It’s another edition of choose or lose at the tailback position. Last week was one of the few weeks all season where a running back didn’t feature among the top five fantasy scorers. This week promises to be the exact opposite with some important matchups looming over Week 9 of the NFL season.
JONATHAN STEWART VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Jonathan Stewart is finally starting to produce at a level that fantasy owners would have hoped for. With DeAngelo Williams gone, Stewart is healthy and performing at the right time for the Panthers.
He has three touchdowns over the last three weeks and has rushed for 78 yards or more in each of those games. The Packers may have improved their pass defense but they just let a lowly Denver Broncos running game demolish them.
Jonathan Stewart should receive at least 20 touches to take pressure off Cam Newton so he’s a must start this week.
RONNIE HILLMAN VS. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Ronnie Hillman has won the starting job from C.J. Anderson and hasn’t looked back. He’s put together some solid performances including a two touchdowns against Green Bay last week.
The running game is vital for the Broncos if they want to rest Peyton Manning’s arm as much as possible. They have a good chance to do that against the Colts who 24th against opposing running backs. Start Hillman with confidence again this week.
JEREMY LANGFORD VS. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
The 4th round pick out of Michigan State will be filling in for Matt Forte who is currently having MCL issues. Langford is a big, powerful back who is in the mold of another former Spartan Le’Veon Bell.
Langford has an good opportunity to have a big day in his debut as the starter. The Chargers are dead last in the league against stopping the run and John Fox loves to run the football. Matt Forte owners really don’t have a choice but to start him, and it may end up working out in the end.
LATAVIUS MURRAY VS. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Latavius Murray had a tough matchup last week against the New York Jets and played well but there’s a small chance he doesn’t against the Steelers this week.
The Steelers are 4th in the NFL against opposing running backs and if they fall behind early then he’ll definitely be taken out of the game. Murray is a tough play for fantasy owners this Sunday.
DARREN MCFADDEN VS. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
McFadden was only able to muster 64 yards on 20 carries against the Seahawks and things likely won’t get easier against the Eagles this week. Philly has allowed more than 100 rushing yards just twice this season and McFadden is capable of doing it but maybe not in a crucial NFC East game.
The Eagles will be prepared since Matt Cassel hasn’t gotten it done throwing the ball either and they’re 6th against running backs. Unless McFadden gets into the endzone, he doesn’t have much value this week.
ON THE BUBBLE
FRANK GORE VS. DENVER BRONCOS
Frank Gore will be necessary in this game considering Andrew Luck has had plenty of issues taking care of the football this year. The Broncos secondary is one of the best in the game, establishing the running game will be vital if the Colts want to win.
They’ll have a chance to exploit the Broncos who are actually 16th against opposing running backs. Frank Gore been solid but if the Colts fall behind again, then Gore is a risky play.
LAMAR MILLER VS. BUFFALO BILLS
Lamar Miller actually cooled off against the New England Patriots last week, the Dolphins had to throw for most of the game which is why Miller only got nine carries. Miller could get back on track because the Dolphins are reeling after a tough loss to the Patriots.
They need him to play well, but there’s a chance it doesn’t go well against the Bills defense that is at home and is 11th against opposing running backs. It could be boom or bust for Miller against the Bills this week.