Week 10 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

Which injuries have an impact on the rankings (DeMarco Murray, Darren McFadden, etc.)?  Which match-ups should fantasy owners lean towards (Stevan Ridley vs. Buffalo)?  Which ones should they try to steer clear of?  Let’s try to answer all of the questions for the coming week:

  1. Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – vs. New York Jets
  2. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Oakland
  3. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Detroit
  4. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. San Diego
  5. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – vs. St. Louis
  6. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Dallas
  7. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – at Chicago
  8. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
  9. Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – vs. Tennessee
  10. Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots – vs. Buffalo
  11. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – at Miami
  12. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – vs. Houston
  13. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at Tampa Bay
  14. Willis McGahee – Denver Broncos – at Carolina
  15. Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – at Pittsburgh
  16. Rashad Jennings – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Indianapolis
  17. Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants – at Cincinnati
  18. Isaac Redman – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Kansas City
  19. Vick Ballard – Indianapolis Colts – at Jacksonville
  20. Marcel Reece – Oakland Raiders – at Baltimore
  21. Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
  22. Shonn Greene – New York Jets – at Seattle
  23. Mikel Leshoure – Detroit Lions – at Minnesota
  24. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. New York Giants
  25. C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills – at New England
  26. Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – at Philadelphia
  27. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – vs. Denver
  28. Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – at New England
  29. Joique Bell – Detroit Lions – at Minnesota
  30. Shane Vereen – New England Patriots – vs. Buffalo
  31. Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – at San Francisco
  32. Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins – vs. Tennessee
  33. Andre Brown – New York Giants – at Cincinnati
  34. Jacquizz Rodgers – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
  35. Daryl Richardson – St. Louis Rams – at San Francisco
  36. Michael Bush – Chicago Bears – vs. Houston
  37. Ronnie Hillman – Denver Broncos – at Carolina
  38. Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
  39. Peyton Hillis – Kansas City Chiefs – at Pittsburgh
  40. Kendall Hunter – San Francisco 49ers – vs. St. Louis


  • There are very few NFL running backs who are both every down backs and virtually match-up proof, but Doug Martin has quickly entrenched himself among them.  Coming off a week where he rushed for 251 yards and 4 TD (over the past two weeks he has a total of 486 total yards and six touchdowns), does it really matter who he is facing?  Martin is a Top 10 back every single week at this point.
  • We all know that Arian Foster is an elite back and should produce, but the Chicago Bears defense boasts a very difficult test.  While I obviously wouldn’t bench him, he’s more of a low-end RB1 this week.
  • It’s hard not to like Matt Forte, but the Houston Texans have not yet allowed a rushing touchdown this season.  It’s obviously a tough match-up and limits his potential value.
  • Michael Turner has not been a major cog in the Falcons’ offense this season (though he did have a big performance in Week 9), but this week the match-up should yield much better results.  The New Orleans Saints are among the worst rushing defenses in the league, allowing 170.1 rushing yards per game and 9 TD.  He should be considered a RB1 this week.
  • Every week there is a lot of hype surrounding Ryan Mathews, yet he has yet to truly produce his breakout performance (including going scoreless the past three weeks).  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter Week 10 allowing a league best 77.2 rushing yards per game, so you have to wonder if this will actually be the week he puts it together.  I would consider him more of a high-end RB2, given his lack of production and the match-up, but there is too much upside to completely ignore.
  • The Buffalo Bills have allowed 14 rushing touchdowns this season, so all Patriot running backs could be in play for those desperate for a FLEX option.  However, Stevan Ridley obviously leads the way and is a viable RB1.
  • Both Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are likely out for Week 10.  That leaves Marcel Reece as the last man standing and likely viable option in all formats as either a RB2 or FLEX option.
  • Will DeMarco Murray be able to return for Week 10?  It’s a big question mark.  He’s excluded, for now, but if he’s healthy he is going to be a viable option.
  • Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell split carries, but it was Leshoure who got the bulk of the TD opportunities in Week 9.  That makes him the better option, though the carry split suppresses both of their values.
  • Jonathan Dwyer, Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman…  Who will be healthy in Week 10?  Who will lead the way?  Time will tell, but this is quickly becoming a confusing fantasy situation to try and decipher.  For now Redman appears to be the top option, with the other two unsure to even play.  However, if more than one of the backs is on the field the team will likely ride the hot hand.
  • With Donald Brown hurting, we are currently leaving him off the rankings.  However, if healthy he would likely just slide into Vick Ballard’s spot on the rankings.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 10 rankings:


Week 10 Rankings: Top 50 Wide Receivers
Week 10 Rankings: Top 25 Tight Ends


  1. Aaron says:

    Hey professor! Between Lynch, Forte, Ballard, and Leshoure which 3 would u play? Non ppr league.

  2. Jason says:

    I have charles, mccoy, leshoure as rbs.
    d.thomas, d.moore, t.young, t.hilton, p.harvin, a. brown as recievers. o.daniels, a.hernandez as te. Need to fill 2 rbs, 3 wrs, 1 flex, and 1 te. who do i go with.

