RB committee update: Many Saints marching

Welcome to the latest edition of our fantasy backfield committee update, which will help you understand what’s going on in the Shanahan-created world of running back tandems.

The four “worry levels” — High, Medium, Low, and Non-Existent — are subject to change on a weekly basis and completely, subjectively determined by the humble fantasy analyst that writes this article. If you have any comments, insight, etc., please post a comment below. Under the most recent week and for the season, the player order goes according to who got the most touches.

And now, without further ado, is our look at the backfield status for each of the NFL’s 32 teams. The Cowboys, Colts, 49ers and Dolphins have byes in Week 6.

Arizona Cardinals

Committee worry level: Medium

Week 5: Tim Hightower (six carries, 17 yards, TD; five receptions, 30 yards); Beanie Wells (seven carries, 24 yards)

Season: Tim Hightower (38 rushes, 126 yards, 2 TD; 25 receptions, 202 yards); Beanie Wells (23 rushes, 95 yards)

Comment: Hightower is running a little better than last year, but his receiving has been a revelation. If you have Beanie stashed on your bench, it’s getting close to quittin’ time.

Atlanta Falcons

Committee worry level: Low

Week 5: Michael Turner (22 carries, 97 yards, 3 TD); Jerious Norwood (12 carries, 44 yards; one reception, minus-six yards)

Season: Turner (87 carries, 323 yards, 5 TD; one reception, five yards); Norwood (15 carries, 57 yards; six receptions, 43 yards)

Comment: Turner is obviously the man, but that’s a nice game Norwood had. If he touches the ball 13 more times this week, he could be worth something.

Baltimore Ravens

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Ray Rice (14 carries, 69 yards; seven receptions, 74 yards, TD); Le’Ron McClain (two carries, six yards; three receptions, 10 yards); Willis McGahee (one carry, minus-two yards; one reception, four yards)

Season: Rice (63 carries, 364 yards, TD; 23 receptions, 208 yards); McGahee (38 carries, 199 yards, 5 TD; eight receptions, 58 yards, 2 TD); McClain (14 carries, 44 yards, TD; 11 receptions, 78 yards)

Comment: If you didn’t sell high on McGahee last week, your time is running out. The last thing you want is to be reloading your league’s real-time scoring three weeks from now and saying, “Pleeeeease, let his only carry today be a one-yard touchdown.”

If you disagree with me, fine. Maybe he’ll finish the year with 15 touchdowns. Just make sure to note that Rice has nearly twice as many touches as McGahee.

Buffalo Bills

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Marshawn Lynch (17 carries, 69 yards; six receptions, 56 yards); Fred Jackson (13 carries, 30 yards; two receptions, 17 yards)

Season: Jackson (83 carries, 363 yards; 20 receptions, 177 yards, TD); Lynch (25 carries, 73 yards; 11 receptions, 99 yards)

Comment: Lynch is catching the ball, too? You’re on the clock as a straight timesharer, F-Jax.

Carolina Panthers

Committee worry level: Medium

Week 5: DeAngelo Williams (18 carries, 40 yards; two receptions, 19 yards); Jonathan Stewart (10 carries, 39 yards, TD; one reception, six yards)

Season: DeAngelo Williams (59 carries, 220 yards, 2 TD; 11 receptions, 103 yards); Jonathan Stewart (33 carries, 138 yards, TD; eight receptions, 69 yards)

Comment: There you go, Mr. Stewart. Let’s see it again, only with a few more carries against the horrible Bucs. I moved this worry level down to medium due to the obvious workload disparity, but it’s written in pencil, not pen.

Chicago Bears

Committee worry level: Non-existent

Week 5: Bye

Season: Matt Forte (71 carries, 271 yards, TD; 13 receptions, 92 yards)

Comment: Week 4 was nice for Forte, but his owners need to see more. He was a high first-round fantasy pick, after all.

Cincinnati Bengals

Committee worry level: Non-existent

Week 5: Cedric Benson (27 carries, 120 yards, TD; two receptions, 16 yards)

Season: Benson (111 carries, 487 yards, 3 TD; eight receptions, 65 yards)

Comment: Who’s leading the NFL in rushing yards? Get outta here!

