They also influence our projections and rankings at Chinstrap Ninjas.
Running back matchups for Week 9
Carolina played on Thursday
Bobby Rainey/Charles Sims vs. Cleveland — Doug Martin is doubtful (he may be out by the time you read this) and Sims was just activated. Buccaneers staffers are saying Sims will have a limited role this week, which could open things up for a big game from Rainey. The Browns allow 27.2 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and they aren’t particularly good at stopping pass-catching backs either. Rainey has a seven-catch game and a six-catch game this year.
Ronnie Hillman vs. New England — This was already a good matchup, now we’re hearing about wintry conditions (wind, rain and temperatures in the 20s). Today could be the Ronnie Hillman show.
Atlanta is on bye
Ahmad Bradshaw/Trent Richardson vs. New York Giants — The Giants are particularly bad as stopping pass catching backs and have allowed 28.5 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season.
Marshawn Lynch vs. Oakland — I’ll have Lynch in most of my cash game lineups this week, he’s got a high floor and ceiling against the Raiders.
Alfred Morris vs. Minnesota — Because he doesn’t catch passes out of the backfield, we always have to start Morris with caution. If the game goes south — in our quarterback matchups article we talked about how good a matchup this is for Teddy Bridgewater — Morris gets written out of the game script. Still, this is a juicy opportunity against a defense that allows 27.2 points per game to opposing running backs
Lamar Miller vs. San Diego — Miller has been a star since Knowshon Moreno got hurt and there’s no reason to think it’ll stop this week. Start him with confidence.
New Orleans played Thursday
Jeremy Hill/Cedric Peerman vs. Jacksonville — I have a feeling this is one of those game where we’re going to see why the Bengals drafted Hill. He’s going to get most of the opportunities against a defense that allows 25.5 points to opposing running backs.
Tre Mason/Zac Stacy/Benny Cunningham vs. San Francisco — There’s a lot of talk this week about how the Rams want just one back to emerge as the starter. We probably won’t get much clarity on this situation as they face a defesne allowing just 17.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.
Le’Veon Bell vs. Baltimore — It’s not a particularly good matchup for Ben Roethlisberger either. Recency bias means a lot of people are going to play Steelers this week even though the matchups say we probably shouldn’t.
Jerick McKinnon/Matt Asiata vs. Washington — I’ll be playing him in standard leagues, but not in dailies.
Buffalo is on bye
DeMarco Murray vs. Arizona — Murray is as matchup proof as they come, destroying every defense he has faced so far this season. Even though the Cardinals allow only 15.8 points per game to opposing running backs, Murray is a must start.
Andre Ellington/Marion Grice vs. Dallas — The Cowboys have been playing keep away most of the season, feeding Murray. They want to decrease Murray’s workload which could open things up for opposing offenses.
Shane Vereen/Jonas Grey/Brandon Bolden vs. Denver — The Broncos have allowed just 20.5 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and they are the third toughest defense against running backs, according to Football Outsiders. They have, however, been susceptible to pass-catching backs like Vereen.
Jamaal Charles vs. New York Jets — You’re not going to bench Charles, but this might not be a great week to start him in daily leagues either. The Chiefs are expected to win big at home, so that could mean Charles will be busy on mop-up duty.
Frank Gore/Carlos Hyde/Marcus Lattimore vs. St. Louis