Ranks preview by Andrew Thell
It’s amazing what taking a few years off of football can do to rejuvenate the legs, isn’t it? Ricky Williams has been stellar all season, averaging far and away his career high in yards per carry at 5.3. He’s taken over full-time duties for the run-centric Dolphins the last two weeks and absolutely run with the opportunity: 42 carries, 4 receptions, 245 total yards and 3 TDs. The train rolls on this week as Ricky rolls into Buffalo to face off against perhaps the worst rush defense in football. The Bills are giving up 165.9 rushing yards a game and have given up 15 scores on the ground, both second-most in the NFL. This week they’ll once again be without starting DT Marcus Stroud, making it a dream matchup for one of the hottest RBs in football. Ricky Williams is an elite play this week. Bet you didn’t think we’d be saying that about the 32-year-old back when you drafted him. You have something to be thankful for, Williams owners.
Joining Williams are several other unlikely strong fantasy plays. Bernard Scott should have several huge plays on his way to a big game at home against division rival Cleveland. There’s every reason to believe Jason Snelling will keep the ball rolling at home against a Tampa Bay unit surrendering the most rushing yards in the NFL on Sunday. Justin Forsett, who has shown some real moves and the ability to hit small holes, will also be a must-start in St. Louis for most teams.
In fact, all three waiver-wire heroes are above Matt Forte in our rankings this week. Yes, the Matt Forte you used your 2-5 pick on this summer. Fantasy football is a bitch. We didn’t like Forte as much as most people on draft day, he’s simply not that talented or explosive a runner. Still, he’s a good receiver who managed over 1,700 total yards and 12 TDs as a rookie despite gaining just 3.9 yards a carry. Talent questions aside, the situation figured to be at least the same as last year, if not better with Jay Cutler in town, so he was a good pick. Jay Cutler’s incredibly inconsistency is partially to blame for the poor season, but the Chicago Bears offensive line has been simply horrendous this year and Forte is having a hard time compensating for his lack of skills with sheer volume of carries as a result.
This year the Bears featured back is putting up a pathetic 3.3 yards per carry, which has netted a paltry 51.6 rushing yards a game and he’s only managed 3 total TDs. This week Forte goes into Minnesota to face a defense that has only given up 3 TDs on the ground all season and is allowing just 85.5 rushing yards a game, third-fewest in the NFL. The Vikes figure to be ahead most of the game, have a talented trio of LBs and run-stuffing CB Antoine Winfield is scheduled to return, making Forte an even riskier bet than usual. There’s a chance you have better options.
Laurence Maroney hasn’t been especially impressive, but he’s getting the carries around the stripe for New England. We expect this to be a high-scoring affair and think Maroney should be good for a touchdown and some yardage against a mediocre (at best) Saints rushing defense that will once again be lacking their starting NT.
- Week 12 QB Rankings
- Week 12 WR Ranks
- Week 12 TE Rankings
- Week 12 DEF Rankings
Kevin Smith Photo Credit: Icon SMI
1. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans vs. ARZ
2. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings vs. CHI
3. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars @ SF
4. Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins @ BUF
5. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens vs. PIT
6. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers @ NYJ
7. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers vs. JAC
8. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams vs. SEA
9. Ryan Grant, Green Bay Packers @ DET
10. Bernard Scott, Cincinnati Bengals vs. CLE (Check Benson’s Status)
11. Marion Barber, Dallas Cowboys vs. OAK
12. Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants @ DEN
13. Thomas Jones, New York Jets vs. CAR
14. Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons vs. TB
15. Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts @ HOU
Running back rankings 16 through 37, after the jump…
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