Week 7 RB Rankings, Projections and Analysis
Week 7 Running Back Sleepers
Week 7 Start N' Sit
Week 8 Waiver Wire Tips

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Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray

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 Seven 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. DeMarco Murray
  2. Matt Forte
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Arian Foster
  5. Marshawn Lynch
  6. Le'Veon Bell
  7. Ben Tate
  8. Gio Bernard
  9. Andre Ellington
  10. Justin Forsett
  11. Alfred Morris
  12. Branden Oliver
  13. Lamar Miller
  14. Joique Bell
  15. Reggie Bush
  16. Eddie Lacy
  17. Fred Jackson
  18. Andre Williams
  19. Ahmad Bradshaw
  20. Shane Vereen
  21. C.J. Spiller
  22. Jerick McKinnon
  23. Frank Gore
  24. Chris Ivory
  25. Ronnie Hillman
  26. Jonathan Stewart
  27. Zac Stacy
  28. Trent Richardson
  29. Khiry Robinson
  30. Steven Jackson
  31. Isaiah Crowell
  32. Pierre Thomas
  33. Jeremy Hill
  34. James Starks
  35. Bishop Sankey
  36. Antone Smith
  37. Chris Johnson
  38. Storm Johnson
  39. Darren McFadden
  40. Mark Ingram
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:

Ben Tate
Browns RB Ben Tate
The long-time backup for Arian Foster has been masterful since he came back from his sprained knee injury. In the past two weeks, Ben Tate has rushed for 202 yards and scored twice against two average rushing defenses. This week, Cleveland gets to host the horrific Jaguars who can’t seem to stop anyone including the dreadful combination of Bishop Sankey, Dexter McCluster, and Jackie Battle who put up 19.1 points as a unit. Tate is not much of a pass catcher but can find the holes in any defense with his remarkable vision and uncanny ability to burst through the holes. The Browns should jump out to a quick lead over the winless Jaguars and will feed the ball to Tate in order to kill the clock. I’m expecting at least 100 total yards and a touchdown from the running back in this one.

Lamar Miller
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller
The local kid from Miami took advantage of a great opportunity when starter Knowshon Moreno dislocated his elbow in Week 2. The injury paved the way for Miller to gain 172 yards rushing and 27 yards receiving, including two trips to the end zone. The two backs were expected to split carries after Moreno returned in time for Week 6 in a matchup with the Packers but Miller out-touched Moreno producing 93 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Then, on Tuesday, Moreno was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn ACL, which sets Miller up to be the workhorse for the Miami offense once again. The Dolphins travel to Chicago to take on a Bears defense that has improved against the run but is still very shaky. Look for coach Joe Philbin to rely heavily on his running back to keep the ball out of Jay Cutler’s hands.

Frank Gore
49ers RB Frank Gore
The veteran tail back could not get going against a solid run defense in St. Louis. Gore managed just 38 yards on 16 carries. He was stuffed on a 4th and 1 and did not record a single reception on Primetime Monday Night Football. Fortunately, backup Carlos Hyde showed similar difficulty finding holes and Gore is not in danger of losing the starting role. However, the Niners travel to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and a Bronco team that is clicking on all cylinders. Denver should be able to throw the ball against the Niners and take a significant lead at home. The Niners will be forced to go to the aerial attack where Gore is not much of a threat. I expect Gore to only gain about 60 total yards and fail again to score a touchdown in a game that could make or break San Francisco’s season.

Zac Stacy
Rams RB Zac Stacy
: Stacy looked awful on Monday Night Football against the best run-defense in the league. The Niners limited him to 17 yards on 8 carries. Not only did Stacy struggle mightily but Benny Cunningham and third-round rookie Tre Mason both outperformed the starter. Stacy should hold onto his starting role for now but with a matchup looming against “The Legion of Boom,” it is quite possible that the Rams could go with a running back by committee as they did Monday night. If you have Stacy, there is no way you can start him against a Seattle defense that has stopped just about everybody other than Dallas Cowboy DeMarco Murray.

