Which star RBs will bounce back?

Spiller, Jones-Drew, Miller among ball carriers hoping struggles don't last

Updated: September 11, 2013, 10:54 AM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider

C.J. Spiller, Stevan Ridley & Trent RichardsonGetty Images, AP PhotoWill the struggles of C.J. Spiller, Stevan Ridley and Trent Richardson continue all season?

No matter how much fantasy owners remind themselves that the season is a marathon rather than a sprint, it doesn't prevent many of them from having an extremely negative reaction to a player who had a much worse Week 1 showing than expected.

This is especially true in the realm of running backs, as a poor early start will bring back the memory of the horrible start Chris Johnson had in the 2012 season. After three games, Johnson -- who was considered a strong RB1 in many draft rooms -- had posted an abysmal total of eight fantasy points.

The stumble out of the gate caused many owners to give up on Johnson, a decision they likely came to regret because Johnson bounced back from the lousy start to end the year ranked 13th in running back points.

Keeping this in mind, let's take a look at some of the big-name ball carriers who had subpar point totals in Week 1 and determine how likely they are to get back to posting fantasy starter-caliber numbers in the near future.


Spiller
C.J. Spiller (three points in Week 1)

One reason I considered Spiller a strong RB1 candidate this year is Buffalo finished the 2012 campaign with a league-leading 52.2 percent mark in the good blocking rate (GBR) metric. GBR measures how often an offensive blocking wall gives its rushers good blocking, which is very roughly defined as when the offense prevents the defense from doing anything to disrupt a rush attempt.

The Bills' 48.3 percent GBR against the Patriots fell just a bit short of last year's mark in that category, but it was close enough to indicate quality run blocking should not be an issue for Buffalo.