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Fantasy Football Week 11 Running Back Rankings

Felix Jones is likely going to return this Sunday. Should DeMarco Murray owners be concerned about his value?
Felix Jones is likely going to return this Sunday. Should DeMarco Murray owners be concerned about his value?

"I don't want hope. Hope is killing me. My dream is to become hopeless. When you're hopeless you don't care. And when you don't care, that indifference makes you attractive."

George Costanza was not a wise man. In fact, he is not even a real man, but if he was, chances are he'd be one of those tools on your fantasy league that doesn't set his lineup once he's eliminated. If this sounds like you or someone in your league, it is something that needs to be rectified immediately. There is more than one way to skin the pussy cat here, but no matter how you handle the inactivity it should be a league decision and not just the commissioner's. If you're a new commissioner, it's tough to figure out potential issues since there can be so many unforeseen things. It's better to have a league constitution that you can abide by for the season (here's an example of one of mine from a baseball league. Check it out for ideas or you can copy it and adjust it for football). You can also just use the way I enforce inactivity since I'm unbiased, even though I appreciate you reading.

As per usual, we've got a lot of RB injury news to tackle, so let's get to it:

Injury News and Notes

Before you read these, you might want to check out my weekly Waiver Wire Scoops that gives you all sorts of stats, angles, analysis and the occasional joke in one of the more thorough articles you'll come across in your search for a leg up on the competition.

Felix Jones and Demarco Murray- Felix Jones is on the comeback trail for the Cowboys and he could be returning as soon as Sunday against the Redskins. To the surprise of nobody, Felix will not get his job back due to DeMarco Murray busting out for 170 YPG from scrimmage in his absense. This begs the question: how does one evaluate these two guys? It's pretty simple for me. Murray is a top-25 player at worst and Felix Jones is a player that should be kept on rosters in case of an injury. Don't sell high on Murray and don't give up anything of value for Felix.

Darren McFadden- It is becoming increasingly likely that Run DMC will need to take a seat like a Chris Hansen guest this week against the Vikings. Michael Bush needs to be owned and started as an low-end RB1 this week. Taiwan Jones is also an interesting asset since the Raiders utilized him on sweep and stretch plays on Thursday Night Football. As for DMC, There's a good chance he can return for Week 12 against da Bears.

Ladainian Tomlinson- L.T. reportedly had a setback on his sprained MCL and is out for Thursday Night Football. Since the Jets won't be seeing any T.G.I.T (Thank God It's Teardrops) from Tomlinson, Joe McKnight is expected to get the third-down work. One other thing that I'm projecting is that McKnight should get some snaps in the slot based on how the Jets are so depleted at receiver with Jeremy Kerney and Patrick Turner both likely out for that game, too. While this news is for deeper leagues, all leagues should be able to see the wrath of Shonn Greene. Greene has been running a lot better and has a golden opportunity to be the bell cow. I got a fever! and the only prescription is to consider Greene as a must-start in competitive formats against the 16th-ranked run D of Denver.

Tashard Choice- Mike Shanahan basically said he doesn't know whether or not Choice will suit up against his former team. Translation: Choice will have 45 carries for 38 yards and a score. In all seriousness, you can go ahead and grab Choice if you like. After Helu CLEARLY (oh yeah, caps, bold and italics) outplayed Ryan Torain with his 6.8 YPC on six totes compared to Torain's poultry 1.8 on 11.

Willis McGahee- I covered the Bronco backfield at great length in Waiver Wire Scoops, so be sure to check that out here. The update today is that Willis is now "iffy" for Thursday's game against the Jets. This shouldn't be a surprise at all on the short week and there's a decent chance that Lance Ball draws the start. Jeremiah Johnson could get in the mix should Willis not play or suffer an in-game injury as well. Willis is ranked as if he will play (I'll be updating).

Frank Gore- Coach Harbaugh stated that his workhorse Frank Gore could see his load take a hit on Sunday. Gore is dealing with a bum ankle and some knee swelling. The U product suffered torn ACLs to both knees in college and that ankle injury has been nagging him all year. Kendall Hunter needs to be owned in all leagues and he's a low-level flex this week (unless Gore sits).

