RB committee: Evaluating every team

BY John Halpin • December 3, 2010

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

Arizona Cardinals
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Beanie Wells (five carries, 13 yards; one reception, 43 yards); Tim Hightower (five carries, zero yards)
Season: Hightower (96 carries, 438 yards, 3 TD; 14 receptions, 111 yards); Wells (83 carries, 283 yards, 2 TD; four receptions, 68 yards)

Comment: Remember when everyone thought Wells would have a breakout year? That seems like it was a long time ago.

Atlanta Falcons
Committee worry level: Low
Week 12: Michael Turner (23 carries, 110 yards, TD; one reception, four yards); Jason Snelling (four carries, seven yards; four receptions, 32 yards)
Season: Turner (223 carries, 974 yards, 7 TD; 11 receptions, 73 yards); Snelling (74 carries, 300 yards, 2 TD; 35 receptions, 239 yards, 2 TD)

Comment: Snelling hurt his hamstring in Week 12, and while that might keep him out against the Bucs, it wouldn’t affect the surging Turner much at all.

Baltimore Ravens
Committee worry level: Low
Week 12: Ray Rice (20 carries, 85 yards; seven receptions, 47 yards); Willis McGahee (three carries, nine yards; three receptions, 13 yards)
Season: Rice (204 carries, 815 yards, 3 TD; 47 receptions, 392 yards); McGahee (71 carries, 271 yards, 4 TD; 13 receptions, 47 yards, TD)

Comment: You’re starting Rice this week, Steelers or no Steelers. Some guys can’t be benched.

Buffalo Bills
Committee worry level: Low
Week 12: Fred Jackson (12 carries, 59 yards; five receptions, 104 yards, TD); C.J. Spiller (DNP – injured)
Season: Jackson (141 carries, 621 yards, 5 TD; 26 receptions, 182 yards, 2 TD); Spiller (41 carries, 164 yards; 18 receptions, 81 yards)

Comment: Spiller is expected to return this week after missing a couple of games with a hamstring injury, but Jackson is on a roll, with 462 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in his last three games. The Bills are going to ride Jackson until he drops unless they’re complete idiots.

Carolina Panthers
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Mike Goodson (14 carries, 55 yards, TD; eight receptions, 81 yards); Jonathan Stewart (12 carries, 98 yards)
Season: Goodson (75 carries, 325 yards, TD; 33 receptions, 265 yards); Stewart (81 carries, 304 yards, TD; five receptions, 85 yards, TD)

Comment: This two-headed monster could actually have two productive components. Goodson has become a PPR stud with 16 catches in his last three games.

Chicago Bears
Committee worry level: Low
Week 12: Matt Forte (14 carries, 117 yards; two receptions, 22 yards); Chester Taylor (six carries, minus-three yards)
Season: Forte (164 carries, 684 yards, 4 TD; 34 receptions, 353 yards, 3 TD); Taylor (82 carries, 213 yards, TD; 14 receptions, 100 yards)

Comment: Outta the way, Chester. Forte is running circles around you after his midseason slump.

Cincinnati Bengals
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 12: Cedric Benson (18 carries, 41 yards; one reception, zero yards)
Season: Benson (218 carries, 788 yards, 4 TD; 20 receptions, 126 yards, TD)

Comment: Benson is killing his owners by averaging just 3.6 yards per carry and surpassing 81 yards rushing just twice in 11 games. Benson might have another good game, but overall this isn’t going to get better.

Cleveland Browns
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 12: Peyton Hillis (26 carries, 131 yards, 3 TD; six receptions, 63 yards)
Season: Hillis (199 carries, 905 yards, 11 TD; 46 receptions, 414 yards, 2 TD)

Comment: It’s amazing that the Broncos were able to get Brady Quinn in a trade for Hillis, huh?

Dallas Cowboys
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Felix Jones (13 carries, 44 yards; seven receptions, 69 yards); Marion Barber (10 carries, 19 yards, TD; two receptions, eight yards); Tashard Choice (one carry, one yard; TD)
Season: Jones (111 carries, 448 yards; 37 receptions, 346 yards, TD); Barber (102 carries, 315 yards, 3 TD; 11 receptions, 49 yards); Choice (14 carries, 38 yards, TD; nine receptions, 45 yards)

Comment: With Barber out this week because of a calf injury, Jones should get an even heavier workload. The more he gets it, the more likely he’ll be to take one to the house. Play him.

Denver Broncos
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 12: Knowshon Moreno (12 carries, 56 yards, TD; six receptions, 62 yards)
Season: Moreno (123 carries, 472 yards, 4 TD; 28 receptions, 301 yards, 3 TD)

Comment: He runs! He catches! He’s not as good as former teammate Hillis, but he’s still becoming a fantasy stud.

Detroit Lions
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Aaron Brown (13 carries, 36 yards; four receptions, 29 yards); Maurice Morris (nine carries, 55 yards, 2 TD; five receptions, 20 yards); Jahvid Best (DNP - injury)
Season: Best (128 carries, 390 yards, 4 TD; 49 receptions, 375 yards, TD); Morris (30 carries, 96 yards, 2 TD; 15 receptions, 114 yards); Brown (17 carries, 58 yards; eight receptions, 45 yards)

Comment: Our friends at Pro Football Focus pointed out that Brown was on the field for 55 snaps against the Patriots on Thanksgiving, while Morris was only out there for 22. If you’re betting against Best’s nagging turf toe issues, Brown is your guy.

Green Bay Packers
Committee worry level: Medium
Week 12: Brandon Jackson (10 carries, 26 yards; three receptions, 10 yards); Dimitri Nance (one carry, zero yards); John Kuhn (one reception, nine yards)
Season: Jackson (132 carries, 514 yards, 3 TD; 32 receptions, 241 yards, TD); Kuhn (62 carries, 225 yards, TD; seven receptions, 46 yards); Nance (19 carries, 48 yards)

Comment: Nance’s chance for fantasy relevance crashed and burned when he got a concussion against the Falcons. This week’s contestant in Mike McCarthy’s “Isn’t anyone around here better than Brandon Jackson?” sweepstakes might rookie James Starks, who missed his senior season at the University of Buffalo with a shoulder injury. If Starks remembers how to receive handoffs, he might get a few against the 49ers as an audition. Nance might be cleared to return this week as well.
 

Houston Texans
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 12: Arian Foster (30 carries, 143 yards; nine receptions, 75 yards)
Season: Foster (223 carries, 1,145 yards, 12 TD; 48 receptions, 453 yards, TD)

Comment: Foster leads all running backs with 24.6 touches per game and eight bajillion fantasy points.

Indianapolis Colts
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Donald Brown (11 carries, 24 yards; five receptions, 47 yards); Javarris James (two carries, zero yards; three receptions, 22 yards) Joseph Addai (DNP – injured); Mike Hart (DNP – injured)
Season: Addai (93 carries, 406 yards, 3 TD; 18 receptions, 118 yards); Brown (87 carries, 289 yards, TD; 15 receptions, 173 yards); Hart (38 carries, 177 yards, TD; four receptions, 24 yards); James (22 carries, 45 yards, 3 TD; seven receptions, 46 yards)

Comment: Addai isn’t expected back yet, but Hart should be at full strength, meaning he’ll eat into Brown’s workload. Unless you’re scrambling for a running back, this is a situation to avoid.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 12: Maurice Jones-Drew (21 carries, 113 yards; four receptions, nine yards)
Season: Jones-Drew (230 carries, 991 yards, 4 TD; 28 receptions, 272 yards, 2 TD)

Comment: Rashad Jennings had 53 yards rushing and a score against the Giants, but he’s not entering the mix unless we see it again.

Kansas City Chiefs
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Jamaal Charles (22 carries, 173 yards, TD; two receptions, three yards); Thomas Jones (20 carries, 68 yards; three receptions, 14 yards)
Season: Charles (161 carries, 1,021 yards, 3 TD; 32 receptions, 359 yards, TD); Jones (176 carries, 712 yards, 5 TD; eight receptions, 54 yards)

Comment: Remember how awesome Charles was down the stretch last season? Me, too. Here he comes again.

Miami Dolphins
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Ronnie Brown (24 carries, 85 yards); Ricky Williams (20 carries, 95 yards, TD; one reception, three yards)
Season: Brown (140 carries, 539 yards, 3 TD; 21 receptions, 139 yards); Williams (112 carries, 496 yards, 2 TD; 10 receptions, 67 yards, TD)

Comment: Way to get back on the horse, fellas! These guys could both be RB3-level this week.

