Now that week 1 of the NFL is in the books, it’s easy to overreact to the performances of key players. Some fantasy owners might be thinking, “why did I waste a draft pick on you when Carlos Hyde was up for grabs.” But, the season is long. Don’t let Monday morning quarterbacks get to your head. There is no way of knowing how the season will play out, especially when it comes to the running back position. Here are three backs who should continue to shine for the rest of the season
Ameer Abdullah had one of the most impressive performances during Week 1 racking up 50 yards on 7 carries and hauling in all four of his targets through the air for an additional 44 yards. Combine those with his 3 kick returns for 105 yards, and you have a rookie that announced his presence with authority. Abdullah even managed to add a touchdown to his impressive day by scoring a 24-yard rushing touchdown on his very first NFL touch. The rookie could help the Lions reach new heights on a team that features Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and Joique Bell. Abdullah impressed Coach Caldwell and caught the attention of many NFL insiders with his play. Look for his stock to skyrocket throughout the season.
Joseph Randle stated in the offseason that he felt that last year’s NFL leading rusher Demarco Murray left a lot of “meat on the bones.” On Sunday, Randle didn’t make a case that he could do better than Murray’s 1800 yards with. He had a decent performance as a blocker alongside the offensive line, shown by the fact that Romo was barely touched the entire game. But he’s definitely going to have to do more than 65 yards on 16 carries to wipe away the memory of Murray, but there may be an uptick in production coming from Randle. Cowboys star wideout Dez Bryant is out with a broken foot for 4 to 12 weeks. This means the Dallas offense might be relying more on its running game in the future. Even when Bryant does come back, Dallas has a grueling December in which they’ll play at Green Bay, at Buffalo, and against the Jets. Look for the backs to feature heavily (even in the passing game) throughout the season and Randle to start against Philly this upcoming week.
Melvin Gordon on the other hand did not have the showing some thought he would. The new San Diego Charger rushed for a respectable 51 yards in his NFL debut. Fantasy GMs might be questioning the pick like Chargers actual GM Tom Telesco, who moved up two spots in the draft to snatch Gordon. The former Wisconsin star is due for a breakthrough, but it might not come as immediate as some would hope for. Gordon has to improve on his understanding of pass protection in order for QB Phillip Rivers to trust him with the ball. Look for Gordon to find his stride around week 4 against the Browns.