Fantasy Football Week 9 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

Eric StashinSenior Writer INovember 2, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 26:  Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball against the Detroit Lions at Mall of America Field on September 26, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Lions 24-10.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

There are a lot of interesting running back situations around the NFL.  Will Beanie Wells continue to slump, despite becoming the lead back?  

Will DeAngelo Williams play, and if he doesn’t, can Jonathan Stewart rediscover his form? Who will be the more productive back in Kansas City?

Let’s take a look at these stories and all the rest in our Week 9 rankings (these will be updated later in the week, if needed):

  1. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Arizona
  2. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Tampa Bay
  3. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Indianapolis
  4. Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
  5. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – vs. San Diego
  6. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Miami
  7. LaDainian Tomlinson – New York Jets – at Detroit
  8. Rashard Mendenhall – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cincinnati
  9. Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  10. Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants – at Seattle
  11. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – at Buffalo
  12. Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – at Minnesota
  13. Peyton Hillis – Cleveland Browns – vs. New England
  14. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – at Cleveland
  15. Brandon Jackson – Green Bay Packers – vs. Dallas
  16. Christopher Ivory – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
  17. Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – at Green Bay
  18. Cedric Benson – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Pittsburgh
  19. Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions – vs. New York Jets
  20. Thomas Jones – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  21. Danny Woodhead – New England Patriots – at Cleveland
  22. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – vs. New Orleans
  23. LeGarrette Blount – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Atlanta
  24. Ronnie Brown – Miami Dolphins – at Baltimore
  25. Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – vs. Chicago
  26. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at Houston
  27. Shonn Greene – New York Jets – at Detroit
  28. Ricky Williams – Miami Dolphins – at Baltimore
  29. Jason Snelling – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Tampa Bay
  30. Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants – at Seattle
  31. Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – at Houston
  32. Justin Forsett – Seattle Seahawks – vs. New York Giants
  33. Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – vs. New York Giants
  34. Marion Barber – Dallas Cowboys – at Green Bay
  35. Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
  36. Tim Hightower – Arizona Cardinals – at Minnesota
  37. Carnell Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Atlanta
  38. John Kuhn – Green Bay Packers – vs. Dallas
  39. Toby Gerhart – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Arizona
  40. C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills – vs. Chicago


  • Michael Turner has not quite been as good as expected, but he certainly hasn’t been bad.  With a matchup against the Buccaneers, who have been torched often (including this past week, where LeGarrette Blount had a bit of a coming-out party), you have to like Turner’s chances to produce.
  • At this point, it just doesn’t matter who Darren McFadden and the Oakland Raiders are facing.  He’s a top-notch RB1 in all formats regardless.
  • With DeAngelo Williams out, Jonathan Stewart had a chance to regain his standing to fantasy football owners.  Unfortunately, he fell completely flat, picking up just 30 yards on 14 carries.  Time will tell if Williams is able to return to the lineup or not in Week 9, but regardless, it’s hard to consider Stewart anything more than a low-end option as a RB2.  If Williams does play, Stewart becomes virtually unusable.  For now, I’m leaving Williams off the rankings.
  • Prior to Week 7, Oakland rushing defense had not been very good.  They did a good job containing Knowshon Moreno in Week 7, however, holding him to 53 yards on 14 carries.  In Week 8, Seattle was completely stymied.  Now they have to contend with the two-headed monster of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs.  While Jones has been the better runner in recent weeks, Charles exploded for 177 yards on 22 carries (as well as 61 yards on four receptions).  Both are usable for sure, but I would rank Charles as a RB1 at this point, with Jones as a mid-level RB2.
  • Matt Forte has not had the best season running the football (352 yards, 3 TD), but he’s been a force in the passing game (303 yards, 3 TD).  Of course, the majority of those receptions came in Week 1, when he had 151 yards and 2 TD.  He has a favorable matchup against a weak Bills rushing defense, but he has only run for at least 50 yards once all season long.  The matchup dictates him being a low-end RB1, however.
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis reemerged in Week 8, running for 112 yards and two touchdowns.  With the Browns on the schedule in Week 9, he looks to be a good bet as a RB2 this week.  His inability the prior two weeks (44 yards total) came against two tough defenses in Baltimore and San Diego.
  • Will Joseph Addai return in Week 9?  At this point I’m leaving him off the rankings, but we’ll adjust things later on if necessary.
  • Cedric Benson has a matchup with the best rushing defense in the league.  That certainly brings him down a few spots this week.
  • LeGarrette Blount officially has taken over as the lead back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Unfortunately, this week he has a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, who have allowed under 100 yards a game through their first seven games.  Consider him a low-end RB2.
  • Clearly, Ryan Mathews has not lived up to the preseason hype, huh?  He was actually outrushed by Matt Tolbert in Week 8, 63 yards to 43 yards.  Houston has been susceptible to the pass, and the Chargers will likely try to focus on that this week.  Consider Mathews a low-end RB2, but better suited as a FLEX option.
  • Marshawn Lynch had seven yards against the Raiders…that’s not a typo, he rushed for just seven yards.  With a matchup against the Giants coming up, you’ll be hard-pressed to have him in your lineup.  It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Justin Forsett get the bulk of the carries this week.

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Who’s too high?  Who’s too low?

Make sure to check out our Week 9 Rankings:



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