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Running Back Rankings Week 3

Running Back Rankings Week 3

Updated Saturday
By: Pete Davidson : September 20, 2013 2:33am

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Welcome the the Week 3 running back rankings. It’s a rough week for the back with lots of nicks and bruises and a major trade too. I’ll update all of the rankings on Saturday to reflect practice and injury reports and be back tomorrow with my Starts and Sits column at weei.com. Additionally, Jim Hackett and I will be doing a podcast tomorrow morning where we’ll cover a whole host of issues, including tonight’s game.  

I'll be posting links to all WEEI content in The Rotobahn.  That's the place to go if you can't find something.  I'm indexing all in-season content there.

If you are looking for the TEs, QBs or WRs, you can find them here:

Rank PLAYER TEAM Opponent THE SKINNY
1 Marshawn Lynch SEA JAC It’s matchup Heaven. Look for multiple scores.
2 Adrian Peterson MIN CLE Tough matchup, but hey, it’s AP.
3 C.J. Spiller BUF @NYJ C.J. has had success against Gang Green in the past.
4 Chris Johnson TEN SD He’s should break out a bit this week in his first decent matchup of the year.
5 Arian Foster HOU @BAL Tough matchup, but he’s running pretty well.
6 Alfred Morris WAS DET Not an easy matchup because the Lions have a strong front four, but they will use Morris a lot this week.
7 Matt Forte CHI @PIT Not a great matchup, but he’s touching the football a ton.
8 Doug Martin TB @NE Tough matchup for Martin unless they can finally get him the ball in the passing game.
9 Frank Gore SF IND Finally a decent matchup for Frank.
10 Knowshon Moreno DEN OAK He’s a great play right now and he’s thoroughly outplaying the younger backs on the roster.
11 Darren Sproles NO ARI He’s a RB2 this week with all the injuries and messed up backfields. It’s a good matchup for a pass-catching back. Sproles will do well in Week 3.
12 Stevan Ridley NE TB This is a tough matchup for sure, but without Vereen, Ridley should still dominate snaps.
13 Daryl Richardson STL @DAL He should be a solid RB2 this week in a good matchup.
14 Lamar Miller MIA ATL He should see more snaps this week as they try to keep Matt Ryan off the field.
15 Joique Bell DET @WAS Tough to value him until we know what Reggie Bush’s status is. For those who own both, you should just start the guy who starts.
16 Darren McFadden OAK @DEN Tough matchup, but he’s playing well right now. Call him a RB2.
17 James Starks GB @CIN A tougher matchup this week, but he should be the main back again. If Eddie Lacy heals up, Starks will be moved down.
18 Trent Richardson IND @SF He’s not going to play as much as they say. He’s a risky RB2.
19 DeMarco Murray DAL STL Hasn’t really done much yet and the Cowboys play-calling isn’t helping him.
20 DeAngelo Williams CAR NYG Not a bad matchup for DeAngelo who is the only healthy tailback in Carolina right now.
21 Giovani Bernard CIN GB Gio is looking good with the ball in his hands as we expected, but he has a hamstring issue so check his status on Sunday if you plan on playing him. GB is not a great matchup, but it’s probably his best one so far after the Bears and Steelers.
22 Bernard Pierce BAL HOU He’s a must-start guy if Rice is out and he’s a strong flex if Rice plays.
23 Chris Ivory NYJ BUF Ivory looked better last week and this should be the week he takes charge of the Jets’ backfield. With injuries popping up all over, Ivory might help some folks this week.
24 David Wilson NYG @CAR He’s more of a flex than a RB2 right now and he’s still risky as a flex, but don’t forget about his upside. The Giants NEED this kid. They have to get him bak on track and it’s not like they have time to wait at 0-2. This situation is maddening for sure.
25 Ryan Mathews SD @TEN They just aren’t making the full commitment to him at this point. He’s more of a flex option right now.
26 Rashard Mendenhall ARI @NO He’s got a sore toe which could be a significant problem or just a bump in the road. The Cards are being hush-hush on this so make sure Mendy is active before you place him in your weekly lineup. Our guy Andre Ellington would be the most valuable back in Arizona if Mendenhall is out. Mendenhall did practice Friday, so he is likely to give it a go, but check his status just to be sure.
27 Ben Tate HOU @BAL Not sure what this kid can do to get the ball more. He’s a flex play at this point.
28 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN GB Tough matchup but he is playing solid snaps.
29 Danny Woodhead SD @TEN He is playing more snaps than Mathews so he is worth playing in deeper leagues, especially PPR.
