Top 50 RBs 082812 by twincities


									                                          The Fantasy Fool's Top 50 Running Backs
Rankings are based on each player's projected position by the end of the 2012 season. This is a value ranking, NOT a recommended draft order.
Players may be drafted significantly higher or lower based upon their perceived value to other owners. Stats are from 2011. Visit the Fantasy Fools blog
at for daily fantasy advice.
                                            Near                                   Strictly
         Categories >>              Elite            Solid       Marginal                                          Updated: 8/28/12
                                            Elite                                Insurance
                                                     RUSH     RUSH              REC     REC
RANK            PLAYER              TM        '11                      REC                                             COMMENT
                                                      YDS      TDS              YDS     TDS
                                                                                              All he has to do is stay healthy, and the multi-talented
   1           Arian Foster         HOU       4      1,224      10      53       617      2   tailback will vie for Fantasy MVP status. When he's on,
                                                                                              there's nobody like him.
                                                                                              Just as deadly as a receiver as he is a runner, Shady is the
                                                                                              most important cog in Philly's offense. With Vick vowing to
   2         LeSean McCoy           PHI       2      1,309      17      48       315      3
                                                                                              take fewer chances this year to spare his body, McCoy
                                                                                              should get even more red zone looks.

                                                                                              It's easy to overlook the role he plays in the Ravens'
   3            Ray Rice            BAL       1      1,364      12      76       704      3   passing attack because Rice is such a strong rusher. You
                                                                                              could make a case for any of the top 3 RBs to be No. 1.

                                                                                              The only knock on RunDMC is his injury history, so I
                                                                                              understand why some will avoid him. Though I would never
   4        Darren McFadden         OAK      34       614        4      19       154      1   draft him with the 4th overall pick, I fully expect McFadden
                                                                                              to crack the Top 5 ranks this season. He offers huge
                                                                                              upside as a 2nd-rounder.

                                                                                              Nearly a year removed from ACL surgery, Charles appears
   5         Jamaal Charles         KC       98        83        0       5        9       1   to be in fine form and has already survived a hard hit on his
                                                                                              knee in preseason. Look for a return to his explosive ways.

                                                                                              Last year's Bust of the Year shouldn't get off to a slow start
                                                                                              as he did in 2011 following his lengthy holdout. Still, many
   6          Chris Johnson         TEN      16      1,047       4      57       418      0
                                                                                              of us harbor trust issues with the back once known as
                                                                                              CJ2K. He's looked as sharp as ever this preseason.
                                                                 With Brandon Marshall in the fold, Forte's running lanes
7        Matt Forte       CHI   15   997     3    52   490   1   should be a bit wider. He's one of the few remaining
                                                                 workhorses in the league, and merits a late-first round pick.

                                                                 It now appears that Beast Mode will avoid
                                                                 prosecution/suspension during the season for his June DUI
8     Marshawn Lynch      SEA   5    1,204   12   28   212   1
                                                                 arrest. That means he should pick up where he left off as
                                                                 the Alpha back of the soft NFC West.
                                                                 Before breaking his ankle, Murray was on track to earn
                                                                 ROY honors. The Cowboys expect him to return to the
9     DeMarco Murray      DAL   31   895     2    26   183   0
                                                                 form that made him a threat to take it to the house on every

                                                                 Nearly a year removed from ACL surgery, Charles appears
                                                                 to be in fine form and has already survived a hard hit on his
10     Jamaal Charles     KC    98    83     0    5    9     1
                                                                 knee in preseason. But his offense looks moribund. How
                                                                 much time will they spend in the red zone?

                                                                 I fully expected the diminutive back to wear down last year,
                                                                 then he went out and claimed the NFL rushing title. Can
11   Maurice Jones-Drew   JAX   3    1,606   8    43   374   3   his body really keep taking that much pounding? And when
                                                                 will he report? He could actually miss a game or two if he
                                                                 doesn't come back soon. This year's Chris Johnson?
                                                                 He can still break the big runs and he'll remain a goal-line
                                                                 powerhouse. He doesn't figure into the receiving game,
12     Michael Turner     ATL   6    1,340   11   17   168   0   and Jacquizz Rogers is expected to play a bigger role this
                                                                 season. But Turner will remain a fantasy force in Atlanta's
                                                                 high-scoring offense.
                                                                 So long, Brandon Jacobs. It's the Bradshaw show in NY
                                                                 this season. If he can stay healthy -- and a preseason
13    Ahmad Bradshaw      NYG   20   659     9    34   267   2   hand injury does not appear to be serious -- the Giants'
                                                                 lead back could put together similar stats to Tiki Barber in
                                                                 his heyday. Unfortunately, history has shown he is a
                                                               He was trading at ridiculous levels in mock drafts before
                                                               breaking his clavicle in the first preseason game. This was
14    Ryan Mathews      SD    7    1,091   6    50   455   0   merely the latest reminder that Mathews is as brittle as they
                                                               get. All the talent in the world does you no good when
                                                               you're standing on the sidelines. Caveat draftor.
                                                               Still on the right side of 30, it's not clear to me which Gore
                                                               is suddenly so under-valued in preseason mock drafts --
15     Frank Gore       SF    12   1,211   8    17   114   0   after years of being over-valued. I never liked him as a first-
                                                               round pick, but I love him at his current 4th or 5th round
                                                               If anyone can return this quickly from blowing out his knee,
                                                               it's AP. But can anyone really do it? He's been activated off
16   Adrian Peterson    MIN   8    973     12   18   139   1   PUP and is gearing up to start Week 1, but he could be on
                                                               a pitch count and the possibility of a set-back will loom all
                                                               After his surprising rise in Miami last season, Bush says
                                                               he's gunning for the 2012 rushing title. I don't see that
17    Reggie Bush       MIA   13   1,086   6    43   296   1   happening, but with the Dolphins' dearth of talent in the
                                                               passing game, the multi-talented back should be a very
                                                               busy/productive man on Sundays.
                                                               The powerful rookie runner is also an accomplished
                                                               receiver. He has supplanted LeGarrette Blount as the
18     Doug Martin      TB    *      *     *    *     *    *   Bucs' Week 1 starter and shouldn't relinquish the job,
                                                               barring injury. He will be a contender for ROY simply
                                                               because his offense has potential.
                                                               After undergoing a "minor" arthroscopic procedure on his
                                                               left knee (the same one that was operated on in January),
                                                               Richardson is scheduled to return for Week 1. But he'll
19   Trent Richardson   CLE   *      *     *    *     *    *
                                                               miss all his preseason reps and step into the lead RB role
                                                               for one of the NFL's sorriest offenses. Temper your
                                                               Still just 29 years old, Jackson's body has taken a pounding
                                                               in the Rams' low-voltage offense for too long. He simply
20   Steven Jackson     STL   11   1,145   5    42   333   1   can't be relied upon to suit up every week. And if Bradford
                                                               can't get his act together, it's going to be another very long
                                                               season in St. Louis.
                                                                    Perennially underutilized in New England, the Law Firm will
                                                                    get his chance to shine as the lead prosecutor of the
21   BenJarvus Green-Ellis   NE    24   667     11   9    159   0   Bengals' ground game. His downside risk is very low, but
                                                                    he also comes with huge upside. BJGE could be a very
                                                                    pleasant surprise in Cinci this season.
                                                                    Few expected Sproles to become such a potent weapon in
                                                                    the Saints' offense after moving over from San Diego.
22      Darren Sproles       NO    10   603     2    86   710   7   While Sproles will surely remain an important cog in '12,
                                                                    Mark Ingram will steal more of his workload this season.
                                                                    Don't count on another Top 10 finish this year.
                                                                    One of the most dominant fantasy backs in the league last
                                                                    year prior to a season-ending knee injury, Jackson now
23       Fred Jackson        BUF   14   934     6    39   442   0
                                                                    must contend with a possible committee backfield with CJ
                                                                    Spiller, who performed well in his absence.
                                                                    He was all the rage as the top rookie prize of 2011. Now
                                                                    he's like the forgotten man. The Saints haven't forgotten
24       Mark Ingram         NO    46   474     5    11   46    0   him, and you shouldn't either. He will likely take over the
                                                                    goal-line duties and should cut significantly into Sproles'
                                                                    One of these days, fantasy owners will learn that Greene
                                                                    will never be the force the Jets project him to be. If you can
25      Shonn Greene         NYJ   18   1,054   6    30   211   0
                                                                    grab him in the middle rounds, you may get some
                                                                    occassional value; just don't count on weekly greatness.
                                                                    Jahvid Best (concussion) is already on the PUP list, leaving
                                                                    the backfield in the hands of Smith and Mikel Leshoure, a
                                                                    pair of backs with their own injury issues. Smith is a
26       Kevin Smith         DET   39   356     4    22   179   3
                                                                    gamble, but one that could pay off big. Major caveat on
                                                                    Smith, especially since he incurred an ankle injury in
                                                                    preseason Week 3.
                                                                    A man without a team until recently, Benson now finds
                                                                    himself with a great opportunity to bring rushing stability to
                                                                    the Packers offense. He won't turn the team from its pass-
27      Cedric Benson        GB    23   1,067   6    15   82    0
                                                                    happy ways, but he seems to already have staked his claim
                                                                    to the lead backfield role; possibly even making James
                                                                    Starks expendable.
                                                                 If Belichick would settle on one lead back, Ridley could be a
                                                                 fantasy star. He appears to have seized the starting role
28     Stevan Ridley     NE    65   441     1    3    13    0    formerly held by BJGE, but his role could vary week to
                                                                 week. Consistency is not an adjective often used to
                                                                 describe Patriots RBs.
                                                                 Few RBs have a more tenuous hold on their starting job
                                                                 than McGahee. He'll be pushed by rookie Ronnie Hillman --
29    Willis McGahee     DEN   21   1,199   4    12   51    1
                                                                 a Darren Sproles-like RB -- who seems like a better fit for a
                                                                 Peyton Manning-led offense.
                                                                 He got his money, but will he get his carries? Not only
                                                                 must he share the load with J-Stew, but Cam Newton is a
30   DeAngelo Williams   CAR   26   836     7    16   135   0
                                                                 TD vulture himself. Set your expectations low and you
                                                                 won't be too disappointed.

