Spencer Ware is ready to break out! It has been about seven months but we survived without NFL football. The season kicks off on Thursday night and there won’t be any looking back until February. Now all you need to worry about is who you are starting at running back in fantasy. Each week I will be here to help alleviate the decision making process by offering you five starts and five sits at the running back position. You will obviously be starting your studs every week so no need for me to tell you that Todd Gurley or guys of similar talent are ones that you want in your lineup week after week. Instead I will be focusing on the RB2 and Flex positions where you aren’t really sure who will produce. Additionally, I will provide projected stat lines but please take those with a grain of salt. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, share this page and comment down below! Time to get the 2016 Season underway with who else but Spencer Ware. To see more advice check out the Fantasy Football Start Sit hub.
Running Back Start or Sit- Will Spencer Ware shine in Week 1?
Must Start: Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs vs. SD
It seems like Jamaal Charles will not be prepared for the season opener and thus Spencer Ware will be the Chiefs feature back, at least in week one. Spencer Ware has phenomenal upside as a three down back facing the Chargers, who gave up the fourth most fantasy points to running backs last season. This game is probably one of the few locks on the week one slate and thus the Chiefs will have a commanding lead and run the ball often. His pass catching adds a whole other element that the team lacks with Charles. Spencer Ware has a legitimate chance to be the number one RB to start the season.
Projection: 17 carries, 78 yards, 2 TDS; 3 catches, 18 yards
Start: Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks vs. MIA
Listed a top the depth chart due to the injury to Rawls is fantasy darling Christine Michael. In a run first offense like Seattle we can see quite the show from Michael to start the season. Miami was the worst in the league at defending against running backs and thus whoever starts for the Hawks will have a chance at two scores. Pete Carroll will slowly ease in Rawls as the season goes on so get your share of C-Mike while he is hot. Playing at home gives him a nice boost as well.
Projection: 16 carries, 72 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches, 12 yards
Start: Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions at IND
Ameer Abdullah is a bit of a risk-reward play this week. The Lions are going to have an offense that surprises a lot of people in 2016 and they are starting the season facing the Colts suspect defense. Abdullah is the back to own in The Motor City and should see more than 10 touches. However, there are a lot of other options in the backfield. The big question is who will be the target in the red zone. If he can get a few touches on the goal line then he will be well worth the start. Even if he can’t find pay dirt he still won’t be leaving you with a goose egg.
Projection: 12 carries, 55 yards, 1 TD, 2 catches, 16 yards
Start: Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers at KC
While he is a weekly start in PPR leagues, owners may sometime question starting Danny Woodhead in standard. Even against the Chiefs stout defense he can produce. The big issue is that Kansas City can neutralize the run game early if Melvin Gordon isn’t effective and the Chargers could abandon the run all together if the deficit is too daunting. On the bright side, Woodhead is always good for 30+ yards receiving. I am confident he will score through the air and give you a few bonus points with his running game.
Projection: 6 carries, 20 yards; 6 catches, 48 yards, 1 TD
Start: DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers at WAS
This is the biggest no brainier on the list. Williams is a great running back that could likely start anywhere in the league, even at 33. He is in a tough situation behind Le’Veon Bell but will get the first three weeks of the season to himself in the Steelers’ backfield. He averaged 23 touches last season in the nine games he started and in the early going he will certainly see a huge workload. The defense in Washington is right in the middle of the pack and there should be no hesitation starting Williams against them.
Projection: 20 carries, 94 yards, 1 TD; 2 catches, 19 yards
Sit of the Week: LeSean McCoy Buffalo Bills at BAL
Shady is no longer sharing a backfield with Karlos Williams which bodes well for his season long value. However, I do not anticipate him showing effectiveness against the Ravens defense. He began and ended last season quite poorly and I do not think he will get moving until a few weeks down the road. The Bills have the fourth toughest strength of schedule for running backs during weeks one through five, so do not take his poor week one performance as a fluke. It could end up being one of his better games until mid October. Plus Tyrod Taylor is able to make plays in the air and can always take the run game into his own hands.
Projection: 16 carries, 40 yards, 0 TDS; 1 catch, 4 yards
Sit: Arian Foster, Miami Dolphins at SEA
Miami has Foster at the top of the depth chart to start the season which is great for the league veteran. However, it is not going to be as great as you think in the fantasy world. The 30 year old starts the season facing Seattle on the road and the Fins will be one of the biggest underdogs of the slate. There is no doubt in my mind that the Seahawks will contain Foster. We also have yet to see him play meaningful football since rupturing his Achilles and am a bit concerned about how much work he can really handle. Leave the old man on the bench.
Projection: 11 carries, 38 yards, 0 TDS; 0 catches
Sit: Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns at PHI
Johnson should do well this season, particularly in PPR leagues. I like what the Browns are building and think this year they will be a much improved team. However, the Eagles are a defense that you want to attack full force and I think RGIII will do so primarily with an air assault. Corey Coleman can really light up some guys but the Eagles should keep the game close. However, with a rookie QB at the helm they can really throw the game out the window early leaving a lot of running for Johnson and Crowell. I would rather try to avoid the whole situation.
Projection: 10 carries, 33 yards, 0 TDS; 4 catches, 25 yards
Sit: Matt Jones, Washington Redskins vs PIT
The shoulder situation with Jones is a bit scary which is a shame because he looked like a sure thing as the Redskins top back. Now I would be leaning more toward Rob Kelley in season long. If Jones can not carve out a role in these first few games his owners can be in serious trouble in 2016. Playing a team like the Steelers is intimidating and I do not like his odds to put up quality numbers. Give him the week off and see how he does before you play him.
Projection: 14 carries, 51 yards, 0 TDS; 1 catch, 6 yards
Sit: Rashad Jennings, New York Giants at DAL
Jennings is somebody you are going to be very tempted to start against Dallas. With Andre Williams finally cut he will have more carries every game and a majority of the Giants goal line opportunities. However, he took quite a while before catching fire in 2015. Under a new head coach his usage will still be a question and if you have any better options I would suggest you avoid him at least week one. He still has a chance to score but I don’t think the reward can outweigh the risk.
Projection: 12 carries, 52 yards, 0 TDS; 2 catches, 11 yards