Fantasy Football Week 7 Initial Rankings: Running Backs

Kevin Hanson@EDSFootballAnalyst IIIOctober 20, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball to Felix Jones #28 of the Dallas Cowboys against the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

After suffering a high-ankle sprain last week, Cowboys running back Felix Jones will miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of back-to-back favorable matchups.

In the next two weeks, the Cowboys face the Rams and Eagles, who have allowed the third-most and second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, respectively.

With Jones out, rookie DeMarco Murray, who was on our waiver-wire pickups list this week, will likely get more of the workload than Tashard Choice.

Last week against the Patriots, Murray had twice as many carries (10) as Choice had although neither back looked great. Murray finished with 32 yards and Choice had 14.

Here are some more running back notes for Week 7:

- For the third time this season, Falcons running back Michael Turner rushed for more than 100 yards. Turner finished with season highs in carries (27) and yards (139) and tied his season in high in touchdowns (two). Turner has scored in each of his past three games and has a total of five touchdowns during that span.

- Against San Francisco's tough run defense, Lions running back Jahvid Best rushed for only 37 yards, but he also had six receptions for 73 yards. It was his second-straight game with 100-plus yards from scrimmage, but his status for Week 7 is in doubt due to a concussion.

With Jerome Harrison failing his physical with the Eagles, the Lions attempted trade for Ronnie Brown was voided.

- Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 96 yards on 22 attempts in Sunday's loss. While MJD has only one 100-yard game this season, he has at least 84 rushing yards in all six games this season.

- Going into Week 6, Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall had only 173 yards on 58 carries. In Week 6, Mendenhall nearly equaled that output by rushing for 146 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries against the Jaguars.

- The Redskins running backs failed to take advantage of a fantasy-friendly matchup against the Eagles last week and another great matchup this week against the Panthers, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.

While Tim Hightower had no carries, Ryan Torain rushed for only 22 yards on 10 carries and rookie Roy Helu rushed for six yards on two carries last week.

- Ravens running back Ray Rice, who rushed for 101 yards and had 60 receiving yards last week, now has 700 yards from scrimmage this season through five games. In addition, Rice has scored four touchdowns (two rushing and two receiving).

- Texans running back Arian Foster, who had a team-high 11 targets last week, has had more receiving yards than rushing yards in each of his past two games. Despite rushing for a total of only 117 yards in the past two games, he has 11 receptions for 168 yards as well.

- Browns running back Peyton Hillis has a strained hamstring and his status for Week 7 is in doubt. If Hillis can't go, Montario Hardesty would get the majority of the work, but they have a tough matchup against the Seahawks, who have allowed the seventh-fewest rushing yards per game this season.

- Running back Earnest Graham rushed for 109 yards and caught two passes for 22 yards with LeGarrette Blount out with a knee sprain last week. Although Blount traveled with the team to London for their game against the Bears, it's unlikely that he will play.

- Saints running back Mark Ingram had only nine carries and 22 yards in Week 6, but he rushed for another touchdown. Ingram has a touchdown in three of his past four games. Interestingly enough, the only game during that span in which he did not score was the only game in which he had double-digit carries.

Here are our top 40 fantasy running backs for Week 7:

1. Ray Rice, Ravens (at JAC)
2. Darren McFadden, Raiders (vs. KC)
3. Adrian Peterson, Vikings (vs. GB)
4. Arian Foster, Texans (at TEN)
5. Matt Forte, Bears (at TB)
6. Ryan Mathews, Chargers (at NYJ)
7. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers (at ARI)
8. Michael Turner, Falcons (at DET)
9. Chris Johnson, Titans (vs. HOU)
10. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars (vs. BAL)
11. Beanie Wells, Cardinals (vs. PIT)
12. Steven Jackson, Rams (at DAL)
13. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers (vs. CHI)
14. Darren Sproles, Saints (vs. IND)
15. Daniel Thomas, Dolphins (vs. DEN)
16. Willis McGahee, Broncos (at MIA)
17. Mark Ingram, Saints (vs. IND)
18. Ryan Torain, Redskins (at CAR)
19. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys (vs. STL)
20. Shonn Greene, Jets (vs. SD)
21. Jackie Battle, Chiefs (at OAK)
22. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (vs. WAS)
23. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (vs. WAS)
24. Mike Tolbert, Chargers (at NYJ)
25. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks (at CLE)
26. James Starks, Packers (at MIN)
27. Montario Hardesty, Browns (vs. SEA)
28. Delone Carter, Colts (at NO)
29. Jahvid Best, Lions (vs. ATL)
30. Maurice Morris, Lions (vs. ATL)
31. Peyton Hillis, Browns (vs. SEA)
32. Michael Bush, Raiders (vs. KC)
33. Ryan Grant, Packers (at MIN)
34. Ben Tate, Texans (at TEN)
35. Tashard Choice, Cowboys (vs. STL)
36. Pierre Thomas, Saints (vs. IND)
37. LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets (vs. SD)
38. Roy Helu, Redskins (at CAR)
39. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (at MIA)
40. Tim Hightower, Redskins (at CAR)

Throughout the week, we will update our rankings, as necessary. In addition, our rankings for other positions will be available at, our fantasy section.

To keep track of our fantasy updates throughout the week, you can (1) follow us on Twitter @EDSFootball or (2) "like" us on Facebook or both.

Good luck in Week 7!


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