Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Mark Ingram (BAL; at KC)
On the surface the Chiefs appear to be a tough defense, having allowed the fourth fewest points to opposing running backs. A lot of that stems from big leads and avoiding allowing a TD, as Kansas City has allowed 5.9 yards/carry to opposing running backs (31 carries for 184 yards). Taking on a Baltimore offense that should be able to stay with Kansas City, neither concern may be prevalent this week.
As for Ingram he’s been a mixed bag thus far, having one huge game (107 yards and 2 TD) and one mediocre one (47 yards and 0 TD). With an angle of keeping the ball away from Patrick Mahomes and company in play, don’t be surprised if Ingram is a significant part of the offensive game plan and gets a lot carries. Given the success others have had and the chance for a TD, that puts him in the start category.
Sit – Adrian Peterson (WAS, vs. CHI)
Sure he may be the lead back in name, but how many opportunities is he really going to get? The Bears represent one of the tougher defenses in the league, and they’ve shown it over the first two weeks:
- Rushing – 42 carries for 129 yards (3.1 YPC)
- Receiving – 12 receptions for 93 yards
Considering Chris Thompson should handle the bulk of the pass catching duties and Peterson’s struggles in his first start of the year (10 carries for 25 yards and 1 TD against the Cowboys) there’s no reason to take the gamble.
Start – Aaron Jones (GB, vs. DEN)
After a slow start to the season Jones rebounded in a big way in Week 2:
- Week 1 (at Chicago) – 13 carries for 39 yards
- Week 2 (vs. Minnesota) – 23 carries for 116 yards and 1 TD
The Broncos have allowed 3 rushing TD this season, and with Jamaal Williams struggling to get anything going (14 carries for 28 yards) Jones should continue to operate as the lead back. Opportunity plus matchup is what you like to look for, and Jones should be in the RB1 conversation.
Sit – Phillip Lindsay (DEN, at GB)
Staying in the same matchup and sticking with opportunity, Lindsay was supposed to be the leader of the Broncos’ backfield. Instead Week 2 gave us a nearly even timeshare:
- Phillip Lindsay – 13 carries for 36 yards
- Royce Freeman – 11 carries for 54 yards
Freeman has been the better runner overall this season, taking 21 carries for 110 yards, so there is no reason to think that this will suddenly change. As part of a timeshare, and with the potential for Freeman to emerge as the leader, Lindsay offers nothing but FLEX appeal for Week 3.
Others To Start:
- Sony Michel (NE, vs. NYJ) – Sure the Patriots will likely blowout the Jets, but Michel carried the same risk heading into Week 2 against the Dolphins. All he did in that one was take 21 carries for 83 yards and 1 TD, and it’s fair to expect similar production.
- Kerryon Johnson (DET, vs. PHI) – The Eagles seem to represent a tough matchup, having allowed 82 rushing yards to opposing running backs, but they’ve also yielded 143 receiving yards. Johnson is a factor in the passing game, so don’t let the matchup cause you to shy away from utilizing him as a RB2.
Other To Sit:
- Duke Johnson (HOU, at LAC) – After Lamar Miller was injured the thought was that Johnson would emerge as the lead back, but that has instead gone to Carlos Hyde. With Johnson limited in his opportunities and the Chargers having allowed just 57 receiving yards to opposing running backs, there’s far too much risk.
- Peyton Barber (TB vs. NYG) – The thought is that you want any skill player taking on the Giants, but Tampa Bay is clearly taking a hot hand approach and the Giants have been more vulnerable in the passing game. Barber could be considered a risky FLEX, but he’s not more than that.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings: