Fantasy Football

RB committee: Evaluating every team

Share This Story

John Halpin

John Halpin has been a fantasy contributor for since 2007. He has written and co-hosted webcasts about fantasy football for, and managed websites for the NHL, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Network. Listen to his "Fantasy 15 Podcast" on and follow him on Twitter.


Here is our look at the backfield status for each of the NFL’s 32 teams.

Arizona Cardinals
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: Chris "Beanie" Wells (20 carries, 35 yards; one reception, five yards); Tim Hightower (four carries, six yards)
Season: Hightower (46 carries, 235 yards, 2 TD; seven receptions, 49 yards); Wells (39 carries, 129 yards; two receptions, 11 yards)

Comment: After complaining about his role following Week 4, Beanie sure made good use of his increased workload, didn’t he? He’ll still get the majority of the carries moving forward, but they need to get Hightower involved in the passing game again.

Atlanta Falcons
Committee worry level: Low
Week 5: Michael Turner (19 carries, 140 yards); Jason Snelling (six carries, 18 yards; two receptions, two yards)
Season: Turner (93 carries, 421 yards, TD; six receptions, 46 yards); Snelling (53 carries, 244 yards, 2 TD; 11 receptions, 76 yards, TD)

Comment: This is one of the few teams that has enough carries to go around for two backs – even when Snelling gets more than a half dozen.

Baltimore Ravens
Committee worry level: Medium
Week 5: Ray Rice (27 carries, 133 yards, 2 TD; four receptions, 26 yards); Willis McGahee (10 carries, 67 yards, TD)
Season: Rice (87 carries, 363 yards, 2 TD; 15 receptions, 100 yards); McGahee (40 carries, 143 yards, 3 TD; three receptions, minus-four yards)

Comment: Great game for Rice, who reportedly may get more goal-line duties as well.

Buffalo Bills
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: Fred Jackson (12 carries, 73 yards; one reception, minus-seven yards); C.J. Spiller (five carries, 31 yards; one reception, three yards)
Season: Jackson (32 carries, 160 yards, TD; three receptions, minus-seven yards); Spiller (19 carries, 80 yards; 13 receptions, 48 yards)

Comment: Not a bad debut for Jackson as the Bills’ lead back. He’s a nice fantasy RB2 to have, but keep an eye on Spiller, in whom the Bills have a big investment. This worry level stays high until Spiller’s backup status is written in pen instead of pencil.

Carolina Panthers
Committee worry level: Medium
Week 5: DeAngelo Williams (12 carries, 51 yards; three receptions, eight yards); Jonathan Stewart (eight carries, 30 yards; one reception, four yards)
Season: Williams (68 carries, 297 yards; seven receptions, 42 yards); Stewart (36 carries, 117 yards, TD; four receptions, 77 yards, TD)

Comment: Can a team’s quarterbacks be so bad that its running game will never get going? The Panthers are really testing that theory now. Stewart should be pretty much dead to you.

Chicago Bears
Committee worry level: Low
Week 5: Matt Forte (22 carries, 166 yards, 2 TD; two receptions, 22 yards); Chester Taylor (18 carries, 43 yards; two receptions, 11 yards)
Season: Forte (72 carries, 300 yards, 2 TD; 18 receptions, 231 yards, 3 TD); Taylor (37 carries, 109 yards;seven receptions, 64 yards)

Comment: Forte had a huge game against the Panthers, but the Bears HAD to run with Todd Collins at quarterback. With Jay Cutler scheduled to return this week, Forte returns to his role as PPR starter, and iffy standard scoring play against the run-stopping Seahawks.

Cincinnati Bengals
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 5: Cedric Benson (23 carries, 144 yards; two receptions, 19 yards); Bernard Scott (two carries, four yards)
Season: Benson (103 carries, 406 yards, 2 TD; five receptions, 39 yards, TD); Scott (17 carries, 68 yards; three receptions, 15 yards)

Comment: There’s the breakout, Cedric. Nice job!

Cleveland Browns
Committee worry level: Low
Week 5: Peyton Hillis (10 carries, 28 yards; four receptions, 49 yards, TD); Jerome Harrison (six carries, six yards);
Season: Hillis (76 carries, 350 yards, 4 TD; 20 receptions, 143 yards, TD); Harrison (31 carries, 91 yards; four receptions, 42 yards)

Comment: Harrison was traded to the Eagles on Wednesday for Mike Bell. Harrison and Bell both become handcuffs, with Harrison being slightly more interesting. Hillis had a bad thigh, and the Steelers on this week’s schedule. Ugh.

