Patrick Daugherty

Goal Line Stand

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Week 1 Rankings

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Week 1 Running Backs 

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Adrian Peterson at DET -
2 Doug Martin at NYJ -
3 C.J. Spiller vs. NE -
4 LeSean McCoy at WAS -
5 Alfred Morris vs. PHI -
6 Jamaal Charles at JAC -
7 Ray Rice at DEN -
8 Marshawn Lynch at CAR -
9 Stevan Ridley at BUF -
10 Trent Richardson vs. MIA -
11 Matt Forte vs. CIN -
12 Steven Jackson at NO -
13 Arian Foster at SD -
14 David Wilson at DAL -
15 Reggie Bush vs. MIN -
16 Maurice Jones-Drew vs. KC -
17 DeMarco Murray vs. NYG -
18 Frank Gore vs. GB -
19 Chris Johnson at PIT -
20 Lamar Miller at CLE -
21 Daryl Richardson vs. ARZ -
22 Ahmad Bradshaw vs. OAK Probable (foot)
23 Eddie Lacy at SF -
24 Darren Sproles vs. ATL -
25 Ryan Mathews vs. HOU -
26 Darren McFadden at IND -
27 Shane Vereen at BUF -
28 Giovani Bernard at CHI -
29 Chris Ivory vs. TB -
30 Mark Ingram vs. ATL -
31 DeAngelo Williams vs. SEA -
32 Rashard Mendenhall at STL Probable (knee)
33 Ben Tate at SD -
34 Montee Ball vs. BAL -
35 Isaac Redman vs. TEN -
36 BenJarvus Green-Ellis at CHI -
37 Knowshon Moreno vs. BAL -
38 Bilal Powell vs. TB -
39 Ronnie Hillman vs. BAL -
40 Vick Ballard vs. OAK -
41 Danny Woodhead vs. HOU -
42 Bernard Pierce at DEN -
43 Mike Tolbert vs. SEA Probable (hamstring)
44 Pierre Thomas vs. ATL -
45 Bryce Brown at WAS -
46 Michael Bush vs. CIN -
47 Roy Helu vs. PHI -
48 Felix Jones vs. TEN -
49 Fred Jackson vs. NE -
50 Daniel Thomas at CLE -
51 Jacquizz Rodgers at NO -
52 Kendall Hunter vs. GB -
53 Shonn Greene at PIT -
54 Robert Turbin at CAR -
55 Joique Bell vs. MIN -
56 Zac Stacy vs. ARZ -
57 Da'Rel Scott at DAL -
58 Toby Gerhart at DET -
59 La'Rod Stephens-Howling vs. TEN -
60 Knile Davis at JAC -
61 Benny Cunningham vs. ARZ -

RB Notes: Adrian Peterson is gunning for 2,500 yards. My official analysis? Historic years are rarely followed up by seasons that are even more historic, and AD is unlikely to become the first player in league history to post back-to-back 2,000-yard campaigns. My unofficial analysis? AD is a cyborg, possibly not of this world, whose origins are worth a segment on Coast to Coast. … Doug Martin is going to eat against the Jets, and it’s going to be the first of 16 very large meals for the Muscle Hamster this season. … Perhaps the most underdrafted player by ADP this season (13.7), Alfred Morris should have little issue posting top-five numbers against an Eagles run defense that did its best Red Sea impression this preseason.

Marshawn Lynch vs. Luke Kuechly is a Week 1 matchup to watch. The Panthers have holes/question marks all over the roster, but “run defense” isn’t one of them. … Shane Vereen got all the hype this summer, but it’s still Stevan Ridley who will carry the mail in the Patriots’ run game. He’s facing a run defense that ranked 31st in the NFL last season, and allowed 204 yards, three touchdowns and 4.6 yards per carry to Ridley in their two meetings. … It’s quite possible the concerns about Arian Foster’s workload and durability will prove overblown, but coach Gary Kubiak has pledged to ease him into the season. 15-18 touches is our best guess for Monday, making this the rare week where Foster is more RB2 than RB1. At least for now it’s rare.

Fresh off a preseason where he averaged 7.5 yards per carry, David Wilson gets a defense missing its top run stuffer in Jay Ratliff, and perhaps its No. 2 edge presence in Anthony Spencer. The bells of stardom could soon be ringing for the No. 32 pick of last year’s draft. … Lamar Miller is the Dolphins’ unquestioned starter, but had to out-last Daniel Thomas, as opposed to vanquishing him. He’s a borderline RB2 when he could have easily made himself a higher-end one. … Bilal Powell is “starting” for the Jets, but we still expect Chris Ivory to monopolize early-down touches and notch the most carries. He could have a hard time putting his rough preseason behind him against the Bucs’ elite run defense, however.

One of the truly tough decisions of Week 1, Eddie Lacy is getting rewarded for his excellent preseason with a terrible matchup in the 49ers’ elite run defense on the road. With running lanes likely hard to come by in San Francisco, Lacy’s value will be touchdown dependent against a unit that’s surrendered just 10 scores on the ground the past two seasons. Lacy has the looks of an every-week RB2, but the FLEX spot is the safest place to stash him in Week 1, if not the bench if you go four deep at running back. … Ryan Mathews looked excellent in the preseason. He could make it mean something by showing something against a defense that allowed just five rushing touchdowns in 2012.

A hybrid player expected to see snaps all over the field, high-end FLEX play Shane Vereen couldn’t have a better matchup in a defense that’s missing Stephon Gilmore and Jairus Byrd, and surrendered a scandalous 2,333 yards on the ground last season. … If at all possible, let your opponents ride the Rashard Mendenhall and DeAngelo Williams pain train in Week 1. … Isaac Redman is starting in Le’Veon Bell’s absence. Here’s guessing he won’t do much producing. He of the 3.7 yards per carry a season ago is entirely touchdown-dependent. … We love Montee Ball, but the Broncos’ committee is best avoided until Ball establishes himself as the chairman, which we believe he’ll do. Concerns about his “failing to separate” from Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno are overblown. This is John Fox we’re talking about, after all. He makes rookies earn it.

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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