Whacky Week 2 affected running back rankings for Week 3 by answering some of our questions.
That is not to say I’m ever content to see athletes get injured, but at least Fantasy Football owners find silver linings in injuries. For example, Devonta Freeman’s value bumps up a tick. He now becomes the No. 1 RB for the Atlanta Falcons because Tevin Coleman injured his rib. The Falcons’ running game looks so pathetic, so avoid Freeman.
Other RBs returned from injury to impress Fantasy Football owners, who now have some restored faith in starting those RBs. If Week 2 distressed you with all its upsets and surprises, Week 3 seems to have more clear-cut favorable and unfavorable matchups. Still, it never hurts to refer to our So Called Fantasy Experts Start/Sit advice.
In the running back reactions this week, I outline a few of the best and worst matchups for Week 3. There’s one thorn in everybody’s side I’ve highlighted—C.J. Anderson—because this could be his last chance at keeping his job. Ronnie Hillman’s successes threaten Anderson’s job.
Note the aforementioned Devonta Freeman, who I did not even bother adding to the list of RBs I dislike this week.
Week 3 Running Back Rankings Reaction
Who I Like
LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
McCoy’s hamstring injury annoys Fantasy owners, but he returned to form against the New England Patriots last week: 15 carries for 89 yards and three receptions for 27 yards. Taking on the Miami Dolphins, McCoy has a great matchup. The Dolphins have allowed more than 120 rushing yards in the season’s first two games. McCoy has an opportunity to corroborate SCFE’s ranking of him eighth.
Lance Dunbar, Dallas Cowboys
In Week 2, Dunbar caught 3-of-5 targets for 45 yards, including a 39-yard catch from Tony Romo. Dunbar lined up on the play out wide and exploited a mismatch against a rookie LB. This week, the Cowboys stay at home to play the Atlanta Falcons who have allowed opposing RBs to catch 24-of-28 targets for 199 yards and two TDs. Dunbar is a great FLEX option and gets a favorable matchup in Week 3 despite being 50th in the running back rankings.
lol. Lance Dunbar is apparently your deep threat while Dez recovers. @DezBryant I’m dying for your thoughts.
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) September 20, 2015
Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders
Looking at his opponent, the Cleveland Browns, I feel happy to slot Murray in RB1 roles this week. So far this year, the Browns’ opponents’ RBs have rushed 60 times for 308 yards and two TDs. The Raiders have used Murray at the one yard line to cap an 80-yard drive with a TD in Week 2 against the Ravens. Murray ranked 11th among RBs this week.
Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
Hyde’s practicing through a thigh contusion this week, which gives me pause. Plus Hyde’s opponent this week, the Arizona Cardinals, puzzle me. They’ve allowed 137 rushing yards against RBs, but have given up 198 receiving yards to them on 19-of-23 targets. At 13th in the running back rankings, Hyde is expected to play this Sunday, but monitor practice news.
Who I Don’t Like
C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos
There’s no doubt Anderson’s performances have fallen shorts of Fantasy owners’ expectations. He’s posted 2.3 YPC versus RB Ronnie Hillman’s 3.5 YPC. Anderson is playing to keep his job, but at least this week he faces the Detroit Lions, who have allowed 246 rushing yards to RBs in 2015 and 111 receiving yards on just 10 receptions. I would not reach for Anderson, unless you absolutely must in Week 3. His matchup could be worse.
— Denver Post Broncos (@PostBroncos) September 20, 2015
Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen, New York Giants
Jennings accumulated a whopping 24 yards on Sunday against the Falcons. Vereen did catch 8-of-8 targets for 76 yards, but still didn’t post a TD. The Washington Redskins boast an elite run defense. Giants RBs ride the bench this week, unless you desperately hope for Vereen to repeat and add a TD, but don’t hold your breath this week. Both of these RBs are ranked 35th or lower.
DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles
Last week, I hoped the Eagles offense would fall into a rhythm and Murray would get all the red zone and goal line opportunities, like he had in Dallas. Well the Eagles need more time to debug their offensive attack. Murray carried for three yards in Week 2 and gets the New York Jets’ top-tier defense in Week 3. Murray need not play for you this weekend, regardless of his ranking just inside the Top 15 RBs.
That wraps up the Week 3 running back rankings reaction. Every week, you can count on SCFE to give you fresh rankings and reactions for each position. Don’t forget to use the comment section for questions.
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