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Running Back Rankings Week 9

Running Back Rankings Week 9

UPDATED SUNDAY
By: Pete Davidson : November 01, 2013 1:59am

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Welcome to the Week 8 Running Back Rankings. It’s a tough week for backs with so many quality options out on their bye weeks. I’ve done my best to crystalize what remains and I’ll update these rankings over the weekend as I always do.  If you haven’t seen it yet, check out today’s update of The Watch List and yesterday's Trade Targets article.

Week 9 Byes: Arizona, Denver, San Francisco, Detroit, Jacksonville and the New York Giants.

If you have lineup questions, you can joing the Week 9 Chat (starting at 11: 00 am) right here.  If you are looking for the tight ends, quarterbacks or wide receivers, you can find them below.

Rank PLAYER TEAM Opponent THE SKINNY
1 Adrian Peterson MIN @DAL This should be a get-well matchup for AP. He was given the day off from practice on Friday but it was for precautionary reasons. I expect him to get a full workload in week nine. Start him with confidence.
2 Jamaal Charles KC @BUF He’s got a sore knee, but he should be fine. Charles has been the best running back in the NFL so far in 2013 and we expect that to continue in week nine.
3 LeSean McCoy PHI @OAK McCoy is a good play this week in an average matchup. He has been struggling the last few weeks after his break out September. He should be able to make big plays against Oakland either as a rusher or as a receiver.
4 Eddie Lacy GB CHI The Bears are hurting and Lacy is playing well.
5 Arian Foster HOU IND Foster is currently a game time decision. We expect him to do very well if he gets the start. Make sure you double-check his status before making him active.
6 Matt Forte CHI @GB Forte gets involved in all aspects of the offense, so he’ll get his. Not a great matchup, but he’s still a RB1.
7 Marshawn Lynch SEA TB He’s almost matchup-proof at this point.
8 Alfred Morris WAS SD Morris is running very well and we expect Washington to try and control the clock this week against a very solid San Diego team. He’s a solid RB1 in all formats this week.
9 Le'Veon Bell PIT @NE The Pats have holes in the defense and aren’t the tough matchup they were earlier in the year.
10 DeMarco Murray DAL MIN Great matchup assuming he plays. Check his status on Sunday just to be sure.
11 Darren McFadden OAK PHI He’s looking good right now. A solid play in Week 9 versus Philly.
12 Ray Rice BAL @CLE You just have to expect improvement after a good week of rest. The Ravens are struggling on the ground and their offensive line has not played very well but this is still Ray Rice we’re talking about here. I expect him to return to his normal level of play eventually. He should get a lot of touches this week and he claims to be feeling more like his old self.
13 Trent Richardson IND @HOU He’s a bit of an enigma right now. He could start gaining momentum at any point, but they need to commit to him more. We’ll see what happens this week. It’s hard to imagine that they won’t at least TRY to get him more involved. T-Rich still has a lot of upside.
14 Ryan Mathews SD @WAS I really like what I saw out of Mathews in the two games prior to San Diego’s bye. He has a good matchup this week with Washington and I expect him to get about 20 carries again. Start him in all formats as a solid RB2.
15 Zac Stacy STL TEN Stacy has practiced this week and we expect him to play though he is listed as questionable. Definitely check his Sunday status and make sure he is active. He has a good match up with the Titans this week.
16 Darren Sproles NO @NYJ I think Sproles has plenty of upside this week. Use him as a RB2 in any format and especially PPR.
17 Stevan Ridley NE PIT The Steelers play the run well, but he looked darn good last week. He’s viable though he will share snaps with Blount and Bolden unless something changes.
18 Danny Woodhead SD @WAS He’s a solid play, especially in PPR, but Mathews could get more love today unless Washington posts enough points to keep the game close. Woodhead obviously plays more in passing situations versus clock-killing situations.
19 Fred Jackson BUF KC It’s the touchdowns that are making Jackson viable for fantasy. Those may be tough to come by against Kansas City this week. Jackson looks like a light second running back for fantasy purposes in 12 team leagues. The fact that rookie Jeff Tuel is starting quarterback is certainly not a plus.
20 C.J. Spiller BUF KC It sounds as if he will play and the Bills certainly need him against Kansas City. Still, we haven’t seen Spiller (high ankle sprain) at his best in a long time. He’s just a light second running back or a flex option this week in 12 team leagues.
21 Chris Ivory NYJ NO I like him a lot more this week. The Jets will try to run early and they may find some success. And, you have to think that he’ll be fired up to face his former teammates.
22 Chris Johnson TEN @STL He’s a decent flex and he can be a RB2 if you need him. I can see Johnson making a big play on the carpet in St. Louis.
23 Pierre Thomas NO @NYJ This is a good matchup for him as the Jets often get torched by the screen game. Thomas is a decent flex play.
24 DeAngelo Williams CAR ATL Tough to know how the carries will be distributed with Stewart returning. Still, the matchup is sweet and Williams is a reasonable play in 12 team leagues this week.
25 Mike James TB @SEA Doug Martin needs surgery and will likely sit out the rest of the year. James should be the starter for the rest of the year but this is not a week to get much out of him. Seattle is a tough defense especially at home.
