Willis McGahee, Ravens – Moving Up
McGahee is rising in these rankings by attrition, as many of the backs in front of him are either incurring injury or not performing at a high level. The Ravens back is doing just enough to rise amongst a pool of RB mediocrity, as evidenced by his one touchdown and 59 yards rushing in Baltimore’s 32-14 road loss in San Diego last Sunday.
Steven Jackson, Rams – Moving Up
In this year’s disappointing fantasy running back class, one of the more positive late-season developments has been the ascendance of Steven Jackson back to his rightful place towards the top of the list. Jackson produced another worthy effort in week twelve against the Seahawks, gaining 90 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries while catching three passes for 15 yards.
Reggie Bush, Saints – Moving Down
The bumps and bruises of his full-time duties, most recently a painful bruised shin, has slowed Bush down to the point where Aaron Stecker and Pierre Thomas have received increased workloads in recent weeks, reducing the second-year back’s production as both runner and receiver.
Adrian Petersen, Vikings – Moving Down
Minnesota’s rookie phenom missed his second straight game in week twelve after tearing his LCL a few weeks ago. He was a game-time scratch against the Giants last Sunday but has recovered enough to possibly split time with Chester Taylor in week thirteen.
Marion Barber, Cowboys – Moving Up
Barber ran over the Jets on Thanksgiving Day for a solid 103 yards and a score on 18 carries and managed to catch four passes for 12 yards. He’ll face a much more difficult venue against the Packers feisty defense this Thursday night, seen only on NFL Network.
Chester Taylor, Vikings – Moving Up
Taylor put together another productive day in week twelve as Adrian Peterson’s stand-in, rushing for 77 yards and a nifty eight-yard touchdown run on 31 carries. He may have to split time with Adrian Peterson in week thirteen, but should be worth another start this weekend at home against the Detroit Lions.
Jamal Lewis, Browns – Moving Up
Lewis looked every bit the part of franchise back against the Texans last Sunday in the Browns 27-17 home win, churning for 134 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries. The veteran back has found a home in the exciting, young Cleveland offense and he’ll be participating in meaningful games down the stretch as 7-4 Cleveland contends for a playoff spot
Earnest Graham, Buccaneers – Moving Up
Graham continues to quietly get it done, registering a tidy 75 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in the Buccaneers 19-13 home win last Sunday. He’s been instrumental in Tampa’s surprising 7-4 record to this point in the season.
Frank Gore, 49ers – Moving Up
In week twelve against the Cardinals, Gore finally broke through with what his long-suffering fantasy owners had waited patiently for all season, recording a 100-yard rushing game (116 on 21 carries) and two touchdowns, including an electric 35-yard run in the fourth quarter. Gore’s burst and confident running style was a sight for sore eyes, especially after having his bothersome ankle rolled early in the contest, forcing him to the sideline briefly in the first half.
Rudi Johnson, Bengals – Moving Up
Rudi resurfaced last Sunday in the Bengals 35-6 home win over the Titans, controlling the clock with 88 yards and a touchdown from 25 carries. A week thirteen trip to Pittsburgh this Sunday night stands as a sizeable speed bump in Johnson’s path back to fantasy respectability.
Justin Fargas, Raiders – Moving Up
Fargas fueled Oakland’s 20-17 road victory over the fierce AFC rival, Kansas City, with 139 yards rushing and a touchdown and two receptions for 18 yards. He’ll face a surprisingly-porous Denver defense at home in week thirteen.
Kevin Jones, Lions – Moving Up
Jones produced 120 total yards (93 rushing) and a touchdown in the Lions 37-26 loss. He’ll travel to Minnesota in week thirteen to face a scorching-hot Vikings defense, who have been great against the run all season, and just returned three interceptions for scores against Eli Manning and the Giants last Sunday.
Fred Taylor, Jaguars – Moving Up
Taylor’s play has picked up in recent weeks, becoming the dominant back in the Jaguars backfield, highlighted by his 104 yards rushing on 14 carries, topped off by a delicious 50-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Maurice Jones-Drew has added a renewed burst to Taylor’s war-weary legs, giving the veteran a new lease on his NFL life.
Kolby Smith, Chiefs – Moving Up
After LJ and Priest vacated the Kansas City roster, Smith played great against Oakland, ringing up 150 yards on the ground with two touchdowns on 31 carries, and should make for a nice fill-in to fantasy lineups, barring injury, for the rest of the year.
Adrian Peterson, Chicago – Moving Up
With Cedric Benson’s season ending in injury, Peterson becomes a valuable entity for the near, and possible long term, through the remainder of the 2007 season.