Week 9 Fantasy Football Projections: RBs Poised for Monster Games

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2012

HOUSTON,TX - OCTOBER 21: Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans races down the sidelines against Dannell Ellerbe #59 of the Baltimore Ravens at Reliant Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 43-13. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Deciding who to start at running back isn't quite as easy as we thought it would be heading into the season, is it? 

First-round picks like LeSean McCoy have been disappointing, while late-round picks (or more likely waiver-wire fodder) like Alfred Morris and Jonathan Dwyer have emerged as must-start options on a weekly basis.

Thankfully, Week 9 brings us a number of games that heavily favor some of the backs we've been rotating on a weekly basis, giving us a chance to finally reap the rewards that we expected when we picked them up in the first place.

Here are the guys who are going to run wild for your fantasy squad in Week 9.


Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers

After missing the first few games of the season with a broken collarbone suffered during the preseason, Ryan Mathews has steadily seen his workload—and production—increase with each passing week.

He carried the ball 24 times for 95 yards against the Cleveland Browns in Week 8, and Mathews and the Chargers are playing host to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night, a team he picked up 61 yards on 14 carries against in Week 4.

Kansas City ranks 22nd against the run, allowing an average of 125 yards per game on the ground.

Look for Mathews to notch his first 100-yard rushing day of the season and find the end zone at least once against a hapless Kansas City squad that figures to be trailing early in this one.


Arian Foster, Houston Texans

Arian Foster has three 100-yard rushing games on the season, two more games with at least 80 yards rushing and has scored a touchdown in every game except one.

Of course, he is going to be in your starting lineup.

But you should be drooling about the matchup he faces this week against the Buffalo Bills, owner of the most inept run defense in the NFL.

Foster could pick up 100 yards and a score in the first half alone, and this could be the biggest game he has for your squad all season long. Anything less than 125 yards and two scores would be a major surprise.


LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

We briefly touched on LeSean McCoy earlier, and while he's been relatively disappointing for you so far, Week 9 is as good a chance as he's got to turn things around.

Philadelphia faces a New Orleans team that has struggled mightily against the run, giving up more than 160 yards per game on the ground.

Willis McGahee ran for more than 120 yards against them on Sunday night, one of two running backs to eclipse the 100-yard mark. Three others have come close, finishing their games with more than 80 yards on the ground.

McCoy will make it a trio of running backs to pick up more than 100 yards on the ground against New Orleans.


Ben Tate, Houston Texans

It's not often I'd recommend starting a backup running back, but Buffalo's defense just screams "start me!" when it comes to Tate.

You have to figure that Houston is going to get out to an early lead and spend much of the day running the ball as they try to kill the clock.

Tate carried the ball 12 times for 74 yards and two touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this season, a defense that ranks 29th against the run.

Buffalo's defense is worse, and Tate has a shot at not only replicating that performance, but eclipsing the 100-yard mark as well.