As I said on the ESPNRadio show (I am an attention whore, huh?) LaDainian Tomlinson tends to get even better as a season wears on. He has the mother-of-all matchups this week and is healthy. God help the Chiefs – or God help Norv Turner if he doesn’t have LT (and to a lesser extent, Sproles) plan a cleat on their backs and push. Tomlinson should come out the bye like a house afire.

Adrian Peterson aka All Day aka Purple Jesus aka the reason i am still alive for the playoffs in one league has a mtachup that isn’t quite as good as LT’s but it’s quite salivation worthy nonetheless. The Pack is 27th in the league vs the run and last week got decimated by Chris Johnson and LenDale White for 178yds and a touchdown. In week 1, ADP thumped them for 103yds and a TD. He could, concievably, do even more this time around as he is red hot coming into this matchup.

Now, Frank Gore may find himself behind along with the 49rs in this game. He may be involved in a little catchup. And it’s a tougher matchup than folks give it credit for because the Cards score so well. But the 49rs involve him in the passing game so even behind, he is still a factor. Also, San Fran will need to control the clock if they are going to try and limit Warner & Company’s time on the field. That’s all Gore. And lest we forget, Gore torched them in week 1 for 96 yds and a TD on the ground and another 55yds receiving. This man is a stud and you don’t worry so much about him in matchups – you just plug him in.

Brian Westbrook is healthy, his Qb is healthy, the WRs are finally healthy – all good things. The Giants are a tough matchup no doubt but Westbrook has an advantage in that he is 1) involved in every aspect of the offensive gameplan. Carries, receptions – he gets you points everywhere. And 2) with the gang all healthy, you cannot just focus on Westy. He will have more room to run for the fact that McNabb will throw to Curtis and Jackson at anytime so the defense will have to stay honest. Finally, the oline is keeping McNabb very safe but they are also blocking better for Westbrook. That extra push will help him gain yards even against a tough NY Giants team.

Maurice Jones-Drew may be a long shot – I talked a bunch today about how I was worried about the mental state of the team. But the line is healthy and the matchup is very good. If Garrard can keep the ball moving through the air, MJD should benefit on the ground. I think he will get the chance to break into open space, use his speed to his advantage and have some long gains. This might be a little higher than many have him, but I am still looking for MJD to step forward the rest of the way. Hopefully I am right and our concerns about the emotional exhaustion of the team are unfounded.

Other thoughts -
You start #9 Chris Johnson every week regardless of matchup…… #13 Mewelde Moore gets the start with Parker hurt again and should have a good day…. #17 BenJarvus Green-Ellis will get another start with Morris and Jordan out and is looking pretty good…… I put Ray Rice as a cautious #18 – everyone is banged up there…… I think #26 Darren Sproles may get some garbage time against the Chiefs and could be a nice flex play….

Running backs

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers vs. Chiefs
  2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Packers
  3. Frank Gore, 49ers at Cardinals
  4. Brian Westbrook, Eagles vs. Giants
  5. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars at Lions
  6. Thomas Jones, Jets vs. Rams
  7. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Seahawks
  8. Michael Turner, Falcons vs. Saints
  9. Chris Johnson, Titans at Bears
  10. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers at Raiders
  11. Tim Hightower, Cardinals vs. 49ers
  12. Marshawn Lynch, Bills at Patriots
  13. Mewelde Moore, Steelers vs. Colts
  14. Brandon Jacobs, Giants at Eagles
  15. Steve Slaton, Texans vs. Ravens
  16. Matt Forté, Bears vs. Titans
  17. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots vs. Bills
  18. Ray Rice, Ravens at Texans
  19. Deuce McAllister, Saints at Falcons
  20. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs at Chargers
  21. Kevin Smith, Lions vs. Jaguars
  22. Kevin Faulk, Patriots vs. Bills
  23. Joseph Addai, Colts at Steelers
  24. Leon Washington, Jets vs. Rams
  25. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers at Raiders
  26. Darren Sproles, Chargers vs. Chiefs
  27. Le’Ron McClain, Ravens at Texans
  28. LenDale White, Titans at Bears
  29. Justin Fargas, Raiders vs. Panthers
  30. Julius Jones, Seahawks at Dolphins
  31. Maurice Morris, Seahawks at Dolphins
  32. Jerious Norwood, Falcons vs. Saints
  33. Ricky Williams, Dolphins vs. Seahawks
  34. Derrick Ward, Giants at Eagles
  35. Fred Taylor, Jaguars at Lions