Here are the ingredients for a big pot of rushing yards for your fantasy team. Mix them up and put it on the stove on Sunday. I would add a little Goose Island and a 60 inch plasma flat screen and The Sunday Ticket and you’ll be in heaven.
Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia
Tampa Bay: 30th against the run
Philadelphia: 8th against the run
For the Eagles, LeSean McCoy should get more touches than Brian Westbrook coming off that ankle injury but against this Bucs defense start either player; It should be feast. This game could get out of hand early and if it does the Eagles will be looking to keep the ball on the ground and burn the clock.
Brian Westbrook +1, LeSean McCoy +1
Tampa Bay is a disaster. I don’t see how they can torch the Eagles on the ground. If they fall behind, which they probably will, they will have to keep the ball in the air.
Cadillac Williams -2, Derrick Ward -2
Oakland @ New York Giants
Oakland: 26th against the run
New York: 20th against the run
There is not a worse franchise in the NFL than the Oakland Raiders. That 7th pick they wasted on Hayward-Bey could have come in handy in patching together some semblance of run-defense, on the upside if you have either Ahmad Bradshaw or Brandon Jacobs they are both startable. Both should have enormous days against the disaster that is the Oakland Raiders.
Brandon Jacobs +2, Ahmad Bradshaw +2
The Giants are a lot better against the run than their statistical ranking suggests. Oakland has lost MacFadden and will have to rely on Bush and Fargas. It will be difficult for them to find any room to navigate because the Giants won’t respect their passing game (why would you?)
Michael Bush: +1, Justin Fargas: 0
Houston @ Arizona
Houston:. 29th against the run
Arizona: 6th against the run
Houston’s defense is so awful, this could finally be Beanie Wells’ breakout game. Both he and Hightower should be solid flex starts this week.
Tim Hightower +1, Beanie Wells +1
Thus far Steve Slaton has not carried the football well. Kubiak actually spoke to the media and publicly commented the job Ryan Moats did last week carrying 15 times for 56 yards. Slaton is still obviously a must-start and Moats just a Sleeper stash but it’s a situation to keep an eye on. The Cardinals had a bye so their run defense looks better than it is. They are middle of the road.
Steve Slaton +1
Washington @ Carolina
Washington: 23rd against the run
Carolina: 32nd against the run (the worst!)
Clinton Portis rattled off a 25 carry 98 yd game week 4 vs. the less than formidable Tampa Bay D. This week Washington hired Sherm Edwards as an offensive consultant but don’t expect wholesale changes. Against the league worst Panthers run-defense Portis will be big again this week.
Clinton Portis +2
The Redskins Defense is nothing special. Since they are not a very good team Carolina should be competitive and Williams might see a lot of work. Jonathan Stewart still hasn’t been that productive and I’d be careful about getting too frisky with starting this glorified goal line back.
Minnesota @ St. Louis
Minnesota: 5th against the run
St. Louis: 25th against the run
The St. Louis rams have given up 135 yards on the ground per game this season. Adrian Peterson could have that by halftime. Chester Taylor might actually also be a decent start because if the Vikings pull away Purple Jesus will probably be watching from the sidelines during junk time.
Adrian Peterson +2, Chester Taylor +2
If you watched the Monday Night game it shouldn’t take much convincing for you to downgrade Steven Jackson. It is tough to sit an elite player like him but if you’re deep at running back you may want to consider it.
Steven Jackson -2
New York Jets @ Miami
NYJ: 15th against the run
Miami: 3rd against the run
Miami’s run defense has been so stellar you might want to re-think starting Thomas Jones. Only the Ravens D is stouter against the run. Leon Washington’s status as a flex starter might also be called in to question.
Thomas Jones: -1, Leon Washington -1
With Miami’s QB situation in question they will be looking to shorten the game running Ronnie Brown wild-cat style all day long. He and Ricky Williams have been one of the best running tandems in the league thus far. We have to downgrade both of them slightly, however, because of how good the Jets defense has been.
