The top rush defenses this year have been The Texans, Broncos, 49ers, Buccaneers, Chargers, and Steelers. However, DeMarco Murray, Mark Ingram, Mike Tolbert, and Danny Woodhead each scored at least one TD against one of those teams this past weekend. Vick Ballard didn’t score, but he did manage 100+ yards against Houston as well. In short, a great run defense can still be beaten from time to time. So what does this mean for your fantasy team?
When it comes to running backs, you should be playing the guys that got you to this point in the season. Am I nervous about Marshawn Lynch going up against San Francisco this week? Sure, but he got 109 yards against them in week 7 so he’s still a better option than a lot of guys. Do I like Trent Richardson against The Broncos this week? Not really, but he did score twice last week with only 11 carries and has beaten defenses like Pittsburgh and San Diego earlier this season.
Adrian Peterson is going up against arguably the best rush defense of the year this week and I still wouldn’t expect any less than 17 fantasy points from him. The man is AVERAGING 164 yards per game on the ground in his last 8 games. He has also scored at least 1 TD in 7 of those games.
The only running back I really would have a tough time starting this week that I would normally start is Shonn Greene. Greene will get plenty of touches, but The Jets’ defense has been awful and with Greg McElroy starting for them, who knows what game plan they’ll use.
Statistically, the worst run defenses this year have been The Cardinals, Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Raiders, Jaguars, and Titans. This is excellent news for owners of Matt Forte, DeMarco Murray, Darren McFadden, Mikel Leshoure, DeAngelo Williams, Stevan Ridley, and even to a lesser extent Alex Green, but this is the NFL and nothing is a guarantee.
You’re in the final week (or 2 weeks) of fantasy football. You built a great team and now it’s time to lean on the players that got you this far. Curtis Brinkley and Danny Woodhead are solid pickups this week if you’re in a bind, but don’t expect them to rescue you this late in the season.