It seems like running the ball in the NFL is a dying art. This makes it hard to find quality running backs for fantasy football leagues, especially deeper ones.
Only two running backs in all of football rushed for over 100 yards in Week 1—something that was fairly common just a few years ago.
One of those players, Shane Vereen, is out until Week 11 after undergoing wrist surgery, according to Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports.
Meanwhile, a number of elite players at the position struggled to get fantasy points. Marshawn Lynch, C.J. Spiller, Maurice Jones-Drew and other top picks were held to fewer than five points in standard leagues.
Fortunately, there are better weeks ahead for a lot of top players. For those fantasy owners who are in really bad shape, there are also enough quality backs at the bottom to provide value as starters in the coming week.
Here is a full look at running backs for Week 2 with highlights of those who should really exceed expectations.
Running Backs to Watch
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
After selecting him in the first round, most people will keep Lynch in the starting lineup no matter what. Still, others remain scared to start him against the San Francisco 49ers defense after such a poor showing in Week 1.
While he did only manage 43 yards on 17 carries, the good news is that he should be just fine going forward.
Seattle has other players to fill in at the position, including Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, but neither got much of a look in the first game. Turbin received three carries and Michael had zero.
This means that Lynch will continue getting the bulk of the carries on a run-heavy team. He has also topped 100 rushing yards in his last three games against the 49ers, so he is fully capable of posting another strong performance in this game.
Feel free to keep him in your lineup next week, and likely every week going forward.
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
A touchdown saved what would have been a poor debut for Eddie Lacy. He only managed an average of 2.9 yards per carry in the team's loss to San Francisco.
However, he did have the trust of his coach and ran the ball 14 times in the game. This role is much better than what we have seen out of fellow rookies Montee Ball and Giovani Bernard.
With no one to take away carries and a team looking to establish the run, Lacy is certain to get plenty more opportunities in Week 2. This should lead to much more production as he faces a Washington Redskins opponent that allowed 263 rushing yards in Week 1.
Lacy has a legitimate chance to finish among the best rushers in the league this season, and that domination will start this week.
Joique Bell, Detroit Lions
Every year, there are players who post big numbers in Week 1 and then fade away into obscurity for the rest of the season. While Joique Bell is not going to average 20 fantasy points per game, he is not one of those players.
The second-string running back provides great value to the Lions as a receiver out of the backfield, as shown by his five receptions in Week 1. While Reggie Bush remains the starter, there are still plenty of touches to go around in this high-powered offense.
Plus, Bell proved himself in the first game as a quality goal-line back, and he should remain in that role going forward.
Against the Arizona Cardinals, expect more of the same as he continues to find gaps in the defense when he gets on the field.
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