Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

Eric StashinSenior Writer IOctober 19, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 02:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders in action against the New England Patriots at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

There are some fairly significant injuries hanging over running backs as we head into Week 7.  Felix Jones, LeGarrette Blount, Peyton Hillis and Jahvid Best all appear likely to miss this week's games.  Couple that with the bye week, and there are definitely some interesting names in the rankings. 

Let’s take a look.

  1. Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
  2. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
  3. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – at Jacksonville
  4. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – at Tampa Bay
  5. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – at Tennessee
  6. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at New York Jets
  7. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – at Detroit
  8. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Houston
  9. Rashard Mendenhall – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Arizona
  10. Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Pittsburgh
  11. Earnest Graham – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Chicago
  12. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Baltimore
  13. Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – vs. Indianapolis
  14. Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – at Dallas
  15. Willis McGahee – Denver Broncos – at Miami
  16. Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins – vs. Denver
  17. Shonn Greene – New York Jets – vs. San Diego
  18. Ryan Torain – Washington Redskins – at Carolina
  19. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – vs. Washington
  20. DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys – vs. St. Louis
  21. Jackie Battle – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  22. Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – at Cleveland
  23. Joseph Addai – Indianapolis Colts – at New Orleans
  24. James Starks – Green Bay Packers – at Minnesota
  25. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – vs. Washington
  26. Montario Hardesty – Cleveland Browns – vs. Seattle
  27. Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – at New York Jets
  28. Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – vs. Indianapolis
  29. Maurice Morris – Detroit Lions – vs. Atlanta
  30. Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – vs. Denver
  31. Ryan Grant – Green Bay Packers – at Minnesota
  32. Delone Carter – Indianapolis Colts – at New Orleans
  33. LaDainian Tomlinson – New York Jets – vs. San Diego
  34. Ronnie Brown – Detroit Lions – vs. Atlanta
  35. Tashard Choice – Dallas Cowboys – vs. St. Louis
  36. Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
  37. Dexter McCluster – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  38. Carnell Williams – St. Louis Rams – at Dallas
  39. Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – at Miami
  40. Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts – at New Orleans

Adrian Peterson

Green Bay’s defense has been good against the run this season (84.0 yards/game), but how much of that has to do with how bad they have been against the pass? 

The Vikings are not built to pass the ball, instead putting the focus on Adrian Peterson.  In the two games against the Packers in 2010, he ran for 203 yards and 1 TD.  He’s going to be one of the top options once again for the coming week.

Chris Johnson

Having played five games and enjoyed the rest from a Week 6 bye, we have to think the time has come for Chris Johnson to finally start to consistently produce, don’t we? 

Keep your fingers crossed and consider him a RB1, but it’s tough to slot him in as a top 5 option like he used to be.

Ryan Mathews

How can the New York Jets continue to struggle stopping opposing running backs?  Just look at the performance put up by Reggie Bush (71 yards) and Daniel Thomas (47 yards) in Week 6. 

Assuming Ryan Mathews is healthy, his ability to both run and catch the football should make him a very good option in all formats.

Daniel Thomas

Speaking of Daniel Thomas, he is really starting to live up to being a viable option, isn’t he?  The Dolphins are going to keep getting Reggie Bush into the mix, but a healthy Thomas has shown that he can get the job done (despite his less-than-stellar performance on Monday night). 

He may not be quite a RB1, but he’s a good play in all formats.

Earnest Graham

Earnest Graham as a RB1?! 

He showed he can handle the load, rushing for 109 yards on 17 carries in Week 6 and also has 25 receptions on the season.  Throw in a matchup against a Bears defense allowing 121.8 rushing yards/game, and there is a lot to like.

Steven Jackson

The Dallas Cowboys are allowing a league-best 69.6 rushing yards/game.  It’s hard to argue against that type of number, though it was nice to see Steven Jackson wake up in Week 6 (96 yards on 18 carries plus four receptions for 29 yards). 

Is he going to be a RB1 based on the matchup?  It’s impossible to put him there, though it’s hard to sit him.  With Brandon Lloyd now in the mix, things could open up a little bit more for him.

Darren Sproles

Darren Sproles continues to be the RB to own in New Orleans, given how much he’s used in the passing game. 

However, why did he go from 11 rush attempts in Week 5 to just one in Week 6?  Playing from behind likely factored into that decision.  If he can maintain 7-10 carries per week (like in Weeks 4 and 5), he’s going to be an attractive option.

Joseph Addai

For now, Joseph Addai is included on the rankings, but it is far from a certainty that he plays.


Given their injuries in Week 6, it appears likely that Peyton Hillis, Felix Jones and Jahvid Best will all miss Week 7.  They are not on the rankings, though we will update things if it becomes necessary.

DeMarco Murray

DeMarco Murray has struggled thus far in his NFL career, but a matchup with the St. Louis Rams (who boast the worst rushing defense in the league allowing 163.0 yards/game) makes him intriguing.  He’s worth considering as a RB2.

Maurice Morris

While Maurice Morris will likely still draw the start for Detroit, the acquisition of Ronnie Brown will likely cut into his carries.  Neither is an ideal option at this point.

Make sure to check out the rest of Rotoprofessor’s Week 7 information:

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