Start of the Week –
Todd Gurley vs Seattle Seahawks
Now I get it. You might be freaking out over Gurley’s injury history, and rightfully so. However, Atlanta’s offense line is a bit better than the Rams’, and Gurley is in the right place to succeed in Atlanta’s system with the right games. Granted all of his points against the Seahawks were scored when he was with the Rams, but it is worth noting that considering they were high numbers. Look for Gurley to do well against the Seahawks for week one.
Chris Carson vs Atlanta Falcons
We switch to the other side of the matchup with the Seahawks and their main running back Chris Carson. Carson has some fumbling issues, but overall I was concerned if they were going to split carries with him and Carlos Hyde. Luckily, that doesn’t seem to be the case. With how poor Atlanta’s defense started off last year, Carson should thrive in this game.
Melvin Gordon vs Tennessee Titans
Putting Melvin Gordon on here is tricky, but the season hasn’t started yet and I’m going in on a whim with him. Still even with the concerns of him and Philip Lindsay splitting carries, I’d start him against the Titans who allowed nearly 27 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs on the road in 2019.
James White vs Miami Dolphins
The most valuable of the Patriot running backs comes to us as a start against the Miami Dolphins this week. White has a better shot of getting your PPR value than Sony Michel simply because he is designed to catch balls out of the backfield. He will benefit strongly from new quarterback Cam Newton. It also helps that the Dolphins defense gave up more than 26 fantasy points a game to running backs. Look for White to have a good day.
Tarik Cohen vs Detroit Lions
The main reason Tarik Cohen makes this list is because the Bears could be without David Montgomery week one which puts Cohen in a huge position to succeed against a Detroit defense that was awful at defending the run last season giving up nearly an average of 29 fantasy points to opposing backs. Factor in that Cohen can catch the ball out of the backfield as well and he is a really good play this week.
Raheem Mostert vs Arizona Cardinals
Cam Akers vs Dallas Cowboys
Jonathan Taylor vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Sit of the Week –
Leonard Fournette vs New Orleans Saints
Some of you drafted Fournette before Ronald Jones and that is a good thing because I believe in the future, he will be the starting running back of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, he just got cut by Jacksonville, he has to learn a whole new system in Tampa, and Coach Arians is committed to Ronald Jones at the moment. All these things combined with the fact that the Saints are amazing against running backs make me avoid Fournette for week one.
Le’Veon Bell vs Buffalo Bills
Most likely all of you are starting Le’Veon Bell if you have him so this is just more of a warning. Bell might say all things are good with head coach Adam Gase, but I don’t trust Gase at all. He can’t manage running backs to save his life. Add to the fact the Jets signed Frank Gore and Buffalo’s defense being good against the run make this a hard decision to make for week one.
Devin Singletary vs New York Jets
I hate putting his name on this list because I really do like Devin Singletary. However, his production is going to get cut by one new name; Zack Moss. Moss has been the talk of the town in training camp, and Singletary had some issues with fumbles last year. Expect that to come into play early, and honestly for this matchup the Jets did fairly well against running backs so maybe a last resort flex play, but other than that I would avoid entirely.
Jordan Howard vs New England Patriots
It is kind of difficult to see which running back in Miami will look to take the brass ring of success early, but for the moment it looks like Jordan Howard will handle the runs while Breida will be more of third down back. However, it doesn’t really matter as the Dolphins take on a New England defense that even with some big names opting out of the season because COVID could cause some struggles for this Miami backfield.
D’Andre Swift vs Chicago Bears
Some would argue that Swift should start at the head of the pack above Kerryon Johnson, but let’s face facts people. Swift is dealing with a leg injury, and he probably shouldn’t see the field because of it. It is really hard to make a prediction with this because while the Bears were bad against the run, the sharing of touches between Johnson and Swift scares me enough to leave it until I see results from week one.
Ronald Jones vs New Orleans Saints
Kareem Hunt vs Baltimore Ravens
Jaguars Running Backs vs Indianapolis Colts