In most fantasy football leagues the running back position is the key to winning a league. Fantasy football owners live and die with their running backs and this season it will be difficult to find a primary back. Injuries are most devastating at the running back position. Bad hamstrings can destroy a fantasy football roster once they pop up and Arian Foster owners are on edge after learning of his hamstring issues.
The following are the best running backs to play in week one of fantasy football along with five running backs who should sit during week one of the season. Remember for those owners with a flex position the running back is usually the best option over a wide receiver.
Five running backs to start in week one of fantasy football
1. Jamaal Charles: Kansas City Chiefs
Jamaal Charles will face a Buffalo Bills team with a history of trouble against strong running games. Charles will exit this game with the rushing lead in the NFL.
2. Frank Gore: San Francisco 49ers
The Seattle Sehawks run defense could not stop a cold last year and they did not address the situation adequately. Look for Frank Gore to have one of his best games in years to start the season.
3. Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis: New England Patriots
Bill Belichik will be throwing the ball around the yard in the first half but once things settle down and the Patriots have a big league, look for the law firm of Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis to get the rock and grind out yards.
4. Darren McFadden: Oakland Raiders
Darren McFadden owned the Denver Broncos last season and so did his fantasy football owners. McFadden scored in the 40’s in most leagues against the Broncos but the wild card in this game is Von Miller. Beware of Miller shadowing McFadden and being locked on the Raiders premier back.
5. Peyton Hillis: Cleveland Browns
I didn’t recommend a high draft pick of Hillis in the fantasy football but the first few weeks shape up well for the big back. Hillis will put the hammer down against a young Bengals team.
Five running backs to sit in week one of fantasy football
1. Steven Jackson: St. Louis Rams
Steven Jackson will be huge in 2011 but the Rams will experience tough sledding for the Rams offense against the Philadelphia Eagles. Sit Jackson or use him as a flex player this week.
2. Reggie Bush: Miami Dolphins
Everyone is high on Reggie Bush this season but in his first week out he plays the New England Patriots. Not a good first week on the job for the fragile running back. Sit Bush in week one.
3. Ryan Mathews: San Diego Chargers
Is anyone considering starting Mathews? The Vikings were 10th against the run and Mathews is a disappointment after one year in the NFL. Sit, wait and see with Mathews if you did draft him.
4. Chris Johnson: Tennessee Titans
Sit Chris Johnson? Am I crazy? No, this is not the time to start Johnson after he sat out all preseason.
5. Arian Foster: Houston Texans
Bad hamstring equals sit down for the first week of fantasy football.
NFL rosters and injury reports: NFL.com