Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 10/15/11

It’s the second week of bye weeks, but this one likely hurts fantasy owners more than last week. The likes of Chris Johnson, Ryan Mathews and Philip Rivers will all be on your fantasy bench this week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of quality options. There are a few runners who will impress this week and are still available on waiver wires, and a couple passers who you should keep your eye on. In today’s rankings, we’ll break down the top fantasy football quarterbacks and running backs.

Teams on bye week: Arizona, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle, Tennessee

 

Quarterbacks

Could Impress: Cam Newton. He’s becoming a reliable fantasy option because of his ability to pick up yards with his legs, and he’s been good at getting a long touchdown or two a game through the air. Newton has a good matchup against Atlanta this week. The Falcons are in bottom-10 in the league at giving up points to opposing quarterbacks and have been diced by running quarterback this year. Newton is a strong play this week.

Could Disappoint: Mark Sanchez. The Jets are up against the wall record-wise, and need to impress in front of a national audience to silence the New York media (or at least quiet). That will likely mean they spend a lot of time running the ball. While the Dolphins D is terrible on paper, expect Shonn Green and LaDainian Tomlinson to take advantage, not Sanchez.

Keep an eye on: Joe Flacco. He’s has an extremely easy fantasy schedule for all but three games the rest of the way. If you’re saddled with an injured guy, or just want to make a move, Flacco should be your guy. The ideal time to target a trade is now or after his price drops a bit following the Pittsburgh game in week 9.

Injury Replacement: Alex Smith. Need a one game replacement? Smith is your guy. He’s averaging just under 15 points a game. There’s nothing sexy about his numbers other than the fact that he is consistent. And when you’re just trying to fill a roster spot, what more could you want?

 

QB Rankings

1. Aaron Rodgers GB (vs. St. Louis)

2. Drew Brees NO (@ Tampa Bay)

3. Cam Newton CAR (@ Atlanta)

4. Tom Brady NE (vs. Dallas)

5. Ben Roethlisberger PIT (vs. Jacksonville)

6. Michael Vick PHI (@ Washington)

7. Matthew Stafford DET (vs. San Francisco)

8. Tony Romo DAL (@ New England)

9. Joe Flacco BAL (vs. Houston)

10. Eli Manning NYG (vs. Buffalo)

11. Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF (@ New York Giants)

12. Matt Schaub HOU (@ Baltimore)

13. Matt Ryan ATL (vs. Carolina)

14. Josh Freeman TB (vs. New Orleans)

15. Jay Cutler CHI (vs. Minnesota)

16. Alex Smith SF (@ Detroit)

17. Jason Campbell OAK (vs. Cleveland)

18. Mark Sanchez NYJ (vs. Miami)

19. Sam Bradford STL (@ Green Bay)

20. Rex Grossman WAS (vs. Philadelphia)

21. Curtis Painter IND (@ Cincinnati)

22. Colt McCoy CLE (@ Oakland)

23. Donovan McNabb MIN (@ Chicago)

24. Andy Dalton CIN (vs. Indianapolis)

25. Blaine Gabbert JAX (@ Pittsburgh)

 

Adrian Peterson will run all over the Bears on Sunday

 

Running Backs

Could Impress: Ryan Torain. Mike Shannahan’s running back carousel has continued, with Ryan Torain likely carrying the load again this week. The Eagles give up more points to fantasy backs than anyone, so on that basis alone, Torain is a good play this week.

Could Disappoint: Jahvid Best. The second-year back had his best game of the year on Monday, now he has the possibility of having his worst. The 49ers have yet to give up more than 85 yards on the ground to backs this year. Consider Best a flex-play at best.

Keep an eye on: Delone Carter. Joseph Addai could miss this week’s game with a hamstring injury, and while Donald Brown will get first crack at the carries, he’s been a bust throughout his career. Carter has the type of North-South running style needed when defenses stack the box daring the Colts to pass. This is the week he could take on a bigger role.

Injury Replacement:  Earnest Graham. There’s a good chance LeGarrette Blount will miss this Sunday’s game with New Orleans, thrusting Graham into the starting spot. What you like about this matchup is, unlike Blount, Graham can stay in on passing downs, making him a candidate for 100 total yards and possibly a score.

 

RB Rankings

 

1. Adrian Peterson MIN (@ Chicago)

2. Darren McFadden OAK (vs. Cleveland)

3. Ray Rice BAL (vs. Houston)

4. Fred Jackson BUF (@ New York Giants)

5. Matt Forte CHI (vs. Minnesota)

6. LeSean McCoy PHI (@ Washington)

7. Ahmad Bradshaw NYG (vs. Buffalo)

8. Maurice Jones-Drew JAX (@ Pittsburgh)

9. Peyton Hillis CLE (@ Oakland)

10. Michael Turner ATL (vs. Carolina)

11. Arian Foster HOU (@ Baltimore)

12. Frank Gore SF (@ Detroit)

13. Steven Jackson STL (@ Green Bay)

14. Felix Jones DAL (@ New England)

15. Jahvid Best DET (vs. San Francisco)

16. BenJarvus Green-Ellis NE (vs. Dallas)

17. James Starks GB (vs. St. Louis)

18. Daniel Thomas MIA (@ New York Jets)

19. Darren Sproles NO (@ Tampa Bay)

20. Shonn Greene NYJ (vs. Miami)

21. Cedric Benson CIN (vs. Indianapolis)

22. Rashard Mendenhall PIT (vs. Jacksonville)

23. Ryan Torain WAS (vs. Philadelphia)

24. Earnest Graham TB (vs. New Orleans)

25. Mark Ingram NO (@ Tampa Bay)

26. DeAngelo Williams CAR (@ Atlanta)

27. Ryan Grant GB (vs. St. Louis)

28. Jonathan Stewart CAR (@ Atlanta)

29. Pierre Thomas NO (@ Tampa Bay)

30. Donald Brown IND (@ Cincinnati)

31. Michael Bush OAK (vs. Cleveland)

32. Tim Hightower WAS (vs. Philadelphia)

33. LaDainian Tomlinson NYJ (vs. Miami)

34. Reggie Bush MIA (@ New York Jets)

35. Montario Hardesty CLE (@ Oakland)

36. Delone Carter IND (@ Cincinnati)

37. Bernard Scott CIN (vs. Indianapolis)

38. Stevan Ridley NE (vs. Dallas)

39. Kendall Hunter SF (@ Detroit)

40. Roy Helu WAS (vs. Philadelphia)

41. Danny Woodhead NE (vs. Dallas)

42. C.J. Spiller BUF (@ New York Giants)

43. Ben Tate HOU (@ Baltimore)

44. Ricky Williams BAL (vs. Houston)

45. Marion Barber CHI (vs. Minnesota)

46. Jonathan Dwyer PIT (vs. Jacksonville)

47. Tashard Choice DAL (@ New England)

48. Jacquizz Rodgers ATL (vs. Carolina)

49. Deji Karim JAX (@ Pittsburgh)

50. Toby Gerhart MIN (@ Chicago)

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