Owners of Chris Johnson might be justified in their concerns thus far, but after two weeks, there are plenty of running backs who have yet to have the opportunity to break out for a huge fantasy game. One such player is Maurice Jones-Drew. Sure, he scored a TD off of a short pass in week 2, but rushing totals of 77 and 60 yards is not what we’ve come to expect from MJD. Don’t worry though, he’ll be just fine in week 3 against The Colts. The entire Jaguars offense revolves around MJD’s playing ability and in week 3, I expect over 100 yards on the ground and at least 1 TD. A total of 20 fantasy points or more in standard scoring leagues would not surprise me at all. Less than 12, however, would.
Kevin Smith of The Lions is another player with breakout potential in week 3. The Lions have a plethora of options at RB, but the starting job appears to be Smith’s for the time being. Facing a Titans defense with more holes than a donut shop, Smith should have no trouble making week 3 his best week of the year so far. He might not have enough opportunities to break the century mark, but 80+ yards and a score is likely.
Also, even though it will likely anger a lot of Matt Forte owners, Michael Bush is set for an absolutely huge week against The Rams. With Forte nursing an ankle injury, Bush should see 20+ carries for over 100 yards and at least 1 TD. The Rams allowed 176 yards rushing in week 2 and Bush will likely see 90% of the ground work when they visit Chicago.
Need a good sleeper pick? Keep an eye on Daryl Richardson. Word on the street is Steven Jackson is battling a groin strain that sidelined him in the second half of the game against The Redskins. In that game, Richardson carried the ball 15 times for 83 yards. Should Jackson miss any time at all, Richardson could prove to be a reliable RB2.
There are, however, a few RBs that should also be avoided. Adrian Peterson will be playing the stingy 49ers defense in week 3 after putting up just 60 yards on The Colts last week. He may be healed, but he isn’t superhuman and a rushing TD against San Francisco is asking a lot of even the most elite of running backs.
Stevan Ridley may also see his numbers decrease in week 3. On 25 carries, LeSean McCoy managed just 81 yards against The Ravens last week making Ridley’s average of around 20 carries unworthy of anything more than a flex option. Ridley will get the ball, but The Patriots are a pass first offense and Tom Brady’s going to want to come out guns blazing after a disappointing loss to The Cardinals.
Finally, Darren McFadden is set for yet another disappointing outing this week against The Steelers. On 26 carries this season, McFadden has run for a total of 54 yards and 0 TDs. He’s active in the passing game at times, but Pittsburgh covers the middle better than San Diego can so don’t expect more than 8 fantasy points this week from most owners’ first round pick in standard scoring leagues. He’s worth a flex in PPR.