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  Passing Matchups  

Week 3 Rushing Matchups

[ARI] [ATL] [BUF] [CAR] [CHI] [CIN] [CLE] [DAL] [DEN] [GB] [IND] [JAX] [KC] [MIA] [MIN] [NE] [NO] [NYG] [NYJ] [OAK] [PHI] [PIT] [SD] [SEA] [SF] [STL] [TB] [TEN]


PLEASE NOTE: This does NOT replace the Cheatsheet ranking. The Cheatsheet rankings are the final say on where we see a player for that week. The Matchup Breakdowns are simply one more tool in the box when it comes to helping choose your lineup.

Also note, just because a player has a "bad" matchup, it does NOT mean he's not a starter in your league. If Peyton Manning is playing the toughest pass defense in the league, that just means he's got a tough matchup that week. He's also your starter unless you're loaded at QB. In the same way, if the worst QB on your roster has a "great" matchup that week, it doesn't necessarily mean he's your starter. It means we think he'll fare better than normal that week.

Bottom line is that the cheatsheets are the final say.


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

James had a hard time getting the ball moving on the ground Sunday, with 18/64/0 rushing (a 3.55 yards per carry average) - he added 7/33/0 receiving, which helped his owners in point-per-reception leagues, but overall it was a very mediocre outing for James and his OL. Through 2 games, James is the 15th ranked fantasy RB this year, with 44/137/1 rushing and 10/46/0 receiving. That's not exactly what his fantasy owners had in mind when they drafted James to be their #1 RB, but the season is still young. Seattle (last week's opponent) is 2nd in the NFL this year allowing a mere 51.5 rushing yards per game - James and the Cardinals had a tough matchup last week.

This week's opponent, divisional foe St. Louis, has been much more giving in the yardage department, allowing an average of 144 rushing yards per game so far (26th in the NFL). Last week, the 49ers hit them for 33/127/1 on the ground - as you can see, the Rams are struggling in this phase of the game to open 2006.

James has a great shot to break open the game vs. St. Louis.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

So far, Arizona's RBs have averaged 79 rushing yards per game (25th in the NFL) and 3.5 yards per carry (23rd) - that's not too good, folks. However, Tim Hightower has been heavily involved in the passing game over the past two weeks, with a team-leading 17 targets for 15/133/0 receiving so far (he posted 15/72/1 rushing and 3/18/0 receiving last week) - the attack did pick up some steam against the Jaguars last week, with 28/118/1 rushing as a unit. Chris Wells contributed 7/44/0 rushing and two fumbles in his time on the field (lost one). The team is asking him to focus on ball security this week - 'Trust me,' coach Ken Whisenhunt said after the victory over Jacksonville. 'He may be carrying a ball around with him all day now.' So far, the Cardinals have yo-yo'd in this phase of the game, with a stinker in week 1 (17/40/0 rushing as a team) followed by a solid outing in week two.

The Colts have been awful at defensing the run this year, allowing an average of 176.5 rushing yards per game through 2 contests (they really miss S Bob Sanders in this phase of the game) while coughing up 3 rushing scores to date. Miami dominated time of possession (45:07) and ran for an average of 4.9 yards per carry vs. Indianapolis on Monday night (49/239/2) - as you can see, it is really easy to run the ball against the Colts right now.

This is a great matchup for the Arizona backs.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Chris Wells averaged an impressive 6.6 yards per carry against Washington last week, with 14/93/1 rushing to his credit (two targets for zero receptions). Through two games, he is a top-12 fantasy running back (PPR scoring), with 32/183/2 rushing and 4/12/0 receiving to his credit to date. Though the Cardinals dropped the game last week, they can't blame Wells, who has played very well to open regular season.

Seattle lost in week one, allowing 32/85/1 rushing to the 49ers, though they did stuff starter Frank Gore all day long (22/59/0 rushing with 3/19/0 receiving). They followed up in week two with a loss to Pittsburgh allowing 35/124/2 rushing to the Steelers. Through two weeks, the Seahawks are 15th in the NFL averaging 104.5 rushing yards per game, with three rushing scores handed over to date.

The Seahawks' entire team is a mess, with a weak offense and a weak defense - Wells has a very attractive matchup waiting for him in Qwest Field.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Rashard Mendenhall has been effective carrying the ball so far this year, averaging just a tad over 4.0 yards per carry with 31/126/1 on the ground through two games (with 3/32/0 receiving to date). Last week, he put up 15/66/1 rushing with 2/28/0 receiving vs. the Lions - Mendenhall was the ninth-best fantasy running back in standard (non-PPR) leagues last week. The Cardinals' rushing offense is much better than last year's edition so far.

New Orleans allowed 6.3 yards per carry to the Falcons two weeks ago (14/88/0), not a huge surprise considering that they were dead last in the NFL averaging 147.6 rushing yards allowed per game during 2012, with 18 rushing scores surrendered. The Saints followed up by coughing up 33/160/0 rushing to Tampa Bay last week, an average of 4.8 yards per carry - so far this year, New Orleans is 27th in the NFL averaging 124 rushing yards given away per game. This is a weak defensive front, friends.

Mendenhall has a great matchup to work with this week - advantage, Arizona.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Michael Turner (14/42/0 rushing with 1/6/0 receiving) and Jerious Norwood (6/18/0 rushing with 1/8/0 receiving) ran smack into Tampa's stern defensive front last week, and couldn't replicate their strong showing from week 1 (when the team exploded all over Detroit for 22/220/2 on the ground). A higher-quality opponent made things rough on the young team in week 2.

Kansas City handed over 28/126/1 to New England, a 4.5 yards allowed per carry average, in the season opener 2 weeks ago, and followed up by laying down for Oakland. The Raiders jammed 47/300/2 rushing into the Chiefs' "defense" last week, for a 6.4 yards per carry average. Enough said.

Fortunately for Turner and Norwood owners, the Kansas City Chiefs' defenders are really far from a high-quality bunch, currently ranking 31st in the NFL averaging 213 rushing yards allowed per game. Advantage, Atlanta.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Michael Turner got on track last week with 21/114/1 rushing and 1/32/0 receiving vs. Philadelphia, vaulting him to 31/214/1 rushing and 4/72/0 receiving so far this young season (he's on the cusp of top-ten fantasy RB numbers to date). Jacquizz Rodgers also got in the game as a change-of-pace option last week, with 3/17/0 rushing (a 5.7 yards per carry average) to his credit, while Jason Snelling (1/8/0 receiving) and Ovie Mughelli (1/1/0 rushing and 1/1/1 receiving) provided some additional spice to the attack. It's all jelling for the Falcons as of week three, folks.

The Buccaneers got ran over by the Lions in week one, surrendering 35/126/0 on the ground to their opponents. In week two, they were blown apart by Adrian Peterson and company, who posted 33/186/2 rushing during a tight Tampa victory (24-20). Through two games, the Buccaneers are 31st in the NFL averaging 158 rushing yards allowed per game, with two rushing scores surrendered so far. Not too good, folks.

This looks like a great week to have Turner in your lineup.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Jamal Lewis has been a decent fantasy #2 RB this year, posting 37/148/1 rushing during his first 2 games (22nd fantasy RB in the land to date). He put up 18/78/1 vs. Tampa in week 1, and 19/70/0 last Sunday vs. Oakland. Mike Anderson chipped in with a long 34 yard TD against the Raiders (1/34/1 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving). Baltimore has only allowed 6 points in 2 games, which makes grinding out the clock pretty easy. Lewis should continue to see ~20 or more touches each week.

Cleveland's defense is in a huge hole to start 2006 - they have given up 53 points in 2 games, and are allowing an average of 158 rushing yards per game, including 32/160/2 handed over to Cincinnati rushers last week. That's just ugly, folks.

Keep an eye on how he's able to practice this week, but Lewis has a great shot at a break-out type game against the Browns.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Ravens have trampled their opponents so far during 2009, with 41/198/2 rushing during week one vs. K.C. and then 32/130/2 rushing during week two vs. San Diego. They are currently fourth in the NFL averaging 154 rushing yards per game as a team. That's stout, folks. Last week, Willis McGahee led the club with 15/79/2 rushing and 2/10/0 receiving, while Ray Rice was second with 8/36/0 rushing and 5/46/0 receiving in his time on the field. LeRon McClain chipped in 4/12/0 rushing and 2/16/0 receiving - this is a very productive group of running backs, friends.

Look for more production this week as the sorry Cleveland Browns defensive front comes to M and T Bank Stadium - Cleveland averages 205.5 rushing yards allowed per game so far this year, with five rushing TDs surrendered in the past two weeks. Denver's stable hung 37/186/2 rushing on the Browns last week in the 6-27 loss to the Broncos.

This is a great week to be invested in the Ravens' rushing attack.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ray Rice quietly exceeded 100 yards of combined offense during week two, with 16/87/0 rushing (a 5.4 yards per carry average) and 4/30/0 receiving to his credit. So far this year he's gained 37/130/0 rushing and 6/49/0 receiving as the Ravens' offense has sputtered to just 20 points in two games during September. There simply haven't been enough sustained drives for Rice to really explode as a fantasy player (Joe Flacco threw four interceptions last week). Willis McGahee posted a modest 3/10/0 rushing with one target for zero yards receiving last week.

The Browns were battered for 39/140/0 rushing by the Chiefs last week, and gave up 30/119/0 rushing to the Buccaneers in week one as well. They have been tough to score on so far, but their average of 129.5 rushing yards allowed per game is currently 25th in the NFL.

Rice is an elite back, while the Browns' rush D is pretty suspect - advantage, Baltimore.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Though Baltimore dropped the game last week at Tennessee 13-26, Ray Rice was still a fantasy force as he led the team in rushing (13/43/0) and receiving (5/53/1). Through two games, Rice is a top-five fantasy back (PPR scoring) with 32/150/1 rushing and 9/95/2 receiving to his credit. Start him if you've got him - Ricky Williams saw a total of 4/2/0 rushing last week, just enough to prove who is the stud on this depth chart.

The Rams contained but didn't control the Giants on Monday night, with 38/119/1 allowed to New York. Currently, St. Louis is fielding the 32nd-ranked rush D in the land, averaging 177.5 yards allowed per game with two rushing scores handed over. They did improve over the disastrous 31/237/1 rushing allowed to Philadelphia in week one, though.

Rice is a force to be reckoned with, while the Rams are pretty suspect - advantage, Baltimore.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The post-Ray-Rice era continued in Baltimore last week with a 26-6 drubbing of the Steelers - Bernard Pierce led the team with 22/96/0 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving, while Justin Forsett contributed a non-trivial 8/56/0 rushing with 4/16/0 receiving to the mix. The Ravens look set with their 1-2 punch of Pierce and Forsett entering Week 3.

Last year, the Browns were ranked 18th in the NFL averaging 111.3 rushing yards given up per game, with 13 rushing scores surrendered over 16 games - in other words, the Browns' rush defense is mediocre. Their mediocrity continued in Pittsburgh during Week One when Le'Veon Bell and company posted 28/127/2 rushing against this defensive front. New Orleans tore up the Cleveland front in Week 2, with 27/174/1 on the ground. Not too good, Browns' fans!

This looks like a great matchup for Pierce and Forsett.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

DeAngelo Williams began practicing again this week after sitting out Week 2 due to a thigh injury - if he makes it through practices this week without aggravating his injury, he'll share time with Jonathan Stewart this week. Stewart had an unimpressive 15/37/1 rushing with a nice 22 yard reception last week - the TD saved his fantasy owners from mediocrity in Week 2. Mike Tolbert was stuffed for 4/-5/0 rushing but added 3/33/0 receiving in the blowout win over Detroit last week.

The Steelers' rush D was humiliated by the Browns' backups on Sunday, eventually allowing 30/183/2 to the Cleveland backs. Then Pittsburgh coughed up 36/157/0 rushing to the Ravens in Week 2 - they are currently ranked 29th in the NFL averaging 170 rushing yards allowed per game.

Whoever gets on the field vs. Pittsburgh has a nice matchup to exploit this week.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Cam Newton snaffled up the rushing TD for the Panthers during Week Two (10/76/1 rushing) while Jonathan Stewart (17/62/0 rushing with 1/-3/0 receiving) and Mike Tolbert (5/31/0 rushing with three targets for 2/4/0 receiving) helped keep the chains moving for the Panthers last weekend. So far this season Stewart has 35/118/0 rushing and 5/22/0 receiving to his credit - this is a unit still figuring out it's optimum mix entering Week Three.

The Saints' defense is atrocious this year - in this phase of the game, New Orleans averages 129.5 yards rushing allowed per game (24th in the NFL) with two rushing scores handed out. Tampa Bay managed 35/139/1 rushing at New Orleans last weekend. Not too good, friends.

Advantage Carolina.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matt Forte is trying to heal up an ankle sprain that knocked him out of the Chicago/Green Bay game last Thursday. Forte (7/31/0 rushing with 4/49/0 receiving last Thursday) and Michael Bush (14/54/0 rushing last week) owners want to stay tuned to Forte's practice participation this week - Forte looks iffy to play as of mid-week, but he'll have had 10 days to get his ankle feeling alright by Sunday. This is a developing situation as of Wednesday, 9/19/12. The team signed Kahlil Bell in the wake of Forte's ankle injury to provide veteran depth/insurance at the position - he'd be the backup if Forte can't go on Sunday.

The Rams' rush D was shattered by the Redskins in week two (29/176/2 allowed) after Detroit punched in two rushing scores on the Rams in week one (18/82/2 rushing as a team for the Lions). This group is among the weakest in the NFL entering week three, averaging 129.5 rushing yards allowed per game (21st in the NFL currently) and tied for second-most rushing TDs allowed this year, with four surrendered so far.

Forte (?), Bush and Bell (?) have a great matchup to work with here.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Matt Forte continues to handle the vast majority of the touches on the football out of the backfield from week to week - he posted 19/90/0 rushing and saw 11 targets for 11/71/0 receiving vs. Minnesota last week, after posting 19/50/1 rushing and 4/41/0 receiving vs. Cincinnati two weeks ago. In contrast, Michael Bush had a mere two carries for zero yards against the Vikings last week. Start Forte if you've got him as he is that rare thing, a featured NFL back.

The Steelers' rush D cracked under pressure at Cincinnati allowing 34/127/1 rushing to BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard last week. To date, Pittsburgh ranks 25th in the NFL averaging 119.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with two rushing TDs given up over two games. The Steelers' offense was only on the field for 24:26 last week, leaving their defense on the field for 35:34 - the situation on offense isn't going to get better quickly, so Pittsburgh's defenders are going to be fighting fatigue as well as their opponents from week to week.

Forte is a dual-threat back who enjoys a great matchup in this phase of the game for Week three.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the 17th-best fantasy running back in PPR leagues as of week three, with 39/166/1 rushing and 4/34/0 receiving to his credit through two contests. Last week he put up over 100 yards combined with 21/75/0 rushing and 3/30/0 receiving vs. Cleveland - Green-Ellis is a steady-Eddie fantasy back who reliably grinds out running back #2 numbers week in and week out.

The Redskins' defense will be in transition this week as they struggle to replace starting OLB Brian Orakpo an starting DE Adam Carriker, who both landed on IR this week due to injuries suffered in the 28-31 loss to St. Louis last week. St. Louis lost starter Steven Jackson early in the game on Sunday and still rang up 27/151/0 rushing on the Washington defense - they are vulnerable in this phase of the game entering week three, friends.

A banged-up Washington defense comes into this game reeling after a 31-28 loss to the lowly Rams - advantage, Cincinnati.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

When A.J. Green went down, the Bengals emphasized their rushing attack, and the results were spectacular vs. Atlanta - Giovani Bernard racked up 27/90/1 rushing and 5/79/0 receiving while Jeremy Hill posted 15/74/1 rushing and 2/22/0 receiving - the Bengals cranked out 45/170/2 rushing as a team last week.

The Titan's rush D did a superb job containing Jamaal Charles (7/19/0 rushing allowed to Charles, with a mere 17/67/0 given away to the Chiefs in this phase of the game last week). The Titans' rush D ranked 20th in the NFL last year allowing an average of 112.2 rushing yards per game, and they were awful in the red zone allowing 21 rushing TDs (third-most in the NFL last year). Dallas made the most of the Titans' D front last week, humiliating them with 43/220/1 rushing as a team - it looks like the week one performance vs. Kansas City was a mirage.

The Bengals feasted on a weak rush D last week, and they have another cupcake matchup for Week 3 - advantage, Cincinnati.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Marion Barber was knocked out of the game vs. New York due to a non-contact quadriceps strain, but reports out of Dallas early this week indicate that he is hopeful to make it back for the Monday Night Football game vs. Carolina - the team is taking a 'wait and see' approach with Barber this week according to coach Wade Phillips. Barber caught passes and did some individual drills during the media-access portion of practice Wednesday, Sept. 23, which is a good sign. Barber said he is feeling good as of mid-week.

All told, the Cowboys piled up 29/251/3 rushing against the vaunted New York defensive front (18/124/1 rushing for Barber, with 2/31/0 receiving) - Felix Jones ran for 7/96/1 and Tashard Choice had 2/8/0 rushing with 1/3/0 receiving as the team got him warmed up for 2009. The Cowboy's RB stable is in fine fettle entering week three, especially if Barber can get back in the mix.

Carolina's rush D absorbed another injury loss this week as replacement DT Louis Leonard suffered a broken ankle and went on IR this week (subbing for Nick Hayden, who was inactive, who in turn was subbing for Ma'ake Kemoeatu and Corvey Irvin, both on IR). The middle of the DL is weak and thin in Carolina, friends. They signed a new DL on Wednsday when Antwon Burton got a two-year deal worth $1.15 million (Burton last played in a game for Denver in 2007, when he appeared for 6 games - he's been a reserve with St. Louis most recently and is familiar with Brian Baker, the DL coach for Carolina who was Burton's DL coach in St. Louis). He's a big, run-plugging DT somewhat similar to Ma'ake Kemoeatu, and he is only 26 years old, so there should be tread still on his tires. Atlanta ran up 37/151/1 vs. the remaining defenders last week; Philadelphia blasted them for 32/185/1 the week before. Carolina is currently 27th in the NFL averaging 168 rushing yards allowed per game. Enough said.

This is a great matchup for the Cowboys.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

DeMarco Murray rolled over the Titans' defensive front last week for 29/167/1 rushing (with 1/6/0 receiving) - so far this season he is the #1 fantasy running back in the land with 51/285/2 rushing and 4/31/0 receiving. Start him and smile if you were wise enough to draft him.

The Rams were exposed by the Buccaneers' backup running back Bobby Rainey, to the tune of 22/144/0 rushing by Rainey (30/157/2 rushing for Tampa Bay as a team, with 2/6/2 rushing by Josh McCown included in the team total). The Rams also got destroyed by the Vikings' runners in Week One, allowing 31/185/1 rushing to the opposition. To date, St. Louis ranks 30th in the NFL averaging 171 rushing yards allowed per game.

Murray has a great matchup to work with this week.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Denver's committee of backs is getting the job done this year, with 24/145/1 as a team vs. San Diego last week and an average of 143 yards rushing per game to date. Selvin Young has been the between-the-20's back, with 8/78/0 last week rushing (1/8/0 receiving), while Andre Hall (7/31/0 rushing) and Michael Pittman (7/30/1) handled the rest of the duties. Pittman is the goal-line specialist 2 weeks in, with 14/43/3 to his credit (17th best fantasy back in points per game).

The Saints started off the season allowing 20/146/0 to the Buccaneers (a 7.3 yards-per-carry average), and then followed up with 31/149/2 surrendered to Washington's backs. They are 26th in the NFL entering this game averaging 147.5 rushing yards allowed per game - not too good, folks.

Denver enjoys the home field advantage this week and has a big edge on their competitors in week 3.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

C.J. Anderson and the Broncos' other running backs are averaging only 1.48 yards before contact per run through the first two weeks of the 2015 season. That's the second-worst figure in the NFL - the offensive line is not generating enough running room for the Denver backs. Anderson stunk it up at Kansas City last week, posting 12/27/0 rushing and 1/2/0 receiving, while Ronnie Hillman didn't do much better (9/34/0 rushing) - the Denver offense in general is misfiring so far this season, especially in this phase of the game. There are rumors floating around that Anderson has one more game to get in gear, or there may be changes among the pecking order at running back.

The Lions' rush D is ranked 28th in the NFL after two games, averaging 147.0 yards allowed per game, with an average of two rushing scores coughed up per contest. Last week, Minnesota punished Detroit with 42/199/2 rushing as a team. Ouch.

If there is a week when Anderson should bounce back, this is it. Advantage, Denver.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

C.J. Anderson found the end zone again on Sunday, posting 20/74/1 rushing with five targets for 3/19/0 receiving. Devontae Booker has settled in as the change-of-pace back, with 9/46/0 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving against Indianapolis, while Kapri Bibbs remains a backup-in-training with one target for zero receptions and one rush for seven yards to his credit last weekend. All told the Broncos had 34/134/1 rushing as a team in Week Two. Their run-the-ball and rely-on-the-defense approach has led to a 2-0 record so far, so don't look for any big changes on offense here in Week Three.

The Bengals are ranked 32nd in the NFL so far this year averaging 138.0 yards rushing allowed per game, but they get stubborn in the red zone, with zero rushing scores handed out so far. Last weekend, the Steelers posted 36/124/0 rushing vs. Cincinnati - and DeAngelo Williams hauled in a TD pass (32/94/0 rushing with five targets for 4/38/1 receiving to his credit). To date, they are allowing the eigth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, with 20.7 on average.

This looks like a great matchup for Anderson and his cohorts.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Detroit couldn't get past the hard-nosed San Francisco rush D last week, ending the game with 26/82/0 rushing as a team - Kevin Smith led the attack with 16/53/0 rushing (and 2/17/0 receiving), while Joique Bell contributed 6/14/0 rushing and 2/59/0 receiving. This week, the mix figures to change, though, as Mikel Leshoure returns from suspension - offensive coordinator Scott Linehan recently said Leshoure will 'certainly be involved heavily in the game plan and we'll go from there.'. In practice on Wednesday, Leshoure took the second snap of practice after Smith got the first crack at the ball - the coaching staff has long indicated that Smith and Leshoure will be in a committee attack now that Leshoure has returned from his league-mandated suspension. We'll see how it all plays out on Sunday.

Tennessee coughed up 39/148/2 to the Chargers during their 38-10 win over the Titans - to date, the Titans are the 30th-ranked rush D in the land averaging 155 rushing yards allowed per game, with three rushing TDs surrendered to date. When you give up 310 yards rushing in two games, you're pretty bad at rush D, friends.

This is a great matchup for Smith and Leshoure.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Reggie Bush's sore knee was checked out by MRI and no long-term damage was found - as of Wednesday he is not practicing, however, and he may be a dreaded game-time decision this week. If Bush (30/115/0 rushing and 7/145/1 receiving so far this year) can't go, Joique Bell (14/57/2 rushing and 10/108/0 receiving this season) will be the main back for Detroit in week three - stay tuned to Footballguys.com's players in the news later this week to monitor developments in Detroit. If Bush can play, Bell still has a significant role in the offense as we have seen during the first month of the season.

The Washington defense is horrid this year. They gave up the first 100+ yards rusher that Green Bay has seen in almost three years last week - backup James Starks busted out for 20/132/1 on them after Eddie Lacy got concussed - and Philadelphia put up 49/263/2 rushing on these guys two weeks ago.

Whoever plays for the Lions this week will have a great opportunity at a monster game.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Colts' rushing attack got going in Week 2, with 38/169/0 as a team - Trent Richardson was able to post 21/79/0 rushing (with 1/16/0 receiving) but had a critical fumble that probably cost the Colts the game, while Ahmad Bradshaw posted 13/70/0 rushing and 5/26/2 receiving in his time on the field. This two-headed monster is starting to gather momentum as of Week 3 - we'll see how they look against the horrid Jaguars in this divisional matchup.

Jacksonville has allowed a league-worst 75 points through the first two games, another low-light for this struggling franchise. Washington hammered them for 41/192/3 rushing last week; they allowed 32/145/1 to the Eagles' duo of backs in Week 1. To date, the Jaguars are 28th in the NFL averaging 168 rushing yards allowed per game.

This is a great matchup for Peterson and Bradshaw.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Jaguars come into this game on a high-note, having shut out the Steelers on Monday Night Football last week. Their stable of backs posted 30/110/0 against the hard-nosed Pittsburgh defensive front (led by Fred Taylor's 22/92/0). Taylor is the 8th ranked fantasy back through 2 weeks, with 43/166/1 rushing and 9/70/0 receiving to his credit. This team looks really strong right now.

The Colts have out-scored their opponents, but not thanks to outstanding defensive play. Over the first 2 games, the Indy D has coughed up an average of 147 rushing yards per game, and allowed 23/108/0 (a 4.7 yards-per-carry average) to the muddled Houston stable last week. Color us unimpressed with these numbers.

Taylor should come out of this game looking pretty sweet - advantage, Jacksonville.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

'I was trying to get some second effort, and my elbow hit somebody, and when it did, it popped out,' Peyton Hillis (11/66/0 rushing with 2/25/0 receiving) said of his lost fumble on Sunday. 'But we've got to minimize those mistakes, no matter second effort... I'm not supposed to do that. I need to hold on to the ball... It's my fault, and I take full blame for it.' Jamaal Charles had a quiet day with 6/3/0 rushing and 3/19/0 receiving - he was shut down early after feeling discomfort in his surgically-repaired left knee (which had a torn ACL last year). 'I talked to him after the game. He said he wanted to go back in and he felt OK,' head coach Romeo Crennel said. 'He was getting treatment, so I think he'll be ready to play this week.' Hillis owners and Charles owners will want to monitor Charles' participation in practices later this week. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com' players in the news for the latest on this developing situation.

The Saints' rush D was steam-rolled for 41/219/3 by the Panthers last week, and enters week three ranked dead last in the NFL averaging 186 rushing yards allowed per game, with a whopping five rushing scores given away through two contests. Not too good, friends.

The Chiefs' tandem of Charles (?) and Hillis have a big opportunity to make a splash this week - advantage Kansas City.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Jamaal Charles (21/125/1 rushing with five targets for 4/2/0 receiving) and Knile Davis (3/9/1 rushing) both stuffed in TDs for the Chiefs last week while Alex Smith and company struggled mightily in the other phase of the game vs. Denver. As is usual, the K.C. offense runs through Charles' capable legs. Start him if you've got him.

The Packers' rush D is ranked 31st in the NFL averaging 154.0 yards allowed per game, with one rushing score given up to date. Seattle managed 25/119/0 rushing at Green Bay last week.

Advantage, Charles and the Chiefs.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Miami lost their third starting RG for the season when Bennie Anderson tore his left triceps muscle in the game against the Bills. Anderson joins Seth McKinney (neck surgery) and Joe Toledo (knee) on the IR. The team's fourth RG, Joe Berger, is currently nursing a sore foot and may not be in the mix for a few more weeks. The OL is in turmoil right now.

Despite the problems along the line, Ronnie Brown is making good things happen, posting a total of 30/100/2 rushing and 9/84/0 receiving (7th best fantasy RB as of week 2). He broke through the 100 total yards from scrimmage barrier last week, with 15/70/0 (a 4.7 yards per carry average) and 6/52/0 receiving. Brown is doing ok in spite of the problems at RG.

This week, Miami will enjoy a visit by one of the league's worst defenses, the pathetic Tennessee Titans. Only the Texans have allowed more total yardage (956 vs 869 allowed by Tennessee) and more total points (67 vs. 63 allowed by Tennessee). The Titans average 166 rushing yards allowed per game (29th in the NFL). These guys are softer than a baby's bottom and not nearly as tough.

The OL line injuries are a concern, but Brown has a great matchup to work with here.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

'He [Lamar Miller] did a great job out there today in his first real game,' Reggie Bush said after the Dolphins' 35-13 drubbing of Oakland last Sunday. 'I thought he looked good. He did a great job running the ball toward the end of the half and wearing them down, getting first downs.' For his part, Miller commented 'I was just happy to get my first NFL touchdown. It didn't matter where I got it.' The Dolphins' smacked the Raiders around in week two, with an astonishing 197 total yards from scrimmage for Reggie Bush (26/172/2 rushing with 3/25/0 receiving) and an astronomical 43/264/4 rushing as a team - Miller claimed 10/65/1 during the contest and quarterback Ryan Tannehill pushed in a rushing score too with 3/14/1 on the ground to his credit. Whew!

The Jets' rush defense hasn't lived up to advance billing, currently ranking 22nd in the NFL averaging 130.5 yards allowed per game, with two rushing scores given up over two weeks. Pittsburgh was slowed down last week (28/66/1 rushing) but this is still a suspect unit after coughing up 26/195/1 to the Bills two weeks ago.

The Dolphins would appear to hold an edge in this edition of the Jets/Dolphins divisional rivalry.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Jay Ajayi is emerging as the face of the Dolphins offense. He has a stranglehold on the Miami backfield, drawing 64 of 68 running back snaps in Week 1, and while his workload may settle over the course of the season, he’ll likely dominate both facets of the position. Ajayi looks fantastic, running with power – 82 of his 122 Week 1 yards came after contact, and he leads the NFL over the last 12 weeks – and nimble feet on the second level. It seems absurd that teams focused so much concern on his potential long-term knee woes; he’s a truly dynamic back, and the prospect of just a handful of seasons of him was easily worthy of a second-round pick. Still, there’s a reason Ajayi underperformed so often in 2016. The Dolphins’ line was fantastic against the Chargers’ quick front seven, but may struggle with varying opponents and cohesion from week to week. The Jets run defense, once fearsome and prohibitive under Rex Ryan, is a true liability now. Last Sunday, Oakland backs managed to rack up 123 yards on just 24 rushes, to say nothing of Cordarrelle Patterson’s 57 yards and long touchdown. And the week before, LeSean McCoy picked up 110 yards with ease (22 carries). The unit is talented, but simply possess little reliability at the linebacker position. The gifted defensive line, headlined by Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams, can only do so much to control the action. Darron Lee and Demario Davis are mediocre run-stoppers at best; Lee lacks strength and awareness, while Davis is a subpar athlete that doesn’t pursue especially well. Lee could be a building-block type of playmaker, but struggles inside and probably needs a position switch.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Brett Favre threw three interceptions and no TDs last week, forcing the Vikings to lean on Adrian Peterson. He responded with 28/145/1 rushing and 5/41/0 receiving - it wasn't enough to help the Vikings win, but Peterson helped out his fantasy owners in their leagues last week. He had over 100 yards combined in the season opener, with 19/87/0 rushing and 3/14/0 receiving vs. the Saints defense. Peterson is the best weapon the Vikings have at this point in the season.

Detroit's rush D coughed up 31/101/0 to the Bears in the season opener two weeks ago, and allowed a whopping 28/162/3 rushing to the Eagles last week - it looks like the Lions' defensive front is in reverse entering week three of the season. They need to get a lot tougher in a hurry if the Lions want to upset the Vikings this week.

Advantage, Minnesota and Adrian Peterson - they hold all the cards in this matchup, folks.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Adrian Peterson started to look like his usual elite self during Week Two (29/134/0 rushing with 2/58/0 receiving), but he marred the performance with three fumbles committed during the contest with Detroit. It was a vast improvement over the 10/31/0 rushing and 3/21/0 receiving debacle that Peterson owners received in Week One. We'll see if Peterson can build on the momentum from Week Two at home against the Chargers this time around.

Speaking of the Chargers, they are ranked 21st in the NFL after two games, averaging 122.0 rushing yards allowed per game, with one rushing score surrendered to date. Cincinnati whacked them for 36/175/0 rushing last week - the Chargers are reeling in this phase of the game entering Week Three.

Advantage, Minnesota.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

2 games into the season we've seen Laurence Maroney post 35/149/0 rushing and 0 receptions (28th ranked fantasy RB in the land), while Sammy Morris has handled 21/105/1 rushing and 2/11/0 receiving (23rd fantasy RB). That's roughly a 60/40 split on touches so far, folks. It looks like the Patriots are settling into a dreaded running back by committee, with Maroney headlining the show but Morris seeing a significant amount of playing time and touches. With a 2-0 start to the season, we see little reason that the coaching staff would alter course entering week 3 - we'll find out, but right now it looks like a RBBC is here to stay in New England.

The Bills have been awful at run defense during this young season, allowing a total of 355 rushing yards over the first 2 games (averaging 177.5 per contest, 30th in the NFL). The Steelers posted 33/184/1 on them last week - this is an ugly team defense, friends. They are 27th against the passing attack so far in 2007, by the way.

This looks like a great matchup for the Patriots' backs - we'll see who gets the goal-line carries in week 3.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Shane Vereen ruled the roost in Week 1 (13/76/1 rushing with 6/35/0 receiving to date), but Stevan Ridley was the man in Week 2 (33/122/81 rushing with 2/7/0 receiving so far) - welcome to the fun-house that is the Patriots nightmare running-back-by-committee. As you can see, Vereen is the more valuable player in PPR leagues, while Ridley is a grind-it-out option for New England. Good luck figuring out which guy will be featured on any given weekend, though.

The Raiders' rush D is AWFUL, as in historically bad. To date, they've averaged 200 yards rushing allowed per game, with two rushing scores handed out to date. Most recently, Houston blasted this group for 46/188/1 rushing.

Advantage, New England.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Deuce McAllister is not off to the start we'd hoped for this season. He's the 13th ranked fantasy RB in the land, with 41/111/2 rushing and 8/49/0 receiving after 2 games. The Saints are 21st in the NFL averaging 86.5 rushing yards per game, and 3.1 yards per carry. There just isn't much room to roam being generated by the OL.

The Vikings have allowed the most rushing yards per game of any NFL franchise to date, with an average of 156.5 rushing yards surrendered per game. They've "held" opponents to 2 rushing scores so far, but suffice it to say the Vikings aren't very impressive in this phase of the game.

McAllister is struggling but he's got a great chance to get on track against the Vikings.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Brandon Jacobs (15/93/0), Derrick Ward (8/58/0) and Ahmad Bradshaw (5/52/1) tore apart the Rams' defensive front last week, ending the day with 31/200/1 as a team. Over the first 2 games, the NYG have averaged 177 rushing yards per contest (5th in the NFL) - this unit is on a huge roll entering week 3.

Expect the Giants to keep rolling when the limp Bengals get to town - Cincy has averaged 203 rushing yards allowed per game to date, with 3 rushing scores allowed so far. Tennessee torched them for 41/177/1 on the ground last week.

At home, the Giants have a significant advantage over the visitors this week.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Brandon Jacobs ground out 16/58/0 vs. the Cowboys last week, while his side-kick Ahmad Bradshaw posted 9/37/0 rushing and 2/8/0 receiving. To date, Jacobs has amassed 32/104/0 rushing with 2/17/0 receiving (44th-ranked RB in PPR leagues), while Bradshaw has logged 21/97/0 with 5/19/0 receiving (42nd-ranked in PPR leagues) over 2 games. The Giants are leaning on Eli Manning's passing arm more than years past, at least in the early going (45/67 for 586 yards, three TDs and one interception to date) - he threw for 25/38 for 330 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions vs. Dallas last week.

The Buccaneers' rush D is among the league's worst, averaging 168 yards allowed per game (27th in the NFL) - they've surrendered just one rushing TD, though, partly due to the five pass TDs they've handed over. It's tough to win games when both your rushing and your passing D are bottom-tier units. Dallas racked up 24/118/1 running against these guys two weeks ago - Buffalo torched them for 35/218/0 last week.

Jacobs and Bradshaw have a great shot at solid games this week.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Ahmad Bradshaw was knocked out of last week's game due to a neck injury (sprain) - head coach Tom Coughlin characterized his hopes of Bradshaw playing vs. Carolina as 'against all odds' on Tuesday, and refused to elaborate on the nature of the injury beyond simply saying 'neck'. It looks like rookie David Wilson and Andre Brown will have to carry the rock at Carolina - Wilson is in Coughlin's doghouse after a fumble in week one (he had just 3/6/0 vs. Tampa even after Bradshaw was sidelined) - so Brown, who posted 13/71/1 rushing with 2/19/0 receiving in relief of Bradshaw looks like the probable starter as of Tuesday, 9/18.

The Panthers' rush D was hammered for 27/163/2 on the ground by the Saints last week, and they coughed up 36/130/0 rushing to Tampa Bay in week one - this is not a good defensive front entering week three, friends.

Advantage, New York.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Rashad Jennings has a cast on his left thumb as of September 20, but is expected to play without it vs. Washington, according to mid-week reports. We'll see how his practice participation is later in the week - he sat out at the end of last week and missed some goal-line opportunities in the low-scoring win over New Orleans (16-13). Jennings had 13/27/0 rushing and 2/13/0 receiving during his time on the field vs. New Orleans, while Shane Vereen posted 14/42/0 rushing and 3/24/0 receiving - the Giants appear to be on the verge of drifting back into a running-back-by-committee as we enter the third week of regular season.

The Washington defense gave up three rushing TDs to Dallas last weekend (30/102/3) after DeAngelo Williams ran wild and Pittsburgh rang up 30/147/2 rushing against these guys two weeks ago. Through two games, Washington has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, with an average of 27.2. In more bad news, defensive tackle Kedric Golston (hamstring) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, September 19, with a hamstring injury, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Matt Ioannidis will be called up from the practice squad to replace Golston - the defensive front is suffering attrition entering Week Three.

Advantage, New York

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Thomas Jones posted 24/67/0 rushing and 2/20/0 against a stout Raven's defense last week - not too bad, considering that the Ravens are #2 vs. the rush this year to date. Aside from a couple of scrambles, Jones was the featured back during week 2 - Leon Washington didn't carry the ball or catch a pass last week.

The Dolphins' defensive front cracked last week vs. Dallas, giving up 36/166/2 (a 4.6 yards per carry average) during the contest. They are now the 31st ranked rush defense in the NFL averaging 178.5 rushing yards allowed per game, and they have coughed up 3 rushing TDs to date. Ouch.

Jones has a great matchup to work with this week.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Jets dominated Jacksonville last week 32-3. Shonn Greene led the rushing attack with 16/49/1 and added 2/6/0 receiving, while back up (it still feels weird to call LaDainian Tomlinson a backup) RB LaDainian Tomlinson put up 6/8/0 rushing with 1/7/0 receiving. Many fantasy owners didn't thank Tomlinson for his efforts last week.

The Raiders got shredded in Buffalo 35-38, with 24/223/2 rushing surrendered during the loss. This is a team that can be run on.

Advantage, New York.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Chris Ivory has had a strong start to the 2014 season with 23/145/2 rushing and 1/3/0 receiving. Chris Johnson trails Ivory with 25/89/0 rushing and 6/23/1 receiving - Ivory has a 6.3 yards per carry average as of Week 2, while Johnson averages 3.6 yards per tote. It is obvious which back is the superior fantasy option entering Week 3.

The Bears' rush D was worst in the league last year, averaging 161.4 yards allowed per game, and their current average after two games in 2014 is 161.0 rushing yards allowed per game (27th in the NFL right now). Things haven't changed much in Chicago despite their free agent moves. Buffalo blasted this defensive front for 33/193/1 two weeks ago, and San Francisco followed up with 27/129/1 last Sunday.

Ivory and Johnson have a great matchup for this upcoming game.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Last week, with the passing game struggling mightily, LaMont Jordan took the Raiders on his back and carried them to an OT showdown with the Broncos, posting 25/159/0 (the team ended up with 35/200/0 on the ground that day). While the Raiders lost 23-20, Jordan proved that he is on the way back from last year's disastrous campaign. He is the 2nd-best fantasy RB in the land after 2 weeks of play, with 40/229/1 rushing and 9/89/0 receiving. Obviously, the new coaching staff has found ways to utilize Jordan's talents.

The Raiders' adversary this week, the Browns, sport a rush D that is very porous, allowing an average of 171.5 rushing yards per game - they haven't allowed a rushing score, but that's probably due to the 10 passing TDs they have given away in the first 2 games. Basically, this defense is ugly with a side order of hideous and a cup of pathetic to wash it all down.

Jordan is a dual threat back, and the Browns haven't been able to stop people in either phase of the game - this is a great matchup for him.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Latavius Murray found pay dirt vs. Baltimore, posting 15/65/1 rushing with 3/22/0 receiving. Taiwan Jones had two rushes for nine yards and one catch for six yards - this is Murray's team heading into Week Three. He is the 'Man' for Oakland at running back.

The Browns' rush D is currently dead last in the NFL averaging 160 rushing yards allowed per game with two rushing scores surrendered to date. Tennessee recorded 30/166/0 rushing in Cleveland last week.

Advantage Oakland.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

'It's tough. We'll have to watch the film and see what happened,' Isaac Redman said after the game on Sunday. 'But there's no excuse. We have to get into the end zone when we're down there.' 'We have to push that in right there,' guard Ramon Foster said. 'That's one of those things that falls on the offensive line, first and foremost. We have to be better at that.' It sounds like the Steelers lost the game, instead of winning 24-0, doesn't it? Both Rashard Mendenhall (19/66/1 rushing with 2/12/0 receiving) and Redman (10/49/1 rushing with 1/6/0 receiving) found the end-zone in week two as the Steelers beat down the Seahawks.

The Colts' rush D is not good, averaging 138.5 yards allowed per game (29th in the NFL) with four rushing TDs given up to date. Cleveland crammed in 34/106/2 rushing last week on this group.

Despite the doom and gloom from Pittsburgh's backs last week, they have an excellent matchup to enjoy in week three.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Le'Veon Bell gets back from suspension this week. Start him if you've got him.

The Rams average 153 yards rushing allowed per game (30th in the NFL), with two rushing scores handed over to date. Washington hung 37/182/2 rushing on this Swiss cheese defensive front last week.

Again we say: start Bell this week.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Melvin Gordon was drafted to be a featured running back in the NFL, and now that his sidekick/mentor Danny Woodhead is out for the season due to an ACL injury, Gordon will get the headlining role in the Chargers' backfield. The early results this season are encouraging that Gordon can handle the workload - he has compiled 38/159/3 rushing and 3/18/0 receiving to land at seventh-best fantasy running back in the PPR scoring paradigm after two games. With Keenan Allen also out for the year, the Chargers will have to rely on their young players moving forwards.

The Colts' rush D has been abysmal all year long, averaging 34.6 fantasy points allowed to opposing fantasy backs through two games (worst in the NFL), while also averaging 125 rushing yards allowed per game (29th in the NFL) with three rushing scores handed out to date. They coughed up 31/134/1 to the Broncos most recently.

Advantage, San Diego and Gordon.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Shaun Alexander has been up and down this season, with 28/144/1 vs. Atlanta's tough defense last week (2/11/0 receiving), but 14/73/0 rushing vs. Jacksonville in week one. His ypc are above 5.0 in each appearance this year, so we expect to see a lot of work from Alexander on Sunday.

The Cardinals have not been very impressive in this phase of the game, allowing an average of 114.5 rushing yards per game to date (3 rushing scores given up in the first two games.} The Cards ranked 27th in the NFL last year allowing 131.6 rushing yards per game - this defense doesn't shut down their opponents.

Alexander is dominating again this year - the Cards are suspect. Advantage, Seattle.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Shaun Alexander battled through his sprained wrist and the bulky cast that protects the joint to post 18/70/1 rushing and 2/5/0 receiving vs. the Arizona Cardinals last week. After 2 games, Alexander is the 9th ranked fantasy RB in the land with 45/175/2 rushing and 4/17/0 receiving to his credit so far this season. He's been a steady fantasy points producer during the opening weeks of 2007.

The Bengals' rush D is not very good, averaging 166.5 yards allowed per game after 2 contests, with 2 rushing TDs handed over to date. Last week, Jamal Lewis torched this group for 27/216/1 (including a long 66 yards TD) and the Browns posted 30/226/1 as a team. The Bengals' D isn't very good, folks - they lost LB Ahmad Brooks during the game last week (groin injury) and his backup Caleb Miller had a hard time stepping into the lineup. If Brooks can't go this week, the team will be even worse than usual.

Alexander has home field advantage at his back and a soft unit to exploit across the line of scrimmage - he has a great shot at a stand-out afternoon on Sunday.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Julius Jones became the featured Seattle RB by default last week (Maurice Morris is out for a few weeks with a knee injury) - Jones responded with a fine effort vs. San Francisco, gaining 26/127/1 (a 4.9 yards per carry average) and adding 3/14/0 receiving, while FB Leonard Weaver added 5/27/0 rushing and T.J. Duckett made a rare appearance with 2/3/1. The Seahawks found a life line in their RB stable, which amassed 34/169/2 (a 5.0 yards-per-carry average) and took the game to OT before losing to their divisional rivals.

The Rams' defense is in shambles, having given up 79 points in 2 weeks. They've handed over 308 rushing yards and 2 rushing scores in 2 games, and allowed 655 net passing yards and 6 TD passes in 2 games - almost 1,000 combined yards given up in 120 minutes of football. There really isn't anything else to say.

This would be a great week to start Julius Jones - matchups don't get better than this for a double-threat back like Jones.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Marshawn Lynch tore up the 49ers last week, posting 28/98/2 rushing and 3/37/1 receiving during a fantasy owner's dream game. All told, the Seahawks ran off 47/172/2 on the ground vs. San Francisco - Robert Turbin added 6/31/0 rushing and Russell Wilson had 10/33/0 rushing to his credit. It's all good for the Seahawks entering the third game of the year.

The Jaguars allowed 226 yards rushing and a rushing score to the Raiders last week, the sixth time since the start of 2010 that an opponent had eclipsed 200 yards rushing. 'It was us not fitting properly,' LB Paul Posluszny said. 'The type of defense we have, you need to be really disciplined and fit your gaps and be where you need to be. When you don't that, this is the result. 200 yards rushing? We can't have that and move forward.' So far this year, the Jaguars have handed over 347 yards rushing and two rushing scores. Not too good, folks.

This is a great week to have Marshawn Lynch in your lineup

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Marshawn Lynch had trouble getting traction at Green Bay (15/41/0 rushing with 3/21/0 receiving), but he draws an easier matchup this week when the Jay Cutler-less Bears come to town. Russell Wilson helped out with 10/78/0 rushing last week, but shouldn't need to run the ball as much in this contest.

The Bears' 'defense' is very suspect in this phase, having allowed 248 yards rushing over two games, with two rushing scores surrendered. Arizona threw down for 28/115/1 rushing last week at Chicago.

Advantage, Seattle.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Frank Gore continues to be the main weapon of the 49ers offense, posting 19/61/1 rushing and 5/38/0 receiving last week to run his season totals to 33/157/2 rushing and 9/93/0 receiving (5th best fantasy RB in the land). He's a fantasy stud.

The Lions' rush D averages 220.5 yards allowed per game to date (the league-worst mark through 2 games), and has coughed up 4 rushing TDs in 2 weeks. Green Bay posted 30/123/1 vs. Detroit last week (and that was an improvement over their humiliation at the hands of Michael Turner in the season opener).

Gore has a great matchup against a soft defense this week.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Frank Gore had little impact on the game in Seattle, being held to 9/16/0 rushing and 1/14/0 receiving during the contest. All told, the 49ers had just 13 net yards rushing from their running backs last week - Anthony Dixon posted 1/4/0 rushing and Kendall Hunter had 1/-7/0. Only Colin Kaepernick made much headway with 9/87/0 rushing to his credit. San Francisco failed in both phases of the game last week.

The Colts' rush D gave up 27/102/2 on the ground to Miami last week after handing over 33/171/1 to the Raiders two weeks ago. The defensive front in Indianapolis is very suspect entering the second half of September.

This looks like a great bounce-back opportunity for Gore and company.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Doug Martin battled to 20/66/1 rushing at New York last week (LeGarrette Blount was active but didn't touch the football at all in the game). Martin has 44/161/1 rushing and seven targets for 4/23/0 receiving so far this year - Blount and Danny Ware are next with three carries and one reception apiece so far this year. Martin is the featured running back for the Buccaneers heading into week three - there are no challengers apparent.

'Obviously you want to be more physical. You want to physically dominate them. In this game, we certainly didn't do that.' head coach Jason Garrett stated after the Cowboy's 7-27 loss to Seattle, in which Dallas handed over 41/182/1 rushing to Marshawn Lynch and company (4.4 yards allowed per carry). Dallas stunk up the joint last week, folks.

The Buccaneers are built to run the football, and you can bet they'll give the reeling Dallas defenders a steady diet of Martin (and perhaps even Blount or Ware) on Sunday.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

'Doug's getting better and better,' LT Donald Penn said after last week's loss to New Orleans. 'He's the rock, and he makes us look good.' Martin did post a solid effort vs. New Orleans last week, with 29/144/0 rushing during the contest. In week one, Martin had 24/65/1 rushing at the Jets - he's getting enough touches to be a fantasy monster if only the Buccaneers' offense could become a little more effective overall (the issues between Josh Freeman and head coach Greg Schiano are bringing down the passing attack and it is hampering Martin's ability to score as drive after drive fizzles out).

