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The Shot Caller's Report - RBs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 2
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Running Backs

Start 'Em:
Running Backs Who Will Outperform Relative To Their Draft Position And Recent Hype

Chris Johnson @ CIN
Early ROY candidate Johnson will get the rock early and often against a defense that surrendered over 200 ground yards last week. Even splitting carries with his overfed stable mate will equate to top ten numbers. You took a flyer on him as a RB#4; plug him in to the RB#2 spot with confidence this week.

Michael Turner @ TB
The Burner absolutely napalmed Detroit in his Falcons debut. Tampa fields a defense more susceptible to the pass than the run, but the Falcons will go conservative to protect their young QB, and that means liberal use of Turner. Expect enough carries and production to warrant borderline RB#1 numbers.

Earnest Graham v. ATL
On only 10 carries EG put up 91 yards against the Saints on Sunday while sharing time with Warrick Dunn. Gruden mused afterwards that perhaps, maybe, the Bucs offensive stratagems might be enhanced by Mr. Graham’s increased participation. Couple that insight with a need to protect a rusty Brian Griese at qb, and we are seeing top ten numbers for a second/third round pick.

Willie Parker @ CLE
FWP is en fuego, and the Browns D is tattered. He’s probably a better start than your drafted RB#1.

Brandon Jacobs @ STL
Over 100 yards last week and facing the anemic Rams this week, Jacobs should turn in great numbers for a third round selection. He’ll find the endzone this week.

Sammy Morris @ NYJ
WW wonder and part of the Belichick RB shell game, Morris is a tough inside runner who stands to benefit most from the QB change. The Patriots will lean heavily on the running game with Cassel behind center. The Jets rushing D was only middling last season, and you could do worse in a RB#2 this week.

Justin Fargas @KC
One of the more under-appreciated runners in the NFL, Fargas got short shrift when McFadden was drafted and he dropped off the radar. McFadden is slightly dinged up and KC poses far less of an obstacle than the Broncos did, so I’d expect even better numbers this week. Play him as a very solid RB#2.

Bench 'Em:
Running Backs Who Will Under Perform Relative To Their Draft Position And Recent Hype

Steven Jackson v. NYG
There’s little to suggest that the very strong Giants line will be distracted by any other Rams offensive player enough to do anything but lay the wood to Steven Jackson early and often. Yes, he was drafted top five and you should never bench your studs…but I’d start FWP over Jackson this week. Just sayin’.

Maurice Jones-Drew v. BUF
He bombed against the Titans last week and the Bills have a tough front line to match. Casualties to the Jags offensive line could make this a season to forget for the mighty mite. Unless the cupboard is bare, I’d bench ‘im until performance merits otherwise.

Clinton Portis v. NO
Definitely the unsexiest top ten pick, Portis was selected for his rock-steady numbers, and not his upside, but even now that has to be called into question. Unless Campbell suddenly groks the WCO, there just won’t be much room to run for the talented Portis. The Saints can be run on, but the Redskins should fall behind early and be forced to pass, or whatever Washington calls anything other than a running play.

Kevin Smith v. GB
Yes, he had a decent outing against the Falcons, but the Packers will be stiffer on the ground. He’s a very low-end RB#2 prospect this week.

Jamal Lewis v. PIT
The Steelers have Lewis’ number, and the vaunted Browns pass attack is still in the hanger. Look elsewhere for RB#2 numbers.

Wide Receivers