Week 2: AFC RB roundup
Lamar Miller (starter); Daniel Thomas (handcuff); Mike Gillislee; Marcus Thigpen
Current scenario: Lamar Miller may be the starting back but Daniel Thomas outplayed him in week one. Fine, neither really did much, but Thomas scored a touchdown and more, a lot more is expected out of Miller. The speedster remains Miami's starter, but another abysmal performance will open the door for Thomas to pick up a larger role.
Future scenario: Miami's running game struggled week one but this should improve against Indianapolis Week two. If Thomas is available in your league it would be a good idea to pick him up now.
C.J. Spiller (starter); Fred Jackson (handcuff); Tashard Choice
Current scenario: C.J. Spiller is the clear cut starter for the Bills this season. Jackson may outperform Spiller now and again but that won't be the norm. Spiller is a younger more dynamic back who can break one every time he touches the ball. At 32, Jackson may have some gas left in the tank but we don't feel there's enough there to be an every down back.
Future scenario: If Spiller misses time, Jackson moves into possible RB2 range. Otherwise, he remains a bye week and possible Flex option depending on matchup.
Isaac Redman (starter); Le' Veon Bell; Jonathan Dwyer, Felix Jones
Current scenario: In the search for a starting running back, Pittsburgh used their second-round pick this year on Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell. The gig was his until a foot injury shelved him, possibly for the opening month of the season. Redman took over and proceeded to rush for nine yards in the season opener with multiple fumbles.
Future scenario: It's hard for us to believe Redman will remain the starter for much longer. Dwyer is a sneaky pickup option, but until Bell returns, this situation is one to avoid.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (starter); Giovani Bernard (handcuff); Cedric Peerman; Rex Burkhead
Current scenario: BenJarvus Green-Ellis started week one for the Bengals and finished the game with 14 carries for 25 yards and a touchdown. Were you expecting much more? Fine, maybe a few more yards, but the Law Firm is a plodder with no wiggle and limited running talent. Backup Giovani Bernard had only four carries but averaged over six yards on those attempts.
Future scenario: Sometime in the first half of the season, perhaps by Week 4 or before Halloween, the Bengals will scare themselves straight when it comes to who is their starting RB. If Green-Ellis continues to struggle for yards, he'll lose carries and eventually the primary role to Bernard.
Trent Richardson (starter); Bobby Rainey; Chris Ogbonnaya
Current scenario: Richardson is a lock for the starting job in Cleveland this year. The second year back has little competition in this backfield and should hold on to the starting job all season. In his rookie year Richardson ran for nearly 1,000 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. Fantasy owners should expect even better numbers this season.
Future scenario: Owners looking to handcuff Richardson should add Bobby Rainey to their roster. The ex-Raven has some pop, but the larger factor is Richardson's injury history.
Ray Rice (starter); Bernard Pierce (handcuff); Shaun Draughn
Current scenario: The Ravens currently have three runners, but only two matter. Rice is the starter, but Pierce could receive enough work for Flex consideration. Those fantasy owners that have both should feel confident one of your running back positions will score you some quality points even if Rice misses actio.
Future scenario: Rice will get the ball a majority of the time while Pierce steps in to spell him now and again. So long as Rice is healthy Pierce will hold minimal weekly fantasy value. However, if Rice should miss time Pierce would be a nice starting option for fantasy owners.
Arian Foster (starter); Ben Tate (handcuff); Greg Jones
Current scenario: Foster missed all of the pre season with ankle and back injuries. Meanwhile Tate posted good number during the pre season but keep in mind its pre season and a player of Tate's callibar should do well. We expect to see Foster start week one against the Chargers and receive a majority of the carries. Tate will see some action but not enough to make him fantasy worthy.
Future scenario: In 2011 Tate carried the ball 175 times for 942 yards and scored 4 touchdowns. He has the skill set to be a very good back in the NFL. Should Foster miss time due to more back issues or another ankle problem; fantasy owners should start Tate. The Texans are a run heavy offence and Tate will post quality fantasy numbers.
Ahmad Bradshaw (starter); Donald Brown
Current scenario: Ballard out performed Bradshaw in week one carrying the ball 13 times for 63 yards - and then suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice heading into Week 2. That thrusts Brown into the lead back spot, one he likely would have taken at some point. Brown moves up a spot on the depth chart. The forrmer first-round bust has some immediate short-term value in deeper leagues.
Future scenario: Once Bradshaw's foot has healed he should be the Colts starting back. With 18-20 carries a game Bradshaw should post fantasy worthy numbers.
Maurice Jones-Drew (starter); Justin Forsett; Jordan Todman; Denard Robinson
Current scenario: In order for backs to post fantasy worthy numbers they need to have a solid offense around them and this is just not the case in Jacksonville. The passing game just isn't there and thus defenses will focus on stopping the Jaguars only true offensive threat; Maurice Jones-Drew. Sure Jones-Drew will have a breakout game or two but his numbers will not be reliable week in and week out.
Future scenario: The Jaguars offense looked bad in week one and honestly nobody know when or if they'll get better. Until this offense shows us they can move the ball through the air on a consistent basis it may be a good idea to stay away from Jaguars running backs.
Chris Johnson (starter); Shonn Greene; Jackie Battle; Darius Reynaud
Current scenario: Chris Johnson is the clear starter in Tennessee and he should remain the starter all season. Greene could give Johnson owners some trouble deep in the red zone if he gets the call for short yardage touchdowns but don't let that scare you away from Johnson. Until we see Greene vulture a few of Johnson's trips to the house we believe there is little fantasy value here.
Future scenario: The only way Greene or Battle sees enough playing time to be fantasy worthy would be if Johnson misses playing time. If this happens it wouldn't surprise us to see Greene and Battle split carries with the hot hand receiving the lion's share of the load.