  3. 513Rookie says:

    Another week, another Jamaal Charles dilemma…What do I do with this guy? He’s got no trade value nor lineup value. KC’s coaching is a joke and their schedule is tough. I can grab Ballard, Redman, Leshoure, Sproles, or Rodgers off waivers but I’d have to let Charles go (my other RBs: McCoy, Ridley, Andre Brown). Am I losing much by dropping Charles at this point in the season? I just don’t see him helping me much the rest of the year, whereas one of the free agents could help boster my running attack.

  4. Aaron – Lynch & Forte are locks. If Brown is out, then I would definitely go Ballard. Otherwise, probably Leshoure but a coin flip.

    RN – McCoy & Charles
    WR – depends on health of Harvin & Brown, but seems like may be without both. I’d say Thomas, Moore & young under those circumstances
    TE – Daniels
    FLEX – Leshoure

    513Rookie – I absolutely would not drop Charles. I know he as been frustrating, but he has more potential then any of the potential pickups (or Brown for that matter). Can you drop someone else for one of the other backs?

    • 513Rookie says:

      RP: Thanks for the reply… I just picked Brown up because of his TD vulturing, Bradshaw’s durability issues, and my belief that NYG will rest Bradshaw towards the end of the season. League rules dictate even position players, so I can’t drop anyone else.

      Leshoure is my gut pick off waivers because DET offense is starting to gel, whereas KC (in my opinion) is beginning to give up on Crennel.

      If this was a Start/Sit for rest of season, comparing Charles’ and Leshoure’s schedules… who would you go with? Thanks!

  5. Gamer says:

    Need to drop 1. Would like to keep those with potential future value. I haven’t been starting any of these.
    Donald Brown
    Kendal hunter
    Greg Jennings.

    Assuming Dez Bryant or demarco Murray (if healthy) is best flex option over these backs.


  6. Brenden says:

    Am i crazy for starting leshoure over charles this week? I have been pretty stacked at running back with forte, charles, morris, and spiller..but with forte at RB1 and morris having a bye week, i picked up leshoure and started him over charles and spiller..wrong move or simply questionable?

    • Brenden says:

      i also dropped ponder for tannehill with rodgers on bye week and started tannehill over ponder at QB2, and picked up michael crabtree but left him on bench to start bowe..figured id get all the moves im a little unsure about out of the way all at once haha, main question is RB2 though

  7. 513Rookie – Problem with Leshoure is tha Bell s quickly eating to his carries. I know the Choefs have noted Charles well, but I would expect them to now force feed him the ball for a few weeks.

    Gamer – Dnasty or not? Long-term, Brown is the guy I would drop. Just for this season, it would be Hunter.

    Brenden – Leshoure over Spiller isn’t crazy, but I would stick with Charles over him. We just don’t know how Detroit is going to break up the carries. The only reason Leshoure had more value than Bell in Week 9 was because he scored three times. Obviously wouldn’t count on that every week. As for Hilton, he and Crabtree are close enough to consider it a coin flip.

  8. Nemo says:

    So a flex questions; Fred Jax Stevie Johnson or Aaron Hernandez (I’m hurting with Mendenhall, Sproles hurt and Morris on a bye)

    • A lot is going to depend on the news over the next few days. We don’t know what is exactly going on with Hernandez and, while Johnson appears on track to play he too needs to be monitored.

      With Jackson, are we all sold that C.J. Spiller isn’t going to get significant carries?

      I’d probably go Johnson, if everyone is healthy, though Hernandez is a very close second choice.

  9. SmeltD says:

    Do I play CJ2K or R. Jennings at flex? If it weren’t for the 80 yarder, CJ would have had a bogus week. But Jennings hasn’t done jack either. I’m leaning toward Johnson because he’s a garbage troll at least.

  10. Andy says:

    Professor: I will start Ray Rice and Willis McGahee this week and bench Ryan Mathews. Alfred Morris is out. I started R Mathews 3 weeks ago and he let me down. Do you think i should drop Mathews for Ahmad Bradshaw or Jamaal Charles for week 12-16? Thanks.

  11. Smelt – hope you went Johnson

    Andy – absolutely not. Mathews should be the better back, though I would love to also have Charles, if possible.

  12. Brandon says:

    Do you think I should sell high on Martin. I got offered mcgahee and jordy Nelson for him.

  13. muddy cleats 18 says:

    need 1 rb and 1 flex between this bunch…
    J. Stewart
    Andre Brown
    there is Taiwan and Donald Jones on waivers….Could also pickup Brandon Myers to use in the flex…

    • For me, Amendola is the must play at the FLEX. He is going to be the go to receiver in St. Louis again.

      As for the RB, it’s a crazy toss up. It’s between Stewart and Dwyer for me, because I think Stewart has a better chance to get a significant number of carries. That siad, it’s gut call.

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