The one trend which we have seen emerge this season is that running backs are back. With a drop off in production at the position over the last couple of seasons, more and more RBs are putting up big numbers on a weekly basis, and for once it’s not always the usual faces.
With David Johnson injured, Zeke’s legal situation and Bell’s struggles this season, the RB scoring leaders list is currently populated with a new crowd. 2017 superstars like Kareem Hunt and Todd Gurley have been ripping apart the NFL and they haven’t been the only ones. Below are four RBs who are poised for a huge day this weekend:
1st Down | Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Prediction – 100+ scrimmage yards and 2 touchdowns
With a tough few seasons now in the rear-view mirror for the ‘Muscle Hamster, Martin looked back and as good as ever last week against the Patriots. Picking up close to 100 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, Martin slipped seamlessly back into the Bucs line-up, averaging an impressive 5.7 yards per carry also.
In week 6 the Bucs face up against a Cardinals defense which has struggled as of late. Allowing nearly 100 yards per game rushing against themselves, Martin seems poised to take advantage of a limping prey. The Bucs need to start winning to turn their season around and in the past, Martin has been the engine of their offense. With Winston facing off against a tough Arizona secondary it is safe to assume Martin will be the focal point of the Bucs offense, leading to both volume and production.
2nd Down | Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars
Prediction – 115+ rushing yards and 2 touchdowns
No other offense in the NFL is operating as the Jags offense is right now. The refreshing openness of this attack makes it easy for fantasy owners to predict production as everyone knows they want to run the ball 40 times a game and no one can stop them.
The bruising nature of Fournette’s game saps the life from defenses, meaning his production increases as the clock ticks down. His contact-loving running style breeds missed tackles and big plays, and with the top end speed to finish runs Fournette is a Sports Center clip waiting to happen.
The Jags week 6 opponent, the Los Angeles Rams, are currently ranked 27th in the league in rushing defense and so appear to pose no threat to Fournette and the Jags No. 1 rushing offense. Look for Fournette to have a big game on Sunday and to make DFS players some serious money.
3rd Down | C.J. Anderson – Denver Broncos
Prediction – 90+ rushing yards and 3 touchdowns
The 2017 Denver Broncos have surprised many with their offensive efficacy so far this season. Without making much noise, Denver is home to the No. 3 rushing attack in the league and the majority of that production has been on the heels of C.J. Anderson.
Although the New York Giants give up the 4th most rushing yards in the NFL however, don’t expect all of those yards to belong to Anderson. Jamaal Charles has looked surprisingly good during his short spells in the Denver line-up this season and it should be expected that he will garner a fair amount of touches from the backfield on Sunday also.
However, Anderson and his big frame have all but guaranteed the red-zone and goal-line carries so while his yardage may be less than expected against the Giants 29th ranked rushing defense, you can expect a huge scoring day from himself.
4th Down | Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs
Prediction – 160+ scrimmage yards and 3 touchdowns
I tried to stay away from the slam dunks for this article but how can you preview running backs at this point in time without mentioning the man of the hour, Kareem Hunt.
‘Big Reem’ himself has been unstoppable since making his debut in September and nothing has slowed him down since. His week 6 match-up against the struggling Pittsburg Steelers and their 28th ranked rushing defense also don’t appear to be a serious contender to slow his roll.
With the emergence of this new look Alex Smith, the Steelers back 7 will be preoccupied with preventing big plays from Tyreek Hill which will open up the middle of the field for Hunt. Even if the Steelers focus on trying to shut down Hunt on the ground, his quickness and agility as a receiving threat are by far good enough to ensure he has an outstanding fantasy performance.
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