Here are my running back ranking this week. You’ll notice that we’ve grouped these guys based on quality. I’ll edit this leading into the weekend as injury notes come across.
RB – Adrian Peterson
Pittsburgh has given up the 10th most yardage in the NFL to running backs, and Forte looked great against them last week. I expect a heavy dose of Peterson this week in London. If you can save money on other positions with ‘sleepers’ have Peterson in your lineup this week.
RB – Matt Forte
Has been solid just about every week. Had him in my lineups last week because he was a mid-priced option against a weak Steelers defense. The Lions are giving up an average of 4.5 yards per carry through 3 games, so if Forte is a mid-priced option, I like him again this week.
RB – Darren McFadden
Underrated player. Going against a very poor defense that has given up 4.8 yards per carry and 465 total rushing yards through 3 weeks. If he is a mid-priced option on your daily fantasy site, I’d have McFadden in at least one lineup this week. He even threw for a TD last Monday Night agasint the Broncos. VALUE ALERT Was only $6,000 and outside the top 10 RB’s on this site.
RB – Demarco Murray
It would be scarry to see how underrated Murray would be if he didn’t play for the leagues most popular team. He’s similar to Darren McFadden … no backup splitting carries, catches balls and does his thing each week. Had a big week and a great matchup (Chargers) this week so we’ll see if he’s affordable.
RB – Jamaal Charles
The Giants have given up the 6th most rushing yards to backs during the first 3 weeks of the NFL season, and I like Charles to have a solid game against a team that is clearly in trouble.
RB – LeSean McCoy
Has been a stud, and has a stud price-tag. The Broncos defensive stats look good against RB’s mainly because teams are in pass-mode against them. McCoy gets plenty of catches which makes him a solid play even against a ‘tough’ run D.
RB – Maurice Jones-Drew
If medically all is good for Drew and he’s in the mid-tier in terms of pricing … I like his matchup this week. The Colts have given up the 7th most yards to running backs through 3 weeks. Problem is, Jacksonville will fall behind in this game, limiting his carries … but possibly increasing his catches. He played last week against a tough Seahawks defense and got a TD.
RB – Trent Richardson UPGRADED – BRADSHAW IS OUT
The Jaguars have given up the most yards to RB’s. Problem is Richardson is still new to the Colts offense, and his presence has seem to invigorate ‘backup’ Ahmad Bradshaw. If you get inside knowledge (check Colts coaching staff quotes) that Richardson will get the bulk of the carries this week, he’s a huge play … otherwise expect a 50/50 split with Bradshaw that will limit his opportunities. Bradshaw didn’t practice Wednesday & Thursday.
RB – Marshawn Lynch
The Houston Texans have only given up 3.3 yards per carry and 1 TD through 3 weeks, I don’t like Lynch’s matchup this week but he still will be productive.
RB – Bilal Powell
Broke out for a big week last week, so probably won’t be a value pick this week. The Titans have given up a rather hefty 4.4 yards per carry so if Bilal is cheap, he’s not a horrible option … just don’t expect any TD’s. Backup Chris Ivory has a hamstring injury – and might not be back this week. Powell is a borderline Top-Shelf option this week and a legitimate sleeper candidate. Problem is he plays for the Jets and their offense is pretty weak. Reportedly, Chris Ivory was only riding a bike early this week in practice.
RB – Joique Bell
If he wasn’t in your lineup last week with Bush out … you were crazy. This week, I expect Bush to be back so unless Bell is really cheap, he doesn’t provide the upside he did last week. Keep an eye on him, Bush will get hurt again.
RB – Reggie Bush
The emergence of Bell might limit Bush this week. Plus the Lions want to keep him healthy. Bush will probably be a mid-to-lower tier priced back, and I think that’s too much because he’ll be splitting touches with Bell all year long now.
RB – Doug Martin
Arizona is actually one of the better run defenses (maybe because everyone is busy throwing on them) … they give up 3.2 per carry and through 3 games teams only have 220 yards against them. Martin is usually one of the most expensive backs, and for that price I’d avoid him this week.
RB – Alfred Morris
I’ve like Alfred in earlier weeks because he was cheaper than most backs and his matchup wasn’t bad. This week I don’t like his matchup but he still will get plenty of touches.
RB – Chris Johnson
Continues to produce at a mid-tier price level. The Jets are pretty solid against the run giving up only 3.2 yards per carry and 1 TD on the season. I’d look at other mid-tier options over CJ2K this week.
RB – Giovani Bernard
Won’t be cheap this week, but should actually play a bigger role in the offense than even the last few weeks. The Bengals coaches won’t name him the starter of veteran BJGE, but if Bernard protects the ball, he’ll play more & more each week.
RB – C.J. Spiller
Got injured last week, shouldn’t cause him to miss games, said he was playing this week – but the Ravens defense has been good since being lit up by the Broncos in week. I wouldn’t risk having Spiller in more than a few lineups this week – he’s a risky play.
RB – Frank Gore
Has only one TD on the season and only 3 catches. Only put Frank in your lineup if he’s one of the cheapest options … and your only other option is a guy that will split carries. DeMarco Murray had a great week against the St. Louis D.
RB – Jason Snelling & Jacquizz Rodgers
Steven Jackson is out again this week and I’m grouping these two. New England isn’t the best matchup but there should be some opportunites here if you can figure out which one to start.
Ahmad Bradshaw – Check Injury Status = OUT
Might be cheap this week. Should get as many carries as Richardson, and looks like he might still get goal line carries too. Very risky play, but could be a sleeper if this game gets out of hand and the Colts don’t want to put Richardson at risk in the 4th quarter. Did not practice this week on Wednesday and Thursday. I don’t like him this week.
RB – Arian Foster
Horrible matchup vrs Seattle, haven’t had him in my lineups all year and won’t have him in this week.
RB – Bernard Pierce – Check Ray Rice Injury Status
Leads the Ravens in rushing, but if Ray Rice comes back this week, I’d keep him out of all lineups.
If Ray Rice is hurt – I’d have Pierce in again this week as a value play. Ray Rice says he’s playing, I wouldn’t have either in my lineup until we figure out how they are going to split time.
RB – Ray Rice
Injured last week, and the team will likely split carries/time with Pierce for the time being. I wouldn’t have Rice in unless he was cheap.
RB – BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Do NOT start BJGE. His role looks to be diminishing in Bengaldom. His fumble last week, and the continued strong play of Bernard will lead to even less opportunities for him.
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About WPI – AKA “WhitePhilIvey” is an avid fantasy basketball, football and baseball junkie. Each week, he will provide insight to help you make picks, usually based on the Las Vegas betting lines that he stands in all too often.