In the preseason, as you were tediously sifting through fantasy rankings, you may have noticed a trend: Running backs dominated the first round.
The reasoning wasn’t that running backs were going to score the most fantasy points, it’s that the position looked so scarce that you didn’t want to be left with a couple guys getting six carries a game.
Seven weeks into the season, running back is just as thin as expected.
It’s no surprise to see Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster in the top 10 of the position, but there are some eyebrow-raising names, too.
Knowshon Moreno has been a touchdown machine, running for seven so far. Matt Forte has been steady all season, and Reggie Bush has put up monster numbers when healthy. Fred Jackson has taken advantage of C.J. Spiller’s lackluster season and finds himself among the top tier of running backs.
Even more surprising than the names in the top 10 are those left out. Doug Martin is averaging 80 rushing yards per game, but he’s only found the end zone once while suffering through dire times in Tampa Bay.
Ray Rice has been so up and down this season — mostly down — that his fantasy relevance is coming into question. Owners are still waiting for Trent Richardson to gain traction after being trading to Indianapolis.
Then there’s the curious case of Alfred Morris. Three touchdowns in five games, 5.2 yards per carry, zero fumbles lost. All things that make fantasy owners smile, until you see that he’s only getting 14 carries a game.
Last season, Morris averaged 20 carries a game with a 4.8 yards-per-carry average. His production hasn’t slipped when he gets the ball, but his team has. With the Redskins playing catch-up this season, Morris has taken a back seat at times. With that being said, Morris still has a better chance at regaining his top 10 status than Martin, Rice, Richardson or Spiller.
SMART TO START
Jay Cutler, Bears: Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery will continue to shine, especially against a Redskins defense that has struggled all season.
Eddie Lacy, Packers: The Packers have finished the season in the bottom half of the league in rushing the last three seasons. They’re No. 5 this season.
Keenan Allen, Chargers: Two straight games with 100 yards and a touchdown, and he gets the Jaguars this week.
FIT TO SIT
Tom Brady, Patriots: The Jets held Brady to 185 yards and a touchdown in their first meeting. Now it’s on New York’s home turf.
Chris Johnson, Titans: He’s yet to score a touchdown this season. Don’t expect him to break his streak against San Francisco.
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs: Bowe hasn’t lived up to his new contract, and the Houston defense is no slouch.