Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs- Updated: Sunday, September 21st
Scoring: These rankings are based on standard scoring (one point per 25 passing yards and per 10 rushing/receiving yards and four points per passing touchdown and six points per rushing/receiving touchdown) and are for Week 3 only.
These rankings are from Kevin Hanson (follow him on Twitter).
Fantasy Football Rest-of-Season (ROS) Running Back Rankings
- Our consensus rankings: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends
Perhaps deserving of his injury-prone tag, Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray played a career-high 14 games last season, but he has been extremely productive when he's been on the field.
Over his past 16 games, Murray has 1,406 rushing yards — 5.25 yards per carry — and 57 catches for 381 yards with a total of 12 touchdowns.
A top-five fantasy running back in each of the first two weeks of this season, no running back has more rushing yards (285) or fantasy points (39.6) than Murray through two weeks.
Since Week 10 of last season, Murray has eight consecutive games with double-digit fantasy points including 20-plus points in half of those outings.
The probability of that streak continuing another week is extremely high as the St. Louis Rams have allowed 171.0 rushing yards per game, third-most in the NFL, and back-to-back 100-yard rushers (although one of those was a wide receiver).
Murray's two best games of his career have come against the Rams — 25/253/1 in 2011 and 26/175/1 in 2013.
Here are some more running back notes:
- As the team's workhorse back, Houston's Arian Foster has a league-high 55 carries and only Murray has more rushing yards than Foster (241). On pace for 440 carries, the Texans are expected to cut back his carries some, but Foster is a high-end RB1 every week he's active. That said, the Giants run defense has been excellent so far this season as they have allowed only 3.45 YPC, sixth-best in the NFL.
- On the other side of the field in this game, Giants running back Rashad Jennings gets a favorable matchup against the Texans after two tough matchups — Lions and Cardinals. While the Lions and Cardinals have allowed the fewest YPC in the NFL, no team has allowed more YPC than the Texans (5.8).
- The Vikings have indefinitely suspended Adrian Peterson, which means that Matt Asiata (and/or Jerick McKinnon) could be in store for another solid performance. (Or three solid performances.) The Vikings next three matchups are against the Saints, Falcons and Packers, who have allowed the seventh-most, most and fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
- Through two weeks, an Eagles running back ranks second in fantasy points. But it's not that one. Darren Sproles has finished as the RB11 and RB1 in his first two weeks. That said, LeSean McCoy has still been productive (RB20 and RB10) even though he is averaging just 3.73 YPC. Going forward, I'd still expect McCoy to be a top-three fantasy running back and Sproles to be a lower-end RB2 or flex in standard-scoring formats.
- What will Patriots coach Bill Belichick do? Who knows? One week after Shane Vereen led the Patriots backfield in fantasy points (13.1) to Stevan Ridley's 2.8 fantasy points, the roles were reversed in Week 2: Ridley (16.1) and Vereen (4.0). Against the Vikings, Ridley had 25 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown and Vereen had only seven touches. With a top-three matchup against the Raiders, it'd be great for fantasy owners to have more clarity. As two-TD favorites against the Raiders, it would make sense for Ridley to get the most work again, but it's anyone's guess with Belichick.
- While it shouldn't come as a shock to most, Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw has been more productive than Trent Richardson through two weeks. That said, T-Rich looked good on Monday Night Football despite his two fumbles. Bradshaw has 181 yards from scrimmage on 26 touches (including 10 catches) and two touchdowns while Richardson has 27 carries for 99 yards (3.67 YPC) and five catches for 47 yards. The duo has a favorable matchup this week against the Jaguars, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
- Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart has had a slow start to the season. Through two games, he has 50 rushing yards on 25 carries and 48 of those 50 yards have come after contact according to PFF.
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