The Patriots' defensive front gave up 32/129/1 rushing to the Jets last week and 34/136/0 rushing to the Bills in week one. This unit is not intimidating anybody as of mid-September.

This looks like a great matchup for Martin and the Buccaneers.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Doug Martin didn't play last week due to his balky knee, so his lack of production this season has opened the door to Bobby Rainey (22/144/0 rushing with 3/30/0 receiving vs. St. Louis last week). Assuming Martin can play this week, we wouldn't be surprised to see a mix of Martin and Rainey handling the football - stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News later this week to see if Martin can get back on the practice field and prepare for some sort of role vs. Atlanta on Thursday Night Football.

Atlanta's rush D lived down to last year's poor showing (last season, Atlanta was ranked 31st in the NFL averaging 135.8 yards rushing allowed per game, with 14 rushing TDs given up over 16 games) by giving up 28/139/3 rushing to the Saints' three-headed monster last week. The Falcons followed up with another mushy showing in Cincinnati, getting pummeled for 45/170/2 by the Bengals. Atlanta is currently ranked 26th in the NFL allowing 154.5 rushing yards per contest.

Though Tampa has a great matchup this week, it appears they may have a two-headed attack these days as Rainey has been very productive while Martin stood on the sidelines to open the season.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The early word this week is that Clinton Portis is likely to play against Houston this week, as the pain from his "jammed rotator cuff" is abating. However, Portis (and Betts/Duckett owners) will want to watch his practice participation late in the week to see if Portis' shoulder holds up to the strain of taking hits. To date, the Redskins' rushing attack has generated 196 yards and a 4.4 yards-per-carry average - whoever actually gets to carry the ball this weekend should post decent statistics. Ladell Betts has 19/62/0 rushing and 10/88/0 receiving in his 2 starts subbing for Portis (31st fantasy RB in the land to date). T.J. Duckett is still getting acclimated to his new team, but chipped in with 5/24/0 last week in a limited appearance.

Over the first 2 weeks of the season, the Texans have laid down for 255 rushing yards (127.5 per game, 22nd in the NFL) and given up 67 total points - they are dead last in passing yards allowed (701), total yards allowed (956) and points allowed. The Colts punched in 2 rushing scores last week on the way to a 43-24 victory (35/125/2 as a team). Things are ugly on the defensive side of the ball down in Houston.

The Redskins' stable of backs have a great shot at outstanding numbers this week.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Clinton Portis led the Redskins in rushing last week (as usual), with 19/79/0 (2/9/0 receiving). Jason Campbell pitched in 7/28/0, while Ladell Betts gained 4/13/0 rushing and 1/25/0 receiving in the change of pace role. To date this year, Portis has amassed 35/141/0 rushing and 3/19/0 receiving, but the lack of scoring opportunities is depressing his fantasy value (33rd-ranked RB in PPR leagues as of week two).

The Lions' rush D surrendered 25/112/1 to Adrian Peterson and company last week, after coughing up 35/157/0 to the Saints in week one. They showed a little improvement in the yardage department last week, but this is still a very sub-par unit when it comes to rush D, friends.

Portis has been productive but unspectacular so far this year - but he should shine this week.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

Alfred Morris led the Redskins in rushing last week (16/89/0), while Robert Griffin III led the team in scoring (11/82/2 rushing). Evan Royster (1/4/0 rushing with 2/7/0 receiving) and Roy Helu (1/0/0 receiving) played bit roles - as of week three, this is Morris' job to lose, and so far (44/185/2 rushing through two games) he hasn't.

The Bengals' rush D is currently 19th in the NFL with an average of 126 rushing yards allowed per game. They've coughed up three rushing scores so far, including the one Trent Richardson punched in last week (Cleveland posted 23/130/1 rushing as a team last week). This is a fairly soft defensive front entering the third game of 2012.

Washington exploded for 176 yards rushing last week, and they should stay on a roll this week against the sub-par Bengals' D.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tim Hightower carried the load for Arizona at running back last week, posting 11/115/1 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving during the blowout loss to Atlanta (7-41). Were it not for a long 80-yard TD run, he'd have been a disappointment, but the big play made the day for Hightower's fantasy owners. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said on Monday that he is optimistic about RB Beanie Wells' (knee injury) status for the third game of the season but wants to see Wells during practice before making any decisions - keep an eye on Footballguys' players in the news later this week to monitor Wells' practice status on Thursday and Friday.

Oakland's defense was 29th vs. the rush last year, averaging 155.5 yards allowed per game (29th in the NFL). They gave up 24 rushing TDs (31st). They allowed 4.5 yards per rush on average (28th). The 2010 group gave up 39/205/3 rushing to Tennessee in their 38-13 blowout loss in week one of regular season. However, the team tightened down on Steven Jackson and company during week 2, allowing just 21/75/0 rushing - they stacked the box and dared Sam Bradford to beat them in the second half (a luxury they had with a rookie QB under center). In short, the Raiders run defenders have been up and down starting 2010.

Hightower - and Wells, if healthy - mount a respectable rushing attack. Against a suspect Oakland defensive front, we think they have a good matchup to work with this week.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Chris Johnson (20/72/0 rushing) and David Johnson (5/42/1 rushing with 1/3/0 receiving) combined to carry the load for the Cardinals at Soldier Field while Andre Ellington sat out (again) due to an injury - Ellington (knee, out for Week Two) acknowledged last Friday that his sprained MCL may cost him two-to-three weeks of action - Ellington didn't travel with the team to Chicago for the game. Heading into this NFC West showdown with the 49ers, it'll be Johnson-and-Johnson spearheading the Cardinals' rushing attack.

The 49ers got utterly stomped in Pittsburgh, and were down 29-3 before the Steelers called off the defense in the fourth quarter and played prevent defense, which allowed the 49ers to not finish completely humiliated. DeAngelo Williams stuffed in three rushing scores last Sunday (20/77/3 rushing with 4/15/0 receiving) - so far through two games, the 49ers are ranked sixth in the NFL averaging 77.5 rushing yards allowed per game (Pittsburgh had 25/84/3 rushing as a team last weekend).

San Francisco got rocked back on their heels last week, while the Cardinals have run the table so far during September - advantage, Arizona.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

David Johnson handled 16 rushes and six passing targets (16/89/1 rushing with 4/43/0 receiving) while Chris Johnson had one rush for two yards during Week One. Andre Ellington saw two targets for 2/8/0 receiving. Last week, when Tampa visited the desert, David Johnson handled 12/43/0 rushing and 3/98/0 receiving for the Cardinals, leading the team in receiving and going well over 100 yards combined again, while Chris Johnson ran the ball 16/54/1 - Ellington was in a bit role again with 1/2/0 rushing and 1/9/0 receiving. The Cardinals were ahead 33-7 at the end of the third quarter in this game, so Chris Johnson saw more action than Week One as the Cardinals ran out the clock - but David Johnson remains the clear-cut starter despite Chris Johnson handling more carries in this particular instance.

The Bills' rush defense is giving up the 10th-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs through two contests, averaging 20 fantasy points allowed per game. They are 15th in the NFL averaging 103 rushing yards allowed per game, with three rushing scores handed out to date. Last week, the Bills coughed up 36/123/3 rushing to the Jets in an AFC East showdown - they've been up and down in the phase of the game over the first two contests, with 28/83/0 rushing handed over to Baltimore during the first regular season game.

This looks like a good matchup for Johnson and Johnson.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Falcons enjoy a top rush attack again this year. Averaging 157.5 rushing yards per game (6th in the NFL), the Falcons come into week 3 looking strong in this phase of the game. Warrick Dunn is 23rd in the league with 37/171/0 to date, with 1/0/0 receiving to date. The team has an average or 157.5 rushing yards per game - T.J. Duckett (12/33/2) and Mike Vick (19/111/1) add dimensions that no other team can boast in this phase of the game.

Buffalo is surprisingly soft in this phase of the game, giving up an average of 143 rushing yards per game (30th in the NFL) and a total of 3 rushing scores to date. Tampa's Cadillac Williams threw down 24/128/1 on this group last week (Tampa notched 40/181/2 as a team). The Bills were expected to be much stronger, but they are not impressing us in this phase of the game.

Atlanta is very strong in this phase of the game, while Buffalo is struggling to stop the run. Advantage, Falcons.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Falcons had a rash of injuries at running back last week - starter Michael Turner (groin injury) and #2 RB Jerious Norwood (now on IR - knee injury) both left the game due to injury - but the Falcons are fortunate to have a third NFL-caliber running back. 'In the NFL, holes are not too big,' Jason Snelling (24/129/2 rushing with 5/57/1 receiving) said after his big game in relief of Michael Turner (9/75/0 rushing). 'But they were pushing the line of scrimmage, they were pushing guys back and there were creases. When you get a crease from a lineman, the running back has to do the rest.' All told, the Falcons blasted the Cardinals for 45/221/2 rushing during the game. If Turner can't play this week due to his sore groin, the Falcons' rushing attack is in good hands with Snelling handling the lead back duties.

The Saints' rush D wasn't strong during 2009, with an average of 122.2 yards allowed per game (21st in the NFL) and 19 rushing scores handed over (28th in the NFL). The Vikings ran at their defensive front for 23/91/0 in the season opener, a 4.0 yards-per-carry average (Adrian Peterson averaged 4.6 per tote with 19/87/0 as the lead back on opening night). Last Monday, Frank Gore gored the Saints for 20/112/1 rushing (a 5.6 yards per carry average) and the 49ers wound up with 26/142/2 rushing as a team - the Saints don't look very robust in this phase of the game again as of week three, 2010.

Turner (if he can play) and Snelling have a good matchup to work with despite being on the road in a hostile venue on Sunday.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Atlanta averaged 5.0 yards per carry during the loss at Cincinnati - pretty impressive, considering how good the Bengals are at run D. Steven Jackson posted 11/46/0 rushing and handled a reception for seven yards, while Jacquizz Rodgers had 5/23/0 rushing and zero receptions on one target during the day. Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith both saw four targets during the game (2/22/0 receiving for Freeman, 2/19/0 receiving for Smith) but neither managed to find the end-zone in Week 2. Jackson is handling 11-12 touches on the football per game so far this year, which is hampering his value as a fantasy running back - there simply haven't been enough touches for Jackson to be an elite fantasy option during the first 1/8 of the season.

The Buccaneers did a good job containing the Panthers' backs in Week 1, holding Carolina to 33/113/0 rushing on the day (3.4 yards per carry on average). Last year, Tampa ranked 15th in the NFL allowing an average of 110.1 yards per game, with 10 rushing scores given up over 16 games. The Buccaneers got stubborn in the red zone in Week 1, but gave up a rushing score to St. Louis in Week 2, with 29/119/1 allowed - currently, Tampa is ranked 18th in the NFL averaging 116 rushing yards allowed per game.

The Falcons' backs as a group run the ball well - they have a good matchup against Tampa this week.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

During Week Two, Devonta Freeman was more effective at running the football in Oakland (17/93/0 rushing, 5.5 yards per carry on average), but Tevin Coleman rang up the TD (12/46/1 rushing with 2/25/0 receving), leaving us pretty much where we started at the beginning of the week - a full-blown running back by committee with roughly equal touches for both players. This might be a good thing for the real NFL team, but it is not what fantasy owners expected from Freeman during August.

The Saints' defense is, once again, quite terrible - they are currently ranked 23rd in the NFL averaging 115.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with three rushing scores given out so far. Over the past two weeks, the Saints average 24.5 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs, which is third-most in the NFL - this, even though they stymied the Giants' runnning backs on the ground (32/64/0 rushing last Sunday), while allowing 6/40/0 receiving to the Giants' runnig backs.

Freeman and Coleman have a good matchup to work with here - Freeman scored three TDs on New Orleans during 2015, with 37/181/1 rushing and 10/75/2 receiving to his credit over two contests. He has done especially well against New Orleans, historically speaking.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Willis McGahee turned in a steady performance in week 2, with 26/97/0 rushing and 2/6/1 receiving - he's been effective this season, posting 19/77/0 rushing and 3/34/0 receiving during week 1. His totals of 45/174/0 rushing and 5/40/1 land him in the top 15 among fantasy RBs after 2 games. He hasn't turned in a game-breaking performance yet, but he's been a steady source of fantasy points, especially for owners in leagues that award points for yardage.

The Cardinals have allowed 92 yards rushing per game to date (10th in the NFL after 2 games), with 3 rushing scores handed over to date (tied for second-most in the NFL so far). Last week, the Cards gave up 24/92/1 to the Seahawks, right on pace. So far, the Cardinals are playing with a mediocre rush defense.

McGahee has been solid but unspectacular, while the Cardinals are just so-so. Since McGahee has home field advantage at his back this week, this looks like a good, but not great, matchup for him and the Ravens.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Willis McGahee suited up but couldn't play vs. Cincinnati during week 1 (the team wanted to let him get closer to 100% healthy), so youngsters Le'Ron McClain (19/86/0 rushing with 2/24/0 receiving) and Ray Rice (22/64/0 rushing with 3/19/0 receiving) got their chance to shine. Rice was workmanlike in his time on the field, while McClain added some sizzle to the attack when given the chance. With rookie Joe Flacco guiding the offense, look for McClain and Rice to see a lot of carries whether or not McGahee can play during week 3 (obviously, they'll see more if he's sidelined, but during week 1 the team rushed the ball 46 times so McGahee could see 25ish carries and still leave around 10 each for the younger guys). The team averaged 5.0 yards per carry vs. Cincy (46/229/2 - Joe Flacco and Mark Clayton scored the TDs, Clayton on a 42 yard double-reverse). McGahee did practice fully on Wednesday, an encouraging sign for his fantasy clubs. We'll see how his knee reacts to the work as the week goes along.

Cleveland managed to pare back their losses in the rushing department last week, giving up 31/117/0 to the Steelers one week after handing over a whopping 31/167/3 to Dallas in the season opener. They enter week 3 the 24th ranked rushing D in the land, averaging 142 rushing yards allowed per game, with 3 rushing TDs given up to date. They improved incrementally last week, but are still a very suspect unit.

Baltimore enjoyed an unexpected bye week thanks to Hurricane Ike - the break may help them field a "full-house" RB stable headed by Willis McGahee. Keep an eye on Footballguys.com players in the news later in the week to see how the lineup is shaping up during Thursday/Friday practices. In any case, the Ravens have a good matchup to work with when their 0-2 division rivals roll into town.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Justin Forsett had a productive game last week, gaining 15/68/0 rushing and seeing four targets for 4/12/0 receiving. However, Lorenzo Taliaferro (7/34/1 rushing with 3/12/0 receiving) and Javorius Allen (1/5/0 rushing and 1/4/0 receiving) handled 12 touches between the two backups, including a TD that Taliaferro pushed in during a red-zone situation. In short, Forsett looks like the lead back in a committee, with Taliaferro being preferred in short-yardage/goal-line situations. This is not an ideal role for Forsett from a fantasy owner's perspective.

The Bengals' rush D is ranked 13th in the NFL after two contests, averaging 97 rushing yards allowed per game, with zero rushing scores surrendered so far. Last week, Melvin Gordon and Danny Woodhead combined for 23/124/0 rushing for San Diego (all told San Diego managed 25/131/0 rushing) against the Bengals - the two backs also added 7/78/0 receiving to the team's receiving tally.

On balance, this looks like a good matchup for the Baltimore stable - Forsett and Woodhead are similar type backs so this may be a week that Forsett goes over 100 yards combined.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Javorius Allen was a healthy scratch in Week One, leaving the backfield to be split between Terrance West (12/32/0 rushing with two targets for 2/6/0 receiving) and Justin Forsett (10/41/0 rushing with three targets for 3/15/0 receiving). And split it was, almost exactly 50/50 - neither guy was the lead back vs. Buffalo. During Week Two it was more of the same, with West seeing 11/42/0 rushing and three targets for 1/15/0 receiving, while Justin Forsett handled 14/37/0 rushing and five targets for 3/9/0 receiving. Allen wasn't involved during the second game, either. In this committee neither back is scoring gobs of fantasy points so far.

The Jaguars' rush defense averages 122.5 rushing yards allowed per game after two contests (tied for 26th in the NFL) with two rushing scores surrendered to date. They are 10th-most-stingy with fantasy points to opposing running backs so far, averaging 15.8 fantasy points allowed per game. Last week, the Chargers blew up for 35/150/1 rushing as a team against the Jaguars - they are heading in the wrong direction in this phase of the game.

Advantage, Baltimore - but remember the split workload is diminishing the fantasy outcomes for both lead backs.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

So far, Marshawn Lynch is the 13th ranked fantasy back in the land (points per game), with 37/135/2 rushing and 4/26/0 receiving to his credit. He's punched in 1 score per game during the young season - not too shabby. Backup Fred Jackson led Buffalo in receiving last week, snagging 7/83/0 while grinding out 6/17/0 rushing. All told, the Bills managed 26/75/1 rushing vs. the Jaguars - enough to win the game, but not enough to qualify as a breakout fantasy performance.

Oakland did a great job defensing the Kansas City backs last week, holding Larry Johnson and company to 19/55/0 on the ground. After 2 weeks, the Raiders are 13th in the NFL averaging 98 rushing yards allowed per game - they have given up 3 TDs to date, though. Oakland's defense has been up and down in this phase of the game so far.

Lynch has been solidly productive through 2 games, while Oakland's defense remains suspect. This looks like a good matchup for Buffalo.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Fred Jackson exploded for 15/117/2 rushing - a 7.8 yards per carry average - and 2/23/0 receiving vs. Oakland last week. C.J. Spiller tore the Raiders up for 4/63/0 rushing - a 15.8 yards per carry average - and added 1/6/0 receiving in his touches on the football. All told, the Bills cranked out 25/217/2 as a team - they had a field day in this phase of the game. After two games, Jackson is the eighth-ranked fantasy RB in the land (PPR format), with 35/229/2 rushing and 3/28/0 receiving, and Spiller is 38th with 9/79/1 rushing and 2/11/0 receiving to date.

The Patriots' rush D was so-so against the Dolphins in week one, limiting them to slightly less than 100 yards rushing (20/98/1), but allowing 4.9 yards per carry on average. They followed up their week one game with an almost identical performance vs. San Diego in week two, when the Chargers managed 24/98/1 rushing as a team - to date, the Patriots are 11th in the NFL averaging 98 rushing yards allowed per game.

The Bills' rushing attack is going full tilt, while the Patriots are a mediocre bunch in this phase of the game - at home, we give the Bills the edge in this matchup.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Buffalo has been trampling all comers so far this year - they lead the NFL in average yards per rush, at 6.4 per carry, and have averaged 198 yards rushing per game so far this year. WOW! C.J. Spiller has made a statement while Fred Jackson sits out with his sprained knee ligaments. With 29/292/3 rushing and 5/72/0 receiving, he's the top fantasy running back in the land currently averaging an astonishing 10 yards per carry! Start him if you've got him.

Cleveland held BenJarvus Green-Ellis to 21/75/0 rushing last week (25/80/0 rushing to Cincinnati as a team). This was a pleasant surprise for Browns' fans after Cleveland handed over 5.0 yards per carry to the Eagles in the season opener, laying down for 30/150/0 rushing to LeSean McCoy and company. They've run hot-and-cold so far this year, friends.

Spiller is nuclear hot entering week three - the Browns look outmatched - advantage, Buffalo.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

LeSean McCoy is moving past his hamstring issue from preseason nicely - last weekend, he ground out 15/89/0 rushing with four targets for 3/27/0 receiving against the Patriots in Week Two. Karlos Williams did 'vulture' a TD from McCoy (6/21/1 rushing with three targets for 2/16/0 receiving) but there is no question that McCoy is the lead back in this stable. It's time to put any reluctance to start McCoy due to hamstring worries in the rear-view mirror.

Of course, this week McCoy clashes with the Miami rush D - but the performance of that unit so far hasn't matched the reputation, as Miami is ranked 27th in the NFL after two games, averaging 142 rushing yards allowed per game. They have given up zero rushing scores so far, though. Jacksonville posted 33/123/0 rushing vs. Miami last weekend.

Advantage, Buffalo.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Coach Fox opened the week insisting that DeShaun Foster is still the starter for Carolina, despite the impressive show that DeAngelo Williams put on last week (Foster had 13/26/0 rushing and 2/17/0 receiving last week: Williams posted 13/74/1 rushing with 5/24/0, and was in the game late in the contest, when the outcome was still in question). We say that actions speak louder than words, coach, and Williams sure looked like the better back last week. Said Fox about the situation on Monday: "We ran the ball a little more effectively this past game than we did the week before. I think they had the same number of carries. That may not always be true, either. We try to spread the wealth in running the ball and I don't look for that to change." The situation in Carolina appears like a running-back-by-committee may be upon us, fantasy owners. We'll see if Williams can continue to outshine Foster (while Foster remains the nominal starter). It is interesting to note that coach Fox has moved away from calling Foster the "featured" back, which was his stance throughout training camp (and in the first game of the season, when Williams barely touched the ball on offense).

Tampa Bay has been rocked during the first two weeks of the season. This unit was trampled by Atlanta for 44/306/1 (a 7.0 yards-per-carry average), and currently ranks dead last in the NFL averaging 204.5 rushing yards allowed per game. Once again, turnovers by Chris Simms caused a time of possession deficit, but there is no possible excuse for a pro team to give up 306 rushing yards in one game. Tampa's defense is in crisis entering week 3.

This game could be a continuation of the Buc's week 2 nightmare, or it could be the week they wake up and return to the home-field dominance they have enjoyed over the last decade or so. The Panthers haven't exactly been overwhelming in this phase, although they did improve from week 1 to week 2. Based on what we've seen from Tampa the last two weeks, we have to rate this as a good matchup for Carolina.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Panthers' stable has run hot and then cold during the first 2 games, with only 18/66/0 to their credit last week, but 38/186/0 in the season opener. DeShaun Foster managed 9/22/0 rushing and 4/20/0 receiving during week 2, while DeAngelo Williams posted 8/31/0 rushing and 5/20/0 receiving against the Texans. Neither player tore up the opposition during week 2.

The Falcons have allowed an average of 126 rushing yards per game so far this year, with 34/113/0 given up to the Jaguars last week. They haven't been able to shut anyone down to date, as you can see.

This is a good matchup for the streaky Panthers' stable.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Matt Forte didn't thrill us with yards in week two vs. Dallas' defensive front (10/29/0 rushing), but he did manage to score and added 5/37/1 receiving to help out his fantasy owners (especially in PPR leagues). Chester Taylor did even less against Dallas, with 4/6/0 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving in a junior role to Forte last week. Through two games, Forte is the third ranked fantasy RB in the land with 27/79/0 rushing but 12/188/3 receiving - he's scoring enough as a receiver to mitigate the low yards per carry average (2.9 yards per carry this season).

Green Bay coughed up 21/150/1 rushing to the Eagles on the ground in the opener, and also allowed 32/124/1 rushing to the Buffalo Bills in week two (nobody confuses the Bill's rushing attack with a powerhouse). It appears through two games that the defensive front in Green Bay has slipped several notches from last year's top-ranked unit. They are currently 28th in the NFL averaging 136.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with two rushing scores handed over.

Forte has a few questions, but he's got a good matchup to work with this week.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Rudi Johnson has ground out 41/168/0 for the Bengals to date, with 7/59/1 receiving to his credit in the passing game - he's the 12th best fantasy RB in the land heading into week 3. Last week, the Bengals got into a crazy shoot-out with the Browns, and Johnson gained 23/118/0 rushing and 4/33/1 receiving during the game. He's a solid fantasy option week in and week out on this explosive offense.

The Seahawks coughed up 26/132/1 rushing to Edgerrin James and company last week (a 5.1 yards per carry average), and have averaged 111 rushing yards allowed per game through 2 contests. That average places them in the middle of the NFL field right now, at #16 vs. opposing rushers.

Johnson is a force to be reckoned with, while the Seahawks are not a top-tier unit and enter this game off a tough loss to the Cardinals last week. This is a good matchup for Johnson and the Bengals.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Cleveland's Jamal Lewis has been the fantasy football equivalent of Jekyll and Hyde so far this year, utterly failing to impress in week 1 vs. Pittsburgh (11/35/0 rushing with 2/11/0 receiving) and then absolutely walloping Cincinnati for 27/216/1 rushing with a long scoring run of 66 yards during their matchup week 2. The obvious difference between the 2 games is that the Steelers have a powerful defense, while Cincinnati's defensive front is more akin to swiss cheese this year.

This week, Cleveland faces the near-miss Raiders, who have fought hard but still stand at 0-2 entering week 3. The Raiders currently rank 26th in the NFL averaging 144.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with 2 rushing scores allowed to date. Denver ripped off 38/181/1 against this defensive front last week - it's fair to say that Oakland enters this contest knocked back on their heels a bit. DE Derrick Burgess aggravated a calf injury during the game last week and is iffy to play this week as a result - keep an eye on his participation in practices as the week goes along.

Lewis comes into this contest on a roll - he should be able to keep up the momentum against the suspect rush D that Oakland fields.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Peyton Hillis racked up 27/94/2 rushing and 4/23/0 receiving at Indianapolis, and ended up on the winning side of the score 27-19. Montario Hardesty saw three carries for just one yard against the Colts, and he had no receptions. Hardesty also fumbled once - he isn't staking a claim to take over the starting job from Hillis. So far, Hillis is the seventh-ranked fantasy RB in the land (PPR scoring), with 44/151/2 rushing and 10/53/0 receiving to his credit. Hardesty is 90th on the list with 8/19/0 rushing to date.

Miami got beat 23-13 last week, with 36/138/0 rushing allowed to Houston. TO date, the Dolphins are 22nd in the NFL averaging 122 rushing yards allowed per game, with one rushing score given away. After the second loss of the season, LB Jason Taylor admitted that some of the players are starting to lose confidence. 'To be honest, we have,' Taylor said. 'Not everybody, but I'm sure there's a faction of the group that's trying to figure this thing out, figure out where we are. That's kind of the product of losing sometimes, you start to question, second-guess a little bit, question what you're doing as a team. And until you win, those things will linger out there a little bit.'

Hillis fired up his engines in week two, while the Dolphins got beat at home - advantage, Cleveland.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Trent Richardson started to look like the featured running back many expect him to be vs. Cincinnati, posting 19/109/1 rushing and 4/36/1 receiving during week two. Chris Ogbonnaya boosted the team as well, with 6/73/0 receiving out of the backfield - these two are forming a promising-looking tandem as of week three. We'll see if Richardson can build on his momentum vs. Buffalo this week.

Buffalo allowed 24/150/0 rushing to the Chiefs last week, and they coughed up 36/118/1 to the Jets during the season opener. So far this year, the Bills' defensive front ranks 24th in the league averaging 134 rushing yards allowed per game - they aren't very good so far.

The Browns' Richardson has a good shot at a decent outing at home vs. Buffalo this week.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Update - The Browns traded RB Trent Richardson to the Colts Wednesday afternoon in a shocking move. This puts the team in disarray. Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey are there now but I have a hard time seeing either of them doing much. Willis McGahee is reportedly going to take a physical tomorrow and will be added.

NOTE: Here's what we had Wednesday afternoon before the trade on Richardson: Trent Richardson has got off to a slow start in 2013, with just 31/105/0 rushing and 7/51/0 receiving through two games (26th-ranked fantasy running back in the PPR paradigm). At Baltimore last week, he handled 18/58/0 rushing and 5/21/0 receiving - Richardson is seeing enough touches to be an elite fantasy back, but the production hasn't appeared yet this year.

The Vikings' rush D was gashed for 34/112/2 by Detroit two weeks ago, and then allowed 26/129/0 to the Bears last week. Minnesota's defense is lagging the field in both phases of the game (in comparison to the rest of the NFL the Vikings are currently 26th in the league averaging 120.5 rushing yards allowed per game).

Richardson had a great matchup to work with this week, and given the switch to Jason Campbell at quarterback for Week three due to Brandon Weeden's injured throwing-hand thumb, it's likely that Cleveland will feed the RBs the ball early and often in this contest. With him gone, it's still a good matchup as the Vikings rush D is weak. But as of Wednesday, it's hard to get excited about any RB just yet.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Isaiah Crowell (15/72/1) and Duke Johnson (12/43/0) led Cleveland to 30/116/1 rushing during Week Two - this is a 1A/1B situation with Crowell seeing a slight edge in touches so far 27/92/1 rushing with 2/13/0 receiving, vs. Johnson's 19/65/0 rushing.

The Oakland rush D is ranked 20th in the NFL through two games, averaging 118.0 yards allowed per game, with three rushing scores handed out so far. Baltimore posted 25/109/1 rushing at Oakland last week.

Advantage, Cleveland.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

48/174/1 rushing and 7/42/0 receiving places Julius Jones at #14 among fantasy RBs this year. He's not been on fire, but he's been running pretty well so far. He put up 22/81/0 rushing and 4/24/0 vs the tough Redskins defense last week. Anthony Thomas had 2/0/0 last week - he hasn't threatened Jones' production yet this year.

The 49ers are tied for 20th in the NFL, allowing an average of 114.5 rushing yards per game with 1 rushing score surrendered so far. After Philadelphia's 42-3 dismantling of San Francisco, the Eagles had thrown down 30/140/1 rushing as a team. The 49ers are not strong in this phase of the game.

Jones is running well, while the 49ers are lurking in the bottom third of the league in this phase. Advantage, Dallas.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Marion Barber dueled Brian Westbrook in the Monday Night Football game to see which back was more all-around (Westbrook edged Barber by a TD), with Barber gaining 18/63/1 rushing and 4/51/1 receiving in the narrow Dallas victory. Barber is the 2nd-ranked fantasy RB through 2 weeks in points per game, with 34/143/3 rushing and 7/72/1 receiving to his credit, so far. The Cowboy's offense is on fire, folks.

The Packers started off 2008 by allowing a single rushing TD to Adrian Peterson on Monday Night Football (33/187/1), though they gave up several long runs to Peterson in the opener. Last week, against the Lions' crew, the rush D fared better, with 12/49/0 allowed to Detroit, leaving Green Bay at 22nd in the NFL through 2 games averaging 118 rushing yards allowed per game. They are moving in the right direction entering week 3, though.

Barber is at top speed entering week 3, while the Packers have been up and down in this phase of the game so far - we give a slight edge to Barber in this matchup despite the Lambeau home field advantage.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Ezekiel Elliott (21/83/1 rushing with 2/4/0 receiving), Alfred Morris (5/7/1 rushing) and Dak Prescott (1/6/1) all scored rushing TDs in Washington, leading to a big divisional 'W' for the Cowboys (27-21). Morris used to play for Washington, so giving the veteran a crack at scoring on his old team was a gesture on the part of the coaching staff - look for Elliott to continue to see the lions' share of carries from any point on the field going forwards. The Cowboys are 1-1 and starting to find a rhythym on offense.

The Bears' defensive front lost their starting nose tackle, Eddie Goldman, to a knee injury during the Monday Night Football game, and the team also lost the services of starting quarterback Jay Cutler for the next few weeks. So far, Chicago has averaged 114.5 yards rushing allowed per game (22nd in the NFL) with two rushing TDs given out - they are currently ranked 15th in the NFL averaging 17.6 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs. This is a mediocre-to-sub-par defensive front even with Goldman.

Advantage, Elliott and the Cowboys.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Travis Henry has been everything the Broncos thought he might be in this offense - over the first 2 games, he's racked up 49/267/0 rushing and 5/52/0 receiving (8th best fantasy RB in the land). The only problem, from a fantasy perspective, is that backup RBs keep punching in the TDs - last week, it was Cecil Sapp's turn to punch one in, 2/6/1, while Henry ground out 26/128/0 but had no joy at the goal line.

Jacksonville's rush D hasn't been impressive this season. To date, they have surrendered 364 rushing yards over 2 games, averaging 182 yards allowed per contest (dead last in the NFL), with 2 rushing scores allowed so far. Last week, a not-quite-100% Warrick Dunn led the Falcons to 25/82/1 against this team - they have clamped down quite a bit since their week 1 debacle against Tennessee (282 rushing yards allowed).

Henry has been consistently excellent this year, while the Jags have yo-yo'd from horrid to respectable to open the season. With the Denver faithful at Henry's back, we think this is a good matchup for the Broncos' star RB.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Knowshon Moreno has started to get a handle on the NFL, if last week's performance is any indication (17/75/0 rushing with 2/22/0 receiving). 'I had to slow down and let the game come to me,' Moreno said. 'It was a good day. I didn't rush things. The guys up front made it happen, and I was patient enough to see things...I have a long way to go, but I felt a lot better about things.' Correll Buckhalter led the Broncos with 9/76/1 rushing (including a nice 45-yard TD scamper) and broke through 100 yards combined with 1/30/0 receiving to his credit as well. All told, the Broncos smacked the Browns for 37/186/2 rushing (Peyton Hillis had the second TD, with 1/2/1 rushing). The team posted 449 yards of total offense last week.

Oakland battled through adversity to notch a 'W' last week, but they were very weak at defending the run, allowing 38/173/0 to the Chiefs' stable of backs during the game. After two games, Oakland ranks 20th in the NFL averaging 125 rushing yards allowed per game (two rushing TDs handed over to date). They've been up and down in this phase of the game to open the season (23/77/2 allowed to San Diego in week one).

The Broncos' young back got a taste of success last week, and against the suspect Raiders this looks like a good matchup for Moreno, Buckhalter, and the rest of the posse.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Denver's duo of Knowshon Moreno (24/51/1 rushing with 4/67/0 receiving last week) and Correll Buckhalter (11/19/1 rushing with three targets for zero receptions) punched in two TDs last week on the way to a commanding 31-14 win over Seattle. Moreno is the 10th-best fantasy RB through two games, with 39/111/2 rushing and 5/71/0 receiving to his credit so far - he's the main man in Denver right now.

The Colts' rush D was hammered for 42/257/3 in the season opener, but they managed to slow the bleeding in week two, giving up 25/120/0 to the Giants. A 4.8 yards allowed per carry average isn't something to boast of, but compared to week one it looks pretty good.

This looks like a good matchup for the home-team Broncos.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Denver committee shed a member last week as Ronnie Hillman (1/3/0 rushing) was marginalized in favor of lead back Knowshon Moreno (13/93/2 rushing with 3/14/0 receiving) and understudy Montee Ball (12/16/0 rushing with 2/27/0 receiving). Moreno has done a great job in his chances early this season and now appears entrenched as the lead back for Denver going forwards. To date, Moreno is the ninth-best fantasy running back in the land (22/121/2 rushing and 6/51/0 receiving through two contests).

The Oakland rush D has been up and down this season so far, with 26/127/1 coughed up to Indianapolis in the season opener, but just 19/34/0 allowed to the toothless Jaguars in Week two. The Broncos have a significantly better offense than the Jaguars' boast, however.

Denver's offensive juggernaut looks hard to stop, while the suspect Raiders did beat up on anemic Jacksonville last week, we don't believe they are as good as Jacksonville made them look - advantage, Denver.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Kevin Jones has had a tough couple of weeks, facing first the Seattle and then the Chicago defenses - neither of which is very kind to opposing running backs. Despite the challenges, he has posted 26/79/0 rushing and 11/83/0 receiving (28th among fantasy RBs in total fantasy points after 2 weeks) - he does have 3 fumbles to his detriment, though, which is cause for concern. He needs to do a better job holding onto the ball. However, with 37 touches in 2 games, it is clear that Jones is going to be a big part of coach Martz's offense this year.

Green Bay's defense is not in the same tier as Seattle and Chicago. They currently rank 11th vs. the rush, allowing 78.5 yards per game, and as a team this defense has surrendered 60 points in 2 weeks. New Orleans stuffed in 2 TDs on the ground last week, although McAllister and Bush didn't gain much ground (22/48/2). Green Bay was in the game last week, (something they couldn't say week 1), but still have a ways to go before anyone would call this defense a "shut-down" type unit.

Jones is a dual-threat back, and the Packers haven't been particularly stingy with points this season. We like Jones' chances against the Packers at home in Ford Field.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Kevin Smith is doing what he can with limited opportunities - to date, Smith has posted 26/88/1 rushing and 8/53/0 receiving to land at 22nd among all fantasy RBs. The Lions are 30th in the NFL averaging 55.5 rushing yards per game so far - not too good, as you can see. The defense has been terrible through 2 games, putting the offense in chase mode early in the contests so far.

San Francisco's rush D isn't the greatest, averaging 139 yards allowed per game so far, with 3 rushing TDs given up to date. Seattle hit them for 34/169/2 last week, a 5.0 yards per carry average - the 49ers are heading in the wrong direction entering week 3.

Smith hasn't been able to star for the Lions yet, but against the soft-and-squishy 49ers defensive front he may get his chance this week - advantage, Detroit.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Detroit's offense is becoming a thing of beauty (especially to fantasy owners). Jahvid Best cranked out 16/57/1 rushing and 6/66/1 receiving during the 48-3 rout of Kansas City last week. So far, Best is the sixth ranked fantasy RB in the land (PPR scoring) with 37/129/1 rushing and 10/108/1 receiving to his credit. This is what we all expected last year when twin turf-toes undermined Best's season. Jerome Harrison (4/6/0 rushing) and Keiland Williams (9/25/1 rushing) provided relief for Best during week two.

The Vikings average 91 rushing yards allowed per game this year (10th in the NFL), with three rushing scores handed over to date. Tampa Bay threw down for 19/105/2 rushing last week en route to a 24-20 victory. There is work to be done in this phase of the game, folks.

Best and company are on a roll, but the Vikings are reeling in this phase of the game - advantage, Detroit.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Reggie Bush has not seen a lot of action so far this year - 15/41/0 rushing with 8/55/0 receiving - while Joique Bell has been more utilized (25/87/1 rushing with 7/66/0) neither back has been able to rush for more than 3.5 yards per carry. To date, the Lions are 28th in the NFL with 146 yards rushing as a team.

The Packers' rush D is not good - last week, the Jets posted 37/146/2 rushing against them, after Seattle crushed the Packers' defensive front in Week One with 37/207/2 rushing during the Seahawks 36-16 win. To date, Green Bay is ranked 31st in the NFL averaging 176.5 yards rushing allowed per game, and have allowed two rushing TDs per game.

The Lions' backs have a good matchup here - hopefully their mates on the offensive line will open up some decent holes for Bush and Bell this weekend.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Packers failed to go over 100 yards rushing vs. the Bengals last Sunday, led by Ryan Grant's 14/46/1 on the ground (he added 3/22/0 receiving). 'I felt like my fumble was a major point of that game; they went down and scored and that put them up, 28-21,' said Grant after the game. 'So I do take a lot of blame regarding that because that's unacceptable.' Aaron Rodgers (4/43/0) made some nice scrambles to get the team total up to 18/89/1, but there is definitely room for improvement here, folks. LT Chad Clifton left the game on a cart with an ankle sprain early in the third quarter and did not return. Coach Mike McCarthy said X-rays were negative, but Clifton clearly was in a great deal of pain according to local reports. He'll be evaluated further as the week goes along. Head coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday that OT Chad Clifton has an ankle sprain and it is too early to tell how much action he will miss. Although X-rays were negative, McCarthy said the team is preparing to play without Clifton. The OL hasn't been that great with the 10-year veteran in the lineup, but they'll miss him without a doubt.

The Rams' rush D ranks 25th in the NFL after two weeks, allowing an average of 146 yards per game (Washington ran for 33/125/0 vs. St. Louis last week). They've only coughed up one rushing TD so far (Washington just kicked field goals to win 9-7 last week), but nobody mistakes the Rams' D for an elite unit - actually, nobody mistakes them for an average NFL D, either.

Grant has a good matchup to work with this week.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Texans are on a roll at 2-0, and their new star running back is getting comfortable in his new digs as the month of September goes past. Ahman Green posted a solid game (15/71/1 rushing) last week before being relieved of duty by Ron Dayne late in the contest after the game was all but out of reach for the Panthers. The Texans feel that Dayne is suited to the grind-it-out duty to put away contests in the fourth quarter, so they elected to rest Green and preserve him for this week's big game. Over the initial 2 weeks of regular season, Green has amassed 31/144/1 rushing and 4/23/0 receiving to rank 19th among fantasy RBs to date.

The Colts' rush defense has been up and down to open the season, giving up a total of 247 rushing yards and 1 rushing score in 2 games, with the bulk surrendered last week to the Titans (34/141/1). This group can be very stubborn, but the Titans managed to wear them down and find seams to exploit on a fairly regular basis last week.

Green and the Texans look strong entering week 3, while the Colts' defensive front took a step backwards in week 2. This looks like a good matchup for Green and company from up here in the cheap seats.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The hamstring injury that made many skittish about drafting Arian Foster this year has been a non-issue during regular season, and Foster is the seventh-ranked fantasy running back through two games, with 55/241/1 rushing and 4/29/0 receiving to his credit so far. He is going strong entering Week 3.

The Giants were trampled by Arizona for 28/124/1 rushing last week, after allowing the Lions 30/76/2 in Week 1. To date, New York is ranked 12th in the NFL averaging 100 rushing yards allowed per game, with three rushing TDs handed over to the opposition.

Foster has a good matchup to work with this week.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Edgerrin James outgained Peyton Manning last week - 27/128/0 rushing and 4/39/0 receiving (he led the team in receiving, by the way) vs. 13/28 for 122 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception for Manning. The Colts won 10-3 vs. Jacksonville in any case - the 2005 version of this offense looks more focused on the running game, though, folks. Eli Manning has more fantasy points than Peyton Manning after two weeks of 2005. If James is on your team, start him.

The Browns have been up and down over the first two weeks of 2005, starting out poorly but bouncing back to beat Green Bay at Lambeau last week. They successfully contained Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport (the two combined for 24/90/0 rushing) last week, and currently rank 28th in the NFL averaging 132 rushing yards allowed per game (1 TD surrendered in this phase to date). As we said, they've been up and down to start 2005.

James is running extremely well right now, and the Colts have home field advantage. Cleveland hasn't established themselves in this phase of the game just yet - advantage, Indianapolis.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

After a quiet week one (10/44/0 rushing for Joesph Addai, with 6/29/0 receiving), the Colts' backs got rolling in week two. Addai rang up 20/92/0 rushing and 2/21/0 receiving, while Donald Brown posted 16/69/1 rushing and 1/19/0 receiving. All told, the Colts hung 43/160/1 rushing around the Giants' necks - both Brown (4.3 yards per carry) and Addai (4.6 yards per carry) were well above four yards per carry during the game.

Jacksonville pounded out 34/134/0 rushing in the season opener, and the Seahawks rang up 20/109/1 rushing during the week two contest - so far, the Denver defensive front hasn't found ways to slow down opposing rushers. They look like the bottom-tier rush D we saw at the end of last year, except for the fact they haven't allowed a rushing score just yet.

The Colts' backs got in a groove last week and they should find room to roam against the suspect Broncos in this contest.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Frank Gore had a workmanlike 78 combined yards from scrimmage vs. Detroit in Week One, posting 14/59/0 rushing and six targets for 4/19/0 receiving during the loss. Josh Ferguson (one rush for -2 yards, with 2/26/0 receiving) and Robert Turbin (1/4/0 rushing with 2/15/0 receiving) both handled three touches on the football as change-of-pace options behind the featured Gore. Gore followed up with a receiving TD in Week Two (13/44/0 rushing with three targets for 3/19/1), while Turbin found the end-zone in his change-of-pace role (3/10/1 rushing and Ferguson handled 2/7/0 as his NFL apprenticeship continues. Gore isn't a game-breaker anymore, but he is reliable and gets a steady diet of touches.

The Chargers' rush D held the Chargers to 11/69/0 on the ground last week during a blowout 38-14 win - to date the team averages 76.0 yards rushing allowed per game, with two rushing scores surrendered. Over the first two weeks of play, the Chargers are ranked ninth-worst in the NFL giving up a healthy 20.5 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs on average. They are vulnerable to dual-threat backs like Gore.

This looks like a good matchup for Gore and his understudies.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Fred Taylor continues his comeback this week - so far he has racked up 36/157/0 rushing and 5/32/0 receiving during the first two weeks of the season. Taylor looks confident and capable while on the field, but his lack of scoring is causing his fantasy owners some problems. The Jags are 6th in the NFL averaging 4.5 yards per carry - the team's OL is taking care of business so far during 2005. Taylor put together 99 all purpose yards against the surging Colts' D last week - (16/81/0 rushing and 3/18/0 receiving) he's doing well during the opening weeks of 2005.

The Jets held Miami to 18/66/0 rushing last week, but they still rank 28th in the NFL allowing an average of 132 rushing yards per game this year (with 3 rushing scores allowed during 2 games. It's fair to say that the Jets have been up and down in this phase of the game.

Taylor is gaining strength as the season goes along, while the Jets have been inconsistent. Even with home-field advantage at the Jets' back, we like Taylor in this game although we continue to worry about his TDs.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jacksonville's dynamic duo of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew has been more like a dysfunctional duo so far this year - the Jags are ranked 21st in the NFL averaging 3.7 yards per carry, and have generated only 188 rushing yards through 2 contests. Taylor posted 16/56/0 rushing and 1/11/0 receiving last week vs. the anemic Falcons, while Jones-Drew managed a paltry 11/31/0 with 1/10/0 receiving. Yawn. Jones-Drew had an x-ray after the game on Sunday - there is no word yet on whether he was injured or not, but Taylor and Jones-Drew owners will want to monitor his practice participation later in the week.

Denver's rush D is currently 27th in the NFL allowing an average of 156 yards per game - but they have given up only 1 rushing score to date. Last week, Oakland piled up 35/200/0 - a lot of ground chewed up between the 20's, but not much action in the red zone so far for opponents of the Broncos.

Taylor and Jones-Drew (if healthy) have a good, but not great, matchup to work with this week. We'll see if they can jump-start the Jaguars' rushing attack in Denver.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Jaguars' RBs have struggled to open 2008, in part due to a sudden injury plague along the offensive line. To date, they are 28th in the NFL averaging 65.5 rushing yards per game, with a 3.0 yards-per-carry average. Maurice Jones-Drew (12/30/1 rushing with 7/62/0 receiving over 2 games, 38th fantasy RB in the land) and Fred Taylor (23/67/0 rushing with 2/14/0 receiving, 54th fantasy RB in the land) have vastly underperformed for their fantasy owners to date. The team added veteran guard Chris Naeole (who has been with Jacksonville before) to the mix along the OL on Wednesday - hopefully he can help the depth along the line this week.

Indianapolis handed over 35/180/0 to the Vikings last week, and currently average 181.5 rushing yards allowed per game (they laid down for 39/183/2 to the Bears in week 1). Right now, this is one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL, friends.

The Jaguars have been putrid so far, but the Colts have played even worse. In this battle of the bad, we think the Jaguars have a chance to get on the right track - advantage Jacksonville.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Maurice Jones-Drew turned in a solid effort during week two, with 13/66/0 rushing (a 5.1 yards per carry average) and 4/17/0 receiving. It wasn't an outstanding day from the fantasy perspective, but he played well considering the fact that Jacksonville got way behind quickly and spent a lot of the second half throwing the ball. All told, the Jaguars ran for 20/92/0 as a team last week (David Garrard was second on the team in rushing, with 4/27/0 rushing). To date, Jacksonville averages 103 rushing yards per game (19th in the NFL), while Jones-Drew is 10th among all fantasy backs (PPR), with 34/163/1 rushing and 9/43/0 receiving over two contests.

The Texans got into a close contest with the Titans last week and came out on top 34-31, but as you'd expect in such a high scoring affair, their defense didn't shine - especially in this phase of the game, where Chris Johnson led the Titans to a whopping 26/240/2 - Johnson averaged 12.3 yards per carry with a long TD run of 91 yards (16/197/2). Houstons' defensive front was not impressive last week, friends.

Jones-Drew is one of the best in the business, and he has to be excited about his opportunities this week when Jacksonville rolls into Reliant Stadium.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Jaguars struggled to move the ball against San Diego, posting 24/71/0 rushing as a team, with 12/31/0 rushing and 1/17/0 receiving for Maurice Jones-Drew. Rashad Jennings led the team with 9/38/0 rushing and added 4/50/0 receiving to outplay Jones-Drew for once. It wasn't a stellar day for the Jaguars, who were clobbered 13-38 by the Chargers.

The Green Bay tandem of Ryan Grant and Brandon Jackson posted 33/132/1 in the course of a 27-20 defeat of Philadelphia week one, and the Lions almost beat Philadelphia week two (and posted 26/115/2 rushing as a team, a 4.4 yards per carry average). So far during 2010, the Eagles' defensive front hasn't been slowing down opposing running backs much. They are currently 23rd in the NFL averaging 123.5 rushing yards allowed per game.

