Running Backs are always some of the most highly sought after players in all of fantasy football.  The reason being there are significantly less truly stand out RBs in the NFL than there are WRs; especially this year.

Unfortunately, the pickings become even slimmer when matchups come into play.  One RB that everyone has been talking about this pre-season is BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  In 2011, he managed 11 TDs with The Patriots.  When Tom Brady wasn’t busy throwing goal line passes to Gronkowski or sneaking the ball in himself, he was handing the ball off to Green-Ellis.  Now with The Bengals, everyone assumes BenJarvus will be even better.  Unfortunately, “The Law Firm” might have to wait until week two to start making a case for being an every week starter; the Ravens are not exactly easy to run against.

How does that song go?  Something like:

“Well you just drafted me,
and this is crazy,
I play the Ravens,
so bench me maybe.”

Moving on to another highly touted RB this pre-season: Cedric Benson.  Does anyone remember last year when the 49ers defensive line was the Nokia phone of the NFL?  Seriously, have you ever tried to break one of those things?  Anyway, just last year, Benson had the misfortune of playing against the 49ers and managed 17 carries for 64 yards without a TD.  That was when he played for a team that LIKED running the football.  Sure, Aaron Rodgers might be forced to hand the football off every once in a while, but when a team as pass happy as The Packers goes up against one of the best run defenses in the NFL, there is absolutely no reason you should expect big things from the RB.

Then there’s Beanie Wells.  The Seahawks were one of the best run defenses in the NFL in 2011 and with Ryan Williams fighting him for carries now, it’s unlikely we’ll see anything worth a start in week 1.  He may have scored 10 TDs last year, but three of those came in a single game against The Giants and that was one of only two games in which he rushed for over 100 yards last year.

So who can you start?  Someone typically drafted after both Green-Ellis and Benson that’s worth a look is Stevan Ridley.  Ridley faces off against a Titans team that finished in the bottom third of the NFL in rush defense.  The starting job is his to lose in New England for now so he’ll be playing his heart out.  Michael Bush is also worth a look if you’re in need of a flex.  Going up against The Colts, Matt Forte is sure to get the bulk of the carries, but whenever The Bears get close to the endzone, and they’ll probably be there a few times this Sunday, they’ll turn to Bush for support.

Finally, now that Maurice Jones-Drew has finally swallowed his pride and come back to The Jaguars, I believe he’s worth a week 1 start, but not for his running ability.  Jennings has already been announced as the starter, but The Vikings aren’t going to be opening any doors for him, so when it’s 3rd down, that will give MJD a chance to shine.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends the day as The Jaguars’ leading receiver despite only running the ball 5-10 times.  Don’t count on him for RB1 numbers this week, but as an RB2, I’d still start him ahead of Jennings.

  1. Dingbat says:
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    Would you start MJD over Michael Bush? And is Toby Gerhart worth picking up and starting this week? I’d be dropping Cedric Benson for him.

  2. Loudon

    Loudon says:
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    I think I would play Bush over MJD this week. He’s the safer choice. MJD will get the ball plenty, but it’s completely unknown how he’ll be used in week 1.

    As for Gerhart, I wouldn’t drop Benson for Gerhart. Benson has much better long-term value assuming Peterson stays healthy. If Peterson hurts himself again, Gerhart instantly becomes the better long-term option, but you can’t count on that. I would start Gerhart over Benson if I had both on my team this week, but don’t drop anyone too significant for him. Why the owner of AP in your league doesn’t have him already is beyond me.

  3. Josh says:
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    .5 PPR League (no flex)

    RB: Forte & D. Murray
    WR: Lloyd, J. Nelson, Titus Young

    Would you trade Forte & Young for Fitz & McGahee?

    • Josh says:
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      @Josh,

      QB, WR, WR, WR, RB, RB, TE, K, DEF is the setup.

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @Josh, That’s a pretty even trade. I’m curious who you have on your bench. If you have some decent depth at RB, I’d say take the deal, but McGahee is not a pass catcher so you’re definitely taking a step back there. I imagine McGahee will have a pretty good year thanks, in part, to Peyton, but those .5 points add up.

  4. snky allgtr says:
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    Could you rank these guys for week 1? Thanks!

    M. Bush IND
    R. Bush @HOU
    P. Hillis ATL
    D. Williams @TB
    D. Brown @CHI

    • Loudon

      Loudon says:
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      @snky allgtr,

      1) DeAngelo Williams
      2) Michael Bush
      3) Reggie Bush
      4) Donald Brown
      5) Peyton Hillis

      I think all 5 of these guys are pretty even week 1. Reggie has a tough matchup against Houston this week and we still don’t really know how Hillis will fit into the run scheme, but if JStew plays, I’d move Williams from 1 to 5.

  5. Ace says:
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    Which 5 of the 8
    D. Murray
    Steven Jackson
    Gerhert
    Ben Jarvis
    M Austin
    D Bowe
    Jordy Nelson

    Thanks

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