Week 1 RB Start, Sit Fantasy Strategy: Will Raheem Mostert have a breakout in week one?

Want to come out strong this fantasy football season? Look no further with our running back rankings 2020 for this upcoming season. Now more than ever, it is important to have a hot start in fantasy football because of the uncertainty of the NFL season. Below I name off some guys you should play week one and some guys you might want to keep on the bench. If you want to check out their draft position and rankings you should look at the fantasy football rankings.

Start ’em

David Johnson

David Johnson had many ups and downs while in Arizona. He struggled with injuries and he was a diamond in the rough in the Cardinals’ below-average offense. Houston had success in the run game last year with Carlos Hyde having a quiet #13 league position in rushing yards and adding six touchdowns to his season. Not to mention he will be one of the few running backs in the NFL to be a total workhorse for their team. The Chiefs offer a tough defensive presence in the first week, but I think DJ will have a good first outing.

Raheem Mostert

Last year, the 49ers were second in rushing attempts with 32.1 per game. They were also splitting those between Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Matt Breida. Now with Matt Breida out of the picture, I think it will lead for a much more productive year for both Mostert and Coleman. Mostert goes into this season with a lot of momentum from his majority of carries in the playoffs and his record-setting 220 yard- 4 touchdown game in the NFC championship versus the Green Bay Packers. Against a weaker Arizona Cardinals defense, look for Mostert to be one of your starters.

Mark Ingram

Mark Ingram is entering his tenth season in the NFL, and his past four seasons have been the best of his career. Last year he was fourth in running backs with total touchdowns and added over 1,000 yards rushing and 247 receiving. Obviously, this year the dominant Ohio State second-round pick, J.K Dobbins, poses as a true threat for the starting position. However, I think the Ravens will give the starting spot to Ingram for the first week against the Cleveland Browns.

Ronald Jones II

Ronald Jones was nearly a top 25 rusher last season even while splitting carries with Peyton Barber. Obviously, the drawback last year was Tampa’s Bay’s dedication to the passing game. Jamies Winston lead the league in passing yards, pass attempts, and also interceptions. With the large offseason signing of Tom Brady, they most likely will continue to be pass-heavy but will be able to open up the run game for them. Not to mention, the Bucs have a strong offensive line to help with their rushing ability. The New Orleans Saints pose a tough challenge for the Bucs’ run game, but Ronald Jones II should still put up good fantasy numbers in week one.

Cam Akers

This one was a tough one to figure out because there are many talented rookie running backs this year for fantasy football. However, I think Cam Akers has the best chance of getting the starting role and more touches early on. As opposed to many other rookie running backs, Darrell Henderson does not provide a lot of competition for getting touches. Last year he had 147 yards on 39 carries while he backed up Todd Gurley. The Rams’ first game against the weak rush defense of the Dallas Cowboys will make an interesting opportunity for Cam Akers in week one.

Sit ’em

Ryquell Armstead/Chris Thompson

After a surprising release of star running back Leonard Fournette, that leaves the door wide open for touches to Ryquell Armstead, Chris Thompson, and Devine Ozigbo. The fact that all of these running backs will most likely see equal touches turns me off to starting any of them. Not to mention, the Jaguars last year were below average in rushing attempts last year with Leonard Fournette and they have a below-average offensive line. Week one against a tough Indianapolis Colts run defense makes these running backs bench options.

Kareem Hunt

There is no doubt in the talent of Kareem Hunt. He offers great rushing and receiving ability, and he had a good second half-season last year. However, the opportunity for Kareem Hunt to show off his abilities is continuously hurt by Nick Chubb. Last year, Nick Chubb was second in yards, third in rushing attempts, and was top ten in fantasy points for running backs. Week one against a tough Baltimore Ravens team, I am not thrilled about starting Kareem Hunt unless he is at flex.

Jordan Howard

Again, the talent of Jordan Howard is undeniable because he is a great power back in the NFL with lots of ways to use him. Last year with the Eagles, with only 119 rushes he made great use of it with 525 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Now in Miami, he is faced again with competition from Matt Breida and a struggling offense trying to find its way in the passing game. Week one against a strong Patriots defense, I would not consider starting Jordan Howard unless it was at flex.

Devin Singletary

Last year, Devin Singletary made great use of his 151 carries (which was fewer than teammate Frank Gore) for 775 yards and 4 total touchdowns. He is undeniably a great asset for the Bills, but not a starter for me for week one. The Bills are going to test out newly drafted Zack Moss plus their new addition in Stefon Diggs in the passing game. Against a New York Jets defense that allowed the second least rushing yards against their opponents last year, I recommend waiting on starting Devin Singletary.

Tarik Cohen

Recently in training camp, Bears starting running back David Montgomery suffered a groin injury that could result in significant time off. This leads the door open for touches from backup running backs Tarik Cohen and Ryan Nall. But, I am not sold on Cohen’s ability to handle a larger load because he is not built to be an “every-down” back. Plus, there are rumors of the Bears possibly picking up newly released Leonard Fournette as a possible short term solution to their running back troubles. I recommend keeping him on the bench for week one against the Lions.

I have played football, baseball, hockey, golf, and basketball separately when I was young. Now I run cross country and track for DePaul University. My favorite part about sport is the mental strength. I am a big fan of all of the Chicago sports teams that don’t end in “Cubs.”

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