Jones-Drew should get back on track against the suspect Philadelphia rush D - this is a good matchup for him and the Jaguars.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Maurice Jones-Drew is currently the 17t-ranked fantasy RB in the NFL (PPR scoring), with 42/185/1 rushing and 3/19/0 receiving to his credit through two games. Last week, against the top-notch Jets' D, he cranked out 18/88/0 rushing and 3/19/0 receiving. He's been on fire so far this year, folks. Deji Karim has posted 20/48/0 rushing and 4/49/0 receiving this season as the change-of-pace back.

Linebacker Thomas Davis suffered a leg injury in the second half last week, and it turned out to be his third torn ACL. He's out for the season. 'Any time you lose somebody off your starting team, it's hard,' safety Charles Godfrey said. 'We also have other guys who have to step up and have to play. The season is not going to stop. We're going to have to get those guys to play.' The Panthers are 19th in the NFL through two games, averaging 111.5 rushing yards allowed per contest, with two rushing scores handed over to date.

The Panthers will be juggling their lineup this week, and their rush D isn't very good to begin with - advantage, Jacksonville.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

'I'm not sure anybody played very good today,' head coach Mike Mularkey said after Jacksonville's loss on Sunday. 'We all have to play well. I can't make judgments like some based on standing on the sidelines, but I can tell you we have a lot of work to do in a lot of areas.' Maurice Jones-Drew did manage to collect the only TD scored during the game, with 12/60/0 rushing and 3/7/1 receiving - Jones-Drew was the only running back who carried the ball last week and is back in his accustomed 'featured running back' role.

Indianapolis pulled out a 23-20 win over Minnesota last week, and they managed to keep Adrian Peterson from scoring any TDs (the Vikings had 26/95/0 rushing at Indianapolis last week). Through two games, the Colts rank 14th in the NFL averaging 104.5 rushing yards allowed per game, and they've coughed up three rushing TDs over two contests. They're a mediocre rush defense after the first 1/8th of the season.

Maurice Jones-Drew was limited last week by the stalwart Texans' D, but he's got a more forgiving matchup here - advantage, Jacksonville.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

T.J. Yeldon continues to be fed the ball at a high rate - 25/70/0 rushing with four targets for 3/13/0 receiving vs. Miami last week - he is a true featured back for the Jaguars. So far this year he's compiled 37/121/0 rushing and eight targets for 6/29/0 receiving. Start him if you've got him!

The Patriots' rush D coughed up 27/160/2 to the Bills' backs last week, and has averaged 147 rushing yards allowed per game to date (28th in the NFL) with three rushing scores handed out. This is a soft defensive front, friends.

Advantage, Yeldon and the Jaguars.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Holmes and Johnson both pushed the ball across the stripe last week, with 19 carries for 75 yards and 1 TD to Holmes and 9/41/1 to Johnson. Holmes added 3/15/0 receiving - Holmes was 13th in fantasy points by a RB last week, while Johnson was 16th. Right now, the committee approach is limiting both backs to mediocrity. Holmes has consistently seen 2/3rds of the work so far, though. Once Willie Roaf is back in the lineup, we expect to see both backs increase their production. All 5 of the Chief's TDs have resulted from the running game this year - it's a good attack to own a piece of right now.

Denver limited the Chargers to 24/79/2 last week - not great, but not horrible considering we are talking about LaDainian Tomlinson. The team averages 115 rushing yards allowed per game so far during 2005 (22nd in the NFL) with 3 scores surrendered in 2 games.

Holmes and Johnson are the engine that drives the K.C. juggernaut - Denver just hasn't shown us enough in this phase of the game to date. Advantage, Holmes/Johnson.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Jamaal Charles posted over 100 yards combined during the defeat of Dallas, with 16/55/0 rushing and 8/48/1 receiving to his credit. Alex Smith added 8/57/0 rushing to the team total which wound up being 25/114/0 rushing on the day. As expected, the Kansas City offense runs through Jamaal Charles a lot of the time.

The Eagles' high flying offense has helped to mask a weak defense - to date, the Eagles have averaged 100 rushing yards allowed per game (19th in the NFL) with one rushing score given up. Last week, San Diego posted 31/126/0 rushing at Philadelphia, a 4.1 yards allowed per carry average. It is not terribly difficult to run the ball on the Eagles.

Charles has a good matchup to look forward to on Thursday Night Football.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Kareem Hunt continues to lead this rushing attack after filling in for the injured Spencer Ware and Hunt continues to impress behind an offensive line that Footballguys offensive line expert Matt Bitonti rates as an average offensive line. Hunt struggled for most of the day in week one, but was able to show his breakaway ability to run for a 53-yard touchdown and later added a two-yard rushing touchdown.

The Chargers run defense started off slow against the Dolphins allowing Jay Ajayi to run for 44 yards on his first six carries but did hold Ajayi to just 78 yards on his next 22 carries. The Chargers defensive line comes in highly regarded with Brandon Mebane, Cory Liuget, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, but so far they have underperformed as the Chargers have allowed the seventh-most rushing yards to opposing running backs this season.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Miami took advantage of the well-known weakness of the Indianapolis defense (their defensive front is horrid against the run), racking up 49/239/2 on the ground. Ronnie Brown led the trampling, with 24/136/2 to his credit, while Ricky Williams (19/69/0) and Patrick Cobbs (2/23/0) assisted. Brown is now the 13th ranked fantasy back in the land with 34/179/2 rushing and 3/10/0 receiving through two games, while Williams is 29th with 26/108/0 rushing and 3/22/1 receiving.

The Chargers' rush D hasn't been stout in the early weeks of 2009, averaging 139 rushing yards allowed per game, with three rushing TDs coughed up to date. Baltimore hit that pace last week with 32/130/2 rushing vs. the Chargers (Oakland torched them for 32/148/1 in the season opener).

This is another good matchup for Brown and Williams to exploit.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

What can be said? The Vikings are 30th in the NFL, averaging 55 rushing yards per game as a team. Their best running back (Michael Bennett) is 54th in the NFL as far as fantasy points are concerned - and he lost 2 fumbles last week to go with his 3/36/0 rushing and 1/-1/0 receiving. Look at all of your other options before inserting a Viking RB in your lineup.

New Orleans coughed up 2 TDs and 89 rushing yards in this phase last week (they are 23rd in the NFL so far allowing an average of 116.5 rushing yards per game and 3 rushing scores to date). They were 30th last year surrendering an average of 140.8 rushing yards per game - not much has changed, folks.

The Vikings are sorry in this phase, and so are the Saints. We're not excited but it looks like a pretty good matchup for Minnesota.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Adrian Peterson put the Vikings on his back and carried them last week (29/160/0 rushing with 4/20/0 receiving), which is exactly what his fantasy owners expect to see week in and week out. To date, Peterson is the 6th best fantasy RB in the land, with 48/263/1 rushing and 5/31/0 receiving through 2 contests. Chester Taylor was quiet last week with 4/18/0 rushing and 1/-2/0 receiving in a bit role. A worrying note came from practice on Wednesday - Peterson was limited due to a tweaked hamstring - something for his owners to watch later on in the week and when the official injury report is released. Also, there has been a change at QB (Gus Frerotte is in, Tarvaris Jackson is out) which may help open up some running room if Frerotte can increase the threat to pass vs. Carolina.

The Panthers' defense arrives in the Metrodome ranked 19th in the NFL vs. opposing rushers, allowing an average of 110.0 yards per game, with 1 rushing TD handed over to date. Last week, they gave up 29/115/1 to Matt Forte and company - not terrible, but a far cry from a shut-down performance, too. This is an average unit so far during 2008.

Peterson is an all-world back - he and his compatriots on the OL have an edge over the so-so Panthers this week.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Patriots' tandem of Corey Dillon (20/80/1 rushing) and Laurence Maroney (16/65/1) continues to be highly productive - for the season, the Patriots have rolled to 80/330/2 as a team (165 rushing yards per game on average, 3rd in the NFL). Dillon (36/153/1 rushing with 2/26/0 receiving) and Maroney (33/151/1 rushing) are 16th and 20th among fantasy RBs through 2 weeks, and Kevin Faulk is 40th with 4/24/0 rushing and 3/33/1 receiving in the change-of-pace role. New England is tearing up the opposition in this phase of the game.

The Broncos gave up 34/145/0 to the Chiefs' rushing attack last week, and handed over 28/125/0 (a 4.5 yards per carry average)to the Rams in week 1 - teams are moving the ball between the 20's against the Broncos' defensive front, but not finding any success getting into the end zone so far. The team ranks 24th allowing an average of 135 rushing yards per game to date.

The Patriots have got their engines revved up, and should have a relatively easy time sustaining their momentum against the generous Bronco defensive front.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Patriots absorbed a big blow to their RB stable this week as last week's starter, Kevin Faulk, has been lost for the season due to a torn ACL suffered in week two. The committee is smaller in week three than week one, with just BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris in the mix now - but that's enough to keep fantasy owners guessing from week to week. Last week, Faulk led the team against the hard-nosed Jets with 5/22/0 rushing, followed by Green-Ellis (10/19/0 rushing), Fred Taylor (5/11/0 rushing) and Sammy Morris (zero yards rushing, two targets for 1/19/0 receiving). The picture in New England is still a jumbled mess from a fantasy standpoint.

The Bills are currently 15th in the NFL averaging 111.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with three rushing scores handed over in two games. Green Bay punched in 27/91/2 rushing in their 34-7 thrashing of Buffalo last week.

The Bills are on the road with a sub-par rush D - this is a good opportunity for their divisional rivals' stable, but we can't get too excited about any particular Patriots' back this season.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the lead back for New England in week two, posting 17/70/1 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving, while counterpart Danny Woodhead had 4/12/0 rushing and 2/15/0 receiving to his credit. After two games, Green-Ellis is the 26th-best fantasy RB in the land with 24/104/2 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving, while Woodhead is 44th with 18/81/0 rushing and 3/21/0 receiving to date. The Patriots rushing attack is good enough to threaten opposing defenses.

The Bills' D was shredded by Oakland's running backs in week two - they coughed up 30/131/3 to their opponents in this phase of the game. Not only did the Bills' defense allow 454 total yards, but the Raiders converted 8 of 12 (67 percent) on third down. 'I'm definitely disappointed in our performance with giving up so many points and yards,' Bills linebacker Nick Barnett said. 'We'll clean that stuff up and come out... we might have to win some games 13-10 sometimes. It's a three-phase game and we've got to clean some things up but overall I'm happy we won. What can I say?' To date, the Bills are 21st in the NFL averaging 119.5 net rushing yards allowed per game, with three rushing scores given away.

This is a tough divisional matchup, but it looks like New England has the edge.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Stevan Ridley managed 18/71/0 rushing with 3/24/0 receiving vs. Arizona last week - just missing 100 yards combined - but reaffirming his status as the lead back for the Patriots during 2012. Danny Woodhead pitched in with 8/18/0 rushing and 1/12/0 receiving while Shane Vereen remains out due to his injured foot (he was listed as questionable before the game last week).

The Eagles put up 41/129/2 rushing on the Ravens last week - an unusual amount of TDs allowed by this usually-stalwart bunch - BenJarvus Green-Ellis did also score a TD (28/129/1 rushing for Cincinnati two week ago) against this group. So far, the Ravens' defensive front isn't living up to their fearsome reputation in the trenches, folks.

With three TDs given up over just two games by the Ravens' defensive front, we give the Patriots' Ridley a slight edge in this contest despite New England being on the road for Sunday Night Football.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Saints' running-back-by-committee continued in full force week two. Mark Ingram managed 14/51/0 rushing, followed by Pierre Thomas (9/41/0 rushing with 2/14/0 receiving) and Darren Sproles (4/17/0 rushing with 8/43/1 receiving). Out of the three, Sproles is actually the top fantasy back (PPR scoring) with 6/24/0 rushing and 15/118/1 receiving (13th in the NFL), followed by Thomas (14/72/0 rushing and 6/51/0 receiving) and Ingram (27/91/0 rushing and 0/0/0 receiving (56th).

The Texans field the league's 17th-ranked rush D averaging 108.5 yards allowed per game, with zero rushing TDs given up to date. Miami posted 28/153/0 rushing last week though (a 5.5 yards per carry average) which makes the Houston D seem more shaky than their season average would indicate.

New Orleans has a great tandem at RB, while the Texans are still sorting out their rush D - advantage, New Orleans. However, the work share at RB is making the fantasy prospects of the individual backs hit-or-miss so far this year.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Pierre Thomas led the Saints in rushing last week (9/110/0), while Mark Ingram led in carries, with 16/53/1 rushing to his credit. Drew Brees also punched in a TD, with 2/0/1, so the Saints amassed a creditable 27/163/2 rushing as a team at Carolina last week. To date, Mark Ingram has the most carries, with 22/68/1 and one target for zero receptions, while Darren Sproles is the best fantasy back with 22 targets for 18/163/1 receiving. Pierre Thomas leads the team in yards per carry, with 13/127/0, and also has been a receiving threat with 5/45/0. As you can see, this is a three-headed monster heading into the second half of September.

Kansas City's rush defense was stomped flat by C.J. Spiller last week - all told, they laid down for 36/201/2 rushing by the Bills (a 5.5 yards allowed per carry average). Two weeks ago, the Falcons managed 23/84/1 rushing vs. Kansas City, but they looked terrible at Buffalo.

The Saints' committee of backs has a relatively easy opponent coming to town this week - advantage, New Orleans.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Saints have lost their leading rusher, Mark Ingram, to a broken hand for a minimum of four weeks - so this week, we'll see Khiry Robinson (14/59/1 rushing to date) and Pierre Thomas (10/47/0 rushing with 9/74/0 receiving so far this year) in a two-headed committee of backs while Ingram is out. Travaris Cadet (one reception for five yards) will be the reserve option while Ingram is sidelined.

The Vikings' rush D ranks 16th in the NFL after two contests, averaging 111 rushing yards allowed per game with one rushing score handed out to date. New England blasted them for 37/150/1 rushing last week, though, casting doubts on the defensive front entering Week 3.

The Saints have a good matchup here despite the loss of Ingram last week.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Mark Ingram has been lightly employed during the first two weeks of the 2016 season, with 9/30/0 rushing and 4/17/0 receiving at New York last weekend, after Ingram had precious few carries in Week One (12/58/0 rushing with 2/29/0 receiving on the day). Currently averaging 14 touches on the football per game, Ingram isn't making waves as a fantasy running back, even though he is the clear-cut starter on this squad.

The Atlanta defense has been very generous to opposing running backs so far this year, though, currently ranking 5th-most-giving in the NFL averaging 23.8 fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs per game. They coughed up 25/155/1 rushing to the Raiders last weekend (6.2 yards per carry) and currently average 122.5 rushing yards allowed per game (tied for 26th in the NFL), with one rushing score handed over. Ouch.

Advantage, Ingram and the Saints.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Ahmad Bradshaw did well against the Colts' soft defensive front in the Sunday night football game, posting 17/89/0 rushing during the contest. Brandon Jacobs threw his helmet into the stands during a temper tantrum and had only four carries for eight yards - then he sat on the bench for the rest of the evening. It appears that Jacobs is in the dog house with coach Coughlin right now, which means that Bradshaw will likely headline for the Giants vs. Tennessee this week.

Speaking of Tennessee, the Titans were dispatched by the Steelers 11-19 last week, with 33/106/0 rushing allowed to Rashard Mendenhall and company. In the season opener vs. Oakland, the Titans coughed up 25/135/0 rushing to the Raiders - Darren McFadden racked up 18/95/0 rushing against this unit (a 5.3 yards allowed per carry average). The Titans did tighten up their defensive front in week two, but they aren't shutting anyone down right now.

Bradshaw has a good matchup waiting for him in New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Ahmad Bradshaw (15/59/0 rushing with 5/45/0 receiving) and Brandon Jacobs (16/50/1 rushing with 1/17/0 receiving) split the available carries in week tow, with Danny Ware chipping in with 3/22/0 in the change-of-pace role. To date, Bradshaw is ranked 18th among all fantasy RBs (PPR paradigm), with 28/103/1 rushing and 6/55/0 receiving, while Jacobs is 40th with 22/79/1 rushing and 1/17/0 receiving. Collectively, they are a powerful stable of backs, but in fantasy terms we see them as a RB #2 (Bradshaw) and well outside the range of starters (Jacobs) for week three.

Philadelphia's rush D is ranked 30th in the NFL after two games, averaging 146.0 rushing yards allowed per game, with two rushing scores given up. Atlanta posted 29/138/1 rushing last week, exploiting the weak center of the Eagles' D.

The Giants have a good matchup to exploit at Lincoln Financial Field this week.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Rashad Jennings went over 100 yards combined last week, with 18/65/0 rushing and 4/45/0 receiving for Big Blue. To date, Jennings is the 12th-ranked running back in the NFL with 34/110/1 rushing and 8/95/0 receiving to his credit. The Giants' rushing attack is in good hands with Jennings. Andre Williams remains a sidekick with 8/12/0 rushing and 2/7/0 receiving vs. Arizona last week.

The Texans' rush D is ranked 18th in the NFL after two games, averaging 116 rushing yards allowed per game with two rushing scores given out to date. Oakland managed 17/101/1 rushing vs. the Texans last week. They solidified the front after losing Jadeveon Clowney in Week 1, and allowing 23/131/1 to Washington's committee of backs.

Jennings is going great guns, while the Texans are just so-so in this phase of the game - advantage, New York.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Jets found some sort of form on Sunday, throwing down 34/98/0 rushing during a victory over Miami. It wasn't the best day to be a Curtis Martin owner (31/72/0 rushing with 2/6/0 receiving), but it was far better than week one's pathetic effort. The Jets appear to be headed in the right direction.

The Jags were trampled by Edgerrin James last week (27/128/0 rushing and 4/39/0 receiving) - they come into this game back on their heels. Over the first two weeks of the season, Jacksonville has averaged 121.5 rushing yards allowed per game (26th in the NFL) while allowing 1 rushing score during the first 2 games.

The Jets are getting their engine (Curtis Martin) going, while the Jags find themselves lacking in this phase of the game. Keep an eye on Curtis Martin's knee but if he can go full speed, we see it as advantage, Jets.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Jets' passing game has been very hot of late, and that's good news for the team as the rushing attack is a mess. The Jets' stable is tied for 26th (with Cleveland) averaging 71 yards rushing per game. Kevan Barlow, given the chance to tote the load last week, scraped up 14/42/0 rushing and 1/4/0 receiving - believe it or not, his 3.0 yards-per-carry was the highlight for the Jets' running backs last week, as Derrick Blaylock (6/7/0) failed to make anything happen in his chances. We'll see how Barlow responds to his poor outing this week.

Buffalo won the game vs. Miami last week, but they were soft in the rushing phase of the game, allowing 20/92/0 (a 4.6 yards-per-carry average) to the Dolphins. The Bills average 137.5 rushing yards allowed per game at this stage of the season (they gave up 33/159/0 to the Patriots during week 1). The Bills' defensive front just isn't very good.

Two sub-par units lock horns in this matchup - we think that Barlow and company have a shot to take advantage of the Bills' poor unit, despite the home-field advantage that Buffalo enjoys.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Thomas Jones led the Jets to a respectable 21/104/0 on the ground last week, posting 17/70/0 rushing and 2/5/0 receiving during the contest vs. New England, while Leon Washington chipped in with 2/28/0 rushing and 4/22/0 receiving. However, Jones failed to punch in the ball vs. the stalwart Patriots on 3 straight goal-line attempts during the game, highlighting that the new-look OL still has some distance to go before the rushing attack is among the league's elite.

San Diego currently ranks 25th in the NFL averaging 143.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with only 1 rushing TD handed over to date, though. Denver posted 24/145/1 vs. the Chargers last week, marking the second week in a row that a team hung 140+ rushing yards on this unit. Entering week 3, the Chargers' defensive front is very suspect.

Jones and Washington have a good matchup to work with this week.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Chris Ivory (12/52/0 rushing) and Bilal Powell (13/48/1 rushing and 2/22/0 receiving) formed a credible rushing attack for the Jets during Week two - Ivory in particular bounced back from a sickly 1.5 yards per carry during Week one (10/15/0 rushing with two targets for zero receptions vs. Tampa Bay two weeks ago). It appears that the Jets are going with a full-blown committee approach at the running back position - neither Ivory nor Powell is likely to have a truly explosive game while each is sharing equal time with the other on Sundays.

The Bills' rush D is not impressive so far this year, averaging 141.5 rushing yards allowed per game (30th in the NFL) - but they have been stingy with points so far, with zero rushing TDs handed over during September. Last week, Carolina managed 32/125/0 rushing after New England racked up 35/158/0 rushing two weeks ago. The Bills' defensive front is moving in the correct direction entering the third game of regular season, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Powell and Ivory will enjoy a good rushing matchup this weekend.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Darren McFadden has made a statement with his early-season performances - he's racked up 48/240/0 rushing and 8/63/1 receiving over the first two games, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and 7.9 yards per reception. He's also kept his legs pumping after first contact and is falling forwards for positive yards. 'Yeah, that's something you always want to do as a running back,' McFadden said after the game on Sunday. 'Bring the hit to the defender and let him know that you're going to keep coming.' In short, McFadden appears to be maturing into a legitimate NFL starter in his third NFL season. He's been over 100 yards combined in each of the first two games, which has made his fantasy owners happy, as well. Michael Bush did get the stitches out of his left thumb on Tuesday, and he may be available to play this week (the decision is reportedly going to be made just before game time) - we'll see how the workload is distributed if Bush is back in the mix during week three. McFadden has played well so far during 2010, which could relegate Bush to a secondary role (at least initially, while he gets his timing back after several weeks out due to injury).

The Cardinals' rush D contained Steven Jackson in week one, limiting him to 22/81/0 rushing (a 3.7 yards allowed per carry average), and limited Jackson to 4/6/0 receiving. However, they were blown out by Atlanta's third-string RB in week two as Jason Snelling led the Falcons to 45/221/2 rushing as a team during a 41-7 rout of Arizona. Arizona's defense was 17th in the NFL last year vs. opposing rushers, allowing an average of 112.8 rushing yards per game (1,804 rushing yards allowed through 16 games), with 13 rushing TDs surrendered last year (also 17th in the NFL). They've been up and down to start of 2010, as you can see.

McFadden and company have a good matchup to work with this week.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Marshawn Lynch was pulled in the second game of the season shortly after he scored a touchdown against the Jets as he only had one carry in the second half of this game. The team worked in Jalen Richard and De’Andre Washington in the second half and while this backfield will still remain Marshawn Lynch’s backfield the team will continue to keep Lynch fresh throughout the year by mixing in the two young backs. The offensive line for the Raiders is extremely strong on the left side of the line with Donald Penn, Kelechi Osmele, and center Rodney Hudson. Todd Gurley had his best game since 2015 last week against the Redskins as he averaged 5.5 yards per carry rushing for 88 yards and a touchdown. Gurley who only exceeded 4.0 yards per carry once in his last 17 games showed that the Redskins defense still has a significant ways to go after ranking as the fifth worst rush defense in the NFL in 2016. The Redskins really struggle at the linebacker position and safety position so if Lynch can get to the second level, so the strong offensive line creating holes should allow Lynch and the rest of the running backs to potentially exploit this Redskins defense.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

27/136/0 rushing and 10/35/0 receiving are the totals for Brian Westbrook after 2 games. During the drubbing of San Francisco last week, Westbrook racked up 15/89/0 rushing and 3/31/1 receiving - he's his usual dual-threat self, despite not garnering a new contract during pre-season.

Oakland had a tough time vs. the Chiefs, with a total of 36/125/2 allowed to their arch-rival in this phase of the game. Oakland had given up 4 rushing scores in the first 2 games (worst in the NFL) and average 99 rushing yards allowed per game to date. The silver and black are weak in this phase of the game.

Westbrook and company run the ball well - the Raiders are soft in this phase. Advantage, Philadelphia.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Brian Westbrook led the Eagles in rushing (17/96/0) and receiving (8/66/0) last week - he's rolling along as strong as ever entering week 3 of 2007. As of week 2, he's amassed 37/181/0 rushing and 14/112/0 receiving to land at #13 among all fantasy RBs after 2 games. He's pretty darn good, especially in point-per-reception leagues. With Correll Buckhalter involved in the return game/special teams (he had only 1 carry for 3 yards last week), this has become Westbrook's show entering week 3. However, a red flag went up on Wednesday when Westbrook missed practice and the word is he is having additional tests on a sore knee to determine the nature of the problem. If Westbrook misses time then Buckhalter suddenly is very much in the picture with the offense again. Stay tuned to Footballguys players in the news as the week goes along for the latest on this developing situation.

The Lions rank 14th in the league currently, allowing an average of 107.5 yards per game on the ground (2 rushing scores given up so far). Last week, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and company gained 33/123/1 against the Lions - they haven't shut down anyone to date, but nobody has steamrolled the Detroit defensive front either.

Westbrook just keeps rolling along, while the Lions mount an effective but not outstanding rush D most of the time - advantage, Westbrook and the Eagles (assuming his knee checks out and he resumes practices later in the week).

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Head coach Andy Reid said Westbrook had sprained his ankle, the one operated on in June of this year. 'I think we'll be fine there,' coach Reid said of Westbrook. 'We'll find out the next day or two.' Westbrook said 'I think I probably tweaked it a little bit. Probably in the third quarter, at some point. So right now, it's a little tender and sore.' If Westbrook (13/52/0 rushing with 3/14/0 receiving last week) can't play, LeSean McCoy would step in as the lead back (5/18/0 rushing with 4/37/0 receiving vs. New Orleans last week). McCoy has played well throughout training camp and the young season (14/64/0 rushing and 5/38/0 receiving so far this year). Westbrook did miss practice on Wednesday - that is fairly usual for him when he's nicked up, so don't panic, but do monitor his practice status later in the week if you are a Westbrook owner. Check out Footballguys.com's players in the news for the latest updates on all the dinged up players.

The Chiefs defensive front is suspect - they coughed up 41/198/2 rushing to the Ravens in the opener, and then managed to slow the bleeding last week against a very ineffective Raider offense that could only muster 25/67/1 rushing during the game - that had more to do with the Raiders' struggling than a sudden surge into dominance by the Chiefs' defenders, though.

Westbrook and McCoy have a good matchup to work with this week at home.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Eagles trampled the Lions' D in week two (no surprise there) - LeSean McCoy only needed 16 carries to put up 120 yards rushing and three TDs. As a team, the Eagles posted 28/162/3 rushing, for a 5.8 yards per carry average. Michael Vick scrambled for 7/37/0 in his second appearance for the team. He's the starter in Philadelphia now, so expect more of this two-headed monster as a successful rushing attack going forwards.

The Jacksonville rush D was shredded by the Chargers for 30/151/2 during their game last week (a 5.0 yards allowed per carry average) - two weeks ago they allowed 25/89/1 rushing to the Broncos. This unit has been up and down to open 2010, friends.

Given how poorly the Jaguars' defenders played last week and how well the Eagles' backs did, we give the nod to Philadelphia in this matchup. Which defensive front will show up for Jacksonville?

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Willie Parker is off to a great start this year, with 50/235/1 rushing and 3/5/0 receiving so far (11th best fantasy RB in the land to date). Last week, he blasted the Bills for 23/126/1 rushing and 2/7/0 receiving - he had a 5.5 yards per carry average during that game. Pittsburgh is currently 3rd in the NFL averaging 5.2 yards per carry as a team - they are on a roll. Coach Tomlin intends to feed Parker the ball a lot according to comments he made on Wednesday: "He's getting better with each carry as these games go on, and I'm starting to realize that about him. He's a rhythm runner," Tomlin said. "So we're going to feed him. We're not going to make any bones about that." That has to make Parker owners everywhere smile from ear to ear.

San Francisco is in the middle of the NFL with an average of 111 yards allowed per game (t-16th in the NFL), and have only allowed 1 rushing score to date. Last week, they limited the Rams to 23/61/0 on the ground - that's a stout job of run defense against a back as good as Steven Jackson.

Parker has been running strong during the opening weeks of the season - meanwhile, the 49ers put the clamps on Jackson and the Rams last week, and haven't been very giving at the goal line so far this year. Home field advantage helps out the offense in this game - so we give a slight edge to Parker (we think he'll be a top 10 fantasy back this week) and the Steelers.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Steelers got some bad news early in the week - Jonathan Dwyer, who had been rounding into a solid NFL-caliber back this year, is now suffering from turf toe (an injury that has kept James Starks off the football field all of preseason and regular season, as one example of what might happen with Dwyer). Dwyer will take the practices early in the week off - stay tuned to see if he can participate on Friday (but be aware that even if he can play on Sunday the injury could flare up and knock him out early in the contest). So far this year, Dwyer has seen 21/71/0 rushing and 3/23/0 receiving, and Isaac Redman has handled 23/45/1 rushing with 3/21/0 receiving. The Steelers did hear that Rashard Mendenhall has been cleared for contact in practices, but Mendenhall won't be in 'game shape' for a few weeks, most likely. Check in with Footbalguys.com's players in the news later in the week to see how Dwyer is coming along.

The Raiders' defensive front was shattered by Miami last week. They allowed an astonishing 43/263/4 to the Dolphins in this phase of the game, and come into week three a humbled unit. Oakland bottled up the Chargers' backups two weeks ago (20/32/0 rushing), but they were blown up by first-teamer Reggie Bush this past Sunday.

The Steelers' committee of backs hasn't been overwhelming so far this year, but they've got a battered, ineffective defensive front to feast on this week. Advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

'I let the team down and it hurts,' Tolbert said Sunday after the Chargers' 35-21 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. 'All my teammates tell me to keep my head up, but it hurts. I feel like I cost our team the game.' Tolbert didn't run the ball very well in week two, with 9/10/0 rushing, but he did add 8/73/0 receiving to the team effort. Ryan Mathews put up 12/64/1 rushing and 7/62/0 receiving at New England, and edged closer to locking down the lead spot in this stable. However, Tolbert leads the league's running backs after two games with 17 receptions - he also leads the team in touchdowns, total rushing and receiving combined. The picture at RB in San Diego is muddled as of week three, to say the least.

Kansas City fields the league's 25th ranked rush D, averaging 126 yards allowed per game with three rushing TDs given up to date. Detroit put up 30/89/2 rushing last week en route to a crushing 48-3 victory.

San Diego has a fine stable of backs, while the Chiefs struggle in this phase of the game. Advantage, San Diego.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

'We brought Jackie [Battle] in because we want him to be a big part of what we do,' Chargers coach Norv Turner said. 'He hasn't been completely healthy, but he looked awfully good today. We have plans for him to be a part of our games.' Battle led the Chargers in rushing last week with 14/69/2 on the ground, and all told, the Chargers put up 39/148/2 rushing vs. Tennessee (Curtis Brinkley chipped in 18/43/0 rushing and 4/23/0 receiving during the game). The Chargers are anticipating the return of Ryan Mathews to active duty in week three - he's slated to practice on Wednesday and should see a full slate of work vs. Atlanta if he holds up to the stresses of practicing well. Fantasy owners invested in the San Diego rushing attack should keep an eye on Mathews' practice participation later in the week.

Kansas City battered Atlanta's defensive front with 33/152/2 rushing during the season opener, and Willis McGahee and company threw down for 27/118/2 rushing on Monday Night Football this week - Atlanta is 25th in the NFL currently averaging 135 rushing yards allowed per game, and are tied for second-most rushing TDs allowed over the first 1/8th of the season with four given away. There is a lot of room for improvement for the Falcons here so far this year.

The Chargers may have their #1 back for this game, and he's got an attractive matchup to work with even if Mathews is slightly rusty this week.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Ryan Mathews played a respectable game at Philadelphia, with 16/73/0 rushing and 1/3/0 receiving to his credit. Fellow committee members Danny Woodhead (9/27/0 rushing and 8/37/0 receiving) and Ronnie Brown (3/15/0 rushing and 1/3/0 receiving) helped push the team total to 31/126/0 rushing on the day. While Mathews may never be a featured NFL back, he is playing decently as the leader of this three-headed attack.

The Titans took Houston to overtime last week after beating the Steelers in week one - however, their rush D didn't do well and allowed 28/172/1 rushing to the Texans during the game. It was the flip side of the coin after Tennessee held Pittsburgh to 15/31/0 rushing in game one. The Tennessee rush D has swung wildly so far during September.

Mathews and company have a good matchup ahead.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Melvin Gordon’s Week 1 kicked off beautifully, with 21- and 5-yard runs off the left side of the line, where the team looks strong behind Russell Okung and Matt Slauson. But he stalled soon after, failing to generate anything of note up the middle. The Chargers’ interior line would be in better shape had second-round guard Forrest Lamp not torn his ACL during camp. As it stands, Gordon will need better line play to reach his true heights, but he’s a volume dominator who flashes plenty of dynamism. Dating back to the start of 2016, he’s forced missed tackles at a higher rate than Ezekiel Elliott and created more breakaway runs than David Johnson.

The Chargers run unit isn’t a particularly consistent group, but it could find easy sledding in Week 2. Last year’s Dolphins were thoroughly gashed by the run – 14 of their 17 opponents topped 100 ground yards (including 7 that topped 160), and only the 49ers gave up a higher per-rush average. They did clamp down nicely near the goal line, allowing just 4 of their opponents’ 17 rushes from inside the 5 to score. But overall, this was a unit to target weekly, and it’s hard to find an area that improves much entering 2017. Star safety Reshad Jones returns to action, which is nice, but likely too little to provide a massive boost. They’ll be forced to lean heavily upon 31-year-old Lawrence Timmons, who’s slowed noticeably over the years, and mid-August signee Rey Maualuga on running downs. Maualuga was an oft-injured mess over seven years as a Bengal, and he struggled with his conditioning throughout his truncated Dolphins camp. Yet he’ll likely start in the middle in Week 2 and see at least 25-30 early-down snaps.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Shaun Alexander managed to make some good things happen on the ground last week, with 26/89/1 rushing and 1/9/0 receiving. However, the team got bad news about their starting LG Floyd Womack, who sprained his right knee on Sunday - he's out for perhaps 6 weeks. Womack is the lineman who replaced the departed Steve Hutchinson at LG, which means the Seahawks will have to juggle the OL this week to make up for the hole left by Womack's injury. 2nd year man Chris Spencer, the backup center, will move into LG while Womack rehabs. We'll see how well he can play this week against the Giants' front 7. Alexander owners hope he does well.

The Giants surrendered 23/55/1 to the Colts in week 1, but then handed over 30/107/1 to the Eagles in week 2 - they are not playing solid defense right now, folks, in either the rushing or the passing phase of the game. Allowing 50 points in 2 games forces a lot of pressure onto the Giants' offense.

Alexander hasn't been a world-beater to open 2006 and he's facing offensive line worries, but with home-field advantage at his back and a suspect Giants' unit in front of him, we like his chances here.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Super Bowl Rematch! Marshawn Lynch wore down the Broncos back on February 2, 2014 with 15/39/1 rushing - the Seahawks combined for 29/135/1 rushing on that day (Percy Harvin led the team with 2/45/0 rushing to his credit).

This year, Lynch is the third-best fantasy running back through two games, with 26/146/2 rushing and 5/41/1 rushing to his credit. Percy Harvin has 6/86/1 rushing to his credit (22 yards more than his 8/64/0 receiving to date) and has been the best change-of-pace runner for the Seahawks so far this year. Robert Turbin has handled 8/34/0 rushing and 2/35/1 receiving as Lynch's backup to date.

The Broncos' rush D is ranked 10th in the NFL averaging 93.5 yards rushing allowed per game, with three rushing scores handed over to date. Last week, Kansas City posted 31/133/2 rushing at Denver - there is room for improvement here entering Week 3, folks.

Lynch and Harvin have been hard to stop, while Denver stumbled in this phase of the game last week. Advantage, Seattle.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Frank Gore was in dismay over how the 49ers couldn't close out the Cowboys and subsequently suffered a 27-24 overtime loss Sunday. 'Coaches, players, we've just got to finish it,' Gore said. 'When it comes to getting first downs, we have to get it... I give credit to us. We whupped their (butt) up and down the field all game. Key plays, man. And we didn't finish.' Gore is one of the guys who didn't play his best, by the way, with a mere 2.4 yards per carry (20/47/1 rushing and 3/17/0 receiving). With Alex Smith's help (3/21/0) the 49ers eked out 24/74/1 on the ground last week. Gore is the 21st-ranked fantasy RB (PPR paradigm) in the land to date, with 42/106/1 rushing and 6/36/0 receiving.

Cincinnati coughed up 36/131/1 rushing to the Knowshon-Moreno-less Broncos last week, and has averaged 107 yards allowed per game to date (16th in the NFL). So far they look like a middle-of-the-road rush D, friends.

Gore was in the doldrums last week but we like him to bounce back into the top-ten among fantasy backs in week three.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Steven Jackson has been doing a fine job moving the ball in the early part of 2006, averaging almost 5.1 yards per carry (44/224/0) and adding 6/40/0 receiving in the first two games. The item that is restraining Jackson from entering the top 10 fantasy backs so far has been the Rams' lack of TDs. They have managed to score 1 TD in 2 games, and in the one goal-line situation the team faced last week, they elected to pass the ball to Torry Holt for a 3 yard score. During the 2 plays prior to the score, Jackson carried the football from the 13 to the 2, and then was knocked back to the 3 on his next carry - Jackson did get a crack at a short-yardage, goal-line opportunity last week, but it didn't work out for him.

Arizona has averaged 126.5 rushing yards allowed per game over the first 2 contests of the season, including last week's total of 36/146/2 surrendered to the Seahawks' stable. This unit is 21st in the league vs. the rush and going in the wrong direction as of week 3 - we'll see if they can turn it around at home vs. their divisional rivals.

Jackson should see some opportunities to make good things happen this week against the sub-par Cardinals.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Steven Jackson averaged 6.1 yards per carry last week, with a long run of 58 helping to boost his totals, but couldn't find the end zone vs. Washington (17/104/0 rushing with 4/15/0 receiving). All told, the Rams gained 21/126/0 as a team. The lack of scoring opportunities has landed Jackson at 27th among all fantasy backs through two weeks (PPR), with 33/171/0 rushing and 4/15/0 receiving to his credit to date. There is a significant injury issue on the line - OT Jason Smith will miss this week and perhaps another due to a sprained knee, which puts the OL down a starter for week three at the minimum.

The Packers have yo-yo'd in this phase of the game, limiting the Bears to 2.8 yards per carry in the opener (31/86/0), but handing over 34/151/1 to the Bengals on the ground last week. Appropriately, they are currently 18th in the NFL averaging 118.5 rushing yards allowed per game - on balance, this is a so-so unit entering week three.

Jackson can go, and against the so-so Packers at home in the dome he should have a good shot at a decent fantasy outing for his owners, despite the injury to Smith.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Rams rushing offense was a one-man show last week as Todd Gurley rushed 16 times for 88 yards and a touchdown. This average of 5.5 yards per carry was a nice bounce back from averaging only 2.2 yards per carry in Week 1. Speaking of bounce backs, this rushing yardage tops Gurley’s best rushing performance from the entire 2016 season (85 yards in Week 3). Jared Goff struggled last week compared to his Week 1 explosion, but the Rams found success in Gurley as they kept the game close. The Rams offensive line has shown some improvement after last season, with left tackle Andrew Whitworth Gurley will draw a favorable matchup this week against the 49ers rushing defense that has only shown minimal improvement over their historically bad 2016 season. The 49ers allowed Seattle’s Chris Carson to average 4.7 yards per carry for 93 rushing yards in Week 2 after allowing the Panthers to rush for 116 yards in Week 1. Right tackle Deforest Buckner has proven to be their most effective run-stopper, but the left side of the Rams offensive line has been their better side this season. The 49ers have had poor play from their outside linebackers this season also, which does not bode well for them when Gurley decides to bounce a run to the outside. The Rams offensive line has not played well, but they did create openings for Todd Gurley last week and have shown some reasonable improvement from last season.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Cadillac Williams fought through his sore ribs last week, posting 24/61/2 rushing vs. the Saints. After the game, Williams commented "To be honest with you, I had no idea how my ribs were going to react to a hit. It still kind of hurt when I laid on my back or on my chest. I'm thinking, 'Gosh, I really don't know how it's going to feel.' But guys were flying around and getting the adrenaline going. I came to play football." The Bucs' featured rusher has amassed 36/121/2 rushing for 2/14/0 receiving so far during 2007, ranking 16th among fantasy RBs through 2 weeks.

The Rams are in the bottom tier of NFL rush defenders after 2 weeks, averaging 137.5 yards per game (25th in the league) with 2 TDs allowed so far. Last week, San Francisco posted 28/89/2 vs. this unit - the Rams haven't been a shut-down type defensive front during 2007. DE Leonard Little suffered a turf toe injury to a big toe during the game last week - he may be limited in availability this week, depending on whether the digit flares up in practice or not.

This is a good matchup for Williams and company.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tampa couldn't get much traction against the Bills' defense last week (Derrick Ward led the stable with 9/32/0 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving, while Cadillac Williams eked out 7/9/0 rushing but added 7/56/1 receiving out of the backfield (redeeming his performance for his fantasy owners). Earnest Graham checked in with 2/18/0 rushing and 1/3/0 receiving - there was not a whole lot to get excited about here last week, friends.

The Giants won a squeaker over Dallas last week, 33-31, but they were clobbered in this phase of the game with 29/251/3 rushing surrendered to Dallas (DE Justin Tuck went out with an injured left shoulder and that hurt the DL - his status for this week is up in the air as of Wednesday). They also allowed a rushing score in week one (21/85/1 rushing by Washington). Right now, the Giants appear vulnerable in this phase of the game.

Tampa's backs were strong in the season opener, but less impressive last week as detailed above - meanwhile, the Giants went from mediocre to horrid in that same time span. This looks like a good matchup for the home team - the Giants need to fix up their rush D in a hurry, but it remains to be seen if they can patch the holes in time for week three.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

LeGarrette Blount rewarded fantasy owners who stuck with him in week two, posting 13/71/2 rushing at Minnesota. It was a big improvement over the meager 5/15/0 rushing he managed in week one. Earnest Graham still checked in with 3/18/0 rushing and 5/21/0 receiving as the change-of-pace back, and Tampa ended the the day with 19/105/2 rushing as a team (an impressive 5.5 yards per carry as a unit). The Buccaneers got their offensive balance back in week two.

Atlanta's D has been mediocre in this phase of the game so far, with an average of 110.5 rushing yards allowed per game and two rushing scores handed over to date. The Eagles posted 30/133/2 rushing last week, accounting for both rushing TDs given up so far. 'There were a lot of ebbs and flows,' Falcons coach Mike Smith said. 'It wasn't our best game but we did enough to get it down. On offense, we picked up the defense when we had to. On defense picked up the offense when they had to.' The Eagles did finish with a 447-318 total yards from scrimmage advantage, though most - 314 yards - arrived via the passing game.

Tampa found their rhythm in week two, while the Falcons' D was humbled - advantage, Tampa.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tampa posted 35/139/1 at New Orleans last week - Doug Martin continues to be the lead back in this committee with 21/78/0 rushing and 2/20/0 receiving to his credit, just barely missing 100 yards combined during Week Two. Jameis Winston punched in the TD with 6/23/1 on the ground, while Charles Sims assisted with 8/38/0 rushing and 3/14/0 receiving on the day. Things are going well for the Buccaneers in this phase of the game.

Houston's defensive front averages 134.5 rushing yards allowed per game (26th in the NFL) but have only surrendered one rushing score so far this year. Carolina scored that TD last week with 33/172/1 on the ground - the fearsome reputation of J.J. Watt doesn't translate into good rush D right now, friends.

Advantage, Tampa.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Titans have hit upon a potent mix at RB, with LenDale White (22nd fantasy RB after 2 games, with 33/130/1 rushing and 2/7/0 receiving so far) and Chris Brown (20th best fantasy back 2 games in, with 31/209/0 rushing and 2/5/0) splitting up the carries fairly evenly. In the season opener, Brown headlined with 19/175/0 rushing, but he stepped back last week with 12/34/0. Meanwhile, LenDale White has consistently ground out about 60 yards per week, with 15/64/1 last week (led the team) and 18/66/0 with 2/7/0 receiving in the season opener.

It appears that we have a full-blown RBBC in Tennessee this year. This week, we think White will lead the team with somewhere around 70 yards rushing and a 50-50 shot at a TD, while Brown continues to be a significant change of pace presence, racking up 40-something yards rushing and perhaps a TD.

The Saints are currently 22nd in the NFL allowing an average of 125.5 rushing yards per game, and they have coughed up 3 rushing scores in 2 games. Last week, Cadillac Williams and company punched in 2 scores on the Saints, but didn't impress in the yardage department, with 32/87 as a team. Williams was battling through sore ribs to play in that contest, though. Right now, the Saints' rushing defense is fairly lack-luster, as you can see.

The Titans' stable has been productive so far, while the Saints' rush D is suspect - advantage, Tennessee.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Chris Johnson has made a big splash in his first 2 games, with 34/202/0 rushing and 5/46/1 receiving to rank 9th among all fantasy RBs in points per game, while LenDale White has managed 33/99/2 in his time on the field (20th fantasy RB to date). The Titans bring the 6th ranked rushing attack in the league to the table, averaging 157 rushing yards per game to date.

The Texans ranked 19th in rushing yards allowed per game last season (114.1 on average), and were 25th in the league with 15 TDs given up. Dallas posted 27/111/1 rushing against Houston in the 3rd preseason game, which was a walk in the park for the Texans compared to what Pittsburgh had in store for them during week 1 of the regular season. Pittsburgh ran over Houston in week 1 amassing 39/183/3 on the ground. Houston didn't have any answers in this phase of the game during the season opener, folks.

This is a good matchup for the powerful duo of Titan rushers.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Steelers shocked the Titans and Chris Johnson last week, stuffing him all day long (16/34/0 rushing, a 2.1 yards per carry average, with 5/19/0 receiving for Johnson). All told, Tennessee could only generate 22/46/0 rushing during the game. Vince Young was intercepted twice and then benched - basically, the wheels came off and the engine fell on the road during week two. Johnson has 43/176/2 rushing and 9/27/0 receiving so far this year - you shouldn't panic just because he had an off week against a great rush D.

The Giants' rush D isn't an elite unit this year, with an average of 124.5 rushing yards allowed per game, and one TD given away so far. Joseph Addai and Donald Brown beat on the Giants' defensive front last week to the tune of 43/160/1. The Giants played poorly on defense in general last week.

Both Johnson and the Giants had off games during week two - we like Johnson to bounce back even though Tennessee is on the road in this game. Advantage, Titans.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Tennessee continues to do without Shonn Greene, whose knee injury is going to take a couple more weeks to heal. In his absence, Chris Johnson (50/166/0 rushing with 1/1/0 receiving) is sharing time with Jackie Battle (14/34/1 rushing so far this year). Clearly, the team intends to have Johnson in for the first two downs and some passing situations, while Battle and/or Greene handle short-yardage and goal line work. It remains to be seen how many long TDs Johnson can bust in this scenario - so far the six-point plays have been elusive.

The Chargers' rush D gave up 28/120/0 to the Texans in Week one, and followed up with 20/89/1 allowed to the Eagles Week two. This isn't one of the premier defensive fronts in the league this year, folks, though they are far from the worst (21st in the NFL currently, averaging 104.5 rushing yards allowed per game).

This is a good but not great matchup for the home-team Titans.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

DeMarco Murray is the fourth-best fantasy running back in the land after two games (PPR scoring), with 25/131/0 rushing and 12/91/2 receiving to his credit. He posted 12/89/0 rushing and 7/56/0 receiving vs. the Lions last week, while Derrick Henry had 9/40/0 rushing and 1/90 receiving in the change-of-pace/understudy role. The Titans' rushing attack is going strong entering Week Three, friends.

The Raiders' rush D allowed 29/139/1 to the Falcons' backs last week, after starting off the season with the Saints managing a respectable 4.0 yards per carry with 22/88/0 rushing as a team in Week One. So far this year, the Raiders are averaging 20 fantasy points per game allowed to opposing running backs, 12th-most in the NFL.

Advantage, Tennessee.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Redskins rushed for 33/130/1 as a team last week, led by Clinton Portis' 17/69/1 (with 1/7/0 receiving). Backup/change of pace back Ladell Betts gained 6/14/0 rushing and 2/26/0 receiving in his supporting role last week - overall, it was a successful outing for the Redskin's stable. Portis has scored a TD in each of the team's first 2 games, with 34/167/2 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving to date (he's the 12th best fantasy RB in the land after 2 games). The Redskins are 14th in the NFL right now averaging a healthy 4.3 yards per carry. The OL took a blow on Wednesday when the team announced that RG Randy Thomas will be out for an indefinite period of time (and possibly the rest of the season) due to a torn left triceps suffered during the first quarter of Monday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday to repair the tear. This blow comes just one week after the team lost RG Jon Jansen for the season to a broken right fibula and dislocated right ankle. The right side of the Redskins line is being patched up with Todd Wade and Jason Fabini right now, though the team will be bringing in free agent OL to look at in the wake of the injuries.

The Giants have also been bitten by the injury bug, losing yet another defensive player this week when backup DE Adrian Awasom was put on IR with a neck injury. The defensive team is pretty banged up right now, and they haven't been very effective vs. opposing rushers. To date, the team has handed over 4 rushing TDs in 2 games, and averages 112.5 rushing yards allowed per contest, with 29/83/2 allowed to the journeymen backs of Green Bay last week.

Portis and Betts have a good matchup to work with this week, despite the loss of Thomas and Jansen on the right side of the OL, as the Giants have also experienced a lot of attrition on their line during the opening weeks of 2007.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Clinton Portis made the Redskin's offense go last week, with 21/96/2 rushing and 2/3/0 receiving vs. the Saints (one week after a 23/84/0 rushing performance vs. the Giants). As a team the Redskins rang up 31/149/2 rushing last week (a 4.8 yards-per-carry average) with 6/25/0 belonging to LaDell Betts and 1/27/0 to Santana Moss' credit. The Redskins' offense looked much more impressive in week 2 than it did during week 1.

The Cardinals opened the season allowing a 5.4 yards per carry average on the way to 20/108/1 given up to Frank Gore and the 49ers, but clamped down on the Dolphins in week 2 to limit Ricky Williams and company to 24/72/1 (a 3.0 yards per carry average). The currently rank 10th in the NFL averaging 90 rushing yards allowed per game - they've been mediocre in this phase of the game during 2008.

Portis got a head of steam up last week, and will enjoy home field advantage this week - against the so-so Cardinals, Washington enjoys an edge.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

'We have been working on it, but we are just not as good as we want to be,' Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said about the Redskins' running game. 'I can't tell you and I am not going to tell you exactly why, but we will keep on working on it and hopefully we will get better.' Larry Johnson (2/-7/0 rushing) was released by the Redskins shortly after these comments by Shanahan. Keiland Williams (4/15/0 receiving last week) is currently the primary backup behind Clinton Portis, further cementing Portis' hold on the top job in Washington despite a poor showing from him (13/33/2 rushing with one target for zero receptions) during week two.

The Rams' rush D allowed 40/173/0 to the Raiders last week, and coughed up 21/112/1 rushing to Arizona in week one (a 5.3 yards per carry average). Teams see this obvious weakness and attack the Rams' front seven with regularity.

Portis has been pretty lack-luster so far this year, but he's got a good matchup to work with this week.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Alfred Morris got going in Week two, with 22/85/2 rushing - he could have piled up more stats, but the game was so far gone (34-7) by midway through the final quarter that backup Silas Redd (8/41/1) punched in the final Washington TD. Roy Helu suffered left knee injury after posting 8/25/0 rushing and 2/11/0 receiving vs. Jacksonville - he may have to miss this game so stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News later this week to see how Helu is recovering from his sore knee. Even without Helu, it's all good in this phase of the game for Washington coming into this divisional showdown with Philadelphia.

The Eagles are ranked 20th in the NFL averaging 116.5 rushing yards allowed per game, but they have given up zero rushing TDs so far. Indianapolis blasted Philadelphia for 38/169/0 rushing last week, but as you can see they didn't run in any scores (although Ahmad Bradshaw had one and seven yard TD receptions from Andrew Luck).

Morris and company have a good matchup this week - advantage, Washington.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The word out of Arizona at mid week is that Marcel Shipp has earned the starting job in the desert. The Cards haven't been impressive rushing the ball, averaging 56.5 yards per game on the ground (and they haven't scored yet in this phase of the game). Shipp did manage 12/54/0 rushing last week (with 5/39/0 receiving).

Seattle's rush D has been subpar so far during 2005, ranking 25th in the league allowing an average of 117 rushing yards per game. They have held their first two opponents to 1 rushing TD. This team was 23rd during 2004, giving up 126.9 rushing yards per game - they are in the same territory to start 2005.

Both teams are struggling in this phase of the game - this matchup looks pretty even to us.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Edgerrin James hasn't been a fantasy powerhouse so far, with 44/155/0 rushing and 1/0/0 receiving to his credit (33rd RB in the land on a points-per-game basis to date). Tim Hightower has jammed in 1 TD in each of the first 2 games, with 18/37/2 rushing and 4/41/0 receiving, landing him at 23rd fantasy RB in the land overall on a points-per-game basis. It looks like James has a serious problem with a "TD Vulture" on his hands from a fantasy perspective. In real NFL terms, the Cards are 2-0 and cruising atop the NFC West, but their running game is lacking substance for fantasy owners due to the way the carries are being assigned right now.

The Redskins are currently 17th in the NFL averaging 104.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with 2 TDs handed over so far. Last week, New Orleans could only scrape up 19/55/1 rushing (a 2.9 yards-per-carry average) - a significant improvement over the week 1 game vs. NYG, when they handed over 32/154/1 in this department. To date, Washington has been up and down in this phase of the game.

The Cardinals are currently 19th in the NFL averaging 95 rushing yards per game - against the up-and-down Redskins, they should be able to crack 100 yards on the ground. This is a neutral matchup between 2 so-so units in our eyes.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Arizona's committee of running backs is starting to settle out into starter and backup - so far, Chris Wells (21/58/0 rushing with 1/24/0 receiving) is outshining Ryan Williams (18/22/0 rushing with 4/27/0 receiving), and Wells got more touches last week (14/44/0 rushing with 1/24/0 receiving, vs. 10/13/0 rushing and 2/10/0 receiving for Williams), and he did much more with his touches as well.

The Eagles beat up on the weakling Browns' offense and limited Trent Richardson to 19/39/0 rushing (with one reception for five yards) in week one - all told, the Browns eked out 22/99/0 rushing that day. During week two, Baltimore posted 21/111/1 rushing (averaging 5.3 yards per carry) - Philadelphia is currently ranked 15th in the NFL averaging 105 rushing yards per game, with one rushing score allowed over two contests.

Wells seems to be gaining some traction entering week three, while the Eagles' so-so rush D provides a neutral matchup for the home-team Cardinals' backs.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Cardinals backfield is a mess with the injury of David Johnson in Week 1. Their three backs rushed for only 77 yards last week, with veteran Chris Johnson leading the way (11 carries for 44 yards) despite being out-snapped 18 to 17 by Kerwynn Williams, who rushed nine times for only 22 yards. Andre Ellington was in the backfield for 30 snaps but was only allotted two carries as he is their pass-catching threat. The Cardinals had a tough time sustaining drives, which can mainly be attributed to this struggling run game. Their offensive line was decent despite the loss starting left tackle D.J. Humphries in Week 1. The Cowboys run defense was gashed repeatedly by CJ Anderson and Jamaal Charles on Sunday night last week. Both Broncos backs combined for a total of 164 rushing yards on 34 attempts, with Anderson breaking off a 23-yard touchdown run in the third quarter in addition to another receiving touchdown out of the backfield earlier in the game. The Cowboys defensive line simply could not get off blocks to catch Anderson, who routinely made the secondary miss and ran through tackles. Demarcus Lawrence played very well on the left side with four run stops, and this week he will match up against the Cardinals weaker right side tackle. This Cowboys defense really took a step back next week, but the Cardinals backfield is one that is tough to trust given the uncertainty brewing among their three backs competing for snaps.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Atlanta's rushing attack is dominant again this season. The team is averaging 6.1 yards per carry and 279 yards per game through 2 contests - those are impressive numbers at any level of play, and doubly so at the NFL level. Last week Dunn (21/134/0), Vick (14/127/1) and Norwood (9/45/0) all averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry (Vick was at 9.1) en route to steamrolling Tampa Bay with 44/306/1 rushing and 34:09 time of possession. Atlanta is a juggernaut in this phase of the game, and has reduced two of the leagues' highly-regarded defensive fronts (Carolina, Tampa Bay) into so much swiss cheese.

The Saints held the Browns to 22/85/1 rushing during week 1, and followed that up with giving up only 20/63/0 on the ground to the Packers and Ahman Green. They are currently 6th in the NFL averaging only 74.0 rushing yards allowed per game - that's a pretty strong showing from the New Orleans defensive front to date.

In the home-coming game to the SuperDome, the Saints will have an emotional edge and a super-charged home crowd at their back, but Atlanta isn't going to be intimidated by that - they sport the premier rushing attack in the NFL. This looks like an even matchup between top-performing units from where we sit.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Warrick Dunn is starting to get his game in gear, with 13/50/1 rushing and 1/4/0 receiving last week and 35/105/1 rushing with 5/30/0 through 2 contests, but he still isn't fully up to speed. "I do need a few more games, a couple more games, just to be comfortable and be back in football shape. I'm still grinding away. My legs feel good, but I'm not to where I want to be. I think in time I will be there." Jerious Norwood is once again playing second-fiddle to Dunn, with 14/63/0 rushing and 3/37/0 receiving so far this season. The Falcons average 3.4 yards per carry through 2 games, a far cry from years past.

The Panthers are currently 12th in the NFL, averaging 97.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with only 1 rushing score yielded to date. Houston managed 36/119/1 against the Panthers last week - an average of 3.3 yards per carry. So far, the Panthers' defensive front is doing an adequate job of slowing down opposing ball carriers.

The Falcons' offense is fighting to find their identity as a team right now - meanwhile, the Panthers' defense is decent but not outstanding. The Falcons have home-field advantage in this divisional contest - that should help a little, at least. This looks like a neutral matchup, with neither squad holding a big advantage over the other.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ray Rice ground out 16/99/0 rushing last week at Philadelphia, and added 6/53/0 receiving to his total - this is why he's a top-three fantasy pick, folks. His owners were distressed to see the rushing TD leeched off by Vonta Leach (1/5/1 rushing), but you can't have everything every week. Start Rice if you've got him!

The Patriots allowed 3/105/1 rushing to the anemic Cardinals' offense last week, after humiliating Chris Johnson and the Titans by limiting the entire team to 16/20/0 rushing during the season opener. So far, the unit has been solid but they slipped a couple of notches from their dominant week one form during the 18-20 loss to Arizona.

Rice is one of the elite backs in the NFL - against the hot-and-luke-warm Patriots he's got a fairly even matchup in our book.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

'As long as they keep giving me the ball, I'll keep carrying it. When you're trying to run the clock down, they know you're running. They have to stop you, and we can't let that happen.' - Bernard Pierce (19/57/1 rushing with 1/-2/0 receiving last week) on his role in the fourth quarter of games. 'Sooner or later, he's [Rice] going to be back,' Pierce said on Monday. 'Ray's going to be back, I have no doubt in my mind... I was right next to him and my first reaction was, 'Get up.' Once I saw he was getting up, I know, it's going to be on me now. I just had to take the rest of the carries and hopefully finish the game strong.' Rice is not expected to practice this week as he heals from his injured hip flexor (a painful but not serious injury), and coach John Harbaugh has essentially stated that Rice will be a game time decision. Even if Rice does play (a long-shot proposition for this week), Pierce is likely to have a heavy workload. For Week three (at least), Pierce looks like the running back to start if you are invested in the Baltimore backfield.

The Texans' rush D hasn't shut down opponents this year - San Diego managed 20/80/0 rushing in week one, and Tennessee posted 33/119/0 last week - but they have been stalwart in the red zone in this phase of the game during 2013.

Pierce has a so-so rush D coming to town on Sunday - this looks like a neutral matchup with neither team holding a huge edge over the other.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Willis McGahee: 35/151/0 rushing with 4/14/0 receiving so far this year. The Bills average 3.8 yards per carry so far in 2005, and are tied for 15th with Dallas at 98.5 rushing yards per game. McGahee has not been the workhorse that fantasy owners dreamed of during the off-season. However, he is the featured back in Buffalo - he carries the ball whenever the team rushes the ball.

The Falcons have coughed up 107 rushing yards per game this year, and 1 rushing score to date. Last week, Shaun Alexander gouged them for 28/144/1 on the ground. The Seahawks managed 34/163/1 as a team in this phase last week - the Falcons have been up and down in this phase of the game.

McGahee has struggled to get his motor going, while the Falcons are inconsistent in this phase of the game. Sounds pretty even to us.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Willis McGahee is the 25th best fantasy RB in the league through 2 games, with 45/161/0 rushing and 3/30/0 receiving. Last week he averaged 3.5 yards per carry vs. Miami, with 25/91/0 rushing and 1/6/0 receiving. With J.P. Losman at the helm (11/18 for 83 yards, 1 TD and 0 interceptions last week), there just isn't much room to run as teams simply don't fear the Bills' passing game.

The Jets sport the league's 19th ranked rush defense, allowing an average of 116.5 rushing yards per game to date. They have coughed up 40 points to date, including the 24 points given to New England last week - mostly due to 39/147/2 surrendered in the rushing phase of the game. The Jets are back on their heels entering week 3 of the regular season.

Two underperforming units meet in this game - the intensity level should be high as this is a bitter divisional rivalry, but neither unit appears to have an edge on the other from where we sit.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Buffalo managed to shake off their last-second loss to New England from week one (Fred Jackson led the team in rushing (15/57/0) and receiving (5/83/1) during that game) to defeat Tampa Bay 33-20 during week two. Fred Jackson ran wild over the Buccaneers' defensive front, with 28/163/0 rushing (long of 43) and he added 6/25/0 receiving during the game - Jackson is putting together quite a highlight reel during his time as the Bill's starter, friends. Xavier Omon had 2/9/0 in a cameo appearance during week two - all told, the Bills rushed for 35/218/0 during the game.

The Saints' rush D has been stout through 2 games, limiting the Lions to 20/33/2 during week one and then keeping Brian Westbrook and company from scoring during week two (21/85/0 rushing for the Eagles). They are doing a very respectable job up front in the early going, folks.

The Bills have an explosive, hungry back running wild right now, but the Saints' defenders are playing pretty well so far this year, too - in Buffalo, this looks like a neutral matchup to us.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

'We got Marshawn [Lynch] (17/64/0 rushing) and Fred [Jackson] (9/39/1 rushing with one target for zero receiving yards) more involved today,' Bills coach Chan Gailey said after the game. 'We didn't put C.J. (1/3/0 rushing with 4/23/0 receiving) in there as much. We were going to use him on third down and continue to work him back in slowly as time goes on. We just felt like that was the best way to try to attack [the Packers], with the way their offense was, to run the football and try to keep our third downs in manageable distance and convert those and get the ball down the field. That was our thought process. It worked on one drive and it didn't work the rest of the time.'

'We played well at times and at times we didn't,' Jackson said. 'Everybody needs to be consistent and do their jobs, myself included. When it is time to make a play we need to step up and make a play.' The Bills RB stable remains a running-back-by-committee nightmare for fantasy owners entering week three, folks.

The Patriots are currently tied for 15th (with the Bills, actually) averaging 111.5 rushing yards allowed per game. They've only given up one rushing TD this year so far - last week, the Jets ripped up this unit for 32/136/0 on the ground, though. The Patriots' defense is a work in progress as of week three, regular season.

The Patriots' D has been just ok, but so is the Buffalo rushing attack - we see a pretty even matchup, but we can't get too excited about any one guy on this squad right now.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

So far this year C.J. Spiller is the 1A running back, with 27/122/0 rushing and five targets for 4/20/1 receiving, while Fred Jackson has seen 19/85/0 rushing and seven targets for 5/40/0 receiving in the 1B role. As expected, the Bills' rushing attack is a two-headed monster.

The Chargers lost a hard-fought 17-18 decision at Arizona on Monday Night Football in Week 1, holding Andre Ellington and company to 26/109/0 rushing on the night. Last season, San Diego ranked 12th in the NFL averaging 107.8 yards rushing allowed per game - they gave up 14 TDs on the ground over 16 games played. To date this year, the Chargers are 15th in the NFL averaging 108.5 rushing yards allowed per game (right in line with 2013's finish), with just one rushing score allowed so far (Seattle had 13/108/1 rushing at San Diego last week).

Spiller and Jackson have a neutral matchup in this one.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

DeAngelo Williams' league-leading streak of touches without a fumble came to an end at 502 on Sunday when he gave up the ball in the third quarter. 'It was tough. I just didn't wrap it up. I got too loose with it,' Williams said afterwards. 'I think I got too comfortable and a guy poked it out. You win some and you lose some, but mentally you have to block it out.' However, he still posted a respectable fantasy outing on Sunday, with 16/79/1 rushing and 3/32/0 receiving to his credit (Williams is the eighth ranked fantasy RB/ through 2 games (PPR) with 30/116/2 rushing and 7/74/0 receiving to his credit in the early going). Jonathan Stewart was highly effective in his time on the field with 9/65/0 rushing and 3/14/0 receiving. The Carolina offense found their groove last week.

The Cowboy's rush D played well against the Giants, holding them to 26/97/0 on the ground - Dallas is currently 23rd in the NFL, though, averaging 135.5 rushing yards allowed per game with two rushing TDs surrendered to date - they've been inconsistent during the month of September (Tampa Bay hammered them for 31/174/2 rushing back in week 1).

Carolina's attack is starting to gather momentum, while the Cowboys' unit has been up and down. On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup for Monday Night Football in the new Dallas Cowboys' Stadium.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Panthers attacked Tampa Bay on the ground aggressively last week, but didn't receive outstanding results - DeAngelo Williams led the team with 17/54/0 rushing and added 3/20/0 receiving, while Jonathan Stewart posted 8/43/0 rushing - all told, the team rushed the ball 33 times but only compiled 119 yards rushing (a 3.6 yards per carry average). It looks like the entire offense is suffering from the lack of OT Jeff Otah.

The Bengals faced their divisional rivals the Ravens last week and limited Ray Rice and company to 23/109/0 on the ground - Rice averaged 5.4 yards per carry (16/87/0) but didn't find pay dirt. To date the Bengals average 113.5 rushing yards allowed per game, but have yet to give up a rushing score during this young season.

The Panthers will start a rookie at QB this week, so we expect them to ask a lot of their running backs - the question is, can Williams and Stewart deliver with a rookie under center and eight guys in the box most of the day? This looks like a neutral matchup with neither side enjoying a clear advantage over the other.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

After being frustrated by the Buccaneers in week one, the Panthers took out their frustrations on the hapless New Orleans defensive front, plastering them for 41/219/3 rushing. Cam Newton (13/71/1), DeAngelo Williams (14/69/1 rushing) and Jonathan Stewart (11/51/0 rushing, with 1/17/1 receiving) all found pay dirt in the contest, as did Mike Tolbert (2/3/1 rushing with 2/23/0 receiving). All of a sudden, we were reminded just how lethal this rushing attack was during 2011.

The Giants limited the Buccaneers to 22/79/1 rushing in the second game of the year, after getting trampled in the season opener, allowing 26/143/0 (5.5 yards per carry) to the Cowboys. As you can see, the Giants' defensive front has been up and down so far this season.

The Panthers' rushing attack sputtered one week and then roared the next, while the Giants' defensive front looks mediocre coming into week three - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

DeAngelo Williams ground out 22/85/0 vs. Buffalo last week, after posting 17/86/0 rushing and 2/14/0 receiving against the Seahawks two weeks ago. Mike Tolbert is playing a second-fiddle role thus far during 2013, with 4/10/0 rushing and 1/-6/0 receiving vs. Seattle two weeks ago - he had 6/25/0 rushing with 2/18/0 receiving vs. Buffalo. Williams is the Panthers' workhorse back entering week 3, and he's done a fine job as the featured guy.

The Giants' rush D gave up 29/109/2 rushing to Denver last week. They coughed up 23/87/0 to Dallas during the season opener two weeks ago. As you can see, this unit is not a shut-down rush D.

Williams should have a productive outing at home on Sunday - we rate this a neutral matchup with neither team having a huge edge over the other.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Carolina’s running game looks stuck in neutral at the moment. Through two weeks, neither Jonathan Stewart nor rookie Christian McCaffrey has been able to generate much on the ground. Stewart has trudged to 105 yards on 33 rushes, while McCaffrey has been held to just 57 on 21 carries. Stewart is 30 (a hard 30, considering his injury history) and nearing the end of the NFL line, so we may not see much more dynamism from him; he’s little more than an interior banger at this point. But McCaffrey’s arrow is pointing upward. He’s looked just as explosive as advertised, posting several impressive runs both up the middle and off the tackles. McCaffrey was a great interior runner in school, and as he beefs up and acclimates to the NFL, his game should improve exponentially. Cam Newton, of course, has always provided a dynamic boost with his legs, but we’ve yet to see it. The Panthers have yet to give him any designed runs, and Stewart has taken all 4 of the team’s rushes from inside the 5-yard line. It’s likely offensive coordinator is merely protecting his franchise player after offseason shoulder surgery, but we have to wonder just how much to expect from Newton on the ground. The New Orleans run defense is marginally better than advertised. Much of the “Saints can’t stop the run” narrative is skewed by touchdowns, which come with the territory of the fast-paced, high-scoring games they tend to find themselves in. But they’re not a lie-down-and-pray unit; when game script is neutral or in the Saints’ favor, they’re a stronger unit than they seem. In Week 1, they mostly bottled up Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook, allowing him just 48 yards on 14 carries through the first 3 quarters. Two long, late-game runs (36 and 33 yards) inflated his final numbers; that will happen when a defense is gassed and facing late-game deficits. We saw the same in Week 2, when New England’s Mike Gillislee managed just 38 yards on 11 rushes prior to the fourth quarter, only to nearly double that total down the stretch.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Thomas Jones had a great game last week, racking up 20/139/2 rushing and 2/19/0 receiving to lead all fantasy RBs in points. Kyle Orton has been able to establish a credible threat to pass, and Jones is finding room to roam behind excellent run blocking by the OL. Cedric Benson saw plenty of time backing up Jones and that will continue. It's all good in Chicago right now.

Cincinnati ranks 9th in the NFL after 2 weeks, allowing an average of 86 rushing yards per game. They held the Vikings to 77 yards rushing as a team last week, and caused Michael Bennett to fumble twice during the game. The Bengals are no joke in this phase of the game. Part of the equation is the Bengal offense. They've been hot and forcing teams to play catchup through the air.

Jones did well last week vs. the Lions, but the Bengals appear to be pretty tough in the early going. This matchup looks pretty even to us.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Last week, the Bears torched the Lions 34-7. They only managed 34/89/0 rushing, though - Thomas Jones led the team with 21/64/0, while Cedric Benson contributed 10/25/0. Grossman and the receivers were on fire (289 yards and 4 TDs), but the team still fed the ball to their running backs 34 times - the commitment to the run is good news for Jones owners, even if the numbers last week weren't very impressive. Over the first 2 weeks of the season, Jones is the 36th ranked fantasy RB with 42/127/0 rushing and 2/2/0 receiving - there is definitely room for improvement here.

Minnesota started the season allowing 25/103/1 to the Redskins' Betts/Portis, and followed that up with 27/107/1 handed over to the Panthers' combo of Williams and Foster. Through 2 weeks, they are 17th in the NFL allowing an average of 105 rushing yards per contest to the opposition. They are not exactly soft, but they aren't shutting down opposing backs, either.

Jones and company have an even shot at a solid game, but they'll have to deal with the Metrodomes' formidable 12th man to enjoy success.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Cedric Benson has not lived up to expectations during the opening games of 2007, posting a mere 43/143/0 (a 3.3 yards per carry average) and 2/20/0 receiving to date. Backup Adrian Peterson has toted the rock 9 times for 48 yards so far, but has yet to challenge for a significant amount of playing time. Benson has been hobbled by a passing attack that nobody in the NFL fears, forcing him to face stacked defensive fronts most of the time - against Kansas City's mediocre defense, he did break through the 100 yards rushing barrier, with 24/101/0 on the ground and 1/9/0 receiving, but Benson has yet to throw down a break-out game.

This week, the Dallas defense comes calling at Soldier Field - they are currently 11th in the NFL averaging 92.5 rushing yards allowed per game (but have surrendered 0 rushing TDs to date). Last week, Miami could only muster 21/61/0 against the 'Boys - Dallas comes into this game with some momentum at their backs.

Benson hasn't been overwhelming in the early going, but he did do a respectable job against the suspect Chiefs last week - we'll see how he handles the Cowboy's mediocre rush D at home this week. This one looks like a neutral matchup from where we sit.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Matt Forte has come on strong since the start of regular season, with 23/123/1 in the season opener (3/18/0 receiving) and then added 23/92/0 rushing with 3/21/0 receiving in the week 2 contest vs. Carolina. He has grabbed the top job in Chicago (Kevin Jones only toted the ball 1 time for 0 yards last week and didn't catch a pass). It looks like Forte is the featured back entering week 3.

During week 1, Reggie Bush and company posted 27/101/0 rushing against the Buccaneers, and Bush turned eight short passes into big numbers (8/112/1 receiving). Last week, the Bucs clamped down on Atlanta, limiting Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood to 28/105/0 as a team. Right now Tampa is tied for 15th in the NFL averaging 103 rushing yards allowed per game, but have yet to hand over a rushing TD.

Forte has done well to start the season, but will be challenged by a solid Buccaneer defense this week - this matchup looks pretty even as of midweek.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Chicago's backs have not been able to get traction this season so far, with lead back Matt Forte posting 25/55/0 vs. Green Bay in week one (31/86/0 rushing as a team), while he eked out 13/29/0 rushing vs. Pittsburgh in week two (adding 5/33/0 receiving, much to the relief of owners in PPR leagues). 117 total yards through two games was not exactly what his fantasy owners had in mind when they drafted Forte to be a starter for their fantasy teams. Of course, Green Bay and Pittsburgh have solid defenses on the field this year, but the transition to the Jay Cutler era in Chicago hasn't been smooth for Forte owners so far.

Seattle, however, has a very generous rush D this year, currently averaging 166.5 rushing yards allowed per game (with two rushing TDs given up to date). Frank Gore (and company) blasted Seattle for 29/256/2 rushing during week two (the woeful Rams could only muster 18/77/0 rushing vs. Seattle in week one, but St. Louis underwhelms most weeks right now).

Chicago's backs have struggled to move the ball this season, but against the staggering Seahawks they have an even chance to get going during week three.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Matt Forte has a problem this week - Jay Cutler is out due to a hamstring injury and journeyman Jimmy Clausen is therefore starting at quarterback. The Seattle defensive front is going to stack the box and dare Clausen to beat them - it looks like very tough sledding ahead for Forte even though he is an All-Pro level talent.

Speaking of the Seahawks, Seattle ranks 15th in the NFL right now averaging 101.5 yards rushing per game with two rushing scores handed out to date. Green Bay had 27/129/0 rushing as a team last week vs. Seattle and the Packers missed Eddie Lacy after he was carted off the field midway through the contest. As you can see the Seahawks aren't shutting down opposing backs right now. Let's see how the return of Kam Chancellor affects things.

On balance this looks like an even matchup.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Bengals' dual-headed threat really revved up their motors in week two vs. Pittsburgh - BenJarvus Green-Ellis cranked out 22/75/0 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving in the lead role of this committee, while Giovani Bernard scored twice last week with 8/38/1 rushing and 1/27/1 receiving. Bernard ran with explosive burst and looks like he'll earn more touches on the football as the season rolls along. Right now, Green-Ellis handles the bulk of the work, but Bernard is positioning himself for a significant role going forwards. We'll see how the workload is distributed during Week three.

The Packers' defense held Washington scoreless into the third quarter last week before surrendering three late TD passes to Robert Griffin III and company (the Packers led 31-0 before Washington started their comeback). In this phase of the game, the Packers held Alfred Morris and company to 17/108/0 rushing. Two weeks ago, the Pack surrendered just 34/90/1 rushing to the San Francisco 49ers - so far they've been fairly stout run defenders.

Green-Ellis and Bernard have a neutral matchup ahead on Sunday.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jeremy Hill had a bad game vs. San Diego, fumbling twice and winding up on the bench after 10/39/0 rushing and 1/2/0 receiving. Giovani Bernard posted 20/123/0 rushing and 3/16/0 receiving to lead the Bengals last week. Though there are unconfirmed rumors floating around that Bernard has 'taken over' as the lead back in Cincinnati, we're not buying that theory - this is still a committee of two backs, with Hill likely to see most of the early-down work as long as he can get the fumbling under control.

The Ravens' rush D allowed 19/97/1 to the Raiders' backs in Week Two, after holding the Broncos to 25/69/0 on the ground two weeks ago. The defensive front is heading in the wrong direction right now, friends. The loss of OLB Terrell Suggs (torn Achilles) impacted this unit from word go in Week Two.

The Bengals have to visit M and T Bank Stadium on Sunday - we call this one even before-the-fact.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Bengals offense has really struggled so far this season as they have failed to score a touchdown in either of their first two games. The Bengals offensive line has been a train wreck thus far, ranking dead last according to Footballguys offensive line guru Matt Bitonti. Their backfield has also been a mess as nobody has emerged as a clear lead back. Jeremy Hill got the start last week, but he finished with the least amount of snaps with 15, behind Joe Mixon with 16 and Giovani Bernard with 33. Joe Mixon led the team in carries with nine for 36 yards. Mixon looked solid on the few opportunities he did have, but he will need a larger share of snaps and carries to be effective for fantasy purposes. The Bengals will square off against a Packers run defense that struggled last week against the Falcons, allowing Devonta Freeman to rush for 84 yards and a pair of goal-line touchdowns. The Packers defense as a whole got pretty banged up in that game though, most notably losing their star interior defender Mike Daniels early in the game to a hamstring injury. While Daniels had an encouraging MRI on Tuesday, his status is still in question this week’s game. If Daniels plays, this will be a neutral matchup for the Bengals running backs. But if Daniels does not suit up, this Packers defensive line will far less effective at stopping the run.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Cowboys rushing attack ran into a very tough Broncos defense last week as we saw Ezekiel Elliott post the worst numbers of his short NFL career. Elliott only managed to gain eight yards on nine attempts as he was stuffed on over half his attempts. This poor showing was mostly a product of the game script, as Elliott almost always receives double-digit attempts as the Cowboys uncharacteristically had to run a pass-heavy offense on Sunday night’s game. Dak Prescott did get a chance to show off his mobility with 24 rushing yards from a couple of nice scrambles. The Cowboys will face off against a Cardinals defense that did a great job bottling up the Colts rushing attack last week, holding them to only 76 yards on 29 carries. The Cardinals have looked solid against the run this season, allowing only 105 rushing yards to running backs so far. However, both offensive lines they have faced (Rams and Colts) rank bottom third in the league according to offensive line expert Matt Bitonti. The Cowboys offensive line presents an entirely different challenge to this Cardinals front seven though, as they are the consensus top-ranked unit even after last week’s poor outing on the ground.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Denver went to battle last week without Knowshon Moreno, who was hampered by a bad hamstring, but they managed to pull out a 'W' with Willis McGahee carrying the load (28/101/1 rushing with 1/5/0 receiving). Lance Ball came in as the change-of-pace back (6/28/0 rushing) and all told the Broncos managed 36/131/1 rushing as a team on the way to a 24-22 victory. The early word on Wednesday is that Moreno is practicing with the team again - owners of Moreno and McGahee will want to check Moreno's practice participation at the end of the week.

The Titans pulled off a shocker in week two, defeating Baltimore 26-13. They limited Chris Johnson and company to 29/74/1 rushing and are currently the 14th ranked rush D in the land averaging 104 rushing yards allowed per game. The Titans have given up one rush TD through two games.

The Broncos have a set of capable backs, while the Titans field a respectable rush D - that sounds about even to us.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kevin Smith is heavily involved in the offense, having handled 39/103/1 rushing through two games, and also being the second-most-targeted player on the team with 12 for 9/62/0 receiving so far. Last week, he powered past the excellent Minnesota defensive front for 24/83/0 on the ground, with 2/10/0 receiving - a very strong showing against the Vikings. All told, the Lions had six ball carriers last week combine for 34/129/0 (Calvin Johnson was second on the team in rushing with 2/16/0 to his credit). The Lions are trying to find ways to break out, which is a good thing.

Washington kicked their way to a 9-7 victory over the struggling Rams last week, but they didn't slow down Steven Jackson much (17/104/0 rushing with 4/15/0 receiving) - St. Louis gained 21/126/0 on the day (a 6.0 yards allowed per carry average). Through two contests, the Redskins average 114.5 rushing yards allowed per game (17th in the NFL), but they haven't allowed a rushing TD yet.

Smith is one of the main spark plugs for the Lions this year - he'll get his touches at home on Sunday and has an even chance at making good things happen when the ball is in his hands.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ameer Abdullah rushed 6/9/0 and caught one pass for nine yards against the Vikings. Abdullah started and played ahead of Joique Bell (4/2/0 rushing with 2/16/0 receiving), but both lost some snaps to Theo Riddick (1/5/0 rushing with 5/41/0 receiving at Minnesota) when Detroit went into their two-minute offense. Detroit posted 11/16/0 rushing among their three backs. Many fantasy owners had their lineups busted by the pathetic Detroit rushing 'attack' during Week Two. This unit has swung wildly over the first two games of the season.

The Broncos' rush D has been up and down this season as well, currently averaging 108.5 yards allowed per game (18th in the NFL) with two rushing scores given up. Both scores were handed over to K.C. last week when Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis (and company) rang up 29/144/2 rushing on the Broncos.

Two inconsistent units face off in this one - that sounds about even to us.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ameer Abdullah led the Lions backfield last week with 17 carries for a career-high 86 yards—fueled by a big 34-yard run during garbage time in the fourth quarter last week. Abdullah out-snapped the rest of this backfield again this week, as Dwayne Washington was only in on seven plays while Theo Riddick came in as a close second with 27 snaps to Abdullah’s 28. The snap count is encouraging for Abdullah, but it is worth noting that he lost both possible red zone looks to Dwayne Washington—causing concern for Abdullah’s touchdown upside. The Falcons defensive interior bounced back after a tough outing in Week 1, holding Ty Montgomery to only 3.5 yards per carry with no runs longer than seven yards. The loss of Vic Beasley for a few weeks to a hamstring tear is a big blow for this rushing defense, as he provided solid support for this defensive line. Beasley will be replaced by rookie Takkarist McKinley, who did not look good in his limited run defense snaps last week. The Falcons secondary is much better in pass defense than they are against the run, so they will not be a ton of help here in what should be a good matchup for the Lions.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ahman Green was slowed by the Saints in week 2, but still posted 16/42/0 rushing and 6/48/0 receiving (90 total yards from scrimmage). It wasn't his best game ever, but it wasn't his worst either. After two weeks of regular season action, Green is the 18th ranked fantasy RB in the land, with 36/152/0 rushing and 9/70/0 receiving. He's one of the big cogs in the Green Bay Packers' offense.

The Lions frustrated Shaun Alexander during week 1, holding the Seahawks' star to 19/51/0 rushing. They followed up by holding the Bears to 34/89/0, and are currently the 15th ranked rush defense averaging 90 yards allowed per contest -they are holding their own in this phase of the game in the early going, folks.

Green has played well this season, but the Lions won't make things easy for him at Ford Field on Sunday. This one looks pretty even beforehand.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Packers mixed it up among their backs last week, allowing rookie DeShawn Wynn to showcase his game with 10/50/2 rushing and 2/18/0 receiving - nominal starter Brandon Jackson posted 17/35/0 rushing and 4/24/0 receiving in his chances at the ball. When the dust settled, the Packers had ground out 29/83/2 vs. the Giants en route to a 35-13 victory. When asked if Wynn was going to get more playing time based on last week's showing, coach McCarthy responded "It could. But I kind of like the way the backfield has come into identity. And then you have Ryan Grant (1/21/0 receiving last week), who you have to be excited about. We're trying to find the formula." It looks like the Packers may be headed for a running back by committee, folks. It'll be interesting to see how the players split up the touches this week. On Wednesday RB Vernand Morency fully participated in practice. How his strained right knee responds remains the question - it has flared up in recent weeks after practicing. If he can get in the game, the picture at RB in Green Bay gets just that much more muddled heading into week 3.

The Chargers rush D is currently 18th in the NFL allowing an average of 112 yards per game, but they have given away only 1 rushing TD to date. New England just finished cramming 32/144/1 down the Charger's throat last Sunday night, though - it's fair to say that San Diego is knocked back on their heels a bit entering week 3.

The Packers' are still searching for an identity for their RB stable, while the Chargers are focused on regrouping after their whipping at the hands of the Patriots - this matchup looks fairly even from where we're sitting.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ryan Grant was limited in effectiveness vs. Detroit, with 15/20/0 to his credit on the ground. Brandon Jackson was the back who got the job done, with 7/61/1 rushing and 1/2/0 receiving - while Grant tries to get his sore hamstring straightened out, it would be no surprise to see Jackson carry more of the load in week 3. We'll see how Grant is able to perform in practices later in the week - right now, Jackson is the back doing the most for the Packers.

Cleveland managed 18/91/0 rushing vs. Dallas inn the season opener (a good 5.1 yards-per-carry average for the Browns), which was followed up by a 23/78/2 performance by Brian Westbrook and company in their Monday Night game this week. Dallas is the 9th ranked rush D through 2 weeks, averaging 84.5 yards allowed per game.

Green Bay is currently 11th in the NFL averaging 131 rushing yards as a team - their RB stable is carrying the load even if Ryan Grant is struggling at the moment. Against the solid Cowboys, this looks like a fairly even matchup.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

James Starks continues to post the best numbers in this stable, with 9/85/0 rushing and 3/30/0 receiving last week (vs. Ryan Grant's 6/25/0 rushing and 3/14/0 receiving). The only fly in this ointment for Starks owners is John Kuhn's goal line presence (3/6/2 rushing this season, with 1/1/1 rushing last week) - he is draining off rushing scores from both Starks and Grant.

The Bear's rush D is currently 20th in the NFL averaging 114 net yards allowed, but they have given up zero rushing TDs in their usual bend-but-don't-break fashion. New Orleans posted 29/118/0 rushing against this team last week - a respectable 4.1 yards per carry - but the six-point play was absent.

Starks looks like a borderline RB #2 or a good flex option during week three, but we'd look elsewhere for your starters due to the low probability that he scores against Chicago.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Packers managed only 59 combined rushing yards last week in a game that did not set up well at all for running the ball. Ty Montgomery is the clear lead back here as he has played nearly 88% of the Packers’ snaps this season, but he really has struggled to rush the ball with only 3.1 yards per carry. Montgomery sports a career average yards per carry of 5.1, so he has shown the capability of making plays on the ground. He has a decent offensive line to run behind, and this week, the game script should be much friendlier to Montgomery from a rushing perspective as the Packers are favored by nine points at home. The Bengals defensive as a whole has played quite well despite their offensive woes this season. The sheer volume of rushes against them, as a result of the game script, has forced some less than favorable stats for this rushing defense. Last week, a chunk run of 49 yards by Deshawn Watson really padded Houston’s 168 total rushing yards. The Bengals actually held Houston’s running backs to only 101 yards on a whopping 30 carries—good for just over 3.3 yards per attempt. Geno Atkins has been a force on the interior of the Bengals defensive line both against the run and pass, while defensive end Carlos Dunlap has helped significantly in making plays on the left side of that line. Game flow is projected to be in the Packers favor here, but if the Bengals can sustain a few drives to give their defense a rest, this should be a fairly even matchup.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Texans are still struggling to recover from the loss of Domanick Davis (on IR with a stubborn knee injury), but have yet to find an answer to their dilemma. Last week, newly arrived Samkon Gado flashed his ability with 3/36/0 including a long run of 27 yards, while Wali Lundy compiled 6/25/0 and Ron Dayne posted a lumbering 11/37/0. Gado also had 2 chances to catch passes (1/3/0), while neither Lundy or Dayne were targeted.

Minnesota's Chester Taylor posted 31/88/1 against the Redskins in week 1 - they gave up 31/138/1 to the Cowboys in week 2 action. Washington averages 112 rushing yards allowed per game to date - 18th in the NFL. They have surrendered 46 points during the first 2 contests.

The Texans are seeking answers at the RB position, while the Redskins are just trying to improve their defensive front. With the home-field advantage at the Texans' backs, we think this is a fairly even matchup.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Steve Slaton had 17 carries for 34 yards and three receptions for 25 receiving yards during week two vs. the Titans - the team isn't giving up on feeding him the ball (yet) but he needs to be more productive in his chances. The Titans do field the league's second-ranked rush D, but a 2.0 yards per carry average just doesn't cut it at this level. Chris Brown didn't have much better luck last week, with 8/25/0 rushing - he's second-fiddle in this squad. Through two games the Texans are dead last averaging 50.5 rushing yards per game - Slaton is a disappointing 39th among all fantasy backs so far this year (PPR) with 26/51/0 rushing and 6/60/0 receiving to his credit.

Arizona had their way rushing the ball against the Jaguars last week, posting 28/118/1 as a team - in the season opener, Indianapolis managed 31/71/1 vs. Jacksonville. Through 2 games, the Jaguars are 13th in the NFL averaging 94.5 rushing yards allowed per game - they are a mediocre bunch as of week three.

Slaton and Brown have struggled early in the season, but the Jaguars aren't a shut-down type of defensive front - this looks like a fairly even matchup from where we're sitting.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Texans' offensive line got depleted during the contest in Carolina on Sunday, losing right tackle Jeff Adams who was forced from the contest due to a right knee injury. Couple Adams' situation with the fact that left tackle Duane Brown was unable to practice last week due to his injured hand - Brown was inactive on Sunday after being listed as doubtful to play on Friday. Brown (thumb injury) said after the game that he is unsure if he will be able to play in Week Three. 'Not sure yet. We're taking it a day at a time, seeing how it progresses. Hopefully. I'd like to get out there, but we'll see.' Also out of action right now is guard Xavier Sua-Filo, who was unable to practice last week due to his injured calf. Sua-Filo was inactive on Sunday after being listed as out on Friday. Given the banged-up nature of the Texans' offensive line, you can see why Ryan Mallett tossed 58 passes last week in Carolina, vs the 23 rushes attempted by the Texans (23/61/1 rushing as a team - Mallett scored the TD, leaving Chris Polk as the lead running back with 14/38/0 rushing (2.7 yards per carry) and 2/9/0 receiving). Things are really rough for the Texans in this phase of the game entering Week Three. Collectively, Alfred Blue, Polk, and Jonathan Grimes and the Texans' offense rank 24th in the NFL with 44 rushing attempts so far this year (average of 22 per game to split between three guys). They lead the league at 105 pass attempts through two games.

Tampa Bay is ranked 19th over the first two games, averaging 114.0 rushing yards allowed per game, with three rushing scores handed out to date. They gave up 27/104/2 rushing to the Saints last week - this is not a feared defensive front, friends.

On balance this looks like a neutral matchup from where we sit in the cheap seats.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Lamar Miller ground out 25/83/0 rushing and added 2/14/0 receiving to come close to 100 yards combined against the stubborn Kansas City defense last weekend. So far this year, he is the 19th-best fantasy running back in the PPR pardigm, with 53/189/0 rushing and 6/25/0 receiving to his credit. The lack of TDs is holding his fantasy ceiling down right now, as Brock Osweiler has been leaning on DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller for scoring opportunities.

The Patriots' rush D is ranked ninth in the league after two games, averaging 81.0 yards allowed per game with two rushing scores handed over to date. Last week, the Dolphins had 16/70/1 rushing while at Foxboro. New England is in the middle of the NFL averaging 16.7 fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs per game.

This looks like a neutral matchup for a dual-threat back like Miller.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Houston run game is sputtering, regardless of how much volume they throw at it. Lamar Miller has yet to get off the ground, managing just 3.60 yards per rush through 2 games, and rookie Donta Foreman has provided even less (3.38). Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson has provided the only whiff of dynamism thus far, rushing for 83 yards and a long touchdown through 2 weeks. Much of the problem can be found along the line, where the Texans “boast” one of the league’s weakest units. Guards Xavier Su’a-Flio and Greg Mancz are anemic in the running game, and the cobbled-together tackle spots badly miss holdout Duane Brown. They’ll probably continue to tinker with the personnel – rookie guard Kyle Fuller could see more work soon – but there’s little optimism on the horizon. The Texans’ best hope is that Miller’s early-career quickness returns, or that Foreman’s bounce-to-the-edges game clicks sooner rather than later. Watson’s versatility helps, but it can’t be counted on to carry the run game. A week after being thoroughly gashed by rookie Kareem Hunt, the Patriots showed solidly against the Saints’ barely-there rushing attack last Sunday. Aside from a 28-yard rumble on the game’s final play, Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson managed just 50 yards across 15 rushes. We can’t glean much from that game – the Saints trailed from the first quarter and abandoned the run early, just as they did in Week 1 – but it’s at least somewhat encouraging for a Patriots defense missing end/linebacker Donta Hightower. New England is running four- and five-man fronts as a base and they’ve assembled a handful of big bodies – namely run-stuffing tackle Malcom Brown – to fill gaps inside. It’s been hit-or-miss, and they lack strong pursuers outside and on the second level, as we saw in Week 1. But the Patriots offense is so capable of establishing and controlling game flow that traditional rushing attacks aren’t generally a major threat.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Colts' offensive line is in a state of turmoil entering week three - OG Joe Reitz was unable to practice last week due to his injured knee, and he was inactive on Sunday as expected after being listed as out on Friday. OT Winston Justice was limited in practice on Wednesday due to his head injury, and was inactive on Sunday after being listed as questionable to play on Friday. C Samson Satele left the game against the Minnesota Vikings due to a knee injury. He was replaced by OG Mike McGlynn, who moved from right guard to center. OG Trai Essex replaced McGlynn at guard.

With all the shuffling along the line last week, Donald Brown and the other Colts' running backs compiled 30/84/0 rushing as a team - Brown (16/45/0 rushing) and Vic Ballard (6/13/0 rushing, with one target for zero receptions) were the top running backs last week, though Andrew Luck contributed 4/21/0 rushing on scrambles from the quarterback position. The Colts' rushing attack is hard to get excited about entering week three - Footballguys.com's David Dodds projects Brown to finish 25th among fantasy backs this week.

Jacksonville got destroyed by the Texans last week, allowing three rushing scores to Arian Foster and Ben Tate - all told, the Texans crammed 48/216/3 rushing down the Jaguars' collective throats. Ouch! It's fair to say that this defensive unit is reeling coming into week three, after coughing up five rushing TDs in the first two games (the Jaguars allowed 29/123/2 rushing to Adrian Peterson and company in the season opener).

The Colts' offensive line is banged up and juggling personnel right now, while the Jaguars' defense is trying to bounce back after being dominated by Houston last week and Minnesota the week before - this looks like an ugly but fairly even matchup to us.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Colts' offense is not clicking right now - Frank Gore has under-performed expectations so far with 23/88/0 rushing and 3/4/0 receiving in two games. Rookie Josh Robinson has seen some action with 9/23/0 rushing and 5/27/0 receiving and looks like a complimentary back right now - but he could start to gain more touches if Gore continues to disappoint.

The Titans' rush D gave up 27/101/0 to the Jets' attack last week. They enter Week Three ranked 16th in the league averaging 104.0 yards allowed per game in this phase, but have only coughed up one rushing score over two games.

This is a neutral matchup for the visiting Colts.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Colts running game continues to be one in which Frank Gore continues to get the majority of the carries but has not been successful as Gore has under 50 yards in each of his first two games. Marlon Mack will continue to have a role in this offense, but at this point it appears that it will be a split with Gore continuing to get 12-14 carries and Mack getting 6-10 per week. The offensive line so far for the Colts has really struggled especially with the injury to Ryan Kelly as Deshaun Bond an undrafted rookie is starting at center for the Colts. Jack Mewhort has not returned back to his self after a knee injury cost him a significant part of last season. The Browns are much improved compared to last season where they ranked as one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. So far this season they have allowed just 85.5 yards per game and held LeVeon Bell to just 3.2 yards per carry in the season opener. While the Browns have not had a significant pass rush and are missing Myles Garrett, Danny Shelton and Trevon Coley have improved as run defenders for this team.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Kansas City's offense is in shambles. The team has rushed for 78.5 yards per game on average to date, and hit a new low with 12/22/0 rushing for Larry Johnson last week (1.8 yards per carry) with 19/55/0 as a team. Johnson lashed out in the media following the game, claiming that the team is "phasing him out" and calling for more work. However, given the 3.4 yards per carry average that K.C. sports, more carries may not equate to more fantasy production. Look at your other options until K.C. sorts out their offense, folks.

Atlanta hasn't been stellar in this phase of the game through 2 contests, averaging 113 rushing yards allowed per tilt (20th in the NFL) with 3 rushing scores handed over to date. Tampa pumped in 28/164/2 last week, for a 5.9 yards per carry average. Ouch.