Dallas Cowboys
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: Felix Jones (15 carries, 109 yards; four receptions, 17 yards); Marion Barber (six carries, 19 yards); Tashard Choice (no stats)
Season: Barber (42 carries, 144 yards, TD; three receptions, six yards); Jones (37 carries, 207 yards; eight receptions, 55 yards); Choice (eight carries, 21 yards; three receptions, four yards)

Comment: The Cowboys weren’t lying about getting Jones more involved – he should start in any format right now, and could be close to making Barber a clear second banana. Choice has apparently entered the federal witness protection program, and will be left out of this space in the future until he resurfaces with a new identity.

Denver Broncos
Committee worry level: Medium
Week 5: Laurence Maroney (six carries, 27 yards); Correll Buckhalter (five carries, 13 yards; one reception, 12 yards); Knowshon Moreno (DNP - injured)
Season: Moreno (39 carries, 111 yards, 2 TD; five receptions, 71 yards); Buckhalter (32 carries, 62 yards, TD; 12 receptions, 83 yards, TD); Maroney (29 carries, 56 yards; four receptions, 50 yards)

Comment: The Broncos host the Jets this week, and they’ll likely be without Moreno again. Looks like another horrible week for the running game.

Detroit Lions
Committee worry level: Low
Week 5: Jahvid Best (18 carries, 67 yards; four receptions, 37 yards); Kevin Smith (three carries, 16 yards; one reception, 17 yards)
Season: Best (68 carries, 241 yards, 4 TD; 25 receptions, 254 yards, TD); Smith (six carries, 28 yards; five receptions, 39 yards)

Comment: Best isn’t spectacular, but in PPR formats, it’s hard to argue with his production. Is he a must-start at this point?

Green Bay Packers
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: Brandon Jackson (10 carries, 115 yards; five receptions, 25 yards); John Kuhn (three carries, 12 yards; two receptions, five yards)
Season: Jackson (55 carries, 252 yards, TD; 13 receptions, 75 yards); Kuhn (29 carries, 133 yards, TD; four receptions, 25 yards)

Comment: Last week, I wrote that “both of these guys stink.” Um, sorry Brandon. You can start for me this week.

Houston Texans
Committee worry level: Low
Week 5: Arian Foster (11 carries, 25 yards; two receptions, two yards); Derrick Ward (one carry, one yard, TD)
Season: Foster (96 carries, 562 yards, 4 TD; 13 receptions, 154 yards, TD); Ward (15 carries, 85 yards, 2 TD)

Comment: You’re a pest, Derrick Ward! Stop stealing Foster’s TDs!


  • Which Miami RB will score more fantasy points in Week 6?
    • Ronnie Brown
    • Ricky Williams

Indianapolis Colts
Committee worry level: Medium
Week 5: Joseph Addai (17 carries, 50 yards; five receptions, 39 yards); Mike Hart (11 carries, 50 yards, TD; one reception, five yards); Donald Brown (DNP - injured)
Season: Addai (76 carries, 278 yards, 2 TD; 18 receptions, 118 yards); Brown (23 carries, 81 yards, TD; two receptions, 26 yards); Hart (15 carries, 50 yards, TD; one reception, five yards)

Comment: Brown isn’t expected to play in Week 6, so Hart will back up Addai after filling in admirably during the second half against the Chiefs. That’s if Addai can play, which isn’t a lock. Watch his status as kickoff approaches, and grab Hart if you need a bye-week or injury fill-in.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 5: Maurice Jones-Drew (19 carries, 84 yard; two receptions, nine yards); Deji Karim (15 carries, 70 yards)
Season: Jones-Drew (102 carries, 406 yards, TD; 10 receptions, 58 yards); Karim (15 carries, 70 yards)

Comment: Karim came in when MJD was hurt, and he’s NOT going to get a significant amount of work moving forward unless there’s an injury. Don’t waste your time on him.

Kansas City Chiefs
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: Jamaal Charles (16 carries, 87 yards; one reception, 14 yards); Thomas Jones (eight carries, 19 yards)
Season: Jones (60 carries, 235 yards, TD; two receptions, six yards); Charles (50 carries, 325 yards, TD; six receptions, 106 yards)

Comment: Was that the game Charles’ owners have been waiting for? It was from a workload perspective. If he keeps getting 17 touches, he’ll break loose for some long ones.

Miami Dolphins
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: Bye
Season: Ronnie Brown (48 carries, 226 yards, TD; nine receptions, 51 yards); Ricky Williams (43 carries, 165 yards, TD)

Comment: Look for a low-scoring battle against the Packers in Green Bay this week. That could mean plenty of ground game for the ‘Fins.

