FBG says: Neutral matchup. Kyle Shanahan's offense boasts a stout reputation for its effects on runners. And for the time being, that efficiency should concentrate mostly within a clear-cut lead back. With Tevin Coleman out of commission, Matt Breida will spearhead the attack. Breida never found his footing last week, but he's been one of the league's most dynamic runners since last season, with a 5.1-yard average over 15 games. He won't flat-out dominate the backfield, though he'll likely take on 60% or better of the rushing opportunities. The team will rotate in journeyman Raheem Mostert, who has established himself as an explosive rotational back in Shanahan's system. He's generated 7.0 yards per rush dating back to last year. Both backs will work behind a solid line, and within a scheme that's long brought success to its runners. As such, both offer some degree of standalone flex value against the Bengals' weak run defense.
Surprisingly, the Bengals opened the year by thoroughly stifling the Seahawks' imposing run game. Seattle runners totaled just 72 yards on their 25 rushes, with 29% of that production coming on a single play. Last season was disastrous for this unit, but there are pieces in place that could make it less attractive to face in fantasy matchups. On running downs, nose Andrew Billings does a solid job of occupying blockers at the line. And linebacker Nick Vigil, who racked up seven tackles on opening day, tends to capitalize nicely; he's one of football's more dependable tacklers in the box. A solid safety duo is in place to help when runners do crack the second level. There will likely be inconsistency all year, as this probably hasn't become a shutdown unit overnight. But Week 1 did represent a noticeable step forward.