Week 4 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs (Updated)

Some of the injured running backs appear primed to play.  A few are going to be game time decisions.  Someone has officially been ruled out.  Let’s see how it all adds up and factors into our current rankings for Week 4:

  1. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Denver
  2. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Indianapolis
  3. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – at Oakland
  4. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – vs. San Francisco
  5. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – vs. Arizona
  6. Cedric Benson – Cincinnati Bengals – at Cleveland
  7. Rashard Mendenhall – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Baltimore
  8. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – at Atlanta
  9. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Washington
  10. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – at Pittsburgh
  11. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
  12. Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – vs. Seattle
  13. LaDanian Tomlinson – New York Jets – at Buffalo
  14. Darren McFadden – Oakland Raiders – vs. Houston
  15. Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions – at Green Bay
  16. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – at New York Giants
  17. Ronnie Brown – Miami Dolphins – vs. New England
  18. Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants – vs. Chicago
  19. Peyton Hillis – Cleveland Browns – vs. Cincinnati
  20. Brandon Jackson – Green Bay Packers – vs. Detroit
  21. Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – at San Diego
  22. Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
  23. Joseph Addai – Indianapolis Colts – at Jacksonville
  24. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – at Miami
  25. Shonn Greene – New York Jets – at Buffalo
  26. Ricky Williams – Miami Dolphins – vs. New England
  27. Marshawn Lynch – Buffalo Bills – vs. New York Jets
  28. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
  29. Justin Forsett – Seattle Seahawks – at St. Louis
  30. Tim Hightower – Arizona Cardinals – at San Diego
  31. Laurence Maroney – Denver Broncos – at Tennessee
  32. Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – vs. Arizona
  33. John Kuhn – Green Bay Packers – vs. Detroit
  34. Chester Taylor – Chicago Bears – at New York Giants
  35. Ryan Torian – Washington Redskins – at Philadelphia
  36. Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants – vs. Chicago
  37. Clinton Portis – Washington Redskins – at Philadelphia
  38. Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – vs. Houston
  39. Jason Snelling – Atlanta Falcons – vs. San Francisco
  40. Jerome Harrison – Cleveland Browns – vs. Cincinnati

Thoughts:

  • While there were fears of Ryan Mathews not suiting up this week, he has practiced full all week and is listed as probable on the injury report.  With the matchup he has, he’s a great play, while Mike Tolbert could also have value, though more as a FLEX option.
  • There’s no definitive word on Pierre Thomas and we likely won’t know until Sunday morning if he’s going to play or not.  Ladell Betts would get the bulk of the carries if Thomas does miss the game, so keep him in mind if you are desperate.  At this point Thomas falls a few spots in our rankings, as even if he does play, the ankle injury may limit him.  Consider him a RB2, at best.
  • Knowshon Moreno is officially out for Week 4.  Laurence Maroney & Correll Buckhalter will both see time, though Maroney is the better play.  Still, he’s just a FLEX option in all formats.
  • The Indianapolis running game could be in trouble.  Donald Brown is likely out with a hamstring injury.  Joseph Addai has found himself on the injury report for the second straight week with a knee injury and has been less then explosive thus far this season (3.8 yards per carry overall, but just 2.2 yards per carry in Week 3).  As it is, I would expect the Colts to go even more pass-oriented this week, but if Addai doesn’t suit up the runs could be at an absolute minimum.  Check the news on Sunday, but Addai is better suited as a low-end RB2 or FLEX option at this point.
  • With Jahvid Best returning to practice, word is that he is going to play this week.  He’s holding at his spot in our rankings for now.
  • If Steven Jackson plays, he’s going to be usable in all formats.  He’s a game-time decision, but for now we are going to leave him where he is on our rankings.  My gut feels like he’s going to play, but it’s anyone’s guess for now.
  • Ray Rice appears primed to play and despite the tough Steelers defense he’s a solid play this week.  In two games against Pittsburgh in 2009 he had 310 total yards.  Matchup or not, he’s a must play in all formats.

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Who’s too high?  Who’s too low?

Make sure to check out the rest of our Week 4 Rankings:

Week 5 Rankings: Top 25 Quarterbacks
Week 4 Rankings: Top 15 Defenses

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