Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings: Power Ranking the Running Backs

Nathan WaddellCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2011

Matt's Forte
Matt's ForteAndy Lyons/Getty Images

Do you have any regrets yet on your first round running back selection?  Unless you landed Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson or LeSean McCoy, you might be wishing you had drafted any other position at this point.

There are a few running back situations we could examine, let's briefly turn our attention out West and take a look at Frank Gore.

While you can make observations while watching games, it's always good to for those observations to be validated.  

According to our friends over at, San Francisco's offensive line play has rated second worst in the league at run blocking through the first two weeks.

Add to that, of course, that Gore is playing his first season after breaking his hip, is 28 years old, and he just appears a step slower than last season.  

Unfortunately, nothing suggests that Gore's situation is going to get any better as the season progresses.  

There's no passing attack to speak of to keep defenses honest, and if the offensive line play improves marginally, Gore may be able to crack the Top 15 running backs by season's end.

But I wouldn't count on it.

And without further ado, here are the running back rankings for Week 3!

Rank Player Opponent Comments
1. Ray Rice     @ STL STL allowing fourth-most fantasy points to RBs, but Rice is going to be started regardless.
2. Rashard Mendenhall                      @ IND Mendenhall has had a slow start to the year, but look for him to get on track in Week 3.
3. Matt Forte v. GB Packers have allowed the most receiving yards, and the second-most receptions to RBs.  That's Forte's forte.
4. Jahvid Best @ MIN MIN allowing 10 receptions, 83 yards, and a TD on average to RBs every week.
5. Adrian Peterson v. DET DET has been very good against the run, but have not faced a legit RB yet this year.
6. Michael Turner @ TB TB has allowed second-most rushing yards in the young season. 
7. LeSean McCoy v. NYG Should be moved down a few spots if QB Vick doesn't play.
8. Fred Jackson v. NEP NE has a real problem stopping RBs that can catch the ball.
9. Darren McFadden v. NYJ The matchup is not good, but McFadden will get his.  He's just too good to hold down.
10. Peyton Hillis v. MIA Until Hillis breaks down, ride him every single week.
11. Ahmad Bradshaw @ PHI PHI allowing a crazy 6.02 yards per carry to opposing RBs.
12. Ryan Mathews v. KC SD will likely jump out to a pretty large lead, so Mathews should see plenty of work.
13. Mike Tolbert v. KC Nearly a lock for a TD, along with his running mate, and should be in for a solid day.
14. James Starks @ CHI Starks is the main back in GB, and will continue to get the touches needed to produce.
15. Maurice Jones-Drew @ CAR CAR can't seem to stop any RB, so MJD may be in for his best game of the year.
16. LeGarrette Blount v. ATL If the game stays close, Blount will have a solid game.  If not, Blount may not see the field. 
17. Chris Wells @ SEA ARI should utilize the passing attack, which may limit Wells' upside for Week 3.
18. Steven Jackson v. BAL An unappetizing matchup, even if he were 100 percent healthy.
19. Ben Tate v. NOS Tate may deserve to be ranked higher, but until we know what the split is, this is about right.
20. BenJarvus Green-Elllis @ BUF Nothing spectacular here, but simply a solid producer. 
21 Tim Hightower @ DAL Backup RB Helu may soon start taking meaningful touches.
22. Brandon Jacobs @ PHI Since PHI can't stop the run, both Giant RBs should have a solid outing.
23. Chris Johnson v. DEN This may finally be the game he breaks out, but things have looked bad.
24. Frank Gore @ CIN SF's OL has not looked good, and Gore appears to have lost a step.
25. Arian Foster v. NOS Tough to rank him this low, but it is simply unknown how much work he will get in Week 3.
26. Willis McGahee @ TEN Have to see how much Moreno practices, but value could increase throughout the week.
27. Felix Jones v. WAS Reports are that he will play, but the issue will be pain management and if he can stick it out.
28. Shonn Greene @ OAK It is starting to appear that this kid just isn't very good.
29. Darren Sproles @ HOU

Unless NO can bury HOU early, Sproles will likely have a sizable role. 

30. Daniel Thomas @ CLE And all of a sudden Thomas is the feature back?  Fine, role with it.

Best of luck this week.  Should you have any questions, comments, concerns, or complaints, feel free to file them in the appropriately titled "Comments" section below.


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