Top 25 RB's Week 8

1 - Clinton Portis, WAS at DET – Portis is facing the second worst run defense in the league, a defense that gave up 4.5 yards per carry to the Houston running backs last week.

2 - Frank Gore – SF vs. SEA – Even though Seattle is the 21st ranked defense, look for new head coach Mike Singletary to establish a ball control type style that works the clock, so look for increased rushing numbers out of Gore.

3 - Steven Jackson – STL at NE – Denver’s running attack showed New England’s defensive age last week, only multiple Andre Hall fumbles derailed their attack and Jackson is the only weapon Saint Louis has in this game.

4 - Brian Westbrook – PHI vs. ATL – Westbrook’s health may limit his touches in this game, but he is such an integral part of their attack that he will still put up solid combined yardage.

5 - Marion Barber – DAL vs. TB – With Romo and Felix Jones out this week, look for a heavy dose of Barber both running and catching out of the backfield.

6 - Thomas Jones – NYJ vs. KC – He’s facing a team that gave up an 80-yard touchdown run to short yardage ace Lendale White, untouched. Enough said.

7 - Steve Slaton – HOU vs. CIN – Slaton has shown that he has the promise to be a star in a RBC set up with a bigger back. He faces off against a Cincinnati team that is reeling and struggling to find an identity.

8 - LaDainian Tomlinson – SDC vs. NO (London) – Look for LT to be involved in this shoot out early and often.

9 - Maurice Jones-Drew – JAC vs. CLE - Even when they win, Cleveland can’t stop the run, giving up almost 200 yards in their Monday night upset and 175 to Portis in close loss last week. Jones- Drew will exploit the lack of speed at the second level to break a big one in this one.

10 - Marshawn Lynch – BUF at MIA – Lynch is emerging as one of the top dual threat running backs in the league. He faces off against a Miami defense that ranks 12th against the run, but remember they have faced rushing juggernauts like Baltimore and Arizona in 6 games this year.

11 - Chris Johnson – TEN at IND (Mon.) – While Indy has one of the worst run defenses in the league; the concern with Chris Johnson revolves not around Indy’s defense, but their offense. If Peyton comes out and takes them to an early lead, forcing Kerry Collins to throw more than usual, look for reduced numbers out of the Tennessee backs.

12 - Ronnie Brown – MIA vs. BUF – This game should shape up to be a battle of the running backs, Brown vs. Lynch. Look for Brown to struggle as a large portion of Brown’s numbers have come from tricks and misdirection that won’t work against a Buffalo defense that reads and reacts as well as any in the league.

13 - Willis McGahee – BAL vs. OAK – Baltimore has one of the weakest big game offenses in the league, their multiple backs and old school 3 yards in a cloud of dust offense, usually would mire McGahee further down, but he’s facing a weaker Oakland defense this week.

14 - Michael Turner – ATL at PHI – So far this season Turner has looked like he’s worth every penny, but not this week against one of the most physical defenses in the league. The more time Matt Ryan spends on his back, the fewer yards Turner will get.

15 - Larry Johnson – KC at NYJ – Suspended another week... don't start LJ!

16 - Brandon Jacobs – NYG at PIT – Pittsburgh has the second best run defense in the league, but Jacobs is a bruiser, like the Pittsburgh rushers of old that can deliver the first hit. That and Eli keeping the safety out of the box will be the keys to Jacobs success this week.

17 - Earnest Graham – TBB at DAL – Chucky likes running early and running often. Whichever quarterback starts for Tampa, Graham is a keep component as they run to set up the pass.

18 - Sammy Morris – NEP vs. STL – Even though he faces the Rams porous defense, Morris plays for a team with a Jacky and Hyde character. With Maroney on IR look for Morris to begin to wear down from a workload that he’s not used to.

19 - LenDale White – TEN vs. IND (Mon.) – White is the power back in the Titans rushing attack, but don’t look for the Titans to have a big game on the ground, as they will be down early. Peyton Manning has a habit of bouncing back huge from off weeks.

20 - Deuce McAllister – NOS vs. SD – New Orleans has one of the most potent offenses in the league, but there’s no Reggie Bush. That puts McAllister in a position that he’s fairly familiar with as feature back. But, he’s no Reggie Bush.

21 - Willie Parker – PIT vs. NYG – Parker’s back and he’s the only true running back the Steelers have, which is rewarding for Parker owner’s, but also dangerous. Parker will wear down as the game goes on, which takes away some of his luster as Parker’s past success has come in the later minutes of the game.

22 - Jamal Lewis – CLE at JAC – As Cleveland continues to struggle; they may go for a quarterback change mid-game at some point. The best friend a young quarterback is a strong running game, so look for Jamal to have a big second half if they make the quarterback change.

23 - Fred Taylor – JAC vs. CLE – Fred Taylor has become the “other” running back in Jacksonville as Jones-Drew has passed him on the depth chart.

24 - Julius Jones – SEA at SF - Jones would be a better option if Hasselbeck was under center, but with Seneca Wallace under center, don’t look for big numbers out of Jones as the 49ers will be able to load up against the run.

25 - Jonathan Stewart – CAR vs. ARI – Stewart is emerging as one of the best young backs in the league. He lines up against the Cardinals this week, a team with an over-rated run defense as most teams have to throw to keep up with the fast paced aerial attack in Phoenix.

Author: Derek Braun



  1. Ouch, Jacobs vs. the Steelers. Hopefully Deuce can help pick up some of the slack for me!

  2. Jacobs is ranked low here just because he is going against the Steelers but Jacobs could still have a nice game. At 6-4 264 with 4.5 40 speed there are not too many defenses that can stop Jacobs and most can just try and contain him.