In The Backfield: Top 5 Running Backs of Week 9
Week 8 had a lot of surprises for fantasy owners, and for many, some points that may have gone to waste on their bench. Darren McFadden was one of those that screamed starter from here on out. With 5 weeks left in most fantasy regular seasons, Run DMC will need to give me a little more consistency for me to start him. For many though I’m sure, you might not have a choice. Andre Ellington was either on your bench or maybe even perhaps in free agency when he decided to lead all running backs in fantasy points for Week 8. As for my other 3 in projecting the top 5, Moreno, Gore, and Lacy pulled through for owners and handled business as predicted. With some back field’s finest heading into their bye week, let’s see what’s in store for your fantasy lineup as we head into Week 9.
5. Zac Stacy
Stacy is one of the hottest pickups in free agency, and it’s been this way for a couple of weeks now. If there is any chance that he is still available, I’d make room for him. Though he hasn’t scored a touchdown yet this year, the yards and carries are there. I’d guess sooner or later that it happens. I saw a St. Louis line and running game stun me as one of the best defenses in the NFL couldn’t come up with an answer as to how to stop the run. Tennessee has a great defense as well, though it doesn’t show up in the win/loss column. If Stacy and the Rams can do what they did against Seattle, things should bode well for fantasy owners who have put their chips on Stacy to get it done. I think he’ll get his first touchdown at home against the Titans this weekend.
4. Jamaal Charles
Despite a solid 11 points in most standard leagues, Charles failed to meet the end zone last week, making it the 3rd game all season that he hasn’t scored a touchdown. I don’t see that happening again in Buffalo this weekend. Charles has a great history of killing it in the run game against the Bills. Although their defense is a lot better than it has been in the past, they haven’t faced anything like Charles yet this year. You can rest easy and know that this is probably will be the lowest fantasy point total that Jamaal did and will have all year. He should be hanging around the top of the fantasy charts from here on out.
3. DeMarco Murray
Murray is expected to play this week, and he has a lot to prove. There’s still doubts in Dallas that they have the right man leading their franchise from the backfield. Lucky for Murray, he’ll get to show fantasy owners and the Cowboys what he’s worth against a terrible Minnesota defense. The Cowboys look to get the taste out of their mouths from last week’s disappointing loss to the Detroit Lions in crunch time. The team will be fired up, and DeMarco Murray should be well rested and ready to take on the starter role.
2. Ray Rice
The Ravens have to know that they’re not going to win many more games if they continue to air it out as often as they do. Sure, you want to get your money’s worth when you pay your quarterback as much as they did, but don’t neglect sugar Ray. The Ravens will head to Cleveland in an attempt to make some noise in the AFC North. He hasn’t been given a ton of attempts this year, but even with 15 carries, he’s not breaking the 50 mark in yards. There aren’t many excuses if he can’t execute this weekend. I look for Rice to have that breakout game.
1. Marshawn Lynch
What happened in St. Louis? That Rams defense swarmed Lynch and Wilson, making it a hard-earned victory for the Seahawks. I can’t imagine Lynch having another piss-poor performance to make it 2 weeks in a row. I certainly can’t see the Bucs creating problems like the Rams did either. This is a definite comeback week for Seattle and it’s prized running back. Fantasy owners will gladly put week 8 behind them as Lynch is sure to make up for it this weekend.
There’s good news if you have some Chargers in your backfield this week. They’ll face a terrible Washington defense. Woodhead should get plenty of receptions and yards after the catch, while Mathews will pound the rock right into the heart of the Redskin D.
My favorite game of the week is by far the Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers. I’m giving Lacy the edge over Forte this week. Lacy is getting a great amount of carries. He also gets the most out of them as the Packers have a passing game that must be respected. The Packers’ defense is better than it’s been in years, and should make things difficult for the Bears and Forte to get anything done against. Lacy > Forte this week.
I like McCoy over McFadden this week. Both the Raiders and the Eagles have done pretty good against the run, but the Raiders are allowing tailbacks into the end zone. Forget about the yards if they’re going to give it to you for 6. That’s where McCoy’s points will come from. As for McFadden, if I were to start him, I feel he’d get hurt anyways. That’s always been the story with him, and until I see it week in and week out, I’ll be looking elsewhere to get the points.
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Sports-Kings Down and Distance Contributor Austin Peat @PistolPeat187