Fantasy Player Projections

Running Backs
1raidersDarren McFadden

Darren McFadden

105 rush yards, rush TD, 4 rec, 40 rec yards

Run DMC turned into Catch DMC in Week 1, with 13 catches for 86 yards on 18 targets. No player (RB or WR) had more targets than McFadden. Thirteen catches and 15 rushes means he had more touches than any other player. That's not good for a brittle RB. Considering he is still healthy, he'll have a big Week 2, however.

2bearsMatt Forte

Matt Forte

84 rush yards, 3 rec, 45 rec yards, rec TD

In his lone meeting against Green Bay last year Forte was far deadlier as a pass receiver. This week he'll do the bulk of his damage on the ground, exploiting a run defense that was worn down by San Francisco late last week.

3texansArian Foster

Arian Foster

124 rush yards, rush TD, 1 rec, 6 rec yards

Last week Adrian Peterson averaged 4.9 yards per carry against Jacksonville, and he was more banged up than Foster. We sense big things are on the horizon for Houston's back this week. Big things.

4billsC.J. Spiller

C.J. Spiller

85 rush yards, 4 rec, 35 rec yards, rec TD

Against the Jets Spiller showed flashes of what he used to do every Saturday at Clemson. He had a 56-yard TD run and then another 49-yarder that came up just short of another TD. The Chiefs weren't bad against the run in Week 1, but Spiller is worth a start in Week 2 anyway, with Jackson sidelined.

5ravensRay Rice

Ray Rice

83 rush yards, rush TD, 3 rec, 31 rec yards

Rice struggled a bit in games against NFC teams last year, averaging just 13.2 carries and 57.5 rushing yards per game against the NFC West. This week, however, Rice figures to see a hefty workload. Fantasy owners can expect between 20-25 touches.

6vikingsAdrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson

94 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 18 rec yards

Peterson will follow the lead of Chicago's Matt Forte, who averaged 5.0 yards per carry last week against Indianapolis' defense. The Vikings may still trim AP's workload a bit, but how many carries does a franchise back really need against these Colts?

7dolphinsReggie Bush

Reggie Bush

70 rush yards, rush TD, 4 rec, 35 rec yards

The Dolphins leaned on Bush to carry them offensively in the opener and he did what he could, but still couldn’t get into the end zone. Owners in PPR leagues loved his six catches for 46 yards. He's still a decent RB2 option in Week 2.

8cowboysDeMarco Murray

DeMarco Murray

79 rush yards, rush TD, 3 rec, 22 rec yards

It was remarkable to see how well the Cowboys ran the ball in the second half last week with a patchwork offensive line. This week, however, the unit faces a Seahawks team that allowed just 3.8 yards per carry last year. Murray could experience a slight dip in production.

9saintsDarren Sproles

Darren Sproles

15 rush yards, 6 rec, 85 rec yards, rec TD

This “running back” had just one carry the entire game in Week 1 -- during a two-point conversion. He did catch five passes (on eight targets) for 35 yards, and he remains a score-from-anywhere threat.

10patriotsStevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley

80 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 20 rec yards

The Patriots ran the second-year back early and often at Tennessee, allowing him to rack up 125 yards on 21 carries. He's a hard runner who's going to see defenses that are trying to stop the passing game more than the run. He's a bona fide fantasy starter now.

11seahawksMarshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch

81 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 16 rec yards

Ahmad Bradshaw was patient last week, finally breaking free for a big run in the second half. Lynch's date with Dallas will play out much the same -- frustrating series after series, but with a few big runs to pad the numbers.

12chiefsJamaal Charles

Jamaal Charles

75 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 20 rec yards

The Falcons loaded up against the run in Week 1, which prevented Charles from really racking up yardage and TDs. Expect the Bills to do the same, although they struggled against the Jets offense, giving up 118 rushing yards.

13eaglesLeSean McCoy

LeSean McCoy

66 rush yards, 4 rec, 27 rec yards, rec TD

The Ravens allowed only 92.6 rushing yards per game last year -- second-fewest in the NFL. McCoy will make enough plays to matter for fantasy owners, but for the most part it will be a down week for the top three fantasy pick.

