Start That Back! Chiefs, Packers, and Broncos Have Soft Run Defenses

Buddy SmithSenior Writer ISeptember 28, 2008

To start, or not to start? That is the fantasy football question. There’s no worse feeling than going to work Monday morning knowing that you could have won if you’d only started [fill in the blank]! It’s a feeling that I want to help you avoid.

After four weeks, we’re beginning to see who the weak defenses are in the league. Some teams have specific weaknesses, and knowing those weaknesses can help your fantasy football team.

In this article, rushing defense is examined.


Kansas City Chiefs (1-3): 5.3 Yards/Carry; 176.5 Yards/Game; 6 TD

In Game One, the Patriots averaged 4.5 yards/carry against the Chiefs, as they beat them 17-10 after Tom Brady’s injury.

In Week Two, Darren McFadden made Kansas City's defensive front look like Alabama, rushing for 164 yards and one touchdown.

In Week Three, Michael Turner had three rushing touchdowns and over 100 yards, as the Falcons took advantage of three Tyler Thigpen interceptions and ripped apart the Chiefs, 38-14.

Last week, they were finally able to hold an opponent under 100 yards rushing. Denver tallied only 94 yards on 22 carries, and the Chiefs snapped their 12-game losing streak, dating back to last year.

With performances like these it’s easy to feel good about starting your running backs against the Chiefs.


Green Bay Packers (2-2): 5.2 Yards/Carry; 157.8 Yards/Game; 4 TD

In Week One at Lambeau Field, the Minnesota Vikings ran for 187 yards in a losing effort against the Packers. Adrian Peterson led the way with 19 attempts for 103 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t the best start for the Packers' run D.

In Week Two, the Packers traveled to Detroit to take on the Lions. Turning three interceptions into 48 points, the Packers' run defense was never really tested.

The Dallas Cowboys and the Sunday Night Football crew rode into Lambeau for Week Three. Marion Barber and Felix Jones showed that the Packers' run defense was suspect, combining for 218 yards and two touchdowns.I'd love for my fantasy backs to put up numbers like these week in and week out. Wouldn't you?

In Week Four, the Packers' run defense was again exploited, this time by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had seen the Packers-Cowboys game film. Ernest Graham and Warrick Dunn combined for 174 yards and a touchdown, as the Packers took a sound beating at Raymond James field.

This is bad news for Packers nation. Green Bay simply must shore up their run defense if they hope to repeat as NFC North champions...but in fantasy football their losses could be your gains.


Denver Broncos (3-1): 5.0 Yards/Carry; 132.8 Yards/Game; 5 TD

While the Broncos allowed under 100 yards rushing in their first three games, the Denver offense was really clicking. Teams were forced to pass, they had success, and Denver pulled out some close, high-scoring games.

The Kansas City Chiefs may have shown the league how to silence Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. Make them watch.

The Chiefs have been abysmal on both sides of the ball. Everybody in the building knew there was going to be a heavy dose of Larry Johnson in this game, and the Broncos just couldn’t stop him. 198 yards and two touchdowns later, and the Broncos looked very ordinary.

Most teams will want to shorten the game against the Broncos. So running backs on those teams should see some extra carries. Making them good fantasy football starts.

So this Friday afternoon while you're trying to figure out what running backs to start look for the Chiefs, Packers, and Broncos...they seem to create fantasy points for their opponents.