In The Backfield: Top 5 fantasy running backs for week 1
A new season is upon us, which means it’s time to assemble your army of fantasy ground hogs and claim a week 1 victory within your league(s). When looking into which back will do the most damage, it’s important to take note of the defense in which they will be running against. While much is uncertain given it’s anybody’s year, we have a pretty good idea based on the off-season, pre-season, and last year’s numbers who will dominate and reach supremacy atop RB’s in the NFL. My top five backs for opening week just so happen to be playing away from home. So without further ado, here are your top 5 road dogs for week 1.
5. Doug Martin
The ‘Muscle Hamster’ will be back in action and will look amazing this week due to the opposing force in front of him. The New York Jets are anticipated to finish dead last in the league in the win column. They had one of the worst defenses, more specifically the run defense last season, and I’m not sure they did enough to have a complete turn-around against Martin-caliber backs. The Jets surrendered 15 TD’s to opposing running backs last year, and I’m betting they’ll start that trend, allowing Martin two rushing touchdowns, with well over a hundred yards. Expect Martin to get the hamster ball rolling straight out the gate.
4. Steven Jackson
A brand new year, and a brand new home for power back Steven Jackson. He comes from a team in St. Louis that solely depended on his production, and even when teams knew the Rams would be feeding the rock to Jackson, he still was unstoppable. He’ll be running against Atlanta’s division rival New Orleans Saints. Despite the mind of Rob Ryan at the helm of New Orleans’ defense, the transition for them towards excellence will be slow. Switching defenses isn’t smooth, and the Saints will have problems with Atlanta’s high-powered offense. Now that the high-flying falcons have acquired the ol’ reliable battering Ram, they’ll keep the Saints guessing, allowing Jackson to do what he does best. Tackling was a big issue last year in New Orleans, and Jackson is one of the more difficult backs to take down. Look for him to start the year off right within his new offense.
3. Marshawn Lynch
I can’t imagine Lynch not showing up for the opener. The beautiful thing about Lynch is his consistency. There were only two games last season where Lynch did not hit the 80-yard mark. He’ll go ‘beast mode’ against a Carolina team that has a good defensive presence within their staff, but the Panthers are still trying to find their identity while they’ll have a crisis running right through them. Lynch will be Seattle’s ultimate road warrior this week while Carolina will be going back to the drawing board.
2. Adrian Peterson
What really needs to be said here? Perhaps an argument as to why he’s not number one? We’ll get to that, but the fact of the matter is, Peterson is a machine, much like Ivan Drago was in Rocky IV, before Rocky came along that is. My point is, I don’t see any one going ‘Balboa’ on Peterson in Detroit. It’ll take more than a season-ending injury and a limited offense to hold Peterson back. He talks a big game for this upcoming season, and I’m certainly not going to be the one to call him out on it. He destroyed the Lions on the ground last year. He had 102 yards at Detroit last year, followed by a week ten domination versus Detroit with 171 yards.
1. Jamaal Charles
For week one, I decided on Jamaal Charles atop all fantasy running backs. The Chiefs will be visiting the Jaguars where they’ll be putting their new offense on display with Andy Reid running thangs in K-Town. Jacksonville was a miserable run defense team, allowing the third-most fantasy points to apposing backs. Charles has a league-best 5.8 yards per carry average, and I expect that to hold firm against a soft defense for the season opener. I don’t doubt the amount of yards and carries Charles will gain this year, although I’m not sure he’ll get as many touchdowns as owners would like. He’ll certainly rack up the points in yards for you in week one.
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Sports-Kings Down and Distance Contributor Austin Peat @PistolPeat187