14giantsAhmad Bradshaw

Ahmad Bradshaw

75 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 15 rec yards

With rookie David Wilson fumbling the ball early in the game against Dallas, the Giants used Bradshaw extensively in Week 1. The Bucs stood strong against Panthers back DeAngelo Williams, but Bradshaw remains a solid option.

15bengalsBenJarvus Green-Ellis

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

89 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 9 rec yards

Green-Ellis' 5.1-yards-per-carry average last week was his best single-game average since December 2010. This week he'll feast on a Browns defense that allowed LeSean McCoy to gain 5.5 yards per carry (20 attempts).

16jaguarsMaurice Jones-Drew

Maurice Jones-Drew

67 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 20 rec yards

The Jaguars were supposed to ease Jones-Drew into action. That didn't happen. Now the team has no reason to hold back. In a game sure to be won between the tackles, Jones-Drew will carry the ball for as long as Jacksonville is in contention. He gained 166 yards from scrimmage in his last game against Houston.

17steelersJonathan Dwyer

Jonathan Dwyer

68 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 19 rec yards

Dwyer will see an increased workload after clearly outperforming Isaac Redman in Week 1. It may not amount to more than 12 or 15 touches, but that's all it took for Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller to bust up the Jets last week.

18titansChris Johnson

Chris Johnson

65 rush yards, rush TD, 3 rec, 20 rec yards

After a horrible 2011, many were hoping for a big rebound game for CJ2K against the Patriots. Not only did they not get that, but Johnson turned in his worst NFL game ever. The offensive line couldn't open up any lanes for him, and the Titans went to the passing game early. Bad omens lie ahead; the Chargers held Raiders RB Darren McFadden to just 32 rushing yards in Week 1.

19redskinsAlfred Morris

Alfred Morris

80 rush yards, rush TD

The big rookie rumbled for 96 yards and two TDs in his first NFL game, and he's sure to be a waiver-wire darling. But head coach Mike Shanahan loves to mess with fantasy owners' heads. Start him in Week 2 and cross your fingers.

20falconsJacquizz Rodgers

Jacquizz Rodgers

40 rush yards, rush TD, 4 rec, 30 rec yards

The Falcons running game struggled from the get-go against the Chiefs in Week 1. Michael Turner and Rodgers combined for just 54 rushing yards. Turner's owners should work now to trade for his handcuff in Rodgers.

2149ersFrank Gore

Frank Gore

61 rush yards, rush TD, 1 rec, 9 rec yards

The Lions' imposing front wall kept Steven Jackson to just 2.5 yards per attempt last week. Gore got off to a fast start -- and had a nice game against the Lions a year ago -- but depending on the rest of your roster, this might be a good week to sit him down.

22ramsSteven Jackson

Steven Jackson

75 rush yards, 5 rec, 45 rec yards

Until the Rams find some playmaker wide receivers, defenses are going to continue to key on Jackson. Don't let his abysmal yards-per-carry convince you he's over the hill. He also caught four passes for 31 yards. The rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.

23buccaneersDoug Martin

Doug Martin

90 rush yards, 4 rec, 25 rec yards

Martin proved to be as good as the hype suggested in Week 1 against Carolina, staying on the field for passing downs, blocking, getting extra yards and finding open holes. He's a solid fantasy starter going forward, although the Giants have had 11 days to prepare for him.

24chiefsPeyton Hillis

Peyton Hillis

35 rush yards, rush TD, 1 rec, 10 rec yards

The carries split ended up being about 2-to-1 in favor of Jamaal Charles over Hillis in Week 1. Hillis was targeted three times in the passing game, however. He's a flex option against a Bills team looking to rebound.

25broncosWillis McGahee

Willis McGahee

75 rush yards, 2 rec, 15 rec yards

The Broncos drafted Ronnie Hillman to possibly take over for McGahee in the backfield, but that time has not come yet. McGahee rushed 16 times for 64 yards against the Steelers in Week 1, and he's worth a look against a Falcons defense that allowed over 130 rushing yards to the Chiefs.

26panthersDeAngelo Williams

DeAngelo Williams

55 rush yards, 3 rec, 25 rec yards

Williams was shut down in Week 1 at Tampa Bay, with minus-one yard on six carries. He started in place of Jonathan Stewart, who is expected to be back in Week 2. Reserve Williams against the Saints.

27coltsDonald Brown

Donald Brown

45 rush yards, 3 rec, 29 rec yards

There's no doubt that Brown will be the Colts back moving forward. That doesn't mean it's always going to be pretty. The Vikings were one of eight teams to keep opposing runners under 4.0 yards a carry last year.

28brownsTrent Richardson

Trent Richardson

59 rush yards, 1 rec, 13 rec yards

The Bengals gave up 5.3 yards per carry to the Ravens. This week Cincinnati does not need to play “honest” defense. The Bengals will stack the deck against Richardson, expecting that Brandon Weeden will not beat them with his arm. In gambling terms that's called a safe bet.

29chargersRyan Mathews

Ryan Mathews

45 rush yards, 2 rec, 20 rec yards

The former Fresno State star hopes to return to live game action in Week 2 against the Titans, after sitting out most of the preseason and Week 1 with a broken clavicle. Fantasy owners should proceed with caution.

30falconsMichael Turner

Michael Turner

60 rush yards, 1 rec, 5 rec yards

In Atlanta's new pass-happy offense, Turner appears to be out of place. Even when the Falcons tried to run the ball against the Chiefs, he couldn't do much, with just 11 carries for 32 yards. He should do better against the Broncos, but fantasy owners can't be excited about his 2012 outlook.

31lionsKevin Smith

Kevin Smith

39 rush yards, 2 rec, 19 rec yards

Did you see what San Francisco's defense did to the Packers running game? Did you see what San Francisco's defense did to every opposing running game last year? You'd have to be mad to start Smith this week.

32cardinalsBeanie Wells

Beanie Wells

35 rush yards, 2 rec, 20 rec yards

Wells came into Week 1 with a sore hamstring, and the Seahawks didn't really give him much breathing room when he got the ball. His 14 yards on seven carries should be enough to keep him on your bench this week.

33giantsDavid Wilson

David Wilson

30 rush yards, 4 rec, 25 rec yards

After fumbling on his second touch of the game, Wilson was essentially benched for the remainder of his NFL debut against the Cowboys. He's a home-run threat when he holds onto the ball, though. Keep him reserved until he earns Tom Coughlin's trust again.

34redskinsRoy Helu

Roy Helu

30 rush yards, 3 rec, 25 rec yards

Head coach Mike Shanahan appears to like Helu on passing downs and Alfred Morris on other downs. That's not enough to make Helu an option in Week 2. But things change quickly in Washington's backfield, so don't cut him.

35bearsMichael Bush

Michael Bush

33 rush yards, 2 rec, 19 rec yards

No cheap touchdowns this week. Bush's role in the Bears offense will vary based on the game situation; Matt Forte will not need much help this week in the running game.

36jetsShonn Greene

Shonn Greene

51 rush yards

Greene gained 92 yards on 21 carries against Pittsburgh in 2010 -- we should add that was for two games, Week 16 and the AFC Championship Game. You have better options on your roster (you must).

37saintsMark Ingram

Mark Ingram

50 rush yards, 1 rec, 10 rec yards

In Week 1, the Heisman winner from Alabama had just 15 yards on six carries, but then again, the Saints had to turn to the passing game relatively early. He's still a better fantasy reserve than starter.

38cardinalsRyan Williams

Ryan Williams

50 rush yards, 1 rec, 10 rec yards

Williams had eight carries for nine yards in his NFL regular season debut against the Seahawks. This Cardinals offensive line is not a strong one, and fantasy owners should remain leery of Williams and Beanie Wells (hamstring).

39packersCedric Benson

Cedric Benson

44 rush yards

Benson might love the idea of spoiling the Bears' visit to Lambeau, but it's just not going to go down that way. The Packers have experienced trouble with their blocking up front, and Benson looked stiff running the ball last week. He may be a few weeks away from becoming comfortable in this offense -- assuming he ever reaches that point.

40chargersRonnie Brown

Ronnie Brown

25 rush yards, 2 rec, 15 rec yards

If Mathews remains sidelined, Brown will get the rock again in Week 2. He was stifled for just five yards on five carries in Week 1 at Oakland, however. But he did catch five passes for 26 yards.

41texansBen Tate

Ben Tate

19 rush yards, 3 rec, 19 rec yards

So much for Tate coming up big for fantasy owners in Week 1. Arian Foster played and Tate gained just six yards. The Texans will use Tate when they have to, but won't disrupt Foster when he finds a rhythm. This week you can already hear the beat of Foster's cleats.

