Fantasy Football Believe It or Not: Adrian Peterson, Mark Ingram are must-start running backs; Packers will disappoint without Aaron Rodgers

More Week 6 Reactions: Early Waiver WireRodgers injury impact

At some point we should stop being surprised, right?

What has been the wildest NFL season I can remember got even wilder in Week 6. Adrian Peterson fixed two backfields in the same week. That was the crazy part. I guess the rest kind of made sense? 

Alex Smith played like Alex Smith again. The Patriots running back situation is hairy again. And we lost another elite Fantasy option, this time at quarterback. The last part should be no surprise at all, look at this carnage:

Okay that's just depressing. Let's get to the news.

Adrian Peterson is a must-start running back 

Let's start with the crazy. Adrian Peterson, running behind one of the lowest graded lines in the NFL, ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns in his Arizona Cardinals debut. 

Peterson looked like his old self and the Cardinals looked like a well-oiled machine. Carson Palmer was as efficient as he's been all year, the offensive line opened up just enough holes and Peterson ran hot. He's clearly a very motivated back who still has something in the tank. You'd be foolish to bench him again, at least until David Johnson gets back.

Verdict: Don't believe it

This is not to say I believe Peterson will be awful for the rest of the season. I just think you have to pick your spots with him. This was a perfect spot in retrospect, against a Tampa Bay defense flying across the country, with fresh legs and clear motivation. Week 7 against the Rams will be a bigger challenge, against a better defense, coming off this type of workload. 

There's a very good chance you are starting Peterson in Week 7 because you just don't have better options, but if you have the ability to sell high to someone who thinks what we saw in Week 6 is what we'll see for the rest of the season, you absolutely should.

Alex Smith is droppable

No one really believed that Alex Smith morphed into an elite quarterback at age 33, right? Smith looked pedestrian in Week 6 against the Steelers and now plays a Thursday night game in Week 7. After that he faces the Broncos on Monday Night Football. You're not going to feel comfortable starting him and you didn't draft him as your No. 1 option anyway, so he's expendable, right? Cut bait now for one of this week's waiver wire pickups

Verdict: Don't believe it

Someone in your league just lost Aaron Rodgers! Don't do them the favor of dropping Smith to the waiver wire, make a trade. Besides, it's not entirely clear that Smith will be useless on Thursday. Sure, the short week is generally bad for passing games, but this Raiders defense isn't exactly scary. If you're set at quarterback and don't need Smith, this is the perfect time to make an offer to the Rodgers (or even Derek Carr) owner. 

Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones will be unstartable without Aaron Rodgers

We know the Aaron Rodgers injury will have a serious impact on the Packers passing game, but it's going to hurt Montgomery and Jones as well. With what we saw from Brett Hundley in Week 6, opposing defense aren't exactly going to fear this Packers' passing attack. That's bad news for a banged up offensive line that struggled to get push even with Rodgers at quarterback. Take whatever you can get for Montgomery or Jones, because they won't be useful.

Verdict: Believe it

It's not just Rodgers' injury either. It's all the injuries. The Packers had three offensive linemen go down in this game. They lost a defensive back and started the game without three of their starters there. This looks very much like a team that will have a mediocre, banged up offensive line and the same thing in their defensive backfield. 

That is a bad combination for a running back. And it's a terrible combination for running backs in a committee. As long as Jones and Montgomery are sharing the load it's hard to imagine feeling good about starting either.

Mark Ingram is a top ten running back

Like I said above, Peterson seemingly fixed two backfields in the same week. Without him in New Orleans, Mark Ingram saw a season-high 30 touches and made the most of them. He totaled 150 yards and two scores in his team's win over the Lions

Yes, he's going to share time with Alvin Kamara, but we can deal with that. This is a high-powered offense that wants to be balanced. Ingram has proven time and time again than when he gets touches he gives you production. With Peterson gone he should get the touches.

Verdict: Believe it

We get carried away thinking we're smarter than coaches but at least in this instance the results are backing us up. I have no idea why the Saints brought  Peterson in or wasted the touches on him. Ingram has finished as a top-15 back each of the past three seasons. The only year he played 16 games he finished in the top ten. As long as he stays healthy I would expect much of the same.

Dion Lewis is the Patriots running back to own

Well this is absolutely shocking. We've got confusion in the Patriots backfield again. Dion Lewis had 11 carries for 52 yards and converted a goal line carry into a touchdown. Mike Gillislee fumbled, and frankly just hasn't been as good as Lewis.

This was the third straight game we've seen Lewis' role in the offense increase. He was likely aided by Gillislee's fumble, but he's the best Patriots back and the one you need to own.

Verdict: Believe it

For now.

I don't mean to be wishy-washy, but this is Bill Belichick we're talking about. I don't think Gillislee should be dropped, but Lewis is just 21% owned and needs to be added everywhere. The Patriots play the Falcons in Week 7. This defense was just gashed by Jay Ajayi and has been bad against pass-catching running backs for the last year and a half. Lewis could very well be the best Patriots back in Week 7. We're just guessing beyond that.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories