DeMarco Murray DAL RB
Since week one of the 2013 season, Murray has performed up to expectations. Even through injuries, Murray has still managed to rush for 697 yards and 7 TDs. As of late, Murray has played admirably, rushing for 238 yards on 47 carries and 4 TDs over the last 3 games (an average of 5.06 yards per carry), including a 3 TD performance against the Raiders on Thanksgiving Day. This week against the Bears, expect Murray to have an absolute MONSTER game. This season, the Bears defense has been historically bad against the run, allowing over 150 yards to opposing RBs. Since week 6, Chicago has allowed an average of 165.7 rushing yards per game, along with 10 touchdowns. Expect week fourteen to be yet more of the same for Murray and the Cowboys who will be playing on the road. The cold and windy conditions in Chicago and the fact that backup Philip Tanner is out for the season with a knee injury will prove to be even more of a reason to start Murray this week. Expect at least 100+ and perhaps 2 TDs in a high scoring affair in the Windy City.
Eddy Lacy GB RB
The running back out Alabama has definitely proved to be one of the league’s best rookies. With 822 yards and 6 TDs, Lacy has turned a once dormant Green Bay rushing attack into a top-10 rushing offense. Not only has the 2nd-round pick rushed for 6 games of over 82 yards, but he has also added 181 yards on 24 receptions for the Packers. Considering Aaron Rodgers has been out with a shoulder injury, Lacy has rushed rather well. Last week Lacy did put up pretty atrocious numbers against Detroit, however this season Detroit’s rush defense has been one of the best, only allowing 1 100-yard rushing performance all season. Thus, Lacy should have a bounce back week this week as the Packers take on the 30th ranked rushing defense of the Falcons which has allowed 135.4 rushing yards this season. And although Rodgers’ status this week is doubtful at best, I foresee the Packers to once again stick with the running game against an Atlanta rush defense that, since week 8, has allowed an average of 26.6 fantasy points per game. This week Stacy is a certified “must-start,” so don’t pass up on this opportunity to win big.
Steven Jackson ATL RB
On the other side of rookie Eddy Lacy will be 10-year all-pro Steven Jackson. This season, the first-year Falcon has had some bright spots, but due to lingering injuries early on, he wasn’t as explosive as he used to be. In recent weeks though, Jackson has played notably well. In the past three games, Jackson has rushed for 188 yards and 3 touchdowns, with a 2 TD outing against the Bills last week. This week versus the Packers, Jackson will be facing a weak Green Bay rush defense that has allowed an average of 24 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs over the last 6 games. As well as allowing 7 TDs to opposing backs, the Pack allowed two straight games of over 200 yards. Translation=Fantasy points. Although many may say Jackson’s career is slowing down, I believe these next few weeks will show Jackson’s critics that he still has what it takes to compete in the NFL.