42steelersIsaac Redman

Isaac Redman

22 rush yards, 2 rec, 13 rec yards

A popular pick this summer, Redman is now someone fantasy owners should consider cutting loose. He will share carries with Jonathan Dwyer for now, and who knows what his role will be if/when Rashard Mendenhall returns.

43vikingsToby Gerhart

Toby Gerhart

23 rush yards, 1 rec, 11 rec yards

Don't get caught entertaining the idea that if Peterson follows Forte, Gerhart will somehow follow in Michael Bush's footsteps (two touchdowns last week). The Vikings are a one-horse team now that Peterson is back to full go.

44panthersJonathan Stewart

Jonathan Stewart

30 rush yards, 1 rec, 5 rec yards

An ankle injury kept Stewart out of Week 1, but he's hopeful of getting on the field in Week 2 against the Saints. He had nine carries for 79 yards and a TD the last time he played the Saints last New Year's Day.

45broncosKnowshon Moreno

Knowshon Moreno

30 rush yards, 1 rec, 10 rec yards

With Ronnie Hillman inactive, Moreno was McGahee's backup for Week 1. He had just five touches and Hillman is still expected to climb past him on the depth chart.

46billsTashard Choice

Tashard Choice

25 rush yards, 1 rec, 5 rec yards

Fred Jackson’s knee injury opens up some playing time for the former Cowboys running back. Despite the bigger role, he’s not expected to contribute much.

47dolphinsDaniel Thomas

Daniel Thomas

25 rush yards, 1 rec, 5 rec yards

Daniel Thomas had three carries and three targets in Week 1 before suffering a concussion against the Texans. He's barely worth owning in most standard leagues.

4849ersKendall Hunter

Kendall Hunter

23 rush yards, 1 rec, 6 rec yards

Hunter probably won't match his touch total (nine) from last week in a game that will be decided by quarterbacks, not ball carriers. He possesses no fantasy value unless Frank Gore goes in the tank.

49buccaneersLeGarrette Blount

LeGarrette Blount

20 rush yards

Blount had a quiet 2012 season opener against the Panthers, but it's unclear if his body was injured or just his pride, as he watched rookie Doug Martin literally take the ball and run with it. Blount is a safe cut for now in 12-team leagues.

50raidersTaiwan Jones

Taiwan Jones

15 rush yards, 1 rec, 10 rec yards

There’s no way the Raiders will allow Darren McFadden to take all of the touches in their backfield again. If Run DMC keeps being used that much, Jones will replace the oft-injured back soon.

51patriotsShane Vereen

Shane Vereen

15 rush yards, 1 rec, 5 rec yards

A foot injury kept Vereen sidelined for Week 1, and Stevan Ridley's big game will keep Vereen on the bench even when he is healthy.

52ramsDaryl Richardson

Daryl Richardson

15 rush yards, 1 rec, 10 rec yards

The rookie got two carries for 20 yards in Week 1, but it's clear that Steven Jackson is the horse the Rams plan to ride throughout this season. Richardson has eclipsed fellow rookie Isaiah Pead, however, on the depth chart.

53titansJavon Ringer

Javon Ringer

15 rush yards, 1 rec, 5 rec yards

Ringer will serve as Chris Johnson's caddy once again, and his fantasy value is only as a handcuff in larger leagues.

54jaguarsRashad Jennings

Rashad Jennings

14 rush yards

Jennings' injury last week opened the door for Maurice Jones-Drew to take back the full-time rushing duties. Now the door is closed, leaving Jennings outside looking in. Unless he's a handcuff to MJD, fantasy owners might as well purge Jennings from their rosters now.

55cowboysFelix Jones

Felix Jones

11 rush yards, 1 rec, 7 rec yards

The Cowboys are committed to getting DeMarco Murray off to a fast start. Jones didn't get a carry last week, and he was thrown to just twice (no catches). There's no reason to think Dallas will change up the formula this week.

56billsFred Jackson

Fred Jackson

0 rush yards

Fred Jackson is out for at least three weeks with a knee injury, which makes C.J. Spiller the main running back in Buffalo. Tashard Choice will see more carries in Jackson's absence.

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