Fantasy football owners spend more time figuring out their running back situation than doing anything else, and rightfully so. Running back is the position where fantasy leagues are often won or lost.
Starting the right running back in your second running back or flex position is oftentimes the difference between a win and a loss in a given week. The following are three running backs that may or may not be in fantasy lineups this week that should be starting.
Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins
I understand the strategy of waiting to see just how Bush is used in Miami's offense, but there is too much to gain from starting him to let him sit on your bench.
The Dolphins love to run the ball and will have to run the ball with Chad Henne at quarterback. Someone will have to fill those carries missing now that Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are gone, and my money is on Reggie Bush getting the bulk of them.
Daniel Thomas, the other back likely to get carries, is only a rookie. He will need time to get acclimated, which is particularly true when you consider that the Dolphins are playing New England in Week 1.
Bush won't shy away from that pressure.
Delone Carter, Indianapolis Colts
Now that the news has come down that Peyton Manning won't be on the field for quite some time, Delone Carter has gone from a trendy sleeper running back to a near sure thing.
The Colts will use Joseph Addai, Donald Brown and Delone Carter this season, but Carter will be the one getting the goal-line carries. Carter may not pile up yardage for you, but he will be a guy that brings the cheap touchdown or two from time to time.
Carter's ceiling is probably similar to BenJarvus Green-Ellis' in New England. Green-Ellis began as little more than a red-zone running back, and now he is the primary running back on that team.
Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos
Thanks to injuries and inconsistency during seasons where he was expected to be a fantasy stud, many fantasy owners have soured on the veteran running back. Overlooking him in 2011, particularly in Week 1, would be a mistake.
The Broncos are set to face the Oakland Raiders, a team that will struggle on the defensive side of the ball. Denver will have more than its share of chances in the red zone.
With an injury-prone Knowshon Moreno as the primary running back and a quarterback in Kyle Orton that the coaches might feel less than confident in down on the goal line, McGahee will get his chances to score.