26 Brandon Bolden NE PIT Always involved and he scored again last week. He’s a solid flex play in 12 team league’s.
27 Steven Jackson ATL @CAR Tough matchup and he looked bad last week. Still, it was his first week back. I would not write him off entirely as some people are. Too soon.
28 Mike Tolbert CAR ATL He’s been playing well, but who knows how many touches they give him. He’s a flex play in big leagues.
29 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL @CAR Tough matchup.
30 James Starks GB CHI He’ll get some touches and he looks very good right now. The Green Bay coaching staff has stated that Starks is going to get more carries and that they will play the hot hand at tailback.
31 Shonn Greene TEN @STL He has a chance to get it going this week as he is finally feeling close to 100%.
32 Bilal Powell NYJ NO He’ll have a decent day if they fall behind fast enough. He’s a flex play.
33 Roy Helu WAS SD He is playing very good football and that will keep him involved on a weekly basis. Helu makes for a solid flex play this week in a game that should be high-scoring.
34 Donald Brown IND @HOU He’s a reasonable flex play in bigger leagues. Brown knows the offense much better than Richardson, so he plays a lot of saps in passing situations.
35 Jonathan Stewart CAR ATL He’s a player to watch this week, but he’s a risky fantasy play--assuming he plays at all. We think he will.
36 Daryl Richardson STL TEN Could be a factor is Stacy sits out.
37 Willis McGahee CLE BAL Bot getting it done lately and it’s a tough matchup.
38 Ben Tate HOU IND It sounds as if Tate will give it a go with his cracked ribs. The problem is that he will be on a limited snap count. Only use Tate as a flex option in deeper leagues and don’t expect a big game.
39 Robert Turbin SEA TB He could get a few extra carries this week in a game that projects to be a blowout.
40 Bernard Pierce BAL @CLE He’s just not doing much and is a light flex option and 12 team leagues.
41 Chris Ogbonnaya CLE BAL Fozzy Whitaker is eating into his snaps and touches.
42 LeGarrette Blount NE PIT He’ll get a few carries but he’s not involved as much at the goal line. Blount is a light flex option in 12 teams leagues.
43 Knile Davis KC @BUF Charles’ knee appears to be ok, so Knile should stay in the same role he’s been in.
44 Bryce Brown PHI @OAK He’s not getting enough weekly touches behind McCoy to be a viable fantasy play. He should get a few extra carries this week but he is still a risky option as a flex in 12 team leagues.
45 Fozzy Whittaker CLE BAL It sounds like Whitaker will get a few more carries this week. He’s a player to keep an eye on.
46 Brian Leonard TB @SEA It’s a terrible matchup but Leonard is going to be involved every week with Doug Martin injured. He’s not a good start this week but he may be a solid play in PPR formats on certain weeks.
47 Toby Gerhart MIN @DAL He is a mandatory handcuff for Peterson owners. Gerhart makes a week flex option in week 12.
48 Deji Karim HOU IND It sounds as if Tate and Foster will play so Karim is not a viable fantasy play this week. Karim is still a good player to roster in addition to Foster to give yourself a Plan B this week as Foster is not guaranteed to be active. Ben Tate will be on a limited snap count if he plays due to a ribbon injury.
49 Michael Bush CHI @GB He’s just not getting enough touches to be considered as a flex option in 12 teams leagues. He is just a desperation play.
50 Rashad Jennings OAK PHI He’s a desperation play.
51 Khiry Robinson NO @NYJ He can make a big play but he’ll get less touches with everybody healthy. Still a good talent and a player to keep an eye on.
52 Mark Ingram NO @NYJ He is now fully healthy and we’ll have to see how he does. The Jets handle big backs pretty well and I would not expect much out of Ingram this week. He’s a player to watch not a player to put in your lineup.
53 Joseph Randle DAL MIN Not great last week and Murray should return.
54 Phillip Tanner DAL MIN With Murray back he won’t get many carries.
55 Felix Jones PIT @NE He’ll get a few touches but he’s not worth playing in any format.
56 Lance Dunbar DAL MIN Murray’s back and Dunbar’s just a desperation play.
57 Jonathan Dwyer PIT @NE He just gets a few carries each week and is not very involved at the goal line. Use Dwyer only if you’re desperate.
58 Marcel Reece OAK PHI With McFadden healthy, Reese is just not involved enough week to week. He’s not worth the start in most leagues unless you are desperate.
59 Ronnie Brown SD @WAS He is now a bit of an afterthought in the San Diego backfield. Only use him in desperate situations.
60 Johnathan Franklin GB CHI It looks like Starks is going to get all of the carries behind Eddie Lacy. Don’t use Franklin unless you are desperate.
61 Tashard Choice BUF KC With CJ Spiller back Choice is going to get less carries this week. Only play him if it’s a last resort situation.
62 Jason Snelling ATL @CAR His ankle is feeling better and he is likely to play, but Snelling now has two backs ahead of him.
63 Christine Michael SEA TB He could get a few carries if he plays, but he’s not an option right now.
64 Giovani Bernard CIN @MIA (ALREADY PLAYED ... originally ranked 14th) Not a bad matchup. I expect Gio to get more opportunities this week.
65 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN @MIA (ALREADY PLAYED ... originally ranked 33rd) He could score and he’s still involved.
66 Lamar Miller MIA CIN (ALREADY PLAYED ... originally ranked 26th) Risky play in a tough matchup, but he’s looking more attractive after getting so many snaps and touches in Week 8.
67 Daniel Thomas MIA CIN (ALREADY PLAYED ... originally ranked 29th) Bad matchup.