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RB Player Rankings – Week 12
1. Chris Johnson (@ Hou) – Chris Johnson went ballistic in his two games against the Texans last year to the tune of 174 yards and 1.5 TDs per game. He may or may not repeat those numbers, but it’s hard to bet against arguably the best running back in the game today.
2. Peyton Hillis (vs Car) – The Big Twinkie has become much more than just a yummy after-school treat for fantasy owners, and he’ll continue his rampage on the league this weekend against Carolina. I’ll be incredibly surprised if he doesn’t put up a good 150 total yards (with at least 100 on the ground) and two TDs in this game.
3. Adrian Peterson (@ Was) – Until these last two weeks, Peterson hadn’t gone two games in a row without a TD since back in 2008. That trend will stop this weekend against the Redskins. Add in 100 yards or so and you’ll have his day pretty well summed up.
4. Darren McFadden (vs Mia) – If Matt Forte can go off for 97 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins, I can’t wait to see what McFadden does! Get him in there at all costs.
5. Ray Rice (vs TB) – Rice will be given every chance in the world to rack up immense fantasy stats for your team this week as the Bucs boast the league’s fourth worst defense against the run. 150 total yards and a TD are possible here.
6. Frank Gore (@ Ari) – Gore should be able to tear this defense apart on Monday night. In his two games against Arizona last year, Gore averaged 98.5 yards and 1.5 TDs. I can see him coming awfully close to those exact numbers in Week 12.
7. Arian Foster (vs Ten) – Tennessee’s rush defense has been solid all year long, but Foster can beat you in a variety of ways. I wouldn’t expect the world from him this weekend, but 125 total yards and a TD are well within his grasp.
8. Rashard Mendenhall (@ Buf) – Mendenhall will be given the opportunity to go ballistic against the Bills 32nd-ranked rush D this weekend, but that doesn’t mean he will. Just last weekend against the Raiders (25th against the run), he only managed to rush for 59 yards on 23 carries, though he did have a touchdown. I expect better than that this weekend, but it’s not as much of a definite as it may seem.
9. Steven Jackson (@ Den) – It almost looks like Denver doesn’t even enjoy stopping opposing teams from running all over them. “The Beast” could be in line for a real nice game here, as in 100-plus yards and a TD.
10. Jamaal Charles (@ Sea) – “The Ostrich” only has one TD in the past four games, but he’s also put up 100 total yards or more in each one of them as well. With Seattle’s pass D being as bad as it is, the Chiefs will likely use Charles more than Jones in this game to try and take advantage of the Seahawks deficiency.
11. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (@ Det) – The Lions have given up 11 rushing TDs so far this year (tied for 4th most in the league) while allowing opposing running backs to gain 4.6 YPC. The Firm may not be the most dynamic or frightening of RBs, but he can rack up the stats on you if you don’t pay attention to him.
12. LaDainian Tomlinson (vs Cin) – The Jets have been tapering down LT21’s carries the past handful of weeks, but that doesn’t mean he won’t rack up a whole bunch of total yards and probably a TD in this one. Cinci allows the seventh most points in the league (26.2 points/game) with a good amount of them coming on the ground. Look for LaDainian to snatch one up this Thanksgiving.
13. Mike Tolbert (@ Ind) – Tolberticus Touchdownimust! The guy just keeps on rolling along as he took yet another ball into the endzone last week against the Donkeys. With Mathews likely out again this week, Tolbert may do even more damage against a Colts D that allows now only a ton of yardage on the ground, but a whole bunch of TDs as well.
14. Brandon Jacobs (vs Jax) – Jacobs becomes the beneficiary of Bradshaw’s recent demise, and what a game to get a chance like this in. The Jags allow opposing running backs to do pretty much whatever they want, so if Brandon wants to show his worth, now’s the time to do it. I expect at least a TD in this one, and if he can get a good 20 carries or so, 100 yards should be had as well.
15. Knowshon Moreno (vs StL) – Moreno visited the endzone yet again last weekend and is starting to look like a mid-level RB2 for fantasy teams at this point. He won’t hit 100 yards on the ground, but he’ll put up that many in total yards and probably find his way to paydirt along the way.
16. Maurice Jones-Drew (@ NYG) – Not only do the Giants have one of the best pass D’s in the league, but they also have a top-5 rush D as well. If the Jags had a scary-good passing offense to take the heat off of MJD this game, I’d say roll with him as a RB1 this week. But they don’t, so the Giants will likely crowd the line and pay extra-special attention to Jones-Drew in an effort to not let Jacksonville’s best player beat them.
