2010 Fantasy Football: Week Two Start 'Em, Sit 'Em (The RBs)

Dave StringerCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 12:  Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants makes a break against the Carolina Panthers during the NFL season opener at New Meadowlands Stadium on September 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Week One of the regular season is behind us so fantasy owners now have some evidence of how coaches will utilize their personnel during the 2010 season. Vanilla offences and testing the abilities of backups against starters are now past us, and we can better predict how players will perform on a week to week basis.  

We’re not going to state the obvious here. Rather the focus is on the mid-tier options as well as the tough matchups for some of the more talented running backs in the league.  

Start ‘Em

LeSean McCoy, Eagles

McCoy figures to get it going in a Week Two matchup against the lowly Lions. He put up decent production in Week One against the Packers with 82 yards and a touchdown on 12 touches.

However, he should feast on the Lions who gave up huge chunks of yardage to Matt Forte of the Bears last week. McCoy isn’t likely to match Forte’s output (201 total yards and two touchdowns), but he is a great start this week.

Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants

Bradshaw didn't disappoint in his first game as the Giants' starter at running back. He was solid in a Week One win over Carolina, with 76 rushing yards, 17 receiving yards, and a touchdown.

Since Arian Foster ripped the Colts for 231 rushing yards and three touchdowns, Bradshaw should be in line for a huge game in Week Two. Foster had the highest fantasy point production last week and Bradshaw just might do the trick this week.

Darren McFadden, Raiders

We still don’t know if Michael Bush will be a go this week, but since the Raiders face the Rams at home this week, there are probably enough fantasy points to satisfy both McFadden and Bush owners.

The Rams' defense struggled to contain the speedy LaRod Stephens-Howling in Week One, repeatedly allowing him to get outside the tackles for solid gains. McFadden had 150 total yards and a touchdown against the Titans defense, and that unit is clearly far superior to what the Rams bring to the table.

Cedric Benson, Bengals

Yeah, that’s right, start Benson against the Ravens this week even though they shut down the Jets, the league’s top ranked rushing team in 2009, on Monday night.

Last year, Benson stopped the Ravens' streak of not allowing an opposing 100-yard rusher and went over the mark in both games. In the two games, he ran 61 times for 237 yards and two touchdowns. With the Ravens coming off a big Monday night game in New York and having to play on the road in Week Two, Benson is a solid start this week.

Brandon Jackson, Packers

Sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time. Frankly speaking, I don’t think Brandon Jackson is all that good. He’s nowhere near one of the top backup running backs in the league, and that’s why the Packers have chosen to reduce his touches every year that he has been in the league, from 91 to 75 to 58. That means the Packers don’t think he is all that good.

However, with Ryan Grant out and no decent player behind Jackson, he figures to get plenty of work in a home game this week against the Bills and their pathetic run defence. That makes him an easy start.

Sit ‘Em

Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets

For the second week in a row, the Jets pair of running backs land in the sit ‘em  category. Last week, they were here because they were facing the stout Ravens' run defense.

This week, they are here because of the uncertainty surrounding how the carries will be divided. Greene found himself on the bench for much of the Ravens game after he fumbled twice and subsequently dropped a short pass. LT stepped in and produced, putting up 62 yards on just 11 carries.

Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, Dolphins

The Vikings uncharacteristically struggled to shut down the Saints rushing attack during the second half of their game last week, but we’re going to chalk that up more to the superb play of the Saints' offensive guards (Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks) as well as some opening week conditioning issues for massive defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams.

Brown and Williams put up decent but not outstanding numbers in Week One against a Bills' run defence that was amongst the worst in the league in 2009. On the road against the Vikings, Brown and Williams rate as decent flex players, but see if you have other options at RB2.

Marion Barber and Felix Jones, Cowboys

Looks like the Cowboys will be splitting the carries amongst their backs in 2010. In Week One against the Redskins, Barber and Jones each had eight carries, and Tashard Choice had five looks.

This week’s opponent is the Bears, who held the Lions to 21 yards on 20 carries in a Week One home win. While the Cowboys can run it better than Detroit, if offensive coordinator Jason Garrett continues to split the carries up three-ways, none of Dallas’ running backs should be in your fantasy starting lineup, particularly against Chicago.

C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson, and Marshawn Lynch, Bills

They couldn’t get anything going at home against the Dolphins so why should we think they can get anything going on the road against a Packers' run defence that was the stingiest in the league last year, allowing 83 yards per game and only five touchdowns the entire year? We shouldn’t.

As for Lynch, there's no guarantee that he will be a Bill after this week's game. The Bills need help at inside linebacker, and the Packers need a running back. Could a Lynch-A.J. Hawk deal be in the works? Hmmm.


For more detailed projections, go to FFToday's 2010 Week 2 running back projections and rankings

Dave Stringer is a staff writer at FFToday.com, home of the popular Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy custom cheatsheet and draft tracking software.


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