The opening week of the 2012 NFL season showcased several running backs who could be a vital part of your fantasy football team going forward.
Stevan Ridley and C.J. Spiller are just two running backs who burst onto the scene on Sunday, and established themselves as must-start running backs for next week.
Let's look at four RBs you would be foolish to bench in Week 2.
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In his first career NFL game, Buccaneers running back Doug Martin did not disappoint. The rookie rushed for 95 yards against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1, and also caught four passes for 23 yards.
He is playing the New York Giants next week, whose defense is talented, but Big Blue gave up 131 yards on the ground to Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray on just 20 carries in the season opener.
Martin should be able to duplicate his Week 1 stats against the defending champions. Expect over 100 total yards for a second consecutive week from the star rookie.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Forte rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts and against a poor Green Bay Packers defense on Thursday, expect the Bears running back to reach the 100-yard mark.
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore rushed for 112 yards with an average of seven yards per carry against the Packers on Sunday, so there's no reason why Forte can't have an amazing day for your fantasy team against Green Bay.
Forte will also be a factor in Jay Cutler's passing attack, so he could rack up 150-plus total yards against a Packers defense that does not defend the pass well.
C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
Spiller's performance in Week 1 is one of the few reasons for Buffalo Bills fans to remain hopeful about their team's chances of having a strong season.
The Bills running back rushed for a league-high 169 yards against the New York Jets on Sunday, and also caught two passes for 25 yards. He also scored a rushing touchdown.
With Fred Jackson suffering an injury (via ESPN's Adam Schefter) in the loss to the Jets, Spiller could be the starter going forward. With Jackson injured, Spiller certainly has an opportunity to shine.
Against a weak Kansas City Chiefs defense in Week 2, Spiller should be able to rush for over 100 yards again, and find the end zone at least once. The Chiefs allowed over 350 yards of total offense to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1.
Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
Patriots fans have waited for Stevan Ridley to prove that he is the running back of the future, and he may have done that on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
Ridley ran for 125 yards and a touchdown against the Titans in one of the opening week's most impressive performances by a running back.
Since defenses have to respect Tom Brady and his passing attack, Ridley should not have a difficult time gaining yards this season. The Patriots' incredibly soft schedule is also a reason to start Ridley most weeks.
Against an Arizona Cardinals defense that allowed 115 rush yards to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1, expect Ridley to have another fantastic game this Sunday.
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