K.C.'s offense is reeling, as is Atlanta's rush D. In the Georgia Dome, this has the feel of a fairly even contest, with neither squad holding an edge over the other.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

'You either feel sorry for yourself and it's going to be a long season or you're going to muster the collective will of the guys you have in the building and figure out a way to make positive changes,' Chiefs coach Todd Haley said after learning that Jamaal Charles is out for the rest of the season. 'It's the collective willpower of your entire roster that has to make up for some of these losses and do some things to change games, change the outcome of games.'

'We can't sit there and dwell on 'What if?' Nothing is easy,' said Dexter McCluster, who with Thomas Jones will likely fill in for Charles as the featured back. 'Once we find that key element that will turn this around, we're going to take it and run with it and hold on to it... (Losing Charles) was definitely tough. He is a great player, a great runner. He was one of the keys to our offense ... We just have to find a way to pull together, pick up the slack and get this thing moving pretty quick.'

'Devastation,' Jones said. 'Jamaal is like a little brother to me. It's tough. I'll just have to be there for him. He's a fighter. He's a strong-minded and determined guy. Whatever his injury is, I know he'll bounce back from it.'

Even though the Chiefs are sixth in the NFL averaging 5.5 yards per carry as a unit, they are without a rushing TD this season. It remains to be seen how they adjust to the loss of their top running back.

The Chargers are currently 26th in the NFL, averaging 126.5 yards rushing per game, but they have only allowed one rushing TD through two games. New England managed 25/94/1 rushing last week (a 3.8 yards per carry average) but they were bottled up for most of the contest. This unit is up-and-down so far during 2011 - we're not sure how good they are.

K.C. is dealing with a bad injury situation coming into this divisional game, while the Chargers continue to figure out how good they are. This matchup looks fairly even to us.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Jamaal Charles is likely out of this game due to a high ankle sprain, so look for Knile Davis to headline for K.C. at Miami. He posted 22/79/2 rushing and 6/26/0 receiving at Denver last week, going over 100 yards combined in relief of the injured Charles. With only Cyrus Gray healthy behind him, it'll be Davis or nobody this week at Miami.

The Dolphins average 101 rushing yards allowed per game this year (13th in the NFL) with one rushing score surrendered through two games. Buffalo had 33/113/0 rushing against Miami last week on the way to a 29-10 win over the Dolphins.

Davis has a neutral matchup this week against the so-so Dolphins' defensive front.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Daniel Thomas finally showed up for the Dolphins in week two, with 18/107/0 rushing and 1/10/0 receiving vs. Houston. Reggie Bush returned to his more usual change-of-pace role, with 6/18/0 rushing and 1/3/0 receiving on the day. All told, the Dolphins posted 28/153/0 rushing in the losing effort vs. Houston.

Meanwhile, the Browns defeated Indianapolis 27-19 and held the Colts to 26/109/0 rushing in the process. LB D'Qwell Jackson led the defense with eight tackles, including six solo. 'The [Colts] were able to drive the ball a bit,' Jackson said. 'But at the end of the day, as long as you are able to keep them out of the end zone, that's what really matters. We were able to create two turnovers late, so I thought we held up to the challenge... We can finally put last week to bed.' To date, the Browns are 24th in the NFL averaging 124 rushing yards allowed per game, with one rushing TD given up. Cleveland is improving in this phase of the game entering week three.

The Dolphins got their running game up to speed last week with Thomas, while the Browns improved their defensive performance but didn't shut down the Colts. This looks like an even matchup to us.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Miami lost Knowshon Moreno for the foreseeable future in Week 2 - he suffered an ugly dislocation of his left elbow and will be out 4-8 weeks as a result. Lamar Miller ran for 11/46/0 and added 2/7/0 receiving in the absence of Moreno last week - he figures to be the lead back for Miami going forwards (until Moreno returns). Daniel Thomas was picked up off the scrap heap after Moreno's injury, but we don't see him as much of a threat to Miller's touches at this point in time.

The Chiefs rush D averages 125.0 yards rushing allowed per game (23rd in the NFL), but has zero rushing scores handed out to date. Denver was held to 19/88/0 rushing last week, while Tennessee piled up 38/162/0 rushing by Shonn Greene and company in Week 1. This unit has been up and down to start the season.

On balance, this looks like a neutral matchup between struggling units to us.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Cleveland's passing game was bitten by the injury bug a quarterback two games in a row, but they aren't the only team with an injury-related void on the offense. Arian Foster (already nursing a sore hamstring entering Week Two) suffered a groin injury in the game at New England. As Footballguys.com's Dr. Jene Bramel pointed out on Monday: '[Head coach Adam] Gase said Foster was day-to-day in his Monday press conference. That's a tough sell. Foster was ruled out immediately during yesterday's game and soft tissue injuries are rarely simple recoveries for him. Until we see Foster practice, it's hard to believe he'll be ready to play in Week 3.' With Foster likely sidelined, we're looking at Jay Ajayi stepping into the top job. He was angry about losing out to Foster in preseason (which was why he was inactive and didn't travel with the team in Week One) - now, Ajayi gets his shot at leading the Dolphins' rushing attack. He had 5/14/0 rushing and 4/31/0 receiving in relief of Foster at New England last week - over the last two years, in spot duty (mostly), Ajayi posted 54/201/1 rushing and 15 targets for 11/121/0 receiving in regular season. There isn't a lot of sizzle to his steak just yet, fantasy owners. Buyer beware.

The Browns' defense will likely be on the field a lot in this one, with a rookie quarterback under center starting his first NFL game. So far this year, Cleveland has averaged 106.5 rushing yards allowed per game (tied for 17th in the NFL) with one rushing score surrendered. They have averaged 16.4 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs this season (18th in the NFL).

This looks like a neutral matchup between so-so units.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Adrian Peterson has been everything the Vikings hoped for - after 2 games he's proven to be a dual-threat back with 39/169/0 rushing and 5/112/1 receiving to his credit so far. He led the team in rushing (20/66/0) and receiving (4/52/0) during Tarvaris Jackson's debacle (4 interceptions thrown last week). Peterson is the real deal, folks - a workhorse back who can play all 4 downs.

The Chiefs' rush defense is in the middle of the NFL pack, ranking 15th in the league allowing an average of 108 yards per game - but they haven't handed over a rushing TD yet this year. Chicago could only muster 29/107/0 vs. the Chiefs last week - they can be stubborn from time to time.

Peterson is a great looking back, but he'll have to deal with the hostile Arrowhead Stadium crowd and a respectable defensive front in K.C. - this one looks like a neutral matchup to us. Keep an eye on Chester Taylor's health as he'll affect Peterson's playing time.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Minnesota has sidelined Adrian Peterson indefinitely entering Week 3, so it'll be Matt Asiata (13/36/0 rushing with 5/48/1 receiving last week in his first start of the year) and Jerick McKinnon (2/7/0 rushing and 2/5/0 receiving) handling the rushing duties in Minneapolis for the forseeable future. Asiata looks like the primary back so far, but it is early in the evolution of this position. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News later this week to see how things are playing out in the new-look Minnesota backfield.

The Saints' defense has allowed 63 points so far this year, helping to contribute to their poor start. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed more points (75) this season. Last week, Cleveland had 30/122/1 rushing vs. the Saints; in the regular season opener, the Saints allowed 25/123/1 rushing to the Falcons' backs. This is a sub-par defensive front through two games, folks.

Two units with flaws face off in this game - neither side has an edge on the other.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

While it is difficult to believe, the Vikings might benefit by having some fresh blood in at running back while Adrian Peterson gets his knees back to 100% healthy. Peterson's 1.6 yards per carry average so far this year is the fewest rushing yards per attempt by a player with at least 30 rushes since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger, friends. The Vikings eked out 22/30/0 vs. Green Bay last weekend, including 12/19/0 rushing by Peterson (1.6 yards per carry). Jerick McKinnon has averaged 4.9 yards per carry during his three-year career in Minnesota (168/817/2 rushing with 50/310/1 receiving (73 targets), and was successful as a stand-in for Peterson when the latter was out on suspension. Matt Asiata is expected to be in the mix with McKinnon - he's been a Viking for five years and has scored more rushing TDs (250/884/12 with 70/470/1 receiving on 95 targets) than McKinnon - local beat writer Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune expects a 65/35 split between McKinnon and Asiata against this week's opponent, the Panthers.

Speaking of Carolina, they sit at 17th in the NFL right now, averaging 106.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with three rushing scores handed out to date. However, the 49ers were limited to 26/65/1 rushing last weekend, as the Panthers bounced back from their season-opening loss at Denver. To date, the Panthers have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs on average (22.2). We'll see if the trend to improvement continues against the Vikings' duo.

As the Vikings juggle their lineup at running back, we're calling this a neutral matchup in the Panthers' house on Sunday.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Dalvin Cook after a very solid week one and while it may appear that he regressed in week two, he still had 5.3 yards per carry in this game which was highlighted by a 25 yard run against the Steelers defense. What is even more impressive from Cook is that his starting quarterback was out, and the interior offensive line continues to struggle as rookie center Pat Elflein and left guard Nick Easton both have struggled so far this season. The Buccaneers last season were susceptible to the run as they were 22nd in terms of rush defense in 2016 allowing 117.2 yards per game. This year, the Buccaneers have only played one game, but they looked extremely strong shutting down the Bears rushing attack holding them to just 20 yards total on the ground. The Buccaneers have a very strong front seven led by Gerald McCoy and if they can put it together could be one of the top units in football for this season led by the improvement of Lavonte David as the team noted that he is much faster and more decisive this season compared to last. Kwon Alexander left the game with a hamstring injury and remains questionable for this game. If Alexander was unable to go, third round rookie Kendell Beckwith who was terrific in his rookie debut would expect to take a larger role as he did in the season opener.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Patriots rushed the ball 20 times vs. New York last week, with Fred Taylor getting the best results in his time on the field (8/46/0 rushing). Laurence Maroney handled 6/23/0 last week, while Kevin Faulk saw three carries for eight yards and one catch for three yards. Sammy Morris chipped in with 2/4/0 rushing and 1/14/0 receiving. It was an unexciting day to be invested in the many-headed RBBC that the Patriots feature.

Atlanta had trouble containing DeAngelo Williams (16/79/1 rushing with 3/32/0 receiving) and Jonathan Stewat (9/65/0 rushing, 3/14/0 receiving), allowing a whopping 5.8 yards per rush to the Panthers en route to 25/144/1 given away. The team also lost DT Peria Jerry for the season due to a knee injury - we'll see what they contrive to cope with the loss of their prized rookie. To date, the Falcons are ranked 19th in the NFL averaging 120 rushing yards allowed per game, with one rushing TD surrendered to date.

The Patriots employ a multi-faceted approach to the running game, while the Falcons' rush D is in the middle of the NFL pack - this matchup looks pretty even to us.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

With run defense being a rare strength on a clearly out-of-whack Texans team, it’s unlikely we’ll see the Patriots test it much in Week 3. When they do, though, it will be almost exclusively on the legs of Mike Gillislee. He’s the clear-cut hammer and closer in the offense, and the team turns to him for virtually all of its interior running. Gillislee has been underwhelming on paper, managing just 114 yards on his 33 carries, but keep that in proper context. Much of his running has come in short yardage, which will always ding a runner’s per-carry average. And he’s been quite successful there, converting 5 of his 8 short-yardage carries into first downs or touchdowns. (He also had a 2-yard score called back by penalty in Week 2.) Beyond Gillislee, the Patriots tend to manufacture their run game with end-around plays and shotgun runs in open space. It’s typically high on impact, but low on predictability. Longtime inside linebacker Brian Cushing has nine games remaining on his PED suspension, but his loss may not be felt too terribly. Rookie Zach Cunningham is an athletic prospect who’s shown well thus far as a pro. He was outstanding in his debut start, coming up with several key stops against the Bengals. He and Benardrick McKinney operate behind a stout, J.J. Watt-led defensive line that works well at the point of attack.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

New Orleans had a hard time moving the ball against Washington last week, eking out 19/55/1 as a unit (Pierre Thomas had the score, 6/8/1, while Reggie Bush posted 10/28/0 and Deuce McAllister had 2/10/0 in limited action). To date, the Saints are 25th in the NFL averaging 78 rushing yards per contest - they haven't gotten much room to maneuver from the big guys upfront so far.

Denver contained the Chargers to 18/80/0 last week, partly due to LaDainian Tomlinson's toe injury, after being blasted by Oakland for 31/150/0 on opening day. The Broncos have been up and down in this phase during 2008 (and weren't very good during 2007, either).

Denver showed some improvement last week, but they are still far from a shut-down type defense. Two sub-par units clash in this matchup, with neither enjoying a clear edge over the other.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Saints' snake-bit running back stable absorbed another hit on Monday night when Reggie Bush went down for four-to-six weeks with a fractured fibula. He'll join P.J. Hill and Lynell Hamilton on the sidelines (the latter two are on IR already), and Chris Ivory was out of Monday's game due to a knee issue. The Saints may be down to just Pierre Thomas (18/46/0 rushing with 8/57/0 receiving last week) as the active running back (they also have FB Heath Evans (1/0/0 rushing with 1/18/0 receiving last week) back in action) this week. The team released DeShawn Wynn on Wednesday in a somewhat surprising move.

The Falcons' rush D was solid during 2009, with 1,711 yards allowed (10th in the NFL averaging 106.8 yards allowed per game), 10 rushing scores surrendered (seventh) and an average of 4.0 yards allowed per carry (eighth in the NFL). The defensive front crumbled in overtime during week one, though, allowing a game-winning 50-yard gallop to Rashard Mendenhall, and a final stat line of 31/143/1 given up to Pittsburgh. Arizona's Tim Hightower busted an 80-yard TD run vs. Atlanta in week two, continuing the story line of a solid defensive performance (12/38/0 allowed prior to the long run) set back by a big play surrendered to the opposition. The Falcons' defensive front has slipped up twice in two weeks in this phase, but the mistakes have been huge ones.

Thomas and Evans have a 50-50 shot at a solid game against the mostly-solid Atlanta defensive front.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Giants continue to roll in this phase of the game, averaging 106.5 rushing yards per game (13th in the NFL) while piling up 4 rushing scores (tied for 2nd in the NFL) between Tiki Barber and Brandon Jacobs. Barber is 4th in the NFL with 35/145/2 rushing and 3/66/1 receiving to date (Jacobs has thrown down 9/44/2 in his chances).

The Chargers contained Denver to 26/98/1 last week - they didn't dominate, but they did play fairly well. Currently, San Diego is tied with Dallas at 15th in the league, allowing 103.5 rushing yards per game (with 2 rushing scores given up during the first 2 games). The Chargers are solid but not spectacular in this phase of the game.

The Giants have a powerful tandem of backs, but the Chargers aren't wimps in this phase of the game. We think this matchup looks fairly even.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

'I thought he was washed up,' head coach Rex Ryan said of LaDainian Tomlinson after the game on Sunday. 'He only averaged 7 yards a carry today. Maybe we ought to give it to him more. You did see that spirit. We really got an unbelievable day out of LT.' Tomlinson gained 11/76/0 rushing and 4/26/0 receiving to go over 100 yards combined vs. New England, while Shonn Greene posted a pedestrian 15/52/0 rushing with 1/8/0 receiving. It looks like Tomlinson may be headed to becoming the lead back in this committee, although we still expect to see a lot of sharing between he and Greene.

The Dolphins' rush D struggled to cope with Adrian Peterson last week (as many defenses do) - ultimately, they coughed up 33/156/1 to the Vikings in the course of their 14-10 upset win at Minnesota. The Bills' backs couldn't get anything done against Miami in week one, with a paltry 17/50/0 rushing as a team, but against the elite Peterson Miami's defensive front crumpled.

Tomlinson has been strong in the early going, and the Dolphins looked vulnerable in week two after playing well in the opener. This appears to be a fairly even matchup between two divisional rivals.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Chris Ivory was hurting from a groin injury but showed up for the Jets against the Colts with 14/57/0 rushing and 2/3/0 receiving, while Bilal Powell also had a lot of work in the game (12/38/0 rushing with 4/16/0 receiving). The two make up a respectable rushing attack entering Week Three.

The Eagles allowed 33/109/0 rushing to the Cowboys' committee of backs last week, and average 107 rushing yards allowed per game (17th in the NFL) - but they have yet to give out a rushing score. The linebacking corps was hit last week when Kiko Alonso went down to another knee injury - a partially torn ACL that will likely require surgery, and in any case has Alonso out indefinitely - so we'll see how the unit responds to Alonso's absence here in Week Three.

This looks like a neutral matchup for the Jets' backs.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Matt Forte blew up against the Bills, with 30/100/3 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving last week. Bilal Powell had 1/2/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving in a bit role during Week Two - all told, the Jets ran for 36/123/3 as a team. Forte has a head of steam up running into Week Three.

The Chiefs' rush D bent but didn't break in Houston, allowing 34/97/0 to Lamar Miller and company - to date, K.C. averages 126 yards rushing allowed per game (30th in the NFL), with two rushing scores given up, but they played much better than that average indicates in Week Two. This unit has been down-and-up to begin the 2016 season.

This looks like a neutral matchup for Forte and Powell as they travel to the Chiefs' deafening house, Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs' defense is usually much stouter in the confines of their home field.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The rebuilding Jets are rotating running back snaps among Matt Forte (62), Bilal Powell (48), and rookie Elijah McGuire (11). No one is standing out, but standing out is a tall order behind such a weak front line and in such constantly-awful game script. The trio is slamming into a stacked box on nearly every carry, so it’s been impressive to see efficiency from Forte (4.60 yards per rush), and McGuire’s Week 2 debut (6 rushes, 29 yards) brought a sliver of hope to an otherwise ugly loss. But while their efficiency numbers were solid, they were inconsequential in the blowout, which should be a Jets trend all season. As a result, it will be difficult to project them to usable fantasy statistics in virtually any matchup. Unless a featured back emerges at some point – McGuire, who holds all of the backfield’s youth, seems the most likely by pure logic – we can’t expect any rushing numbers to covet. The Dolphins effectively bottled up Melvin Gordon in Week 2 (9 rushes, 13 yards, 1 touchdown), but that probably doesn’t tell us much about their run-stopping unit. Gordon’s offensive line, rebuilding from one of the league’s worst, is still understaffed and working to gel together; it was far from his first game of suboptimal efficiency. Miami’s run defense remains a question mark at best following a rough 2016, in which only the 49ers allowed more yards per rush and 14 of 17 opponents topped 100 ground yards. The going got even tougher (and cloudier) prior to last week, when new strongside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, projected as the defense’s run-stuffing anchor, went AWOL from the team due to mysterious personal matters. With former Saints flameout and new addition Stephone Anthony suddenly in the mix for heavy snaps, this looks like a unit to target on most weeks. Be advised, though, that they’re adept at denying scoring opportunity on the goal line. Dating back to last year, they’ve allowed just 5 of their opponents’ last 20 rushes from inside the 5-yard line to end in touchdowns.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

LaMont Jordan has piled up 33/129/1 rushing and 11/72/0 receiving (15th in the NFL among fantasy RB's in fantasy points after 2 weeks) to date, and he delivered 15/59/1 rushing and 6/32/0 last week vs. Kansas City. The Raiders average 4.0 yards per carry thus far during 2005 - they are much stronger in this phase of the game with Jordan.

The 49ers managed a mere 68 rushing yards last week vs. this defense, but the Eagles average 129 rushing yards allowed per game this season - they have been up and down in this phase of the game. They looked tough last week, though.

The Eagles are inconsistent so far this year - the same can be said of Jordan and company. This matchup looks pretty even to us.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

"At halftime, I told the team, 'Michael Bush is going to win this game for us. Michael Bush is going to be pounding them in the end, and we're going to win this thing running the ball with Mike,' " Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said after the win on Sunday. "And he did it. Pretty good story." The rest of the story is that Justin Fargas was sidelined by a groin injury during the game, and Darren McFadden suffered from turf toe at half-time and was off of the field for the final drive of the game. It's likely that Fargas will miss several weeks recovering from the groin injury, while McFadden's ability to recover from the turf toe is still and open question - McFadden owners will want to monitor his practice participation later in the week. During the game, McFadden posted 21/164/1 rushing and Bush notched 16/90/1 - the Raiders gained 47/300/2 on the ground last week as a team. Assuming Fargas is down this week, McFadden and Bush should be able to carry the load (or just Bush, if McFadden is limited). McFadden was on the sidelines in a protective boot during the Wednesday practice, raising the probability he'll be limited on Sunday.

The Bills have been firm in this phase of the game through 2 contests, averaging 91.5 rushing yards allowed per game and handing over only 1 rushing TD to date. Last week, they contained the Jaguar's talented duo of backs, keeping Jacksonville under 100 yards rushing (27/98/1) with a 3.6 yards per carry allowed average. Buffalo's defense is playing well, folks.

Oakland showed their explosiveness last week - if they can bring 2 of their 3 backs to the party on Sunday, they'll be a handful for the Bills' D. On balance, this looks like a fairly even matchup between high-performing units.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Eagles posted a respectable effort against the Giants in this phase of the game last week, with 30/107/1 as a team (19/68/1 for Westbrook, who added 7/56/0 through the air to total 124 yards from scrimmage). Correll Buckhalter didn't do much, with 6/6/0 rushing and 1/9/0 receiving - McNabb added 4/31/0 to the effort, including a nice 15 yard gain. It was an adequate but not dominant showing. Westbrook missed practice on Wednesday due to his sore knee (tweaked in practice last week before the New York game) and he is questionable to play this week. If Westbrook can't go, Buckhalter and backup Ryan Moats would pick up the slack - Westbrook owners will want to monitor his practice participation/injury status later in the week before inserting him into the lineup for week 3.

The 49ers have been fairly stout in this phase of the game to date, giving up 202 rushing yards over their first two contests. Last week, they held the Rams' running backs out of the end zone, giving up 28/118/0 - the team is 16th in the league averaging 101 rushing yards allowed per contest. The 49ers are holding their own, but not shutting down their opponents.

At Monster Park, the Eagles' backs appear to be pretty evenly matched with the 49ers defense and their 12th man.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Brian Westbrook continues to be a premier fantasy back this season, currently ranking #1 among all fantasy backs after 2 contests with 37/149/3 rushing and 8/46/2 receiving to his credit. Against the hated divisional rival, Dallas, Westbrook pumped in all 3 of the teams' offensive TDs, with 18/58/2 rushing and 6/45/1 - he is their "money man".

The Steelers are currently 3rd in the NFL averaging 64 rushing yards allowed per game, with 1 rushing score given up to date. Cleveland sputtered to 25/53/0 rushing vs. Pittsburgh last week (a 2.1 yards per carry average). Pittsburgh has one of the elite defensive fronts in the NFL.

Two elite squads clash in this contest - the Steelers are on the road, so home field advantage evens the matchup to "neutral".

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

LeSean McCoy had over 150 yards combined vs. the Chargers last week, posting 11/53/0 rushing and 5/114/0 receiving. He's the top fantasy back in the land after two games, with 42/237/1 rushing and 6/119/0 receiving - start him if you've got him. Michael Vick ran in a TD last week (6/23/1) while Bryce Brown remains an afterthought - he had 3/13/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving in his understudy role last weekend.

The Chiefs' rush D ranks second in the NFL averaging just 54 rushing yards allowed per game, with zero rushing scores given out to date. Last week, Dallas managed 16/37/0 rushing at K.C. - these guys are playing stout football, guys.

McCoy faces a hard-nosed defense in this 'revenge' game for ex-Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid. This looks like a neutral matchup between top-shelf units.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Eagles' rushing attack is really a rushing/receiving attack - on Monday night, Philadelphia's backs piled up 28/127/2 rushing at Indianapolis with 20/79/1 rushing for LeSean McCoy and 4/26/1 rushing for Darren Sproles. They added 4/23/0 receiving for McCoy and a team-best 7/152/0 receiving for Sproles in the other phase of the game. This may be the most potent running back tandem in the NFL right now, friends.

The Washington defensive front is ranked fourth in the league, averaging 70.0 rushing yards allowed per game, with zero rushing scores given up to date. Jacksonville's sad-sack rushing attack eked out 10/25/0 rushing at Washington last week in a blowout 10-41 loss in which Washington held the ball for 39:01 during the game.

Two strong units clash in this game. As the game is going down in Philadelphia's home field, we think this is a neutral matchup with neither team holding an edge over the other.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Ryan Mathews stuffed in two TDs at Chicago (9/32/2) and had a reception for three yards. The Eagles were actually led in rushing by Darren Sproles (12/40/0 rushing with 2/8/0 receiving), while Wendell Smallwood (2/16/0) and Kenjon Barner (2/2/0) were sprinkled it - fantasy owners were disconcerted to see Barner in on a goal line carry, but he was stuffed and Mathews then proceeded to score the TD. We'll see if Mathews gets more of the load here in Week Three - the flirtation with Sproles as the lead back in the committee didn't produce much in the way of results.

The Steelers are tough in this phase of the game - they held the Bengals to 18/46/0 rushing last week, after limiting Washington to 12/55/1 rushing in the season opener. So far, the Steelers average 50.5 rushing yards allowed per game, second-least in the NFL. However, they average 18.4 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs (14th in the NFL) - dual-threat backs who catch the ball well, like Mathews and Giovani Bernard (5/17/0 rushing last week, but 9/100/1 receiving vs. Pittsburgh) can make some hay in the other phase of the game.

This looks like a neutral matchup for Mathews (or Sproles) as both are good dual-threat running backs.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Here’s one of the few teams that can rival the Giants in terms of disinterest in the run game. Maybe it’s due to personnel, but for whatever reason, Eagles coach Doug Pederson is defying his coaching upbringing. As Kansas City’s coordinator, his offenses were rush-dominant, but in Philadelphia, he’s actively avoiding the run. It’s hard to fault him: the Eagles possess shaky running back talent at best. LeGarrette Blount was phased out of the Week 2 game plan (six snaps, one touch), while Wendell Smallwood started and was promptly ignored (14 and 4). The Eagles will eventually run more, but never a ton, and their efficiency will always be in question. Smallwood is a mediocre athlete and runner, one who’s been held to 2 yards or less on a troubling 44% of his NFL rushes. And Blount looks done, chugging to just 46 yards on 14 carries and converting only 1 of 4 short-yardage tries. Darren Sproles’ third-down and change-of-pace role has been the only sliver of dynamism yet in this attack. Surprisingly, the Giants have been a run defense to target thus far. They’ve allowed 129 and 138 rushing yards in their first 2 games, and opponents have been able to comfortably salt away wins against a typically elite unit. The numbers haven’t been inflated by the game script of two bad losses, either – 58% of that production has come in the first halves. The loss of middle linebacker B.J. Goodson may have been an issue in Week 2, but altogether it’s been a far cry from their dominant 2016, which saw them hold 8 of their 17 opponents to 90 ground yards or less. Still, it’s safe to expect run-stuffing tackle Damon Harrison and company to regroup somewhat in Week 3. The Philadelphia offensive line has been a shell of its usual self thus far, and the Giants are in a position to take advantage.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Hello Willie Parker. 47/272/2 rushing and 1/48/0 receiving over the first 2 weeks of the NFL season have cemented Parker as the starter in Pittsburgh for now. The Steelers lead the league with 170.5 rushing yards per game to date.

New England looks vulnerable in this phase of the game. They allowed 36/104/3 to the Panthers last week, and are currently 12th in the NFL averaging 98 rushing yards allowed per game. The Patriots aren't controlling the line of scrimmage this year.

Parker is the top RB in the league, and he has home-field advantage at his back. With Bettis and Staley both ailing, we expect lots of running from Parker against a pretty good Patriot defense. We're calling this a neutral matchup.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Jaguars' defensive front gave the Pittsburgh running backs fits last week, holding the Steelers to 14/26/0 (11/20/0 for starter Willie Parker) - Pittsburgh just couldn't find any seams to exploit on Monday night. Parker has amassed 40/135/0 rushing and 6/19/0 receiving over the first 2 games - he's been hot and then cold in the initial 2 contests. We'll see if the friendly environs of Heinz Field helps him out this week.

Kansas City ground out 25/113/0 on the ground against the Bengals in week 1 (a 4.5 yards-per-carry average) - Cincinnati threw a wet blanket on the Browns in week 2, though, limiting Reuben Droughns to 14/32/1 rushing (but they did cough up a total of 20/57/2 to the Browns on the day - they did not protect the end zone particularly well). So far, the Bengals sport the 13th ranked rush D in the land, averaging 85 yards allowed per game.

At home, against a divisional rival, we expect the Steelers to bring their "A" game - against the mediocre Bengals rush defense (who have just lost LB David Pollack for the season due to a neck injury), we think Parker will post a solid game and we're calling this a neutral matchup.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Rashard Mendenhall handled 23/69/0 rushing and 1/3/0 receiving last week as the Steelers ground their way to a 19-11 victory over Tennessee - one kickoff return TD was scored, and there were four Jeff Reed field goals put up on the scoring board. While Ben Roethlisberger has been out due to suspension, the Steelers' offense has been pretty pedestrian - but Mendenhall has received a steady diet of work with 45/189/1 rushing and 3/18/0 receiving through two games. He's got plenty of chances to make big plays happen (they just didn't materialize last week).

Tampa opened 2010 with rookies Gerald McCoy and Brian Price manning the interior of the defensive line, and this new-look defensive front allowed 23/104/1 rushing to the Browns in week one, followed by holding Carolina's sputtering offense to 33/119/0 rushing. As you can see, the Buccaneers aren't shutting down their opponents in this phase of the game, but they are much improved over the 2009 edition which averaged 158.2 rushing yards allowed per game - so far this year they average 111.5 yards allowed per game (tied for 15th in the NFL).

Mendenhall is likely to see a lot of work again this week against the so-so Buccaneers. Right now this looks like a fairly even matchup to us.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

LeVeon Bell has yet to get on track in 2017, and it can’t really be blamed on matchups. He was shut down in Week 1 by the Browns, the league’s second-worst run defense in 2016, and the defense that just allowed the Ravens’ Buck Allen and Alex Collins to run semi-wild. And in Week 2, Bell managed just 87 yards on 27 rushes against the Vikings, who had allowed 7 of their previous 11 opponents to run for 100 yards or more. It’s great news that his volume is back in place, but we’ve still yet to see any dynamism in 2017. The eruption could well be coming – he’s as healthy as he’s ever been, and he still runs behind a stout offensive line. But following his extended holdout, expectations should be tempered a bit until we see his trademark explosiveness. We also have to monitor the health of the Steelers’ front line this week; both tackles left last Sunday’s game with various heat and cramping issues. The Bears’ much-improved run defense was again on display in Week 2. Despite the game script of a 22-point loss, they allowed the Buccaneers’ running backs just 3.52 yards per rush, with only 1 gain of more than 10 yards. The losses of linebackers Jerrell Freeman and Nick Kwiatkoski weren’t felt much, thanks in large part to the play of special-teamer Christian Jones. This should be taken with a grain of salt; the Bears were horrid against the run in 2016, allowing an average of 153.1 yards over their final 7 games. But there’s plenty of reason for optimism. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman has emerged of something of a force in the middle, freeing up their linebackers to make plays in pursuit.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

"We need to get LT back at full speed, but we do have more playmakers than we had a year ago," coach Norv Turner said on Sunday after the tough loss to Denver. "Mike Tolbert gives us an added dimension inside. Our wide receivers are playing at a high level." Unfortunately for LaDainian Tomlinson's fantasy clubs, his readiness to play this week isn't something we'll know until after he tests his tender toe (much like last week, when he posted 10/26/0 rushing and 2/14/0 receiving in an abbreviated appearance). Darren Sproles (7/53/0 rushing and 2/72/1 receiving) figures to be the man if Tomlinson is unable to perform again this week. As a team, San Diego averages 92.5 rushing yards per game through 2 weeks, 21st in the NFL.

New England managed 33/104/1 rushing vs. the Jets' defensive front last week, bringing the Jets' season average to 76.5 rushing yards allowed per game (6th in the NFL), with 1 rushing score given up to date. The Jets have been up and down in this phase of the game to open 2008.

Neither San Diego or New York has the edge in this contest - we'll see if the Jets' rush defense is for real or not after facing the Chargers on Monday Night Football.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Chargers' duo of Melvin Gordon (16/88/0 rushing with 1/10/0 receiving at Cincinnati last week) and Danny Woodhead (7/36/0 rushing with 6/68/0 receiving) have built up a respectable rushing attack this year. Gordon is getting the early-down work while Woodhead is preferred in passing situations and at the goal line. The rushing attack is not a problem for the Chargers entering Week Three.

The Vikings' rush D limited the Lions to a paltry 16/38/0 on the ground last week. However they surrendered 39/230/2 rushing to Santa Clara two weeks ago. It's fair to say that the Vikings have swung wildly in this phase of the game over the past two weeks.

On balance this looks like a neutral matchup for the visiting Chargers. We'll see which version of the Minnesota rush D shows up in Week Three.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Justin Forsett was actually the most productive RB on the Seattle squad last week, gaining 5/35/0 rushing and 6/57/0 receiving while Julius Jones (8/11/0 rushing with 3/-2/1 receiving) and Edgerrin James (2/6/0 rushing) struggled to get going vs. the 49ers. In fact, the Seahawks seem to be preparing to get Forsett more involved in the offense. 'We've always had confidence in him. But when you go out and perform like that in a tough game like that, I mean, shoot, you say, 'Let's get that guy some touches. He can make some plays,'' head coach Jim Mora said on Wednesday. The entire Seattle offense sputtered this week, especially after Matt Hasselbeck was knocked out of the game with a fractured rib. We'll see if he can play this week or not - if not, look for Chicago to key on the rushing attack and dare Seneca Wallace to beat them throwing the football.

Speaking of the Bears, they allowed 22/105/1 rushing to the Steelers last week in the first no-Brian-Urlacher game of the year (he's on IR with a surgically repaired wrist). We expected the D to have some struggles in Urlachers' absence and they did, though starter Willie Parker was limited to 3.4 yards per carry. We'll see how the defensive front looks this week with more reps in the new personnel packages under their belts.

Seattle has been up and down in this phase of the game through two weeks - ditto for the Bears who gave up 29 more yards rushing in week two over week one. On balance, this looks like a fairly even matchup to us.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Justin Forsett led the Seahawks in rushing last week with 8/44/0 rushing (and 1/8/0 receiving) to his credit during the game. Leon Washington managed 4/17/0 rushing and Julius Jones chipped in 4/12/0. All told, Seattle managed 20/109/1 rushing (Matt Hasselbeck ran in a 20-yard score at the end of the game on Sunday). So far this year Forsett has posted 15/87/0 rushing and 4/25/0 receiving to lead the team (he's the 35th-ranked fantasy RB through two games).

The Chargers' rush D contained Maurice Jones-Drew and company last week, limiting the Jaguars to 24/71/0 rushing as a team. During the season opener, the Chiefs managed 26/135/1 rushing as a team. So far this year, the Chargers have been up and down in this phase of the game.

Forsett, Washington and Jones form a fantasy-wasteland running-back-by-committee this year, and they'll have a fairly even matchup this week when the Chargers arrive in Seattle.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Marshawn Lynch ran over the Cowboys with 26/122/1 on the ground last week, and he's currently the 18th-best fantasy running back (PPR scoring) in the land, with 47/207/1 rushing and 2/12/0 receiving to his credit through two games. Robert Turbin chipped in 5/15/0 rushing and 2/24/0 receiving as a change-of-pace option last week - the Seahawks ran for 41/182/1 as a team last week - they are on a roll in this phase of the game.

Green Bay clamped down on the Bears' backs last week, holding Chicago to 23/94/0 rushing as a team. This was a big improvement over the 32/186/1 given away to the 49ers at Lambeau Field in the season opener - the Packers' rush defense is moving in the right direction as of week three.

Lynch and company will test the resurgent Green Bay rush defense in Seattle Monday night - this one looks like a neutral matchup to us, with neither team holding a big edge over the other.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Seattle got surprised at L.A. in Week Two - Thomas Rawls was stuffed (7/-7/0 rushing, with 3/15/0 receiving), while Christine Michael was limited to under 100 yards with 10/60/0 rushing and four targets for 3/26/0 receiving - nobody on the team scored a TD during the 3-9 loss. Michael did lose a fumble during the game, but head coach Pete Carroll said he though Michael looked like he was 'shot out a cannon' on some plays. This is still a committee of two, but Michael might be ascending to the lead role if he keeps outplaying Rawls.

The 49ers' D shut out L.A. in Week One but got drubbed 27-46 at Carolina last week, allowing 37/176/0 rushing to the Panthers. This, after shutting down Todd Gurley (17/47/0 rushing, with 1/-5/0 receiving), holding him to 42 yards from scrimmage while allowing a mere 23/65/0 rushing to the Rams as a team. The 49ers defense has swung wildly over the first two games of the season.

Right now, this looks like a neutral matchup between two teams in flux on their respective units.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Frank Gore went off on the Seahawks last week, piling up 16/207/2 rushing (12.9 yards per carry) and also leading the team with 5/39/0 receiving during the game. 'I think it's more than I expected,' OC Jimmy Raye said of Frank Gore's explosion of offense on Sunday, 'because you can't ever factor in two 80-yard runs. I did anticipate we would control the ball. We had a 16-play drive today and a 13-play drive, and we got three points off each one. We have to finish those drives with touchdowns. But we managed the clock well... If we can run the ball and if we get the breakout plays, if we get the short throws and completions... we'll be pretty good.' Glen Coffee chipped in with 9/13/0 when Gore needed a breather here and there. Also, Gore suffered an ankle injury during the game on Sunday - Gore and coach Singletary played down the severity of the injury after the game, though. When asked if he was OK, Gore actually jogged in place to show there was nothing to worry about. Singletary said: 'Frank's going to be fine.' In all, the 49ers crammed 29/256/2 down Seattles' throats on Sunday. They're white hot coming into week three.

The Vikings' rush D is currently 15th in the NFL averaging 109 rushing yards allowed per game - they have yet to give up a rushing TD, though. The middling average is due to Detroit surprising everyone last week by rushing the ball effectively (34/129/0) against the vaunted Vikings' defensive front. Cleveland managed 20/89/0 in week one against this group - it appears that Minnesota's run D has slipped a notch entering 2009 after averaging 76.9 rushing yards allowed per game during 2008 (first in the NFL).

Gore had a monster game last week, while the Vikings are more vulnerable to opposing rushers than they were last year right now. This looks like a neutral matchup to us, with San Francisco visiting the Metrodome on Sunday.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The 49ers blew the socks off the Saints in this phase of the game last week, with 20/112/1 rushing for Frank Gore (he added 7/56/1 receiving, too) - as a team the 49ers rang up 26/142/2 on the ground as Anthony Dixon also found the end zone during his one carry (1/2/1). So far this year Gore has posted 37/150/1 rushing and 13/101/1 receiving - he's a top fantasy talent again so far in 2010.

The Chiefs' rush D limited San Diego to 29/109/0 in the course of their 21-14 upset win during week one, and clamped down on the Browns' duo of backs in week two, with 26/73/1 rushing allowed by the team. They've been playing at a much higher level during 2010 than what we saw during last season's debacle.

Gore got his motor revved up last week, but he'll be in a hostile Arrowhead Stadium this week facing an improving K.C. unit - this looks like a fairly even matchup to us.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Carlos Hyde had his way with a stout Seahawks rushing defense last week, rambling off 124 rushing yards on 15 carries, including a 61-yard scamper that definitely padded his overall yardage total. Even without that long carry, Hyde was averaging over four yards per attempt against a defense that allowed only 3.4 yards per attempt last season. Hyde routinely shed tacklers and showed his elusiveness throughout the day while serving as a true dual-threat option due to his contributions in the receiving game. The 49ers offensive line turned in a great performance here also, with both tackles providing excellent run blocking. Left tackle Joe Staley, in particular, provided the block that set up Hyde’s 61-yard run, while right tackle Trent Brown is really coming on strong in his third NFL season, playing well in the first two games this year. The Rams front seven has been a solid group after ranking second in rushing defense in 2016, but they really struggled last week against a mediocre Redskins rushing offense even with Aaron Donald’s return in this game after missing the season opener. The Rams allowed the trio of Redskins backs to rush for a whopping 222 yards and two touchdowns, good for just over 6.1 yards per carry. While the interior of their defensive line has played solid, the Rams linebackers had a very tough time last week missing tackles left and right. Their poor performance against the run downgrades the Rams slightly, but with some slightly improved linebacker play, this unit has what it takes to be very tough on the run.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

37/153/1 rushing and 5/29/0 represents Steven Jackson's production through 2 weeks. Marshall Faulk has 6/27/0 and 3/12/0 (he has not degraded Jackson too much so far). The Rams average 4.1 yards per carry to date, which is respectable but not outstanding. We'll see if Coach Martz calls more running plays this week (but don't hold your breath as the Rams are 9th in the league with an average of 252.5 passing yards per game to date). Jackson is definitely the featured back at this point, though.

Tennessee allows an average of 110 rushing yards per game, with 2 scores given up in this phase of the game. Last week, though, they stuffed Jamal Lewis and company to the tune of 13/14/0. The Titans have been up and down in this phase of the game so far during 2005.

St. Louis is discovering their capabilities in this phase of the game, while Tennessee is searching for an identity along their defensive front. Neither team has a clear edge in this phase of the game.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Steven Jackson has been a disappointment so far this year, being contained by the 49ers last week (21/60/0 rushing and 3/36/0 receiving) after posting an even more anemic 18/58/0 rushing and 1/3/0 in the season opener. The Rams' offense has been out of sync so far during 2007. We'll see if they can jump start their running game this week - after the first 2 weeks, the Rams are 29th in the NFL averaging 3.1 yards per carry as a team. Former OG Adam Goldberg rejoined the first team this week, this time at right tackle in an effort to fill OT Orlando Pace's spot since he has been lost for the season (torn labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder).

The Buccaneers come into this matchup ranking 20th in the NFL allowing an average of 119 rushing yards per game, with 2 rushing TDs given up to date. Last week, they limited the Saints' potent backfield to 26/99/1 - Tampa's run defenders are adequate but not outstanding coming into week 3.

Jackson and company have underwhelmed us so far, while the Bucs sport a so-so rush D - this looks like a neutral matchup from where we sit.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Zac Stacy put forth a stronger effort in Week 2, with 19/71/1 rushing (after 11/43/0 rushing and 1/8/0 receiving during Week 1). So far, he is the 26th-ranked fantasy running back in the land, with 30/114/1 rushing and 1/8/0 receiving through two games. Benny Cunningham has managed 11/36/0 rushing and 5/34/0 receiving in the change-of-pace duties thus far during the season.

The Cowboys' rush D ranks 14th in the league during this young season, averaging 104.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with one rushing scores handed over to date. Dallas started off poorly, allowing 30/127/1 to the 49ers' backs in Week 1, but turned things around last week vs. Tennessee, holding the Titans to 13/82/0 rushing.

Stacy is a flex-option (#3) running back so far this year, while the Cowboys are mediocre at run D so far - this looks about even to us.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Rams' defense held Seattle to three points last week - good thing, because their offense only generated nine points during the narrow win. Todd Gurley was again limited to well under 100 yards combined, with 19/51/0 rushing and one target for 1/19/0 receiving. He is getting the volume of touches we expected but with the non-threatening Case Keenum in at quarterback, teams are stacking the line and daring Keenum to throw the football. So far, Gurley has been unable to break loose due to the clogged running lanes. All told, the Rams posted 25/64/0 rushing last weekend as a team (Benny Cunningham had one carry for two yards).

The Tampa rush defense is currently eighth in the NFL averaging 76.5 yards allowed per game, with just one rushing score handed out. They have given out the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, though (21.7 fantasy points per game on average), thanks to their porous pass coverage - David Johnson led the Cardinals in receiving last week with 3/98/0 and all told the Cardinals' backs had 107 yards receiving in that game.

This looks like a neutral matchup for a dual-threat back like Gurley, despite his current offensive team's woes.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Cadillac Williams is turning into a fantasy bust before our eyes. He is the 46th ranked fantasy RB in the land after two weeks, with 23/59/0 rushing and 5/25/0 receiving. Granted, he faced the resurgent Ravens in week 1 and the surprisingly stout Falcons in week 2, but big-time players make an impact even against solid defensive units. Williams has gone not with a bang but a whimper during the first 2 games. The Tampa OL hasn't been at its best due to injuries, but at this level starting running backs have to do better than 2.6 yards per carry.

Carolina's defensive front has experienced a meltdown during the early going - MLB Dan Morgan has been sidelined by a concussion, but every other player has been almost as absent as Morgan while Atlanta (47/252/0 during week 1) and then Minnesota (33/140/0) have exploited a unit that has been exposed as weak and ineffectual during the opening weeks of the season. The Panthers are not stopping anybody right now.

Two subpar units clash in this game - neither has a clear edge over the other in our book.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Earnest Graham (15/116/1) and Warrick Dunn (12/49/1) are providing a nice 1-2 punch for the Bucs right now - as a team, the unit is averaging 155 rushing yards per game through 2 weeks, making the Bucs one of the top 10 rushing attacks in the NFL entering week 3. With Brian Griese under center again this week, look for the rushing game to be a big part of the game plan to help Griese manage down and distance.

The Bears coughed up 31/114/2 to the Panthers last week, mostly in the second half, and enter week 3 averaging 83.5 rushing yards allowed per game (with 2 TDs given up in 2 contests). They slipped from their week 1 performance vs. Indy when they held Joseph Addai and company to 15/53/0.

Graham and Dunn are the engines that drive Tampa's attack - against the up and down Bears at Soldier Field, this looks like a neutral matchup between solid teams.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Doug Martin had an MRI on Tuesday, and the word after the examination is that he'll miss at least three weeks due to his injured hamstring. That length of time means he did much more than 'tweak' his hamstring, although the team isn't revealing if he has a tear in the muscle (or not). In any case, Charles Sims will be the starter for Tampa Bay until further notice. Sims has 186/747/1 rushing and 105 targets for 76/787/5 receiving during his three years in the NFL - with only rookie Peyton Barber and veteran Jacquizz Rodgers behind him, Sims will likely carry the load for Tampa until Martin is able to return. Sims had 9/24/0 rushing and five targets for 3/4/0 receiving during the debacle in Arizona last week, while Rodgers managed 2/29/0 rushing with one target for zero receptions.

The Rams bounced back from their Week One humiliation by the 49ers to crush their NFC West rivals, the vaunted Seahawks, last week - Seattle had 24/67/0 rushing during the game. This is the sort of defensive performance most expected out of the Rams this season, rather than the 42/150/3 rushing that San Francisco hung around their collective necks in Week One. It's fair to say that the Rams have been up and down in this phase of the game so far.

This looks like a neutral matchup as the game is going down in Tampa's house this weekend.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

'The run game ain't working,' Chris Johnson said after his latest debacle for the Titans (8/17/0 rushing). 'We just aren't executing the plays. I don't know why we're not.' To date, Chris Johnson has put up 19/21/0 rushing with 10 targets for 8/58/0 - his fantasy owners' teams' aren't working right now, largely due to the power outage going on in Tennessee. The Titans' rushing attack is in disarray, friends.

Detroit got trampled by the 49ers to the tune of 27/148/1 last week - they are currently the 17th-ranked rush D averaging 112.5 rushing yards given up per game, with one rushing score surrendered. This unit has been up and down in the early going, friends - for now, we'll call them mediocre run defenders.

Johnson is struggling, the Lions come into this game cold - that sounds ugly but about even to us.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Tennessee ground out 30/166/0 rushing at Cleveland last week, led by Dexter McCluster's 10/98/0 rushing and 4/26/0 receiving. Bishop Sankey managed 12/42/0 rushing and Terrance West posted 3/10/0 in a bit role. This is a committee of backs that so far have taken turns looking like decent fantasy backs.

The Colts' rush D is ranked 22nd in the NFL averaging 124.0 yards allowed per game with two rushing scores given up so far. The Jets managed 27/101/0 as a team at Indianapolis last week.

This is a neutral matchup for the Titans' committee of backs.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Titans running game looked a bit different last week as Derrick Henry received the majority of carries with Demarco Murray on the sideline nursing a tight hamstring. Murray struggled with his hamstring throughout training camp, and he finally was benched here because of it after a rough start in Week 1 and an inability to get anything going in the first half of this game in Jacksonville. Derrick Henry made the most of his opportunity by rushing for a career-high 92 yards and an impressive 17-yard touchdown, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Henry showed great elusiveness here in addition to his normal bruising running style. This rushing offense looked great with Henry in the backfield, so Murray’s injury is one to keep an eye on. Even if he suits up, expect a split of some sort to occur. The Seahawks defense presents a tough challenge for whichever Titans running back is carrying the ball this week. Michael Bennett is playing very strong on the interior of their defensive line, while the linebacker combination of Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright is one of the most effective combinations in the league. Last week, Wagner and Wright led the team in tackles while combining for nine solo tackles between the two of them. While they contribute extensively in pass defense, these two are very solid run-stoppers as well. Carlos Hyde found room to run on this defense last week, and it helps that the Titans are at home with a much better offensive line than the Seahawks. The question remains whether the Seahawks will return to 2016 form as they allowed just 92.9 yards per game while in 2017 they are allowing 121.5 yards per game.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Alfred Morris put up 13/107/0 rushing and 2/13/0 receiving at Green Bay last week - even in a blowout loss situation he still handled the football enough (and was productive enough) to be worth a start in most scoring formats. He's amassed 25/152/1 rushing and 3/22/0 receiving thus far this season.

DT Nick Fairley did not play last week because of a right shoulder injury he suffered against the Vikings, and the Lions missed him. Rashard Mendenhall carried 15 times for 66 yards and scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run with 1:59 left in the game (Arizona had 25/87/1 rushing as a team last week). 'He's an important player to us,' head coach Jim Schwartz said. 'He was a difference-maker last week, but again, we still have 11 on the field, they got to step up, and they got to make plays. We were prepared for it. We knew going into the week there was a possibility of him not playing.' To date, Detroit ranks 15th in the NFL averaging 96 rushing yards allowed per game, with three rushing scores handed out over two games.

This looks like a neutral matchup for Morris.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Matt Jones (13/132/2 rushing with 3/23/0 receiving) and Alfred Morris (18/59/0 rushing with 2/13/0 receiving) formed a potent 1-2 combination against the Rams last week. On Tuesday, head coach Jay Gruden said he believes Matt Jones has a 'rare combination of size and speed'... Gruden went on to say Jones has 'good vision right now.' We'll see how things shake out in Week Three but it looks like Jones is mounting a challenge for the top job for Washington going forwards.

The Giants' rush D allowed 22/56/2 to Atlanta's backup running back and company last week - they are currently second in the NFL averaging 68.0 rushing yards allowed per game with those two rushing scores given up over the first two games. This is a stout defensive front so far.

Two top-shelf divisional opponents clash in this one - this looks about even to us.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

Starting running back Rob Kelley is injured and may miss this game due to a rib injury. Kelley who had a great game last week against the Rams running for 6.5 yards per carry which was a career high for the running back in games that he started was impressive in week two before leaving the game. Samaje Perine replaced Kelley and while Perine had 21 carries he was not nearly as effective with his carries in this game as he only had 3.2 yards per carry. The Redskins offense continues to be that when the offensive line gives them a push up front the running backs are difficult to bring down once they get to the second level as both Perine and Kelley are 235 pounds. Last season the Raiders ranked as a below average run defense as they allowed 110 yards per game, but currently are being led by two rookies defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes and linebacker Marquel Lee both who have played a big part in this run defense holding the Titans running backs to just 69 yards on 18 carries which was a significant performance in week one. The Raiders did show some signs of 2016 last week as they allowed 5 yards per carry to the Jets. The ultimate issue is that their defensive line does not get a consistent push that you expect from an elite run defense unit.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

After 2 games, Edgerrin James is the top fantasy running back in the land. He has posted 50/220/2 rushing and 4/42/0 receiving to date - he's averaging 4.4 yards per carry to date, thanks to his strong outing vs. the Seahawks in week 2 (24/128/1 rushing (a 5.3 yards per carry average) and 2/22/0 receiving). While it's too soon to say that James is definitely back among the NFL's elite, he has started out strongly in the new Arizona offense.

The Ravens come into this game sporting the NFL's 2nd ranked rushing defense, allowing an average of 62 yards per game to date (with 0 rushing scores surrendered so far). The Jets were held to 27/69/0 rushing last week - an average of 2.8 yards per carry. Ray Lewis played through his triceps injury to record 7 solo tackles and an interception - it looks like concerns over his arm injury weren't warranted. The Ravens are stout in this phase of the game.

This week, we'll get a feeling for just how far the Cardinal's running game has come, as James and company face an elite rush defense and a hostile crowd - this is a tough matchup for Arizona.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

With the starting quarterback sidelined due to an injury to the nerves in his shoulder, the Cardinals leaned on their running game with 28 carries by various players last Sunday - Andre Ellington had over 100 yards combined with 15/91/0 rushing and 1/10/0 receiving to his credit, while Jonathan Dwyer handled the change-of-pace duties with 9/31/1 rushing when the dust settled. Carson Palmer doesn't sound like he'll be back real soon ('There's no, 'it needs 48 hours. It needs six days, it needs 12 days. You just don't know.' he recently stated in reference to the injury) - look for Ellington and Dwyer to get plenty of work if Drew Stanton is under center again during Week 3.

The 49ers were fourth in the NFL averaging 95.9 yards rushing allowed per game, with 11 rushing scores allowed last season - so far this year, the team ranks eighth in the league, averaging 86.5 yards rushing allowed per game. In Week 1, DeMarco Murray exploited the interior weakness of the 49ers' defensive front to post 22/118/1 rushing, and Dallas as a team had 23/127/1 on the ground. However, the 49ers fixed up the front in a hurry, allowing just 17/46/0 rushing to the Bears in Week 2. So far this year, San Francisco has been up and down in this phase of the game.

Ellington and Dwyer were adequate running the ball against the Giants - they have a tougher matchup this week against the improving 49ers' front. Advantage, San Francisco.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

ARI Injuries: none
SEA Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Last week, Jerious Norwood (1/6/0 rushing during the game) was knocked out of the game early on due to a sharp blow to the head, but the Falcons simply reloaded with Jason Snelling into the #2/change of pace role and rolled on to a 28-20 victory. Snelling was very productive in his time on the field, with 6/37/0 rushing and 1/10/1 receiving, while Michael Turner bludgeoned the Panthers for 28/105/1 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving on the day. When the dust settled, the Falcons were back into familiar territory (37/151/1 rushing as a team, a 4.1 yards per carry average). The team doesn't seem overly concerned about Norwood's injury, but keep an eye on practice reports this week - sometimes brain trauma causes side effects several days after the injury is first incurred.

The Patriots held Buffalo to 19/90/0 rushing during week one (a 4.7 yards allowed per carry average), and followed up by handing over 31/117/0 rushing to the Jets during week two. They are currently 14th in the NFL averaging 103.5 rushing yards allowed per game - but they haven't allowed a trip into the end zone to an opposing rusher yet.

The Falcons got better results from their ground attack during week two, but they've got a hard-nosed defense waiting for them up in Foxboro this week - this looks like a tough matchup to us.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Steven Jackson had the opportunity to score against his former team last week, and he managed to push in the TD on an eight-yard reception - unfortunately, he also injured his thigh on the play and was knocked out for the rest of the game. Lead-blocker Bradie Ewing suffered a season-ending shoulder injury early in the contest as well, leaving the Falcons down to Jason Snelling (2/19/1 rushing with 4/41/0 receiving) and an ineffective Jacquizz Rodgers (11/17/0 rushing and 4/28/0 receiving). Rodgers has shown little ability to run behind his offensive line this year (13/16/0 rushing to date, a miserable 1.2 yards per carry average) - if Jackson can't get back on the field in Week three due to his sore quadricep then Snelling will likely be the lead back for Atlanta until Jackson can return as the featured runner. As of September 17 speculations out of Atlanta indicate that Jackson could be out 2-4 weeks due to his muscle injury.

The Dolphins' rush D limited Trent Richardson to 13/47/0 rushing two weeks ago, but followed up with 26/133/1 given away to Indianapolis last weekend. The Dolphins averaged 108.4 rushing yards allowed per game (13th in the NFL) last year. The Dolphins were stubborn at the goal line with just 10 rushing scores handed over during the 16-game season during 2012, and they have given up just one so far this year (on pace for only eight rushing scores allowed), while averaging 90 rushing yards allowed per game through two contests.

Miami has been up-and-down in the rush D department so far this year - meanwhile, Atlanta will probably have backups handling the carries this week. On balance, we give the home-team Dolphins an edge in this matchup.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Falcons offense looked great last week as they cruised to a big win over the Packers. The Falcons employed a run-heavy approach, especially in the second half after pulling out to a 24-7 lead, as they fed Devonta Freeman 19 carries for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Tevin Coleman also got involved on the ground, rushing six times for 42 yards. Most of his runs were highly inefficient, but he did bounce one out for a 35-yard gain in the second quarter to help pad his stat-line. The Falcons lost offensive lineman Ryan Schraeder to a concussion last week, so his status will be up in the air for Week 3 depending on how quickly he can progress through the protocol. While Atlanta has one of the best offensive lines in football due mostly to center Alex Mack, an absence from Schrader would significantly weaken the right side of this line since right guard is their glaring weakness right now. The Lions rushing defense has been very stout so far this season, allowing only 88 total rushing yards to opposing running backs. This stat is of course aided significantly by the injury to David Johnson in week 1 and complete ineptitude of the Giants rushing offense. However, even in Week 1, the Lions were completely shutting Johnson down for nearly three quarters before his injury. Ezekiel Ansah and Anthony Zettel have been strong on the edge, while Jarrad Davis has been an excellent run-stopping middle linebacker. Davis had to leave the game with a concussion last week though, meaning his status will be in question for Week 3. With Davis playing, this will be a tough matchup based on the excellent play of the Lions’ front seven so far this season.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

C.J. Spiller ran 16 times for 103 yards, averaging 6.4 yards per carry (a big bounce back after his awful week one effort). He also caught four passes for 26 yards vs. Carolina. 'It's just one game,' Spiller said after the contest, 'but it does feel good to start getting back into the groove... I just had fun. Last week I was very frustrated, and they just took me out of my game.' Fred Jackson pushed in a TD with 12/30/1 last Sunday, and he added 4/23/0 receiving as well. Spiller and Jackson are a formidable duo of running backs - doubly true now that Spiller is back on track.

The Jets battled New England, just narrowly losing 10-13 last week - New England had a mere 24/54/0 rushing during the game. Two weeks ago Doug Martin and the Buccaneers managed just 25/65/1 rushing at the Jets. This defensive front is shaping up to be one of the best run-stopping units in the NFL.

Spiller and Jackson form an outstanding duo of running backs, but the Jets are far from a pushover this year. This looks like a tough matchup for the Bills' ball carriers.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LeSean McCoy scored the only TD that Buffalo managed in Week One, punching in 16/58/1 rushing and seeing four targets for 4/12/0 receiving at Baltimore. Reggie Bush had 3/-4/0 rushing and one target for zero receptions - against the Jets' outstanding defensive front, things went even worse for the Bills. McCoy had no TDs last week (15/59/0 rushing with 4/31/0 receiving), while Bush didn't appear in the box score. Mike Gillislee did find the end zone with one target for 1/18/1 receiving, but overall it was a lack-luster day for the team's rushing attack (19/86/0 rushing for the Bills as a team).

The Cardinals deflated the Buccaneers' offense in Week Two, holding them to a single TD and just 21/85/0 rushing during the contest. New England did manage to get over 100 yards rushing in the regular season opener, but averaged 3.4 yards per carry on the way there, with 31/106/1 rushing as a team. To date, the Cardinals average 95.5 rushing yards allowed per game (11th in the NFL) with run rushing score given up to date, while checking in at sixth-least fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs so far this year, averaging 12.9 allowed per contest. Any way you slice it, the Cardinals are hard-nosed in this phase of th game.

Advantage, Arizona.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

38/158/4 - Stephen Davis is 2nd in the league to date, averaging 19.9 Fantasy Points per game. Only Willie Parker has been better to open the season. The Panthers average a respectable 4.0 yards per carry this year - if you grabbed Davis, you should start him going forward. DeShaun Foster continues to chip in (7/37/0 rushing and 1/23/0 receiving last week) but hasn't scored enough FP to warrant a start so far during 2005.

Miami gave up 34/98/0 to their divisional rivals last week, and rank 8th in the NFL with an average of 84 rushing yards allowed per game to date. They haven't allowed a rushing TD during the first two weeks of 2005 - this group is playing hard for new head coach Nick Saban.

Keep an eye on Davis' neck situation but through two games he's been hitting on all cylinders. But the Dolphins are playing well in this phase of the game and they have home field advantage behind them this week. We see this as a tough matchup.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

"Jonathan ran hard," coach John Fox said after Stewart's second half showing vs. Chicago on Sunday (14/77/2 rushing). "It’s a guy who we are just learning about. Last week he did some good things. We didn’t get a chance to look at him a whole lot in the preseason. I think he’ll get better every week. He’s a very powerful guy and a hard runner." Stewart powered the Panthers after a tough first half for the squad in which DeAngelo Williams had a hard time getting traction (he finished with 11/31/0 rushing and 1/-6/0 receiving). All told, the Panthers gained 31/114/2 vs. the Bears - a very solid showing when it was all said and done. Currently, the Panthers are 12th in the NFL averaging 128 rushing yards per game.

The Vikings defense found their usual intensity in week 2, stuffing Joseph Addai and company (19/25/1 as a team vs. Minnesota) after opening the season allowing 27/139/1 to the Packers in week 1. The strong showing boosted the Vikings to 7th in the league averaging 82 rushing yards allowed per game to date, more in line with what we've come to expect from Minnesota.

The Panthers' youngster Jonathan Stewart got going last week, but he and DeAngelo Williams have a big test ahead of them in the hostile confines of the Metrodome.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

DeAngelo Williams continued to underwhelm his fantasy owners last week with 5/13/0 rushing and 4/23/0 receiving. Jonathan Stewart couldn't do much better as a ball-carrier, with 6/5/0 rushing, but he compiled eight targets for 8/100/0 receiving and was a much better fantasy back as a result. So far, Williams is the 48th-best fantasy back with 17/43/0 rushing and 5/29/0 receiving, while Stewart checks in at 24th with 13/31/0 rushing and 10/114/0 receiving. It is no wonder that Cam Newton needs to throw the ball for 400+ yards per game.

Jacksonville is currently ranked fifth in the NFL averaging 72 yards rushing allowed per game, with one rushing score given up through two games. They coughed up 32/101/1 rushing to the Jets last week (a 3.2 yards per carry average) and have played tough in this phase so far during 2011.

Williams and Stewart aren't thrilling their fantasy owners, and the Jaguars are playing pretty well in this phase of the game - advantage, Jacksonville.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Carolina Panthers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Panthers posted a solid 32/157/1 rushing at Mile High Stadium in Week One, and followed up with 37/176/0 rushing in their 46-27 shellacking of the 49ers during Week Two. However, Jonathan Stewart got nicked up (again), and will be out for this third game of the season with a sore hamstring. Fozzy Whittaker (16/100/0 rushing with four targets for 3/31/0) led the charge for the Panthers last week, while Mike Tolbert kicked in 9/25/0 rushing (one target for zero receptions) and Cam Newton helped out with 6/37/0 rushing. This week look for Cameron Artis-Payne to be active and contribute to the committee of backs (he is usually inactive when Stewart is active as Artis-Payne isn't a big contributor on special teams, unlike Whittaker and Tolbert). The Panthers will run the ball as a team, but we're not certain how much Whittaker's number will be called and how often Artis-Payne will chip in. 'If Jonathan’s (injury) is prolonged, then we certainly will get an opportunity to see Cameron Artis-Payne out there which I'm pretty excited about because he is a heck of a young football player. We have been trying to find ways to get the young man active, and because of what we have to do on special teams and all that, we haven't had the chance to put him active. I have no qualms with having him ready to roll.' head coach Ron Rivera stated while discussing Stewart's prognosis on Monday, September 19.

In the season opener, Tennessee only rushed for 22/64/0 as a team against the Vikings, and they limited the Packers to 23/83/1 in the second game of the year. So far, Minnesota averages 73.5 rushing yards allowed per game (sixth in the NFL) and has given up just one rushing score. They have allowed the ninth-least fantasy points per game to opposing running backs on average (15.5).

This is a tough matchup for the Panthers' gaggle of running backs.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

CAR Injuries: none
MIA Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Matt Forte had a very productive game at New Orleans, with 10/49/0 rushing (a 4.9 yards per carry average) and 10/117/0 receiving to his credit. To date, he is the second-best fantasy RB in the land (PPR scoring) with 26/117/0 rushing and 15/207/1 receiving to his credit. Start him if you've got him!

The Packers' rush D is currently sixth in the NFL averaging 76 yards allowed per game, with one rushing TD given up to date. However, don't be too impressed as they are 32nd in the NFL in pass D to date, with an average of 400 passing yards allowed per game, with four pass TDs coughed up through two games.

Forte is a dual-threat back, as demonstrated by his 207 yards receiving this year. We like Forte but this looks like a pretty tough matchup.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

With a new starter under center, Brian Hoyer, the Bears are going to ask Jeremy Langford (11/28/1 rushing with 1/6/0 receiving vs. Philadelphia) and Jordan Howard (3/22/0 rushing with 2/9/0 receiving) to help carry the offense forward. KaDeem Carey suffered a hamstring injury against the Eagles on Monday Night Football and may not be available for this trip down to Dallas. The Bears' offense is in flux entering the third week of regular season, friends. Dallas is likely to load up against the run and dare Brian Hoyer to beat them throwing the football, so running lanes may be narrow this weekend.

The Cowboys, however, are doing without both their starting defensive ends due to suspensions, but have averaged 97.5 rushing yards allowed per game (13th in the NFL) with just one rushing score handed out to date. Washington managed 17/82/1 rushing against this front last weekend - so far this year, the Cowboys have averaged 16.1 fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs per game (tied with Philadelphia for 13th-least in the league).

This looks like a tough matchup for the Bears' injury-riddled offense.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Cincinnati's offense has been awesome to start the new season. They average 462 yards per game after two weeks, and grind out the rushing yards at the rate of 157.5 yards per game. Rudi Johnson has 48/216/1 rushing and 3/15/0 receiving over the opening weeks of 2005. However, Chris Perry is seeing some more touches than he did last year (when a groin injury limited him for most of the season), with 9/47/0 rushing and 4/33/0 receiving last week. Johnson and Perry aren't in a running back by committee, yet, but Johnson isn't the sole ball carrier at this point.

Chicago has yet to surrender a TD in this phase of the game, and has averaged 96.5 rushing yards allowed per game to date. Detroit had a very hard time moving the ball against the Bears last week, with 18/29/0 rushing last week (Kevin Jones put up 8/22/0). It's hard to run on the Bears this year.

Cincinnati is on a roll, but the Bears aren't pushovers. This matchup looks tough to us, with home-field advantage flowing to the Bears.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Rudi Johnson is off to a great start this year, posting 54/241/3 rushing and 3/10/0 receiving through 2 games - he totally dominated the Browns last week, with 26/145/2 on the ground, with both scores coming in the 4th quarter to salt away the W for Cincinnati. He looks like a force to be reckoned with coming into week 3.

The Steelers opened the season allowing only 18/38 on the ground to the Dolphins, but gave up 2 goal line TDs; in week 2, they allowed 30/110/0 to Fred Taylor and the Jaguars. So far, the Steelers rank 6th in the NFL averaging 74 rushing yards allowed per game - they've bounced up and down in this phase to open 2006.

Johnson has a head of steam up while the Steelers have been inconsistent to open the season - we think Johnson has an even shot at a solid game even in the hostile environment at Heinz Field but this is clearly a tough matchup for him.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Chris Perry bounced back from a weak debut in the season opener to post a respectable 21/64/1 rushing (2/-8/0 receiving) vs. the hard-nosed Titans in week 2. It wasn't an outstanding fantasy performance, but Perry was the only player worth starting from Cincy last week. The Bengals passing attack is seriously bad as of week 3, leaving the team few options but to hand off to Perry often.

The Giants kept Steven Jackson under wraps last week, limiting him to 13/53/0 on the ground (St. Louis managed 16/68/0 as a team). To date, the Giants average 76 rushing yards allowed per game, and have surrendered 0 rushing scores - this is a very solid defensive front, folks.

Perry showed improvement in week 2, but he's got an uphill battle in front of him at Giants' Stadium this week.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Bengals managed to bounce back from their heart-breaking last-second loss to Denver in week one to upset the Packers during week two - this team has some moxie this year, folks. Cedric Benson ran strong all afternoon vs. the Packers and posted 29/141/0 when the dust settled - Bernard Scott checked in with 2/7/0 in a very limited role. Over the first two weeks of the season, Benson is the 12th ranked fantasy RB in the land (PPR), with 50/217/1 rushing and 4/32/0 receiving - very respectable numbers, indeed.

However, this week the Steel Curtain arrives in Paul Brown Stadium - Pittsburgh is currently 7th in the NFL averaging 64.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with zero rushing scores surrendered to date. Chicago managed 18/43/0 rushing (a 2.4 yards allowed per carry average) last week. These guys are tough.

Benson is on a roll, but he's got a very tough assignment this week.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Cedric Benson didn't stink against the stout Ravens' defense, posting 23/78/0 rushing with one target for zero receptions, but he didn't set fantasy owners' hearts pounding, either. So far this year he's amassed 38/121/1 rushing and one reception for 11 yards, checking in at 23rd among all fantasy RBs through two contests.

The Panthers' rush D is currently 14th in the NFL averaging 106.5 yards allowed per game, with one rushing TD given up to date. Tampa Bay ground out 34/95/0 against this group in week two, but they were very unimpressive from the running back position (Cadillac Williams had 27/51/0 rushing and 1/8/0 receiving, while Earnest Graham managed just 3/1/0 rushing while adding 5/33/1 receiving to the mix). This is not a push-over defensive front.

Benson and the Bengals aren't playing particularly well in this phase of the game, while the Panthers are respectable so far this year. Advantage, Carolina.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jeremy Hill couldn't get going against the Steelers last weekend (11/22/0 rushing with five targets for 3/37/0 receiving), so the Bengals turned to his cohort Giovani Bernard. Bernard responded by leading the team in receiving (11 targets for 9/100/1 receiving) and also added 5/17/0 rushing to the team effort. The 18/46/0 rushing total from last week doesn't tell the whole story of how the Bengals' backs played, as you can see.

However, this week Denver visits Cincinnati, and their defense has been playing lights out all year long. The defense posted two of the three TDs that Denver scored on Indianapolis last weekend (there was a 15-yard fumble return for a TD and a 46-yard interception return for a TD), while holding the Colts to 21/83/1 rushing. To date, the Broncos average 120.2 yards rushing allowed per game (24th in the NFL) with two rushing scores handed out - but they tightened up in this phase of the game last weekend, without a doubt.

Hill and Bernard have a tough matchup ahead of them.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

While Lee Suggs stands on the sidelines due to a bad ankle, Reuben Droughns has averaged 4 yards per carry over the first two weeks of 2005 (32/128/0 rushing and 7/51/0 receiving to date, 22nd among fantasy RBs in points per game). Last week, though, he was less-than-impressive with 20/50/0 rushing and 4/29/0 receiving. Cleveland is 26th in the NFL so far this year, averaging 75 rushing yards per game.

The Colts have yet to allow a rushing score, and rank 14th in the NFL after 2 weeks allowing an average of 102.5 rushing yards per game. They are performing well above their 2004 mark of 127.3 rushing yards allowed per game (24th in the NFL), despite a rash of injuries along the DL last week (Vincent Burns, Josh Thomas and Jonathan Welsh all sat out last week, leaving the Colts thin along the defensive front).

The Colts are playing well in this phase right now, and they have home field advantage. We give the nod to the home team in this one.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

First off, Ben Tate is not expected back for Week 3, and may not play again until after Cleveland's Week 4 bye. That leaves Terrance West (35/168/1 rushing with 2/22/0 receiving) and Isaiah Crowell (16/86/2 rushing with 1/3/0 receiving) as the all-rookie rushing attack that has provided a total of 51/254/3 rushing over the past two games (3/25/0 receiving, collectively). Last week, it was West's turn to score (19/68/1 rushing with 2/22/0 receiving) while Crowell handled 11/54/0 rushing and 1/3/0 receiving.

The Ravens' rush D was ranked 11th in the NFL last season, averaging 105.4 rushing yards allowed per game, with just seven rushing scores handed out over 16 games (fourth in the NFL in this category). To open regular season, Cincinnati managed 26/79/0 rushing - as usual, the Ravens didn't allow a rushing score. Then Pittsburgh came to town, and posted 18/99/0 in their losing effort. Baltimore continues to have a solid defensive front, friends.

This looks like a tough matchup for the Browns' tandem of West and Crowell.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Cleveland, we have a problem. Josh McCown is out for an indefinite period due to his injured shoulder, and Robert Griffen III is already on IR. In desperation, Charlie Whitehurst was signed off the street this week, but he has no reps to speak of in the Cleveland offense. That's right, Browns' fans, it's Cody Kessler time at quarterback! We don't blame you if you aren't excited by this prospect.

What all this means for Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson is simple - Miami will stack the box with eight-to-nine defenders, blitz the rookie, and stuff the run while daring Kessler to beat them throwing the football. Unless he can back them off the line of scrimmage, it will be a very long day for Crowell and Johnson. A very long day.

Miami is currently ranked 31st in the NFL averaging 136.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with one rushing score surrendered, so there is a glimmer of hope here - the Dolphins are tied for 15th in the NFL averaging 17.6 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs.

Advantage, Miami.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Browns have had a tough start to the season running the ball, as Isaiah Crowell is averaging just 2.6 yards per carry and only saw 10 carries last week. The trend that we saw last season continues where the Browns give up on the run if it is not working early and they fall behind as evidenced by 74% of Crowell’s carries coming in the first half while he has just seven carries in the second half over the course of the first two games. The Browns spent a significant amount of money in the offseason revamping their offensive line with J.C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler and so far the offensive line has not lived up to that expectation as Zeitler and Tretter have both really struggled run-blocking so far this season. The Colts defense has looked significantly better against the run this season after they rebuilt their defensive line in the offseason led by Johnathan Hankins, Jabaal Sheard, and John Simon. The Colts shut-down Todd Gurley in week one holding him to just 2.1 yards per carry, and then last week faced a Cardinals team that featured newly re-signed Chris Johnson and held the Cardinals to just 83 yards on 25 carries. This is a defense that last season was one of the worst in the NFL against the run, and while they have not faced a prominent run defense they look significantly improved compared to last year.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Cowboys posted 36/166/2 rushing against the Dolphins last week, led by Marion Barber III who notched 14/89/2 while splitting time with Julius Jones (15/32/0). Over the first 2 weeks of the season, Barber has amassed 25/154/3 rushing and 3/35/0 receiving to rank 3rd among fantasy RBs, while Jones has totaled 31/98/0 rushing and 2/35/0 receiving (33rd fantasy RB in the land). So far, the two have split time almost equally, as you can see. If Barber continues to out produce Jones at every turn, though, we may see a shift in workload in Barber's favor. Stay tuned...

The Bear's rush defense is currently 4th in the NFL averaging 73.5 yards allowed per game, with 1 rushing TD surrendered in the first 2 contests. Larry Johnson and company managed 24/70/0 against the Bears last week - as you can see, this defensive front is one of the best at rush defense anywhere in the NFL.

Barber and Jones face a difficult mountain to climb this week in Soldier Field.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Dallas' backs were a huge disappointment in week two, with 20/36/0 as a group - Marion Barber crept to 11/28/0 rushing while Felix Jones inched his way to 7/7/0 rushing (with 2/12/0 receiving). The Cowboys are currently 24th in the NFL averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, with zero TDs rushing as a group to date.

Indianapolis only attempted 10 rushes in week one - when they ran, Addai averaged 4.4 yards per carry (10/44/0) against the Texans. Washington didn't go very far when they ran at Houston (17/18/2), but Clinton Portis did find the end-zone twice in his time on the field (13/33/2 rushing).

Houston has put a wet blanket on opposing backs so far this year, while the Cowboys are really struggling to get anything at all going on the ground. Advantage, Houston.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Cowboys were playing catchup all afternoon long at Seattle during week two, which contributed to a limited showing by DeMarco Murray (12/44/0 rushing with 4/31/0 receiving) - all told, the Cowboys managed 16/49/0 rushing against the hard-nosed Seattle defenders. To date, Murray is the 21st ranked fantasy RB in the land with 32/175/0 rushing and 6/40/0 receiving - Dallas is once-again having trouble punching in rushing TDs (hopefully they won't be as spare as they were last year, when Dallas had four rushing scores as a team all year long).

Carolina eked out a mere 13/10/0 rushing as a team in week one, but the Giants were able to do better against the Buccaneers in week two, with 25/94/1 rushing, mostly by their reserve running back Andre Brown. Tampa's rush D isn't soft, but the entire unit took a step back last week in the 34-41 loss to New York.

Murray and company got tripped up by Seattle last week - in this phase of the game he faces a tough matchup (but the Buccaneers are vulnerable in the passing phase, and Murray is a good receiver out of the backfield).

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Dallas lost a squeaker at K.C. last week, and part of their problem was a dreadful outing by DeMarco Murray (12/25/0 rushing with 5/49/0 receiving) and company - all told the Cowboys recorded 16/37/0 rushing the football last week. To date, Murray is the 10th-ranked fantasy running back in the PPR paradigm, with 32/111/0 rushing and 13/88/0 receiving, but he has yet to find the end-zone making Murray less-than-effective in basic (TD-only) scoring leagues.

The Rams' rush D held Atlanta to 16/36/1 rushing last week, and limited Arizona to 26/86/0 on the ground two weeks ago. St. Louis defensive front is playing top-ten level rush D right now.

Murray has been up and down as a ball carrier so far this year, and he faces a tough matchup when St. Louis comes calling on Sunday.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Dallas is running a three-headed monster in this phase of the game - Joseph Randle (18/51/0 rushing with 1/14/0 receiving) is the lead back on early downs, but he is being rotated with Darren McFadden (10/31/0 rushing with 2/21/0 receiving) on a fairly regular basis. Lance Dunbar is the receiving back, who is going long regularly, but Dunbar has only rare carries (1/8/0 rushing with 3/45/0 receiving at Philadelphia last week). In the wake of Tony Romo's broken clavicle, the Dallas backs may indeed be asked to do more work in upcoming games - but fantasy owners need to realize that given the three-way split in this backfield the increase in work will likely mean 2-3 extra touches per player per week, which is solid but not outstanding from the fantasy perspective.

The Falcons' rush D is ranked ninth in the NFL after two games played, averaging 80 rushing yards allowed per game, with two rushing scores already given out in September. New York managed 23/97/0 rushing against the Falcons last Sunday.

This looks like a tough matchup for the home-team Cowboys.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Mike Anderson played through the discomfort of his injured ribs last week without problem and will do so again this week. Ron Dayne will likely continue to see action behind Anderson as Tatum Bell recovers from his ankle tweak. Anderson put together a workmanlike performance with 90 total yards against San Diego last week. (15/49/0 rushing with 3/41/0 receiving were his totals last week). Ron Dayne carried the ball during crucial carries at the end of the game.

K.C. has allowed only 64 yards rushing per game to date, with 1 rushing score surrendered. They are the 4th best rush defense in the league so far. Oakland managed 19/71/1 rushing against this defensive front last week. It looks like Gunther Cunningham has fixed the problems in this phase of the game.

Denver has some talented guys to throw at the Chiefs, and they have home field advantage. These teams always play at the top of their ability vs. each other, though - we think this matchup is a pretty tough one for a talented Denver offense against a rejuvenated Kansas City defense.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Denver's rushing attack notched 36/145/0 as a unit last week, led by Tatum Bell's 16/69/0 effort (2/7/0 receiving). Fellow RB Mike Bell ground out 13/44/0 rushing with 1/12/0 receiving as the tandem continues to split the work in Denver more-or-less evenly. Through 2 games Mike Bell (23/102/1 rushing with 5/42/0 receiving) is the 23rd fantasy RB in the land, and Tatum Bell ranks 26th (31/172/0 rushing and 2/7/0 receiving) - 28 touches vs. 33 touches, respectively.

The Patriots allowed 24/99/1 to the Bills' backs in the season opener, and followed up with a stronger 24/51/0 effort vs. the Jets in week 2. Over the first 2 weeks of the season, they are the 9th ranked rush D in the land, giving up an average of 75 yards per game - they are a stout unit that is playing well coming into week 3.

In Gillette Stadium, the Broncos' backs will have their work cut out for them. Advantage, New England.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Willis McGahee is off to a strong start this year, posting 38/177/2 rushing and 2/11/0 receiving over the first two games (12th-ranked fantasy running back in the land), and most recently he scored twice at Atlanta on Monday night with 22/113/2 rushing to his credit. McGahee is on a roll, folks. Knowshon Moreno chipped in 3/2/0 rushing and 1/12/0 receiving as a bit player in the Denver attack.

The Houston rush D ranks eighth in the NFL right now, averaging 72 yards rushing allowed per game, with zero rushing TDs given up to date. Jacksonville managed 14/65/0 rushing vs. Houston in week two. This is one of the elite defensive units in the NFL in both phases of the game, friends.

McGahee is hot right now, but so is the Texans' defense - this looks like a tough matchup for Denver's featured back.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

CJ Anderson exploded last week as he routinely gashed the Cowboys defense for chunk plays, including a 28-yard gain early in the game followed by a 23-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Jamaal Charles also looked sharp in backup duty, rushing nine times for 46 yards. The Broncos offensive line as a whole looked great in this game, opening up huge running lanes for Anderson just as they did in Week 1. However, they sustained a huge loss here as rookie left tackle Garrett Bolles was carted off with an ankle injury that could sideline him for multiple weeks. Bolles is replaced by Donald Stephenson, who was one of the worst left tackles in the league last season and a big contributor to why the Broncos averaged only 3.6 yards per carry (T-4th worst). The Bills defense has played tough against the run this season, allowing the league’s third-fewest rushing yards per attempt (2.7). Take that with a grain of salt though, as the Bills faced a bad Jets offensive line in Week 1 and a Panthers team not known for much of a rushing attack at all in Week 2. The Bills do have a talented offensive line though, with Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus clogging up the middle. Shaq Lawson is another impressive piece on that defensive line who was particularly effective last week, making a number of big plays, particularly against the run. With a big hole left in the Broncos line by the absence of Garrett Bolles, this will prove to be a tough matchup for Denver running backs.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The early word is that Kevin Jones is expected back into the lineup for this week, in a limited role (15-20 snaps, maximum, according to coach Marinelli). His participation will depend on how his foot responds to a full slate of practices starting on Wednesday - keep an eye on Jones' level of participation as the week progresses to get a gauge on whether he'll be in or out this week.

In Jones' absence last week, the Lions went with a committee approach, ending up with 21/56/0 as a team. Brian Calhoun led the way with 5/22/0, while Tatum Bell eked out 9/14/0 - there wasn't much room to roam against the 6th-rated Vikings defensive front. No wonder the coaches are anxious to get Jones back in the mix.

Last week, Philly handed over 33/130/1 to the Redskins on the ground, a 3.9 yards per carry average. They are currently 8th in the NFL averaging 88 rushing yards given up per game (having curtailed the Packers to 46 yards in week 1), with only the 1 rushing score allowed so far. The Eagles sport a fairly stout defensive front entering week 3.

Jones will have a lot of rust to knock off if he gets in the game - meanwhile, his placeholders Tatum Bell and Brian Calhoun are struggling to make much of an impact. This looks like a tough matchup is in store for the Lions when they visit Lincoln Financial Field.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Jahvid Best really revved up his motor in week two, breaking out with 17/78/2 rushing and 9/154/1 receiving to his credit, making his fantasy owners proud. So far this year he's the top fantasy RB in the land, with 31/98/4 rushing and 14/170/1 receiving to his credit - the 4.6 yards per carry average last week allayed any fears about his ability to run the ball with authority during regular season. It's all good for the Lions in this phase of the game entering week three, folks.

The Vikings' fearsome defensive front was punctured by the Dolphins' Ronnie Brown for a long 50-yard dash and Minnesota eventually allowed 29/120/0 to Miami during the 10-14 loss. Minnesota limited Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas and company to 25/79/1 in the Thursday night NFL season kickoff game - they aren't giving up a lot of TDs this year (as usual), but they didn't hold up to Miami as well as most expected, either.

Best is on fire, but he'll face a stout defensive front on the road in this divisional matchup - this looks like a tough assignment for the young star-in-the-making.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

So, how did Brandon Jackson (11/29/1 rushing with 1/10/0 receiving) do in his debut as the Packers' lead back? 'It was OK,' Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. 'I don't think we're going to be jumping up and down when we watch the film (today) about our running game... I don't have the sense that it was real smooth and consistent and as efficient as we'd like it to be. I think there were some holes there at times.' On Wednesday, Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said the team will split the running back snaps between RBs Brandon Jackson, John Kuhn and Dimitri Nance because Jackson is still valuable as the third-down back and he is not sure if Jackson could take the physical toll that comes with being a featured back.

For his part, Jackson was dissatisfied with his 2.6 yards per carry, and said he should be 'attacking the hole more... I feel all right,' Jackson said. 'I feel I can do a lot better. We just have to evaluate film and get things adjusted and corrected and get ready for next week.' FB John Kuhn actually led the Packers in rushing last week, with 9/36/0 (zero receptions on one target). We'll see if the new-look backfield can pick up the pace during week three.

Detroit was limited by Chicago in the yardage department (21 rushes were attempted for a total of 20 yards of offense) but the Bears did allow Jahvid Best into the end-zone twice during week one. Dallas was also shut down in the yardage department by the Bears (20/36/0 rushing) - it's now wonder they are currently number one in the NFL averaging just 28 rushing yards allowed per game, with two rushing TDs handed over so far. This group looks pretty stout, folks.

The Packers are still working to find rhythm in their rushing attack now that Ryan Grant is on IR, while the Bears are playing shut-down rush D entering this divisional showdown - advantage, Chicago.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Eddie Lacy took a dirty helmet-to-helmet shot from S Brandon Meriweather early in the game last week and left the contest due to a concussion. His injury opened the door to James Starks, who threw down for 20/132/1 rushing and 4/36/0 receiving against a poor Washington defense - watching all those expected fantasy points pass Lacy by was an irritation to his disappointed owners. Most observers expect Lacy to take off this week as Week four is the Packers' bye - his return is likely for week five if Lacy's recovery goes well. With John Kuhn nursing a sore hamstring, Starks is the clear-cut starter here until Lacy returns. Rookie Johnathan Franklin showed us nothing in preseason to warrant much work now.

The Bengals' rush D has been stalwart so far during 2013, allowing just 16/44/0 rushing to the Steelers last week and limiting the Bears to 28/81/1 rushing two weeks ago. To date, Cincinnati ranks seventh in the NFL averaging 62.5 rushing yards allowed per contest. Like we said, they are playing stalwart rush D.

Starks has a tough matchup on the road in Paul Brown Stadium this week.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Eddie Lacy returned for his concussion suffered in Week 1 to post a modest 13/43/0 rushing and 2/18/0 receiving line against the stout Jets' rush D last week. John Kuhn had an 1/3/0 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving effort, while Dujuan Harris managed 1/11/0 receiving in a bit role. Lacy is clearly the featured back in Green Bay, but he had limited opportunities in a game where the Pack was down 3-21 midway through the second quarter of play.

The Lions are ranked second in the NFL averaging 57.5 yards rushing per game, with two rushing scores given up to date. The Giants managed a mere 22/53/1 rushing during Week 1. Carolina had 24/62/1 rushing during Week 2. This is one of the toughest defensive fronts in the NFL right now.

Lacy and company face a third consecutive tough matchup here in Week 3.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Eddie Lacy hurt an ankle last week and looks iffy to play in Week Three at mid-week - 'Eddie was here today for treatment and we'll see how he moves around Thursday,' coach Mike McCarthy said Monday, September 21. With the Packers playing on Monday Night Football, Thursday will be their first practice of the week giving Lacy extra time to heal up. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News to monitor how well/if Lacy practices later this week before plugging him into your lineup. With the KC/GB game being on Monday night you won't be able to swap Lacy out if he is limited or can't go on Monday night.

In Lacy's extended absence last week James Starks ran for 20/95/0 with 4/11/0 receiving to his credit (Lacy had 3/9/0 rushing before exiting the contest). If Lacy can't go this week, Starks is a capable stand-in.

The Kansas City rush D is ranked eighth in the NFL averaging 79.5 rushing yards allowed per game with zero rushing scores given up. Denver could only manage 22/61/0 on the ground at Arrowhead Stadium last week.

This is a tough matchup for Starks and company.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Eddie Lacy did OK with his touches at Minnesota (12/50/0 rushing, with one target for zero receptions), but unfortunately for his fantasy owners Aaron Rodgers ran in the only rushing TD last week (3/29/1) so there wasn't much in the way of fantasy points generated by Lacy. The only good news here for Lacy owners is that James Starks (7/3/0 rushing, .4 yards per carry, with one target for 1/16/0 receiving) averaged a measley .4 yards per carry last week, helping keep Lacy atop the depth chart.

The Detroit rush defense averages 110.5 yards allowed per game (20th in the NFL), but they are tied for first in the NFL with zero rushing TDs given up to date. The Lions are currently tied for 10th-least fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs per game (15.8).

Lacy and company have a NFC North grudge match to face here, and the Lions have been stubborn at the goal line. Advantage, Detroit. Also, the Lions are vulnerable in the other phase of the game, so the Packers will likely lean on the passing game in this divisional showdown.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Arian Foster owners came back down to Earth during week two - the big back still went over 100 yards combined, with 19/69/0 rushing and 3/69/0 receiving, but he didn't manage to punch in multiple TDs during week two. Steve Slaton was an after-thought with 3/14/0 rushing - all told, the team managed 24/58/0 rushing (punter Matt Turk had a -27 rush at the buzzer to skew the team average downwards). So far, so good for Foster and the Texans.

Washington was limited to 23/89/0 rushing in week one, which was followed up by a mere 19/38/0 rushing allowed to Chicago in week two. The Cowboys are losing games, but it isn't the defensive fronts' fault. These guys are playing hard and well entering the second half of September.

Foster cooled off somewhat last week, and now we'll see how Dallas defends him when the game counts. Advantage, Dallas.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Arian Foster was active and played part of the game on Sunday, but was held out of the second half. Reports on Sunday conflicted as to whether Foster aggravated his sore hamstring or not - but he didn't finish the game on Sunday and will be evaluated further as the week goes along. 'I pulled myself out because I felt it [the hamstring] getting a little tight,' he said. 'But I have to realize that it's only Game 2,' he added. 'It's a long season, so I have to get healthy.'

Meanwhile, Ben Tate (23/103/0 rushing and 4/32/0 receiving) was ready. 'He ran good,' Foster said. 'He did real well, carried the load.' 'You know, I tell you guys every week that I prepare like I'm a starter,' Tate said after the game. 'You never know when someone is going to go down. Arian hurt something and he couldn't go, and I prepare like a starter so I'm always ready.' 'He's growing up before our eyes,' Kubiak said. 'It's fun to watch. It's fun to watch a good player become a pro.' As of Wednesday, Foster did not participate in practice. Foster has not been ruled out for Week 3 but is not expected to start, leaving the door open to Tate.

New Orleans gave up just 12/60/0 rushing to the Bears last week, and won 30-13. They are currently seventh in the NFL averaging 81.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with two rushing TDs given up so far this year. This is a hard-nosed defensive front, folks.

Tate and (possibly) Foster have a tough matchup to deal with this week.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

'I see him break a run and I'm chomping at the bit and thinking I could outdo that,' running back Ben Tate said of Arian Foster after last week's win over Jacksonville. 'Then I go out there and break one and then he's out there (thinking) 'I could outdo that.' So it's a good, friendly competition out there and also helps this team go. So I think it's very important for both of us.' The Texans rolled over Jacksonville with 48/216/3 as a team last week - Foster led the team in rushing with 28/110/1 (and 6/37/0 receiving) while Tate led the team in scoring with 12/74/2 rushing and 4/23/0 receiving. It's all good for fantasy owners invested in the Texans' running back stable, folks.

The Broncos contained Atlanta's running backs on Monday night (28/67/1) though Michael Turner did punch in a one-yard TD at the goal line. Denver allowed just 26/75/0 rushing to the Steelers in week one - their rush defense has been stalwart through two games, folks.

Foster and Tate are formidable fantasy backs, but they do have a tougher-than-usual matchup this week (they are likely still your starters unless your team is totally loaded at running back).

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Arian Foster is being worked back to full speed slowly - last week vs. Tennessee he handled 19/79/1 rushing and had one catch for six yards out of four targets that came his way - meanwhile, Ben Tate averaged 10.3 yards per carry with 9/93/0 rushing and he managed 3/8/0 receiving out of four chances. Considering how much sucess Tate is having this year (18/148/0 rushing with 5/15/0 receiving - a 8.2 yards per carry average to date), Foster (37/136/1 rushing with 7/39/0 receiving - a 3.7 yards per carry average) isn't likely to claim more touches on the football. In fact, Tate may be seeing more touches if the disparity in production continues during the rest of September.

The Ravens' rush D limited Trent Richardson and company to 20/65/0 on the ground last week after holding the Broncos' stable to 23/65/0 rushing two weeks ago. Entering Week three, the Ravens' defensive front has gotten past the loss of Ray Lewis and played impressively.

Foster and Tate are a powerful tandem of backs, but the Ravens won't make their life easy at M & T Bank Stadium this weekend. This is a tough matchup for the visitors.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Joseph Addai is one of the few top-10 running backs who is living up to advance billing so far during 2007 - he has amassed 43/199/2 rushing and 5/31/0 receiving during the first 2 games of the season. The Colts average 4.8 yards per carry as a team - it's all good in this phase of the game for Indy right now. Start Addai if you've got him.

The Texans have been stubborn rush defenders during 2007, giving up an average of 69 yards per game with 0 rushing scores handed over so far. Carolina eked out 18/66/0 vs. the Texans' defensive front last week. We'll see how improved this unit is when they face off against the Colts' high-octane offensive machine.

Addai is doing well this season, but so are are the Texans. With the home crowd to help interfere with Manning's audibles, we think this looks like a tough matchup for Addai and the Colts.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Colts' offensive line woes have definitely spilled over onto the field, as Joseph Addai has had little-to-no room to roam over the first 2 games. The Colts are dead last in the NFL averaging 39 yards rushing per game, with a 32nd ranked yards-per-carry average of 2.3. Addai is the 42nd overall fantasy RB, with 27/64/1 rushing and 3/16/0 receiving to his credit so far. That's ugly, folks. Some good news came at mid-week as the team says C Jeff Saturday is ready to get back on the field: "If I were guessing I would say they're [Saturday and TE Dallas Clark, a solid run blocker in his own right - MW] going to play," coach Tony Dungy said Wednesday afternoon. "Jeff is ready to go and kind of felt like he was ready to go last week." We'll see if Saturday and Clark can help open some better holes for Addai and company.

Jacksonville is in the middle of the NFL so far, averaging 106 rushing yards allowed per game, with 2 TDs handed over to date. The Bills ground out 26/75/1 vs. the Jags last week after the stumbled in the opener vs. Tennessee with 32/137/1 allowed to the Titans (a 4.3 yards-per-carry average).

The Colts' rushing attack is in disarray, while the Jaguars' rush defense is just so-so. That still equates to a tough matchup for the disappointing Addai and company.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

When the Colts elected to run the ball vs. Miami, the plays worked well - Joseph Addai averaged 5.3 yards per carry last week (6/32/0 rushing with 1/7/0 receiving) while Donald Brown contributed 6.5 per tote (4/26/1 rushing, with 1/24/0 receiving). As a team, the Colts are 29th in the NFL averaging 66 rushing yards per game - as always, the offense flows through Peyton Manning's throwing arm first, and the RBs are, so far at least, a sub-plot in the Colts' game plans/offensive attack.

Arizona's rush D has held their first two opponents to under 100 yards rushing - San Francisco could only manage 25/21/1 rushing two weeks ago, while the Jaguars posted 20/92/0 rushing last week. To date, the Cardinals' defensive front ranks 4th in the league, averaging 56.5 rushing yards allowed per game. They are playing much more stubbornly this year, folks.

The Colts' backs are capable but not heavily-utilized. Considering that a top-5 rush D will line up with their home town faithful at their backs this week, we think that this matchup looks pretty tough for the visitors.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Joseph Addai has yet to score a TD (22/103/0 rushing and 6/50/0 receiving to date), though he did cross 100 yards combined last week (14/64/0 rushing with 4/37/0 receiving vs. Cleveland). Delone Carter has started to make his presence known, with 11/46/0 rushing last week - it looks like the Colts are headed to a running back by committee situation entering week three.

The Steelers bounced back from their loss to Baltimore by holding Seattle to 13/31/0 rushing. So far this year, they are the 12th-ranked rush D in the land averaging 100.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with one rushing score given up. This team looked like the unit we expected to see on the field during 2011.

Addai and company are making the best of a bad situation - but they face a very tough test this week. Advantage, Pittsburgh.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Update - The Browns traded RB Trent Richardson to the Colts Wednesday afternoon in a shocking move. This is good news for Richardson but terrible news for Ahmad Bradshaw obviously.

