Last week in our strategy against the run defenses, we included the stats from the last 7 games from the 2010 season so that we could have more than just one week’s worth of stats to analyze. However, this week I have pulled together the stats from just the first two weeks of this season to look at how some of these stats are skewed and some are a fairly good indication of what your running back can expect this upcoming weekend.

Sitting at the top of our chart are the 49ers of San Fran and that would indicate that they are the roughest and the toughest bunch against the run. And, so far this year, they certainly are. They’ve allowed the least amount of yardage, yards per carry, touchdowns, and fantasy points to running backs. However, we also need to remember that in their first game this season, they faced a Seahawks team who has a young, inexperienced O-Line and also only managed to run for 95 total yards in the last two games. I’m not hating on Lynch’s Beast-mode, but it’s hard to get things going in the run game when you’re often behind in points and can’t find any holes. That being said, San Francisco has a stout defense against the run yes, but I wouldn’t sit my top-tier RB against them just because they are on the top of this board. It’s all relative.

Moving on down the chart, you’ll see that the Steelers fall somewhere right in the middle of our board. This is also evidence of the skewed representation due to only accounting for the first two games of the season. If you’ll remember, Ray Rice and Co. shredded Pittsburgh the first week of the season for 170 yds rushing. The following week however, the Steelers came back to reality and held the same Seattle offense to barely 30 total rushing yards; ouch.

So, you see, this chart you have below is not a direct indication of how your RB will do against said defense because it is such a skewed representation and such a small pool of games to create a reliable average. However, it is a great start to a curve that should eventually become a perfect guide to how well your team will do against a certain run defense. So let’s look at some favorable matchups for the week.

[table “38” not found /]


Ahmad Bradshaw vs. PHI

As we look on the run defense chart, Philadelphia ranks pretty low on the totem pole. But this is not the only reason why Bradshaw has a great matchup this weekend. A combination of Philly’s revamped secondary and injuries on the WR front in New York will cause the G-Men to rely heavily on their platoon in the backfield to move the ball. Although it appears that Bradshaw has been evenly splitting carries with Brandon Jacobs, Bradshaw has the speed and elusiveness to break the big one like RBs have done in each of Philadelphia’s games thus far. Also look for Manning to dump it to Bradshaw when his WRs are covered downfield, adding extra value in PPR leagues.

Mike Tolbert vs. KC

It seems that things can’t get much worse for Kansas City this year. They’ve lost 3 starters already this year and nothing is happening much on an offensive or defensive front either. The Chiefs are allowing an average of 44.5 points per game while only scoring 5 per game. Now they’re about to face a top notch defense mixed with the explosiveness of the Chargers offense. Not much of an argument here that SD will be up for most of the game, and they’ll choose to run the ball. Tolbert’s seeing the goal line more than Matthews; although both have a very huge upside this week against a decimated Kansas City.

Shonn Greene vs. OAK

Last week I had Greene listed in my caution column, and if it wasn’t for his last ditch TD run against a stingy Jags D, he would have been a real bust. But this week, I like the matchup for Greene a lot better and believe that he could have a really big game. We all know that NYJ like to run the ball and so far this year, Oakland has been one of the most run-friendly defenses, racking up the highest YPC average to RBs. Last week, Buffalo had a field day with Oakland’s Run D and I have faith that the Jets run game will get the Greene light all the way to the end zone.


Tim Hightower vs. DAL

Dallas has only allowed an average of 59.5 yards rushing a game this year, so use extreme caution when dishing out the Washington Tower this weekend.  I expect Hightower to be called upon a lot this week, but you have to remember that Grossman threw 4 tds against the Cowboys at the end of last season. That combined with the health issues of the Dallas secondary could net big yards through the air for Washington.

Steven Jackson/Carnell Williams vs. BAL

Jackson is supposedly on his way back this week, but I wouldn’t put money on it. It also seems that Cadillac Williams is listed as day-to-day with a hamstring issue also which puts the Rams running game in limbo this week. Either way, they are both facing a Baltimore defense that is notorious for stopping the run. Ray Lewis and the Ravens held CJ2K to a pitiful 53 yds on 24 carries and shut down Mendenhall in week 1 and look for a similar appearance in this matchup.  If either of these guys is healthy to go this week, I would think twice about putting them in your starting lineup.

Other questionable matchups: Cedric Benson vs. SF, Joseph Addai vs. PIT, Frank Gore vs. CIN


Team: The team that is being evaluated for their defensive strength.

Opp: The team with your fantasy players

Y/G: Total rushing yards given up per game

FPA: Fantasy points allowed to running backs

YPC: Yards Per Carry Ranking

TD: Rushing Touchdowns Allowed Ranking

DVOA: Defense-adjusted Value Over Average

Average: The average of each each individual ranking.

  1. Dominic says:

    I have a hard time deciding what running backs to play this week:

    Bradshaw @ PHI
    Best @ MIN
    Tate @ NO

    I am obviously starting Bradshaw

  2. Dominic says:

    shoot sorry i ment to say,

    I have

    Bradshaw @ PHI
    Best @ MIN
    Tate @ NO
    Gore @ CIN
    McFadden vs NYJ
    Hightower @ DAL
    F. Jackson vs. NE

    I have a hard time starting McFadden against the Jets given my other options. I am going to start Bradshaw and I was leaning towards Best what do you think?

  3. Bill says:

    One of my teams has great wrs but mediocre backs. Who would you start this week alongside F. Jackson, picking one of F. Jones, B. Jacobs, R. Bush, Starks, and McGahee?

  4. Ryan says:

    Which two RBs do you like the most in week 3?

    Jahvid Best @ MIN, Ben Tate @ NO, and Matt Forte vs. GB

    (Standard Scoring Non-PPR)

  5. Andrew says:

    Based on this which of three should I start?

    Tate, Gore, Best, hightower, tolbert?

  6. FishMan says:

    Dom, 8 team league? I’d start Tate and look at Best or DMC for flex.
    Bill, yuk. Starks?
    Ryan, Tate and Forte. Best doesn’t have good history vs. Minny
    Andrew, Tate, Best and Tolbert

  7. DWU BWEEES! says:

    What is your take on Lance Moore for the rest of the year? Is he worth trying to buy low? Please rank ROY: Moore, Bess, Nelson, M.Thomas.

  8. jerky says:

    I teally need ur help on this one i

  9. jerky says:

    Whoa sorry didn’t mean to send that one my phone is a piece of shit ..well anyways. I had the real JC but he’s done so I’m stuck with Gore and lynch who needs to live up to that name cause he stinks do I trade Roddy for Bradshaw and Sproles …12 team other wrs r Wayne,boldin, Bess

  10. Commish Cauda says:

    It’s not a rushing question, but…

    Would you drop Collie for LaFell or Doucet in a 12-team, 0.5ppr, (start 3 WRs)?

  11. Dingbat says:

    Any idea why DVOA stats hate the Chargers defense? In both passing and rushing defense, it rates them near the bottom, despite widespread perception that they’re a “top notch” unit. Is it all due to them facing Adrian Peterson and Tom Brady this year?

  12. Commish Cauda says:

    Trade question….12-team, 0.5ppr, QB/2RB/3WR/FLEX

    I lost Jamaal Charles. My RBs are Felix Jones, Mark Ingram, Tolbert and Helu.

    My WRs are Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams (TB), Denarius Moore, Collie, Greg Little and Antonio Brown.

    I was offered the following:

    Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter & Nate Burleson
    Vincent Jackson & Mike Tolbert

    What say you?

  13. genghis chone says:

    PPR league. Should I drop Amendola for Roy Helu?
    WRs are Nicks/Britt/Dez/Julio Jones/Denarius Moore/Amendola
    RBs are Forte/Hightower/Tate/Felix Jones/Ingram
    We start 2 RBs, 2 WRs and a RB/WR.

  14. saftynet says:

    Rank pls….
    R. Matthews vs K.C
    Fjax vs N.E
    J starks vs Bears
    Decker vs Ten Rank #1 pass

  15. TheBravesWear Prado says:

    I have Rivers and Stafford as my QBs so I’m looking to move Stafford while his stock his high and he’s healthy. I’m in the market for a WR and the best offer I’ve gotten is Mike Williams (TB) and my choice of Eli or Freeman for Stafford and whatever WR I want to throw in to make it even.

    I think Williams will bounce back from last week to be a solid WR2 the rest of the year and Freeman and Eli will make good backups. Should I pull the trigger or hold out a little while longer and see if a team becomes desperate for a QB?

    Thanks in advance.

  16. herschel says:

    @Doc: who do you like this week for def/st?

    dal vs was
    ari @ stl
    cin vs sf
    car vs jax


  17. ringo says:

    i got a dilemma at QB, i currently have fitzy and freeman on my roster, but someone just dropped cutler… should i pounce on cutler? they are all so close in value i really dont know what i should do… thanks man

  18. MJD Took A Knee says:

    Hey Undead Teen Heartthrob, should I drop DET D for SD D?

  19. Doc

    Doc says:

    @MJD Took A Knee: Yeah

    @ringo: I think I’d hold. It is a tough call though.

    @herschel: Cincy

    @TheBravesWear Prado: I think you could get a little more for Stafford.

    @saftynet: FJax, Starks, Mathews

    @genghis chone: Yeah

    @Commish Cauda: Don’t want Tolbert there.

    @Dingbat: That would be the reason

    @Commish Cauda: Not yet

    @jerky: I’d want a better back

    @DWU BWEEES!: Thomas, Moore, Nelson, Bess I would buy low.

    @Andrew: Tate, Best, Gore

    @Ryan: Forte, Tate

    @Bill: Starks, McGahee

    @Dominic: I have a hard time not starting McFadden. I like him and Best.

Comments are closed.