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The end of the preseason means So Called Fantasy Experts staff week 1 rankings are available for all positions. Also, Fantasy Football owners can stop worrying about injuries in meaningless games. Now those injuries are a focus of the Week 1 running back rankings reaction. Still, those injuries were annoying, yeah?

With no regular season action yet, the most appealing RBs for Week 1 have favorable matchups or secure jobs. During the next few weeks, there are several running-back-by-committee situations that will remain intact or crumble, which could lead to RBs—such as Darren McFadden or Bishop Sankey—getting more playing time.

There are still suspended RBs whose absence is another player’s opportunity, like in Dion Lewis’ case. Lewis gets a chance to shine in Week 1, albeit in an offense run by a mastermind who frustrates Fantasy owners with his RB usage.

For now though, there’s no point in trying to look smart and add somebody like Christine Michael with hopes that he’ll win Dallas’ RB1 job in the season opener. Fantasy Football is a short season, so why toy around like that?

Keep in mind these are not intended to change your season-long opinion of any one RB, but to find good matchups or even cause for concern among top-tier RBs. With that said, here’s a few running back rankings reaction.

Week 1 Running Back Rankings Reaction

 

Who I like More

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Even if the Green Bay Packers defense curtails the Bears’ offensive production somewhat, they won’t stop Forte. Last year, Forte rushed 40 times for 176 yards against the Packers, and posted eight receptions for 76 yards. In 2013, Forte’s numbers versus the Pack were even better. Expect him to be great with season-opening adrenaline pumping.

Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals

This one is a no-brainer as Hill gets the chance to break through the Oakland Raiders puny defense. Hill has garnered a lot of hype and he’ll get a nice chance to live up to it to start the season.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Without their best nose tackle, Sammie Lee Hill, the Titans run defense gets that much worse. Martin is a solid play because of his matchup and as a result he made SCFE staff’s Top 15 RBs for Week 1. The Bucs will likely mix in Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey, but Martin could get 15 or more touches.

Dion Lewis, New England Patriots

Lewis does not top the SCFE Top 40 RBs in week 1 for a reason: He’s capitalizing on LeGarrette Blount’s suspension and nothing more. In PPR leagues, Lewis has higher value. As an RB3/FLEX option, your team could do worse, especially in deep leagues.


Who I like less

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

In his last preseason performance, Morris carried the ball seven times for pathetic four yards. On top of that, he faces the Miami Dolphins, which is why he fell to 19th in SCFE staff’s RB Week 1 rankings. If he struggles out of the gate, Morris creates a chance for Matt Jones to get more carries.

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

Without their best WR, Jordy Nelson, the Packers turn to Randall Cobb whose shoulder is banged up. Yes, Lacy still has Aaron Rodgers and Ty Montgomery, but not a great TE threat in Richard Rodgers. Given the Bears’ subpar defense, I could be overreacting, but if Lacy gets shut down because the passing game falls apart and the team gets one-dimensional on offense, Lacy could disappoint.

C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos

SCFE co-founder David Gonos ranked Anderson 11th in Week 1 of the running back rankings. Why? The Baltimore Ravens defense allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards in 2014. The Ravens’ top defensive end, Timmy Jernigan, could be questionable, but still, Anderson draws a tough matchup in his first 2015 game.

Don’t forget to check out SCFE staff’s Fantasy Football bold predictions for 2015 and more running back rankings reactions every week. Check back throughout the week for rankings reactions for all positions every week of the Fantasy Football season. As always, feel free to comment or ask questions below.

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