In The Backfield: Top 5 Fantasy Running Backs For Week 2
Week one is in the books with some surprises both for better and for worse. Some fantasy running back marriages were crushed due to injury or just piss-poor play. But I’m here to tell you that it’s going to be okay, and if your first round running back didn’t live up to the hype (Spiller), take a breath, and give it some time. You two will work it out and be on good terms in no time. Let’s not dwell on the past and move right on to week two, yes?
5. Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush had a stellar week one performance, and if you were keen enough to take a chance on him and include him in your draft, you’re probably felling like you’re on top of the world right now. Bush feels that the Lions offense is the perfect situation for him, and clearly we can see why. This is what happens when you have a star receiver on your roster. The defense is forced to play honest football, thus creating opportunity in the backfield, as well as in the passing game. I don’t anticipate things changing much in Arizona for week 2. Barring injury, Bush should be a safe bet and should roll through the Cardinals.
4. Stevan Ridley
The Patriots were forced to bench Ridley during their season opener in Buffalo due to some fumbling issues. I think this will most certainly motivate him and force him to focus on the priority of securing the football. New England was a bit spoiled for several years with BenJarvisGreen-Ellis who never had a fumble during his time with the Pats. Ridley is in luck this week as New England’s options are limited against the division rival Jets. Shane Vareen, who is playing the role that Danny Woodhead played last year, is going to be out for quite some time with a broken wrist. Ridley will be forced into action and should succeed and excel against a sloppy New York Jets defense. The Patriots certainly aren’t the Bucs, and Rex and his crew will have their hands full as always when they go head to head with New England.
3. LeSean McCoy
Shady McCoy broke out big time against the disappointing Redskins in Monday night’s football action. The man had 31 rushing attempts in this new exciting high-tempo spread Chip Kelly offense. The read-option is dangerous for opposing defenses, and the rate of plays (53 in one half) doesn’t give the D enough time to get set. I assume the Chargers have been throwing fits throughout the week trying to prepare for a difficult opponent in the Eagles. Within my divisional previews coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles, I mentioned that McCoy would be a huge part of the offense, and that his amount of carries would determine the Eagles’ success, and I’ll carry that thought over to my fantasy predictions. McCoy is a huge part of this offense, and barring injury, will continue to be. He’s very elusive if he reaches the second level. With the wheels that Vick provides, there’s a 50-50 chance the defense bites on Vick, allowing Shady to break it open. If you have McCoy, you’re starting him until teams can get a handle on what Chip Kelly brings to Philly.
2. C.J. Spiller
Do not throw in the towel on Spiller quite yet. For starters, it’s the first game of the season. They faced a division rival Patriots team led by coach Bill Belichick, who is a master at taking away a team’s best player. New England did just that, and forced the Bills to rely on their rookie quarterback to get things going. Although the Carolina defense did a damn good job for the most part against a dangerous Seahawks team, I’m not too sure they’ll have the same success stopping a solid all-around back like Spiller. Give him another chance in your starting lineup and I think you’ll be glad you did.
1. Adrian Peterson
And I tried to put Jamaal Charles at number one last week above League MVP Adrian Peterson. Although Charles had a decent game, he didn’t reach the end-zone, which of course hurts in the fantasy world. Meanwhile, Peterson met pay dirt 3 times, twice on the ground, and once through the air. The first time this regular season that Peterson was handed the rock, he took it to the house on a 78-yard sprint for the score. It’s a no-brainer that he starts of course, and this week, I believe he’ll be your running back leader in fantasy points. I don’t know how much longer Dickerson’s single season rushing record will remain in tact with Peterson doing work straight out the gate.
Entering into week two, there’s a few things to look for as far as some surprise starts or some flex spots in bigger leagues. Due to the injury to Shane Vareen in New England, it might not be a bad idea to pick up Legarrette Blount. He could be a huge factor if Ridley has a case of the fumbles and earns a spot to the bench again. It might be too late by now to score a weapon behind Reggie Bush in Joique Bell who joined Bush in the leagues top 5 leading running backs in fantasy points. Take a quick look to see if your league is sleeping. He’ll get lots of opportunity in this Lions offense to contribute to the offense, as well as your fantasy team. I wouldn’t jump the gun on picking up Brandon Jacobs yet, but he is a veteran who is familiar with the playbook, and I anticipate that he’ll take full advantage of being back on an NFL roster. If David Wilson struggles like he did in week one, Jacobs’ workload will increase.
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Sports-Kings Down and Distance Contributor Austin Peat @PistolPeat187