Patrick Smith/Getty Images
A rushing touchdown can conceivably happen at any time. Because they’re worth 60 yards in standard fantasy leagues, they’re awarded an awful lot of weight for something that’s relatively unpredictable.
Making decisions on who to start or sit based on his upcoming opponent’s fantasy points allowed to running backs can, therefore, be a really bad move.
Through three weeks, allowing that to determine your decision would mean expecting Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy to shatter records against the Denver Broncos simply because Denver has allowed an NFL-high six total touchdowns on the year to running backs.
And, of course, McCoy's a baller.
Even if the Eagles weren’t starting a highly touted guy like Shady—and, because of his talent, you should, too—whoever was starting would still be worth flex consideration against a “top-six matchup” for running backs in the Broncos.
Anyone who’s seen those boys play would know that’s just not true; 68.9 percent of their (ESPN standard league) fantasy points allowed to running backs came in the form of three rushing touchdowns, three receiving scores and a Darren McFadden passing strike.
This example underscores the fallacy of extrapolating three weeks’ worth of stats for the purpose of 17, but it also emphasizes running backs’ more consistent means of scoring fantasy points: rushing yards. Namely, their opponents’ rushing yards allowed per carry.
Denver allowed 3.7 yards per rush to backs last season, and is surrendering just 1.7 yards per carry to RBs this year. The New Orleans Saints allowed 5.2 in 2012, and it comes as no surprise that they also surrendered 16 rushing touchdowns to running backs.
The Broncos let up four.
Jamal Collier graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and is now a law student who covers fantasy football in his spare time. His work also appears on Yahoo!. Follow him on Twitter: