After many of the rookie running backs struggled in the first week of the season, Week Two provided a rebound opportunity for some and further heartbreak for others. Here’s where they stand heading toward Week Three.
Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos: The committee running back approach the Broncos are taking this year isn’t doing any favors for the rookie. Knowshon Moreno played ahead of him in Weeks One and Two, and he put up monster numbers last week, which doesn’t bode well for Ball’s future playing time. This is a rookie whom the coaches are taking their time with, easing him into the game as opposed to getting him as many carries as possible. He isn’t the best running back on the Denver roster, and unless Moreno gets injured, I don’t see Ball breaking through for major fantasy points this season. Even when he is given time on the field, he hasn’t proven to be too talented to take out. He fumbled in the red zone and is only averaging two yards per carry over his first two games. Unless something changes, Ball probably isn’t worthy of a spot on your roster in a standard league.
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: While “Gio” Bernard did not have an impressive opening week like Lacy did, he more than made up for it in Week Two, rushing for 38 yards and a touchdown, and catching a 27-yard touchdown pass against the Steelers. He’s proven without a doubt that he is more talented and powerful than the veteran BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but the two players complement each other well. Bernard’s ability to receive the football and get yards after the catch, in addition to his rushing prowess, will continue to make him a fantasy favorite, and his ability to make big plays will keep him putting up big numbers all season long. He’s got a tough matchup with Green Bay this weekend, but expect him to be productive week-in and week-out.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers: Lacy probably had the strongest Week One of all the rookies. Despite a pretty significant fumble in the first half, he rebounded and ended the game with 41 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown. Unfortunately for Lacy, Week Two brought one of the harshest realities of playing in the NFL: injury. He left the game with a concussion after a hard hit to the head, and left fantasy owners with just one point. It appears now that we might not see the dynamic rookie back in the lineup until Week Five, with a bye week in Week Four giving him an extra week of recovery. It’s a truly disappointing turn of events for Lacy, as his talent and chemistry with Aaron Rodgers were evident. Be patient—as soon as he is back in the lineup, he should go back to being one of the top rookie running backs in the league.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: Patterson was limited to just a total of 11 offensive snaps in his first two games, but he made sure to show off his incredible talent when he did get his time on the field last week. In Week One, he was held to just two fantasy points, but brought that number up to 9.4 last week with an incredible 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The coaches have finally recognized what Patterson can do on the field and are going to work him into the game more and more. Patterson is a player that you can count on going forward, as each week he will see more snaps. Facing off against a lowly Cleveland Browns team this week, the Vikings need a win and Patterson is going to help them get it.
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