Jahvid Best- Best is apparently still dealing with his concussion symptoms. The Lions made it abundantly clear that he will not hit the field until he is symptom free. Based on how he is still dealing with symptoms and doesn't even need a CT scan to determine anything, he's likely at least a couple weeks away from contributing. There's a decent chance he's out for the year. Plan accordingly. Kevin Smith was added to the roster last week and picked up 14 yards on four carries with two receptions. The Lions are getting the very, very fantasy-friendly Panthers this week. Carolina is ranked dead last in points allowed to backs, so if you're feeling saucy in your deep league, Smith might be a diamond in the rough.

Peyton Hillis- The Madden Cover struck again and Hillis was already ruled out for the game against the Jaguars. The fact that he was ruled out so quickly means he is probably about a 50-50 shot for Week 12 at best. The Browns did not rule out Montario Hardesty and he is someone worth consideration to own in most leagues. As far as value goes, Chris Ogbonnaya gets the nod for most valuable Brown back since at least he's healthy. He got 21 touches and put to rest any chance of Thomas Clayton being a factor.


I'll be updating throughout the week and providing instant analysis on Sunday. You can also ask me about anything about your fantasy team for those of you in PPR or looking to make a trade. Follow below.


Rank Running Back                                                               Team Opp.
1 Adrian Peterson MIN OAK
2 Matt Forte CHI SD
3 LeSean McCoy PHI NYG
4 Ray Rice BAL CIN
5 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC CLE
6 Michael Bush OAK MIN
7 Fred Jackson BUF MIA
8 DeMarco Murray DAL WAS
9 Chris Johnson TEN ATL
10 Michael Turner ATL TEN
11 Shonn Greene NYJ DEN
12 Steven Jackson STL SEA
13 Ryan Mathews SD CHI
14 Frank Gore SF ARI
15 Cedric Benson CIN BAL
16 Marshawn Lynch SEA STL
17 Brandon Jacobs NYG PHI
18 Reggie Bush MIA BUF
19 Roy Helu WAS DAL
20 Beanie Wells ARI SF
21 LaGarrette Blount TB GB
22 Willis McGahee (Likely a GTD) DEN NYJ
23 James Starks GB TB
24 Jackie Battle KC NE
25 Chris Ogbonnaya CLE JAC
26 Mike Tolbert SD CHI
27 Jonathan Stewart CAR DET
28 Lance Ball (move up 11 w/o Willis) DEN NYJ
29 Maurice Morris DET CAR
30 Kendall Hunter SF ARI
31 DeAngelo Williams CAR DET
32 Joe McKnight NYJ NYJ
33 Kevin Smith DET CAR
34 BenJarvus Green-Ellis NE KC
35 Kregg Lumpkin TB TB
36 D.J. Ware NYG PHI
37 Taiwan Jones OAK MIN
38 Javon Ringer TEN ATL
39 Danny Woodhead NE KC
40 Dexter McCluster KC NE
41 Daniel Thomas MIA BUF
42 Ryan Grant GB TB
43 LaRod Stephens-Howling ARI SF
44 Leon Washington SEA STL
45 Dexter McCluster KC NE
46 Marion Barber CHI SD
47 Stevan Ridley NE KC
48 Deji Karim JAC CLE
49 Felix Jones DAL WAS
50 Ryan Torain WAS DAL
51 Jason Snelling ATL TEN
52 C.J. Spiller BUF MIA
53 Ricky Williams BAL CIN
54 Kevin Faulk NE KC
55 Bernard Scott CIN BAL
56 Montario Hardesty (probably out) CLE JAC
57 Jeremiah Johnson (move up 20 w/o Willis) DEN NYJ
58 Bilal Powell NYJ DEN
59 Justin Forsett SEA STL
60 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL TEN
61 Phillip Tanner DAL WAS
62 Thomas Clayton CLE JAC
63 John Kuhn GB TB
64 Ronnie Brown PHI NYG
65 John Conner NYJ DEN
66 Brian Leonard CIN BAL
67 Toby Gerhart MIN OAK
68 Spencer Larsen DEN NYJ
69 Thomas Jones KC NE
70 Dion Lewis PHI NYG

Thanks for reading, and as always, feel free to post your questions and comments below or send them to me on Twitter.