RB Roundup: NFC
DeMarco Murray (starter); Lance Dunbar (handcuff), Phillip Tanner, Joseph Randle
Current scenario: Murray is all kinds of explosive, but it's his unpredictable injury situation that keeps fantasy owners on edge. The only fear comes from his brittle body, not the other running back options. Dunbar is the safe handcuff option, while Randle offers more explosive potential. Murray owners must own one with the veteran Dunbar receiving the slight edge now. FFToolbox ranks Murray RB14 in PPR formats.
Future scenario: This only changes if (when?) Murray misses time. Should that happen, we could have a true RBBC scenario. Dunbar's size makes him the likely goal line option, while Randle offers similar speed and pop like Murray.
New York Giants
David Wilson (starter); Andre Brown (Out); Da' Rel Scott; Ryan Torain; Brandon Jacobs
Current scenario: After an abysmal week one David Wilson will get a chance to redeem himself against the Bronco's in week two. Wilson had problems holding the ball last year so a couple of cough ups shouldn't be cause for alarm. Rest assured however, if Wilson even puts the ball on the turf let alone turns it over, he will be watching from the sideline. Look for newly signed Brandon Jacobs to saddle up for a carry or two this weekend but to get too excited. He has been in a Giants uniform for all of 5 days and at age 31 its going take a week or two for him to get into football shape.
Future scenario: When Brown returns he will take a few carries from Wilson and likely vulture a few short yardage touchdowns. That is of course assuming Brown is able to play when he becomes available week 10. It will take some time for Brown to rehab the leg and be in football shape.
Alfred Morris (starter); Roy Helu; Evan Royster; Keiland Williams
Current scenario: Morris had a monster rookie campaign and if all things shake out the same this season he'll be a top-5 fantasy back again. Problem is starting quarterback RG3 is not himself and we don't know how this will impact the offense. Look for Helu to step in for third downs and receive the lions' share or receptions out of the backfield. Until further notice Morris is a solid play week in and week out.
Future scenario: Should Morris miss time, fellow back Helu will take over the starting roll. We've already seen him produce like a RB2 in that scenario, which is why Helu is the type of lottery ticket owners should have on their benches.
LeSean McCoy (starter); Bryce Brown (handcuff); Chris Polk;
Current scenario: McCoy is the clear starter and if he can stay healthy, "Shady" will give fantasy owners plenty of reasons to cheer. Should McCoy go down to injury (concussion problems kept him out last year), look for Brown to step in and carry the load. Brown's job will only be as safe as the ball in his hands. If he can't hold on to the rock, he won't be holding on to his job.
Future scenario: McCoy is a very talented back in both the rushing and passing game. Brown could vulture a few short yardage touchdowns and if the run-heavy offense is legit, he'll have Flex value some weeks.
Rashard Mendenhall (starter); Ryan Williams; Stepfan Taylor; Alfonso Smith
Current scenario: Mendenhall has won the starting job in Arizona, but don't go rushing to get him into your starting line up. The Cardinals have produced only one 1,000 yard back since 2008. Without a strong offensive line in front of him, Mendenhall may find yards tough to come by. Until we see some consistent production from him, you're better off using Mendenhall as a flex or RB3 starter.
Future scenario: Ryan Williams will likely cut into Mendenhall's playing time as the season progresses - if he stays healthy. Taylor and Smith coould have stopgap value in a pinch.
San Francisco 49ers
Frank Gore (starter); Kendall Hunter (handcuff), LaMichael James; Anthony Dixon
Current scenario: Frank Gore hasn't missed a game in two years and has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 6 of the last 7 season's. Add in his receiving yards and Gore has more than 1,300 all purpose yards for 7 straight seasons. There's no reason any fantasy owner should sit Gore.
Future scenario: This is Gore's gig, though we can imagine the 49ers limiting his touches at times so he's fresher for the postseason. That could mean more Hunter, who won the handcuff job over the injured James. If you haven't purchased your insurance policy then do so now before you get burned.
Marshawn Lynch (starter); Robert Turbin; Christine Michael
Current scenario: Lynch has been a beast the past two seasons, ending each year with more than 1,400 all purpose yards. He was a big part of Seattle's success last season and likely a huge part of their game plan this year, making Lynch a must start.
Future scenario: Turbin and Michaels will fight for carries throughout the year until one makes a mistake, which will cost him the backup role. Michaels is an intriguing option, but his off the field issues in his past should concern owners. A mistake on or off the field could cost him valuable playing time.
St. Louis Rams
Daryl Richardson (starter); Isaiah Pead; Zac Stacy; Terrance Ganaway
Current scenario: Some would say Richardson won the starting job, while others would say Pead and Stacy gave it away. No matter which side of the fence you're on, Richardson will be the Rams' starting back week one. A solid effort in the opener keeps that conversation on hold. With Pead suspended for the opener, Stacy will be the change of pace back this Sunday.
Future scenario: Pead was drafted last year by the Rams to replace Steven Jackson as St. Louis' starting back, but struggled as a rookie. Then came a lackluster pre-season and Week 1 suspension. Yet he remains a high-upside depth option and Pead could emerge if Richardson fails to produce. If Pead is available in your league and you're looking for a possible future starter, now would be the time to grab him.