Fantasy Football Week 17: RBs Who Will Put Up Championship Performances

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 23:  Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs upfield against Daniel Manning #38 of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 23, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Each of the next four running backs are ready to be the cornerstone of a triumphant championship week. 

It's Week 17, but there is still a lot up for grabs. In other words, meaningful fantasy games are not going to be cluttered by benched stars and hopeful backups. 

Here are the top-four running backs for Week 17.


No. 4: C.J. Spiller, Bills

Week 17 Opponent: Jets

C.J. Spiller is finishing the season strong. This past week he went for 138 yards and 6.3 yards per carry. That was his second-straight, 100-yard rushing effort. He also added four catches for 35 yards. 

This week he'll be facing a Jets team that he rushed for a season-high 169 yards against earlier in the season, which isn't surprising—the Jets are terrible on run defense. 

New York has allowed 119.9 rushing yards per game to running backs. Spiller will have a strong end to a nice season. 


Projection: 127 total yards, one touchdown


No. 3: Doug Martin, Buccaneers

Week 17 Opponent: Falcons

Rookie Doug Martin has been in a bit of a slump. Over his last five games he has just 312 yards gained at 3.3 yards per carry.

However, he is picking up additional points in the passing game. This past week he had seven catches for 57 yards. 

Martin will have a strong end to this season as the Bucs go all out to end a once-promising season on a high note. They will be doing so against a Falcons team that already has the NFC's No. 1 seed sewn up. The Falcons don't have the greatest run defense to begin with. 


Projection: 135 total yards, one touchdown


No. 2: Arian Foster, Texans

Week 17 Opponent: Colts

First off, Arian Foster has to play. He left last week's contest with an irregular heartbeat, but he doesn't seem to worried about it. Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle passed along this update from Foster. 

"I'll be fine. I'll be okay. It's a very minor situation, so I'll be okay." -Arian Foster via #Texans PR

— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 23, 2012

At this point, it is safe to assume Foster will be ready to go against the Colts, and that would be the same Colts team he gained 167 rushing yards at 6.1 yards per carry in Week 15. 

Foster will bounce back for the Texans as Houston needs a win to clinch home field advantage through the playoffs. 


Projection: 151 total yards, two touchdowns

No. 1: Adrian Peterson, Vikings

Week 17 Opponent: Packers

Adrian Peterson is going to end his amazing season in spectacular fashion. 

The Vikings will definitely be going all out in this one, as a win gets them to the postseason. However, in AP's case, that may actually slow him down.

He needs 209 yards to break Eric Dickerson's rushing record. If the Vikings weren't in the playoff race, Peterson and the Vikings would be going hard after that record. Now, they must focus on the win. 

Still, don't think the record is out of the picture. When the Vikings played the Packers in Week 14, Peterson ran for 210 yards on just 21 carries. 

I think he'll fall a little short, but he will still have fantasy owners doing back flips. 


Projection: 189 rushing yards, two touchdowns