Fantasy Player Projections

 
Running Backs
RankTeamPlayerProjectionOpponent
1bearsMatt Forte

Matt Forte

102 rush yards, rush TD, 4 rec, 47 rec yards

The Panthers are giving up 120.3 rushing yards per game and have allowed 100-yard games to Pierre Thomas, Andre Brown and Michael Turner. Last year Forte gained 228 yards from scrimmage against Carolina. Yep, he should do just fine in this contest.

vspanthers
2chiefsJamaal Charles

Jamaal Charles

110 rush yards, rush TD, 3 rec, 35 rec yards

Charles' 591 rushing yards place him sixth in the NFL, although he's the only one among that top group who has had a bye week. Keep the former Longhorns tailback in your starting lineup against all comers, including the Raiders in Week 8.

vsraiders
349ersFrank Gore

Frank Gore

105 rush yards, rush TD, 4 rec, 35 rec yards

Gore had his biggest day yet this season last Thursday against Seattle, rushing 16 times for 131 yards despite dealing with bruised ribs. Only Marshawn Lynch has more rushing yards than Gore, who remains a top-12 running back.

atcardinals
4titansChris Johnson

Chris Johnson

101 rush yards, rush TD, 3 rec, 29 rec yards

We hate to predict a big week for Johnson, but the stars are aligned. The Colts got run over in Week 6 by Shonn Greene, who might be the only back in pro football less reliable than Johnson.

vscolts
5raidersDarren McFadden

Darren McFadden

85 rush yards, rush TD, 5 rec, 45 rec yards

McFadden could only muster 53 yards on 19 rushes against the Jaguars in Week 7. He also caught four passes for 28 yards, but that kind of production does not befit a first-round fantasy pick like McFadden. He should rebound against a mediocre Chiefs rush defense.

atchiefs
6vikingsAdrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson

80 rush yards, rush TD, 5 rec, 45 rec yards

Peterson had another vintage game against Arizona in Week 7, rushing for 153 yards and a touchdown. After Arian Foster and Ray Rice, it's tough to find a better fantasy back than Peterson right now.

vsbuccaneers
7chargersRyan Mathews

Ryan Mathews

85 rush yards, rush TD, 4 rec, 35 rec yards

Mathews leads the Chargers with 259 rushing yards, despite missing time with injury earlier this season. He has just one touchdown, however, and the Browns have allowed five rushing touchdowns all season. Mathews is a must-start player coming out of the bye.

atbrowns
8broncosWillis McGahee

Willis McGahee

80 rush yards, rush TD, 4 rec, 35 rec yards

McGahee has 432 rushing yards, 133 receiving yards and three total touchdowns in six games this season. He has to be considered a top-20 running back in fantasy play coming out of his bye week.

vssaints
9dolphinsReggie Bush

Reggie Bush

90 rush yards, rush TD, 4 rec, 24 rec yards

Bush has 434 rushing yards and three touchdowns after six games. He also has 17 grabs for 140 yards, but his goal of leading the league in rushing might be toast. Even so, start him in Week 8, coming off a bye week, against the Jets.

atjets
10seahawksMarshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch

78 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 26 rec yards

Lynch has not contributed much as a receiver this season, but he's been steady on the ground, gaining 85 or more yards in six of seven games. He'll be a handful for a Lions defense allowing 108.8 rushing yards per game.

atlions
11eaglesLeSean McCoy

LeSean McCoy

84 rush yards, rush TD, 3 rec, 18 rec yards

Despite McCoy's explosiveness, opposing defenses have limited him to just three touchdowns in six games and 4.5 yards per catch. At least this week's matchup is favorable. The Falcons have allowed 5.2 yards per carry, and in their last contest they gave up 149 yards rushing to Oakland.

vsfalcons
12jetsShonn Greene

Shonn Greene

60 rush yards, rush TD, 4 rec, 35 rec yards

Greene rushed 16 times for 54 yards and a touchdown at New England in Week 7. He even caught six passes for 34 yards. Greene has suddenly come on in recent weeks, and even though the Dolphins have allowed just three rushing touchdowns this season, Greene could find success again.

vsdolphins
13redskinsAlfred Morris

Alfred Morris

81 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 13 rec yards

Don't preach to Morris about Pittsburgh's run defense; he's faced good run defenses on the road already and has posted good results (113 yards against Tampa Bay, 5.6 yards per carry against St. Louis). This rookie will be ready.