                                                                 Redman gets the first crack at the injured Rashard
                                                                 Mendenhall's workhorse role, but doubts remain about his
                                                                 ability to carry the full load, especially after his preseason
31    Isaac Redman       PIT   49   479     3    18   78    0
                                                                 groin/hip injury. He has significant upside, but Jonathan
                                                                 Dwyer will also get his carries and Mendenhall could return
                                                                 as early as Week 5 or 6 to disrupt Redman's progress.

                                                                 We've seen the Beanie Wells show before, and it always
                                                                 ends the same way. Though Williams missed his rookie
32     Ryan Williams     ARI   --    --     --   --   --    --
                                                                 season with a torn patella tendon, he will get every chance
                                                                 to steal the reins from the unreliable Wells.

                                                                 Will get his chance to shoulder the rushing load in
33     Evan Royster      WAS   70   328     0    10   76    0    Washington; but again, Shanahanigans is running the
                                                                 show. You really don't want to get mixed up in this rotation.

                                                                 Perhaps the least tantalizing starting back in the NFL,
34     Donald Brown      IND   35   645     5    16   86    0    Brown alternates from dazzling to dismal. Let's just say he
                                                                 won't be on any team I assemble.
                                                                The talented, versatile rookie will start off the season as a
35    Ronnie Hillman    DEN   *      *     *    *     *    *    change-of-pace back, but could supplant McGahee as the
                                                                starter at any time. Love his upside with Peyton at QB.

