Fantasy Football Week 9 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs
There are a lot of stories going on when it comes to many of the running backs around the league.
Who's healthy? Who is going to carry the load in Washington and Denver, among other places? What has happened to Chris Johnson? Let’s take a look at how everything shakes out for the coming week:
- Arian Foster – Houston Texans – vs. Cleveland
- LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles– vs. Chicago
- Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – vs. New York Jets
- Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – at Philadelphia
- Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – at Washington
- Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – at Indianapolis
- Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – at Arizona
- Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders – vs. Denver
- Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – at Pittsburgh
- DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Seattle
- Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – vs. Green Bay
- Cedric Benson – Cincinnati Bengals – at Tennessee
- Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – vs. St. Louis
- LeGarrette Blount – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New Orleans
- Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – vs. Tampa Bay
- Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants – at New England
- Shonn Greene – New York Jets – at Buffalo
- Peyton Hillis – Cleveland Browns – at Houston
- Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Cincinnati
- James Starks – Green Bay Packers – at San Diego
- Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – at Oakland
- Rashard Mendenhall – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Baltimore
- Jackie Battle – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Miami
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – vs. New York Giants
- Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – at Kansas City
- Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – at Dallas
- Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – vs. Green Bay
- Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – vs. Tampa Bay
- Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins – at Kansas City
- Delone Carter – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Atlanta
- Ryan Torain – Washington Redskins – vs. San Francisco
- Alfonso Smith – Arizona Cardinals – vs. St. Louis
- Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – vs. Denver
- Ben Tate – Houston Texans – vs. Cleveland
- Carnell Williams – St. Louis Rams – at Arizona
- LaDainian Tomlinson – New York Jets – at Buffalo
- Ryan Grant – Green Bay Packers – at San Diego
- Danny Woodhead – New England Patriots – vs. New York Giants
- Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants – at New England
- Kregg Lumpkin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at New Orleans
- There’s a lot of talk surrounding if Darren McFadden is going to play this week against the Denver Broncos. If he plays, we all know he’s a good option, despite having failed to break 100 yards and having scored just 1 TD over his past four games. He’s been included in the rankings, but owners will have to monitor the news just in case.
- If Beanie Wells were healthy, he would be a much better option against the St. Louis Rams. While he did produce in Week 8 (83 yards and 1 TD), he averaged just 3.8 yards per carry. In fact, he’s averaged under 4.0 yards per carry in each of his last three starts. He’s a viable option, but I would prefer having him as a RB2 for now.
- Philadelphia’s vaunted secondary could play right into the Chicago Bears' hands. It’s not like their passing game is electric as it is, with the offense running through Matt Forte (1,091 total yards through seven games). Look for him to be the focus early and often, giving him an opportunity for yet another big day.
- The Indianapolis Colts defense has been among the worst in the league against the run this season. In fact they are currently allowing 24.33 points to running backs per game (according to nfl.com). Having allowed 144.0 yards/game and 10 TD, it really shouldn’t be a surprise. Even with Julio Jones likely back, Michael Turner has rushed for 100 or more yards four times this season and is a must-use RB1 in all formats.
- Despite DeMarco Murray’s “poor” showing in his second start, you have to remember that the Cowboys fell behind early and were forced to pass. He still managed to rush for 74 yards on eight carries. Over the past two weeks he has 327 yards on 33 carries. You would think he has earned the right to carry the load, even if Felix Jones is back in the lineup.
- Chris Johnson’s stock plummeted this week, having split carries with Javon Ringer (14 apiece). We all know what type of upside potential and how good he is, but is it possible to trust him as anything but a mid-level RB2, especially against a Bengals defense allowing just 85.4 rushing yards per game? He’s rushed for 302 yards on 107 carries, an average of just 2.8 yards per carry. Maybe the holdout really hurt his performance, but this is looking more like a lost year.
- The New Orleans Saints have a positive matchup for their running backs once again, taking on a Buccaneers defense that has allowed 123.4 rushing yards per games as well as 7 TD. That said, after Darren Sproles managed 76 total yards (16 rushing, 60 receiving) and Pierre Thomas had 34 yards and 1 TD (23 rushing, 11 receiving) last week, is anyone considering them RB1 this week? Obviously, falling down early hurt their ability to produce, but it is still a little bit eye-opening. Sproles remains the better option, but he should be considered a RB2.
- We’ll have to wait and see if Peyton Hillis is healthy and ready to go for this week. It would appear like he is going to be, especially with Montario Hardesty out, but you never know. The ranking is conservative, for now, but look for him to potentially move up once we get more information.
- The situation in Miami is going to be an intriguing one. The first question is if Daniel Thomas will even play. The second is, even if he does, will Reggie Bush once again be the lead back? Bush rushed for 103 yards in Week 8, and at the least the two should share carries. It’s going to be a tough situation for fantasy owners, limiting both to more of a FLEX option, if possible.
- We never know what Mike Shanahan is going to do. Now, they’ve added Tashard Choice (though he’s not expected to play) to join Ryan Torain and Roy Helu. Throw in a matchup with the best rushing defense in the league (the 49ers have allowed 73.4 yards/game and 0 TD) and this is basically a situation to avoid.
Make sure to check out our other Week 9 articles:
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