1. Frank Gore (SF) – He should be in for a huge week 11 against a horrible St. Louis run defense. The Rams have given up more rushing TD’s (15) than any other defense in the NFL and they rank 30th in the league allowing 161 ground yards per game. Gore is nursing a neck injury, but he should be good to go on Sunday. Check injury report: neck
2. Brian Westbrook (PHI) – While he has struggled over the last couple of weeks, Westbrook should rebound nicely with an excellent week 11 match up against the Bengals. The Cincinnati run defense ranks 25th in the NFL while giving up 12 rushing TD’s on the season. Westbrook should also prove effective in the Eagles passing game. He is still nursing some nagging injuries, but he will not need to be 100% to run over and around this defense. Check injury report: knee
3. Michael Turner (ATL) – He has yet another favorable match up in week 11 against a very porous Denver run defense. The Broncos give up 146 rushing yards per game and have allowed 11 TD’s via the ground game in 9 games. Turner should have a great game. Check injury report: hand
4. Adrian Peterson (MIN) – After his 4th consecutive 100 plus yard effort in week 10, Peterson is now the NFL’s leading rusher with 1015 ground yards. While he is virtually match up proof at this point, Peterson will have his work cut out for him against a stingy Tampa Bay run defense in week 11. The Bucs give up just under 100 rushing yards per game, but more importantly, they have only allowed 1 rushing TD all season. In spite of the difficult match up, Peterson is on a roll and an obvious must start.
5. Matt Forte (CHI) – As far as fantasy football is concerned, Forte’s new nickname should be Mr. Consistency. He continues to put up solid numbers week in and week out and he does it a little differently every game. Forte should be in for yet another strong fantasy effort in week 11 against the Packers 28th ranked run defense. Green Bay gives up 155 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD per game on average.
6. DeAngelo Williams (CAR) – In his last 2 games, Williams has rushed for an impressive 248 yards and 2 TD’s. He will look to carry that momentum into a favorable week 11 match up against a terrible Detroit run defense. The Lions rank second to last in the NFL giving up 161 rushing yards per game. They also rank near the bottom in rushing TD’s allowed with 14. Williams will probably give up a few more carries to a healthier Jonathan Stewart this week, but there should be plenty to go around with this match up.
7. Chris Johnson (TEN) – The rookie star was basically shut down in week 10 against a very good and aggressive Bears defense, but we expect him to rebound nicely in week 11. He will face a struggling Jacksonville run defense that has fallen to 20th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed. The Jaguars will also be without their best defensive lineman in DT John Henderson this week which should allow for a little extra running room for Johnson. He totaled 127 yards and a TD against Jacksonville in his first career start back in week 1, so it would be a surprise if he didn’t fare even better this time around.
8. Steve Slaton (HOU) – He was basically given week 10 off as the rookie ball carrier was in need of a break. Slaton will return in week 11 well rested and ready to face the porous Indianapolis run defense. The Colts rank just 24th in the NFL against the run while allowing 12 rushing TD’s in 9 games. Slaton’s best fantasy performance of the season came against this same Colts defense back in week 5 when he ran for 93 yards and 2 TD’s on 16 carries. The Houston coaching staff is planning on cutting his carries back a bit for the stretch run, but Slaton should still see in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 touches, which should be sufficient to put up some great numbers against Indy.
9. Ronnie Brown (MIA) – He has been struggling with regard to rushing yards lately, but Brown continues to find his way to the end zone almost weekly, and you have to like his chances for a better all around game this week against Oakland. The Raiders are giving up 158 rushing yards per game and have allowed 13 TD’s on the ground this season. Ricky Williams will challenge Brown for touches, but Brown has more potential with this match up.
10. Marshawn Lynch (BUF) – Lynch has certainly struggled in recent weeks, but in his defense, he hasn’t exactly had the best of match ups. He will have a great one in week 11 against Cleveland. The Browns rank 26th in the NFL against the run giving up 145 yards per game. In addition, they have allowed 10 rushing TD’s in 9 games. If he can’t do some damage with this match up, then something is wrong.
11. Tim Hightower (ARI) – While he was unable to back up a big week 9 performance in week 10, we still like Hightower’s chances against a pretty bad Seattle run defense. The Seahawks rank 22nd against the run and this game should not turn into the shoot out type that limited Hightower so much last week. He is a fairly solid fantasy play.
12. Joseph Addai (IND) – He hasn’t been very good since returning from a hamstring injury, but there aren’t many RB’s that get the best of the Patriots and Steelers. That said, we like Addai’s chances to finally get on track with a nice home match up against the Texans. Houston is giving up 134 rushing yards per game in addition to allowing 14 rushing TD’s on the season. In a week 5 meeting with Houston, Addai rushed for 71 yards and a score. This should prove to be a good week to have him in your line up.
13. Brandon Jacobs (NYG) – It will be a clash of the Titans when Jacobs takes on the Ravens top ranked run defense at home on Sunday. While Baltimore’s run defense is head and shoulders above the rest of the league only allowing 65 yards per game and giving up just 1 rushing TD all season, Jacobs is the one guy that can break them. He will definitely have a tough row to hoe, but Jacobs is coming off of back to back 100 plus yard games and has at least 1 TD in 6 of his last 7 games. Limit your expectations because of the harsh match up, but Jacobs can not be benched against anyone.
14. Jamal Lewis (CLE) – You probably shouldn’t expect J-Lew to run all over the Bills in week 11, but he should put up decent to solid numbers. The Buffalo run defense can best be described as middle of the road allowing 104 yards per game. The key stat, however, is that the Bills have given up 11 rushing TD’s in 9 games, so you have to like his chances of finding pay dirt on Monday night.
15. Marion Barber (DAL) – While there is no question that Barber is an elite RB, you have to question his shaky track record against the Redskins. In his last 5 games against Washington, Barber has only rushed for 1 TD and 147 yards combined (29 rushing yards per game). The Redskins currently rank 5th against the run and Barber is definitely going to have his work cut out for him if he plans on having success. On a positive note, Barber should be heavily involved in the Cowboys game plan as the coaches blamed their week 4 loss to the Redskins in part to not getting Barber enough touches. He is talented enough to get it done, but the deck is stacked against him in week 11.
16. Deuce McAllister (NO) – Now that Reggie Bush has been put back on the shelf for at least one more week, McAllister will have the best match up in football all to himself. Well, mostly to himself, Aaron Stecker and Pierre Thomas might steal a carry here and there, but never the less, McAllister will be the go to guy. He will face a Kansas City run defense that ranks dead last in the NFL giving up a ridiculous 172 yards per game. They have also allowed 14 rushing TD’s in 9 games. Our only concern is if this game turns into a shootout or if the Saints fall behind, they will probably rely strictly on the passing game as they did last week against Atlanta which will limit McAllister’s chances to run all over this horrible defense. That said, the potential reward far outweighs the risk.
17. Willie Parker (PIT) – In spite of a shoulder injury, Parker is expected to play this week against San Diego. The match up against the Chargers 12th ranked run defense isn’t great, but it is certainly manageable for a player of Parker’s talents. There is some risk involved with starting him with a fragile shoulder, and Mewelde Moore will probably remain involved in the Steelers running game to some extent, but Parker is still a decent fantasy play for week 11.
18. LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) – Just as it was starting to look like he was turning the corner on a mediocre season, Tomlinson goes out and botches the best match up in football last week against the Chiefs. At this point is hard to know what to expect from Tomlinson. That said, you probably should not expect much from him this week with a brutal match up against the Steelers 2nd ranked run defense. Tomlinson is capable of playing well against anyone and he should do well in PPR leagues, but you wouldn’t be out of line going with a safer option given the difficulty of the match up.
19. Larry Johnson (KC) – While Johnson’s week 11 match up is somewhat favorable and he is returning to an offense that is actually playing well, he is still a risky fantasy play. Johnson has not played in a game since week 5, so he will definitely be rusty, and he may not even get a full compliment of carries. He will face a Saints run defense that ranks just 19th, but they are not as bad as advertised giving up just 5 rushing TD’s all season.
20. LenDale White (TEN) – Despite being limited to just 14 yards rushing in week 10, White still managed to score his NFL leading 11th rushing TD. In week 11, he will face a struggling 20th ranked Jacksonville run defense that will be without their best run stopper in DT John Henderson. White doesn’t get enough carries to put up huge yardage totals on a regular basis, so he is limited there, but you have to love his chances of finding pay dirt at least once with this match up. He rushed for 40 yards and a TD against the Jaguars back in week 1. Similar totals can be expected in week 11, give or take a few yards.
21. Ryan Grant (GB) – After posting an impressive 75 rushing yards and a TD last week against Minnesota’s 3rd ranked run defense, you have to like Grant’s fantasy potential moving forward. That is with the exception of this week against a Bears run defense that completely shut down the thunder and lightning combo of Chris Johnson and LenDale White last week. While Chicago will likely be a little more forgiving with Grant because of the Packers potent passing attack, he will still have his work cut out for him against the Bears 4th ranked run defense.
22. Willis McGahee (BAL) – In the ever changing realm of the Ravens backfield, it is difficult to know what to expect from McGahee, but for now, he appears to have retained the feature role. Barring further injury, McGahee secured that role with a monster week 10 performance against Houston. Unfortunately, yards and TD’s won’t be so easy to come by in week 11 against the Giants 7th ranked run defense.
