Fantasy Football Week 3 Running Backs: Start/Sit

Can you believe Week 3 of the NFL Season is already here? It’s been a crazy start to the season so far with surprising 2-0 teams and many players who unfortunately suffered injuries. Week 2 saw plenty of devastating injuries to top-tier players such as Christian McCaffery, Saquon Barkley, and Courtland Sutton. With many of these players out, we’ve had to look towards the waiver wire and our remaining roster to fill our top spots. In this article, we’ll break down players you should turn to and players that will be better to keep on your bench. We intentionally leave out top players such as Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook who should be in your starting lineup every week.

Running backs to start:

Jonathan Taylor – Coming off of his first career 100 yard rush game in the NFL, Jonathan Taylor is the clear lead back in Indianapolis. The Colts have put their trust in rookie back Taylor to lead the charge and it has paid off with a huge rushing performance against the Minnesota Vikings in week 2. With the Colts playing a weak Jets defense who allowed the 49ers rushing crew to have a monster game overall, Taylor is in for a monster game himself. Taylor should be a must start in every fantasy league. 

Jerrick McKinnon – With McKinnon the lone 49ers running back who is fully healthy, look to McKinnon to see the bulk of the carriest against the Giants this week. Staying in New York, the 49ers are battered up with many players on the offense and defense not playing, without Jimmy G, the 49ers will rely on the veteran McKinnon to be the primary workload for the game on Sunday. With the amount of touches McKinnon should get and against the Giants, McKinnon is a trendy start for Week 3.

Kenyan Drake – Two words, the Lions. The Lions are back to doing Detroit Lions things which include losing in terrible fashion for two weeks in a row. A dropped pass against the Bears and a collapse against the Packers. The Cardinals are in line with Green Bay in terms of offensive talent and should have no problem finding holes in the Lions defense. With the defense putting more pressure on Murray, Drake could see plenty of short passes and be a hot PPR option. On top of that, Drake is facing a Lions team that has allowed over 400 yards rushing in only 2 games. Drake and Murray are both in a good position to do well in Week 3.

Running backs to sit: 

J.K. Dobbins – The rookie running back hasn’t had the breakout season that everybody was hoping for, but he still has shown flashes of promise early on. Dobbins is still the lead back for Baltimore with Mark Ingram being a strong secondary choice. With facing a tough Chiefs defense on Monday Night, the Ravens will be relying on Lamar Jackson to be the leader in this game. Dobbins might see a good amount of receptions from Jackson, but we don’t expect Dobbins to see many touches in the ground game as it will be a pass-heavy game.

Ronald Jones – Ronald Jones fantasy owners were disappointed when the Bucs added Leonard Fournette right before the season began after his stint with Jacksonville. Fournette stayed in Florida and is showing why he should be the lead back for the Buccaneers already. Fournette has seen nearly ⅔ of the carries in Week 2 compared to Ronald Jones. Jones is fading away and it would not surprise us if the Bucs looked into trade options with Ronald Jones later this season or during the offseason. For now, Jones would be better kept on your bench or dropped for trending waiver wire pickups.

Todd Gurley – Gurley has averaged a mere 3.3 yards per carry this season, nearly a whole yard shy of his career average in the NFL. Gurley has just over 110 yards rushing between the first 2 games of this season. Atlanta has faced two tough teams to start allowing for Gurley’s production to be more limited, but with the Falcons facing the Bears, a worse team than what they’ve faced so far, we still would not place Gurley as a started due to his slowing down and the Falcons heavy dependency on their passing game. Between breakout receiver Russell Gage, young wideout Calvin Ridley, and Pro Bowler Julio Jones, the Falcons are set at the receiver position without needing to rely on Gurley to carry the offense. This is a position that Gurley is not familiar with and it’s been an interesting change of pace for the star running back but it’s better for his future. In terms of fantasy owners, Gurley might not be the star he once was, but he’s a reliable player to keep on your bench in fantasy until the Falcons offense learns to adapt with Gurley’s playing style and rely less on the passing game.

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