Fantasy Week 3 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Breaking Down the Toughest RB Matchups
Knowing when to start or sit a running back based on his upcoming matchup is what separates the best from the rest each week in fantasy football.
A running back may appear to have a bad matchup on the schedule, but a variety of factors play into each performance. Owners who can sift through all of the available information will consistently come out on top after making proper running back decisions.
We're here to help. The following is a breakdown of six of the hotter names in the world of fantasy football at the moment and why owners should let them ride the pine or throw them into the fire.
Start 'Em: David Wilson, New York Giants at Carolina Panthers
Yes, David Wilson has only taken seven handoffs in each of his first two games this season, but that's going to change in a hurry with the New York Giants in panic mode at 0-2.
Much of the reason Wilson has been seen sulking on the sidelines rather than in the game this year was his two fumbles in the team's opener. New York sought help and brought back Brandon Jacobs, but he only rushed for four yards on seven carries while adding a touchdown.
Wilson's time is now. He's the starting back with big-play speed and the Giants need a more balanced attack before the season is lost for good. Now would be the time to restore faith in Wilson.
Sit 'Em: Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks
Maurice Jones-Drew used to be one of the top dogs in the fake football land. Now he's an afterthought on the worst team in the NFL.
Through two games, Jones-Drew has rushed for just 72 yards and has yet to score. Part of it is a miserable offensive line in front of him; the majority is a horrible quarterback situation that allows defenses to key on Jones-Drew all game.
Things aren't going to get better anytime soon, and they'll get even worse before they improve with Jacksonville taking a trip to Seattle. Avoid at all costs.
Sit 'Em: James Starks, Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals
The world freaked out this past weekend as Green Bay running back James Starks went for over 100 yards against Washington after starter Eddie Lacy went down with an injury, as illustrated by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
James Starks is the first #Packers 100-yard rusher since Week 5 of 2010. 45 games. That's amazing.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 15, 2013
While the performance was impressive, keep in mind it came against a Washington defense that gave up 184 yards on the ground to LeSean McCoy the week prior. Cincinnati is no slouch as always and has only surrendered 125 total yards on the ground through two games.
Starks is going to have a disappointing day after dominating the headlines.
Start 'Em: Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers vs. Indianapolis Colts
Frank Gore is due.
It's really as simple as that. So far Gore has carried the ball 30 times for 60 yards. That makes sense after consecutive contests with Green Bay and Seattle, but this week's opponent does not tout a comparable defense.
Indianapolis has surrendered 272 total yards on the ground already and now has to travel to San Francisco after a tough home loss. Expect a grind-it-out approach from San Francisco as the team that is physically superior.
Gore is near the tail end of his career, but this one is a given. Expect Gore of old to flash with over 100 yards at one score at a minimum.
Sit 'Em: Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders
Knowshon Moreno broke out last week and solidified himself as a starter in Denver with 13 carries for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Now Moreno seemingly has a favorable matchup against the Oakland Raiders. The problem is Oakland has only given up 161 yards on the ground through two games. Quarterback Peyton Manning will have his way with the Raiders' secondary, but the running lanes won't be as wide for Moreno this week.
Not only that, Moreno will still have to split time with rookie Montee Ball. Until Moreno is the guaranteed starter on every down, he's a name to avoid despite the hype currently building him up.
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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