London’s Look at Week One: RBs

With the start of the NFL season right around the corner, I’ve decided it’s time to start looking at possible position-by-position plays in your DFS lineup on FantasyDraft.com. The RBs lead the charge out of the gate. Here are five guys I like week one:

1. Joseph Randle (Cowboys) vs. NY Giants

Randle takes over for DeMarco Murray as the lead back in Dallas with high expectations, given his quote “Murray left a lot of meat on that bone.” Randle carried the ball only 51 times last year for 343 yards, however he averaged a robust 6.7 per carry. Randle has good size at 6’0” 215 lbs with great speed and explosiveness, which were evident on his 65-yard TD run vs. Washington in week 17 last year. I like this matchup because Dallas will continue to commit to running the football even without Murray, and the NY Giants’ run defense was atrocious in 2014, allowing 135 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry. Update: After initially listing Joseph Randle as my top week 1 RB, I’ve made some changes. Based on the preseason reports and the addition of Christine Michael, I’m not convinced that the Dallas Cowboys feel Joseph can carry the load of being the Bell Cow for the Cowboys.

 

2. Alfred Morris (Redskins) vs. Miami Dolphins

Morris has been the bell cow for the Redskins since he entered the NFL in 2012, rushing for 3,962 yards and 28 TDs over that span. Morris is coming off a season rushing for only 1,074 yards and 8 TDs, yet I expect those numbers to increase with the Redskins’ plan to run the football a lot more this season. On paper you would be hesitant to take Morris against Miami’s defense now that they added Ndamukong Suh, but not me! Here’s why: the Dolphins’ linebacking corps is the weakness of their defense and has trouble knowing where to fit when stopping the run. Look for Morris to have a big day running the football against the Dolphins.

3. Eddie Lacy (Packers) vs. Chicago Bears

Lacy will not be facing the “Monsters of the Midway” in week one against the Bears. Lacy will get to feast on a unit making the switch to a 3-4 defense without the necessary personnel to do so. Linebackers are the lifelines of a 3-4 defense and unfortunately the Bears are lacking in that area. Chicago’s one focus on defense will be to not allow Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson to put on an aerial display like they did in both games against them last season. Therefore, expect Lacy to get 20-25 carries along 4-5 receptions in the passing game.

4. DeMarco Murray (Eagles) vs. Atlanta Falcons

Murray is fresh off leading the NFL in rushing with 1,845 yards and 13 TDs with the Cowboys in 2014. LeSean McCoy finished 3rd and 1st respectively rushing the football in Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense the past two seasons, gaining 1,319 yards in 2014 and 1,607 yards in 2013. The Eagles traded McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in part because Kelly wanted a more downhill RB in his system. Enter Murray, who’s the perfect fit in that offense with his bruising running style. Atlanta has a new defensive approach under new HC Dan Quinn, who comes over from Seattle. I only wish Quinn would’ve brought Seattle’s front-seven personnel along with him. The Falcons finished in the bottom third stopping the run in 2014, and I expect their struggles to continue in week one against Murray and the Eagles.

5. Adrian Petersen (Vikings) vs. S.F. 49ers

Petersen has fresh legs after sitting out all but one game in 2014 season. He comes into this season out to prove he’s still the league’s premier RB. Petersen will face a 49ers defense missing several key contributors, such as Patrick Willis (retired), Justin Smith (retired), Chris Borland (retired), and Chris Culliver (Redskins); coupled with the fact that defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and secondary coach Ed Donatell both left for Chicago. Eric Mangini takes over for Fangio and the 49ers get Navarro Bowman back after he missed the 2014 season due to a knee injury suffered in the 2013 NFC Championship game vs. Seattle. Mangini’s scheme will be more exotic than Fangio’s. That doesn’t mean it will be better, though. Look for Petersen to find creases in the 49ers defense as they try to confuse the Vikings with multiply fronts and player movement.

Bonus: Chris Ivory makes the updated list because of the way he’s run the ball in the preseason. Ivory and the Jets will face a Cleveland Browns defense that was dead last (32nd) in the NFL at stopping the run. Ivory seems poised to have a fantastic season, so week 1 vs. the Browns should be a precursor for what’s to come.

 

London Fletcher

London Fletcher

London Fletcher is a former American football linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL). Undrafted in 1998, he was signed by the St. Louis Rams as a rookie free agent and became a Super Bowl champion with the team. He was also a member of the Buffalo Bills, where he played for five seasons, and the Washington Redskins, where he played for seven seasons. Fletcher was well known for never missing a game in his career, being one of only four players in NFL history to play in over 250 consecutive games. Fletcher also holds the record for consecutive starts at the linebacker position. He eventually finished his career with 215 consecutive games started, which ties him for 6th all time along with Alan Page and Ronde Barber. London has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user.

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2 Responses

  1. Paul S says:

    London,

    Great insight – Will you be doing these all year by position? Also, you really think Randle can fill in for Demarco?

  2. London Fletcher London Fletcher says:

    Paul, yes I will be doing these all season by position. Randle will be a good replacement for Murray, I don’t expect him to have 1800 yards but 1200 wouldn’t be out of the question.

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