Chris Wesseling

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Updated Week 4 Rankings

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Week 4 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Arian Foster vs. TEN -
2 Ray Rice vs. CLE -
3 LeSean McCoy vs. NYG -
4 Maurice Jones-Drew vs. CIN -
5 Adrian Peterson at DET -
6 Ryan Mathews at KC -
7 Jamaal Charles vs. SD -
8 Darren McFadden at DEN Probable(shoulder)
9 Marshawn Lynch at STL -
10 Cedric Benson vs. NO -
11 Frank Gore at NYJ -
12 Trent Richardson at BAL -
13 Doug Martin vs. WAS -
14 DeMarco Murray vs. CHI -
15 Stevan Ridley at BUF -
16 Alfred Morris at TB -
17 Willis McGahee vs. OAK Probable(ribs)
18 BenJarvus Green-Ellis at JAC -
19 Matt Forte at DAL Expected to play
20 Mikel Leshoure vs. MIN -
21 Darren Sproles at GB -
22 Fred Jackson vs. NE Expected to start
23 Michael Turner vs. CAR -
24 Reggie Bush at ARZ 'Scheduled' to play
25 Ryan Williams vs. MIA -
26 Chris Johnson at HOU -
27 Ben Tate vs. TEN -
28 C.J. Spiller vs. NE Will play, role in question
29 Pierre Thomas at GB -
30 Ahmad Bradshaw at PHI Probable(neck)
31 Andre Brown at PHI -
32 DeAngelo Williams at ATL -
33 Jonathan Stewart at ATL Probable(toe)
34 Michael Bush at DAL -
35 Steven Jackson vs. SEA Will play, limited role?
36 Jacquizz Rodgers vs. CAR -
37 Mark Ingram at GB -
38 Shonn Greene vs. SF -
39 Daniel Thomas at ARZ -
40 Bilal Powell vs. SF -
41 Daryl Richardson vs. SEA -
42 Danny Woodhead at BUF -
43 Kendall Hunter at NYJ -
44 Shaun Draughn vs. SD -
45 Rashad Jennings vs. CIN Probable(knee)
46 Felix Jones vs. CHI Probable(ribs)
47 Mike Tolbert at ATL -
48 William Powell vs. MIA -
49 Tashard Choice vs. NE -
50 Bernard Scott at JAC Questionable(ankle)
51 Ronnie Hillman vs. OAK -
52 Evan Royster at TB Probable(knee)
53 Lance Ball vs. OAK -
54 Chris Ogbonnaya at BAL -
55 Toby Gerhart at DET -
56 Mike Goodson at DEN Questionable(hamstring)
57 Kahlil Bell at DAL -
58 Kevin Smith vs. MIN -
59 Bryce Brown vs. NYG -
60 LeGarrette Blount vs. WAS -
61 Lamar Miller at ARZ -
62 Javon Ringer at HOU Questionable(elbow)

RB Notes:
Ravens defensive boss Dick Jauron calls Rice “one of the very best players in the league on the offensive side of the ball.” That’s been evident for awhile now, as Rice has emerged as the best all-around back in the game. He jumped off the tape against the Patriots, succeeding between the tackles, sustaining a rushing attack, getting to the corner, turning on a dime after the catch and excelling in pass protection. Rice has averaged 134 yards per in his last four games versus the Browns.


Jones-Drew draws a Bengals defense that has hemorrhaged 102 points in three games, with MLB Rey Maualuga forfeiting big plays at an alarming rate. … Even on a surgically-repaired knee, Peterson still runs as violently as any back in the league. … Mathews had a whopping eight targets in his debut. There aren’t more than a half-dozen backs I would take for the remainder of the season. … NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell believes McFadden isn’t quite as explosive as he’s been the previous two seasons. The Raiders have passed the ball 128 times compared to just 44 rushing attempts for McFadden. Expect regression to the mean the rest of the way.

What was most impressive about Charles’ career-high 288 yards wasn’t the 91-yard touchdown run. That was merely the most obvious example of the Saints’ lack of speed on defense. It’s the 39 touches -- besting his previous career-high by a dozen -- that is most telling for fantasy value. With Peyton Hillis in a walking boot, Charles will see an increased role in the passing game versus the Chargers. … Speaking of the Saints defense, no back has a better matchup this week than Benson. New Orleans has allowed the most rushing yards and the fantasy points to opposing running backs of any defense.

I’m not suggesting that Martin lacks job security, but it’s slightly disconcerting that LeGarrette Blount’s four runs last week were four of the most productive by the Bucs that game. Martin has yet to show an extra gear. … Ridley’s playing time decreased in Week 3 simply because he’s not in the no-huddle personnel grouping. I would expect a bigger role against the Bills. … Morris is the first Redskins back since Stephen Davis in 1999 to open the season with three consecutive games of 75+ rushing yards. He has that job on lockdown. … McGahee felt good after Wednesday’s practice. All signs are positive thus far.

Matt Forte has been overly optimistic about his chances of playing Monday. Until we hear differently from the Bears, I’m assuming he sits one more week. Keep an eye on Bush’s shoulder, though. That injury kept him out of practice Wednesday. … The other Bush missed practice with swelling and stiffness in his knee and could be a game-time decision. … Leshoure has the look of a volume runner. Give him a week to see if he starts showing playmaking ability before considering a sell-high.

Ryan Williams has a window to take full control of the Cardinals backfield, but keep expectations in check. The Dolphins defense kills fantasy backs, and Williams has had just one good quarter in 12 this season. He looked great as a clock-killer in Week 3 versus a tired Eagles defense. … This is one of the weeks to use Tate as a RB2 against a Titans defense that has been steamrolled by opposing backs. … S-Jax wasn’t himself while playing through a groin injury last week. … Until further notice, Bradshaw and Brown are splitting time.

Fred Jackson appeared to be further along than C.J. Spiller entering Wednesday, but the two could be trending in opposite directions. Check back Friday afternoon for an update on the Bills backfield. … Jonathan Stewart admits his toe isn’t right. … Greene and Powell have combined to average 3.1 YPC on first down.

Sunday update: Bumped Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, dropped Steven Jackson and Michael Bush. 

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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.
Email :Chris Wesseling

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