Week 14 of the 2011 NFL season picks back up on Sunday after a Steelers-Browns appetizer. Thursday was a relatively quiet day for running backs and fantasy owners will look for big performances on Sunday. For many folks, Week 14 is the start of their fantasy playoffs, which means running back performances are all the more important.
This weekend, there are numerous notable running back injuries that might require you to find an alternative. Adrian Peterson and Kevin Smith are both questionable for Sunday and will be game-time decisions, with most people pessimistic that they will play. That means Toby Gerhart and Maurice Morris are likely to get the starts for the Vikings and Lions, respectively. Fittingly enough, they will be facing each other Ford Field. Neither is a great start, but I would argue Toby Gerhart has more upside.
The Chicago Bears running back situation raises plenty of question marks. Marion Barber will get the start with Kahlil Bell likely handling a lot of third down work. Barber is the smarter start, but watch out for Bell grabbing a few carries of his own. Toby Gerhart had a solid day at the Broncos last week and I think the Bears could find some success of their own on the ground. Bell is a guy to consider stashing, but he'll need a big game today if he is going to have any value these couple of weeks before Forte gets back.
Here are the top 15 running back projections for Week 14. You can view all the projections at numberFire.com. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams. Follow us on twitter @sbnationfantasy.