2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 1

It's been seven long months, but fantasy football and our fantasy football positional rankings are back!

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice were among the top four running backs in fantasy points in last season and all three should pick up where they left off in Week 1.

The other member of this quartet, Maurice Jones-Drew, is nowhere near a must-start even with a seemingly favorable match up in Minnesota. The NFL's leading rusher last season, MJD held out the entire preseason because of a contract dispute resulting in new Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey declaring Rashad Jennings the Week 1 starter. Because of the time missed and his late arrival to Jaguars' camp, there's no guarantee MJD will even get on the field on Sunday.

Plenty of people will be watching the Vikings' sideline as well as Adrian Peterson could make his return from the torn ACL he suffered late last season, or he could watch teammate Toby Gerhart get all the carries. The team has said it won't make a decision on the All-Pro's status until game time on Sunday. Other injury returns to keep an eye on in Week 1 include Matt Forte (sprained MCL), Jamaal Charles (ACL),  Fred Jackson, and rookie Trent Richardson (knee surgery) who may or may not make his NFL debut against Philadelphia.

2012 NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Arian Foster HOU vs. MIA
2 LeSean McCoy PHI at CLE
3 Matt Forte CHI vs. IND
4 Ray Rice BAL vs. CIN (Mon.)
5 Darren McFadden OAK vs. SD (Mon.)
6 Chris Johnson TEN vs. NE
7 Marshawn Lynch SEA at ARI
8 Jamaal Charles KC vs. ATL
9 DeMarco Murray DAL at NYG (Wed.)
10 Steven Jackson STL at DET
11 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG vs. DAL (Wed.)
12 Michael Turner ATL at KC
13 Fred Jackson BUF at NYJ
14 Darren Sproles NO vs. WAS
15 Doug Martin TB vs. CAR
16 Frank Gore SF at GB
17 DeAngelo Williams CAR at TB
18 Reggie Bush MIA at HOU
19 Trent Richardson CLE vs. PHI
20 Toby Gerhart MIN vs. JAC
21 Stevan Ridley NE at TEN
22 Kevin Smith DET vs. STL
23 Rashad Jennings JAC at MIN
24 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN at BAL (Mon.)
25 Shonn Greene NYJ vs. BUF
26 Willis McGahee DEN vs. PIT
27 Donald Brown IND at CHI
28 Peyton Hillis KC vs. ATL
29 Ronnie Brown SD at OAK (Mon.)
30 Cedric Benson GB vs. SF
31 Isaac Redman PIT at DEN
32 Beanie Wells ARI vs. SEA
33 Michael Bush CHI vs. IND
34 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC at MIN
35 Ben Tate HOU vs. MIA
36 C.J. Spiller BUF at NYJ
37 Mark Ingram NO vs. WAS
38 Jonathan Stewart CAR at TB
39 Evan Royster WAS at NO
40 David Wilson NYG vs. DAL (Wed.)
41 Jonathan Dwyer PIT at DEN
42 Adrian Peterson MIN vs. JAC
43 Pierre Thomas NO vs. WAS
44 Robert Turbin SEA at ARI
45 Ryan Williams ARI vs. SEA
46 Montario Hardesty CLE vs. PHI
47 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL at KC
48 Roy Helu WAS at NO

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 1 Positional Rankings

Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Week 1 Start or Sit

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