Fantasy Football Week 2: Top Running Back Matchups

HJ MaiCorrespondent IISeptember 13, 2011

Fantasy Football Week 2: Top Running Back Matchups

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    The following is a breakdown of the top three running back matchups Week 2 of the 2011 NFL regular season has to offer.

    It will provide you with important insights and help you to select the right RB for your upcoming fantasy football game. 

    Week 1 of the 2011 NFL regular season is in the books, and we have already seen outstanding performances from quarterbacks and kickers. Tom Brady threw for 517 yards, rookie Cam Newton threw for a record-setting 422 yards and Sebastian Janikowski hit a record-tying 63-yard field goal.

    Let’s see who of the six featured running backs has the best chance to follow suit and deliver an astonishing performance of his own. 

BAL at TEN: Ray Rice vs. Chris Johnson

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    Ray Rice and Chris Johnson were among the top 15 running backs in both total yards and yards per game in 2010.

    Johnson, one of only six players in NFL history who rushed for more than 2,000 yards in a single season, will need a couple more weeks to get back into his rhythm.

    Johnson missed all of training camp and preseason due to a contract holdout. In the Tennessee Titans Week 1 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 25-year-old Johnson had nine carries for a total 24 yards.

    Ray Rice on the other hand rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown against the best rushing defense of 2010.

    In the Baltimore Ravens’ 35-7 blowout victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rice caught an additional four passes for 42 yards and another score.

    This early in the season, and due to Johnson’s trainings deficit, this matchup is a no-brainer. Ray Rice is your man.

HOU at MIA: Arian Foster vs. Reggie Bush

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    This is not only a matchup between two of the league’s best running backs but also two completely different playing styles.

    Houston Texans running back Arian Foster led the league last season with 1,616 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns, averaging just over 100 yards per game.

    Foster was sidelined for the Texans season opener against the Indianapolis Colts due to a hamstring injury. He remains a questionable for Sunday’s game against Miami.

    “He worked out today. Worked very hard today and worked good. He will come back in tomorrow and work again. I would like to sit here and hope that he would be on the field Wednesday, but we’ll see. He is working well,” said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak on Monday.

    New Miami Dolphins’ running back Reggie Bush carried the ball 11-times and had nine receptions for a total of 94 yards and a touchdown in the Dolphins season opener against the New England Patriots on Monday night.

    Bush, a six-year veteran, has never been the typical ground force running back. His strength is the ability to turn a three-yard screenplay into a 30-yard gain.

    He is one of the few running backs who have more receiving yards than rushing yards. 

    Bet on Bush for this Sunday, even if Foster returns.  

PHI at ATL: LeSean McCoy vs. Michael Turner

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    The Sunday night matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons has every ingredient to become an instant classic.

    The quarterback matchup between Michael Vick and Matt Ryan, the storyline of Michel Vick’s return to Atlanta in a what is a must win game for the Falcons, and the running backs matchup between Eagles’ RB LeSean McCoy and Falcons’ RB Michael Turner.

    LeSean McCoy, who’s coming off his first 1,000-yard rushing season, started 2011 where left off.

    Rushing for 122 yards and a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams in the Eagles’ season opener. He also caught two passes for 15 yards another touchdown.

    Michael Turner and his Atlanta Falcons lost their season opener against the Chicago Bears 30-12.

    To avoid a 0-2 the Falcons have to beat the Eagles on their home turf, and Turner has to be their go to guy.

    Despite the team’s losing effort against the Bears, Turner impressed with 10 carries for 100 yards and three catches for an additional 40 yards.

    This is a close matchup between two of the games’ best, but I give the edge to Turner because the Falcons cannot afford to start the season 0-2.

The Other 13 Games

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    SEA @ PIT: Marshawn Lynch vs. Rashard Mendenhall

    DAL @ SF: Felix Jones vs. Frank Gore 

    OAK @ BUF: Darren McFadden vs. Fred Jackson

    ARI @ WAS: Beanie Wells vs. Tim Hightower

    TB @ MIN: LeGarrette Blount vs. Adrian Peterson

    JAC @ NYJ: Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Shonn Greene

    CHI @ NO: Matt Forte vs. Mark Ingram

    GB @ CAR: James Starks vs. DeAngelo Williams

    KC @ DET: Jamaal Charles vs. Jahvid Best

    CLE @ IND: Peyton Hillis vs. Joseph Addai 

    CIN @ DEN: Cedric Benson vs. Knowshon Moreno 

    SD @ NE: Ryan Mathews vs. Danny Woodhead

    STL @ NYG: Cadillac Williams vs. Ahmad Bradshaw

     

    The predicted matchup winners are in bold.