Minnesota Vikings
Committee worry level: Medium
Week 12: Toby Gerhart (22 carries, 76 yards, TD; two receptions, five yards); Adrian Peterson (six carries, 36 yards, TD; one reception, 34 yards)
Season: Peterson (217 carries, 1,016 yards, 8 TD; 32 receptions, 331 yards, TD); Gerhart (46 carries, 162 yards, TD; 15 receptions, 144 yards)

Comment: Peterson’s status appears headed toward the dreaded “gametime decision,” so grab Gerhart if you still can. If Peterson doesn’t play, Gerhart will be a terrific fantasy option.

New England Patriots
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: BenJarvus Green-Ellis (12 carries, 59 yards, 2 TD); Danny Woodhead (eight carries, 32 yards; two receptions, 13 yards); Fred Taylor (DNP – injured);
Season: Green-Ellis (145 carries, 627 yards, 9 TD; seven receptions, 57 yards); Woodhead (64 carries, 344 yards, 3 TD; 24 receptions, 230 yards, TD); Taylor (25 carries, 98 yards; two receptions, six yards)

Comment: Taylor could be back on the field this week, but Green-Ellis is in for a tough matchup to begin with. I don’t like BJGE this week.

New Orleans Saints
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Julius Jones (10 carries, 45 yards; three receptions, 21 yards); Chris Ivory (seven carries, 38 yards, 2 TD); Reggie Bush (one carry, one yard; one reception, 12 yards); Ladell Betts (DNP – injured); Pierre Thomas (DNP - injured)
Season: Ivory (108 carries, 519 yards, 3 TD; one reception, 17 yards); Betts (45 carries, 150 yards, 2 TD; 23 receptions, 141 yards); Thomas (46 carries, 147 yards, TD; 17 receptions, 133 yards); Jones (49 carries, 201 yards; 12 receptions, 50 yards); Bush (eight carries, 19 yards; 10 receptions, 75 yards, TD)

Comment: Thomas is finally practicing, and while there’s a chance he could return this week, don’t count on him. Ivory looks like the goal-line back, anyway.
 

New York Giants
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Brandon Jacobs (14 carries, 87 yards); Ahmad Bradshaw (nine carries, 49 yards; four receptions, 34 yards)
Season Bradshaw (194 carries, 916 yards, 5 TD; 32 receptions, 231 yards); Jacobs (92 carries, 474 yards, 5 TD; seven receptions, 59 yards)

Comment: Not a bad outing for Jacobs in his first game back as a starter. He and Bradshaw split the touches just about right down the middle, and will probably continue to do so since Jacobs can’t catch the ball well.

New York Jets
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Shonn Greene (18 carries, 70 yards; one reception, 11 yards); LaDainian Tomlinson (13 carries, 49 yards; two receptions, 14 yards)
Season: Tomlinson (166 carries, 741 yards, 5 TD; 45 receptions, 329 yards); Greene (140 carries, 575 yards, TD; nine receptions, 69 yards)

Comment: Greene finally got more touches than Tomlinson, but since LT is the better receiver, this will stay close to a 50-50 split, with the cagey veteran outpointing the stone-handed youngster.

Oakland Raiders
Committee worry level: Low
Week 12: Darren McFadden (eight carries, two yards; seven receptions, 63 yards); Michael Bush (one carry, one yard)
Season: McFadden (157 carries, 773 yards, 4 TD; 33 receptions, 321 yards, 2 TD); Bush (90 carries, 358 yards, 4 TD; 11 receptions, 145 yards)

Comment: Eighteen carries for 16 yards over the last two weeks for McFadden, huh? It’s not a misprint? Really? I’m a little worried, especially with the Chargers up next. You might want to look elsewhere for your RB2.

Philadelphia Eagles
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 12: LeSean McCoy (10 carries, 53 yards; eight receptions, 67 yards)
Season: McCoy (156 carries, 779 yards, 6 TD; 59 receptions, 448 yards, TD)

Comment: I thought my fantasy man crush on McCoy was big BEFORE he stood up a blitzing Brian Urlacher on Sunday. Urlacher outweighs McCoy by 50 pounds, but no matter. McCoy is a S-T-U-D, in fantasy and real-life football.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Committee worry level: Low
Week 12: Rashard Mendenhall (36 carries, 151 yards, TD); Mewelde Moore (three carries, 12 yards; four receptions, 33 yards); Ike Redman (five carries, 25 yards)
Season: Mendenhall (238 carries, 962 yards, 9 TD; 16 receptions, 98 yards); Moore (21 carries, 69 yards; 23 receptions, 192 yards); Redman (39 carries, 171 yards; one reception, 16 yards, TD)

Comment: Mendenhall leads the league in carries after his workhorse effort against the Bills. The Ravens will provide a tougher test, but Mendenhall should still churn out a decent number of yards.

