With every new season comes new running backs that become involved in NFL offenses. Whether it be turnover from age, free agency, trade, or injuries, we often see new running backs that are fantasy-relevant near the start of a season.
2023 is no different. And two of these ball carriers that have made some noise this year are Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Rachaad White. But which of these two has the better outlook in Week 3? If you have both on your fantasy football roster, who should you start this week? Let’s dig in and find out.
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Joshua Kelley’s Fantasy Outlook This Week
A fourth-year pro, Kelley has had more opportunities this year than in previous seasons. Typically the backup to star running back Austin Ekeler, Kelley has been able to get plenty of carries with Ekeler dealing with injury issues this season.
While Kelley has never eclipsed 400 yards in a single season, he has already racked up 130 rushing yards this year. In fantasy, opportunity can be everything for a player’s value. And Kelley has taken advantage of his opportunities, turning 29 rushes into a 4.5 yards per carry average.
The Chargers travel to Minnesota this weekend to take on the Vikings. With both teams desperate for a win, Kelley will need to be strong for the Chargers’ offense. I would expect with Ekeler out once again that Kelley will have a good volume of carries to help the Chargers’ offense.
The Vikings have surrendered the fourth-most yards on the ground entering Week 3. It is a defense that has not been able to stop the run. Between opportunity and a good defensive matchup, Kelley is primed for a solid week for fantasy managers.
Rachaad White’s Fantasy Outlook This Week
White was a blessing for fantasy managers in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears. The running back totaled over 100 yards from scrimmage and added a touchdown for a solid week of fantasy scoring.
While Week 2 was a success, we have to remember that White was playing one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Bears have surrendered plenty of yards on the ground, and White was able to take advantage of this.
But in Week 3, the defensive matchup will be quite different.
On Monday Night Football, the Buccaneers face off against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have the top run defense in the young 2023 NFL season. Surrendering only 104 yards on the ground so far this year, the Eagles will be very tough for White to have success against.
While White did have a very strong Week 2, his Week 1 performance was not all that successful. The back was only able to rack up 39 yards on 17 carries against the Minnesota Vikings, a low 2.29 yards per carry. With a stout Eagles defense coming to town, I am not sure we will see another strong performance from White this weekend.
Which of These RBs Should You Start?
Between these two running backs, I believe White is less likely to find success in Week 3. While Kelley has not been able to rack up tons of yards on the ground with his opportunities, his matchup is much better than White’s opponent.
While I do believe that White is likely the more talented of the two running backs as prospects, Kelley has a better defensive matchup and a better overall offense around him. If you are stuck choosing between both of these players on your fantasy team, I would lean toward starting Kelley.
While he may not put up extraordinary numbers this week, Kelley is far less likely to have a complete bust output. White could be in that category. Give me Kelley between these two running backs.
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