Start Em Sit Em Week 6: Running Backs Who Are Must-Starts Despite Bad Seasons

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IOctober 13, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 08:  Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets runs the ball against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium on October 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Texans won 23-17.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Many running backs have been brushed aside in fantasy football leagues as a result of bad starts to the 2012 NFL season. But this isn't the week to do that as there are some backs who could finally breakout against lesser defenses.

So let's take a look at some of the backs who have favorable matchups this week, and as a result are a must-start for fantasy football owners who may otherwise be cautious to start them.


Shonn Greene: New York Jets

The Jets haven't done a great job moving the ball on the ground this season, but that should change against their Week 6 opponent, the Indianapolis Colts.

To say Greene is due would be the overstatement of the century. Since a solid performance in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills (27 carries, 94 yards, one touchdown), the Jets running back has been quiet without a big game and a touchdown to speak of.

But this week could be the game Greene breaks through.

The Colts have been dreadful against the run this season, allowing 135.8 yards per game on the ground, which is good enough for No. 26 in the NFL. That fact alone should help Greene exploit the Colts offense en route to a big game.

On top of that, New York has had a ton of injuries to its receiving corps and has been mostly unsuccessful moving the ball through the air. That will force the Jets to lean on the rushing attack this week and will lead to Greene's best game of the season.


Doug Martin: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Martin has also had his fair share of problems this season and hasn't made a major impact for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers, when he ran for 95 yards on 24 carries.

As bad as the Bucs' rushing attack has been this season, their passing attack has been worse. Even with all the new options Tampa Bay brought in, this team is still not impressive through the air.

Martin will be the spark the Bucs need to get the passing game going and should be able to accomplish that against the Kansas City Chiefs this week.

Not to mention that Kansas City has been impressive against the pass this season, so if options don't open up down field for Josh Freeman, Martin should be his short-yardage passing option.

The Chiefs are ranked No. 22 in the NFL against the run, so this week will be one of the best chances Martin has to breakout with a big game in his rookie campaign.


BenJarvus Green-Ellis: Cincinnati Bengals

While Green-Ellis' season hasn't been nearly as bad as the two players mentioned above, the Cincinnati Bengals running back has yet to break the 100-yard mark for the season while notching only two touchdowns.

Green-Ellis has also only been able to average five yards per rush in a game once this season, failing to break four yards per carry in every other game.

In Week 6, the Bengals will visit the Cleveland Browns, a team that has been awful against both the run and pass this season. The Bengals can choose to attack that in two ways.

Andy Dalton could start the game off by airing it out, helping to set up the Bengals' rushing attack in the process. Or, the Bengals could choose to first establish the run with Green-Ellis and then begin moving the ball through the air.

No matter how they go about abusing the Browns terrible defense, Green-Ellis should have no problem picking up big yardage against Cleveland's No. 27 ranked rush defense.