Fantasy Football Week 11 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

Eric StashinSenior Writer INovember 15, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 7: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears carries the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 7, 2011 in Phildelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Has Marshawn Lynch emerged as a must use option?  Will we ever get an answer as to who the go-to back is in New England?  Will Washington ever give the bulk of the carries to Roy Helu?  Let’s look at these questions and all the rest as we head into Week 11:

  1. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Oakland
  2. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – at New York Giants
  3. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – vs. San Diego
  4. DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
  5. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cincinnati
  6. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Cleveland
  7. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
  8. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Tennessee
  9. Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – at Miami
  10. Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – vs. Seattle
  11. Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – at Minnesota
  12. Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – at St. Louis
  13. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – at Atlanta
  14. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at Chicago
  15. Shonn Greene – New York Jets – at Denver
  16. Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – vs. Buffalo
  17. Willis McGahee – Denver Broncos – vs. New York Jets
  18. Roy Helu – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
  19. Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants – vs. Philadelphia
  20. James Starks – Green Bay Packers – vs. Tampa Bay
  21. Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – at Chicago
  22. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – vs. Kansas City
  23. Maurice Morris – Detroit Lions – vs. Carolina
  24. LeGarrette Blount – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Green Bay
  25. Jackie Battle – Kansas City Chiefs – at New England
  26. Lance Ball – Denver Broncos – vs. New York Jets
  27. Chris Ogbonnaya – Cleveland Browns – vs. Jacksonville
  28. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – at Detroit
  29. Kendall Hunter – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
  30. Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins – vs. Buffalo
  31. Cedric Benson – Cincinnati Bengals – at Baltimore
  32. Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – at San Francisco
  33. Keiland Williams – Detroit Lions – vs. Carolina
  34. Danny Woodhead – New England Patriots – vs. Kansas City
  35. Ryan Torain – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
  36. Ryan Grant – Green Bay Packers – vs. Tampa Bay
  37. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – at Detroit
  38. Javon Ringer – Tennessee Titans – at Atlanta
  39. Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
  40. Carnell Williams – St. Louis Rams – vs. Seattle


  • Almost on cue, Chris Johnson posted a monster Week 10 performance, rushing for 130 yards and one TD.  That makes back-to-back strong games, though he has a much stiffer test against the Falcons (90.3 rushing yards per game) this week.  In fact only once all season has Michael Turner not been the leading rusher in a Falcons game (LeGarrette Blount went for 81 yards in Week 3 in a game Atlanta threw the ball 47 times).  In other words, it’s impossible not to have Turner ranked above Johnson and, despite the strong showing, Johnson is still more of a low-end RB1/high-end RB2.
  • Frank Gore missed the majority of the second half in Week 10, which obviously is a major concern for fantasy owners.  We’ll have to monitor the news closely this week (as of right now talk is he’s going to play), but if he’s on the field he has to be considered a very good option against an Arizona defense that has allowed 12 rushing touchdowns (tied for the league lead). 
  • After both Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno left the Broncos Week 10 matchup, Lance Ball stepped to the plate and performed well (96 yards on 30 carries).  It’s clear that Denver is going to be a run first, run second and run some more team, so Ball is an intriguing option for the coming week.  With a Thursday game it looks like he could be the lead back again, though we’ll have to monitor the news early on in the week.  Moreno has already been ruled out, while McGahee is currently being considered a game-time decision.  If he plays McGahee is obviously the option to use.
  • Who is the better back to own in Miami?  Reggie Bush (14 carries for 47 yards) and Daniel Thomas (17 carries for 42 yards) virtually split carries in Week 10.  However, it was Bush who scored two TDs and is also a major threat catching the ball out of the backfield.  However, wouldn’t we expect Thomas to be the goal line back?  At this point it’s going to be Bush, though there’s a chance things go the other way.  Still, for Week 11 Bush is the better option.
  • Wasn’t Roy Helu supposed to be the starter for the Redskins?  Then why did he get just six carries (while Ryan Torain had 10).  It was apparent, hopefully once and for all, that Helu is the better option as he averaged 6.8 yards per carry as compared to Torain’s 2.0 mark.  Consider Helu the better play as a RB2 for the coming week.
  • For now I’m listing Michael Bush as the lead back for Oakland, but if Darren McFadden plays he will simply slide into the spot.  It’s a tough matchup against Minnesota, which could limit either player’s value, but thus far they have proven they can on anyone and can be considered RB1 in all formats.
  • Marshawn Lynch rushed for 109 yards and one TD in Week 10 and now draws the worst rushing defense in the league (St. Louis is allowing 150.6 rushing yards per game).  With back-to-back 100 yard games and a TD in five straight it is hard not to like him in Week 11.
  • Will the New England Patriots actually run the ball a lot against a Chiefs defense allowing 134.0 rushing yards per game?  Maybe…Will it definitely be BenJarvus Green-Ellis?  Who knows…  You have to figure Green-Ellis is going to be the go to back, but it is hard to consider him anything more than a low-end RB2 considering the unpredictable nature of New England.
  • Jonathan Stewart has a favorable matchup against the Lions (134.4 passing yards per game), though he’s done nothing to really make fantasy owners take notice.  While he’s the better option in Carolina, he still should be considered nothing more than a FLEX option.
  • Would it surprise anyone if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fall behind early and completely abandon the run?  LeGarrette Blount is definitely a risky option.

Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 11 articles: