Fantasy Football 2012 Rankings: Running Back Carnage

July 26, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) during training camp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Welp... Thursday night had the injury we all thought would be inevitable. Ryan Mathews broke his clavicle and is expected to miss up to six weeks. This is absolutely devastating news and it will cripple his fantasy value. Yes, the Fresno State star missing six weeks is bad, but the more debilitating issue for his value is worrying about it happening again. Mathews got one carry on Thursday. One Carry. One broken collar bone. Get well soon, Ryan.

Trent Richardson also is going to miss the entire preseason and the Browns are hopeful he can debut for Week 1. It's an optimistic goal, but it certainly could happen. Once again, the major ding to his value lies in the concern of him getting hurt for a second time and possibly requiring a third surgery in 2012 -- he had a small procedure in February. Welcome to the wonderful world of running backs.

Twitter madness, you guys.

Rank Running Back
1 Arian Foster
2 LeSean McCoy
3 Ray Rice
4 Chris Johnson
5 Darren McFadden
6 DeMarco Murray
7 Jamaal Charles
8 Maurice Jones-Drew
9 Matt Forte
10 Adrian Peterson
11 Doug Martin
12 Steven Jackson
13 Reggie Bush
14 Ryan Mathews
15 Trent Richardson

Changes in perception: There is a fairly sizable cliff after these 15 guys. I'd rather roll the dice on the infirmary twins of Mathews and T-Rich over the fellows below. I'd also think that based on my experience, a handful of owners will licking their chops to trade for Mathews or Richardson because of the hype that surrounded them. Just about every site and writer was raving about both guys, so someone will likely be willing to trade a heck of a lot as their debuts approach. One other thing I would stress is that Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice almost have to go one, two or three in drafts. Unless your league is very QB friendly -- big bonuses at 300 yards, six points per passing score or bonuses for completions-- you probably shouldn't go with Rodgers. What's more, this also puts Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden ahead of Rodgers and Megatron in even a less competitive standard league. Running backs have been getting messy and it's August 10th today. Pretty crazy.

Rank Running Back
16 Marshawn Lynch
17 Fred Jackson
18 Stevan Ridley
19 Frank Gore
20 Ahmad Bradshaw
21 Darren Sproles
22 Michael Turner
23 Ben Tate
24 David Wilson
25 James Starks
26 Shonn Greene
27 Donald Brown
28 Roy Helu
29 Evan Royster
30 Ryan Williams

Usually, we get excited about backs gaining value during the preseason. Well, 2012 has been the inverse of that with a multitude of backs seeing their stock drop in the past week. As a result, Marshawn Lynch jumped up eight spots just by the other backs losing their luster. He's still a risky pick and I don't think I'll be drafting him. Stevan Ridley and Evan Royster are two of the hottest names in camp. Both of these two offer tremendous upside and it's hard to believe that neither guy was even sniffing RB3 status in 10-team leagues a couple months ago. David Wilson also closed the gap a little bit on Ahmad Bradshaw. The Giants running back coach said the rookie will be an "integral part" of their offense this year. RBBC time. Shonn Greene has also looked bad in camp while Bilal Powell has been effective in the passing game to complement his between-the-tackles style on the ground.

Check back for updates.

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