Week 2 Running Back Rankings
Week 2 Running Back Rankings- By Aaron Fritch
What a crazy Week 1 to say the least! As an avid Buffalo Bills fan, I was more than happy that the wackiness included them in a positive way for once. There were some big comebacks, a few upsets, and some HUGE fantasy performances. As there always is, players under and over performed. I had some obvious blown calls along with the rest of the fantasy world and a few good picks in comparison to the trendsetters. I do not think too many people had Jamaal Charles ranked outside of the top five and not too many ranked Justin Forsett at all. That’s the fun thing about fantasy football, the dumb luck involved where even the most experienced of experts cannot predict or come close to it. Injuries aside last week (as I wrote my rankings last Sunday), I probably missed the worst on Bernard Pierce, but did nail Knowshon Moreno out of the Dolphins backfield as opposed to starter Lamar Miller. I really liked Knowshon coming into this season, even as everyone else got scared off, rightfully so though. Like I have said in the past, always go with your gut. It will burn you more times than not, but it feels oh so good when you nail a long shot that “bucks” traditional thinking. This weeks rankings are based off of a couple key players being held out, which you will see, and would be adjusted if these guys do come back. I am assuming they are out or do not see much effective action. Always feel free to comment below and ask me your questions, as I promise to answer them all. I even respond to life questions and unrelated banter to some extent. Good luck his week!
Week 2 RB Rankings (non ppr)
1. Adrian Peterson, MN Vikings. Miami ran on New England all day last week (see what I did there?). The Vikes looked good and will keep the game close if they do not win straight up. Adrian had an average day by his standards last week. The home crowd energizes him to a big day.
2. LeSean McCoy, Philly Eagles. Shady and the Eagles started out in a Philly Phunk last week falling behind 17-0. They came back to not only win, but to cover a double digit spread. I expect this game to be a shootout and a whole flock of players have lucrative fantasy performances.
3. Jamaal Charles, KC Chiefs. The Chiefs looked so bad at home last week and their O-line was even worse. Couple that with playing at Denver and falling behind Peyton and Co. equals fantasy disaster right? Wrong. J Cheezy has had some monster games at Denver in the past and I feel he breaks at least one long run. This game stays closer than it should for at least a half. Chiefs need to control the clock to have any type of shot at an upset.
4. Arian Foster, Hou Texans. He looked like his old self last week as did the Raiders. You can count on him for as long as he is healthy, knock on wood.
5. Marshawn Lynch. Sea Seahawks. Speaking of looking like his old self, Beast Mode was very beastly on national tv to open up the season. He was almost impossible to tackle with one defender and found the end zone twice. He keeps it rolling this week, though I think the Chargers are a sneaky upset pick.
6. Montee Ball, Den Broncos. He did not average much per carry last week, but showed he can be the bell cow for that explosive offense. He will only get better as the season progresses and will get plenty more td opportunities like last week.
7. Giovani Bernard, Cincy Bengals. He had over 100 total yards last week and stayed in the game during goal line work. The rookie Jeremy Hill only received four touches. The Saints ran all over Atlanta last week. Expect Cincinnati to do the same.
8. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys. Did the Boys look awful or what last week? They are a bad team, but will improve offensively at least. Murray did not look terrible to start the game as they fed him the ball early and often. Once San Fran took control of the game, things naturally changed and the original game plan had to be scrapped. Tennessee managed to shut down Jamaal Charles last week, but I think DeMarco has a good game. The Boys still lose to open the season 0-2 though.
9. Matt Forte, Chi Bears. Mr. Combo yards showed how versatile he is against Buffalo. He failed to score a td, but he was still very valuable with his running and receiving. This is a tough matchup at San Fran, but he will still get his.
