Even though fantasy football is ruined for Ray Rice, we have the feeling that won't stop fantasy owners from retooling their lineups heading into Week 3. Week 2 saw many of the usual NFL running backs rise to the top, as Adrian Peterson topped 100 yards, and Arian Foster had a solid week on the fantasy front.
We had some surprise performances from James Starks and Knowshon Moreno, but don't look for those guys to post similar numbers as the season continues.
The running backs who are the best bets to have big games in Week 3 are the guys you drafted to carry your team.
The Vikings have allowed running backs to put up 45 fantasy points through two weeks. The Browns continue to have quarterback problems.
That is the perfect recipe for Richardson to get on track after two slow weeks to start the season.
Richardson continues to be a high-volume back for the Browns, and while he may not have a high per-carry average, he will get plenty of yards in Week 3 and find the end zone.
Charles has yet to top the 100-yard plateau, and that may not change against the high-scoring Eagles.
In Week 3, expect Alex Smith to carry the Chiefs offense down the field and for Charles to punch the ball into the end zone to finish drives. Chip Kelly’s high-volume offense makes his defense more vulnerable, and Charles will have his highest fantasy output to date in Week 3.
3. Alfred Morris:
Morris only has 25 carries so far, but that is because Washington has fallen behind and had to throw the ball more.
Look for the Redskins to get off to a better start and Morris to carry the ball more throughout the game. It will also help that Detroit's Nick Fairley is nursing an injury that could limit his impact at the line of scrimmage.
2. Marshawn Lynch:
Lynch will put up big numbers against a Jaguars defense that gives up 173.5 yards a game on the ground.
He was last week’s No. 1 fantasy running back. The only thing stopping him from a repeat performance will be if the Seahawks get a big lead and give some of Lynch’s carries to backup Robert Turbin.
1. Adrian Peterson
As the best back in the league, Peterson will always have high fantasy expectations. He hasn’t put up one of his signature ridiculous stat lines from last season, but Week 3 against the Browns will change that.
Cleveland’s defense is no slouch, but its offense won’t score much either. That means the Vikings will be able to hand the ball off all day long, giving Peterson plenty of chances to break off some long runs and find the end zone a time or two.
The NFL is a league ruled by quarterbacks, but in fantasy football, it is the running back that can make or break a season.
Quarterbacks are without a doubt important, but in fantasy leagues, everyone has a good quarterback. Having the right running back in your lineup come Sunday will make the difference in a win or a loss. For Week 3, these five guys are the backs most likely to carry your team to victory.