Week 3 is almost here, and it’s time to start setting lineups and making sure you’re ready to win your fantasy matchup.
Every week, Fansided will bring you rankings compiled by our duo of fantasy experts. This week, the list was derived from averaging rankings from myself and Zachary Thompson.
Let’s take a look at the running backs and how they rank for Week 3:
1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
What did you expect?
2. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
From this point forward, McCoy has to be considered a top-5 running back. He’s in an offense that is going to give him the touches and the blocking to gain tons of yards and score lots of fantasy points. The Kansas City defense is no joke, but neither is the Philly offense. Roll with Shady this week, and every week.
4. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He’s got his fullback back, his linemen returning to health, and a quarterback that can’t be trusted to throw the ball accurately. Martin proved that he can succeed even with a shaky performance from Josh Freeman during Week 2, and you can expect a similar result in Week 3.
5. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
Monitor his health (and plug in Joique Bell is Bush can’t go), but if he plays, Reggie is a fantastic start in Week 3. The Washington defense isn’t very good at all, and Bush will have plenty of chances in what should be a high-scoring game.
6. Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
That name and team combination just doesn’t look right, does it? Regardless, he’s going to get a chance to show off his receiving skills in a better passing offense. He’s got a tough matchup this week, but his ability out of the backfield as a receiver keeps him as a top-10 option this week.
7. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
Monitor his health, as well, but Rice will be a decent play against Houston (or a top-5 running back, if you ask Zach). It’s not a great matchup, but a healthy Ray Rice remains the only show in town for the Baltimore offense.
8. Arian Foster, Houston Texans
The 2013 Baltimore Ravens aren’t the same Baltimore Ravens that you remember shutting down opposing running games. That’s why even a “splitting carries with Ben Tate” Arian Foster is a good start this week. Foster is anxious to prove himself to his coaches, and he’ll have a good chance this week.
9. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Pittsburgh, like Baltimore, doesn’t have the dominate defense you remember. Matt Forte is the featured back in an offense that seems to be clicking (at least from a fantasy points perspective). Lock him in as an RB1 until something drastic changes.
10. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
It’s strange to have Charles this low, but even a matchup against the Eagles fails to inspire a ton of confidence. Zach and I have him ranked within the top 10, which means start him with confidence, but we’re not sure he’s the borderline top-5 runner he was drafted as in most leagues.
11. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
He’s going to get his chances against an average-at-best defense from Indianapolis. After a tough game in Week 2, look for the entire San Francisco offense to bounce back in Week 3.
12. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
RGIII’s struggles have held Morris back a bit, but he has still earned decent amounts of points with limited touches. If you’ve got him, you need to stick with him, and a game against Detroit could be a good springboard to get the Washington offense back to its expected level of play.
13. Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints
The Cardinals have some good players on defense who will shut down a few of Drew Brees’ targets. Fortunately for Darren Sproles owners, there’s not many defensive players and schemes which account for a tiny running back coming out of the backfield. He’ll provide his usual few catches for a decent amount of yards again this week.
14. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
Zach and I don’t agree on this pick, as I have Moreno as a top-12 running back this week, whereas Zach has him outside of the top 15. But he’s the featured runner against the Oakland Raiders for a team that should win handily. He’ll get his carries, and he’ll get points.
15. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
This is the flipside of the same disagreement. Zach has McFadden 12th, and I have him outside of my top 15. But he’s facing the Broncos, who don’t have the best defense in the league, and he has proven to have good chemistry with Terrelle Pryor. Zach says start him as a borderline RB1, so listen to the man and put him in your lineup!
Honorable Mention: Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans and Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots