Week 2 Lineup calls: Running Back's top starts, sleepers and flops

BY foxsports • September 17, 2010

Lineup calls: QB | RB | WR | TE | K | D/ST

With one week of NFL action in the rearview, fantasy owners are trying to take stock of their drafts.

I’ve seen Tweets and emails cursing decisions made on draft day, with many owners calling their first-round picks to task. Aside from Chris Johnson, the consensus top-12 fantasy picks failed to leave owners inspired. Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes, but passed for only 188 yards and was intercepted twice.

Two-thirds of Darren McFadden owners left him on their bench. Top receiver Austin Collie was benched in virtually all leagues. Only the most ardent David Garrard owners could have put him in the lineup.

Week 1 is always an enigma. We spent months breaking down numbers and news reports, only to sit upright, turn to our friends or family assembled to watch the games and utter, “what was that?” (You can spice that sentence up if you want.)

We’re on to another day. It’s time to start dissecting the matchups of Week 2. What surprises will we find this time out?

Top 10 Running Backs

Running Back Sleepers

Thomas Jones at Cleveland

Jamaal Charles made the highlight reel with his 56-yard touchdown run, but take note of the fact that Jones still logged 11 carries (39 yards) against the Chargers. The Chiefs will continue to grind out yardage on the ground in Week 2 against the Browns, and I expect to see Jones amass another double-digit touch count.

Michael Bush vs. St. Louis

Bush’s role in his return from a fractured thumb remains to be seen, particularly following Darren McFadden’s monster Week 1 performance. Bush averaged 4.8 yards per carry on 123 touches last season. The Raiders should be able to run against the St. Louis front (112 yards allowed versus Arizona).

Peyton Hillis vs. Kansas City

Hillis worked into an equitable split of the workload with Jerome Harrison last week and plowed through for the lone goal-line plunge of the day. Hillis carried the ball nine times for 41 yards, adding four catches for 24 yards (and a lost fumble). He’s on the board as a dual-threat option against the Chiefs. I’ll be curious to see how the Chiefs build on the Week 1 win over San Diego. With Jake Delhomme ailing (in a walking boot on Wednesday), look for the Browns to pound the ball on the ground.

Justin Forsett at Denver

The Seahawks are employing a committee situation, so Forsett’s overall potential impact is a question mark. Still, as a solid receiver out of the backfield (three catches for 17 yards), Forsett remains a threat and warrants consideration for a flex play against the Broncos.

Running Back Flops

Cedric Benson vs. Baltimore

Benson got into the end zone late in Week 1 to save an otherwise horrid day (43 rushing yards) against Vince Wilfork and the New England front. He’s rewarded with a date against Baltimore and Haloti Ngata in Week 2.

C.J. Spiller at Green Bay

Spiller appears on this list because of a trust issue following his disappearing act in Week 1. That is to say. I can’t trust that he finds daylight against this Green Bay front. We saw Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch force a split of the workload. I can’t imagine that Spiller’s lack of production with his 11 touches changes that at all. I know that Spiller just needs to find a seam and he’s off to the end zone. I get it. I just can’t bank on the 70-yard sprint just yet.

Shonn Greene vs. New England

Greene’s stock slipped in late-summer drafts, and his five-carry, 18-yard season debut against the Ravens didn’t inspire much confidence. He’s now looking at a full-on split with LaDainian Tomlinson, thereby making him a risky play. With running back-swallowing Vince Wilfork and the Pats on the board for Week 2, I’m avoiding him altogether.

Ronnie Brown at Minnesota

Brown generated 85 total yards and a touchdown in Week 1 against the Bills. I don’t believe that the Vikings will shut him down altogether, but Brown’s workload split with Ricky Williams leaves me wanting for this one. The Saints were able to impose their will on the Vikings in the second half of the opener, but one can’t exactly put the passing games in the same breath. Running room will be sparse this week.


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