The 2013 NFL regular season heads into an all-important Week 3 loaded with big matchups that will feature a select few running backs tearing through defenses and putting up big fantasy football numbers.
While the cards aren't stacked in everyone's favor, a handful of talented rushers have fortunate matchups on their schedule as fantasy GMs drool at the possibilities for their backs.
Let's take a look at the Week 3 fantasy running back rankings and three guys who will break out.
|1||Adrian Peterson (MIN)||vs. CLE|
|2||Marshawn Lynch (SEA)||vs. JAC|
|3||LeSean McCoy (PHI) *played*||vs. KC (L)|
|4||Doug Martin (TB)||at NE|
|5||Matt Forte (CHI)||at PIT|
|6||Alfred Morris (WAS)||vs. DET|
|7||Jamaal Charles (KC) *played*||at PHI (W)|
|8||Knowshon Moreno (DEN)||vs. OAK|
|9||Arian Foster (HOU)||at BAL|
|10||Chris Johnson (TEN)||vs. SD|
|11||Reggie Bush (DET)||at WAS|
|12||C.J. Spiller (BUF)||at NYJ|
|13||Frank Gore (SF)||vs. IND|
|14||Stevan Ridley (NE)||vs. TB|
|15||Darren Sproles (NO)||vs. ARI|
Steven Cook's Projected Rankings
Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
Things have been quiet on the Reggie Bush front ever since his monster Week 1, as he posted an underwhelming performance last week against Arizona.
But he's bound for a turnaround. His Lions go on the road to Washington, a team that gave up 263 yards on the ground to Philadelphia in Week 1 and 580 total yards to Green Bay last week. In both of those games, the opposing backs (LeSean McCoy and James Starks) had big fantasy days.
Bush is facing injury problems with a knee issue, but told Carlos Monnarrez of USA Today he's "optimistic" about playing Sunday. If his situation worsens then it's too much of a gamble, but don't let a nagging injury keep you from seeing his potential in the game.
The Redskins have gone down by multiple scores early on in each of their opening two contests, and that's a trend that will bode well for the Lions' backs and their amount of touches.
Assuming Matthew Stafford can have the early success that the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Michael Vick had, the ball should be in Bush's hands plenty. And when that's the case, he almost always delivers.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch apparently listened to his fantasy owners that vented about his poor Week 1, scorching the San Francisco 49ers last week with 98 yards and two scores.
Expect more of the same this week from the bruising back, as his Seahawks enjoy a visit from the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jags have given up the second-most rushing yards in the league thus far, which is nothing short of a recipe for disaster for Jacksonville fans. And after Lynch showed Week 1 was a fluke, the sky is the limit for this Seahawks rushing attack.
Lynch is set to have a field day as his Seahawks are a sure bet to get out to an early lead and pound the rock for the remainder of the game.
Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
Nobody was able to put a finger on an accurate value for Broncos tailback Knowshon Moreno heading into the season, but after two games it's become apparent that he'll receive a lion's share of the carries for Denver.
Moreno had a huge day against the Giants last week, posting 93 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 carries.
The Broncos—much like the Seahawks—will benefit from a cupcake matchup against the Oakland Raiders, a team they beat twice last season by a combined score of 63-19. Peyton Manning is no stranger to building an early lead on Oakland, and that will leave Moreno as a key contributor in burning out the final 45 minutes of the game.
The Raiders are a tough team to judge after two games—case in point: They lead the league in rushing—but if 2012 was any indication for their defense, it'll be a breakout performance from Moreno on the ground.