At number one for this week, I went with LeSean McCoy. The Eagles are hosting the Jaguars, a defense that allowed 131.8 rushing yards per game and 20 rushing touchdowns last season. While their defense has improved this offseason, I still believe McCoy will have a big Sunday.
A surprise to some may be Frank Gore at No. 10. He is facing, arguably, the worst defense in the NFL. The Cowboys struggled against the run last season and lost some key pieces to their defense, which makes them worse.
Right outside my top 10 are Eddie Lacy and Demarco Murray. This is strictly based on matchups in Week 1. The Packers are heading to Seattle to take on the defending champs. The Seahawks allowed just four rushing touchdowns last season, so Lacy could have a tough time accumulating fantasy points this week. Murray is facing a stingy Niners defense, but that’s not my only concern with him. The Cowboys’ may have to abandon the run early if they fall behind which would take away carries from Murray.
Two guys I favor a lot this week, especially in PPR formats, are Shane Vereen and Joique Bell. Both backs have great matchups and should find success. Some backs that are starters and are outside the top 30 are Maurice Jones-Drew, Trent Richardson, and Steven Jackson. While these backs can be solid flex options in deeper formats, in basic 10-12 team leagues, I wouldn’t feel comfortable having them in my starting lineups. The matchups are simply not appealing.
I’ll close this with a bold prediction; two rookie running backs will find the end zone this week, Carlos Hyde and Andre Williams.