                                                                He earned a spot in the backfield rotation, but seems
36      C.J. Spiller    BUF   32   561     4    39   269   2    destined to play a supporting role to Fred Jackson. If his
                                                                backfield mate suffers a set-back, Spiller's value will soar.

                                                                See Williams, Ryan, above. A brittle back in a poor rushing
37     Chris Wells      ARI   17   1,047   10   10   52    0
                                                                offense is nothing but a prescription for frustration.

                                                                Like Williams, he must contend with an equally strong
                                                                backfield mate and a TD-poaching QB. Predicting when
38   Jonathan Stewart   CAR   25   761     4    47   413   1    he'll excel vs. disappear will be a weekly challenge. A
                                                                preseason ankle injury (possibly of the "high" variety) could
                                                                get his year off to a bad start.
                                                                The Madden Curse struck, and now Hillis is backing up
                                                                Jamaal Charles. He'll take over the role Thomas Jones
39     Peyton Hillis    KC    41   587     3    22   130   0
                                                                previously handled, which means he should see some
                                                                occasional work, including some goal-line duties.

                                                                If you worry, like I do, about MJD's durability, Jennings is
40   Rashad Jennings    JAX   --    --     --   --   --    --   your late-round flier. He may even open the season as the
                                                                starter, if MJD doesn't report soon.
                                                                The Giants have high hopes for this rookie, but he is no
                                                                threat to a healthy Bradshaw's workload. Instead, he's
41     David Wilson     NYG   *      *     *    *     *    *
                                                                purely a handcuff for the starter, who has dealt with
                                                                nagging foot/leg injuries for some time.

42      Ben Tate        HOU   28   942     4    13   98    0    If Foster would just get out of the way, Tate could be a star.

                                                                Achilles tendinitis is the latest injury issue to plague Helu,
                                                                who otherwise would likely be the Redskins' lead back.
43      Roy Helu        WAS   30   640     2    49   379   1    This opens the door to Evan Royster and Tim Hightower,
                                                                who will each get their chance to drive us batty thanks to
                                                                Mike Shanahanigans' revolving door approach to RBs.
                                                               Could play an important role while Redman is dinged up
                                                               and Mendenhall is unavailable. He's a talented back who
44    Jonathan Dwyer      PIT   105   123   0   1    6     0
                                                               just might earn more playing time even when the guys
                                                               above him return to full health.

                                                               He should carry more of the load early on while Peterson
                                                               gets back in the groove, and he will be called upon again
45      Toby Gerhart      MIN   38    531   1   23   190   3   should AP suffer a setback in his return from knee surgery.
                                                               Still a handcuff, but an indispensable one for those who
                                                               invest in AP.
                                                               Falcons coaches say they have big plans for Rodgers this
                                                               year, so Turner owners would be wise to take notice. The
46    Jacquizz Rodgers    ATL   67    205   1   21   188   1
                                                               second-year back is a much better receiver than the
                                                               starter, so that alone will get him on the field more.
                                                               Perhaps the best fantasy backup in the biz, he's strictly a
47      Michael Bush      CHI   9     977   7   37   418   1
                                                               handcuff to Forte now.
                                                               Drafted in 2011 to be Miami's primary back, injuries and
48     Daniel Thomas      MIA   49    581   0   12   72    1   Bush's emergence held him back. He needs to step it up
                                                               this year.
                                                               Highly likely to yield his starting duties to rookie Martin, the
                                                               underachieving Blount is now relegated to backup/handcuff
49    LeGarrette Blount   TB    29    781   5   15   148   0
                                                               status. A preseason groin injury further diminishes his
                                                               Surprisingly taken off PUP last week, Mendenhall is now
                                                               projected to be ready for action as early as Week 4 or 5. If
50   Rashard Mendenhall   PIT   19    928   9   18   154   0
                                                               Redman hasn't solidified the job by then, Mendy could step
                                                               right back into his old starting role.

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