already caught the injury bug (a separated shoulder). The backup role is unsettled between Murray and Tashard Choice, but the rookie offers greater upside, especially in the passing game.
7. Cadillac Williams, St. Louis Rams (2) – Williams was awful last week against the Giants (13 carries for 36 yards, 3 catches for 4 yards), and now joins Steven Jackson on the injury list. Neither back will be a desirable option against the Ravens this week.
8. Montario Hardesty, Cleveland Browns (10) – While Peyton Hillis had a good fantasy outing in Week 2, he only managed 3.5 yards per carry against a paper-thin, injured Colts defense. Meanwhile, Hardesty’s role is expected to continue expanding, week-to-week.
9. Deji Karim, Jacksonville Jaguars (6) – While backing up Maurice Jones-Drew seamed desirable from a fantasy perspective, the fact is Karim hasn’t looked impressive so far as a runner (2.5 yards per carry), while MJD looks healthy, for now at least.
10. Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers (unranked) – Redman joins this list after a 10 carry for 49 yard (including a 20-yard TD) performance against the Seahawks. If Mendenhall was to go down, Redman becomes a borderline Top 10 option at RB.