Week 10 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

Has Chris Johnson gotten things on track?  Has Roy Helu emerged as the go to running back for the Washington Redskins?  Has LeSean McCoy stepped up and claimed top back status?  Let’s answer these questions and all the rest for Week 10:

  1. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
  2. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Arizona
  3. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – at Tampa Bay
  4. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – vs. Detroit
  5. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – vs. New York Giants
  6. Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – at Dallas
  7. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – at Seattle
  8. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Indianapolis
  9. Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – at Cleveland
  10. DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Buffalo
  11. Willis McGagee – Denver Broncos – at Kansas City
  12. Mike Tolbert – San Diego Chargers – vs. Oakland
  13. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
  14. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – at Carolina
  15. Michael Bush – Oakland Raiders – at San Diego
  16. Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta
  17. Shonn Greene – New York Jets – vs. New England
  18. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – vs. Oakland
  19. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – at New York Jets
  20. Jackie Battle – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Denver
  21. Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – at Philadelphia
  22. LeGarrette Blount – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Houston
  23. Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – vs. Washington
  24. Rashard Mendenhall – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cincinnati
  25. Cedric Benson – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Pittsburgh
  26. Roy Helu – Washington Redskins – at Miami
  27. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – vs. Tennessee
  28. Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants – at San Francisco
  29. Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Baltimore
  30. James Starks – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
  31. Ben Tate – Houston Texans – at Tampa Bay
  32. Chris Ogbonnaya – Cleveland Browns – vs. St. Louis
  33. Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta
  34. DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – vs. Tennessee
  35. Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Jacksonville
  36. Maurice Morris – Detroit Lions – at Chicago
  37. LaDainian Tomlinson – New York Jets – vs. New England
  38. Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – at Kansas City
  39. Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins – vs. Washington
  40. Javon Ringer – Tennessee Titans – at Carolina


  • It appears like Darren McFadden is going to sit out once again this week.  Throw in the fact that Carson Palmer threw three interceptions as well as the Chiefs allowing 120.2 rushing yards per game and you figure you are going to get a steady diet of Michael Bush this week.  Consider him a good play as a RB2.
  • It was a slow start for Frank Gore, but he now has rushed for over 100 yards in five straight games.  The 49ers are winning, have a passing game that hasn’t shown the ability for the big play and take on a Giants defense in the bottom 10 in the league allowing 127.1 rushing yards per game (as well as having allowed 9 TD).  It’s pretty safe to consider him a must use option in all formats, isn’t it?
  • Ryan Mathews missed Week 9 allowing Mike Tolbert to carry the load.  He went for 83 yards and a touchdown, as well as adding four receptions for 59 yards.  They are both usable, if playing, against the Raiders and it would appear that’s the direction we are heading.  However, monitor the news just in case something changes with his health.
  • I guess it’s not quite time to give up on Chris Johnson, huh?  It’s not like he was unbelievable in Week 9, but he did have 110 total yards.  The Carolina Panthers are the sixth worst rushing defense in the league, allowing 133.2 yards per game, and are tied with two other teams for the most rushing TD allowed with 11.  I know there’s some risk involved, but he’s a must use option in all formats at this point.
  • Was Darren Sproles the best free agent signing of this past offseason?  He was big once again this past week combining for 99 yards and 1 TD.  On the year he already has 793 yards and 5 TD.  In PPR formats he’s been even better, having amassed 56 receptions.  He’s clearly the back to trust in New Orleans at this point.
  • For the fourth straight week Shonn Greene received at least 19 carries (he had 19 carries for 76 yards).  It really doesn’t matter that the Patriots are weak against the pass, because the Jets strength is defense and controlling the football.  Look for him to continue to get the ball fed to him, making him an intriguing option.
  • Jonathan Stewart appears to slowly be taking over as the more used back in Carolina.  Is it going to remain that way?  You never really know, but at this point he clearly is the better play.  He’s had 27 carries over the Panthers past two games vs. DeAngelo Williams’ 17.  Going up against a Titans’ defense that is among the 10 worst in the league, consider him a low-end RB2.
  • The Redskins just continue to frustrate owners, as we never know who is going to be the main back.  In Week 9 it was Roy Helu, who rushed for 41 yards and added 14 receptions for 105 yards.  We’ll have to see how things change once Tashard Choice is healthy, but with Ryan Torain getting just 11 carries over the past three weeks (taking them for 11 yards), it’s clear that Helu is currently the back to own, though who knows if he’ll once again get the bulk of the carries.
  • Will Ahmad Bradshaw play or won’t he?  Even if he does, the Giants draw the toughest rushing defense in the league as the 49ers are allowing just 70.8 rushing yards per game and have yet to allow a touchdown (no other team has allowed less than three).  Along with Brandon Jacobs, the Giants’ running game has got to be considered low-end options.
  • Chris Ogbonnaya may have a great matchup against the St. Louis Rams, but he’s managed to average just 2.9 yards per carry over his 30 carries this season.  He’s failed to break a run longer than 10 yards and has fumbled in back-to-back games.  Matchup or not, there’s way too much downside to trust him.
  • Benjarvus Green-Ellis has 4 TD in his last two games against the New York Jets.  How could you not like him for the coming week?

Make sure to check out all the rest of our Week 10 articles:

Week 10 Rankings: Top 50 Wide Receivers
Week 10 Rankings: Top 25 Quarterbacks


  1. Ketan says:

    Question on RBs – Foster and Murray are my starters. Ingram and Torain is my bench. With Foster bye in Week 11, do I pick up Helu and Choice and hopefully know who’s the starter in Week 11? or try to get Helu and Donald Brown, Ogbonnaya? Thanks.

  2. Rob says:

    Wasn’t sure where to post this but I’ve got an interesting trade i’d like your opinion on.

    I’m being offered DMac and Jared Cook for Stevie Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew (PPR league).

    If Run DMC was healthy this would be a no brainer but given his current condition (and history) I’m not so sure. I have Celek so giving up Pettigrew wouldn’t leave me completely depleted at TE. Stevie Johnson is my #2 WR but his success is tied with Fitzpatrick and I have my doubts that he can put up big numbers for the later part of the season.

    I know its a gamble. If Dmac comes back healthy it could pay off big time but if he doesn’t I’m stuck with Fred Jackson, Mike Williams and Torrey Smith (we play 3 flex spots). Fred is a stud but I don’t relish the idea of Mike Williams and Torrey Smith bringing up the rear. Any thoughts on this?

    • Thomas says:

      Dude, that’s a no brainer. DMC is coming back soon, Stevie Johnson has fallen a bit off the charts since the first 3 weeks. It just depends on whether or not you need another RB.

  3. Ketan – I can’t imagine choice becoming the starter, so I would definitely focus on getting Helu and hoping he pans out. If you have someone else to drop, then sure Choice or Brown would also add depth, but don’t do anything crazy.

    Rob – If you trade Johnson, who becomes your #2 WR?

    • Rob says:

      There would be no #2 necessarily. We have 3 flex spots. If I traded my lineup would look like:

      QB Rodgers
      WR Wallace
      RB McCoy
      TE Celek
      FLEX Fred Jackson
      FLEX Mike Williams/Torrey Smith/DHB/

      Beastly looking lineup if Dmac puts out

  4. Triz says:

    Hey Rotoprof!

    Since I know you won’t get to Ks or D/STs before the waiver in a few hours, any objection to me dropping the Bengals D (keeping the Steelers) for Browns / Redskins / Rams (in that order)?

    Also thinking about dropping the creeper kicker for Novak / Akers / Bironas (but I’m weak, so may drop Kasay instead *sigh* ).

    Sorry, it is just that this week people will be looking to amp up at those positions as no byes so I need to get in at the waivers if I am going to pick up anyone good 🙂


    • Triz says:

      Oh PS, I have 3 of the top 12 RBs this week and they are all people I drafted on your advice. Thanks!!!!

    • It’s what I’m here for!

      I would hold onto Janikowski, whether you like him or not. He’s just too good of an option. As for the extra kicker, I do like Kasay and Akers and they are probably head-to-head in the rankings for going forward. Part of me likes Akers better, but it’s really close.

      As for the D/ST, are we looking at just this week or for the rest of the season? If we are looking for this week, I would go with the Browns.

  5. BLC says:

    Who do you like more this week Michael Bush or Sproles? I know Bush is probably going to end up starting but I’m in a PPR league so I don’t know what to do.

    • I have them back-to-back on the rankings, so it is extremely close. Obviously, the PPR function changes things slightly. That would give him the edge, for me, but just barely.

      Just curious, how many points per reception do you get?

  6. Cara says:

    This week: Mendenhall, Tolbert, R. Bush or Helu? Pick 2. I am leaning towards Mendenhall and Tolbert but Bush keeps popping up in my head! Thanks!!

  7. Cody says:

    Ppr league only get to start two I have frank gore s jax Darren sproles and Ahmad Bradshaw who should I ?

  8. Cara – I tihnk Tolbert is the lock. As for the other two, it really is a coin flip. I have Bush with a slight edge, but it could go either way. If your gut is pulling you to Bush, then go for it!

    Cody – I would say Gore & Jackson unless you really get a substantial PPR bonus, then it’s Gore & Sproles

  9. Jason says:

    Here it goes. I need to fill in 1qb, 2rb, 3 wr, and 1 flex. who should i go with?

    qb- stafford, romo
    rb-mcgahee, greene, tate, jacobs, mendenhall
    wr-calvin, maclin, marshall, nicks, robinson, ford

  10. Mike mike says:

    Who to start 2 rb 1 flex 2 wr
    Ray rice of corse
    Steven jackson
    Willis magagee
    Jordy nelson
    Steve johnson
    Antonio brown
    D. bowe

  11. Jeff says:

    Trying to decide which RB’s to go with this week. I have Peterson who of course I will start. Need to fill my RB2 and Flex spot. I have Sproles, Ryan Matthews, Tolbert, and Michael Bush. Which two should I go with?

    Thanks for your advice!

  12. nate says:

    Here my ordeal…I’m playing in a league where each all TDs are 6pt, 25/passyds is 1 pt, 10/rushyds are 1 pt. My opponent has Brees as their QB. We have to play 2 RB’s and have a slot for RB/TE/WR. My rb’s are b.wells,c.johnson,d.murray,w.mcgahee,j.best and I have J.Graham as a TE. I’m leaning towards Mcgahee and Murray as my RB’s but do I play C.J. at flex or J.Graham to counter him having D.Brees? Is that a smart move to counter his QB with a main target or roll with a player that gets guaranteed touches (ecsp. against Carolina)? Thanks!

  13. Josh says:

    Who Should I start in both leagues

    2RB, 2WR, 1 Felx, 1 Def:

    League one:

    RB’s: Willis McGahee, Michael Bush, DeMarco Murray, Jahvid Best, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ryan Mathews, Mike Tolbert

    WR’s: Torrey Smith, DeSean Jackson, Steve Smith

    DEF: Texans, Steelers

    League 2:

    RB’s: Arian Foster,Darren Sproles, Mike Tolbert, Jackie Battle, Peyton Hillis, LaDainian Tomlinson

    WR’s: Steve Smith, Dwayne Bowe, Eric Decker, Michael Jenkins, Jordy Nelson

  14. Danel says:

    What is your suggested roster? I need to play 2 RBs, 2WRs, 1 TE, and 1 R/W/T Flex. Here’s my team:

    Sproles, Battle, Helu, Daniel Thomas, DMC (Out)
    Mario Manningham, Plaxico Burress, AJ Green, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Julio Jones;
    Gronkowski, Fred Davis

    Also, is DHB droppable at this point???


  15. Jeff – Is it a PPR? That would have an impact on the decision, but I’d definitely go Tolbert. The other choice is Bush or Sproles. I’d lean towards Bush, but the PPR status could impact that.

    nate – There’s no guarantee that Graham works as an offset to Brees. It’s far from definite that he makes the big plays and not Colston or Sproles or another WR. I wouldn’t endorse using him for strictly that reason, just if he’s the best option. I would 100% agree with Muuray & McGahee as your RB options. As for the FLEX, it does come down to CJ or Graham. CJ appears to be coming on and does have a favoralne matchup while Graham hasn’t done much in recent weeks. I’d go with CJ in the FLEX.

    Josh – Here’s what I’d do:

    League 1:
    RB – Murray, McGahee
    WR – S. Smith & Jackson
    FLEX – Tolbert
    D – Houston

    League 2:
    RB – Foster, Tolbert
    WR – S. Smith, Bowe, Nelson
    If you need a FLEX, I’d go Sproles

    Daniel – I’d set it up as
    RB – Sproles & Battle
    WR – Manningham & Green
    TE – Gronkowski
    FLEX – It’s Helu or Jones. I want to say Helu, but he’s tough to depend on, isn’t he?

    As for DHB, it all depends on who you’d be picking up for him?

  16. Muddy Cleats 18 says:

    Tolbert(with matthews fully practicing both days and Gates back) or Blount(who seems to be lied to re: playing 3rd down and facing a Texan def….

  17. Triz says:

    Hey! I’m currently going with Foster, Tolbert and McGahee (RB and RB/WR) and Calvin Johnson and Stevie Johnson at WR.

    I see Mathews is well below the other three in your rankings above, but if he is seeming healthy, does that change?


    PS Got Akers AND the Browns D 🙂

  18. Tim says:

    Is it Okay to drop Mark Ingram for Kevin Kolb in a 2 qb league where I have L.Bluont, M.Tolbert, Reggie Bush, and J.Battle at RB and Vick and Newton at QB?

    • Yea, I would say it is. I think Blount/Tolbert/Battle are going to be the three you play most often anyways

      • Tim says:

        Thanks Professor! Reggie Bush or Bluont this week? I have Bluont in right now but i feel he could become a non-factor in the likely event that Houston takes an early lead. Also, Reggie Bush is running away with Kim Kardashians heart!

  19. RB says:

    Who should I start week 10 2RB 3WR 1FLEX ?

  20. Austin D says:

    Would you trade helu and S Holmes for McFadden if you were the one getting McFadden? You think he’s gonna get healthy?

  21. Austin D says:

    Ya a flex can be RB/WR only
    It’s a PPR leauge but we got bonuses for over 100 yards running and receiving… Xtra 10 point a piece
    I’m just scared of any RB on Washington, despicably if choice gets healthy

  22. Austin D says:

    Ya I’m just gonna have to roll with Tate and foster and forte and breaston and Wallace till he gets back… Thanks man

  23. John Smith says:

    So should I start Helu or Brandon Jacobs this weekend?

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