I will reiterate these are Must-Starts, or The Big Five:
- Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings
- Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans
- Arian Foster of the Houston Texans
- Rashard Mendenhall of the Pittsburgh Steelers
- LaDanian Tomlinson of the New York Jets
I know Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis had a big weekend last week against the New England Patriots. In the same vein, Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a dismal showing but should have had Hillis’ numbers against the Browns defense. For the most part, the Big Five have been relatively consistent, so you can trust these guys.
Now onto another crazy week in the NFL:
Ray Rice/Willis McGahee (Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons): Rice has potential RB1 status. McGahee is a solid RB2 in my opinion.
Michael Turner (Atlanta vs. Baltimore): Low-end RB1/high-end RB2.
Matt Forte (Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings): Potential RB1 status, as always, but falls into a RB3 or flex status always.
Peyton Hillis (Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets): Low-end RB1. After the embarrassment of the New England Patriots, the Jets defense will stiffen a little.
DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers): RB3 or flex.
Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams (Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans): RB3 or flex.
Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos): RB1. But this could potentially turn into a passing affair. Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd could be in for one heck of a game.
Cedric Benson (Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts): Could potentially have a big game, but realistically, count him as RB2.
Donald Brown (Indianapolis vs. Cincinnati): Could potentially have a big game, but again, he’s a low-end RB2 or RB3.
Javhid Best/Kevin Smith (Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills): Should potentially have a big game for both, but play conservative as RB2.
Fred Jackson (Buffalo vs. Detroit): Should potentially have a big game, but play conservative again as RB2.
Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans): RB3 so far.
Marion Barber/Felix Jones (Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants): Seriously? The Cowboys should be more worried about Jon Kitna getting knocked out and added to the Giants list of quarterback KOs.
Ahmad Bradshaw (New York vs. Dallas): Play him if you got him. This should be a good outing for him.
Steven Jackson (St. Louis Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers): Low-end RB1 against one of the surprising stiffer defenses.
Frank Gore (San Francisco vs. St. Louis): Tough. RB2.
Marshawn Lynch/Justin Forsett (Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals): Should be a breakout game, but don’t count on it. Forsett still has the higher upside, based on pure talent not on touches.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis/Danny Woodhead (New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers): Tough. RB2, maybe RB3, considering the showing last week.
LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins): Low-end RB1. The potential for Michael Vick to rush again in this matchup may hurt this running back’s stats.
Ryan Torain/Clinton Portis (Washington vs. Philadelphia): Low-end RB2s.