Week 3 RB Rankings, Projections and Analysis
Week 3 Running Back Sleepers
Week 3 Start N' Sit
Week 4 Waiver Wire Tips



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Eagles RB LeSean McCoy
By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
This is how we rank the RBs for Week 3 of the fantasy season. Our rankings aren't just based on name value or past performance - each week we take a comprehensive look at the match-ups and each RBs past performance and factor that into our projections. Just click on the links to read our rationale behind the ranking. The ratings are based on a standard non-PPR league where 10 rushing or receiving yards equal 1 point, rushing and receiving TDs equal 6 pts. and fumbles deduct 2 points.

Running Back Rankings
  1. LeSean McCoy
  2. DeMarco Murray
  3. Arian Foster
  4. Marshawn Lynch
  5. Eddie Lacy
  6. Gio Bernard
  7. Zac Stacy
  8. Matt Forte
  9. Rashad Jennings
  10. Alfred Morris
  11. Stevan Ridley
  12. Montee Ball
  13. Knile Davis
  14. Le'Veon Bell
  15. C.J. Spiller
  16. Ahmad Bradshaw
  17. Joique Bell
  18. Reggie Bush
  19. Chris Ivory
  20. Chris Johnson
  21. Andre Ellington
  22. Lamar Miller
  23. Frank Gore
  24. Terrance West
  25. Doug Martin
  26. Matt Asiata
  27. Shane Vereen
  28. Khiry Robinson
  29. Pierre Thomas
  30. Darren Sproles
  31. Bernard Pierce
  32. Donald Brown
  33. Jonathan Stewart
  34. Toby Gerhart
  35. Bobby Rainey
  36. Jeremy Hill
  37. Danny Woodhead
  38. Fred Jackson
  39. Darren McFadden
  40. Shonn Greene
Giants RB Rashad Jennings
By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
Paying attention to the match-ups each week can help you identify less heralded players with the upside to surprise and help you avoid some potential land mines. This is our list of players we expect to surpass expectations, along with a few stud RBs who may fail to deliver:

Start
Rashad Jennings
Giants RB Rashad Jennings
The former Oakland Raider has been the lone bright spot for the New York Giants this year as they look to get their first win when they host the undefeated Texans on Sunday. Jennings has not rushed the ball particularly well but he is Eli Manning’s most reliable check-down receiver. Last week against a solid Arizona Cardinal defense, the 29-year-old rushed for 64 yards and caught four balls for 45 yards equaling over 100 yards from scrimmage. Jennings will continue to get most of the touches in the Giants backfield with rookie Andre Williams struggling to gain any significant yardage. With Jadeveon Clowney out and the Giants in a desperate situation, this could be the week that he finally goes off.

LeSean McCoy
Eagles RB LeSean McCoy
Despite sharing many touches with Darren Sproles, Shady had a strong outing against the Colts on Monday Night Football with 102 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. This week, McCoy will face a weak Washington Redskins team without star quarterback Robert Griffin III. Expect the Eagles to jump out to a quick lead and control the clock by handing the ball off to McCoy. I expect McCoy’s first 100-yard rushing game along with a few receptions and two touchdowns.

DeMarco Murray
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray
As the undisputed workhorse in a very talented offense, Murray has shined for the Dallas Cowboys. Against two solid defenses in San Francisco and Tennessee, he rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown in each game. Last week, he recorded 30 touches for an astounding 173 yards. No matter what defense this guy faces, he can find the holes and is a great receiving threat out of the backfield. The Rams have been solid against the run but the Cowboys should outplay them leading to more carries for Murray. Expect 125 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown.


Sit
Toby Gerhart
Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart
Against a Redskins defense that allowed over 100 yards to Arian Foster in week 1, Gerhart gained just 8 yards on 7 carries and caught two passes for 9 yards. The previous week, he gained 57 yards from scrimmage against an Eagles defense that allowed Bradshaw and Richardson to combine for 149 yards. This week, he has another favorable match-up against Indianapolis but Gerhart has not proved his value yet. Sit him until he does.

Shane Vereen
Patriots RB Shane Vereen
Vereen only managed 6 carries last week compared to Steven Ridley’s 25. Vereen is a good option in a PPR league but in standard formats, he simply won't get enough touches to be a solid option for your fantasy squad this week. The Patriots will likely crush the Raiders and will do it by pounding the football with Ridley while throwing to Gronkowski and Edelman. Vereen will be a small part of the game plan and is at best a Flex play.

Shonn Greene
Titans RB Shonn Greene
Greene is a one-dimensional back who will rarely see a pass thrown in his direction. Against a dismal Dallas defense, he managed just 5 carries for 40 yards. He did average 6 yards per carry but with the Titans running back by committee, Greene is an extremely risky play especially when going up against the red-hot Bengals defense. The Titans will likely be playing catch-up and McCluster will be in the backfield on most passing downs. If you have another back with a more favorable matchup, we advise you to go with him and stay away from Greene this week.


