Hey, quick question: Was Arian Foster supposed to be named "Adrian"? Did his parents forget a letter? Just wondering; you don't see "Arian" much.
Anyway, looking ahead to Week 9, fantasy owners are going to have to do without so-far studs like Knowshon Moreno, Reggie Bush, Frank Gore and Peyton Hillis (just kidding). There's a popular perception that, so far this year, the start-of-season running-back rankings were a disaster, and it's become a crapshoot. That's true in some ways, certainly if you started the year with Ray Rice and Doug Martin (hey, they were mine) or C.J. Spiller and Trent Richardson. But six of the top seven in running yardage through eight weeks were in ESPN's preseason top ten. All of the top eight started the year in the top 14. Heck, even Martin, who has been such a disappointment and injured, is tied for 11th in rushing yards.
Meanwhile, only four of the preseason top-ten wide receivers currently have the same standing in receiving yards. And no running back has remotely been the disaster that Roddy White or Randall Cobb have been (even though those two have good excuses). Yeah, running back has been confusing, but not that confusing.
At least, assuming you weren't me. Owning Martin and Rice was rough, guys.
Meanwhile, a fun race for most overall yardage is shaping up so far. Jamaal Charles (the only guy in the NFL with 100-plus yards in every game this year) sits at 1,018 yards, while LeSean McCoy has 1,017. Reggie Bush, with 853 yards, sits in third, so the aforementioned pair should have the battle to themselves for a little while at least.
Alright, those were my talking points, let's move on to the explanations of a few rankings:
Eddie Lacy, GB - Take out his concussion-shortened outing in Week 2, when he got only one carry before his departure, and Lacy is averaging better than 100 yards a game, with three touchdowns. Now he's one of an ever-diminishing number of weapons available to Green Bay, and he gets a home game against a Chicago Bears defense that is in the bottom eight in the league in yards per game allowed. Lacy comes in fourth in standard-league rankings, sliding to sixth in PPR by virtue of his low reception number. Either way, Lacy is a huge value going forward.
Fred Jackson, BUF - I mentioned in this week's Ticker that I'm a proponent of selling on Jackson. Yeah, C.J. Spiller is hurt (and I don't expect him to play this week, explaining his absence in the rankings), but Jackson's value can only go down from here. Even with Spiller banged up, Jackson hasn't topped 60 rushing yards in October, and his yards per carry have been dropping. His value is very touchdown-dependent, and it's not like he's the picture of health. That said, Jackson is still most viable weapon the Bills have right now, particularly against a Chiefs defense that doesn't let quarterbacks do much of anything. I might not love Jackson in the long run, but this week, he's 12th in standard, ninth in PPR.
Pierre Thomas, NO - I don't really know what it is they do with running backs in New Orleans. First they had Darren Sproles, who catches more passes than half the league's wide receivers, then Thomas joins the fold. In his first two years, more than 80 percent of his touches came via runs. And now in two of the last three years, it's been below 70 percent. Somehow running backs join the Saints and they become pass-catchers. Anyway, Thomas is facing a Jets defense that is tough against the run, but again ... he doesn't run the ball as much anymore. That's why I have him 24th in standard scoring and, with that pass-catching of his, he climbs to 20th in PPR.
Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL - Steven Jackson returned last week, but in name only. He wasn't ready yet, and it was obvious in his performance. With the team facing a Carolina defense that isn't fun for anyone, I expect Jackson's workload to be limited again, leaving more touches for Rodgers, who had four touchdowns in two weeks before last week's disaster in Arizona. Also, he has 27 receptions already this year, helping him somewhat. I have him 25th in standard scoring, and 24th in PPR.
Deji Karim, HOU - I never thought I'd type Deji Karim's name again; frankly, I can't swear I'd ever typed it before. But with Arian Foster and Ben Tate both battling injury, the team signed Karim and a couple others as emergency insurance policies. (By the way, who did Michael Turner piss off? I get that he's bad, but he's better than Deji Karim, isn't he?) I've got Karim at 39th in standard scoring, 43rd in PPR. That ranking is entirely based on the off chance both Foster and Tate are inactive. If either is out there, Karim is unranked. If they're both out, Karim doesn't climb much, even with the bulk of the carries. He's still Deji Karim, guys. I've knocked Foster a bit in my rankings because of the concern, and Tate has slid a lot, both because of his injury worries and because he frankly isn't very good anymore.
