Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
Woodhead wasn’t great against the Colts, but this matchup at Jacksonville is too good to sit either of the Chargers’ timeshare backs. The Jags have allowed the fifth-most points to running backs in fantasy and have the league’s worst run defense, allowing 152.5 rushing yards per game. Woodhead is going to do his damage through the air, while Mathews will break 100 yards on the ground and find the end zone as well. Both backs are breaking double digits here.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins
He limped into the bye week with just 15 yards rushing against the Ravens, but Miller is getting the bulk of the snaps at running back for the Dolphins. Touchdown vulture Daniel Thomas has seen his touches dwindle each of the past four games. Also, Buffalo has a bottom-five rush defense, so this could wind up as the best game of Miller’s young career.
DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers
Williams hasn’t reached the end zone yet, but you have to like his chances against a Rams defense that has been the second worst in fantasy.
The Rams have given up the most rushing yards to running backs thus far this season, and we would expect Williams to be good for 100 yards and a touchdown here. Williams needs to get his big games in now because Jonathan Stewart (ankle) is nearing a return from the PUP list, according to Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer.
Joseph Randle, Dallas Cowboys
With DeMarco Murray (knee) listed doubtful—owner Jerry Jones said he was unlikely to play earlier this week—and Lance Dunbar (knee) out on the official NFL Injury Report, the Cowboys turn to the rookie, Randle, in what should be a shootout against the Eagles.
This game is more likely to be in Tony Romo’s hands than Randle’s, but the volume of plays and opportunities in the red zone should create an opportunity for Randle to score for fantasy owners. Phillip Tanner is currently the only other back on the roster, so this should be a busy week for the Oklahoma State product.
Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants
Scoff all you want at Jacobs’ plodding style, the Giants’ laughable offensive line play and the Giants’ propensity to pass way more than they should, but Jacobs is coming off a 106-yard, two-touchdown performance, and the Vikings have been the worst team in fantasy against running backs.
It should be enough for Jacobs to find the end zone Monday night, even if he totals 15 carries for a mere 25 yards. All you need in this year of the sketchy back is a touchdown. Jacobs gets those.
Willis McGahee, Cleveland Browns
McGahee is not only facing a Packers team that has been very good against the run—third best in the NFL—but he is also failing to put away Chris Ogbonnaya as a fantasy option. The latter had the better fantasy day against the Lions a week ago, and McGahee has missed some practice time to a knee issue. ESPN’s Pat McManamon goes so far to suggest McGahee will “probably be on the injury report for the rest of the season.”
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner hinted the Browns will need to turn to Ogbonnaya and even Bobby Rainey and Fozzy Whittaker more and more.
“We have an unusual situation, and we’re making the best out of it. McGahee is giving us plays. Ogbonnaya is giving us plays. Bobby’s giving us some plays. Now we’re going to use Fozzy a little bit and see how he does. No question, it’s a group effort.”
Read: McGahee might not have been the answer after the Trent Richardson trade. Watch all of the Browns’ backs usage. Someone might emerge as a fantasy option over McGahee going forward.
Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons
The continued absence of Steven Jackson (hamstring) keeps Rodgers and Snelling in the Falcons’ game plan, but the Bucs defense is one of only two in the NFL to have yet to allow a touchdown to a running back to date. The Bucs still should be one of the most feared defenses against the run despite their lost season. Rodgers and Snelling are low-end flex plays at best.
Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens
When Ray Rice returned from his hip injury, Pierce sunk back into fantasy obscurity. We should expect him to stay there against a Steelers defense that has been uncharacteristically susceptible to the run in the early part of the season.
Pittsburgh played the run-heavy Jets really well last week, though, so expect the Steelers to continue to improve against fantasy backs. Pierce is a mere Rice handcuff right now and frankly can be someone you drop during the heavy bye weeks to come.
|1||Adrian Peterson||Min||at NYG||1||0|
|2||Jamaal Charles||KC||vs. Hou||2||0|
|3||LeSean McCoy||Phi||vs. Dal||3||0|
|4||Arian Foster||Hou||at KC||5||+1|
|5||Marshawn Lynch||Sea||at Ari||6||+1|
|6||Matt Forte||Chi||at Was||4||-2|
|7||Ray Rice||Bal||at Pit||12||+5|
|8||Doug Martin||TB||at Atl||9||+1|
|9||Alfred Morris||Was||vs. Chi||11||+2|
|10||Frank Gore||SF||at Ten||10||0|
|11||Reggie Bush||Det||vs. Cin||8||-3|
|12||Knowshon Moreno||Den||at Ind||7||-5|
|13||C.J. Spiller||Buf||at Mia||23||+10|
|14||Danny Woodhead||SD||at Jac||21||+7|
|15||Lamar Miller||Mia||vs. Buf||17||+2|
|16||DeAngelo Williams||Car||vs. StL||14||-2|
|17||Trent Richardson||Ind||vs. Den||16||-1|
|18||Eddie Lacy||GB||vs. Cle||13||-5|
|19||Joseph Randle||Dal||at Phi||26||+7|
|20||Ryan Mathews||SD||at Jac||19||-1|
|21||Chris Johnson||Ten||vs. SF||28||+7|
|22||Stevan Ridley||NE||at NYJ||25||+3|
|23||Giovani Bernard||Cin||at Det||15||-8|
|24||Brandon Jacobs||NYG||vs. Min||18||-6|
|25||Le’Veon Bell||Pit||vs. Bal||24||-1|
|26||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||Cin||at Det||31||+5|
|27||Fred Jackson||Buf||at Mia||20||-7|
|28||Maurice Jones-Drew||Jac||vs. SD||22||-6|
|29||Bilal Powell||NYJ||vs. NE||27||-2|
|30||Zac Stacy||StL||at Car||29||-1|
|31||Willis McGahee||Cle||at GB||33||+2|
|32||Rashard Mendenhall||Ari||vs. Sea||36||+4|
|33||Joique Bell||Det||vs. Cin||35||+2|
|34||Ronnie Hillman||Den||at Ind||41||+7|
|35||Ben Tate||Hou||at KC||38||+3|
|36||Andre Ellington||Ari||vs. Sea||32||-4|
|37||Daniel Thomas||Mia||vs. Buf||47||+10|
|38||Mike Tolbert||Car||vs. StL||39||+1|
|39||Bryce Brown||Phi||vs. Dal||51||+12|
|40||Chris Ogbonnaya||Cle||at GB||37||-3|
|41||Bernard Pierce||Bal||at Pit||43||+2|
|42||Jacquizz Rodgers||Atl||vs. TB||30||-12|
|43||Jason Snelling||Atl||vs. TB||34||-9|
|44||LeGarrette Blount||NE||at NYJ||49||+5|
|45||Robert Turbin||Sea||at Ari||58||+13|
|46||Kendall Hunter||SF||at Ten||48||+2|
|47||Montee Ball||Den||at Ind||61||+14|
|48||Daryl Richardson||StL||at Car||50||+2|
|49||Brandon Bolden||NE||at NYJ||42||-7|
|50||Anthony Dixon||SF||at Ten||71||+21|
|51||Donald Brown||Ind||vs. Den||44||-7|
|52||Chris Ivory||NYJ||vs. NE||40||-12|
|53||Ronnie Brown||SD||at Jac||54||+1|
|54||Shonn Greene||Ten||vs. SF||60||+6|
|55||Michael Bush||Chi||at Was||57||+2|
|56||Roy Helu||Was||vs. Chi||46||-10|
|57||Bobby Rainey||Cle||at GB||79||+22|
|58||Toby Gerhart||Min||at NYG||65||+7|
|59||Jordan Todman||Jac||vs. SD||81||+22|
|60||Felix Jones||Pit||vs. Bal||67||+7|
|61||Alfonso Smith||Ari||vs. Sea||87||+26|
|62||Knile Davis||KC||vs. Hou||69||+7|
|63||Jackie Battle||Ten||vs. SF||56||-7|
|64||LaMichael James||SF||at Ten||75||+11|