With Vick Ballard out for the season, Ahmad Bradshaw led the Colts in rushing with 15/65/1 last week, and added 3/19/0 receiving to his total. Donald Brown posted 7/30/0 rushing in a change-of-pace role, while Andrew Luck ran for 4/38/0 during the 20-24 loss. All told, the Colts posted 26/133/1 rushing on the day, a very respectable total.

The 49ers field one of the best rush defenses in the league, but Marshawn Lynch busted them up in Seattle last week to the tune of 28/98/2 rushing - the Seahawks ran up 47/172/2 rushing vs. the 49ers in a lopsided 29-3 victory last week. Two weeks ago the Packers had a more reasonable total of 19/63/1 rushing vs. San Francisco. This is a case of a good unit having an awful outing at a divisional rival.

It'll be interesting to see how much of the offense Richardson is able to pickup in such a short time. Plus the 49ers are a tough defense.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Poor Toby Gerhart is stuck in a situation where the opposing teams stack the box with eight defenders and dare the Jaguars to pass (and generally either bad things happen when they pass or nothing happens). Last week, Gerhart handled 7/8/0 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving in the entire game. He's just not worthy of a spot in your fantasy lineup right now.

The Colts' rush D averages 114.5 rushing yards allowed per game (17th in the NFL) with three rushing scores handed out to date. Philadelphia racked up 28/127/2 rushing on the Colts last week.

The Jaguars' rushing attack is pathetic right now, making this a tough matchup for Gerhart despite the middlin' nature of the Colts' defensive front.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

T.J. Yeldon was the lead back against the Packers two weeks ago with 21/39/1 rushing and 4/30/0 receiving to his credit. Then, in Week Two, he was again at the forefront with Chris Ivory still ailing - he handled a respectable 15 touches on the football, but only managed 7/28/0 rushing with 8/10/0 receiving (on nine targets). The early word on Ivory is that XXX - we'll see if he is able to get back in the saddle by the time Sunday rolls around. Yeldon isn't getting the job done so the Jaguars would like to get Ivory in the mix sooner rather than later.

The Ravens' rush D is now 16th in the league averaging 105.0 yards allowed per game, with two rushing scores surrendered to date. Cleveland hit them for 23/145/1 last week with an explosive first quarter of activity, but then the Browns fizzled for three quarters and wound up losing to the Ravens 20-25. So far the Ravens rank 13th in the NFL averaging 19.3 fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs per game. This is a so-so defensive front entering Week Three.

Yeldon is bumbling along without Ivory - if it is just Yeldon on the field again this week look for a weak effort in a tough matchup; if Ivory is available upgrade this matchup to neutral.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Leonard Fournette certainly looks the part of an NFL banger. He’s difficult to bring down, dominating defenders at a high NFL level and finishing runs with authority. And he’s showing himself fully capable in the passing game, not falling into the groove of two-dimensional plodders that telegraph a play. But he’s consistently confronted with stacked defensive boxes – and protected by a fairly weak front line – so we’ve yet to see much dynamism. At his combine, Fournette That at least teases the explosive potential Fournette boasts if and when he’s given a plus game script and a reasonable point of attack. Fournette did well to rack up 40 yards against a tough Titans front 7 last Sunday, and while the sledding stays tough against the Ravens, his start has been encouraging overall. If the Jaguars can provide him any room, he’ll produce majorly at some point. The Ravens have been stout against the run thus far; neither the Bengals’ batch of runners nor the Browns’ elite front line have gotten the better of them. They’ve given some allowances to passing-down specialists Giovani Bernard and Duke Johnson, who have found room in space, but interior backs have yet to create anything of note. Jeremy Hill and Isaiah Crowell have combined for just 63 yards on 16 carries. There’s a bit of injury concern at play: run-stuffing tackle Brandon Williams left Week 2 with a foot injury, but the team doesn’t believe it to be serious, and he looks likely to suit up Sunday. If so, expect business as usual for a unit that’s held 7 of its last 11 opponents under 100 ground yards.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Larry Johnson hasn't gotten back up to full speed yet, posting 16/55/0 rushing and 3/32/0 receiving vs. the hard-nosed Bears last week. He's piled up 26/98/0 rushing and 10/76/0 receiving so far (26th ranked fantasy RB after 2 weeks) - hardly the stuff of a fantasy owner's dreams. Look for more of the same mediocrity this week as the QB play has been less than stellar (allowing teams to key on the running game) of late - and this week the Vikings are coming to town.

The same Vikings who held the Lions to 21/56/0 last week. The Vikings who rank 6th in the league this season, averaging 76 yards allowed per game, with 0 rushing scores handed over to date. They were also the #1 rush defense during 2006 - Minnesota is really tough in this phase of the game.

Johnson has another tough matchup to deal with this week.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Larry Johnson accumulated 100 yards combined last week against the Raiders (his first this year, with 24/78/0 rushing and 3/41/0 receiving). As a team, the Chiefs rushed for 38/173/0 vs. Oakland, but still lost the game 13-10. Johnson commented after the loss: 'You just have to look at the positives,' he said. 'It's a long season, and anything can happen. We never know when our turning point will be, but we'll turn it around. We're just waiting for that turning point, and as soon as we get that, then everybody will start understanding what it takes to win... This isn't like last year when those (close losses) were happening... they were late in the season. This season, things are happening early, so we have a chance to clean those mistakes up and come back and make sure things like this don't happen again.' Dantrell Savage replaced Jamaal Charles as the third-down/change of pace player last week and did well in that role, with 3/26/0 rushing and 6/43/0 receiving - Charles said Monday that the coaches haven't told him why he didn't play against Oakland. "I still don't even know," he said. Overall, it was a solid effort by the RB stable last week.

The Eagles' defense, so stout in week one against Carolina (only 10 points allowed, held DeAngelo Williams and company to 30/86/1) was outmatched by the potent New Orleans offense last week (29/133/2 rushing by the Saints). They remain high intensity and blitzing, but opposing backs have been able to get into the end-zone against this defensive front through two games.

The Chiefs' rushing attack found a rhythm last week - but they still remain an offense in transition that will face an aggressive defense and a raucous crowd in Philadelphia on Sunday - this is a tough matchup for the Chiefs.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Kansas City won in OT Week One thanks to running back Spencer Ware (11/70/1 rushing and eight targets for 7/129/0 receiving). Ware scored the TD that threw the game into overtime (a five-yard run with 1:03 left in regulation). Then Alex Smith ran in the game-winner in overtime (winding up with 4/15/1 rushing on the day). All told, the Chiefs had 19/83/2 rushing during the contest. Charcandrick West handled 3/-1/0 rushing and six targets for 6/24/0 receiving in a change-of-pace role during Week One.

In Week Two, against the vengeful Texans, Ware saw 10/57/0 rushing with 2/48/0 receiving, to go over 100 yards combined, while West posted 6/61/0 rushing with 1/2/0 receiving - all told, K.C. managed 19/119/0 rushing as a team last week. Recent news on Jamaal Charle's limited practices indicate he may well miss this game, too.

The Jets' rush D is among the most stingy in the NFL, averaging 71.5 yards allowed per game so far (fifth in the NFL) with one rushing score given up. Last week, the Bills managed 19/86/0 rushing vs. the Jets. To date, the Jets average 14.5 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs - seventh-least in the NFL.

The Chiefs' backs have another tough matchup to face this week.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Ronnie Brown continues to underwhelm almost everyone with his numbers this year - against the Cowboys he plodded his way to 11/33/0 rushing with 2/36/0 receiving. Meanwhile, Jesse Chatman needed only 3 carries to amass 27 yards rushing, and also managed 4/15/0 receiving during the game. How much longer Brown remains the starter is an open question at this point - he hasn't done much to deserve the role during 2007 (22/65/0 rushing and 8/76/0 receiving).

The Jets contained Willis McGahee and company to 34/118/0 last week (a 3.5 yards per carry average) and are currently 23rd in the NFL averaging 126 rushing yards allowed per game. They do get some starch in their collar at the goal line, though - only 1 rushing TD has been surrendered to date.

Brown and the Dolphins are sub-par in this phase of the game, while the Jets are soft between the 20s but get more difficult in the red-zone. With home field advantage behind the Jets and a divisional rival in front of the crowd, we give New York the edge in this contest.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

24/72/1 represented the combined efforts of the Dolphins' RB stable last week - Ricky Williams eked out 11/28/0 rushing (1/1/0 receiving) while Ronnie Brown posted 11/25/1 rushing and 2/19/0 receiving. The team is currently 29th in the NFL averaging 60.5 rushing yards per game - split between 2 backs, as things were last week, those numbers mean "not much to get excited about" in fantasy terms.

The Patriots allowed 21/104/0 rushing last week, bending but not breaking as is their style - so far this year they average 103 yards allowed per game, but have given up 0 rushing scores to date. When this D gets in the red zone, they hunker down and get stubborn.

Miami has a ho-hum rushing attack, while the Patriots bring a solid unit to the dance - this is a tough matchup for the visiting Dolphins.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

'We want to be the top rushing team in the NFL. If that's going to happen you've got to do it against teams like this' said center Joe Berger after the Dolphins beat the Vikings 14-10 last week. 'They are the best, and that's what you want to test yourself against.' All told, the Dolphins posted 29/120/0 rushing vs. the Vikings, led by Ronnie Brown's 13/80/0 rushing (he added 1/3/0 receiving). Ricky Williams was less productive, managing 10/30/0 rushing at Minnesota. However, considering that the Vikings are one of the best rush defenses in the NFL, the Dolphins did well in this phase of the game last week. Brown has compiled 26/145/1 rushing with 3/35/0 receiving so far this year, while Williams has posted 28/92/0 in his chances with the football.

The Jets' rush D is currently third in the NFL averaging 50.5 yards allowed per game, with one rushing TD given up to date. Last week, New England could only find 20/52/0 against this squad - they are one of the toughest rush defenses in the league.

The Dolphins toppled a hard-nosed defensive front last week, but they'll have to do it again in week three if they want to lead the AFC East - this looks like a tough matchup for Brown and Williams.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Dolphins got a much-improved performance from Lamar Miller in week two - he led the team in rushing with 14/69/1 on the ground, and added 2/6/0 receiving to his effort. Daniel Thomas was second-fiddle with 8/30/0 rushing and 1/10/0 receiving - we'll see if Miller can maintain his positive momentum against the visiting Falcons here in week three. So far, he's had one abysmal game and one acceptable effort for his fantasy owners.

The Falcons' rush D gave up just 18/69/0 to the Rams' backs during Week two, after limiting the Saints to 29/78/0 rushing two weeks ago. At just 73.5 rushing yards allowed per game on average so far this year, the Falcons' defensive front is playing excellent football in this phase of the game.

Miller has been on-and-off so far this year - he and Thomas face a difficult test when the Falcons come calling on Sunday.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Lamar Miller injured an ankle in Jacksonville and didn't return to action (though after the game he insisted the injury was relatively minor and that he considered getting back in the game). Miller had 10/14/0 rushing with 5/28/0 receiving before exiting the contest. All told, the Dolphins posted 16/42/0 rushing on a day that Miami attempted 44 passes. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News to see if Miller can practice later in he week before inserting Miller into your lineups this weekend. If Miller can't go Damien Williams will be the lead back (he snagged 3/15/1 receiving and had 2/5/0 rushing at Jacksonville last weekend).

The Bills' rush D is currently second in the NFL averaging 60.0 yards allowed per game, with just one rushing score given out to date. New England managed 15/56/1 in Buffalo last week - this is a dominant defensive front, friends.

This looks like a tough week to be invested in the Miami rushing attack.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Vikings posted 33/140/0 rushing as a team last week, with 24/113/0 for Chester Taylor (3/15/0 receiving). Over the first 2 weeks of the regular season, Taylor is the 5th ranked fantasy RB with 55/201/1 rushing and 6/58/0 receiving to his credit. He is playing very well to open 2006.

Ahman Green put up 20/110/0 against the Bears week 1, but they clamped down on the Lions and Kevin Jones last week, allowing a mere 12/44/0 to Jones and 14/46/1 to the team as a whole. Over the first 2 weeks of the season, the Bears have surrendered 7 points and an average of 74.5 rushing yards per contest. They are one of the toughest defensive units in the league.

Taylor has been doing a great job for the Vikings, but he faces a tough challenge this week when the Bears come to town.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Minnesota got to pick on Detroit last week, leading to a solid day for Adrian Peterson (15/92/1 rushing with 4/24/0 receiving - he averaged 6.1 yards per carry last week). All told, the Vikings rushed for 25/112/1 as they cruised to an easy 27-13 victory. Adrian Peterson is currently the third-best fantasy RB in the land with 40/272/4 rushing and 5/42/0 receiving through two games. The Vikings' offense is firing on all cylinders entering week three. One item to keep an eye on later in the week - Peterson was limited in practice on Wednesday due to a sore back. Hopefully he'll work through the soreness but monitor his practice participation later this week in Footballguys.com's players in the news.

The 49ers' rush D has been stout all year long, holding Arizona to 17/40/0 rushing in the opener and limiting the Seahawks to 23/66/0 last week - they are currently third in the NFL averaging 53 rushing yards allowed per game. However, Adrian Peterson will test them more than Tim Hightower or Justin Forsett has done in the early weeks.

The 49ers play hard-nosed rush D, and they won't just roll over for Peterson in awe of his mad skills. This is a tough matchup for the Vikings' key player, but we still like Peterson as a fantasy starter - he's just facing a tougher opponent than usual this week.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

It's a big accomplishment, but then again it's a sour taste in my mouth,' Adrian Peterson said after the loss to Tampa Bay last week. 'Because ultimately, we play to win. It's a great feeling, but we play this game to win and we lost. I'm happy, but then again, I'm not.' His one-yard TD run that gave Minnesota a 7-0 first-quarter lead was the 53rd of his career, giving him the Vikings record, one more than Chuck Foreman and Bill Brown. His explosive 9-yard TD run in the final minute of the second quarter extended that mark to 54, but failed to put the Vikings in the winner's circle. All told, Peterson put up 25/120/2 rushing and 2/21/0 receiving while his backup Tony Gerhart (2/36/0 rushing and 1/42/0 receiving) helped bump the team up to 33/186/2 rushing vs. Tampa Bay.

Detroit is ranked 13th in the NFL so far, with 103.5 rush yards allowed per game on average. They have yet to allow a rushing score, however, despite the 29/151/0 rushing given up to Kansas City last week. This is a strong defensive front, folks.

Peterson is a fine back, but in this divisional grudge match he's got a tough row to hoe. Advantage, Lions.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Adrian Peterson cooled off in week two, posting 15/60/0 rushing and 3/20/0 receiving while facing a soft Colts' defensive front. Toby Gerhart did some spot duty with 3/15/0 rushing and 2/17/0 receiving - all told, the Vikings managed 26/95/0 rushing at Indianapolis, a 3.7 yards per carry average.

This week, one of the finest defensive fronts in the NFL rolls into Minneapolis - San Francisco averages just 63.5 yards rushing allowed per game so far this year, with zero rushing scores allowed to date. Detroit's backs ground out 26/82/0 at San Francisco last week, but as usual nobody found the end zone in this phase of the game.

Peterson is playing determined football right now, but this is a tough matchup for any running back. Footballguys.com's David Dodds ranks Peterson as the 20th-best fantasy back of the week as of Wednesday, 9/19/12.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Vikings' franchise player ran up 26/100/0 rushing with 1/7/0 receiving at Chicago last week - Minnesota just missed a 'W' dropping the game 30-31. To date, Adrian Peterson has amassed 44/193/2 rushing and 5/25/1 receiving to check in at third fantasy running back in the PPR paradigm. Start him if you've got him.

The Browns' defense limited Baltimore to 14 points last week, limiting the Ravens' running backs to 36/99/1 on the day. Linebacker Jabaal Sheard totaled eight tackles and a half sack last week to lead the Browns. Rookie LB Barkevious Mingo played well after overcoming his lung injury inflicted during preseason (two solo tackles, a tackle for a loss, a sack, and one quarterback hit) - Mingo will be more involved in the mix going forwards thanks to Quentin Groves' ankle injury (in a walking boot and crutches as of Wednesday, September 18). Two weeks ago, Miami had just 23/20/1 rushing at Cleveland - their rush D is playing well entering the third regular season game.

Peterson is a stud who should be started every week, but he does face a tougher-than-usual matchup in this game.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

MIN Injuries: none
NO Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

37/99/2 rushing and 2/30/0 receiving defines Corey Dillons' production this season. He's not doing well, folks. The Patriots are 29th in the NFL (behind the Cardinals) averaging 56 rushing yards per game. Something has to change in New England in this phase of the game. We'll see if the OL can open up more room for Dillon and Faulk to run.

However, don't get your hopes up because this week brings a visit to the Steelers at Heinz Field - they have allowed 0 rushing scores this year while ranking 17th in the NFL allowing 105 rushing yards per game. 25/113/0 was the Texans' tally last week. It'll be tough to get Dillon on track vs. Pittsburgh.

The Patriots have not looked strong in this phase of the game, while the Steelers have denied their opponents any rushing scores. We give the nod to Pittsburgh this week.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

New England has gone to a complete committee approach this season so far - last week, 5 backs ran the ball vs. New York, with LaMont Jordan leading the team (11/62/0), drastically out-performing Laurence Maroney (8/16/0) and Sammy Morris (8/0/1). As a team, the Patriots managed 33/104/1 (a 3.4 yards per carry average) - they are 19th in the NFL currently averaging 3.8 yards per carry through 2 weeks. Kevin Faulk had 3/16/0 rushing and was second on the team with 4/50/0 receiving in his usual 3rd-down back/change of pace role.

The Dolphins currently 12th in the NFL averaging 96.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with 31/81/1 handed over to the Cardinals last week. Miami isn't making it easy to rush the ball so far, as you can see.

The Patriots have a multi-headed monster that is currently not up to snuff on a per carry basis, while the Dolphins are actually pretty respectable in this phase of the game. Advantage, Miami.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

With Shane Vereen sidelined due to a broken wrist, Stevan Ridley regained his top spot in the pecking order among running backs vs. the Jets. He eked out 16/40/0 against the stubborn Jets' defensive front, followed by LeGarrette Blount (4/11/0 rushing with one target for zero receptions). There isn't much else in the cupboard for the Patriots right now, at least until Brandon Bolden returns for his knee injury. Ridley owners will want to monitor Boldens' activity level as the week goes by, as there could soon be another running back in the mix for the Patriots.

The Buccaneers' issues this season aren't due to their rush D, which is currently 12th in the league averaging 82.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with zero rushing scores surrendered to date. New Orleans managed 20/75/0 rushing at Tampa Bay last week.

This looks like a tough matchup for the depleted New England running back corps.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Patriots have leaned on Dion Lewis so far this season (22/109/1 rushing with 10/149/0 receiving), to the extent that they ignored the return of LeGarrette Blount from suspension in Week Two (two carries for four yards flowed to Blount last week). Right now, it looks like Lewis is the lead back for the Patriots - we'll see how long he can stay out of coach Belichick's doghouse.

The Jaguars' rush D is ranked fifth in the NFL averaging 73.5 yards allowed per game, with zero rushing scores surrendered to date. Last week, Miami had a paltry 16/42/0 rushing against this unit.

At home in Gillette Stadium this week, we think that Lewis still faces a tough test on Sunday.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Patriots are (most likely) reduced to starting their third-string, rookie quarterback from N.C. State, Jacoby Brissett, on Thursday night - look for him to hand off to LeGarrette Blount (23/129/1 rushing vs. Miami last week) and James White (4/19/0 rushing with four targets for 2/10/0 receiving) a whole lot against the pass-rushing/blitz-happy Texans. The running game will be the heart of the offense on Thursday night.

The Texans' rush D isn't very generous to opposing backs, averaging 14.8 fantasy points allowed to opposing backs per game (eighth-least in the NFL through 2 games). They have averaged 96 yards rushing allowed per game and given up just one rushing score - last week, the Chiefs were limited to 19/119/0, with almost half of that total coming on two long runs by Spencer Ware (25 yards) and Charcandrick West (28 yards).

This looks like a tough matchup for Blount and White - the Texans will concentrate on stuffing the run and dare Brissett to throw the football against their top-five pass D.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

NE Injuries: none
PIT Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Reggie Bush had some growing pains rushing the ball last week vs. the Packers, and was limited to 6/5/0 on the ground (but added 8/68/0 receiving to make it a decent outing in fantasy leagues that award points for yardage and/or receptions). Deuce McAllister continues to exhibit his full recovery from last year's ACL injury, throwing down 12/47/2 rushing (a 3 yard goal-line score in the 2nd and a nice 23 yard romp into the end zone in the 4th quarter). McAllister also had a nice 24 yard reception last week - together, he and Bush form quite a tandem.

During the past 2 weeks, Carolina managed 16/65/0 rushing vs. Atlanta and then Tampa was shut down by the Falcons last Sunday (16/40/0). The Falcons are 3rd in the NFL after 2 tilts, granting only 52.5 rushing yards per contest to their opponents on average. That's really stout rush defense, folks. And don't forget, the Falcons have allowed 9 points in 2 games - the end zone is a long way away when you're facing Atlanta.

This week, against a divisional foe, the Saints' mix of new and old faces will be put to the test. We like the New Orleans running backs but this one looks like a tough matchup.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Saints are fielding one of the most disappointing offenses in the NFL this season so far - Deuce McAllister is the 42nd ranked fantasy RB in the land with 20/87/0 rushing and 3/14/0 receiving, while Reggie Bush has eked out 22/65/0 rushing and 10/50/0 receiving, to check in at 39th. That's pretty awful, folks. The entire Saint's team has looked out of sync and uncoordinated so far during 2007.

The Titans surprised everyone by manhandling the Jacksonville Jaguars' backs in week 1, and followed that game up by limiting the Colts to 22/81/1 on the ground - right now, the Titans are 7th in the NFL averaging 78 rushing yards allowed per game, with only 1 rushing TD given up in 2 weeks. They are playing some solid fundamental football right now.

The Saints' unit is struggling while the Titans' defensive front is playing very well. This looks like a tough matchup for the slow-starting Saints.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Mike Bell continued to impress in his time on the field last week (17/86/1 rushing with 1/9/0 receiving vs. the maniacal Eagles' D), but unfortunately he suffered a right knee sprain (rumored to be a MCL sprain) and is not expected to play during week three, at the minimum. Pierre Thomas, who is just working his way back onto the field after rehabbing a sprained knee, had one catch for -4 yards last week but figures to assume the 'workhorse' role in the offense with Bell out this week. Reggie Bush rushed for a TD against the Eagles (10/33/1) and also snagged 3/42/0 receiving during the game for a respectable fantasy outing. All told, the Saints notched 29/133/2 rushing against the Eagles (and 421 total net yards of offense).

The Bills put the clamps on Derrick Ward and company last week, holding Tampa to 19/57/0 rushing while the Buccaneers pelted the secondary with 50 pass attempts (Tampa was down 20-7 midway through the second quarter). New England was also held to under 100 yards rushing in week one (23/73/1) - despite the loss of MLB Paul Posluszny, the Bill's rush D held their own in week two.

New Orleans' RB stable is in flux, and we have yet to see Thomas prove he's back to full health - with the game being played in Buffalo, this looks like a tough matchup for the visiting Saints.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

C.J. Spiller played just seven offensive snaps during his Saints' debut last Sunday. He posted three carries for seven yards and one reception for 19 yards, with zero TDs during the cameo. However, the good news for his fantasy owners is that Spiller didn't aggravate his repaired knee - going forwards, he should work in more often as the pass-catching back/third-down option (depending on whether Drew Brees can play this week, the passing game may be less central to the offense if Luke McCown goes under center).

While Spiller got his toes wet in the NFL pool, Mark Ingram swam through the sharks for 16/53/1 rushing and saw three targets for five yards receiving. Khiry Robinson (the guy standing in for Spiller while Spiller gets back to 'game shape') managed 5/48/0 rushing and 1/9/0 receiving vs. Tampa Bay.

The Panthers' rush D is ranked seventh in the NFL after two games, averaging 78.5 yards allowed per game in this phase, with one rush TD handed over. Last week, Houston ground out 23/61/1 rushing at Carolina.

Advantage Carolina.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Giants pulled off an epic comeback last week against the Eagles, on a day when Tiki Barber (who was seen icing his right knee after the game) was not his best (21/51/0 rushing with 7/57/0 receiving). Brandon Jacobs pitched in with 5/35/0 to help lift the rushing total to 26/86/0, but it was far from a dominant performance. The OL really looked bad against the Eagles giving up 8 sacks and contributing to the miserable 2.4 yards-per-carry average Barber managed by failing to adequately run block. The big guys up front need to play a lot better this week.

Seattle has been very harsh on opposing backs this season, averaging 51.5 rushing yards allowed per game (20/65/0 allowed to Edgerrin James last week). They have given up a mere 16 points this season, remaining very stingy with TDs (only 1 surrendered in 2 games). This is one of the elite defensive units in the NFL.

Barber and Jacobs have a steep mountain to climb out in Seattle this week.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Derrick Ward did a great job filling in for the injured Brandon Jacobs, gaining 15/90/0 rushing and 4/35/0 receiving during the contest against Green Bay. The Giants are currently second in the NFL averaging 5.7 yards per carry - the offensive line is upholding their end of the bargain. We'll see if Ward can keep the momentum going again this week in a key divisional contest vs. the Redskins.

Speaking of Washington, the Redskins are currently 9th in the NFL vs. opposing rushers, allowing an average of 90 yards per game. They have given up 0 rushing TDs to date, and managed to contain Brian Westbrook and the Eagles last week (20/114/0), although they were a long ways from shutting Westbrook down (5.6 yards per carry for Westbrook last week). When the rubber hits the road in the red-zone, though, the Redskins have been braking their opponents to date.

Ward and company face a tough matchup when they visit FedEx Field this week.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Giants are off to an 0-2 start, and a lot of the blame can be placed on the Giants' runners. David Wilson has posted 14/34/0 rushing and zero targets through two contests, while DaRel Scott has managed 10/25/0 rushing and 7/81/1 receiving - Brandon Jacobs had a TD rush in his return to active duty with the Giants (4/7/1 rushing last week). The Giants' backfield is a discouraging mess for fantasy owners heading into Week three.

The Panthers' rush D held Seattle to 26/70/0 rushing two weeks ago, but they yo-yo'd in Week two with 33/149/1 rushing given up to the Bills. So far this year, Carolina's rush D has been up and down in effectiveness.

The Giants' less-than-impressive backs have a tough challenge ahead when they invade Bank of America Stadium on Sunday.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Giants split up the work between their top three backs last week - Shane Vereen was the most productive with 6/19/0 rushing and 8/76/0 receiving, while Andre Williams had 6/43/0 rushing and Rashad Jennings eked out 9/12/0 rushing and 2/12/0 receiving during his chances. This is a 'hot hand' backfield that is difficult to predict from week to week.

The Washington rush D is ranked fourth in the NFL averaging 70.5 yards allowed per game, with zero rushing scores handed out so far. St. Louis managed 13/67/0 rushing at Washington last week.

Advantage, Washington.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Giants Rushing Offense at San Diego Chargers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Few teams are running the ball with less interest and less efficiency than the Giants. They’ve run just 30 times for 97 yards through 2 weeks, and there’s no real hope on the horizon. Lacking a ball-control element between the tackles, their running game is little more than a mix of forced, uninspired smashes up the middle and the occasional Shane Vereen space run on passing downs. Paul Perkins, who’s yet to show even a whiff of starting-caliber talent, was badly miscast in that early-down role by summer prognostications and has brought nothing to the table (14 rushes, 26 yards). And Orleans Darkwa is a scout-team talent forced into occasional usage when Perkins proves ineffective. With the passing game in such nasty disarray, there’s nothing keeping defenders honest and out of the tackle box on running downs, so their middling talent levels are on full display. The Eagles have been mixed at halting the run dating back last season. Their up-and-down 2016 ended with a bit of a collapse down the stretch, as zone-running teams began to find solid lanes through their front seven. That stretch included a solid day by these Giants, with both Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings posting efficient lines. And last week, Kansas City rookie Kareem Hunt dazzled in the second half, when he gathered 73 of his 81 yards. Still, this home matchup looks exponentially easier than either of those. And it’s worth noting that Hunt only managed 3 yards or more on 5 of his 13 rushes. The Eagles’ run defense may be boom-or-bust, but it’s exceptionally hard to bust against this toothless of a running game.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

NYG Injuries: none
SD Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Jets' tandem of Leon Washington (14/58/0 rushing with 2/18/0 receiving) and Thomas Jones (14/54/0 rushing with 1/-1/0 receiving last week) were effective against their arch-rival divisional foes the Patriots, but the low-scoring nature of the grudge match (16-9 in favor of the Jets) limited the fantasy impact of both players during week two. To date, Jones is 18th among all fantasy RBs (PPR) with 34/161/2 rushing and 1/-1/0 receiving, while Washington is 28th with 29/118/0 rushing and 6/42/0 receiving. Together, they form the 7th ranked rushing attack in the NFL, currently averaging 153.5 rushing yards per game. Expect Washington to stay heavily involved as coach Rex Ryan wants to get Washington 20 touches per game (out of rushes, receptions and returns). He commented on Wednesday 'We're not married to that [20 touch number],' Ryan said, 'but I think it's good business.'

The Titans field the league's #2 rush D, currently averaging 49.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with zero rushing TDs given up. Houston ran the ball 29 times last week and got 63 yards for their pains (2.2 yards allowed per carry on the part of Tennessee). These guys are very stubborn in the trenches, folks.

Jones and Washington are solid backs, but they'll have their hands full with the Titans this week.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Darren McFadden scored a TD last week, but didn't prove to be a dominant force during the game (12/35/1 rushing, with 2/20/0 receiving). Michael Bush moved the ball the same number of yards on only nine carries (9/35/0), with one reception for seventeen yards. To date, the Raiders' new tandem has amassed 215 rushing yards and two TDs - last week they took a step back in this phase of the game against the lowly Chiefs. They also lost LG Robert Gallery for several weeks due to a fractured left fibula, which isn't going to help matters any - 'I cracked back on a guy, and I heard it break,' Gallery said. 'I just have to get it fixed and come back as soon as I can.'.

The Broncos notched a second victory last week, limiting the Browns to a mere 21/54/0 rushing during the contest at Mile High Stadium. Right now they are 10th in the NFL averaging 70 rushing yards allowed per game, with one rushing TD surrendered over two contests. The Broncos' rush D is playing very well entering week three, friends.

The Raiders have an inconsistent offense right now, and despite home field advantage they'll have their hands full with a resurgent Denver defense.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Raiders' rushing game was productive in week two, posting 30/131/3 as a unit. Darren McFadden was first on the team with 20/72/1 rushing, and he added 7/71/1 receiving to the cause as well. Denarius Moore was second in rushing with 1/25/0 and led the team in receiving with 5/146/1, while Michael Bush also pushed in a score with 4/23/1 rushing. It wasn't the offense's fault that Oakland lost this game.

The Jets held Jacksonville to 27/112/0 rushing last week, and have given up an average of 88 rushing yards per game this year (with one rushing TD surrendered). This is one of the best defenses in the NFL, friends.

Oakland's back are prolific, but they face a tough challenge at Oakland on Sunday.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The soft Jaguars made Darren McFadden look good for a week, allowing him 19/129/0 rushing and 4/28/0 receiving last Sunday. He posted 17/48/1 rushing and 3/18/0 receiving at Indianapolis two weeks ago - thus far during 2013 McFadden is the eighth-ranked fantasy running back in the PPR paradigm with 36/177/1 rushing and 7/46/0 receiving to his credit.

The Denver rush D is currently first in the NFL averaging 40.5 yards allowed per game, with two rushing scores surrendered to date. The Giants' scrambled backfield posted 19/23/1 rushing vs. Denver last week, while Baltimore managed 21/58/1 rushing two weeks ago. This is one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL even without Von Miller.

McFadden has to travel to Mile High Stadium for this contest - he'll have a tough time moving the ball effectively against this divisional rival.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Oakland's backs are stuck in starting-rookie-quarterback Hell entering Week 3 - Derek Carr, the starting quarterback, is actually the lead rusher so far this year, with 5/57/0 to his credit. With Maurice Jones-Drew nursing a surgically repaired hand, Darren McFadden has fallen on his face (again) with 16/52/1 rushing and 3/37/0 receiving to his 'credit'. Oakland is 32nd in the league in rushing attempts so far this year and 31st in rushing yards. Look elsewhere for your starters, fantasy owners!

The Patriots are tied for 21st in the NFL after two games, averaging 122.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with one rushing score allowed. They held an Adrian Peterson-less Vikings to 19/54/0 rushing last week, but coughed up 38/191/1 rushing to divisional rival Miami during Week 1. This unit has swung wildly to open 2014.

This looks like a tough matchup for Carr and McFadden - the Raiders can't do much on the ground this year so far.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Though Latavius Murray has played well in his chances this season (8/57/1 rushing with six targets for 6/44/0 receiving last week, for example, to go over 100 yards combined on the day), DeAndre Washington (7/46/0 rushing with 1/6/0 receiving) and Jalen Richard (6/17/0 rushing with 1/10/0 receiving) are seeing a significant number of touches on the football as well. That's going to continue according to head coach Jack Del Rio - 'All of our running backs are pretty good. We were running the ball well [against Atlanta], and they're all going to play.' Murray has the lead's back load so far, but he isn't a 'featured' back with so many chances flowing to other committee members.

The Titans' rush defense has not given out a TD yet this year, while checking in at 14th in the NFL averaging 101.0 rushing yards allowed per game so far. In fact, they have allowed the least fantasy points per game to opposing running backs over the first two weeks (9.4 fantasy points per game on average).

This is a tough matchup for the Raiders' backs.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LeSean McCoy led the Eagles with 18/95/23 rushing (and added 4/21/0 receiving to go over 100 yards combined last week). All told, the Eagles piled up 30/133/2 rushing at Atlanta, but just fell short of a 'W' 31-35. So far, McCoy is first among all fantasy RBs (PPR scoring) with 33/217/3 rushing and 6/36/1 receiving. This is a guy to start week in and week out fantasy owners.

The Giants' rush D is currently third in the NFL with an average of 66.5 yards allowed per game, and they have surrendered one rushing TD. St. Louis was held to 19/59/0 rushing in week two - this group has risen up and overcome numerous injuries.

McCoy and company have a tough job ahead when New York comes to town.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LeSean McCoy posted 25/81/1 rushing and 2/8/0 receiving against the Ravens' vaunted run D last week - he is heavily involved in the Eagles' offense week in and week out. We don't expect to see that suddenly change - start McCoy no matter who the competition is, friends.

The Cardinals held the Patriots to 28/90/0 rushing (3.2 yards per carry) last week, and gave up 33/115/0 rushing to Seattle in week one - so far, they are stout in the red zone, friends. The team currently ranks 13th in the NFL averaging 102.5 rushing yards allowed per game.

Against the solid Cardinals' defense, McCoy faces a tougher-than-usual test this week (but he should still be your starter - David Dodds ranks him the ninth-best fantasy prospect among fantasy running backs in week three).

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Willie Parker ground out 28/105/0 on the way to an old-style 10-6 Pittsburgh victory over Cleveland. No other running back attempted a rush in week 2 (sorry Rashard Mendenhall enthusiasts) - it looks like Parker is firmly back in the saddle as the Steelers' featured runner. He's the 3rd ranked fantasy RB through 2 games, with 53/243/3 rushing to his credit.

The Eagles are currently 1st in the NFL averaging 52 rushing yards allowed per game. They held Marion Barber and company to 24/68/1 on Monday Night Football this week, Barber's TD being the only rushing TD allowed to date. In this phase of the game, Philadelphia is stout.

On the road, Parker and company will have a tough row to hoe in Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

'The end result is the end result. I'm not going to pat myself on the back because we ran for a decent amount of yards. We lost the football game. I'd rather run for no yards and win.' - head coach Mike Tomlin on the Steelers' week two loss to Chicago.

Week two was a definite improvement for the Steelers' backs over week one, with 14/47/0 rushing (1/3/0 receiving) for Willie Parker and 3/39/0 rushing with 1/13/0 receiving posted by Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall's long 39 yard rush was the high point of the effort for Pittsburgh last week - in all, they managed 22/105/0 on the ground. It wasn't a dominant performance, but at least they presented a credible threat to run the ball. Coach Tomlin is planning on giving Mendenhall some more chances to run the ball in coming weeks, saying on Wednesday 'I think as we continue on he's going to get more of those opportunities and he better produce more of those plays.'

Through two games, Cincinnati has surrendered only 164 yards rushing (at a rate of 4.3 yards per carry, though). 'All that hard work of working on our hands and getting the O-line's hands off us, it's really showing up this year,' defensive tackle Domata Peko said after the game on Sunday. Ryan Grant and Aaron Rodgers combined for 18/89/1 rushing last week, though Grant could only manage 14/46/1 (a 3.3 yards per carry average). The Bengals' defensive front is currently 11th in the NFL averaging 82 rushing yards allowed per game, with just one rushing TD given away so far - not too shabby.

The Steelers' backs started to get a head of steam up last week, but they'll have their hands full with the scrappy Bengals' defense this week. Advantage, Cincinnati.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Pittsburgh's offense was on the field for only 24:26 last week, converting just three out of 12 third down situations all day long at Cincinnati. Without Maurkice Pouncey at center, the rushing game was anemic. Felix Jones eked out 10/37/0 rushing while Jonathan Dwyer was only allowed one rush for two yards during the game. Isaac Redman was injured on the opening kickoff and spent time on the sidelines being screened for a concussion before returning to action - he was ineffective with 3/4/0 rushing and 2/7/0 receiving vs. the Bengals. It's ugly all over with a side of hideous for the Pittsburgh committee of backs right now. Le'Veon Bell will reportedly 'ramp up' his activity in practices this week according to head coach Mike Tomlin, but he remains a long-shot to get into the action anytime soon.

The Bears' rush D held Adrian Peterson to 26/100/0 on the ground last week, eventually giving up 33/123/0 to the Vikings' rushers - two weeks ago, Cincinnati was held to about half of the Vikings' total with 21/63/1 rushing to their credit. So far, the Bears' rush D is playing solid football.

The Steelers' running game is in dire shape, while the Bears' D is dug in and playing well in this phase of the game - advantage, Chicago.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LeVeon Bell has started out 2014 with a boom, posting 32/168/1 rushing with 11/136/0 receiving so far this season (making him the fourth-best fantasy running back through two weeks). LeGarrette Blount hasn't siphoned off too much action from Bell (7/14/1 rushing with two targets for zero receptions) but the few touches he's handled included a TD - he'll swipe the occasional score going forwards if things stay as they are currently.

The Panthers' rush D held starting running back Doug Martin to 9/9/0 rushing in Week One, and though they eventually allowed 17/102/0 to the Buccaneers, half of that total came on one 54-yard scamper by Jorvorskie Lane - otherwise, the Panthers basically shut down the Buccaneers' backs in Week One. Detroit was held to 18/70/0 rushing in Week 2, and the Panthers now rank sixth in the NFL this year averaging 86 rushing yards allowed per game, with zero rushing scores surrendered to date. Carolina's rush D is outstanding, friends.

This is a tough matchup for Bell (and his sidekick Blount).

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

DeAngelo Williams is showing off his skills to open the season, ranking as the first-place fantasy back in the land with 58/237/2 rushing and 10/66/1 receiving to his credit. Start him if you've got him.

The Eagles rank tenth in the NFL averaging 92.0 rushing yards allowed per game, with two rushing scores handed out to date. They are averaging 16.1 fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs per game, 13th-least in the NFL.

Always start your studs, and Williams is definitely a stud for the Steelers entering Week Three, despite a tougher-than-usual matchup.

Weather: The conditions at Heinz Field on Sunday are expected to range from 80F for a high temperature to 62F for a low temperature with a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day to play some football.

PIT Injuries: none
NE Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LaDainian Tomlinson sat out of preseason entirely, and he looks rusty now that the games count. How else can we account for 35/68/1 rushing and 11/66/0 receiving over 2 games this year - a 1.94 yards-per-carry average? This isn't the LT that fantasy owners everywhere paid the first pick in the draft to acquire. The Chargers' line has taken a serious beating on the right side, with RT Shane Olivea suffering a lower back strain on Sunday - currently he is day-to-day. RG Mike Goff (bruised knee) missed the game last week and is iffy for this week's matchup - the last thing the Chargers need right now is to juggle their OL, but that is what they are being forced to do. We'll see if Tomlinson can get his motor going behind the patchwork line.

The Packers rank 13th vs. the run this year, averaging 96.5 yards allowed per game, with 0 rushing TDs surrendered so far. They held the Giants to 16/94/0 on the ground last week and seem to be fairly stout in this phase of the game based on the early results.

Tomlinson and company have some work ahead of them to get into game shape - meanwhile, the Packers bring an above-average defensive front and their famed 12th man to the dance this week at Lambeau Field. He's a sure starter, but this looks like another tough matchup for Tomlinson and the Chargers' rushing attack.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

With LaDainian Tomlinson sidelined due to a sprained ankle, Darren Sproles and company had the dubious pleasure of facing the Baltimore Ravens last week - as usual, it was tough to rush the ball vs. Baltimore, who only allowed 10/26/0 to Sproles and 21/53/0 to the Chargers as a team. However, Sproles' skills as a receiver allowed him to amass a great fantasy outing anyway, as he added 7/124/1 receiving to his totals, including an 81 yard TD reception. The Chargers' head coach Norv Turner is hopeful RB LaDainian Tomlinson can play in Week 3 as of Tuesday. However, Turner added the team will prepare to play without him. The team is losing depth on the OL as C Nick Hardwick has been scheduled to have ankle surgery and may miss up to eight weeks, according to reports in local media. Hardwick was out of the lineup in week two (and we all saw how that went).

Miami's rush defense is currently tied for 7th in the league, averaging 64.5 yards allowed per game, with one rushing TD given up to date. Indianapolis accounted for the score last week with 11/61/1 rushing as a team (on a strange night when Miami's offense held the ball for 45:07 but still lost 27-23 to the quick-strike Colts).

The Chargers have personnel issues at RB and along the OL entering this game, but Darren Sproles is still quite a weapon regardless - this does look like a tough matchup for the home team, though.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

'I felt like I could've come back in, but they said they wanted to wait,' Ryan Mathews (5/26/0 rushing with 2/29/0 receiving) said after the game on Sunday. '(Mike) Tolbert (16/82/2 rushing with 1/13/0 receiving last week) was running so well that they didn't need to risk it, so their decision was to hold me out.' Mathews was limited by an ankle injury, and is currently considered likely to be available on Sunday, barring a setback. Mathews was wearing a protective boot on his injured foot and was sore Monday, September 20th, though - Mathews owners will want to monitor his practice participation later this week. 'I wasn't comfortable having him return,' Chargers coach Norv Turner said. 'I don't want something that might be a one-week injury to turn into a six-week injury.' Darren Sproles remained in a complimentary role while Mathews was out, with 5/37/0 rushing and 4/63/0 receiving to his credit - Sproles is apparently going to be the change-of-pace back this year and watch either Mathews or Tolbert handle the bulk of the carries.

Seattle allowed two rushing TDs to the Denver backs last week, though they did limit the group to just 1.7 yards per carry (38/65/2). In week one, this team held Frank Gore to 17/38/0 rushing and limited the 49ers' team to 19/49/0 on the ground - so far this year the Seahawks front seven have been hard on opposing backs.

The Chargers ran the ball well last week but they face a hard-nosed Seattle team in Seattle this week - advantage, Seahawks.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Unfortunately, Ryan Mathews sprained the MCL in one of his knees last week, and is out for 4-5 weeks as a result. Look for Danny Woodhead (8/32/0 rushing with 4/28/0 receiving vs. Seattle last week) and Donald Brown (9/19/0 rushing with 3/10/0 receiving so far this season) to handle the bulk of the work in Mathews' absence.

Last year Buffalo ranked 28th in the NFL averaging 128.9 yards rushing allowed per game, with 10 rushing scores given up over 16 games played. This is not a top rush D, folks. Matt Forte gained 17/82/0 rushing (with nine targets for 8/87/0 receiving) during the season premiere, while the Dolphins managed 21/80/0 rushing at Buffalo last week. So far this year the defensive front is much improved over the 2013 version, averaging 83 rushing yards allowed per game, with zero rushing scores allowed over two games.

This looks like a tough matchup for Brown and Woodhead, but the passing matchup is great so don't overlook Woodhead as he is a dual threat and can post big games catching the football.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Robert Gallery returned to the lineup, starting at left guard for week two at Pittsburgh, but was promptly injured in the course of the game. Gallery will miss four to six weeks because of a groin injury, making a bad situation in Seattle even worse.

How bad? Seattle rushed five times for 6 yards in the second half and finished the game last Sunday with 31 total rushing yards. 'I've got to play better,' Gallery said. 'We've all got to play better. That's what it comes down to — each man doing their job. I'll take responsibility for the line. I am the oldest guy. We've got to work together and get things done.' QB Tarvaris Jackson was Seattle's leading rusher last week with a grand total of 12 yards to his credit. Marshawn Lynch was a millstone around the neck of his fantasy owners last week with 6/11/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving during the game. This is a horrible situation, folks. Lynch, the starting RB, has 19/44/0 rushing and 3/15/0 receiving to his credit through two games. Ouch.

Arizona enters week three with the 23rd-ranked rush D in the land, averaging 123 yards allowed per game with one rushing score surrendered so far. A very motivated ex-Cardinal Tim Hightower and company hung 35/172/0 rushing on Arizona last week - they flopped in week two in this phase of the game, folks.

Arizona buckled at Washington last week, but the horrific Seattle offense is so bad that we give the Cardinals the edge in this game.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Seahawks offense has struggled these first two weeks of the season, scoring only 21 points coming on five field goals and a passing touchdown. Seahawks running backs combined for 97 yards last week against the 49ers while Russell Wilson added 34 rushing yards on 12 attempts. Chris Carson led the Seahawks backfield with 20 carries, averaging 4.7 yards per attempt for 93 yards. Carson looked sharp running the ball, particularly after contact where he picked up 58 of those yards. Thomas Rawls chipped in with five carries for only eight yards, while Eddie Lacy was a healthy scratch. The Seahawks have yet to score a rushing touchdown this season as their offense plays behind one of the most disjointed offensive lines in football, ranked third worst by Footballguys offensive line guru Matt Bitonti. The Titans played tough against the run last week as they limited Leonard Fournette to only 2.9 yards per carry. Both Daquan Jones and Jurrell Casey have played well this season on the interior of the Titans defensive line. The Titans overall have an average rushing defense, but the matchup against this bottom tier Seahawks offensive line is one that will be a matchup problem for Seattle in this game.

Weather: The forecast for Qwest field calls for a high of 71F and a low of 59F on Sunday. There is a 20% chance of rain - it should be a great day for a football game.

SEA Injuries: none
ARI Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Wow, Frank Gore is paying huge dividends to the fantasy owners who invested a pick in him. Like Donte' Stallworth on the opposing team this week, Gore is the surprise #1 fantasy player at his position after 2 weeks, with 45/214/3 rushing and 8/93/0 receiving - guess Norv Turner knows how to craft an offense, doesn't he? Gore is on a roll right now, and doesn't look like he'll be slowing down anytime soon.

The Eagles did a great job against the Giants' backs last week, holding Barber and Jacobs to 26/86/0 on the ground. Philly is averaging 78 rushing yards allowed per game as of week 2 (10th in the NFL) - they are doing an above-average job containing opposing running backs coming into week 3.

Gore has momentum and the home-field advantage at his back, while the Eagles come in hungry for a win after dropping a close game in OT last week. We like Gore but this is a tough matchup.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Frank Gore ran well despite his grief last week (his mother passed away shortly before the game and he left immediately after the game to help attend to her funeral), posting 20/81/2 rushing and 2/4/0 to help power the 49ers to a 2-0 record and a victory over their division rivals, the Rams. So far this year, San Francisco averages 3.6 yards per carry, which is below the 4.0 standard (but Gore was at that benchmark last week). Gore has 36/136/3 rushing and 3/25/0 receiving to his credit so far this season, to rank 6th among all fantasy RBs in total fantasy points to date.

The Steelers sport the league's 5th ranked rush defense, allowing an average of 74 rushing yards per game to date, and they have given up 0 rushing scores to date. Buffalo managed 22/102/0 against this unit last week (Pittsburgh was a little more generous last week than in week 1). It is not easy to move the ball against the Pittsburgh defensive front.