10. Alfred Morris, Wash Redskins. Speaking of bad looking teams and offenses, did the Skins look horrid or what? RG Tres just does not look comfortable and Kirk Cousins needs to take over that qb situation until Robert gets his mojo back. Morris had a good day running the ball still, he just does not catch it, thus losing value in ppr leagues. He will get around one hundred and a td in this one. Jags looked solid on D last week, but Washington will improve on the other side of the ball at home and motivated to put last week’s performance far far in the rear view.
11. Le’Veon Bell, Pitt Steelers. Bell had a great game to start the season and showed he is a true number one back. He lost one td to LeGarrette Blount, which I had feared before the season started, but he put together one of the best games of the week. This is a typical Ravens/Steeler grudge match and pounding the ball will be put on display by both sides.
12. Knowshon Moreno. Knowshon silenced his critics in a big way and ran with a purpose in their upset of the Patriots. He will continue rolling during this rivalry game versus the Bills. He will concede a lot of carries to Lamar Miller, but I think he displayed who the more effective of the two runners is. They will stay with the hot hand in Miami.
13. Chris Johnson, NY Jets. The Jets will want to control the clock to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field at Green Bay. New York ran the ball very well against Oakland and CJ2K is not done quite yet.
14. Rashad Jennings, NY Giants. I thought he looked good even when the Giants fell far behind the Lions on Monday night. He is a receiving asset out of the backfield as he racks up the yardage and got the goal line carry which many thought may go to the rookie Andre Williams. Arizona has a stingy D, but he Giants do not have much going for them on offense through the air and will stick to the run as much as they can.
15. CJ Spiller, Buffalo Bills. He scored on a pass last week and also got the most carries amongst the backs. He will be ready to help the Bills get to 2-0 at home against division rival Miami.
16. Frank Gore, SF 49ers. Frank the Tank had an effective game in Dallas, but heralded rookie Carlos Hyde scored a td and showed quickness and burst that a younger RB will provide in relief of an aging veteran. It’s tough to say how much the large early lead had to do with Hyde coming in at the goal line. Gore had just ran the ball a few times that drive and it may have been more luck of the draw that Frank needed a breather at that moment. I see this being more of a common theme as the season continues, with Carlos getting close to an even share by seasons end.
17. Eddie Lacy, GB Packers. He passed the first concussion test and is feeling ‘good’, so I am ranking him as playing Sunday. I do say if he plays, it will not be a full workload and the Jets are tough to run on. We will see plenty of James Starks regardless and it is a tough matchup. I guess you have to start him if you drafted him in the first round, but if you somehow have good RB depth, I would not fault you for pondering replacements at this point. If he comes up 100% at the end of the week it is a different story, just be wary of players coming off of a concussion. It only takes one good hit, especially with his running style.
18. Shane Vereen, NE Patriots. He just does not run the ball enough for me to be comfortable with in a non ppr league, though he did get in the end zone last week. The Pats are usually difficult to gauge on a weekly basis what they are doing with their running game, so once in awhile you get really BBB (Burnt By Belichek). Has that been said before? If not, I COPYRIGHT it.
19. Toby Gerhart, Jax Jaguars. If I was not watching the moment live where he got his ankle rolled, I would rank him higher versus a Washington D that just got ran all over on by Arian Foster and the Texans. It did not look good, although he came back to finish the game.
20. Terrance West, Cle Browns. One of my favorite preseason rookie sleepers, he lost a lot of steam from a hyped training camp immediately in the preseason. Then, Ben Tate got hurt and he spearheaded an epic comeback that nearly resulted in victory against the Steelers. Down 27-3 West came in and ran for 100 yards. He did lose two tds to his backup and it’s hard to tell if that was a fluke or the norm if this scenario repeats itself this week and Tate does not play. Either way, I like West even if they fall behind the Saints, as Atlanta was able to run on them also.
21. Andre Ellington, AZ Cardinals. Assuming he plays, he has a nice matchup at New York. He did not look like his normal self, for obvious reasons on Monday, so you are taking a decent amount of risk if you play him. He is too good to stick on your bench though especially of he is getting a starter’s number of carries. He is very smooth out of the backfield as a receiver also and that is something to consider when filing out your lineups.
