Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 3: RBs You Must Bench This Weekend

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 24:  Trent Richardson #33 of the Cleveland Browns run with the ball during the preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 24, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

New Indianapolis Colts playmaker Trent Richardson is one of the running backs whom fantasy football owners need to bench in Week 3. 

Indianapolis shocked the country by trading for Richardson on Wednesday.

He is going to be a good fit in the team's offense down the road, but he's not an ideal pick to start this week. 

Injuries have forced owners to bench the likes of Eddie Lacy and be cautious of Reggie Bush. Many running backs are off to slow starts this season, so owners are scrambling to find good alternatives.

Here are a few running backs that owners need to keep out of the lineup this week.


Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 8: Running back Trent Richardson #33 of the Cleveland Browns runs for a gain during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at First Energy Stadium on September 8, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Colts have to travel across the country to take on the San Francisco 49ers, and Indianapolis is sure to struggle this week.

San Francisco is one of the top teams in the NFC, and the Colts have not looked that good in the early part of the season. They barely topped the Oakland Raiders at home in the opener, and they lost to the Miami Dolphins last week.

Richardson was brought in to provide balance to the offense. He will do that over time, but it's unreasonable to expect him to have a huge game right away. The second-year back should be able to be reasonably productive on the ground, but that's only part of his game.

While in Cleveland, Richardson was used to catch passes out of the backfield. He has 58 receptions for 418 yards since the beginning of 2012. The running back won't be able to have much of an impact in the passing game due to having only a couple of days to work with the offense.

The 49ers are going to be able to put up points on Sunday, and the Colts are going to have to abandon the running game at some point.

Down the road, Richardson will be a great fit in this offense. This week it would be wise to find an alternative.


Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 16:  Giovani Bernard #25 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 16, 2013 at Paul Brown Stadium on September 16, 2013 in Cin
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Everyone had high expectations for Giovani Bernard entering the season, and he showed why on Monday night. He had 38 rushing yards and a 27-yard reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he scored both of the game's touchdowns.

The rookie will continue to see increased playing time as he puts up numbers like that, but this week is not the time to overreact. Owners will see last week's big game and think about putting him in their lineup. 

Not so fast. The Green Bay Packers are coming to town, which means Andy Dalton will have to be on top of his game. Dalton will struggle to keep up with Aaron Rodgers on the scoreboard, and Bernard won't be much of a threat this week.

With the Packers likely to put up a lot of points, Dalton will need to utilize his receivers. A.J. Green is an elite wideout, and tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert will be targeted more than they have been all season.

Cincinnati has a lot of playmakers on offense. The passing game is going to be the key to the game, so Bernard won't be able to get going on the ground. The speedster isn't likely to score two touchdowns again this week, so don't overreact and insert him into your lineup.


James Starks, Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 15: James Starks #44 of the Green Bay Packers rushes the ball and is hit by Reed Doughty #37 of the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field on September 15, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Redskins 38-20. (Pho
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

No running back saw his stock go up more than James Starks. The Packers running back stepped up and had over 160 total yards, including 132 rushing yards, and a touchdown against the Washington Redskins last week. He replaced Eddie Lacy, who suffered a concussion, and will start this week, according to Gregg Rosenthal of

He was added in more than 78 percent of ESPN's fantasy leagues. It was a huge overreaction from one big game against a weak defense.

Washington ranks last in the NFL in run defense. Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy ran for more than 180 yards against the Redskins in the opener, so it wasn't a huge surprise that Starks was able to top the 100-yard mark.

This week will be a different story. Cincinnati's defense, led by Geno Atkins, ranks sixth in the NFL against the run, and they already held Matt Forte to 50 rushing yards on 19 carries.

Rodgers will be able to pick apart the defense with his arm, and he won't be looking to continue to hand the ball off when the Bengals stuff Starks. Near the end zone, Rodgers will be able to get the ball to Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb or James Jones.

Starks had a big game against a defense that is on pace to shatter records they'd rather not come close to, and he will have a hard time coming close to repeating that performance this week against a tough defense.


*All stats are courtesy of