23. LaDell Betts (WAS) – There is still a chance that the injured Clinton Portis could get the start this week, but it seems highly unlikely considering he didn’t even take one snap in practice this week. This should open the door for the ever capable LaDell Betts to fill in for him. Betts will be a bit rusty coming off of a knee injury himself, but he could be useful against a middle of the road Cowboys run defense that has been torched at various times this season. In 2006, Betts did extremely well filling in for Portis rushing for 1,154 yards and 5 TD’s in 9 starts. Monitor the situation closely if you plan on using Betts as Portis could try to play. Check injury report: knee
24. Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX) – You have to love the 3 TD performance he had in week 10 against Detroit, but you might as well forget about a repeat performance in week 11 against the Titans. Tennessee boasts one of the best run defenses in the NFL and they limited Jones-Drew to just 13 total yards back in week 1. We have no doubt that he will be better against them this time around, but that isn’t saying much, and Jones-Drew is not a safe fantasy play for week 11.
25. Ricky Williams (MIA) – Williams finally got his turn to run wild in week 10 rushing for 105 yards and a TD. If given ample opportunity, a repeat performance against Oakland in week 11 is not improbable. The Raiders are giving up 158 rushing yards per game and have allowed 13 TD’s on the ground this season. Williams is a risky fantasy option based on his inconsistent play this season and the fact that he shares carries with Ronnie Brown, but if you are looking for a capable RB2 with a great match up, he could be worth a shot.
26. Julius Jones (SEA) – After falling off of the fantasy radar since week 3, Jones actually looked decent in week 10 rushing for 88 yards. Jones’ fantasy stock could see any even bigger boost with the return of QB Matt Hasselbeck this week. That said, Jones remains a risky fantasy play until he can show that he is capable of consistent production. He makes for a shaky week 11 fantasy start against a fairly solid Arizona run defense.
27. Earnest Graham (TB) – While Graham has scored at least 1 TD in his last 7 home games going back to last season, the deck is pretty much stacked against him this week otherwise. Graham is nursing a knee injury, he has to split carries with Warrick Dunn, and his week 11 match up is less than favorable. If you can afford to sit him this week, it is not a bad idea against Minnesota’s 3rd ranked run defense under the circumstances. Check injury report: knee
28. Antonio Pittman (STL) – With Steven Jackson still battling a quad injury, Pittman is slated to get the start once again in week 11. He will have a pretty favorable match up against a mediocre San Francisco run defense, but Pittman has yet to show much potential, and his supporting cast is far from solid. He is a shaky fantasy play at best. Check injury report: hamstring
29. Peyton Hillis (DEN) – He is expected to start for the Broncos in week 11 and the match up against the Falcons 21st ranked run defense holds some promise. That said, Hillis is actually a full back playing tailback, and he will likely be in a platoon role with P.J. Pope and Tatum Bell. He could do well, but there are just too many question marks for us to recommend him as a week 11 starting option.
30. Jonathan Stewart (CAR) – You should see a healthier Stewart back on the field in week 11, but after the way DeAngelo Williams has been tearing it up lately, it may be on a very limited basis. In spite of a great match up against a horrible Detroit run defense, there is guarantee that Stewart will see more than a few carries. You are probably best served keeping him reserved unless you desperately need his services.
31. Kevin Smith (DET) – He is playing well of late, but we do not highly recommend him with a tough week 11 match up at Carolina.
32. Justin Fargas (OAK) – He looked good last week, but Fargas is not dependable against a solid Miami run defense.
33. Mewelde Moore (PIT) – He should continue to see action in week 11, but Willie Parker’s return will severely limit his opportunities.
34. Dominic Rhodes (IND) – He could see significant action against a porous Houston run defense in week 11. Then again, if Addai gets going, Rhodes may only see a couple of touches.
35. Jerious Norwood (ATL) – He could bust loose on a soft Denver run defense, but he is limited behind Michael Turner.
36. Cedric Benson (CIN) – He looked great in week 9, but a match up against the Eagles does not bode well. Look for the Bengals to have to abandon the running game early in this game which will severely limit Benson’s potential. Check injury report: back
37. Derrick Ward (NYG) – He continues to play well in spite of a limited role, but a week 11 match up against the NFL’s best run defense is brutal.
38. Warrick Dunn (TB) – He should see a significant work load, but that isn’t worth much against a stout Minnesota run defense. Check injury report: back
39. Ray Rice (BAL) – He should see action in relief of McGahee, but it will be limited and the match up is bad.
40. Fred Taylor (JAX) – He showed promise in week 10, but he has little chance in week 11 against the Titans.
* Participants in Thursday night’s NYJ @ NE game are not included in week 11 RB rankings. (For info on those players check Thursday start/sit)