22. Mark Ingram, N.O. Saints. He ran hard and with authority to start the season and until he reverts back to his old form, I will have a guarded confidence in him. Even with Pierre and Khiry behind or alongside him, that offense allows a number of fantasy runnings backs to gain value week in and out.
23. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions. I don’t particularly like one Lions back over the other and didn’t think either convinced me on Monday of who will give better value this season. I will rank them in a tie for now and I don’t like the matchup on the road running through the Carolina D who were very stout last week stopping Doug Martin with ease. I do like the Lions offense, most of the time, but it is so even in terms of talent in the backfield that unless I like the matchup, the backs are hard to predict. This is a rare week that the offense loses a decent amount of its fantasy value.
24. Joique Bell, Detroit Lions. See Bush, Reggie.
25. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams. The Rams got absolutely pounded by the Vikings and were out of it early. They were also down to their third string QB and their offense could not muster up much of anything. Benny Cunningham is still in the mix and the coaches said they will stick with the hot hand. Let’s see who starts behind center first and give it another week for clarity.
26. Doug Martin, TB Bucs. Yuck. That is the only word you can use to describe Dougie’s performance and that of the entire offense line last week. He got dinged up again and flashes of last year popped up in everybody’s heads, or at the very least, those unfortunate to had invested in him last year. The Rams have a solid front seven on D and the Muscle Hamster already is showing health concerns. Be aware.
27. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers. Playing the Seattle Defense is a large mountain of a task for the best of backs, as it concussed Eddie Lacy last week in their victory at home. The glass half full says the Chargers play at home and also have a potent passing attack that Seattle will also have to focus on. Ryan has looked spry since the second half of last year and had a nice td jaunt on Monday night in AZ. Good luck if you are starting him even as a flex.
28. Trent Richardson, Indy Colts. I may change my mind to Ahmad Bradshaw the second after submitting this, but I will stick with the for now starter. Trent looked bad just like last year, but in all fairness they were getting blown out of the water immediately by the Broncs. I will give a small benefit of the doubt to him for one more week, but they are at home against a Philly D who struggled with the Jags. Fool me once…..
29. Justin Forsett, Balt Ravens. He played very well in relief during the Bengals game in both the running and passing games. The only question is will Bernard Pierce still be in the dog house this week for his fumble? He did not look like much before fumbling anyways, and the diminutive Forsett was quick and decisive. The little guy even scored while racking up decent yardage. Though he is too small to take a whole season’s workload, now that Ray Rice is thankfully long gone, somebody has to step up for B’more.
30. Shonn Greene, Tenn Titans. He started and surpassed most people’s expectations of him for at least one week. I am one of those who think it is only a matter of when, not if, Bishop Sankey becomes starter. For the time being, Greene is getting the bulk of the carries for a reasons and the Titans could very well be 2-0 after playing the Cowboys at home on Sunday. I am one of those who also thinks if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I actually should have him ranked higher than this, but I just couldn’t. I need to be more open minded and keep the past in the past. No memories in fantasy football!!!!
31. Steven Jackson, Atl Falcons. Another RB I am trying to keep in the past, but he keeps hanging around somehow. This does look like a committee in The ATL, with Action Jackson as the temporary leader due to his veteran presence and better goal line instincts.
32. Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills. After his stiff arm at the end of his carry in overtime, how do I keep him off this list? Even it is the very last spot, that was an age defying run that led to the game winning field goal in their big upset of the Bears at Soldier Field. Besides that run, he did have his other moments throughout the game and can be fantasy worthy at the right times. Fredex is one guy you can always count on to convert the big fourth down or grab the key reception late in a game. He is the definition of clutch.
Hope this helps you dominate after an entertaining first week of football. Again, please leave your comments and questions. They will be answered as soon as I can and I may be able to help you with that head scratching lineup decision. Good luck!