Last week was not a great one for running backs from a fantasy perspective, only 4 broke the 100-yard plateau. Week 3 should hopefully be a lot better for some running backs who have under performed the first two weeks of the season. It’s the Week 3 edition of choose or lose: running backs.
C.J. ANDERSON VS. LIONS
If you’re a owner of C.J. Anderson you’re worried right about now. Anderson has only rushed for 56 yards in the first two games but it isn’t entirely his fault. The Broncos went up against the Ravens and Chiefs who are very good against the run and this week is much more favorable matchup.
The Lions are currently 30th in the league in stopping the run and they don’t have Ndamukong Suh or Cliff Avril anymore. The Lions allowed close to 200 yards on the ground to the Vikings last week.
Gary Kubiak has a commitment to the running game and they will need to rest Peyton Manning’s arm as the season goes along. There’s a very good chance that C.J. Anderson gets back on track this week, if not he might lose his starting job.
JONATHAN STEWART VS. SAINTS
In the past Jonathan Stewart has had to share a backfield with DeAngelo Williams but now Stewart is expected to carry the football early and often despite his injury troubles. The Saints defense is always a favorable fantasy matchup and when Stewart gets enough carries he’s been productive against New Orleans.
The last time Stewart played the Saints he had a great day, the former Oregon running back finished with 20 carries for 155 yards and touchdown. As long as Jonathan Stewart is healthy he should have a good day against a run defense that is 18th best against the run.
MARSHAWN LYNCH VS. BEARS
Marshawn Lynch aka “Beast Mode” is another running back who has underachieved this season. Lynch only has 166 total yards with 41 touches and no TDs but he’s due for a bounce back game. The Bears are only average at the stopping the run, they’re right in the middle of the road at 16th in the league.
The Seahawks are 0-2 and will need to stick with the running game in order to set up Russell Wilson and the passing game. The Bears defense has not been great this year and the last time Lynch went up against them he averaged 4.5 yards per carry. Marshawn Lynch is another running back who should put up big numbers this week.
DEMARCO MURRAY VS. JETS
DeMarco Murray is one of those fantasy running backs that was projected to have a great year in the Eagles offense but he’s been awful. Murray has an abysmal 11 yards in TWO GAMES and it isn’t likely to get better against a Jets defense that has dominated early on this season.
The Jets currently have the 2nd best run defense in the NFL and they have a league high 10 turnovers already. You may have to start DeMarco Murray if he’s your first pick but if you have a better option then you may want to go with him. Fantasy owners can’t afford another terrible performance from Murray and there’s a chance he’ll lose a fumble as well.
JEREMY HILL VS. RAVENS
Jeremy Hill is another running back who has underwhelmed for those fantasy owners that took him early in their fantasy drafts. Hill put the ball on the ground twice when he had only fumbled twice his whole career.
That allowed for Giovanni Bernard to come into the game and rush for 123 yards on 20 carries. There are too many factors here that point towards Hill having another bad week.
Not only could he be sharing carries with Gio Bernard but he also has to face the 7th best run defense and the Bengals arch nemesis in the Baltimore Ravens. This is definitely a matchup to stay away from, don’t play Hill against the Ravens.
ON THE BUBBLE
CHRIS IVORY VS. EAGLES
The Eagles haven’t been bad against the run at all against lately. They kept Tevin Coleman under 100 yards and Joseph Randle to 51 yards. However, Chris Ivory had 92 yards and 2 TDs against a decent Browns defense and he’s due for a big game.
With Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, the Jets are going to have to stick to the running game and they will continue to feed Chris Ivory. A large volume of carries and some goal line touches means Ivory could have a big game. If not, it’s because the Eagles are expecting a heavy dose of the run in the first place.
LATAVIUS MURRAY VS. BROWNS
The Raiders have essentially made Latavius Murray their featured back going forward and he has not dissapointed, especially from a PPR perspective. The Browns have built a solid front seven over the last couple of years and are currently 13th against the run.
However, the Browns still allowed 166 yards on the ground last week to the Titans and Murray is better than any of the Titans running backs. Murray has the chance to have a great week but the Browns could stifle him.