Minnesota Vikings
Committee worry level: Low
Week 5: Adrian Peterson (18 carries, 88 yards; one reception, 20 yards); Toby Gerhart (two carries, seven yards)
Season: Peterson (88 carries, 480 yards, 3 TD; 14 receptions, 105 yards); Gerhart (nine carries, 29 yards; one reception, five yards)

Comment: Thirty-four pass attempts for Favre against the Jets, and 20 carries for the running backs. I know the Vikings were behind for much of the game, but this worries me a little in the wake of the Randy Moss trade. Will head coach Brad Childress acquiesce to Favre and let him throw all the time, or force-feed the ball to the best runner in the NFL?

New England Patriots
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: Bye
Season: BenJarvus Green-Ellis (47 carries, 215 yards, 2 TD; one reception, six yards); Fred Taylor (25 carries, 98 yards; two receptions, six yards); Danny Woodhead (11 carries, 78 yards, TD; one reception, 11 yards, TD); Sammy Morris (nine carries, 24 yards; one reception, 19 yards)

Comment: Taylor is likely to miss Week 6, so let’s see if BJGE continues his ascent to consistent fantasy usefulness.

New Orleans Saints
Committee worry level: Medium
Week 5: Ladell Betts (10 carries, 44 yards; five receptions, 26 yards); Chris Ivory (10 carries, 39 yards); Pierre Thomas (DNP - injured); Reggie Bush (DNP - injured)
Season: Thomas (46 carries, 147 yards, TD; 17 receptions, 133 yards); Betts (23 carries, 91 yards; nine receptions, 49 yards); Ivory (29 carries, 119 yards); Bush (seven carries, 18 yards; nine receptions, 63 yards, TD)

Comment: Did the Saints really sign the nearly useless Julius Jones as insurance for the still-injured Thomas, who might miss his third straight game this week? Good grief. Betts and Ivory are doing just fine.


  • Which New York Jets RB will score more fantasy points in Week 6?
    • Shonn Greene
    • LaDainian Tomlinson

New York Giants
Committee worry level: Low
Week 5: Ahmad Bradshaw (16 carries, 67 yards; three receptions, 22 yards); Brandon Jacobs (10 carries, 41 yards, TD)
Season: Bradshaw (91 carries, 449 yards, 3 TD; 12 receptions, 83 yards); Jacobs (36 carries, 124 yards, TD; four receptions, 26 yards)

Comment: Jacobs scored early on against the Texans, and got a decent amount of work that wasn’t all due to the blowout win. Bradshaw’s ankle made him miss some practice time last week, so let’s see if Jacobs stays moderately busy. I want to see that kind of production one more time before making him a fantasy starter again.

New York Jets
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: LaDainian Tomlinson (20 carries, 94 yards; five receptions, 13 yards); Shonn Greene (10 carries, 57 yards, TD)
Season: Tomlinson (76 carries, 435 yards, 3 TD; 17 receptions, 95 yards); Greene (62 carries, 280 yards, TD; two receptions, 17 yards)

Comment: Tomlinson continues to be one of the season’s biggest surprises. Unfortunately, he’s going to wear down if he touches the ball 25 times very often. Also, Greene is pretty good, in case the Jets haven’t noticed.

Oakland Raiders
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: Michael Bush (26 carries, 104 yards, TD; three receptions, 31 yards); Darren McFadden (DNP - injured)
Season: McFadden (85 carries, 392 yards, TD; 16 receptions, 162 yards, TD); Bush (36 carries, 157 yards, 2 TD; five receptions, 47 yards)

Comment: McFadden might return from his hamstring injury this week, but head coach Tom Cable said Wednesday that since McFadden isn’t likely to be 100 percent, Bush is expected to remain the starter. If Bush has another strong game, McFadden owners will need to temper their sky-high expectations. This stuff will happen when you draft a guy who can’t stay healthy.

Philadelphia Eagles
Committee worry level: Low
Week 5: LeSean McCoy (18 carries, 92 yards, TD; five receptions, 46 yards)
Season: McCoy (68 carries, 365 yards, 5 TD; 28 receptions, 218 yards)

Comment: One-hundred-thirty-eight yards from scrimmage while wearing a flak jacket? McCoy is a stud, plain and simple. Jerome Harrison has been shipped in from Cleveland to be McCoy’s handcuff. Harrison could actually get a little bit of work when McCoy needs a breather.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 5: Bye
Season: Rashard Mendenhall (89 carries, 411 yards, 4 TD; five receptions, 27 yards); Ike Redman (15 carries, 58 yards; three receptions, 18 yards)

Comment: One of the biggest things to look for this week is if Ben Roethlisberger’s return opens up more running room for Mendenhall. You know, since I’ve been predicting that for three weeks and everything.

