Fantasy Football: 3 Must-Start Running Backs in Week 10
By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)
By this point in the season, fantasy football managers know whether or not they have a legitimate shot at making their playoffs. Many realize they are playing for next season, but for those lucky dogs still in the thick of things, here are three running backs that must be started in Week 10.
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
So in case you tuned out all of the Week 9 NFL games, Doug Martin was a beast for the Bucs and his owners. The rookie rusher put up 251 yards, four touchdowns and four receptions against the Oakland Raiders.
While all the rookie talk tends to surround the likes of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and the other quarterbacks, Martin has made a case for this season’s rookie of the year. The week before he went off on the Raiders, Martin had 135 rushing yards and a touchdown against the Vikings.
This week, he’ll take on the San Diego Chargers and their surprising No. 4 rushing defense. Still, that stat is a tad misleading considering the only run-heavy offenses the team has faced this season are the Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs.
San Diego was able to contain the likes of Chris Johnson, Darren McFadden and Jamaal Charles but considering Martin’s recent success, he should be able to succeed where the others failed. Start him with a great amount of conscientious optimism this week.
Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Speaking of the always frustrating rusher known as CJ2K, feel free to start him this week. Again, not exactly the easiest matchup with the Dolphins holding the No. 3 defense in the league but don’t worry too much about that.
Johnson hasn’t rushed for less than 90 yards since Week 5 against the Vikings. Since then, he’s run for at 91 yards on the Steelers and 141 on the mighty Bears D.
The Titans offense is not exactly the most intimidating with just the No. 18 unit in the NFL, but somehow they’ve been able to get CJ2K back to his old dominant ways for most of the season.
Johnson probably won’t reach the 140 range on the ground but he should easily rack up somewhere around 90-100 and likely a touchdown on the ‘Phins.
Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
If you’re looking for a more slam-dunk, worry-free start, put Frank Gore in your lineup and breathe a sigh of relief. The St. Louis Rams are the same defensive unit that allowed Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray to rush for the most yards in a single game in 2011.
The Rams are coming off a bye week after being routed by the New England Patriots in London 45-7. St. Louis has lost three straight games and Gore has a chance to take advantage of their low morale.
Unlike the other two rushers mentioned, Gore hasn’t exactly been on a role lately. That being said, he’s still Frank freakin’ Gore. He put up 131 yards on a stingy Seattle Seahawks defense two weeks back but hasn’t done much other than that recently.
That doesn’t mean the 49ers won’t look to get Gore going as they do every week; especially against their NFC West rival. San Francisco’s starting rusher is the most questionable start of these three but should still be started regardless of that fact.