Chris Wesseling

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Week 11 Rankings

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week 11 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Arian Foster vs. JAC -
2 C.J. Spiller vs. MIA -
3 Doug Martin at CAR -
4 LeSean McCoy at WAS -
5 Ray Rice at PIT Probable (toe)
6 Stevan Ridley vs. IND -
7 Trent Richardson at DAL Probable (ribs)
8 Jamaal Charles vs. CIN -
9 Alfred Morris vs. PHI -
10 Willis McGahee vs. SD -
11 Steven Jackson vs. NYJ -
12 Frank Gore vs. CHI Probable (ribs)
13 Matt Forte at SF -
14 Ryan Mathews at DEN Questionable (neck)
15 Reggie Bush at BUF -
16 Shonn Greene at STL -
17 Felix Jones vs. CLE -
18 Marcel Reece vs. NO -
19 Mikel Leshoure vs. GB -
20 BenJarvus Green-Ellis at KC Probable (flu)
21 La'Rod Stephens-Howling at ATL -
22 Darren Sproles at OAK Questionable (hand)
23 Mark Ingram at OAK -
24 Michael Turner vs. ARZ Questionable (groin)
25 Rashard Mendenhall vs. BAL Probable (achilles)
26 Jonathan Stewart vs. TB -
27 Daniel Thomas at BUF -
28 Rashad Jennings at HOU -
29 Vick Ballard at NE -
30 Chris Ivory at OAK -
31 James Starks at DET -
32 Jacquizz Rodgers vs. ARZ -
33 Danny Woodhead vs. IND -
34 Donald Brown at NE Probable (knee)
35 Joique Bell vs. GB -
36 Daryl Richardson vs. NYJ -
37 Pierre Thomas at OAK -
38 Jonathan Dwyer vs. BAL -
39 Ronnie Brown at DEN -
40 Michael Bush at SF -
41 Kendall Hunter vs. CHI -
42 Jackie Battle at DEN -
43 Shane Vereen vs. IND -
44 Isaac Redman vs. BAL -
45 Ronnie Hillman vs. SD -
46 Peyton Hillis vs. CIN -
47 Tashard Choice vs. MIA -
48 DeAngelo Williams vs. TB -
49 Justin Forsett vs. JAC -
50 Alex Green at DET Probable (knee)
51 Mike Tolbert vs. TB Sidelined (concussion)
52 Jason Snelling vs. ARZ Sidelined (leg)
53 Evan Royster vs. PHI Probable (knee)
54 Bernard Pierce at PIT -
55 Bryce Brown at WAS -
56 Taiwan Jones vs. NO -
57 Lamar Miller at BUF -

RB Notes: With a touchdown in every game this season, Arian Foster has trumped Percy Harvin as the most “slump-proof” fantasy asset in the game. … C.J. Spiller may still be bouncing too many runs to the outside, but it’s certainly not hurting his production. He’s simply playing at a faster speed than the other players on the field. Of Spiller’s 87 carries, 56.3 percent have gone for 5 or more yards, the highest rate for any running back. Spiller is sixth in fantasy points this season on just 115 touches while Chris Johnson and Stevan Ridley -- just behind him -- have 194 and 178 touches respectively. The Patriots game-planned to take Spiller away and couldn’t do it. With Fred Jackson out, coach Chan Gailey is prescribing 20-30 carries versus the Dolphins if that’s what it takes to win (Spiller has never rushed more than 19 times in a game). After 22 consecutive games without a 100-yard runner, the Dolphins may be gashed for a second straight week.

If Doug Martin nets 142 yards from scrimmage at Carolina, he will join Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James as the only rookies with 1,000 yards in a six-game span. The Panthers haven’t allowed a 100-yard game since Luke Kuechly replaced Jon Beason at middle linebacker. … While the Redskins secondary has stiffened a bit, LeSean McCoy can take advantage of the falloff in run defense of late. … Ray Rice has avoided negative plays better than any back in the NFL this season. … Stevan Ridley is averaging over 6.0 YPC the past two games, though the Colts run defense has morphed into a top-10 unit over the past month.

If Jamaal Charles gets to the line of scrimmage without being touched, he’s averaging 6.7 YPC. His season is back on track against a Bengals defense allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs. … Alfred Morris draws an Eagles run defense that has been trending steadily downward over the past month. … Willis McGahee already has five fumbles in nine games, equaling the most by any back in the league all of last season. He’s still in no danger of losing his starting job, and the increased role in the passing game has solidified his high-end RB2 value.

Steven Jackson is coming off season-highs in carries (29) and yards (127) against a stout 49ers defense. The sledding is much easier versus a Jets defense allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing backs. … Frank Gore is running behind the most dominant o-line in the game, as 49ers backs have averaged a league-leading 3.2 yards before first contact. … Ryan Mathews' three highest rushing totals of his career have come versus Broncos, a defense that is currently tied with the Vikings for first in yards per carry allowed (3.6) to running backs. Mathews returned to the game after suffering a neck injury last week, so I would expect him to play at Denver. In a promising sign, Mathews stayed on the field -- even at the goal line -- in the halftime two-minute drill last week.

The matchup is inviting this week, but no starting running back is used in the red zone less frequently than Reggie Bush. … The passing game may be in the tank, but Shonn Greene is sixth in fantasy points over the past five weeks. … Felix Jones, short-yardage specialist? Jones has converted all eight attempts when the Cowboys have needed 1-2 yards for a first down. Jones looked better in Week 10 that he has all season. With DeMarco Murray likely to rest one more week, Jones has RB2 value against the Browns.

Coach Dennis Allen is sticking with the same running back rotation that saw Marcel Reece play 77 percent of the snaps a week ago. It’s fair to expect a second straight 100-yard game against the Saints’ historically woeful defense. … According to Pro Football Focus, no running back has been less elusive than Mikel Leshoure, who has just six tackles avoided on 126 touches. … BenJarvus Green-Ellis hasn’t topped 4.0 YPC in a game since the season opener. … Of LaRod Stephens-Howling’s 184 rushing yards, 89 percent have come after contact, good for the highest rate in the NFL. He should retain the feature back role for one more week against a soft run defense.

Darren Sproles practiced Wednesday for the first time since breaking his hand, putting him on track to play his normal role at Oakland. … In Sproles two-game absence, Mark Ingram took over as the backfield leader, seeing 25 touches compared to Chris Ivory’s 19 and Pierre Thomas’ 14. Ingram is a RB/flex option against a Raiders defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to running backs. … Rashard Mendenhall is expected back for Sunday night’s game against the Ravens, and the Steelers have acknowledged that he’s the starter when healthy. … Only 18.9 percent of Rashad Jennings’ carries have gone for 5+ yards. The Texans haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown in their last 12 games. … For those inclined to roll the dice on Daniel Thomas, note that the Bills run defense hasn’t been quite the same laughing stock the past two weeks. It’s still a tasty matchup, though.

James Starks has taken over the early-down role from Alex Green. … We’ve clowned Michael Turner with good reason, but it’s worth noting that Jacquizz Rodgers is no panacea in the run game. Two Eagles defenders missed tackles behind line of scrimmage on Rodgers’ 43-yard run in Week 8. Outside of that run, he's averaged 2.8 YPC. … The stats back up the anecdotal belief that Daryl Richardson is an outside-the-tackles specialist.

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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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