San Diego Chargers
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: Mike Tolbert (12 carries, 11 yards; two receptions, 24 yards); Ryan Mathews (nine carries, 59 yards; one reception, zero yards); Darren Sproles (two carries, one yard; three receptions, 32 yards)
Season: Tolbert (63 carries, 292 yards, TD; eight receptions, 57 yards); Mathews (42 carries, 215 yards, TD; five receptions, 44 yards); Sproles (19 carries, 74 yards; 10 receptions, 117 yards)

Comment: Buy low NOW on Mathews if you can, since he’s probably going to reclaim his starting job soon. He’s been limited by a nagging ankle injury, which is why his carry numbers have been low. Once he gets better, look out.

San Francisco 49ers
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 5: Frank Gore (18 carries, 52 yards; four receptions, 21 yards, TD)
Season: Gore (91 carries, 332 yards, TD; 33 receptions, 284 yards, 2 TD)

Comment: Just a so-so game against the Eagles by Gore’s standards, but he’s entitled. He’ll bring back the awesomeness this week against the Raiders.

Seattle Seahawks
Committee worry level: Medium
Week 5: Bye
Season: Justin Forsett (51 carries, 215 yards; nine receptions, 66 yards); Marshawn Lynch (37 carries, 164 yards; one reception, seven yards)

Comment: Lynch makes his Seahawks’ debut this week against the Bears. Pete Carroll seemed to be looking for an excuse all along to bury Forsett, so let’s see how much work each back gets.

St. Louis Rams
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 5: Steven Jackson (25 carries, 114 yards; one reception, 12 yards)
Season: Jackson (98 carries, 398 yards, TD; 13 receptions, 128 yards)

Comment: Please, please, PLEASE get into the end zone this week, SJ39. Lord knows I don’t ask for much!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Committee worry level: High
Week 5: Cadillac Williams (11 carries, 33 yards); LeGarrette Blount (four carries, three yards); Earnest Graham (three carries, 65 yards, TD)
Season: Williams (66 carries, 172 yards; eight receptions, 64 yards); Graham (14 carries, 89 yards, TD; 10 receptions, 98 yards, TD); Blount (10 carries, 30 yards, TD)

Comment: No idea what’s going to happen here, since hardly anyone seems to be able to get yards unless they’re on fluke long runs like Graham had against the Bengals. Blount still appears to be the long-term play, and we won’t acknowledge Kareem Huggins’ existence again until he records a stat.

Tennessee Titans
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 5: Chris Johnson (19 carries, 131 yards, 2 TD; one reception, one yard)
Season: Johnson (113 carries, 485 yards, 6 TD; 13 receptions, 39 yards)

Comment: Now THAT’S what Johnson’s owners have been waiting for!

Washington Redskins
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 5: Ryan Torain (16 carries, 40 yards; four receptions, 27 yards); Clinton Portis (DNP - injured)
Season: Portis (49 carries, 195 yards, 2 TD; four receptions, 45 yards); Torain (41 carries, 156 yards, TD; four receptions, 27 yards)

Comment: Portis seemed to hint on a radio show earlier this week that he might not be back this season. Sometimes, it’s all about opportunity, and Torain has a big one. Here’s hoping he runs with it.