Lamar Miller
Dolphins RB Lamar Miller
After Knowshon Moreno went down in the first quarter of the AFC East match-up between the Dolphins and the Bills, Miller became the undisputed number 1 running back for Miami. He is averaging 4.8 yards per carry and will face a banged up Kansas City defense. Miller left Sunday’s game but is practicing this week and should be good to go. He has shown flashes of brilliance and I believe he is poised to rush for 75 yards and a touchdown.

Stevan Ridley
Patriots RB Stevan Ridley
Ridley was fantastic against the Vikings, rushing for 101 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown. He has the perfect match-up against the Raiders who have allowed the third most fantasy points to running backs thus far. Look for New England to focus on the ground-and-pound attack and ride Ridley to the finish line. As long as he avoids the fumbling issues that have plagued him in the past, expect a similar stat line this week.

Chris Ivory
Jets RB Chris Ivory
Ivory is splitting carries with Chris Johnson for the New York Jets this season and is proving that he is the better between-the-tackles back. Week 1 against the Raiders, he rushed for over 100 yards including a 71 yard touchdown. He was not quite as effective against the Packers this past week but outperformed Johnson finishing with 13 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown. Ivory is the goal line back and is facing a struggling Bears defense. Look for him to rush for 75 yards and pound one in the end zone.

Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw
By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
Don't get too discouraged if your draft didn't work out as you planned. Fantasy success isn't the exclusive result of a solid draft - often it's the in-season waiver wire moves that determines who makes it to the post-season. We've got some hot tips for you that should help you improve your roster and catch up to those lucky sons-of-guns who always seem to draft the right players:

Running Backs to Add

Ahmad Bradshaw
The former Giant has been amazing to watch so far this season and looks entirely healthy. Bradshaw is ranked 6th in scoring as he has posted 150 yards rushing, 114 yards receiving, and three touchdowns for 44.4 points. Yet somehow, he is only owned in 69.2% of leagues on ESPN.com. Look for Bradshaw to continue proving to Chuck Pagano that he is a much better runner than Trent Richardson. This is a must add situation. Don’t hesitate on this one.

Jeremy Hill
In about a third of leagues on NFL.com, Hill is available. If he is still a free agent in your league, I suggest you pick him up now. In his first regular season game as a Bengal, Hill produced just 1.9 fantasy points. However, since then, he has ran the ball quite well recording 15.9 and 9.9 points in weeks two and three, respectively, while scoring a touchdown in each game. Gio Bernard is the clear-cut starter in Cincinnati but Hill has proven to Head Coach Marvin Lewis that he is trustworthy with the ball. I’m expecting big things in this kid’s future.

Donald Brown
I said it last week but no one seemed to listen. Brown is still available in most leagues. After Ryan Matthews went down in Week 2 with a sprained MCL, Brown assumed the starting position. He was set to split time with Danny Woodhead after the Chargers learned that Mathews would miss up to six weeks. However, Woodhead suffered a fractured fibula and ankle in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills. This leaves Brown as the undisputed workhorse in San Diego’s run-heavy offensive attack. The Chargers will most likely use Branden Oliver to back up Brown but until Ryan Mathews can return, expect to see 15-20 carries for the ex-Colt week-in and week-out.

Running Backs to Drop

Danny Woodhead
As mentioned above, Woodhead fractured his fibula and ankle. If you think he will see the field again this season than you are delusional. It's a devastating injury for the soon-to-be 30-year-old and I can’t help but wonder if he will ever be the same player he was previously.

Jonathan Stewart
The Carolina Panthers running back sprained his knee and is likely to remain sidelined for a month. After missing 5 weeks of action last season with a sprained MCL, Stewart is obviously struggling keeping his knees healthy. He's struggled thus far this season and has only reached double digit fantasy points in one of his three games. Carolina uses a running back-by-committee system and there is no reason to keep Stewart on your squad. You can likely find better options on the waiver wire.

Knile Davis
If you took my advice and picked up and started Knile Davis, then you were more than satisfied with his performance as he rushed for over 100 yards and scored a touchdown. However, initially, it looked like Jamaal Charles would be sidelined with his high ankle sprain for approximately four weeks. Now it is clear that he will very likely start this coming Sunday and take back the role of lead back. Charles was spectacular last season with close to 2,000 yards from scrimmage and a whopping 19 touchdowns, leading all running backs with 308 fantasy points. There is simply no way that Andy Reid will give Davis significant touches over Charles. The backup will likely have a limited role and won’t be of much fantasy value. He had a great week of production but all good things have to end so it's time to let him go.