30 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL @MIA He’s going to get extra snaps, but I hate the matchup.
31 Jason Snelling ATL @MIA He’s going to get snaps but it’s a tough matchup.
32 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC @SEA It’s an awful matchup and he’s got an ankle issue which could keep him out. Check his status on Sunday. He’s a game time decision.
33 Fred Jackson BUF @NYJ He’s been active so far, but they have to be careful not to over-use him. He’s a flex option in deeper formats.
34 Ahmad Bradshaw IND @SF Bad matchup and he’s now the number two back though he should get plenty of 3rd down work in this game with T-Rich being very green in the offense.
35 Robert Turbin SEA JAC He could play the entire second half if it’s a blowout.
36 Bilal Powell NYJ BUF He’s playing well and he can be used as a flex in 12-team leagues if you need him. Hopefully you don’t.
37 Daniel Thomas MIA ATL He’s a factor in terms of snaps played due to his superior skills in pass protection. He should be owned in 12-team leagues.
38 Montee Ball DEN OAK He’s apparently ahead of Ronnie Hillman and he looked ok in Week 1 before having a very rough Week 2. This is a week where he could see some touches.
39 Andre Ellington ARI @NO He could be a sneaky flex play in 12-team leagues if Mendenhall sits out.
40 Da'Rel Scott NYG @CAR He’s a sneaky play if they keep using him as the sole back on passing downs.
41 Chris Ogbonnaya CLE @MIN Personally, I think he might be the best back in Cleveland, but we’ll see how healthy and spry McGahee is. I am assuming that Ogbonnaya is the guy this week in that he knows the offense, but who knows.
42 Pierre Thomas NO ARI Getting playing time but not enough touches.
43 Mike Tolbert CAR NYG He’s getting healthier.
44 Willis McGahee CLE @MIN Who knows what kind of playing shape he is in. He could be a big factor at some point, but not this week.
45 Brandon Jacobs NYG @CAR Not a buyer at this point but he’s a guy to watch.
46 Isaiah Pead STL @DAL He played a fair amount, but he didn’t do much. He’s not a viable play but he’s a guy to watch closely this week.
47 Le'Veon Bell PIT CHI He’s finally practiced and maybe he plays this week. They obviously need him. This is a back we really like a lot when healthy. Add him in all leagues where he is available. He’s listed as questionable for Week 3.
48 Eddie Lacy GB @CIN He’s not likely to play with concussion woes, but he’s still listed as questionable. My guess is that they use the Week 4 bye to give him extra time.
49 Reggie Bush DET @WAS It looks like he is going to miss Week 3, but it’s not a lock yet. Joique Bell is the better play right now.
50 Ray Rice BAL HOU He’s now doubtful and leaning towards being out. Get a plan B ready if you don’t own Bernard Pierce.
51 Mark Ingram NO ARI Not doing much so far but it’s a better matchup this week.
52 Jordan Todman JAC @SEA He could get touches, but what a bad week to get them.
53 Kendall Hunter SF IND Should see more carries this week.
54 Roy Helu WAS DET
55 Jackie Battle TEN SD Will play for Greene again.
56 Ronnie Hillman DEN OAK He’s the clear #3 right now, but that could change if Ball doesn’t get better fast.
57 Felix Jones PIT CHI Saw the ball last week but it’s bad matchup and Bell might come back.
58 Marcel Reece OAK @DEN
59 Justin Forsett JAC @SEA
60 Ronnie Brown SD @TEN
61 Michael Bush CHI @PIT
62 Lance Dunbar DAL STL
63 Rashad Jennings OAK @DEN
64 Alfonso Smith ARI @NO Played fewer snaps in Week 2.
65 Isaac Redman PIT CHI
66 Jonathan Dwyer PIT CHI Fading from view.
67 Spemcer Ware SEA JAC Could see the ball a bit this week in a blowout.
68 Leon Washington NE TB
69 Bobby Rainey CLE @MIN He’s a player to watch now with Richardson gone.
70 Johnathan Franklin GB @CIN Not at all involved so far.
71 LaMichael James SF IND He practiced on Thursday, so he’s getting healthy.
72 LeGarrette Blount NE TB Just a few touches last week.
73 Toby Gerhart MIN CLE
74 Christine Michael SEA JAC He’s a beast if he gets some carries. May not be factor any time soon, but he’s a player to look out for.
75 Donald Brown IND @SF Bad matchup and he’s now the #3 back.
76 Zac Stacy STL @DAL Was not active last week and that could continue for now. He’s a good back if he gets a chance.
77 Steven Jackson ATL @MIA He’s out for sure due to hamstring woes.
78 Jamaal Charles KC @PHI (Already Played) A great play this week in a good matchup.
79 Cyrus Gray KC @PHI (Already Played)
80 LeSean McCoy PHI KC (Already Played) Get him active tonight. He’s the focal point of the offense.
81 Bryce Brown PHI KC (Already Played) Still waiting for him to get more touches. This could be the week.
82 Knile Davis KC @PHI (Already Played)