Gore and company have a tough fight in front of them when they visit Heinz Field on Sunday.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Frank Gore and company dismantled the Lions 27-19 last week, with Gore leading the charge on the ground (17/89/1 rushing with 2/16/0 receiving). Kendall Hunter had 5/23/0 rushing and 2/21/0 receiving in the change-of-pace role. We've seen this consistently so far this year - Gore has carried the ball 33/201/2 while Hunter has handled 14/64/0 rushing so far. This is now San Francisco's 1-2 punch. Brandon Jacobs continues to miss time due to his sore knee, so we haven't got a feel for what role (if any) he'll have during regular season.

The Vikings' rush D ranks 12th in the NFL after two games, averaging 98.5 yards rushing allowed per game - but they've given up zero rushing scores so far this year. Indianapolis posted 30/84/0 rushing vs. Minnesota last week (a 2.8 yards allowed per carry average) - it ain't easy to grind out yardage against the Vikings.

Given home field advantage at the Vikings' backs, this looks like a tough matchup for the visiting 49ers.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Carlos Hyde suffered a head injury at Pittsburgh, and even though he passed the concussion tests after the injury, head coach Jim Tomsula and company elected to hold Hyde (13/43/0 rushing with 4/18/0 receiving during his time on the field) out of the remainder of the blowout loss to Pittsburgh. Hyde was playing well before his exit from the contest. Stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News as the week goes along if you are invested in Hyde as one of your starting fantasy backs - his practice status will tell us if he avoided a serious head injury on Sunday. Mike Davis (7/14/0 rushing at Pittsburgh with 2/4/0 receiving) and Jarryd Hayne (2/3/0 rushing) are no threat to Hyde's lead role heading into Week Three.

The Cardinals' rush D is ranked 10th in the NFL after two games, averaging 81.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with just one rushing scores surrendered to date. Chicago managed 28/109/1 rushing vs. the Cardinals last week - 54 yards rushing (20/54/0 - 2.7 yards per rush) and zero TDs were given up to the Saints' backs in Week One.

This is a tough challenge for the 49ers' backs - advantage, Arizona.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Carlos Hyde (14/34/0 rushing with 3/18/0 receiving) found the Panthers' defense a tougher nut to crack than L.A.'s was in Week One (23/88/2 rushing (and 1/5/0 receiving)) as did Shaun Draughn (9/21/0 rushing at Carolina, vs. 7/18/1 rushing with 2/18/0 receiving against the Rams). We'll see which version of the 49ers' rushing attack shows up to Seattle this weekend.

Seattle limited Todd Gurley to 19/51/0 rushing and held L.A. to 25/64/0 as a team last weekend, after opening the year by holding Miami to 20/64/1 rusing in the season opener. Seattle is third in the NFL averaging 64 yards rushing allowed per game, and are third-least-generous to opposing running backs in fantasy points per game on average this season (10.9 per game). This is a tough unit to face.

Advantage, Seattle.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

"At this point, it's strictly a mindset," Steven Jackson said after the loss on Sunday. "Because I think everyone agrees, I think the New York Giants agree, that they were in a fight for three quarters. (But) I think that in the back of our minds, somewhere in our subconscious, we just feel like we can't pull it off. That's not how it works, and that's not how it needs to be. You have to have that confidence that we can fight and we can play with anybody."

Jackson did what he could to keep the Rams competitive with New York on Sunday, posting a respectable (very respectable, behind his awful OL) yards per carry average of 4.1 (13/53/0) and adding 7/37/0 receiving to his effort. To date, he's been a major disappointment to his fantasy owners, however, ranking 30th in the NFL with 27/93/0 rushing and 10/71/0 receiving. The Rams' offense is really struggling to maintain drives entering week 3.

Seattle is in the middle of the NFL when it comes to rush D, averaging 99.5 yards allowed per game (14th in the league) with 2 rushing TDs handed out in 2 games. Frank Gore and company posted 23/93/1 against the Seahawks last week, right on pace for this so-so unit.

Jackson is a great back who is hampered by personnel problems elsewhere on the squad - on the road in Qwest Stadium, even the Seahawks' middle of the road defensive front is likely to form a tough challenge for the Rams' team.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Steven Jackson (19/75/0 rushing with 4/50/0 receiving last week) managed only 8 yards on five carries after halftime vs. Oakland during week two. 'I don't know,' coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the game on Sunday. 'We didn't run the ball as effectively, and I think that changes everything. Now you're in relatively unmanageable second and third downs, and that's a pretty fast (Oakland) defense. And all of a sudden that speed gets turned on and that makes it tough.' Jackson added, noting that Oakland had eight men in the box during the second half - 'Second half, obviously Oakland made some adjustments, and we just couldn't get things going.' Kenneth Darby was a blip on the radar with two carries for zero yards last week. So far this season, Jackson is 13th among all fantasy RBs (PPR format) with 41/156/0 rushing and 8/56/0 receiving - scoring isn't coming easy to the Rams so far during 2010.

The Redskins' rush D is currently eighth in the NFL averaging 80.5 yards allowed per game - they have yet to surrender a rushing TD this year. Arian Foster was limited to 19/69/0 rushing last week - the Texans had 24/58/0 rushing as a team, but that total is skewed by a -27 yard rush by the punter Matt Turk to end regulation (Houston won in overtime 30-27). Even if we ignore that play, though, the Texans had just 85 positive yards rushing as a team last week.

Jackson has been moving the ball around between the 20's well, but scoring opportunities haven't come his way yet. Meanwhile, the Washington rush D is playing solid football in the early going - advantage, Washington.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Steven Jackson was knocked out of last week's game due to a sore groin (9/58/0 rushing before exiting the game), and his place was filled admirably by Daryl Richardson (15/83/0 rushing with 2/19/0 receiving). Hot preseason rookie prospect Isaiah Pead played just two snaps with Jackson out - Richardson is the clear #2 on this depth chart heading into week three. If Jackson's groin flares up during practices/the game this week, it'll be Richardson who steps in to fill the gap.

The Bears gave up 28/106/0 rushing to the Packers' iffy crew of running backs last week, and the Colts' young team managed 15/63/1 rushing vs. Chicago in the season opener. They've been solid in this phase of the game, but Chicago isn't shutting down opposing rushers right now (ninth in the NFL averaging 84.5 rushing yards allowed per game).

Jackson's sore groin is something to monitor this week - whoever starts for the Rams has a tough matchup ahead against the Bears' above-average defensive front.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Daryl Richardson led the Rams in rushing at Atlanta (10/35/0) but as St. Louis fell behind 21-0 early in the game they threw the ball way more than they ran it last week (55 passes thrown vs. 18 rushes attempted). Richardson did add 5/45/0 receiving last week to help out his PPR owners, but it wasn't the Rams' running back's finest moment.

The Cowboys' rush D limited the Giants to 14/50/0 rushing in week one, and then gave up 25/114/0 on the ground to Kansas City last week. As you can see, this group tightens up in the red zone and hasn't allowed a rushing score yet this year.

Richardson hasn't had outstanding games so far this year, and against the Cowboys' solid defensive front we expect him to be mediocre again this week - advantage, Dallas.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

'Todd's going to play when he's ready to play. It's a non-factor. I've been saying this since he got here: When he's ready, he's going to play, regardless of what's happening around him. But he is getting closer.' - Rams' Head Coach Jeff Fisher. The Rams can't get much going on the ground right now - Tre Mason had 7/26/0 rushing and 2/4/0 receiving last week, while Benny Cunningham posted 1/0/0 rushing with 4/27/0 receiving. Even with the current futility, it looks like Gurley won't be asked to ride to the rescue just yet.

The Steelers' rush D is ranked 12th in the NFL averaging 95.5 yards given up per game, with zero rushing scores handed out. Last week, San Francisco posted 31/111/0 rushing at Pittsburgh.

This is a tough assignment for the lack-luster Rams' backs.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Cadillac Williams is the real deal. 51/276/2 rushing the ball during the first two weeks of the season is enough proof. Start him if you drafted him. Williams can rip off long runs at any point during a game and does a great job gaining yardage after contact.

The Packers are off to a disappointing start, but their rush D isn't to blame. After 2 weeks, the Pack averages 78.5 rushing yards allowed per game - and they haven't surrendered a rushing score yet. They are playing some hard-nosed rush D right now.

Williams has been great in his first two games, but the Packers at Lambeau will be a tough challenge.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Doug Martin remains suspended for the Buccaneers so it will once again be Jacquizz Rodgers going up against the Vikings this week. Rodgers in his first game of the season last week had 19 carries before being pulled for Peyton Barber in the second half as the Buccaneers ran away with this game 29-7. There was some doubt heading into this game regarding Charles Sims role in this offense and whether he and Rodgers would be splitting carries these were largely put to rest as Sims had just two carries for two yards in the season opener for the Buccaneers. The matchup for the Buccaneers this one is a relatively difficult one as they take on a Minnesota team that has allowed just 81 yards rushing per game which while it ranks 11th best in the NFL this season, they held LeVeon Bell to just 3.2 yards per carry on 27 attempts last week. This is a defensive line for the Vikings that is very strong led by Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen while Eric Kendricks at linebacker is off to a great start this season as well.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Tennessee is average in this phase of the game, posting 97 rushing yards per game to date (18th in the NFL). The Titans average 3.7 rushing yards per carry after 2 weeks. They just aren't strong in this phase of the game. Chris Brown is the 33rd ranked fantasy RB after 2 weeks with 19/96/0 rushing and 3/25/0 receiving. Travis Henry led the team's rushers by the end of week 2 with 18/62/0 on the ground (Brown suffered a concussion last week and could not play during the second half). Brown is expected to play as usual this week.

Tennessee is not impressive in this phase of the game, while St. Louis ranks 3rd in the NFL with an average of 58 rushing yards allowed per game during 2005. The Rams have surrendered 1 rushing score to date, and held the Cardinals to 82 rushing yards as a team last week.

Brown or Henry will be hard pressed to put up fantasy stats this week. At the Rams' home field, the going will be rough for all the Titans' running backs.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Titans' offense is a shambles. 19/55/0 was mustered against the Chargers' tough D, but starter Chris Brown posted only 6/9/0, while LenDale White eked out 8/22/0 - part-time QB Vince Young outdid both, with 5/24/0. The highest-scoring fantasy RB on the team, Travis Henry, was sidelined due to turf toe and is questionable for this week. See if you can't find a better option on your bench than a Titans' back, if practicable.

The Dolphins contained Willis McGahee and company last week, holding the Bills to 32/105/0 - a big improvement over week 1, when they handed the Steelers 38/143/0. They have their defense heading in the right direction, and should continue to improve against the anemic Titans this week.

Advantage, Miami.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Chris Johnson went berserk against the Texans last week, striking from 57, 69, and 91 yards away for three monster TDs (he ended up the day with 16/197/2 rushing and 9/87/1 receiving to lead the team in both categories) - it certainly wasn't Johnson's fault that the team got a second 'L' last week (blame the pass D). LenDale White posted 6/25/0 in the change of pace role - Johnson was almost unstoppable last week, folks.

The Jets have been very stubborn rush defenders this year, with an average of just 60.5 yards allowed per game, and zero rushing TDs handed over to date. Their arch-rivals, the Patriots, managed 20/83/0 last week - it simply isn't an easy task to find room to roam when the talented Jets' D is on top of their game (which they have been in September).

Johnson had an unbelievable game last week, but this is still a tough matchup for the Titans, who have to go into the Meadowlands to face the Jets on Sunday.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Titans RB Chris Johnson heard boos from the home fans last week (24/53/0 rushing with 3/12/0 receiving). 'It didn't really bother me,' said Johnson, 'Just the whole situation going through the offseason, there's things you've got to accept and you just got to play through. So you just have to work at it and get better and at the end of the day, you might have a couple of boos now, but when you make a play they are not booing.' Through two games Johnson is averaging 2.3 yards per carry. Javon Ringer got back in the action for Tennessee last week, with 5/21/1 rushing and 2/30/0 receiving, outscoring Johnson in most fantasy formats. In an ominous sign, the Titans worked out free-agent RBs Javarris Williams (Texans), Chase Reynolds (Rams), Lonyae Miller (Cowboys) and Aaron Brown (Lions) Tuesday, September 20th. We'll see how Johnson responds on Sunday.

The Broncos rush D is currently 28th in the NFL averaging 131 yards allowed per game, but they have only allowed one rushing TD so far. Cincinnati was held to 20/72/0 at Denver last week. We haven't see a consistent performance from these guys as of week three.

Tennessee's running backs are struggling right now, while Denver's rush D has improved so far this young season - advantage, Denver.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Hightower gained 96 yards rushing on 20 carries (1/10/0 receiving), with 83 yards on 15 attempts in the first half against his old team the Cardinals on Sunday. 'I'm trying to think of all the adjectives that I could use right now that are coming to mind,' Hightower said after the game. 'Happy. It feels great... I tried to tell myself all week that this was just another game, but it wasn't. It meant a lot to me. I wanted this one really bad.' Roy Helu also helped batter the Cardinals with 10/74/0 rushing to his credit (with 3/38/0 receiving) as the Redskins piled up 35/172/0 rushing as a team (a 4.9 yards per carry average).

The Cowboys' rush D is ranked second in the NFL through two games, with an average of 59.5 yards allowed per game, and just one rushing score handed over to date. Frank Gore and the other 49ers could only manage 3.1 yards per carry last week (24/74/1 rushing) - the Dallas defensive front is doing their job.

Hightower and Helu are leading a surprising 2-0 Washington club, but they have their work cut out for them at Dallas on Monday Night Football.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Matt Jones carried 13/61/1 in the game against the Dallas Cowboys, with one target for 1/4/0 receiving during the contest - Chris Thompson posted 2/1/0 rushing but saw four targets for 3/57/0 receiving during the narrow loss to Dallas. This is the sort of 75/25 split of the workload that we are likely to see going forwards, as Jones is the lead back but Thompson has a clear third-down/passing-down change-of-pace role on the team.

The Giants' rush defense held New Orleans to 13/41/0 on the ground last weekend, after limiting Ezekiel Elliott (20/51/1 rushing, 2.5 yards per carry on average) and company down in Dallas to start the season (30/101/1 rushing as a team). Through two games, the Giants average 12.3 fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs per game (fifth-least in the NFL).

This looks like a tough matchup for Jones and Thompson.

WAS Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Hours after punching in a TD for the victorious Falcons, Michael Turner was nabbed speeding and drunk on the highway near Atlanta. Fortunately for the Falcons, this is Turners' first offense under the league's substance abuse guidelines, so he won't be slapped with a league suspension (and the team intends to let the legal system take it's course before acting on the matter). On the field this year, Turner ranks 40th among all fantasy running backs with 28/74/1 to his credit so far. Backup Jacquizz Rodgers has 10/25/0 rushing and 2/13/0 receiving, checking in at 65th - this isn't a running back stable to get excited over so far during 2012.

San Diego allowed just 10/38/0 rushing to the Tennessee Titans in week two, and they were also really stingy with the Raiders in week one - 20/45/0 rushing allowed. So far, the Chargers lead the NFL averaging 41.5 yards rushing per game, and they haven't allowed a single rushing TD so far either.

Michael Turner has been plodding so far this year (and he's got a DUI arrest to worry about off-the-field) - against the stern Chargers the Falcons' backs have their work cut out for them. San Diego has a big edge in this matchup.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Atlanta catches a break in this contest as the Cowboys will go into the fight without Tony Romo or Dez Bryant, while the Falcons will likely do without their lead running back (Tevin Coleman, cracked ribs).

After Coleman was forced from the game in New York, Devonta Freeman handled the lead running back duties - he finished with 12/25/1 rushing and 4/34/0 receiving on the day. Freeman has gained a mere 22/43/1 rushing this season and has averaged only 3.3 yards per carry during his two-year career. This is not Barry Sanders come again, friends.

The Cowboys' rush D smothered the Eagles' array of running backs last week, holding Philadelphia to 17/7/0 rushing during the game (that is not a typo or transposition) Through two games the Cowboys have given up an average of 53 yards rushing per contest (first in the NFL) and just one rushing score to date.

This is a bad matchup for the slow-moving Freeman.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

ATL Injuries: none
BUF Injuries: none


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

It’s unclear whether Terrance West will be able to suit up Sunday, let alone play meaningful snaps (he saw just 16 in Week 2), due to a soft-tissue injury. West, who has thoroughly underwhelmed throughout his 3+ seasons, has chugged to just 226 yards on 57 carries over his last 6 games. And whenever he’s on the field next, he’ll be running without all-world guard Marshal Yanda, who’s lost for the year to a fractured ankle. There’s a strong chance West’s premier role in the run game will be permanently usurped by Buck Allen, a similarly ineffective runner but dynamic pass-catcher. Doing most of his work in the flats and outside the tackles, Allen shouldn’t feel Yanda’s loss quite as harshly as interior runner West. Still, Allen is stepping into a precarious spot, and he can’t be counted on for much rushing dynamism off the bat. Ex-Seahawk Alex Collins will spell Allen and could eventually force a timeshare. He looked great in Week 2 garbage time and flashed dual-threat ability as a 2016 rookie in Seattle. The Jaguars run defense is a definite strength, despite what Derrick Henry did to them down the Week 2 stretch. Most of Henry’s damage was done in what was essentially garbage time, and while that doesn’t let the Jacksonville defense off the hook, we need to keep perspective. They’d shut down Henry and DeMarco Murray in the first half, allowing them just 27 yards on 9 rushes. And aside from a handful of slip-ups, they’d been borderline dominant for much of 2016. It’s safe to expect the defense to gas and struggle to an extent in poor game scripts and against better run games. They won’t see the latter this week – Baltimore’s already plodding run game lost All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda for the year. Replacement Tony Bergstrom is a big downgrade and a spot for the Jaguars’ rapidly ascending front seven to target.

BAL Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Marshawn Lynch has been pretty good in his first two games, grinding out 18/64/0 with 1/21/0 receiving vs. a tough Pittsburgh defense during week 2, and posting 19/90/1 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving vs. the Bronco's stout defensive front in the season opener. However, he runs into yet another outstanding unit this week in the New England Patriots - unfortunately for Lynch and his fantasy owners, the Buffalo passing game has been absent for much of the first two games, limiting the amount of running room he's been able to find in the box. Nobody is too worried about J.P. Losman (29/46 for 251 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception through the first 2 games) or Lee Evans (4/22/0) right now.

The Patriots currently rank 1st in the NFL averaging 56 rushing yards allowed per game, and they have surrendered 0 TDs on the ground to date. Last week, these guys shut down LaDainian Tomlinson and the Chargers (20/52/0) - they are that good, folks.

Topping off the challenge for Lynch and his compatriots, they have to visit the Patriot's stronghold, Gillette Stadium, on Sunday. This is a bad matchup for the young running back and his mates on the offensive line.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

LeSean McCoy had a rough game last week, rushing 12 times for only nine yards. The Panthers stacked the box and prevented McCoy from finding any running room at all—a concern that has been well-noted this season due to the Bills lack of weapons in the passing game. McCoy was already dealing with a sore groin from Week 1, but he also appeared to re-aggravate an old wrist injury last week. The Bills offensive line lost their left tackle Cordy Glenn to an ankle injury last week as well—a loss that certainly did not help McCoy as Glenn’s loss was quite visible with the left side of that line struggling for the remainder of the game. Tyrod Taylor was a bright spot for the Bills rushing offense as he racked up 55 rushing yards. The matchup for a banged-up Bills rushing offense is quite bad this week against the Broncos. Denver absolutely shut down Ezekiel Elliott last week against the league’s best offensive line. Denver’s line played extremely well for this entire game, particularly their defensive ends as Von Miller was well into the backfield on nearly every snap while Shaquil Barrett racked up an impressive five run stops. With the Bills weak passing offense, expect the Broncos to rely on man coverage and stack the box again this week against the run-heavy Bills offense.

Weather: The weather service says that the high will be around 75F and the low at 59F with a 30% chance of rain at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday. If the rain comes down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could become issues for both teams.

BUF Injuries: none
ATL Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Matt Forte had a rough game vs. the 49ers, only managing 12/21/0 rushing and 5/15/0 receiving during the contest. To date, Forte has compiled 29/103/0 rushing and 13/102/0 receiving - he has had trouble finding pay dirt so far.

The Jets' rush D is the best in the NFL after two games, averaging 52.5 yards rushing allowed, with zero rushing TDs given up. Eddie Lacy and company were held to 22/80/0 rushing in Lambeau Field last weekend.

Forte was stuffed by the 49ers, and the Jets have an even better rush D than San Francisco. This is a bad matchup for Forte and the Bears.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

It’s been a rough early going for 2016 rookie sensation Jordan Howard. After averaging 5.21 yards per rush last year, he sits at just 2.68 through 2 games, includes a thoroughly invisible Week 2 against Tampa Bay (9 rushes, 7 yards). The shift is definitely puzzling. Howard was no inflated pseudostar in 2016; rather, he was fantastic, forcing gobs of missed tackles and churning out the league’s third-most runs of 15+ yards despite a shaky line. But things are certainly different in 2017. Facing stacked boxes – and sharing snaps with explosive rookie Tarik Cohen – Howard has yet to get off the ground. We can expect some degree of improvement going forward, of course, and he’ll benefit from the impending return of guard Kyle Long. But it’s fair to take note of the fact that Howard was an underwhelming athletic prospect just a year ago, and to expect marked regression from his rookie season. The Pittsburgh run defense has been stout thus far. They swarmed the Browns’ elite front line in Week 1, allowing their running backs just 40 yards on 20 carries. In Week 2, Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook found more room, racking up 5.33 yards per carry, but the only notable breakdown was one 25-yard run. The Steelers are a bit shakier without Stephon Tuitt, whose biceps injury held him out of the Vikings game. Tuitt is a true difference-maker against both the pass and the run, and Tyson Alualu is a relatively weak replacement. Still, the linebackers are solid up the middle, and safety Mike Mitchell remains strong in run support.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CHI Injuries: none
CIN Injuries: none


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Cedric Benson displayed some dual-threat capabilities in the loss at Denver, with 16/59/0 rushing and 3/17/0 receiving. So far this year, he's the 16th-best fantasy RB in the land (PPR scoring) with 41/180/1 rushing and 4/19/0 receiving to his credit. Bernard Scott chipped in with 2/10/0 rushing last week but remains firmly mired at a distant second on the depth chart as of week three.

The 49ers rank first in the NFL through two games averaging just 54.5 rushing yards allowed per game, and they have yet to give up a rushing TD. Dallas averaged a mere 2.0 yards per carry at San Francisco last week (22/45/0 rushing) - this is a very good rush D, folks.

Benson has been a solid fantasy RB #2 this year, but this week he has a very tough matchup to deal with.

Weather: Soldier Field expects a high of 82F and a low of 61F on Sunday, with a 30% chance of precipitation. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until after the game, but if it comes down hard during the game footing and ball-handling could become issues for both teams.

CIN Injuries: none
CHI Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Reuben Droughns did manage to punch in a TD last week (14/32/1 rushing with 3/30/0 receiving), but the Browns' OL/running game is really struggling to start 2006: they are tied for 26th in the NFL averaging 71 rushing yards per game as a team. Droughns is the 33rd ranked fantasy RB in the land, with 25/59/1 rushing (a 2.36 yards per carry average) and 3/30/0 receiving over the first 2 weeks of the season. There just isn't much going right in Cleveland right now (the series of injuries at center have not helped this team). In fact, Charlie Frye has more rushing scores and almost as many yards as Droughns (10/54/2 rushing to date). Droughns suffered a shoulder injury when he collided with Bengal David Pollack, and is said to be questionable as of mid-week. If Droughns doesn't play, Jerome Harrison/Jason Wright would be in line to face Baltimore.

Tampa Bay posted 13/26/0 rushing against the Ravens in week 1; Oakland eked out 1.5 yards per carry last week (26/39/0). The Ravens lead the league averaging 32.5 rushing yards allowed per game.

Droughns and company are in deep trouble this week.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Where has the offensive juggernaut of 2007 gone? The Browns have dropped 2 straight games with a mere 16 points scored over 120 minutes of football. Jamal Lewis was limited to 19/38/0 rushing vs. Pittsburgh last week (he added 3/28/0 receiving), and the team could only muster 25/53/0 on the ground. Nothing went well during week 2 for Cleveland. Lewis was limited in practice due to the sore ankle he's been fighting through early in the season - an item to keep an eye on in the late-week practice/injury reports.

The Ravens destroyed Cincinnati's offense during week 1, holding their backs to 23/65/0 on the ground. That showing just continues the usual theme of dominance Baltimore grinds out year after year in this phase of the game - they gave up an average of 79.3 rushing yards per game during 2007 (2nd best in the NFL) with only 9 rushing TDs given up (7th best in the NFL).

Cleveland's team is in disarray entering week 3, and doesn't look ready to deal with the Ravens at home - advantage, Baltimore.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Jamal Lewis led the Browns with 38 yards on 14 carries last week vs. Denver )1/8/0 receiving), a mere 2.7 yards per carry average - he didn't manage to build on his strong game vs. Minnesota posted during week one (11/57/0 rushing with 3/47/0 receiving). James Davis didn't touch the ball last week so the change of pace was provided by Jerome Harrison, who eked out 3/8/0 rushing with 4/24/0 receiving during the game. Cleveland's rushing attack is 27th in the NFL after two weeks averaging 70.5 rushing yards generated per game. Unfortunately for the Browns, Lewis missed practice on Wednesday due to a sore hamstring - his availability for this week's game is up in the air as of mid-week.

The Ravens' rush D is first in the NFL right now, averaging a stingy 41 yards allowed per game, with zero rushing TDs given up through two contests. Darren Sproles and company were held to 21/53/0 last week (a 2.5 yards allowed per carry average). This is one of the finest rush defenses in the land as of the third week of September.

Feeble Cleveland vs. mighty Baltimore at Baltimore means a very, very bad matchup for Jamal Lewis (if he can play) and company.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense at Indianapolis Colts Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

"I'm not going to say anything today," the Browns' running back [Harrison] said. "I'm just frustrated. Thanks for understanding." Harrison, who gained 9/52/0 rushing and 1/7/0 receiving in week one at Tampa Bay, was held to a paltry 2.1 yards-per-carry average during week two (16/33/0 rushing with 3/35/0 receiving) while watching Peyton Hillis compile 8/35/1 rushing and 3/26/0 receiving. Hillis has scored both rushing TDs for the stable so far this year and he's the superior fantasy option entering the second half of September. We'll see if the team opts to feed him the ball more this week in light of Harrison's struggles week two.

The Ravens' rush D was fifth in the NFL last year, averaging 93.2 yards allowed per game, with just eight rushing TDs given up during the season. During the season opener, the Jets ground out 21/116/0 but failed to find the end-zone. Baltimore limited Cedric Benson and company to 31/94/0 rushing last week (a 3.0 yards allowed per carry average) - these guys look as tough as ever entering week three.

Hillis and Harrison have a bad matchup to deal with this week, on the road to M and T Bank Stadium in a divisional grudge match against the ex-Browns.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

CLE Injuries: none
IND Injuries: none


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense at San Francisco 49ers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Cowboy's running game took a blow at San Francisco, when starting RB Felix Jones injured his shoulder (separated shoulder) and had to be fitted for a harness. He tried to play through the injury but was eventually forced to the sidelines. The early word is that he'll try to go this week with a harness to stabilize his shoulder, but it is hard to get excited about a guy who has posted 26/69/1 rushing and 4/27/0 receiving through two games. The Dallas running game is gaining about 2.3 yards per carry so far this year, the lowest average in the NFL. DeMarco Murray averaged 3.5 yards per carry at San Francisco, with 6/21/0 rushing and 1/4/0 receiving, and Tashard Choice had 5/5/0 rushing (with 2/24/0 receiving), so if Jones can't go there doesn't seem to be a lot of upside behind him on the depth chart.

Washington has run up a 2-0 record this year, and averages 84 yards rushing allowed per game (eighth in the NFL) with three rushing scores surrendered through those games. Arizona managed 15/93/1 rushing at FedEx Field last week as Washington notched a one point victory. They aren't blowing opponents out, but the Redskins are notching 'W's so far this year.

A bad rushing attack meets a good rush D in this game - advantage, Washington.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

DAL Injuries: none
SF Injuries: none


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Super Bowl Rematch! Montee Ball was shut down by the Seahawks in the Super Bowl last February, with 6/1/0 rushing and 2/2/0 receiving to his credit. Denver as a whole posted 14/27/0 rushing, 1.9 yards per carry on average.

So far this year, Montee Ball is the 15th-ranked fantasy running back in the land, with 35/127/1 rushing and 5/45/0 receiving. He put up 12/60/0 rushing and 3/29/0 receiving against the Chiefs in last week's narrow victory, while C.J. Anderson managed 5/31/0 rushing during that contest.

The Seahawks' defensive front is ranked ninth in the NFL averaging 90.5 yards rushing allowed per game this year, with one rushing score surrendered so far. San Diego was limited to 2.7 yards per carry last week, with 37/101/0 rushing allowed - it is tough to move the ball on the ground against this team.

Ball has been so-so this year, and he faces a bad matchup in Week 3 against the team that owned him this past February.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

DEN Injuries: none
KC Injuries: none


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Ameer Abdullah suffered a foot injury and has been placed on Injured Reserve.

Abdullah had been teamed up with Theo Riddick all season long, and Riddick has played well in his chances (18/82/1 rushing (4.6 yards per carry) with 10 targets for 9/91/1 receiving so far). With Abdullah out, Dwayne Washington (4/31/0 rushing at Tennessee last week) is expected to step into the Detroit committee of backs - on Monday, September 19 head coach Jim Caldwell stated 'He was productive obviously on the carries that he had and I think he's coming along. I think without question he's certainly capable of giving us some unique production in his way because he's a little different type of back.' Look for Riddick and Washington to carry the load this weekend.

The Packers' rush D has been stonewalling opposing backs so far this year. To date they are first in the NFL averaging 39 yards rushing allowed per game, with just one rushing score handed over. Minnesota eked out 22/30/0 rushing vs. Green Bay last weekend.

This is a bad week to be invested in the Detroit runners, though Riddick is a dual-threat back who catches the ball well out of the backfield.

DET Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Ahman Green hasn't been getting the job done. After two weeks, he has managed only 28/112/0 rushing and 10/79/0 receiving. The Packers average 3.4 yards per carry and are 24th in the league with an average of 81 yards per game. Green posted a mere 16/54/0 rushing last week (with a bonus of 5/45/0 receiving) - the Packers are in granny gear when it comes to rushing the ball this year.

Tampa is playing very well in this phase, averaging 40 rushing yards allowed per game - they stuffed William McGahee last week - he managed only 13/34/0 vs. the Bucs. What else can be said? Tampa is tough.

The Packers are struggling to run the ball, while the Bucs are making it tough to run the ball opening 2005. Advantage, Tampa.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Cedric Benson got something going during the blowout of Chicago (23-10 Green Bay victory) last week, with 20/81/0 rushing and 4/35/0 receiving to his credit. He's clearly the coaches' choice to be the lead back for Green Bay this year as James Starks and Alex Green haven't done anything to earn more reps - Benson is one of those rare commodities, a featured running back, as we enter week three. We'll see how he handles a quality defensive front his week.

The Seahawks' defensive front has been impressive so far this year, with 16/49/0 allowed to Dallas last week and an average of 46 rushing yards allowed per game through two contests (second in the NFL), with just one rushing score handed over to date. These guys are pretty tough, friends.

The Packers are still developing their rushing attack as of week three - against the Seahawks at Seattle on Monday Night Football, they face a stiff challenge this week.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

GB Injuries: none
TB Injuries: none


Houston Texans Rushing Offense Free agent Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Texans' running back by committee was decent in week 1, with 20/75/1 as a unit against the hard-nosed Steelers. Steve Slaton led the way with 13/43/0, while Ahman Green chipped in 5/28/0. Matt Schaub handled the scoring himself, punching in a TD with 2/4/1 rushing. They weren't world-beaters in fantasy terms, but the Texans' backs weren't awful in real-world terms. However, fantasy football is what we care about, and this committee doesn't look inviting from that perspective. In news that will shock no one, Texans' RB Ahman Green was still in a protective boot for his sprained ankle as of last Wednesday, and was not expected to be ready in time to play in the team's week 2 game, cancelled due to Hurricane Ike. With an extra week of rest, Green may perhaps be able to get back in the saddle vs. Tennessee - but then again, he may not. Keep an eye on Green's practice status if you are unfortunate enough to need him in week 3.

Tennessee is the 2nd-ranked rush D after 2 weeks, averaging 60.5 rushing yards allowed per game with only 1 rushing TD given up. Cincinnati managed 28/88/1 last week (a 3.1 yards per carry average) - it isn't easy to rush the ball against this front 7.

The Titans are one of the best rush defenses around this year, while the Texans sport one of the weakest rushing attacks - advantage, Tennessee.

HOU Injuries: none
FA Injuries: none


Indianapolis Colts Rushing Offense vs Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Colts' tandem of running backs continues to be productive, helping to post a total of 35/125/2 last week. Joseph Addai was particularly successful last week, with 16/82/0 rushing and 2/22/1 receiving, while Dominic Rhodes added 14/37/1 rushing and 2/22/0 receiving. Addai lost the handle on another rushing TD when an offensive lineman knocked the ball out of his hands at the goal-line - he was very close to a 2 TD day last week. Despite the disparity in production between Rhodes and Addai, coach Dungy is sticking with a rotation: "Those guys are doing fine. As I've said before, one guy may be hot one game. It may be a different type of game. Joseph had the better stats yesterday, but Dom played really well."

The Jaguars totally dominated the Steelers' backs last week, limiting them to 14/26/0. They are currently 4th in the NFL averaging 57 rushing yards allowed per game, and come into this divisional game having shut out the reigning Super Bowl champs on Monday Night Football. The Jaguars have a lot of momentum behind them coming into week 3.

This looks like a very tough to bad matchup for Rhodes and Addai.

Weather: Inside the RCA Dome, perfect conditions are expected. Weather has no bearing on this matchup.

IND Injuries: none
CLE Injuries: none


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at New York Jets Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Maurice Jones-Drew is expected to try and play at Seattle this week despite having a sprained foot tendon, suffered last week vs. Oakland. Jones-Drew had just 10/27/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving before the latest foot injury - he hasn't done much this year with 25/72/0 rushing and 1/1/0 receiving through two games (52nd-ranked fantasy running back in the PPR paradigm). His backup Justin Forsett managed one catch for seven yards last week, while Jordan Todman had five rushes for seven yards. There isn't any fantasy upside to Jacksonville running backs right now, friends.

The above sentence is doubly true this week as Jacksonville has to visit the Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday. Last week, San Francisco's running backs combined for 13 yards rushing at Seattle. Two weeks ago, Carolina managed 26/134/0 rushing as a team, but still lost 12-7. This is one of the premier defensive units in the NFL, friends.

Stay away from Jacksonville running backs this week.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

JAX Injuries: none
NYJ Injuries: none


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

It appears that the Chiefs were serious about making Thomas Jones their number one back - he led the team in rushing during week two, with 22/83/0 on the ground and also added 1/5/0 receiving to his total. Jamaal Charles is the complimentary back in the committee so far, with 11/49/0 rushing and 1/27/0 receiving last week - as a team, the Chiefs posted 39/140/0 rushing en route to a close 16-14 win over Cleveland. Through two weeks, Charles is the 17th-ranked fantasy RB in the land with 22/141/1 rushing and 2/35/0 receiving, while Jones checks in at 40th with 33/142/0 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving.

The 49ers clamped down on the Saints' running backs when they carried the football, holding the team to 24/50/0 rushing in their close 25-22 loss on Monday night. In week one the Seattle running backs could eke out just 23/77/1 rushing for a 3.3 yards per carry average - the 49ers rush defense has done the job through two games, friends.

This looks like a bad matchup for Chiefs' duo of backs.

Weather: The forecast for Monday Night Football at Mile High Stadium calls for a high of 78F with a low of 47F and a 40% chance of precipitation. If the moisture falls heavily at game time, the field could get slick and ball handling may be an issue for both teams.

KC Injuries: none
DEN Injuries: none


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Carolina Panthers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The "B" word (bust) has been thrown around this week as the Dolphins suffer through Ronnie Brown's growing pains. To date, Brown has managed 34/92/0 rushing and 2/9/0 receiving - he hasn't exactly shoved Ricky Williams to the bench. We'll see what he can do over the next two weeks, but right now Brown (and more importantly, his offensive line) are struggling. The sorry Jets held him to 12/35/0 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving last week.

Carolina beat the World Champs last week, holding Corey Dillon and sidekick Kevin Faulk to 16/39/0. Not too shabby, considering that the Panthers lost star DE Kris Jenkins to an ACL injury last week. The Panthers are 6th in the NFL allowing an average of 70 rushing yards per game (2 TDs allowed so far) - this group is tough to run on right now, folks.

The Panthers deploy a tough run D, while the Dolphins are still getting their feet wet in this phase of the game. Advantage, Carolina.

Weather: The forecast for Dolphin Stadium calls for a high of 91F with a low of 77F and a 30% chance of rain. If the rains come down hard at game time, footing and ball handling could be issues for both teams.

MIA Injuries: none
CAR Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

As usual, the Saints' committee of backs shared the work at Tampa Bay fairly evenly - Darren Sproles led the trio with 13 total touches (7/26/0 rushing and 6/36/0 receiving), followed by Pierre Thomas' nine touches (5/29/0 rushing with 4/19/0 receiving). Mark Ingram had eight carries for 20 yards (another poor yards-per-carry average, at 2.5 per carry this past weekend) and one target for zero receptions. So far this year, Thomas leads the club in rushing with 14/72/0 rushing (5.14 yards per carry average) and has added 8/35/0 receiving; Sproles is second in rushing with 15/48/0 rushing (3.2 yards per carry) and 12/124/0 receiving; and Ingram is last on the club in yards and fantasy points with 17/31/0 rushing (1.8 yards per carry) to his credit. We'll see if Ingram continues to get around a third of the team's carries going forwards - he isn't doing much with the chances he's had so far this year.

The Cardinals' rush D contained the Lions' stable to 20/49/0 rushing during week two, after holding St. Louis to 24/67/0 on the ground two weeks ago - they are currently third in the NFL averaging just 58 rushing yards allowed per game. The Cardinals' defensive front is playing well during September, friends.

This is a bad matchup for the mediocre committee of Saints' rushers.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Saints have been mired in negative game script for virtually all of their 2017 season, so we can’t draw much usable data from their first two weeks. But the projection outlook isn’t good. The team is banged up along the offensive line, missing both starting tackles and pushing reserve guard Senio Kelemete into the lineup in Week 2. Aside from a 28-yard rumble on last week’s final snap, neither Mark Ingram nor Adrian Peterson has recorded a run of more than 9 yards. Still, their biggest enemy thus far has been game flow. Neither Ingram nor Peterson is ideally suited for spread-it-out passing-down work, but both can still be effective with a positive game script. Unfortunately, the Saints currently sit as six-point underdogs in Carolina, and neither starting tackle is expected back. Expect another long day as the team tries desperately to get their backs on track. The Panthers are fresh off a dominant Week 2 performance that saw Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy manage a pitiful 9 yards on 12 rushes. They’re simply dominating the trenches; since the first quarter of Week 1, they’ve allowed running backs just 28 yards on 22 carries. Linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis remain true forces in pursuit and tackling, and it’s safe to expect strong success against the Saints’ banged-up line. Simply put, it’s hard to picture an avenue by which the Saints are able to create anything gainful on the ground.

Weather: Inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, weather conditions are irrelevant.

NO Injuries: none
MIN Injuries: none


New York Jets Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Shonn Greene eked out 11/23/0 rushing at the Steelers last week - Bilal Powell did a little better, with 9/33/0 rushing, but he didn't grab either of his two targets during the game. Not much is going on here entering week three of the season, folks. Greene had a head injury in the first half last week, but returned to action after passing concussion tests at half time - but pay attention to his practice participation later in the week nonetheless if you are considering starting Greene at Miami. That may not be a good idea, though - see below.

The Dolphins have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 16 straight games. 'We have a standard, that's what we do,' defensive end Cam Wake said. 'Think about the front four guys, over the past few years, that's a tough road. If you're going to come here and try to run the ball, that's going to be a long day for you.' To date, the Dolphins are fourth in the NFL averaging just 53 rushing yards allowed per game, with two rushing TDs allowed so far - Oakland eked out 14/23/0 rushing at Miami last week. That's impressive, friends - Darren McFadden is an elite NFL running back.

Shonn Greene and company have a bad matchup this week for the divisional grudge match ahead.

Weather: The forecast for Giants' Stadium calls for a high of 79F with a low of 65F and a 30% chance for rain. If the rain falls heavily during the game, footing and ball-handling could be issues for both teams.

NYJ Injuries: none
JAX Injuries: none


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense at Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Darren McFadden looked great in preseason, but now that the games count he's been less of a force, with 26/54/0 rushing so far this year, while adding 15/105/0 receiving to help bolster his value to fantasy players in the PPR paradigm. Miami stymied McFadden last week (11/22/0 rushing with 2/19/0 receiving), leaving his fantasy owners in a big hole for week two.

Uh oh, don't look now - here come the Steelers!

The Steelers' defensive front gave up 22/90/0 rushing to the Jets last week, and they currently rank 11th in the NFL averaging 92 yards rushing allowed per game, with one rushing score allowed in the early going this year. As usual, it is tough to run the ball against Pittsburgh.

McFadden struggled at Miami last week, and he faces another quality rush defense here in week three, too.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

OAK Injuries: none
PHI Injuries: none


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense vs Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The bad news: Philadelphia's offensive line is allowing defenders to camp out in their backfield and Philadelphia has the worst rushing attack in the NFL, by a wide margin, after two games, averaging 35 yards rushing per game with a 2.1 yards-per-carry average. DeMarco Murray had a painful reunion with Dallas, posting a mere 13/2/0 rushing (that is not a typo or transposition - he did manage 5/53/0 receiving which was a balm for his PPR owners). Ryan Mathews had 1/0/0 rushing, while Darren Sproles posted 1/-4/0 rushing (with 4/23/0 receiving) on the day.

The worse news: this week, Philadelphia draws the New York Jets' rush D, who have allowed zero rushing scores this season and average 98.5 yards rushing allowed per game (14th in the NFL). Indianapolis was almost shut out by the Jets on Monday Night Football (losing 7-20) and the Jets gave up 24/93/0 total during the game (3.9 yards rushing per attempt).

There is no reason to belabor this matchup any further - Murray, Mathews and Sproles face a terrible matchup in this phase of the game on Sunday.

Weather: Lincoln Financial Field expects a high of 78F and a low of 65F with a 30% chance of rain on Sunday. If precipitation is heavy at game time, footing and ball handling will be more tricky than usual for both teams.

PHI Injuries: none
OAK Injuries: none


San Diego Chargers Rushing Offense vs New York Giants Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

19/52/2 rushing, 0/0/0 receiving - not exactly a bad day for LaDainian Tomlinson, but he's definitely done better than 2.7 yards per carry for most of his career. The Chargers are 20th in the NFL averaging 91 rushing yards per game, and 22nd in the NFL averaging 3.6 yards per carry. We have a problem, San Diego.

The Giants drilled the Cardinal's backs during week 1, and limited Deuce McAllister and company to 22/72/0 on Monday night. They are second to only Tampa so far during 2005, giving up an average of 51.5 rushing yards per game and 0 rushing scores so far.

Tomlinson and the Chargers are struggling in this phase - meanwhile, the Giants have gotten nasty vs. the rush. We can't imagine sitting LaDainian Tomlinson but this is as bad a matchup as he'll see.

Weather: The forecastr for Qualcomm Stadium calls for a high of 69F with a low of 58F and a 10% chance for rain. It should be a great day for tailgating and sitting in the stands down in San Diego.

SD Injuries: none
NYG Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

There just isn't much good to say about the 49ers rushing attack. They average 46 rushing yards per game. Kevan Barlow is 25th in the NFL with 24/56/1 rushing (a 2.33 yards per carry average) and 5/48/0 receiving. Look elsewhere for your starters.

Dallas, on the other hand, has limited their first 2 opponents to 1 rushing score and an average of 103.5 yards per game. 25/104/0 was the Redskins' total on Monday night (17/52/0 for Clinton Portis) - there isn't much room to roam when you play against this defense so far during 2005.

Barlow and company have been weak, while Dallas is strong in this phase. The Cowboys have a big edge in this phase of the game.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


San Francisco 49ers Rushing Offense vs Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Through two games this season, Frank Gore has 29/126/1 rushing with two targets for 2/12/0 receiving, while Carlos Hyde has handled 11/50/1 rushing and seen two targets for 1/5/0 receiving. Last week, Gore was featured more prominently than in Week 1, with 13/63/1 rushing and 2/12/0 receiving, while Hyde handled 4/0/0 rushing and 1/5/0 receiving during the game. Gore is still the lead back in San Francisco, but he's not approached 20 touches in a game just yet.

The Cardinals were first in the NFL last season allowing an average of 84.4 yards rushing per game, and were second in the NFL with just five rushing scores surrendered over 16 games. They continued with that level of play in Week 1 2014, holding the Chargers to 24/52/1 rushing on Monday Night Football. In Week 2, the Giants managed 27/81/0 rushing vs. Arizona - they average 66.5 yards rushing allowed per game through two games this season, third place among the top ten teams in the league in this category.

Gore is effective when he handles the football, but he isn't getting enough touches to be an elite fantasy back currently. Also, he faces one of the best defensive fronts in football this week - advantage, Arizona.

Weather: The forecast for Monster Park calls for a high of 62F and a low of 52F with a 0% chance of rain. That sounds like perfect weather for a football game to us.

SF Injuries: none
DAL Injuries: none


St. Louis Rams Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Cadillac Williams (13/36/0 rushing and 3/4/0 receiving) and Jerious Norwood (3/8/0) displayed why they are no threat to a healthy Steven Jackson on Monday Night Football. All told, the Rams managed 19/59/0 rushing at Met Life Stadium, and their team lost 16-28. Rams' fans (and Jackson owners) hope his sore quadriceps will heal quickly this week.

The Ravens' rush D limited Tennessee to 29/74/1 last week (and kept Chris Johnson in a tight box for 24/53/0 rushing), after Pittsburgh was held to a paltry 16/66/0 during the Ravens' week one 35-7 victory. Through two games, the Ravens are fourth in the NFL averaging 70 rushing yards allowed per game with one rushing score given up to date.

If Jackson can't go, this is a bad matchup. If he can go, consider it a tough matchup.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

STL Injuries: none
TEN Injuries: none


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Cadillac Williams was more like a Kia in week two, rushing for 27/51/0 (1.9 yards per carry) and adding 1/8/0 receiving to his total. Earnest Graham chipped in with 3/1/0 rushing and had 5/33/1 receiving to help the Buccaneers on to their eventual 20-7 win over Carolina. So far this year Williams has posted 49/126/0 rushing and 3/31/0 receiving - he's not scoring TDs in bunches so far, as you can see.

The Steelers dominated Chris Johnson (16/34/0 rushing) and company during week two, and they commented after they held Tennessee to 22/46/0 rushing: 'That’s what happens when you have six or seven guys hitting you on every play,' Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. 'You get hit by all those guys... those collisions are tough... you don’t want to fight for those extra yards any more. You’re going down on contact.' 'It seemed that way,' linebacker James Harrison added. 'You see a guy getting up slower after he gets hit play in and play out. We were getting clean hits on him. I don’t think he’s used to getting clean hits on him.'

Williams and Graham form a pretty pedestrian RB corps, while the Steelers just stuffed one of the elite running backs in the league last week - this looks like a bad matchup for Tampa's running backs.

Weather: Lambeau Field will be cool and damp if the weather service is correct: 69F for a high, 49F is projected to be the low, and there is a 40% chance for rain on Sunday. Damp conditions can lead to footing and ball handling issues.

TB Injuries: none
GB Injuries: none


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at St. Louis Rams Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Shonn Greene got off to a solid star last week (5/40/0 rushing) but was marginalized as the game went along because the Titans were down 0-16 at the half. All told, Tennessee tried just 13/82/0 during the contest. Greene is the unchallenged starter as of middle September, followed up by Dexter McCluster (4/30/0 rushing with 1/9/0 receiving and Bishop Sankey (2/3/0 rushing last week).

The Bengals ranked fifth in the NFL last season averaging just 96.5 rushing yards allowed per game, and they gave up a mere six rushing scores through 16 games played (third in the NFL in this category). On opening day, the Ravens managed to punch in a rushing score (Justin Forsett managed a 13-yard TD run) - all told, the Bengals allowed 20/91/1 rushing to the Ravens. Last week, Atlanta ran for 19/97/0 at Cincinnati - currently, the Bengals are 11th in the NFL averaging 95.5 rushing yards allowed per game, with one rushing score handed over to date.

Greene has yet to score this year, and it isn't likely he does so against the ruthless Bengals.

Weather: This game will be played in the Edward Jones Dome, so weather won't be a factor.

TEN Injuries: none
STL Injuries: none




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