Sep 11, 2013

Week 2 Shuffle: Running Back

Listed are the Top 60 RBs for the upcoming week.  Rankings are based on the projected mean performance without any specific team context on who you should start.  Sometimes you need to start the lower of two players due to upside or a high floor, so things are fluid.  As always, players can move up or down as we approach kickoff.  So please indulge yourself & dissect our list from top to bottom.  Let's Go!

Tier 1:
1. LeSean McCoy vs SD
2. Doug Martin vs NO
3. Adrian Peterson @CHI
4. Jamaal Charles vs DAL
5. Matt Forte vs MIN
6. Alfred Morris vs GB
7. C.J. Spiller vs CAR
8. Maurice Jones-Drew @OAK
9. Reggie Bush @ARI
10. Steven Jackson vs STL
11. Stevan Ridley vs NYJ
12. Arian Foster vs TEN

 - San Diego has an above average defense, but watching Chip Kelly & Co. slice up Washington makes me giddy to see what McCoy is capable of.  Minnesota just let Reggie Bush toast them from outside the backfield & the Chicago offense is the exact same skill set (fine QB/elite WR/pass catching RB).  Ridley has the lowest floor out of all the RB1s, but Vereen's injury should give him a second chance.  Something makes me think that the Patriots won't be all systems go with LeGarrette Blount on a short week.

Tier 2:
13. David Wilson vs DEN
14. Eddie Lacy vs WAS
15. Darren Sproles @TB
16. DeMarco Murray @KC
17. Trent Richardson @BAL
18. Chris Johnson @HOU 
19. Marshawn Lynch vs SF
20. Ray Rice vs CLE
21. Darren McFadden vs JAC 
22. Lamar Miller @IND
23. DeAngelo Williams @BUF
24. Ryan Mathews @PHI

- David Wilson sure knows how to lose fumbles during Week 1 & nothing kills your fantasy outlook like that.  Even though his long-term status is in question, there is no way Brandon Jacobs or Da'Rel Scott come in and take his touches this week & there are plenty of them coming vs Denver.  Lynch & Rice did nothing in Week 1 to make their Week 2 matchups look friendly and they're ranked accordingly.  Think of them as safe floors with low ceilings, low big points potential this week.  Maybe there should be a Week 1 overreaction, but Lamar Miller still has RB1 upside in my mind and should bounce back vs Indianapolis.

Tier 3:
25. Frank Gore @SEA
26. Rashad Mendenhall vs DET
27. Knowshon Moreno @NYG
28. Bilal Powell @NE
29. Daryl Richardson @ATL
30. Ahmad Bradshaw vs MIA
31. Ben Tate vs TEN
32. Givani Bernard vs PIT
33. Fred Jackson vs CAR
34. LeGarrette Blount vs NYJ 
35. Pierre Thomas @TB
36. BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs PIT

- Seattle has too tough of a defense to make Frank Gore look like he has an attractive matchup.  Powell & Moreno look to take control of their backfields with relatively friendly matchups.  Blount got 7 touches in Week 1 & with Vereen out he could be a garbage time miracle worker.  All of us fantasy owners want the Cincinnati RB situation solved, lots of potential points being split right now the middle.

Tier 4:
37. Isaiah Pead @ATL
38. Isaac Redman @CIN
39. Joique Bell @ARI
40. Alfonso Smith vs DET
41. Ronnie Brown @PHI
42. Chris Ivory @NE
43. Montee Ball @NYG
44. Bryce Brown vs SD
45. Daniel Thomas @IND
46. Bernard Pierce vs CLE
47. Brandon Jacobs vs DEN
48. Da'Rel Scott vs DEN

- Plenty of intriguing upside in this group but nothing that says anyone will get over 6 points.  Pead has the most mystery since he was suspended Week 1, but he did next to nothing in the pre-season to suggest he deserves 10+ carries.  Bolden & Ivory both could be sneaky plays to lead their teams in carries, but they falterd in Week 1 and have a long road ahead to clinch the top spot on the depth chart.

Tier 5:
49. Jackie Battle @HOU
50. Kendall Hunter @SEA
51. Mark Ingram @TB
52. Jacquizz Rodgers vs STL
53. Ronnie Hillman @NYG
54. Danny Woodhead @PHI
55. Michael Bush vs MIN
56. Donald Brown vs MIA
57. Robert Turbin vs SF
58. Justin Forsett @OAK
59. Mike Tolbert @BUF
60. Andre Ellington vs DET

- No one here should be played unless you are in a 14+ league.  Everyone has limited upside or needs an injury in order to make their presence truly felt.  Still, everyone projects to see the field and garner a few touches which is half the battle, the Jackie Battle.  #BadFantasyPuns Update: Brandon Bolden is officially listed at out & removed from the rankings. Vick Ballard tore his ACL and is out for the year & removed from the rankings.

Check out all our Week 2 Rankings: QB RB WR TE D/ST K LB DL DB

As always, read & discuss.  You can reach me on Twitter @ClevRocks_James or comment your (dis)agreements below.  Thanks for reading.

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