Cleveland Browns

Committee worry level: Low

Week 5: Jamal Lewis (31 carries, 117 yards);Jerome Harrison (eight carries, 21 yards)

Season: Harrison (56 carries, 202 yards; 14 receptions, 88 yards); Lewis (56 carries,212 yards; four receptions, 55 yards)

Comment: A lot of people thought that Harrison would still get a big workload even with Lewis back. So much for that. Bench Harrison until Lewis gets hurt again.

Dallas Cowboys

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Tashard Choice (eight carries, 92 yards, TD); Marion Barber (15 carries, 53 yards); Felix Jones (DNP – injured)

Season: Barber (58 carries, 297 yards, 3 TD; four carries, 58 yards); Choice (44 carries, 133 yards, TD; 12 receptions, 92 yards); Jones (21 carries, 212 yards, TD; one reception, 20 yards)

Comment: If Jones is back for Week 7, Choice could have to wait his turn again. I wouldn’t make him wait, but I’m not the coach.

Denver Broncos

Committee worry level: Medium

Week 5: Knowshown Moreno (21 carries, 88 yards; four receptions, 36 yards); Correll Buckhalter (DNP – injury)

Season: Moreno (81 carries, 337 yards, TD; eight receptions, 69 yards, TD); Buckhalter (37 carries, 267 yards, TD; eight receptions, 96 yards)

Comment: Buckhalter might be back this week, and he could give you some production. But there’s Knowdoubt than Moreno is the man here.

(Get it? Know-doubt? Anyone?)

Detroit Lions

Committee worry level: Non-existent

Week 5: Kevin Smith (20 carries, 53 yards; three receptions,42 yards)

Season: Smith (94 carries, 287 yards, 3 TD; 19 receptions, 143 yards)

Comment: Only in fantasy is it good to own a guy who runs all the time and averages three yards per carry. I think he’ll get better.

Green Bay Packers

Committee worry level: Non-existent

Week 5: Bye

Season: Ryan Grant (66 carries, 257 yards, 2 TD; nine receptions, 83 yards)

Comment: The Pack host the Lions this week. You’re salivating if you own Grant, aren’t you?

Houston Texans

Committee worry level: Low

Week 5: Steve Slaton (13 carries, 39 yards; six receptions, 59 yards); Chris Brown (four carries, two yards, TD; one reception, nine yards)

Season: Slaton (72 carries, 231 yards, TD; 17 receptions, 180 yards, TD); Brown (23 carries, 61 yards, TD; two receptions, 10 yards)

Comment: Slaton owners must be happy that Brown got stuffed on the goal line at the end of the game. Slaton needs to run better, but he’s averaging 20 touches a game. He’ll be OK. I think.

Indianapolis Colts

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Joseph Addai (14 carries, 27 yards, TD; 10 receptions, 53 yards); Donald Brown (six carries, 22 yards; two reception, 13 yards)

Season: Addai (62 carries, 210 yards, 3 TD; 26 receptions, 153 yards, TD); Brown (44 carries, 154 yards, 2 TD; seven receptions, 138 yards)

Comment: Ten receptions? That’s PPR heaven! Brown is falling behind here.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Committee worry level: Non-existent

Week 5: Maurice Jones-Drew (12 carries, 34 yards; five receptions, 23 yards)

Season: Jones-Drew (75 carries, 330 yards, 5 TD; 21 receptions, 120 yards)

Comment: MJD is complaining about being a decoy, but how much was he supposed to run with the Jags getting blown out last week? Does he remember carrying the ball six times in the first quarter when the game was still close?

Kansas City Chiefs

Committee worry level: Medium

Week 5: Larry Johnson (21 carries, 37 yards; one reception, nine yards); Jamaal Charles (three carries, nine yards; five receptions, 54 yards)

Season: Johnson (93 carries, 226 yards; eight receptions, 57 yards); Charles (15 carries, 77 yards; 12 receptions, 117 yards)

Comment: I upgraded this one to medium, figuring that the Chiefs have to at least try something else at some point. Before next week, I need to look up the lowest yards-per-carry averages in NFL history.

Miami Dolphins

Committee worry level: Medium

Week 5: Ronnie Brown (21 carries, 74 yards, 2 TD; three receptions, 14 yards); Ricky Williams (11 carries, 68 yards; three receptions, 70 yards)

Season: Brown (92 carries, 443 yards, 6 TD; nine receptions, 64 yards); Williams (61 carries, 316 yards, 2 TD; 11 receptions, 132 yards, TD)

Comment: Brown even threw two passes out of the Wildcat formation against the Jets (and completed one). He’s a stud, fantasy or otherwise.

Minnesota Vikings

Committee worry level: Low

Week 5: Adrian Peterson (15 carries, 69 yards, 2 TD; two receptions, six yards); Chester Taylor (nine carries, 20 yards, TD; three receptions, 49 yards)

Season: Peterson (101 carries, 481 yards, 7 TD; 10 receptions, 62 yards); Taylor (28 carries, 69 yards; 21 receptions, 181 yards)

Comment: It’s hard for a guy to be as annoying as Taylor when he gets 30 percent of his backfield’s touched. If you own Peterson — who gets the ball plenty — you cringe every time you see Taylor have a game like last week. That was YOUR touchdown, dammit!

New England Patriots

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Sammy Morris (17 carries, 68 yards; two receptions, 39 yards); Kevin Faulk (four carries, eight yards; three receptions, 26 yards); Laurence Maroney (five carries, 21 yards)

Season: Morris (30 carries, 109 yards; 10 receptions, 134 yards); Maroney (32 carries, 99 yards; three receptions, 26 yards); Faulk (20 carries, 70 yards; 14 receptions, 98 yards)

Comment: With Fred Taylor done for the season, it’s OK to jump back in here. Morris is clearly the favorite to get the most work moving forward, but you never know with this team.

New Orleans Saints

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Bye

Season: Reggie Bush (36 carries, 148 yards, TD; 14 receptions, 121 yards); Mike Bell (45 carries, 229 yards, TD; one reception, nine yards); Pierre Thomas (33 carries, 212 yards, 3 TD; four receptions, 46 yards)

Comment: Bell is due back this week, which makes things interesting. He was so good in the first couple of games that they almost have to give him some of Thomas’ carries, right?

New York Giants

Committee worry level: Medium

Week 5: Brandon Jacobs (21 carries, 67 yards; one reception, five yards); Ahmad Bradshaw (11 carries, 110 yards, 2 TD; one reception, 55 yards)

Season: Jacobs (100 carries, 355 yards, TD; four receptions, 18 yards); Bradshaw (58 carries, 377 yards, 2 TD; six receptions, 74 yards)

Comment: People in New York are in love with Bradshaw at the moment and complaining about Jacobs. If you know someone like that who happens to be a Jacobs owner, buy low on him. Now.

New York Jets

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Thomas Jones (13 carries, 42 yards, 2 TD); Leon Washington (10 carries, 44 yards; one reception, 13 yards); Shonn Greene (three carries, eight yards)

Season: Jones (74 carries, 269 yards, 5 TD; two receptions, one yard); Washington (55 carries, 225 yards; 12 receptions, 85 yards); Greene (seven carries, 31 yards)

Comment: So much for the Shonn Greene experiment. Am I crazy to say I’d still worry as a Jones owner? Washington gets the ball a lot.

Oakland Raiders

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Michael Bush (12 carries, 37 yards, TD; one reception, six yards); Justin Fargas (11 carries, 18 yards; one reception, six yards); Darren McFadden (DNP – injury)

Season: McFadden (47 carries, 146 yards, TD; seven receptions, 53 yards); Bush (42 carries, 157 yards, 2 TD; eight receptions, 51 yards); Fargas (23 carries, 50 yards; four receptions, 16 yards)

Comment: Right down the middle between Bush and Fargas. Even though Bush scored last week, I can’t see starting a part-time back on a bad team. Yes, I know that’s an insult to the word “bad.”