Tagged: Michael Vick, Jay Feely, Sammy Morris, Neil Rackers, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Phil Dawson, Joey Galloway, Jason Hanson, Donald Driver, Brett Favre, Ryan Longwell, Joe Nedney, Derrick Mason, Reggie Wayne, Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Sebastian Janikowski, Marc Bulger, Olindo Mare, Randy Moss, Tom Brady, Kevin Faulk, Adam Vinatieri, Jake Delhomme, Ricky Williams, Kerry Collins, Santana Moss, Donovan McNabb, David Akers, Correll Buckhalter, Thomas Jones, Kris Brown, Hines Ward, LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees, Terrell Owens, Rian Lindell, Matt Hasselbeck, Steve Smith Sr., John Kasay, Fred Taylor, Todd Heap, Brandon Stokley, Jabar Gaffney, Deion Branch, Maurice Morris, Jeremy Shockey, Josh Reed, Clinton Portis, Antonio Bryant, David Garrard, Daniel Graham, Chester Taylor, Ladell Betts, Shayne Graham, Matt Bryant, Antwaan Randle El, Brian Westbrook, Jeff Reed, Anquan Boldin, Jason Witten, Nate Burleson, Visanthe Shiancoe, Justin Fargas, Carson Palmer, Andre Johnson, Byron Leftwich, Bryant Johnson, Willis McGahee, Dallas Clark, Larry Johnson, Kevin Walter, Josh Brown, Justin Gage, Antonio Gates, Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Julius Jones, Devery Henderson, Larry Fitzgerald, Philip Rivers, Kellen Winslow, Roy Williams, Ben Roethlisberger, Lee Evans, Steven Jackson, Michael Jenkins, Benjamin Watson, Nate Kaeding, Bernard Berrian, Chris Cooley, Eli Manning, Derrick Ward, Patrick Crayton, Jerricho Cotchery, Mewelde Moore, Michael Turner, Lawrence Tynes, Wes Welker, Willie Parker, Earnest Graham, Malcom Floyd, Jason Wright, Mark Clayton, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Campbell, Roddy White, Heath Miller, Vincent Jackson, Frank Gore, Brandon Jones, Alex Smith, Ronnie Brown, Braylon Edwards, Cedric Benson, Carnell Williams, Troy Williamson, Dave Rayner, Derek Anderson, Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton, Marion Barber, Brandon Jacobs, Alvin Pearman, Darren Sproles, Roydell Williams, Bo Scaife, Rob Bironas, Josh Cribbs, Leonard Weaver, Nate Washington, Robbie Gould, Lance Moore, Ryan Grant, Greg Camarillo, Tarvaris Jackson, Jerious Norwood, Maurice Stovall, Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Vernon Davis, Matt Leinart, Jay Cutler, Laurence Maroney, Santonio Holmes, DeAngelo Williams, Marcedes Lewis, Joseph Addai, Kellen Clemens, Greg Jennings, Anthony Fasano, Devin Hester, Maurice Jones-Drew, Tony Scheffler, Marques Colston, Jeff King, Devin Aromashodu, Michael Robinson, Brad Smith, Jason Avant, Leon Washington, Stephen Gostkowski, Brandon Marshall, Jerome Harrison, Hank Baskett, Miles Austin, Fred Jackson, Chansi Stuckey, Kenneth Darby, Ahmad Bradshaw, Le'Ron McClain, Steve Breaston, Kevin Boss, Dante Rosario, Brent Celek, Legedu Naanee, Troy Smith, Nick Folk, Mason Crosby, Steve Smith, Brian Leonard, Jacoby Jones, Laurent Robinson, James Jones, Mike Sims-Walker, Trent Edwards, Michael Bush, Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Ted Ginn Jr., Marshawn Lynch, Brady Quinn, Dwayne Bowe, Robert Meachem, Greg Olsen, Anthony Gonzalez, Kevin Kolb, Zach Miller, Sidney Rice, Dwayne Jarrett, D.J. Ware, Matt Prater, Matt Moore, Pierre Thomas, Jonathan Stewart, Joe Flacco, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Dustin Keller, Donnie Avery, Devin Thomas, Jordy Nelson, John Carlson, James Hardy, Eddie Royal, Matt Forte, Fred Davis, DeSean Jackson, Malcolm Kelly, Ray Rice, Chad Henne, Matt Ryan, Darren McFadden, Pierre Garcon, Chaz Schilens, Justin Forsett, Adrian Arrington, Tashard Choice, Ryan Torain, Keenan Burton, Tim Hightower, Jalen Parmele, Earl Bennett, Jamaal Charles, Early Doucet, Harry Douglas, Steve Slaton, Jermichael Finley, Mario Manningham, Davone Bess, Dan Carpenter, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Albert Young, Garrett Hartley, Rashad Jennings, David Buehler, Javon Ringer, Cedric Peerman, Bernard Scott, Julian Edelman, Sammie Stroughter, Shonn Greene, Brandon Tate, Mike Wallace, Jared Cook, Deon Butler, Mike Thomas, Brian Hartline, Louis Murphy Jr., Austin Collie, Johnny Knox, Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree, Knowshon Moreno, Josh Freeman, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Pettigrew, Percy Harvin, Donald Brown, Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt, Beanie Wells, Mohamed Massaquoi, LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, Michael Bennett, Rob Gronkowski, Arrelious Benn, Dez Bryant, Jonathan Dwyer, Demaryius Thomas, Golden Tate, Ryan Mathews, Aaron Hernandez, Jahvid Best, Tony Moeaki, Jimmy Graham, Ed Dickson, Garrett Graham, Montario Hardesty, Dennis Pitta, Brandon LaFell, Ben Tate, Boobie Dixon, Toby Gerhart, C.J. Spiller, Sam Bradford, Jermaine Gresham, Dexter McCluster

More Stories From John Halpin

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

More Than Sports on MSN