Week 11 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

Will DeMarco Murray or Darren McFadden return to the field in Week 11?  Has Steven Jackson suddenly rediscovered his old form?  How far should Ryan Mathews fall down the rankings?  Let’s try to answer these questions and all the rest with a look at our Week 11 rankings:

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


  • Anyone who thought that Doug Martin would slow down after his enormous Week 9 performance was quickly proven wrong.  While he failed to find the end zone, he posted 119 total yards (68 rushing, 51 receiving), his fifth consecutive 100+ total yard performance.  This week he takes on a Panthers team who he got for 118 yards in the season opener (95 rushing, 23 passing).  In other words, there is no reason to think he is going to slow down now.
  • Ray Rice remains a RB1, despite a tough matchup, but there are plenty of reasons for concern.  Mainly, he has posted 68 total yards or fewer in two of his past three games.  While I would expect a rebound it is just as likely that the Ravens continue to go pass heavy.
  • With Michael Vick banged up could this finally be the week that the Eagles simply try to feed LeSean McCoy in order to help open things up for rookie Nick Foles?  Time will tell, but one would hope so.
  • Granted, the Dolphins were down early and therefore unable to pass the ball significantly, but the performance from Reggie Bush in Week 10 was dreadful.  He rushed for 21 yards (the same amount as Daniel Thomas), while getting 8 receiving yards before he was pulled from the game after fumbling.  Bush has actually struggled for three consecutive weeks, failing to exceed 66 total yards, scoring one touchdown and losing two fumbles.  It’s not like Daniel Thomas has been much better, but it also wouldn’t be shocking to see Thomas emerge as the more productive back this week against a Bills defense that can be gashed by the run.  Consider both viable options, given the matchup.  While I would prefer to use Bush, Thomas is worth considering as a FLEX.
  • Maybe there is life for Steven Jackson left after all.  He got 29 carries last week, turning them into 101 yards and a touchdown against a tough 49ers defense.  This week he gets a Jets team that has allowed 145.0 rushing yards per game, as well as 10 touchdowns (and watched Marshawn Lynch go for 124 yards and a touchdown in Week 10).  In other words, while Jackson could lose some touches to Daryl Richardson, he actually holds RB1 appeal.
  • Should we continue to hype the potential of Ryan Mathews or has the time come to give up on him?  As a RB1 I still can’t trust him, but there is too much potential value to simply write him off.  While the disappointing performances continue to mount, you have to think that sooner or later a big game will emerge.
  • The thought of Joique Bell stealing carries from Mikel Leshoure continues despite Bell being given one carry to Leshoure’s 13.  At the same time, however, Bell caught seven passes, so he clearly was still a major factor in the game plan.  The time share is going to continue to deflate both backs potential value.  With the Lions likely having to pass significantly to keep up with the Packers, Bell could easily outperform Leshoure.
  • Will DeMarco Murray return this week?  Given the matchup, he would likely be a RB1 had he not missed significant time.  That said, we’ll have to monitor the news.  If he plays, Felix Jones obviously plummets down the rankings
  • Do we all remember how productive C.J. Spiller was earlier in the season when Fred Jackson was out?  Well, Jackson has already been ruled out for Week 11, sending Spiller shooting up our rankings.  In any game that Spiller has had at least 13 touches this season he has had at least 100 total yards (five games).
  • For now I am ranking Isaac Redman as the top option in Pittsburgh, but who knows for sure.  It’s a fluid situation based on health, as well as who the hot hand is.  It’s a tough situation to trust at this point.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings:

Breaking Down The Backfield: Where Is The Value In New Orleans?
Week 11 Rankings: Top 25 Tight Ends


  1. bucsfan17345 says:

    I am trading away one of my backs for Peyton manning. Jamall Charles or Trent Richardson

  2. bucsfan17345 says:

    Ridley and foster

  3. bucsfan17345 says:

    And I have cam newton as qbs

  4. jason says:

    Who do I start in flex position? Titus young or mikel leshoure

  5. Brenden says:

    Starting Spiller..who goes at rb2? forte, morris, or charles?

  6. jason – generally I would say Leshoure, but i think there is going to be lots of passing. Coin flip, but I would lean Young.

    Brenden – good problem to have. Morris slightly over Charles for me, but either works

  7. robert ferguson says:

    My RB’s are as follows: Rice, BGE, D. Thomas, Brown, Stewart. Do you think Jaquizz Rogers, Beanie, or Ced Ben would be a good speculative play for Stewart down the stretch? Thanks.

    • Yea, I actually really like Beanie Wells for the last few weeks. Is his upside greater than Stewart’s? It’s close, but if you aren’t going to use Stewart (or don’t have someone else to drop), I don’t think it’ll hurt.

  8. Travis says:

    I need help badly need to pick one for flex leshoure,D Thomas,don brown,Jon Stewart thank you

  9. Jace says:

    I love reading your articles/rankings. I have 2 questions for you.

    1.) In a 12 team PPR league, I have Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall as my 2 WRs. I have Trent Richardson and Marcel Reece in as my RBs. I need to start one of the following as my flex (in PPR): James Jones, Lance Moore, Dwayne Bowe, or Mikel Leshoure?

    2.) Luckily I picked up and played Carson Palmer last week over Michael Vick and Jay Cutler. Would you drop Cutler or Reece (after this week’s game) to add Beanie Wells…my other RBs are Richardson, Sproles, Reece, and Leshoure?

  10. Travis – Glad we missed Thomas! I’d lean Leshourt, but it’s a toss-up

    Jace – As far as Wells goes, he is definitely worth stashing. Reece could have value, depending on the availability of McFadden. What other QB are available on waivers? Cutler hsn’t been that good and, with the winter months coming, could struggle in Chicago.

    As for the FLEX, Bowe has the most upside so he’s the way I’d go.

  11. Andrew H says:

    Hey I made a few good trades and now I feel I am pretty stacked at rb. I have ray rice and foster locked as my starters. My wr are pretty week though. I need 2 wrs and a flex. I have m Wallace Steve smith and Danny amadola. I also have Matt forte. 1 point ppr. I would usually start forte as my flex but I’m worried about the matchup. Thx for any advice you can give.

  12. bucsfan17345 says:

    My wRs are miles Austin, decker, amendola and roddy white. Rbs are Richardson, foster and Ridley. Have 2 rb spots, 2 wr spots and 1 flex. Who do I play

  13. RB – Foster & Richardson
    WR – White & Decker
    FLEX – Ridley

    Good problem to have, though

  14. Jayce says:

    Hey Professor,
    I have 2 old/broken RB’s this week and need 1 plug and play. Joique Bell, Stephens-Howling, and Chris Ivory are available.

    For the Flex: Dez Bryant, James Jones, or Larry Fitz

    Thanks a lot!

    • If Sproles is playing, Ivory is a tough ply. The more and more I th about it, the more I lie Bell this week (especially in a PPR), though they aren’t going to completely ignore Leshoure.

      I would say Stephens-Howling, though Bell is higher risk, higher reward.

      FLEX – I would stick with Fitzgerald

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