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2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 1

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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.

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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:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
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

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 1 Start or Sit