Philadelphia Eagles

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: LeSean McCoy (six carries, 14 yards; two receptions, 15 yards); Brian Westbrook (six carries, 18 yards, TD; two receptions, 17 yards)

Season: McCoy (40 carries, 62 yards; eight receptions, 62 yards); Westbrook (32 carries, 134 yards; eight receptions, 39 yards, TD)

Comment: Andy Reid said this week that he’d continue rotating Westbrook and McCoy. That’s great if you’re a McCoy owner. If you own Westbrook, I’m sure the three or four good games he has between now and the end of the season will be nice.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Rashard Mendenhall (15 carries, 77 yards, TD; two receptions, 16 yards); Mewelde Moore (two carries, eight yards; three receptions, 20 yards); Willie Parker (DNP – injury)

Season: Mendenhall (53 carries, 299 yards, 3 TD; five receptions, 55 yards); Parker (52 carries, 159 yards; four receptions, 44 yards, TD); Moore (12 carries, 37 yards; 14 receptions, 100 yards, TD)

Comment: Parker appears ready to return this week, but he’ll reportedly be wearing a steel plate in his shoe, so I’d keep him on the bench. I think I’d sell high on Mendenhall rather than put all my eggs (or a lot of them) in his basket.

San Diego Chargers

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Bye

Season: Darren Sproles (37 carries, 90 yards, TD; 15 receptions, 197 yards, TD); LaDainian Tomlinson (20 carries, 70 yards, TD; two receptions, zero yards); Edgar Bennett (12 carries, 37 yards; two receptions, three yards)

Comment: Yes, I know it’s Michael Bennett, and not Edgar, the former Packer. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Seriously, if LT doesn’t get it going this week, his owners might be on suicide watch.

San Francisco 49ers

Committee worry level: Low

Week 5: Glen Coffee (12 carries, 45 yards, TD; four receptions, 21 yards); Frank Gore (DNP – injury);

Season: Coffee (71 carries, 183 yards, TD; 10 carries, 69 yards); Gore (39 carries, 241 yards, 3 TD; eight receptions, 57 yards, TD);

Comment: Gore should be back after the bye. See you at the next injury, Glen Coffee.

Seattle Seahawks

Committee worry level: Low

Week 5: Edgerrin James (16 carries, 46 yards; one reception, seven yards); Julius Jones (12 carries, 34 yards; one reception, two yards); Justin Forsett (six carries, 43 yards)

Season: Jones (69 carries, 285 yards, TD; 12 receptions, 67 yards, 2 TD); James (37 carries, 105 yards; two receptions, 13 yards); Forsett (16 carries, 99 yards; nine receptions, 65 yards)

Comment: James got all that work mainly because of the blowout. Jones is still the man here — as much as he can be, anyway.

St. Louis Rams

Committee worry level: Non-existent

Week 5: Steven Jackson (21 carries, 84 yards; two receptions, 25 yards)

Season: Jackson (104 carries, 451 yards; 14 receptions, 92 yards)

Comment: Even on a horrible team, Jackson is money in the bank for yardage. He just needs to get in the end zone once in a while.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Committee worry level: High

Week 5: Cadillac Williams (10 carries, eight yards; three receptions, eight yards); Derrick Ward (six carries, 37 yards)

Season: Williams (48 carries, 197 yards, TD; 15 receptions, 89 yards, TD); Ward (32 carries, 133 yards, TD; five receptions, 33 yards)

Comment: Last week, the Bucs said they wanted to use Williams as more of an every-down back. That worked out well, didn’t it? Prediction: Ward will be a big late-season factor for some fantasy teams.

Tennessee Titans

Committee worry level: Low

Week 5: Chris Johnson (nine carries, 34 yards; two receptions, nine yards); LenDale White (10 carries, 51 yards)

Season: Johnson (78 carries, 468 yards, 2 TD; 16 receptions, 126 yards, TD); White (33 carries, 133 yards, TD; two receptions, 12 yards)

Comment: White has a pulse, but it was blowout-related, so don’t get carried away.

Washington Redskins

Committee worry level: Non-existent

Week 5: Clinton Portis (19 carries, 57 yards, TD; two receptions, 17 yards, TD)

Season: Portis (91 carries, 338 yards, TD; six receptions, 42 yards, TD)

Comment: I took Ladell Betts out of this space until he actually does something. Let me know when that happens.

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