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September 25, 2009

Fantasy Football Running Back Start/Sit Rankings (Week 3)

1. Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) – After watching the Texans defense get ripped on the ground the last 2 weeks, it is hard to not to imagine a similar fate when they face Jones-Drew in week 3. Through two games, Houston has allowed a ridiculous 430 rushing yards and 4 rushing TD’s. They have also been more than generous to RB’s in the passing game which is also one of Jones-Drew’s strong suits. He should be in for a big day, the potential is certainly there, but keep in mind that the Houston defense probably isn’t quite as bad as the stats might indicate and Jones-Drew was not exactly great in 2 games against them last season. Check injury report: knee

2. Adrian Peterson (MIN) – Following back to back cupcake match ups, fantasy football’s top RB will be in for his biggest test to date in week 3 against San Francisco. The 49ers come into this match up having given up just 106 rushing yards (67 to S. Jackson in week 1) and no rushing TD’s through 2 games. On the other side of that coin, Peterson is easily the toughest competition the Niners have faced as well. We would tell you to lower expectations a bit against this defense, but as you already know, Peterson is match up proof and capable of torching any defense. His sore back should be of little consequence. Check injury report: back

3. Michael Turner (ATL) – He isn’t exactly tearing it up so far, but Turner was more than solid in week 2 and you have to love any RB that will get 20 plus carries every week in the age of RB by committee. In week 3, Turner will face a Patriots defense that has yet to allow a rushing TD through their first 2 games. The good news is that the New England run defense is giving up over 100 yards rushing per game and we wouldn’t classify them as a juggernaut against the run. Turner is by far the most talented back they have faced to this point, carries will be plentiful and we expect him to perform well.

4. Clinton Portis (WAS) – We realize that he hasn’t been at his best of late, but what are you going to do, bench him against Detroit? We hope not. This should be the week that he gets things going. He will need a little help from a struggling Redskins passing game to make it happen, but hey, the Lions defense is even worse against the pass. Portis rushed for 126 yards against Detroit last season and if he can’t at least come close to matching that, then it may be time to worry, but we like his chances. Even on a sore ankle; we think he might even find the end zone this week. Check injury report: ankle

5. Ryan Grant (GB) – He needs to do more in the yardage department, but 2 TD’s in two weeks is hard to argue with. Even better, Grant is looking at his best match up to date against a run friendly Rams defense. Seattle RB Julius Jones gashed the St. Louis defense in week 1 for 117 yards and a score and we see no reason why Grant can’t do the same. We also believe QB Aaron Rodgers will finally get it going with the Packers passing attack and that should really open up some lanes for Grant in this match up.

6. Matt Forte (CHI) – Even if you take into consideration the difficult match ups he has faced through the first 2 weeks, Forte has vastly underperformed. That said, we believe week 3 provides a great match up for him to get on track. He will match up against a Seattle defense that is giving up an NFL worst 7.1 yards per carry to opposing RB’s through 2 games and they were absolutely annihilated by San Francisco’s Frank Gore last week. We also like this match up for the simple fact that the Seahawks have been very good against the pass so far this season which means the Bears will almost certainly lean heavily on Forte in the game plan. He should finally earn his keep in week 3.

7. DeAngelo Williams (CAR) – You have to love the fact that he has 2 TD’s in two games, but Williams’ timeshare with Jonathan Stewart and a struggling Carolina passing attack have really put a dent in his overall production so far. Even so, Williams is due for a breakout game and a match up against Dallas is not all that unfavorable. The Cowboys defense has been less than impressive so far allowing 136 rushing yards per game and almost 5 yards per carry to opposing running backs. As we stated last week, Williams will need help from the Carolina passing game to really open it up, but they looked much better in that respect in week 2. He should step it up in week 3.


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