Here are the full weekly rankings, for both standard and PPR:
|1||Jamaal Charles, KC||@BUF||Jamaal Charles, KC||@BUF|
|2||Adrian Peterson, MIN||@DAL||Adrian Peterson, MIN||@DAL|
|3||Marshawn Lynch, SEA||TB||LeSean McCoy, PHI||@OAK|
|4||Eddie Lacy, GB||CHI||Matt Forte, CHI||@GB|
|5||LeSean McCoy, PHI||@OAK||Marshawn Lynch, SEA||TB|
|6||Matt Forte, CHI||@GB||Eddie Lacy, GB||CHI|
|7||Alfred Morris, WAS||SD||DeMarco Murray, DAL||MIN|
|8||DeMarco Murray, DAL||MIN||Alfred Morris, WAS||SD|
|9||Ryan Mathews, SD||@WAS||Fred Jackson, BUF||KC|
|10||Stevan Ridley, NE||PIT||Darren Sproles, NO||@NYJ|
|11||Darren McFadden, OAK||PHI||Ryan Mathews, SD||@WAS|
|12||Fred Jackson, BUF||KC||Arian Foster, HOU||IND|
|13||Ray Rice, BAL||@CLE||Stevan Ridley, NE||PIT|
|14||Trent Richardson, IND||@HOU||Darren McFadden, OAK||PHI|
|15||Chris Johnson, TEN||@STL||Ray Rice, BAL||@CLE|
|16||Arian Foster, HOU||IND||Danny Woodhead, SD||@WAS|
|17||Le'Veon Bell, PIT||@NE||Giovani Bernard, CIN||@MIA|
|18||Danny Woodhead, SD||@WAS||Chris Johnson, TEN||@STL|
|19||Giovani Bernard, CIN||@MIA||Le'Veon Bell, PIT||@NE|
|20||Zac Stacy, STL||TEN||Pierre Thomas, NO||@NYJ|
|21||Darren Sproles, NO||@NYJ||Trent Richardson, IND||@HOU|
|22||BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN||@MIA||DeAngelo Williams, CAR||ATL|
|23||DeAngelo Williams, CAR||ATL||Zac Stacy, STL||TEN|
|24||Pierre Thomas, NO||@NYJ||Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL||@CAR|
|25||Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL||@CAR||Mike Tolbert, CAR||ATL|
|26||Mike Tolbert, CAR||ATL||BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN||@MIA|
|27||Lamar Miller, MIA||CIN||Bilal Powell, NYJ||NO|
|28||Bilal Powell, NYJ||NO||Brandon Bolden, NE||PIT|
|29||Brandon Bolden, NE||PIT||Lamar Miller, MIA||CIN|
|30||Steven Jackson, ATL||@CAR||Steven Jackson, ATL||@CAR|
|31||Willis McGahee, CLE||BAL||Roy Helu, WAS||SD|
|32||Roy Helu, WAS||SD||Daryl Richardson, STL||TEN|
|33||Ben Tate, HOU||IND||Ben Tate, HOU||IND|
|34||Daryl Richardson, STL||TEN||Chris Ogbonnaya, CLE||BAL|
|35||Khiry Robinson, NO||@NYJ||Willis McGahee, CLE||BAL|
|36||Donald Brown, IND||@HOU||Donald Brown, IND||@HOU|
|37||Chris Ogbonnaya, CLE||BAL||Khiry Robinson, NO||@NYJ|
|38||Mike James, TB||@SEA||Joseph Randle, DAL||MIN|
|39||Deji Karim, HOU||IND||Marcel Reece, OAK||PHI|
|40||Joseph Randle, DAL||MIN||Rashad Jennings, OAK||PHI|
|41||Marcel Reece, OAK||PHI||Bernard Pierce, CLE||BAL|
|42||Rashad Jennings, OAK||PHI||Daniel Thomas, MIA||CIN|
|43||Bernard Pierce, BAL||@CLE||Deji Karim, HOU||IND|
|44||Daniel Thomas, MIA||CIN||Mike James, TB||@SEA|
|45||Chris Ivory, NYJ||NO||Brian Leonard, TB||@SEA|
|46||Tashard Choice, BUF||KC||Chris Ivory, NYJ||NO|
|47||LeGarrette Blount, NE||PIT||Tashard Choice, BUF||KC|
|48||James Starks, GB||CHI||James Starks, GB||CHI|
|49||Brian Leonard, TB||@SEA||Robert Turbin, SEA||TB|
|50||Jackie Battle, TEN||@STL||Jackie Battle, TEN||@STL|