Justin Forsett
Ravens RB Justin Forsett
The 29-year-old veteran has done wonders in his first season as a Baltimore Raven. After the Ray Rice scandal, many experts believed that the Ravens would not be able to run the ball effectively all season. Everyone thought Bernard Pierce would be the starter and that Forsett would have a limited role. Well, the journeyman has proved experts wrong producing double digit fantasy points in four of six games this season. In his last three outings, Forsett has gained 97, 97, and 111 yards, respectively. He is a dual-threat from the backfield with great pass catching ability and break out speed that helped him gain 52 yards on the second play from scrimmage against Tampa Bay last week. While the Ravens have continued to feed the ball to all three backs, Forsett is the clear starter and has out-touched and outgained his counterparts by a significant margin. The Ravens host the Falcons in Week 7 and Forsett should continue to run successfully against a defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season. Atlanta has allowed the most rushing yards and touchdowns. Look for Forsett to gain 100 total yards capped by a touchdown.

Jonathan Stewart
Daily Show Host Jon Stewart
The Panthers were forced to use Cam Newton as their primary rusher in a rare tie against the Bengals in Week 6. With the absence of Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, Carolina used Darrin Reaves and Fozzy Whitaker as their running backs. Each found no room to run though Whitaker did score a touchdown. With Stewart available to return for a matchup with the Packers- a team that has allowed the 11th most fantasy points to running backs- I expect coach Ron Rivera to not waste any time getting Stewart involved. He should receive the bulk of the carries as the Panthers attempt to keep Aaron Rodgers and the Packers efficient offense off the field. Stewart is a high-end RB3 this week and should definitely be considered as a Flex option.

Rams RB Tre Mason

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

Tre Mason
It is officially the Tre Mason show in St. Louis after the rookie proved to Jeff Fisher that he is the most talented player in the Rams backfield. In Week 6, Mason clearly outperformed Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham in the loss against the Niners. Coach Fisher rewarded Mason with the start against Seattle’s Legion of Boom in Week 7 and the rookie shined gaining 85 yards on 18 carries including a touchdown. Cunningham only rushed for 3 yards on 2 carries and Stacy didn’t record a single touch. Look for the rookie to get the bulk of the carries in the second half of the season. Mason is a must-add at this point of the season.

Bryce Brown/ Anthony Dixon
With C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson going down with significant injuries, the Bills need former Eagle, Bryce Brown to step up and assume the role of a lead running back. Jackson told reporters than he believes Brown has the talent and ability to be an every-down back. However, Brown has not played a snap all year and Anthony Dixon has been the third-string running back. Dixon stepped up in Week 7 to help lead Buffalo to a come-from-behind victory over the Vikings with 66 total yards. Coach Doug Marrone may go with a timeshare in the backfield but I expect Brown to be the lead back with Dixon responsible for change-of-pace duties. Both players could be solid additions to your fantasy roster but if you have a choice, go with Brown.

Running Backs to Drop

Zac Stacy
Stacy went from the workhorse of the St. Louis Rams offense to a complete afterthought. After struggling the last few weeks and only gaining 17 rushing yards in Week 6, Stacy was removed from the game plan in Week 7. He did not record a single carry nor did he catch a pass. He moved two spots down in the depth chart and is now the third-string running back behind Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham. After Mason’s productive effort against an extremely strong Seattle defense and Stacy’s mediocre stats as the featured back, you can confidently drop the Vanderbilt product.

C.J. Spiller
After Fred Jackson went down with a groin injury, Spiller took his first carry of the day for 53 yards. However, he landed awkwardly and was diagnosed with a broken collarbone. On Monday, Spiller had surgery to repair his clavicle and is out for the remainder of the season. There is no reason to keep Spiller on your roster and you can safely drop him in favor of his backups Bryce Brown or Anthony Dixon.