Week 6 RB Rankings, Projections and Analysis
Week 6 Running Back Sleepers
Week 6 Start N' Sit
Week 7 Waiver Wire Tips

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Bears RB Matt Forte

By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
This is how we rank the RBs for Week Six of the fantasy season. Our rankings aren't just based on name value or past performance - each week we take a comprehensive look at the match-ups and each RBs past performance and factor that into our projections. Just click on the links to read our rationale behind the ranking. The ratings are based on a standard non-PPR league where 10 rushing or receiving yards equal 1 point, rushing and receiving TDs equal 6 pts. and fumbles deduct 2 points.

Running Back Rankings
  1. Matt Forte
  2. Le'Veon Bell
  3. Marshawn Lynch
  4. LeSean McCoy
  5. Eddie Lacy
  6. Gio Bernard
  7. Arian Foster
  8. DeMarco Murray
  9. Andre Ellington
  10. Frank Gore
  11. Alfred Morris
  12. Branden Oliver
  13. Ahmad Bradshaw
  14. Andre Williams
  15. Ben Tate
  16. Stevan Ridley
  17. Lamar Miller
  18. Reggie Bush
  19. Fred Jackson
  20. Chris Ivory
  21. Steven Jackson
  22. Justin Forsett
  23. Ronnie Hillman
  24. Doug Martin
  25. Darren Sproles
  26. Zac Stacy
  27. Matt Asiata
  28. Trent Richardson
  29. C.J. Spiller
  30. Bishop Sankey
  31. Shane Vereen
  32. Darrin Reaves
  33. Darren McFadden
  34. LeGarrette Blount
  35. Shonn Greene
  36. Chris Johnson
  37. Jeremy Hill
  38. Bernard Pierce
  39. Antone Smith
  40. Juwan Thompson
Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw

By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
Paying attention to the match-ups each week can help you identify less heralded players with the upside to surprise and help you avoid some potential land mines. This is our list of players we expect to surpass expectations, along with a few stud RBs who may fail to deliver:

Andre Ellington
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington
Photo of Andre Ellington © Greg Buch
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The Arizona tail back was the lone bright spot for the Cardinals in the brutal beating they took at the hands of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Although he only gained 32 yards on 16 carries, he did catch four balls for 112 yards and found the end zone twice. Now the Cards face a Redskins team that is in a downward spiral at home in Arizona. The 'Skins have been commendable against the run but Ellington is a dual-threat running back and has shown flashes of brilliance. He is about as explosive as anyone in the league and if Palmer and Stanton can’t suit up on Sunday, the team will rely even more on him.

Ahmad Bradshaw
Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw
Bradshaw produced his worst outing of the young season against a very good Baltimore run defense last week. He managed to gain 85 yards from scrimmage but he also fumbled the ball and didn’t reach the end zone for the first time since Week 1. Bradshaw is the 6th-ranked running back this season and has surpassed former Cleveland Brown Trent Richardson as the Colts lead back. Indianapolis will host a Houston defense on Thursday night that has allowed 608 yards rushing to opposing running backs. I expect Chuck Pagano to feature Bradshaw in the offense. Plug him into your lineup, as he should be a high-end RB2 this week.

Doug Martin
Buccaneers RB Doug Martin
Martin has been a massive disappointment this season for Lovie Smith’s Buccaneers. Last week against the Saints, he averaged just 3.2 yards per carry, which was sadly his best mark in any game so far this season. Martin has found no room between the tackles with Tampa Bay’s struggling offensive line and now the Bucs have to face a Ravens defense that has not allowed more than 68 yards to any opposing running back all season. Martin is an RB3/4 this week. He should only be considered as a Flex option.

Zac Stacy
Rams RB Zac Stacy
Stacy rushed for 42 yards and added another 36 receiving yards in the Rams close loss in Philadelphia last week. However, he also lost his second fumble of the year and exited early due to a calf injury. Jeff Fisher believes Stacy should be ready to go in time for Monday Night Football, but fantasy owners shouldn’t be counting on him to produce. Stacy has been an average running back this season and is facing the best run defense in the league. The Niners have allowed the fewest points to opposing running backs per game and after the calf injury, the Rams may decide to limit their starter’s carries and have him split carries with Benny Cunningham. Stacy is not trustworthy this week. Things won’t get any better in Week 7 when the Rams host the defending champion Seahawks.

Branden Oliver
Chargers RB Branden Oliver
Oliver exploded against a normally very strong Jet run defense and proved to be the real deal. The rookie of the week rushed for 114 yards on 19 carries, adding 68 yards through the air, and 2 touchdowns. Oliver produced 30.2 points, the season's high water mark for all running backs. Oliver showed incredible speed, agility, and flexibility along with remarkable power for his size. The Chargers have yet to give an update on Donald Brown’s availability for Week 6 but regardless, Oliver should have another stellar performance against the Oakland Raiders, who have allowed the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing backs. This is a favorable matchup for the undrafted free agent and he should be able to move up in San Diego’s depth chart after this week.

Andre Williams
Giants RB Andre Williams
After Rashad Jennings went down with a sprained knee against the Falcons, the Boston College product rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown, adding 18 yards receiving. Williams has been on the rise since Week 1 and coach Coughlin seems to have plenty of confidence in his fourth round draft pick. He's a downhill runner who excels at breaking tackles. The Giants have committed to the run this year, so he should see around 20 touches on the road against division rival Philadelphia. The Eagles run defense is less than average and Williams should have some success running the football. His only flaw is that he still needs to improve as a pass catcher. Peyton Hillis may see some snaps on third down but it won’t stop Williams from having another solid day. Expect him to gain 80 yards and score a touchdown.

Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon

By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
Don't get too discouraged if your draft didn't work out as you planned. Fantasy success isn't the exclusive result of a solid draft - often it's the in-season waiver wire moves that determines who makes it to the post-season. We've got some hot tips for you that should help you improve your roster and catch up to those lucky sons-of-guns who always seem to draft the right players:

Running Backs to Add

Jerick McKinnon
In a surprising twist from offensive coordinator Norv Turner, the Vikings went with McKinnon over Asiata as their starting running back. McKinnon just so happened to be the lone bright spot for an otherwise dreadful offensive performance by the Minnesota Vikings. The Lions defense, which is statistically the best in the NFL, forced several turnovers on Sunday but Mckinnon was the one man who was able to move the football consistently. The rookie carried the ball 11 times for 40 yards and added 42 more yards on 6 receptions while fellow tailback, Matt Asiata actually lost 5 yards from scrimmage on 2 carries. It is quite clear that there has been a changing of the guard and the Vikings are moving in a new direction with Jerick McKinnon as the starter. If he is still available in your league, he is a must-add.

Ronnie Hillman
There were many questions surrounding who would receive the bulk of the carries in the Denver backfield after Montee Ball separated his groin attachment from the bone. With Ball out for the foreseeable future, John Fox gave Hillman a real opportunity to shoulder the load against a legitimate New York Jet run defense. Hillman surpassed expectations rushing for a career-high 100 yards on 24 carries and added 16 receiving yards. Had Hillman struggled, coach John Fox may have considered starting Juwan Thompson in Hillman’s place but as of now, it seems Hillman has locked up the starting role. The third-year Bronco should continue to have value in fantasy leagues until Ball returns from injury.

Running Backs to Drop

Terrance West
Terrance West rushed for 100 yards in his first game as a pro and continued to impress over the new few weeks. However, in Week 6, he was inactive against the Steelers, the team he ran all over in Week 1. West was the primary running back for the Browns while Ben Tate was recuperating from his sprained knee. However, now that Tate is back in the lineup, West has fallen two spots back in the depth chart behind Tate and Isaiah Crowell. With Tate and Crowell combining for 155 yards and 3 touchdowns in Week 6, it seems there is no reason for Cleveland to include West in the rushing attack.

Stevan Ridley
With a torn ACL and a torn MCL, Stevan Ridley is done for the season. Nuff said…