atsteelers
14buccaneersDoug Martin

Doug Martin

55 rush yards, rush TD, 3 rec, 35 rec yards

Martin rushed 16 times against the Saints in Week 7, for 85 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes and has proven to be a big-play back when he gets enough touches. The Vikings are solid against the rush, but Martin is still a good fantasy option.

atvikings
15saintsDarren Sproles

Darren Sproles

35 rush yards, 5 rec, 50 rec yards, rec TD

Sproles had just nine touches against the Buccaneers in Week 7, rushing five times for 27 yards and catching four passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. He remains a perfect flex option, or even an RB2 in PPR leagues.

atbroncos
16lionsMikel LeShoure

Mikel LeShoure

54 rush yards, 3 rec, 28 rec yards, rec TD

Leshoure has shown promise, but for one reason or another has not been able to put his best effort on the field. Nothing will change this week when the Lions welcome Seattle's stout defense to town. The Seahawks give up just 3.7 yards per carry. Leshoure could get luck and punch one in through the air, though.

vsseahawks
17falconsMichael Turner

Michael Turner

74 rush yards, rush TD, 1 rec, 7 rec yards

The bye week probably helped Turner more than anyone, as he was coming off two disappointing performances against a pair of subpar run defenses. Turner gained 146 yards from scrimmage when Atlanta faced Philly in 2011.

ateagles
18patriotsStevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley

70 rush yards, rush TD, 1 rec, 10 rec yards

Ridley was expected to have a tough day against the Jets and that's exactly what happened, with just 65 yards on 17 carries. Ridley's going through a tough stretch on the schedule, but he remains a decent RB2 in most fantasy formats against the Rams.

atrams
19giantsAhmad Bradshaw

Ahmad Bradshaw

69 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 8 rec yards

Much of Bradshaw's 78 yards in the first meeting with Dallas came on a 33-yard run. For most of the night Dallas held him in check. He is hungry for more carries, but this game will be like the first -- tough and physical with little give at the line of scrimmage. Bradshaw may score, but don't expect huge yardage.

atcowboys
20saintsPierre Thomas

Pierre Thomas

40 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 22 rec yards

The Saints gave the ball to Thomas 13 times for 32 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has a stout rushing defense, so those were hard yards. The Broncos aren't as good against the rush, but Thomas is still a better than flex than RB2.

atbroncos
21jaguarsRashad Jennings

Rashad Jennings

72 rush yards, 2 rec, 16 rec yards

Jennings steps in for the injured Maurice Jones-Drew, whose bum foot will likely keep him out of the lineup for several weeks. Jennings will be a hot commodity on the waiver wire, but consider that he has averaged just 2.6 yards per carry this season behind the same line that helped MJD average 4.8.

atpackers
22packersAlex Green

Alex Green

66 rush yards, 3 rec, 22 rec yards

Green averaged just 1.8 yards per touch against St. Louis. Despite that, the team still believes he's a better option than the rest of what's left on the roster. Green isn't a no-brainer start, but he could see a bump against Jacksonville's 29th-ranked run defense.

vsjaguars
23cardinalsLaRod Stephens-Howlin

LaRod Stephens-Howlin

55 rush yards, 4 rec, 30 rec yards

Stephens-Howling rushed 20 times for 104 yards and a touchdown against Minnesota, shocking many who expected him to do more damage through the air. He did also catch four passes for 45 yards. As long as the Cardinals keep using him as the main back, he's worth using as a flex.

vs49ers
24brownsTrent Richardson

Trent Richardson

55 rush yards, 3 rec, 25 rec yards

Richardson rushed eight times for just eight yards at Indianapolis in Week 7, before leaving the game with a rib injury. While he's expected to play, fantasy owners might want to use a healthier alternative in Week 8 against the Chargers.

vschargers
25ramsSteven Jackson

Steven Jackson

45 rush yards, 4 rec, 35 rec yards

Jackson finally got his first rushing touchdown of the season, in Week 7 against the Packers, on a day when he rushed 12 times for 57 yards. The Patriots have a pretty good rushing defense, however, and they have allowed only three rushing touchdowns.

vspatriots
26coltsVick Ballard

Vick Ballard

66 rush yards, 2 rec, 13 rec yards

It appears Donald Brown needs one more week of rest, allowing Ballard one more game to cling to his "starting" job. Fantasy owners shouldn't get too excited: If you eliminate Ballard's longest run of Week 7, he would have averaged just 3.0 yards on his other 19 rushing attempts. It's hard to believe, but Indianapolis misses Brown.

attitans
27patriotsDanny Woodhead

Danny Woodhead

35 rush yards, 4 rec, 40 rec yards

Woodhead totaled 46 yards on 10 touches against his former team in Week 7, and he remains a hit-or-miss fantasy starter in larger leagues. He faces a mediocre Rams defense in Week 8.

atrams
28ramsDaryl Richardson

Daryl Richardson

30 rush yards, 3 rec, 30 rec yards

Richardson rushed 10 times for 36 yards and caught three passes for 43 yards against the Packers. The Patriots are strong against the run, so consider a different flex player in Week 8.

vspatriots
29cowboysFelix Jones

Felix Jones

53 rush yards, 1 rec, 9 rec yards

Jones left last week with a strained neck and bruised knee, but it appears he'll be ready to go come Sunday. He did not show much explosion last week, and we're less than optimistic about his prospects for this key divisional game.

vsgiants
30chiefsShaun Draughn

Shaun Draughn

26 rush yards, 3 rec, 25 rec yards

With Peyton Hillis still nursing a sore ankle, Draughn got 11 carries against the Buccaneers in Week 7, but he finished with just 11 yards. If both Jamaal Charles and Hillis were out, Draughn would be a nice waiver pickup.

vsraiders
31steelersJonathan Dwyer

Jonathan Dwyer

32 rush yards, 2 rec, 18 rec yards

Dwyer had a huge game last week, but with Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman primed to return to the lineup, he's expected to fall back down the depth chart. Fantasy owners should keep an eye on this situation; if Mendenhall and Redman are unable to go, Dwyer will be worth putting in the lineup.

vsredskins
32brownsMontario Hardesty

Montario Hardesty

35 rush yards, 2 rec, 15 rec yards

Hardesty rushed seven times for 28 yards at Indianapolis as Trent Richardson's backup in Week 7. If Richardson is unable to play in Week 8, Hardesty could be a cheap waiver-wire pickup for flex spots in many leagues.

vschargers
33cardinalsWilliam Powell

William Powell

35 rush yards, 2 rec, 15 rec yards

Powell had four carries for 13 yards at Minnesota in Week 7. With LaRod Stephens-Howling having a big game, we might not see much of Powell in the coming weeks.

vs49ers
34jetsJoe McKnight

Joe McKnight

25 rush yards, 3 rec, 24 rec yards

McKnight had seven carries for 23 yards and no catches against the Patriots in Week 7. He's not much of a fantasy option in Week 8 against the Dolphins.

vsdolphins
3549ersKendall Hunter

Kendall Hunter

25 rush yards, 2 rec, 20 rec yards

Hunter had nine carries for 31 rushing yards against the Seahawks in Week 7. While his best value is as Gore's fantasy handcuff, he does offer some weekly stats that can help owners in larger leagues.

atcardinals
36chargersJackie Battle

Jackie Battle

25 rush yards, 2 rec, 15 rec yards

Battle is second on the Chargers with 176 rushing yards this season, and his four touchdowns lead the entire team. He's a nice flex option against the Browns' mediocre rushing defense.

atbrowns
37steelersRashard Mendenhall

Rashard Mendenhall

39 rush yards, 1 rec, 7 rec yards

Mendenhall will be a game-time decision, but if he plays he will start. His status makes him a risky option for fantasy owners, and even he is able to go, the Steelers will likely split up the carries among multiple backs.

vsredskins
38falconsJacquizz Rodgers

Jacquizz Rodgers

14 rush yards, 2 rec, 24 rec yards

Rodgers' average yards per carry have declined in each of the Falcons' last four games, and so have his touches. Rodgers has done little with the opportunities he's been given, which has helped Michael Turner remain relevant on the field and among fantasy owners.

ateagles
39broncosRonnie Hillman

Ronnie Hillman

20 rush yards, 2 rec, 15 rec yards

Hillman has 50 rushing yards on 17 carries, with four catches for 37 yards this season. The rookie is starting to see more action in the Broncos' offense, and he would be the No. 1 priority on the waiver wire if Willis McGahee ever got injured.

vssaints
40panthersJonathan Stewart

Jonathan Stewart

33 rush yards, 2 rec, 9 rec yards

Stewart gained 46 yards on a season-high 13 touches last week. It's hard to decide what irks more: the minimal yardage or the fact that 13 touches established a season high. Regardless, Stewart is probably not good enough for your lineup right now, even as a flex starter.

atbears
41dolphinsLamar Miller

Lamar Miller

30 rush yards

Miller is second on the team with 126 rushing yards, despite Daniel Thomas getting more carries. Miller should be the backup to Reggie Bush for most of the second half, and fantasy owners would do well to pick him up if Bush gets injured.

atjets
42steelersIsaac Redman

Isaac Redman

27 rush yards, 1 rec, 6 rec yards

Redman is expected back at practice this week, and will see action in Sunday’s game against the Redskins. Fantasy owners are best off waiting to see how Redman's ankle holds up and how carries are distributed.

vsredskins
43saintsMark Ingram

Mark Ingram

25 rush yards

Ingram rushed seven times for 21 yards at Tampa Bay in Week 7, and he continues to be a disappointment in fantasy owners' eyes. If you don't have large rosters (16 players or above), then feel free to move on without the Heisman winner.

atbroncos
44panthersDeAngelo Williams

DeAngelo Williams

22 rush yards, 1 rec, 4 rec yards

Oh, the torture. Do we need to go through this every week? No, Williams is not a safe play for your fantasy team. No, the matchup does not suit him -- no matchup does.

atbears
45bearsMichael Bush

Michael Bush

21 rush yards, 1 rec, 6 rec yards

Bush has averaged eight touches and 40.6 yards from scrimmage over the past three games. Unless Matt Forte suffers an injury, those numbers are not going to change, making Bush useless to fantasy owners.

vspanthers
46giantsAndre Brown

Andre Brown

18 rush yards

Brown picked up a touchdown last week, but he is still clearly the No. 2 back on this roster. With Ahmad Bradshaw back to full health, Brown will see even less work this week.

atcowboys
47lionsJoique Bell

Joique Bell

16 rush yards, 1 rec, 10 rec yards

Bell has not experienced a surge in touches, as some predicted. The Lions will continue to use their primary backup to spell Mikel Leshoure when necessary, but most weeks that will not add up to much fantasy production.

vsseahawks
48cowboysPhillip Tanner

Phillip Tanner

16 rush yards, 1 rec, 4 rec yards

Tanner lacked explosion when running 13 times against Carolina last weekend. He hasn't seen much action this season, but with DeMarco Murray doubtful and Felix Jones fresh off injury, Tanner could see plenty of work in this contest.

vsgiants
49dolphinsDaniel Thomas

Daniel Thomas

15 rush yards

Thomas has 113 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns this season in six games. Lamar Miller is looking like the better backup to Reggie Bush for the second half, as Thomas tries to shake off a concussion.

atjets
50raidersMike Goodson

Mike Goodson

15 rush yards, 1 rec, 10 rec yards

Goodson had just one touch in Week 7 against Jacksonville, as he caught one pass for six yards. Fantasy owners should only be looking to Goodson as a potential handcuff to Darren McFadden.

atchiefs
51vikingsToby Gerhart

Toby Gerhart

12 rush yards, 1 rec, 10 rec yards

Gerhart rushed just one time for one yard against the Cardinals in Week 7. Adrian Peterson has proven to be healthy enough to lean on almost entirely in the running game, making Gerhart nothing better than a handcuff.

vsbuccaneers
52giantsDavid Wilson

David Wilson

8 rush yards

We're beyond the point of guessing "when" Wilson will make his grand entrance. Now it's a question of "if." With Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown fighting for reps, all Wilson can do is wait.

atcowboys
53buccaneersLeGarrette Blount

LeGarrette Blount

10 rush yards

Blount saw little action against the Saints, and rightfully so, with five carries for minus-two yards. Doug Martin is fully entrenched as the top option for Tampa Bay on the ground.

atvikings
 
 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Playoffs NHL Playoffs NFL schedule LaMarcus Aldridge Michael Pineda Phil Jackson Tiger Woods
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines, your California privacy rights, and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint