Fantasy Football: Why Owners Must Start Running Backs vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Jamal CollierAnalyst IIISeptember 29, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 10: Running back Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens rushes against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on September 10, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens won 44-13. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In 2012, teams have opted to throw the football as a means of moving it against the Cincinnati Bengals’ porous pass defense. However, if they explored the rushing avenue, they would find that success is to be had there as well.

The Bengals have faced off with some talent this season at the running back position, but it has been inexperienced talent outside of the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice.

Rice only received 10 carries in Week 1, but he scored two touchdowns with them and added 68 rushing yards.

The Bengals saw 2012 third overall draft pick Trent Richardson of the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 and greeted their newest divisional foe with 109 rushing yards on 19 carries. They allowed him to score, as well.

In Week 3, Cincinnati encountered the Washington Redskins’ sixth-round draft pick, rookie Alfred Morris. Morris also visited the end zone against the Bengals, gathering 78 yards on 17 carries.

Between the two AFC North backs, the Bengals gave up seven catches for 61 receiving yards and an additional touchdown.

Alfred Morris didn’t get a catch, because that’s not what he does.

On average, Bengals opponents have their lead backs rushing for 85 rushing yards and 1.3 touchdowns per game. They have received 2.3 passes for 20.3 yards and a fraction of a touchdown, as well.

That’s over 100 total yards per game…on a grand total of 17.6 touches per contest, on average.

Imagine if your fantasy running back was getting more than 18 touches against Cincinnati.

Cincinnati plays at the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4. Maurice Jones-Drew is averaging 22.3 touches in his first three games.  He had 30 touches in Week 3.

He’s a must-start.

The Miami DolphinsReggie Bush is averaging 20 touches per game despite getting hurt in Week 3.

If he’s available to suit up against the Bengals in Week 5, he’s a must-start too.

Trent Richardson gets a second crack at the Bengals at home in Week 6. After 145 total yards and two touchdowns on the road in Cincinnati, he’ll welcome them to Cleveland for their second matchup.

As a fantasy owner, you know what to do.