17. LeSean McCoy (@ Chi) – I actually don’t like this matchup for McCoy all that much as the Bears D gives up the second least amount of yards to RBs this year and have the speed to keep up with the young stud. That said, McCoy can be effective in a multitude of ways and if he finds the slightest seem, he’s off to the races. You never know, especially with Vick running the show.
18. Michael Turner (vs GB) – “The Centaur” hasn’t had a lot of success against the better rush defenses in the league this year, and though the numbers may not show it, the Packers do have a good rush D. I can maybe see a short-yardage TD coming in this game, but don’t expect more than 60 to 70 yards or so.
19. Keiland Williams (vs Min) – Keiland will get the call once again as the head horse against the Vikings this Sunday. He’s been a pretty productive rookie back these past couple of weeks, and though the Vikings rush D is tough, I expect at least 100 total yards and a few chances at a TD in this contest.
20. Ahmad Bradshaw (vs Jax) – Bradshaw was demoted to second-string after coughing up the ball a league-high sixth time against the inner-division rival Eagles last week. That doesn’t mean he won’t get his touches, because otherwise he’s been amazing this year, but you can’t expect more than a split with Jacobs this week as coach Coughlin teaches the kid a lesson.
21. Matt Forte (vs Phi) – Forte had a sweet game against a pretty good Miami defense last week, but Philly’s D is even better than that, so don’t expect those same numbers this weekend. Maybe 100 total yards is reachable with a less than average chance at a TD.
22. Thomas Jones (@ Sea) – Seattle’s rush D is good at limiting yardage, but they do give up TDs on the ground pretty easily. If the Chiefs get down around the goal-line, Jones will almost assuredly punch one in.
23. Jonathan Stewart (@ Cle) – Stewart looks like he’ll be back from his concussion this week against the Browns, but you might want to hold off on using him until he proves himself a bit. It’s not like he was tearing up the joint before he hit his head.
24. Donald Brown (vs SD) – Brown will likely be getting another chance to prove himself this week, and any running back starting in the backfield for the Colts is a good enough play for me. Granted, Donald hasn’t looked like the world-beater he did coming out of college, but Manning might have to use him quite a bit this game if the Colts want to get through this San Diego D.
25. LeGarrette Blount (@ Bal) – Blount continues to impress the hell out of me. Even though the yards were tough to come by against a stout San Fran rush defense last week, he was still able to tote the rock 26 times on the day without fumbling while keeping the ball in Tampa’s hands en route to a 21-0 win. He may not be the greatest of plays against a hard-nosed Ravens D, but you could do worse for sure.
26. Danny Woodhead (@ Det) – I am going to repeat this statement until he’s a household name: The records this kid set at both his High School in North Platte, Wisconsin and at his D-II school at Chadron State College are simply staggering. I mean Madden 2011-style staggering. As in the kid averaged 183 rushing yards/game over FOUR YEARS at Chadron State (212.0 was his highest average – Junior Year) and had 109 total TDs during that time (38 was his most – Junior Year). He rushed for more than 200 yards in a game 19 of his 39 appearances and scored in 37 straight contests, both NCAA records. Just to top it all off, Woodhead also ran track in High School for one year and broke his school’s 100-meter record with a time of 10.5 seconds. Undrafted in the NFL or not, this kid is special.
27. Fred Jackson (vs Pit) – FJax will almost certainly be flying solo in the Bills backfield again this Sunday, but unless he does some damage in the receiving game, he’ll end up worthless for your fantasy team.
28. Cedric Benson (@ NYJ) – What’s even worse for the Bengals in this game is that the Jets rush defense is even better than their pass D! That said, Benson should get a heavy workload in an effort to control the game, so some decent stats could come as a result.
29. Chris Ivory (@ Dal) – With Pierre Thomas out another week, Ivory will get the call once again as the main ball-handler against the Cowboys. Dallas has been decent against the run this year, but the Saints will still use him to set up the pass enough to give him fantasy value this week.
30. Shonn Greene (vs Cin) – The big, second-year back has been working his way back into the fold lately as he’s had more carries than LT21 in each of the last two games. He may not be as dynamic as the old guy, but he’ll get the opportunity to run it down the Bengals throat when all’s said and done this Thursday night.
31. Felix Jones (vs NO) – If Felix suits up on Thursday, I can envision him totaling a good 80-100 yards as both a runner and receiver. TDs have been scarce with him, but he’s always a threat to break a long one so if you have no one else to turn to, you might as well take a chance.
32. Ronnie Brown (@ Oak) – Ronnie has barely been worth using at all this year, but if you’re looking for one game to show him the field, this might be the one. The Raiders can be beat on the ground, and with the Dolphins being sans Brandon Marshall, Brown could actually get enough work to do some damage.