Chris Wesseling

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Week 14 Rankings

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Week 14 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Adrian Peterson vs. CHI Probable (shoulder)
2 Arian Foster at NE -
3 Doug Martin vs. PHI -
4 Trent Richardson vs. KC -
5 Ray Rice at WAS -
6 Marshawn Lynch vs. ARZ Probable (back)
7 Bryce Brown at TB -
8 Ahmad Bradshaw vs. NO Probable (neck)
9 C.J. Spiller vs. STL -
10 Alfred Morris vs. BAL -
11 DeMarco Murray at CIN Probable (foot)
12 Matt Forte at MIN -
13 Jamaal Charles at CLE -
14 Stevan Ridley vs. HOU -
15 Steven Jackson at BUF Probable (foot)
16 Frank Gore vs. MIA -
17 BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. DAL -
18 Chris Johnson at IND -
19 Knowshon Moreno at OAK -
20 Shonn Greene at JAC -
21 Jonathan Dwyer vs. SD -
22 Mikel Leshoure at GB -
23 Ryan Mathews at PIT -
24 Vick Ballard vs. TEN -
25 Darren McFadden vs. DEN Sidelined (ankle)
26 DeAngelo Williams vs. ATL -
27 Fred Jackson vs. STL -
28 Reggie Bush at SF -
29 Darren Sproles at NYG -
30 Michael Turner at CAR Questionable (elbow)
31 Montell Owens vs. NYJ -
32 Alex Green vs. DET -
33 Mark Ingram at NYG -
34 Joique Bell at GB -
35 Pierre Thomas at NYG -
36 Beanie Wells at SEA Probable (knee)
37 Jacquizz Rodgers at CAR -
38 Bilal Powell at JAC -
39 David Wilson vs. NO -
40 Danny Woodhead vs. HOU -
41 Daniel Thomas at SF Probable (knee)
42 Mike Tolbert vs. ATL Sidelined (concussion)
43 Marcel Reece vs. DEN -
44 Michael Bush at MIN Questionable (ribs)
45 Shane Vereen vs. HOU -
46 Justin Forsett at NE -
47 Ronnie Hillman at OAK -
48 Brandon Jacobs vs. MIA -
49 Isaac Redman vs. SD -
50 Bernard Pierce at WAS -
51 Peyton Hillis at CLE -
52 Delone Carter vs. TEN -
53 Daryl Richardson at BUF -
54 Robert Turbin vs. ARZ -
55 Ben Tate at NE Questionable (hamstring)
56 Felix Jones at CIN Probable (knee)
57 John Kuhn vs. DET Probable (hamstring)
58 La'Rod Stephens-Howling at SEA -
59 Ryan Grant vs. DET -
60 Chris Ivory at NYG Doubtful (hamstring)

RB Notes: Adrian Peterson has 947 rushing yards over the past six games compared to Christian Ponder’s 871 passing yards. He’s also averaging 6.2 YPC compared to Ponder’s 6.0 per throw. Peterson’s 1,446 rushing yards are more than 22 NFL teams. With four games to go, he already has the second-highest rushing total of his career while boasting a 7.8 YPC during his six-game 100-yard streak. According to Pro Football Focus, only nine running backs have more total rushing yards than Peterson’s 919 yards after contact. He could run on the 1985 Bears, much less the 2012 version minus its leading tackler.

Advanced NFL Stats has an interesting article comparing NBA’s advancements in usage rate data to Andrew Luck’s efficiency while carrying the burden of the Colts offense. The same theory may go a long way toward explaining Arian Foster’s dwindling YPC average this season. Through 12 games, Foster has 36 more carries than the next-closest running back. Despite the low output last week, he looked fine while the Texans tried to save his legs by sprinkling in Justin Forsett.

Don’t worry about Ray Rice’s workload. The Ravens had the same idea as Houston, trying to save their overworked feature back’s legs in a game that should have been won handily. Whoops. Facing a daunting schedule, Baltimore is back to must-win territory. … Lynch has an excellent matchup against a Cardinals defense that has surrendered 170+ rushing yards in three of the past four games.

As Rotoworld’s Mike Clay points out, the average yards per carry across the NFL is 4.2 this season. Bryce Brown averages 4.4 yards after contact. LeSean McCoy’s most rushing yards in back-to-back games is 311. Brown has 347 in his first two NFL starts, the highest two-game total for an Eagles back since Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren more than 60 years ago. Of the five rookies with back-to-back games of 160+ yards since 1960, Brown is the first to do it in his first two starts. He’s matchup proof right now.

C.J. Spiller’s workload was down last week, which gave fantasy owners a chance to see his floor of 84 yards and a touchdown. His ceiling is much higher against a mediocre Rams run defense. … With 153 yards at Baltimore, Alfred Morris and Robert Griffin III would break the 1979 Cardinals record for most combined rookie rushing yards in a season. … DeMarco Murray has regained workhorse status just in time to face a Bengals defense ranking 30th in defensive rush success rate.

Stevan Ridley has been the acme of consistency, but he has a tough matchup against a Texans defense that didn’t allow a rushing score all season until Thanksgiving day in Detroit. … I love the way Steven Jackson has been playing of late, but the matchup isn’t quite as enticing as it looks on the surface. Since their Week 8 bye, the Bills run defense ranks first in average YPC at 3.14 and second to the Browns (65.7) in yards per game (78.5). The caveat is that Buffalo has faced the underwhelming ground attacks of the Jags and Colts the past two weeks.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis is fantasy’s No. 2 back over the past three weeks with a dominant RT Andre Smith paving the way. The Lawfirm has another plum matchup this week against a reeling Cowboys run defense. … Chris Johnson showed plenty of burst last week, but his offensive line got manhandled even before losing three starters against the Texans. … Knowshon Moreno has a juicy matchup against a Raiders defense allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing backs.

After averaging just 2.8 YPC through Week 5, Shonn Greene has averaged 4.4 yards per on his last 134 carries over the past seven games. He hasn’t been held under 50 rushing yards in a game over that span after failing to clear that mark in all but one of the first five. … Jonathan Dwyer will handle feature back duties as a poor man’s Jerome Bettis. … Mikel Leshoure joins Doug Martin as the only back with six rushing scores over the past five weeks, but he’s losing touches to Joique Bell.

Ryan Mathews’ vision and football IQ have come under fire this week entering a prohibitive matchup with a shutdown Steelers defense. Just don’t be surprised if he closes out the season with a string of 100-yard games against three of the softest run defenses (CAR, @NYJ, OAK) in the NFL. … Vick Ballard should be a three-down back with Donald Brown out of the lineup. … Darren McFadden supposedly has his burst back, but it’s going to be hard to trust any Raiders player against a swarming Broncos defense.

Coach Chan Gailey attributed Fred Jackson’s season-high 25 carries to the driving rain last week. He’s viewed as better “mudder” than C.J. Spiller. Jackson can’t count on a heavy workload if the weather is inclement. … Special teamer Montell Owens is poised for lead-back duties if Rashad Jennings (concussion) can’t gain clearance. … Alex Green reclaims the feature back role with James Starks out multiple games. Keep expectations low. Green is averaging just 3.3 YPC. The Packers have gone 39 games without a 100-yard rusher, the longest streak in the NFL.


Sunday Update: Bumped Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas with Chris Ivory out. Darren Sproles doesn't have a carry since Week 8.

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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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