Chris Wesseling

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Updated Week 2 Rankings

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week 2 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Arian Foster at JAC Probable(illness)
2 Adrian Peterson at IND -
3 LeSean McCoy vs. BAL -
4 Ray Rice at PHI -
5 Darren McFadden at MIA -
6 C.J. Spiller vs. KC -
7 Matt Forte at GB -
8 Marshawn Lynch vs. DAL -
9 DeMarco Murray at SEA -
10 Maurice Jones-Drew vs. HOU -
11 Doug Martin at NYG -
12 Stevan Ridley vs. ARZ -
13 Jamaal Charles at BUF -
14 Trent Richardson at CIN -
15 BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. CLE -
16 Alfred Morris at STL -
17 Steven Jackson vs. WAS -
18 Ryan Mathews vs. TEN Cleared for contact, check back on Friday
19 Ahmad Bradshaw vs. TB -
20 Chris Johnson at SD -
21 Frank Gore vs. DET -
22 Darren Sproles at CAR -
23 Willis McGahee at ATL -
24 Reggie Bush vs. OAK -
25 Kevin Smith at SF -
26 Cedric Benson vs. CHI -
27 Donald Brown vs. MIN -
28 Shonn Greene at PIT -
29 Peyton Hillis at BUF -
30 Michael Turner vs. DEN -
31 Mark Ingram at CAR -
32 Jonathan Stewart vs. NO Likely will play
33 Jonathan Dwyer vs. NYJ Returned to full Thursday practice
34 DeAngelo Williams vs. NO -
35 Beanie Wells at NE -
36 Michael Bush at GB -
37 Jacquizz Rodgers vs. DEN -
38 David Wilson vs. TB -
39 Ryan Williams at NE -
40 Ben Tate at JAC -
41 Pierre Thomas at CAR -
42 Toby Gerhart at IND -
43 Kendall Hunter vs. DET -
44 Isaac Redman vs. NYJ Probable(ankle)
45 Knowshon Moreno at ATL -
46 Felix Jones at SEA Probable(ribs)
47 Shane Vereen vs. ARZ Questionable(foot)
48 Roy Helu at STL -
49 Vick Ballard vs. MIN -
50 Bilal Powell at PIT -
51 Curtis Brinkley vs. TEN  
52 Alex Green vs. CHI Probable(knee)
53 Mike Tolbert vs. NO -
54 Ronnie Brown vs. TEN -
55 Brandon Jackson at CIN -
56 Rashad Jennings vs. HOU Doubtful(knee)
57 Taiwan Jones at MIA Questionable(ribs)
58 Robert Turbin vs. DAL -
59 Evan Royster at STL -

RB Notes: My game-watching notes on Chris Johnson from Week 1: "First series: hesitant, indecisive, looking for the homerun, not following the design of the play. Reminiscent of a place kicker or free-throw shooter over-thinking instead of relying on muscle memory. Second and third series: Vincent Wilfork & Co. simply swallowed him up behind the line of scrimmage. Fourth series: dancing east-to-west, can't bring himself to hit a hole." Ex-scout Daniel Jeremiah was more concerned with Johnson's hesitation than acceleration because he's "not trusting his eyes." Johnson's issues are the exact same as last season. We know the explosiveness is there, but he doesn't get a chance to use it with any degree of consistency thanks to his own indecisiveness and an overwhelmed offensive line. Although the one saving grace is that Johnson's stat line could have looked drastically different with a bigger workload, he's now facing a defense that held Darren McFadden to 32 yards on 15 carries.

Peterson didn't have the same extra gear in the open field versus the Jaguars, but that's to be expected. The promising signs were his excellent vision and a willingness to stick his foot in the ground and make sharp, slashing cuts. We don't believe he's all the way back to Superman level. His No. 2 ranking has as much to do with an opponent that allowed 122 rushing yards and three touchdowns to Matt Forte and Michael Bush last week. We know Peterson will get the ball inside the 5-yard line.

While it may be true that Spiller's eight forced missed tackles on 16 touches were at least two more than any other Week 1 player, it should be noted that he was facing a lazy tackling defense in garbage time. That's not to say Spiller's stats should be written off, though. Even with Tashard Choice looming as a goal-line vulture, Spiller has legit RB1 appeal for the next month. He's been a top-three fantasy performer going back to the beginning of December. ... In four years with the Patriots, BenJarvus Green-Ellis matched or exceeded Ridley's 21 carries just four times. In 16 games as the starter a year ago, Green-Ellis' longest run was 18 yards. In addition to a 20-yard catch-and-run, Ridley had explosive runs of 17, 17, 16, 15, 15 and 14 in the opener. There's top-10 potential fantasy potential in standard scoring leagues this season.

Still rounding into form, Trent Richardson was "just a guy" against the Eagles. Although he ran with power, there was no extra gear and the offensive line failed to open up running lanes. Although I have no doubt that he will regain his burst, I saw nothing in Week 1 to suggest that he's a buy-low candidate in this offense. ... I'd be bailing on Steven Jackson and all other Rams. That offensive line looks like the Battle of Chancellorsville after losing three more players in Week 1.

What to do about Alfred Morris? The season opener could not have been set up more perfectly for fantasy success. Morris' two scores came via an end-zone pass interference call and a long interception return inside the 5-yard line. The Redskins' third quarter lead and time of possession advantage were the perfect storm for 25+ carries. Morris has a fine matchup against a defense that made Kevin Smith a top-five fantasy performer, but his long-term value is sketchy. I suspect Shanahan appreciates Morris -- for the moment -- because the hard-nosed rookie can handle 20 carries without getting dinged up, hasn't fumbled yet and doesn't lose yards. In short, he's a lot like BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The problem is that Morris hasn't topped 3.6 yards per carry in three of four preseason and regular season games, has no second gear and offers less playmaking ability than his backups. Knowing Shanahan's notorious fickleness, it's a recipe for fantasy heartbreak.

Kevin Smith is a bonafide lead back every time he takes the field healthy. Mikel Leshoure isn't a threat to the starting job in Week 3. ... Benson's cuts were sharp enough in the opener. Facing the 49ers' brick wall on every carry, he never had a chance to take advantage of a defense on its heels as Gore did. ... Donald Brown's box score was misleading. The straight-line speed is there, but he had two brutal drops, struggled again in pass protection and shows very little lateral agility. Fortunately, he has a better matchup this week.

I wasn't impressed with Shonn Greene despite the solid fantasy numbers. He fumbled twice, left yards on the field and his touchdown came deep in garbage time. ... Michael Turner is finished as a reliable fantasy asset. He has single-digit fantasy points in five of his past seven games and has found the end zone in just two of his past eight games. The only thing he's a threat to is the 3.0 YPC threshold. ... Ryan Williams' Week 1 performance inspired Pro Football Focus to pen the phrase "impressively unimpressive."


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
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