First, I’ll list the Fantasy Points based on ESPN scoring, and what the defense they are facing gave up last week (by yards rushing allowed) to their opposing team. Finally, I’ll project the rankings for week 2.
1. Ray Rice, Ravens, @ Titans. Last week: t-1st, Titans defense t-27th.
He wants to make a statement that he’s the top running back in the NFL. He doesn’t break a lot of huge runs but is both the undisputed #1 on his team and targeted often in the passing game.
2. Michael Turner, Falcons, vs. Eagles. Last week: 14th, Eagles defense 25th.
The Eagles allowed the Rams to run all over them. I expect a desperate Falcons team to get into the red zone and give Turner lots of carries and catches.
3. Adrian Peterson, Vikings, vs. Buccaneers. Last week: t-22nd, Buccaneers defense 23rd.
Another team desperate for a win. Adrian Peterson has requested Bill Musgrave give him more action in the passing game. The Buccaneers were 30th in the NFL in ypc allowed last year and allowed 126 rushing yards – and 67 receiving yards out of the backfield – to the Lions in their first game.
4. Fred Jackson, Bills, @ Raiders. Last week: t-15th, Raiders defense 1st.
The Raiders are going to be without wideouts Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy. They might not have TE Kevin Boss. If they don’t get McFadden and Bush going, there will be quite a few punts and it will fatigue the Raiders defense.
5. Cedric Benson, Bengals, @ Broncos. Last week: 5th, Broncos defense 31st.
The biggest run plays seemed to happen partly due to the field on Monday night. That said, a lack of rest this week for a Broncos D that was awful against the run last year and hasn’t shown much improvement in the off-season is something Benson looks forward to.
6. Matt Forte, Bears, @ Saints. Last week: 4th, Saints defense 19th.
Forte will love playing on the indoor turf and has had at least 98 yards from scrimmage in four straight games.
7. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers, vs. Seahawks. Last week: t-53rd, Seahawks defense 15th.
Seattle worked to improve their run defense in the off-season by shuffling starters and had an excellent game on Sunday but are unlikely to stay off the field or keep the Steelers to bad field position given the advantageous match-ups for Pittsburgh.
8. Tim Hightower, Redskins, vs. Cardinals. Last week: t-7th, Cardinals defense 10th.
Hightower is still a big part of the passing offense, even if he only got 3 catches for 25 yards week 1. There’s not too many better at setting up the run with the pass than Mike Shanahan.
9. Mike Tolbert, Chargers, @ Patriots. Last week: t-1st, Patriots defense 17th.
The Patriots defense can’t stop anyone who has a strong arsenal of weapons and a decent line. While the Pats’ defense tries to make the 4-2-5 and 4-3 work with its new starters, the Chargers are a well-oiled machine.
10. Darren McFadden, Raiders, vs. Bills. Last week: t-7th, Bills defense 21st.
I’m putting him in my top 4 most weeks until he slows down but I don’t see them sustaining drives with all their injuries. Denarius (Moore), Darrius (Heyward-Bey), and Derek (Hagan) could step up but that’s asking a lot.
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