Ronnie Brown +1, Ricky Williams -1
Cincinnati @ Baltimore
Cinncinatti: 17th against the run
Baltimore: 1st against the run
Baltimore’s run defense has been the best in the league so far. This could be the part of the season where Cedric Benson goes back to being a full-time alcoholic.
Cedric Benson -2
Cincinatti’s defense seems like it should be awful but it isn’t that bad. Even so Rice and McGahee are solid starts for you this week.
Willis McGahee 1, Ray Rice 1
Atlanta @ San Francisco
ATL: 16th against the run
SF: 4th against the run
San Francisco’s defense is legit, they held Adrian Peterson to 85 yards week 2 in Minnesota. Think twice about starting Michael Turner if you have really good matchups otherwise.
Michael Turner -2
Atlanta’s run defense is middle of the road, maybe a little lower than that. Glen Coffee’s value shouldn’t change that much. I am really looking forward to this game, by the way.
Glen Coffee +1
New England @ Denver
New England: 12th against the run
Denver: 7th against the run
On top of the mile high city being a tough place to play for east coast teams, Denver’s new scheme has been lights out. Do not expect anything from New England’s running game. If anyone owns Sammy Morris, Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, or Kevin Faulk, first of all why would you? Secondly it is a total crap shoot who will get any touches.
Fred Taylor -2
Denver should be able to run on New England, especially with the threat of their passing game. The injury to Buckhalter makes him a must-sit and Moreno a candidate for a breakout game.
Knowshon Moreno +2, Correll Buckhalter -2 (probably won’t play)
Cleveland @ Buffalo
Buffalo: 27th against the run
Cleveland: Second to last against the run
For the Browns Jerome Harrison is a must-start. He has played well while Jamal Lewis has been out and I question whether he’ll even be able to get his job back.
Jerome Harrison +1, Jamal Lewis -2
These are the matchups you love to see. Buffalo’s offensive line is horrible and injured. Cleveland’s run defense is nearly the worst in the league. You have to think that Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch will be successful.
Fred Jackson +2, Marshawn Lynch +2
Dallas @ Kansas City
KC: 24th against the run
Dallas: 19th against the run
I wonder if Mike Vrabel and Joe Montana have been texting each other about how much it sucks to go from a perennial Super Bowl contender to a bad team in a forgotten city? The Cowboys should run the ball successfully. Marion Barber has been practicing fully, but still could share carries with Choice.
Marion Barber +1, Tashard Choice 0
If you own Larry Johnson you have to start him in this game. He should have a chance to get some creases and push the ball.
Larry Johnson +1, Jamal Charles (may not even play, but should)
Pittsburgh @ Detroit
Pittsburgh: 4th against the run
Detroit: 21st against the run
The Steelers have a nice matchup for their backs this week in Detroit. In addition to the weak defense they may blow the Lions out and keep the ball on the ground in the second half. Hey there Mewelde Moore!
Rashard Mendenhall +2, Mewelde Moore +2
If you have alligator blood you’ll roll Kevin Smith out there without blinking. I am not brave and would have some serious issues putting him in my line up if I had other options.
Kevin Smith -2
Jacksonville @ Seattle
Jacksonville: 14th against the run
Seattle: 22nd against the run
“Pocket Hercules” might be primed for another three touchdown game. Seattle’s defense is nothing special. By “nothing special” I mean bad.
Maurice Jones-Drew +2
This is a middle of the road start for the Seahawks ground game. I don’t see Jacksonville doing anything that special to stymie them.
Julius Jones +1
Indianapolis @ Tennessee
Indy: 18th against the run
Tennessee: 9th against the run
Are the Colts running backs really even runners? Donald Brown actually looks like one. Depending on the depth of your team I could see both of these players as starts for you.
Joseph Addai +1, Donald Brown +1
Chris Johnson could break off for a big game if the Titans can stay in this one and avoid having to air it out all game. I would feel a lot less confident about reformed fatty LenDale White because he can only help you with touchdowns.
Chris Johnson +1, LenDale White -1