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Running Back Player Rankings – Week 14
No More Byes!!!
Running Backs (Updated: Thursday, Dec. 6 - 3:01PM CT)
1. Adrian Peterson (vs. Chi) – Adrian Peterson’s numbers speak for themselves as he’s now on pace for 1,928 yards, 11 touchdowns and a 6.2 yards-per-carry average. His big-play ability is obviously still there as well as he currently leads the league with 17 runs of 20 yards or more (C.J. Spiller is second with 11). Throw in the fact that he’s averaged 103.4 yards and 1.3 touchdowns a game against the Chicago Bears over his career and you’re pretty much assured of a big day out of Purple Jesus this weekend. Oh, and did I mention that the Bears will be without MLB Brian Urlacher for this game (and possibly longer) as well?
2. Doug Martin (vs. Phi) – The “Muscle Hamster” has been slowed of late rushing for just 106 yards on 2.7 yards-per-carry over his last two games, but if there’s a team you’d like to face when things aren’t going too well at this point, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles. Granted, the Eagles have allowed more through the air than on the ground during their recent downward spiral, but Martin is involved enough in the passing game to make a difference there as well, so I’m not too worried about that. I’ll be very surprised if the rookie doesn’t put up 125-plus total yards and at least one touchdown this Sunday.
3. Bryce Brown (at TB) – What a maniac this kid is! With LeSean McCoy out of the lineup for the last two weeks, Bryce Brown has run for 347 yards and four touchdowns on just 43 carries, which comes out to a whopping 8.1 YPC. The rookie is really something special to watch as he not only has a ton of power in his legs, but also more speed than you’d think for a 223-pound back. He runs with a rare ferocity that can sometimes get him into trouble considering his three fumbles in the last two games, but Andy Reid wouldn’t dare tell him to slow down at this point. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been pretty good against the run this season, but Brown is on too much of a roll right now to think he’ll do anything but put up RB1 numbers.
4. Trent Richardson (vs. KC) – So Richardson was held to less than four yards a carry again last week against the lowly Oakland Raiders, but as usual, he found a way to put up nice fantasy numbers on the day running in a late three-yard touchdown. It was the first time he failed to put up 100 total yards in a game since back in Week 7, but he’ll get it going again this Sunday against a mediocre Kansas City Chiefs defense. I’m a bit nervous about the dreaded “rookie wall” coming up to meet him sometime soon, but it won’t be this week.
5. Marshawn Lynch (vs. Ari) – “Fugly McSkittles” came through with an unexpected nice fantasy game for his owners against a top-tier Chicago Bears defense this past weekend. Actually, it’s really not all that surprising seeing how he’s been able to come through on a regular basis regardless of the opponent for almost two years now. This week he’ll be facing an Arizona Cardinals team that he’s seen three times since the beginning of last year, though he hasn’t seen much success against them. In fact, he didn’t score a touchdown or run for more than 86 yards against them in any of those games, but streaks are meant to be broken. If Shonn Greene can run for 100 yards against them last weekend, I expect Lynch to as well.
6. Ray Rice (at Was) – Ray Rice may still be fourth in the league in fantasy points this season, but it sure isn’t because the Ravens are getting him the ball a bunch. Last week he only saw 13 touches in a last-second loss to the hated Pittsburgh Steelers, a mistake I doubt the coaching staff will make again anytime soon. Plain and simple—Ray Rice makes his offense run. This week he’ll be taking on a Redskins defense that’s better than you think against the run, but have still allowed a running back to put up double-digit fantasy points against them in seven of their last eight games. If Rice wasn’t so wishy-washy on the road, I’d have him ranked higher.
7. Arian Foster (at NE, Monday night) – Arian Foster still leads the league in fantasy points right now due to his insane ability to get into the end zone, but for the third time in four weeks last Sunday, he was held to less than 3.5 yards per carry, so he’s obviously slowing down a bit. The Texans have already clinched a spot in the playoffs so they might be aiming to rest him a bit, though he hasn’t seen less than 18 touches in a game yet this season and I doubt Houston will want to show poorly on Monday night. The Patriots, however, have a pretty stout rush D, so I don’t expect him to have one of his top-of-the-line games here. Lastly, Houston could turn to the pass if they get behind, so Arian may not receive as many carries as he usually does.
8. Chris Johnson (at Ind) – CJ2K hasn’t been able to hit the 100-yard mark the last couple of games and was held to his lowest rushing total (51 yards) since Week 5 by the Texans last weekend. That being said, I believe his minor skid takes a turn for the better this Sunday playing in a dome against the Indianapolis Colts. Indy has allowed the sixth-most rushing touchdowns this season and the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs, so Johnson should have a real good chance at RB1 numbers here.
9. Jamaal Charles (at Cle) – As has been the case throughout his career, Jamaal Charles is still having a bit of trouble finding the end zone. However, he also just ran for his fifth 100-yard game last weekend and third in his last four games, so the kid is obviously on a bit of a roll. Not that it makes much of a difference, but Charles is averaging 109 yards a game against the AFC North this season with just the Cleveland Browns left to play. The Browns are probably the worst of the four teams (Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh), but have been pretty stout on the defensive side of the ball lately. They’ve had a bit of trouble with the speedier running backs, though, so I expect Jamaal to have a couple of big runs and a RB1 type of day because of them.
10. Alfred Morris (vs. Bal) – Alfred Morris is a beast and continues to show it on a weekly basis. On Monday night, he was able to put up his fifth 100-yard game of the season, the most of any rookie RB in the league this year. This weekend he’ll be at home against a Baltimore Ravens defense that has been able to be beaten on the ground this season. They’ve actually done a lot better lately, but their best defensive player, Terrell Suggs, just went down to injury so they might not play up to their recent standards this Sunday.
Running Backs 11-50
11. Ahmad Bradshaw (vs. NO)
12. Matt Forte (at Min)
13. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. Dal)
14. C.J. Spiller (vs. StL)
15. Steven Jackson (at Buf)
16. DeMarco Murray (at Cin)
17. Frank Gore (vs. Mia)
18. Stevan Ridley (vs. Hou, Monday night)
19. Knowshon Moreno (at Oak, Thursday night)
20. Michael Turner (at Car)
21. Fred Jackson (vs. StL)
22. Shonn Greene (at Jax)
23. Vick Ballard (vs. Ten)
24. Mikel Leshoure (at GB, Sunday night)
25. Jonathan Dwyer (vs. SD)
26. Darren McFadden (vs. Den, Thursday night)
27. Darren Sproles (at NYG)
28. DeAngelo Williams (vs. Atl)
29. Beanie Wells (at Sea)
30. Montell Owens (vs. NYJ)
31. Bilal Powell (at Jax)
32. Alex Green (vs. Det, Sunday night)
33. Ryan Mathews (at Pit)
34. Jacquizz Rodgers (at Car)
35. Pierre Thomas (at NYG)
36. Mark Ingram (at NYG)
37. Isaac Redman (vs. SD)
38. Reggie Bush (at SF)
39. Joique Bell (at GB, Sunday night)
40. Peyton Hillis (at Cle)
41. Justin Forsett (at NE, Monday night)
42. Felix Jones (at Cin)
43. Michael Bush (at Min)
44. Danny Woodhead (vs. Hou, Monday night)
45. Daniel Thomas (at SF)
46. Ronnie Hillman (at Oak, Thursday night)
47. Marcel Reece (vs. Den, Thursday night)
48. David Wilson (vs. NO)
49. Ronnie Brown (at Pit)
50. Mike Tolbert (vs. Atl)
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