San Diego Chargers
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Mike Tolbert (26 carries, 103 yards, TD; two receptions, 15 yards); Darren Sproles (four carries, 17 yards; four receptions, 24 yards); Ryan Mathews (DNP - injured)
Season: Tolbert (138 carries, 609 yards, 9 TD; 18 receptions, 156 yards); Mathews (86 carries, 379 yards, 2 TD; 15 receptions, 92 yards); Sproles (36 carries, 162 yards; 38 receptions, 351 yards, 2 TD)

Comment: Mathews is practicing again this week, and the San Diego Union-Tribune reports than he “will likely be sharing time” with Tolbert. Thanks for helping out with that pair of 100-yard games before getting half your job stolen again, Mr. Tolbert.

San Francisco 49ers
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Brian Westbrook (23 carries, 136 yards, TD); Anthony Dixon (14 carries, 54 yards, TD; one reception, minus-five yards); Frank Gore (five carries, 52 yards)
Season: Gore (203 carries, 853 yards, 3 TD; 46 receptions, 452 yards, 2 TD); Dixon (24 carries, 72 yards, 2 TD; one reception, minus-five yards); Westbrook (28 carries, 145 yards, TD; five receptions, 38 yards)

Comment: With Gore out, Westbrook has been the popular free-agent add. Do you trust him to stay healthy, even for four more weeks? I don’t, and I already grabbed Dixon in two leagues.

Seattle Seahawks
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Marshawn Lynch (seven carries, 20 yards; two receptions, 13 yards); Justin Forsett (three carries, two yards; one reception, eight yards)
Season: Lynch (125 carries, 437 yards, 2 TD; 12 receptions, 81 yards); Forsett (96 carries, 409 yards, 2 TD; 25 receptions, 209 yards)

Comment: I can’t even look at these stats anymore. Lynch has gained 140 yards on the ground in his last FIVE games.

St. Louis Rams
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 12: Steven Jackson (29 carries, 72 yards; one reception, minus-six yards)
Season: Jackson (232 carries, 883 yards, 3 TD; 29 receptions, 237 yards)

Comment: I’m still steamed about Jackson getting stopped at the 1-yard line on two consecutive carries in the second quarter, and about him coming out with a hand injury on one third-quarter play, which happened to be a 1-yard TD for Kenneth Darby. Jackson is a tremendous back, but sometimes I feel like he drives like an 18-wheeler into the end zone.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Committee worry level: Medium
Week 12: LeGarrette Blount (13 carries, 55 yards); Cadillac Williams (four carries, 19 yards; five receptions, 41 yards)
Season: Williams (108 carries, 357 yards, 2 TD; 35 receptions, 267 yards, TD); Blount (114 carries, 496 yards, 4 TD; two receptions, nine yards)

Comment: The Falcons have allowed four rushing touchdowns all season. Good luck, LeGarrette.

Tennessee Titans
Committee worry level: Non-existent
Week 12: Chris Johnson (seven carries, five yards; two receptions, two yards)
Season: Johnson (223 carries, 973 yards, 9 TD; 27 receptions, 105 yards)

Comment: Johnson’s owners aren’t reading this, because they’re still in shock after Sunday’s inexplicable fantasy goose egg in most formats. He’ll be fine, especially if Kerry Collins returns this week.

Washington Redskins
Committee worry level: High
Week 12: Keiland Williams (three carries, five yards; four receptions, 21 yards); James Davis (six carries, 11 yards; one reception, four yards); Ryan Torain (DNP – injured)
Season: Torain (91 carries, 391 yards, 3 TD; eight receptions, 55 yards); Williams (52 carries, 200 yards, 3 TD; 28 receptions, 183 yards, 2 TD); Davis (10 carries, 20 yards; one reception, four yards)

Comment: Damn you, Shanahan! Williams had 29 touches in Week 11, but ceded some carries to Davis in a game that featured a disappearing act from the ‘Skins running game. Until Torain returns – this week seems iffy – Williams is still the horse to back here.


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