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.
- Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
- Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
- Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – at Jacksonville
- Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – at Tampa Bay
- Arian Foster – Houston Texans – at Tennessee
- Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at New York Jets
- Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – at Detroit
- Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Houston
- Rashard Mendenhall – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Arizona
- Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Pittsburgh
- Earnest Graham – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Chicago
- Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Baltimore
- Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – vs. Indianapolis
- Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – at Dallas
- Willis McGahee – Denver Broncos – at Miami
- Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins – vs. Denver
- Shonn Greene – New York Jets – vs. San Diego
- Ryan Torain – Washington Redskins – at Carolina
- DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – vs. Washington
- DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys – vs. St. Louis
- Jackie Battle – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
- Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – at Cleveland
- Joseph Addai – Indianapolis Colts – at New Orleans
- James Starks – Green Bay Packers – at Minnesota
- Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – vs. Washington
- Montario Hardesty – Cleveland Browns – vs. Seattle
- Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – at New York Jets
- Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – vs. Indianapolis
- Maurice Morris – Detroit Lions – vs. Atlanta
- Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – vs. Denver
- Ryan Grant – Green Bay Packers – at Minnesota
- Delone Carter – Indianapolis Colts – at New Orleans
- LaDainian Tomlinson – New York Jets – vs. San Diego
- Ronnie Brown – Detroit Lions – vs. Atlanta
- Tashard Choice – Dallas Cowboys – vs. St. Louis
- Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
- Dexter McCluster – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
- Carnell Williams – St. Louis Rams – at Dallas
- Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – at Miami
- Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts – at New Orleans
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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: