Welcome to our Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Back edition for Week 2 of the NFL season. In this column, we feature a universal top-three fantasy pick coming off one of his worst statistical performances ever. Plus, can Malcolm Brown and Nyheim Hines, two of the top waiver adds of the week, reward their newfound owners with big performances? Let’s discuss.
* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as Christian McCaffrey will not be found in this column. If you’re looking for players of that caliber check out our weekly fantasy football running back rankings.
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RB: Start ‘Em
- Start of the Week:
- Nyheim Hines & Jonathan Taylor vs. MIN
Taylor has been named the starter in Indianapolis and offers high-end flex, RB2 upside against a Minnesota defense that allowed 6.7 yards per carry to Packers running backs in Week 1. However, Hines may very well prove to be the Colts running back to own, as Philip Rivers’ affection towards receiving-backs has carried over from California to Indiana. Packers running backs hauled in nine receptions vs. Minnesota in Week 1, the same amount of receptions opposing RBs have averaged against the Vikings since Week 13 of last season.
Saquon Barkley at CHI
It can’t get much rougher than Barkley’s 0.4 yards per carry performance in Week 1. Thankfully, his opponents this coming week, the Chicago Bears, are fresh off allowing a 6.6 ypc average to 35-year-old Adrian Peterson, who had less than a week’s experience in Detroit’s offensive scheme at the time. Furthermore, Lions RBs hauled in six receptions vs. Chicago and would have added a touchdown to the equation had it not been for D’Andre Swift’s dropped pass towards the end of regulation.
Sleeper: Ronald Jones vs. CAR
The Buccaneers backfield is a tad worrisome at the moment. Yet, nowhere to the degree of concern as the Panthers’ run defense. Josh Jacobs torched the Panthers defense in Week 1 to the tune of 139 total yards and three touchdowns. Carolina has now allowed an absurd average of 40.3 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs over their last 17 games.
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RB: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Melvin Gordon at PIT
Gordon looked solid in his debut with Denver and appears to have a solid leg up on fellow RB Phillip Lindsay in the Broncos backfield, out rushing him 15 attempts to just seven. However, while Gordon looked solid in Week 1, the Steelers run defense looked unbelievable. Pittsburgh limited Saquon Barkley to just six yards on 15 attempts this past Monday night and allowed the fourth-fewest points to the position in football a season ago.
Frank Gore at SF
The way things are aligning at the moment, it looks as if Frank Gore will draw the start in New York’s backfield vs. his former employers, the San Francisco 49ers. Don’t fall into the trap of storylines, instead, focus on the facts. The Jets averaged 3.5 yards per carry in Week 1, this on the heels of finishing second to last in rush offense a season ago. The 49ers have held all but three RBs under 67 rushing yards since Week 1 of last year.
Malcolm Brown at PHI
I can’t help but feel like many fantasy owners are going to regret throwing loads of FAAB money Brown’s way after just one week of play. Yes, you’re getting yourself a starting RB (for now), but he out-touched Cam Akers by just four carries in Week 1. The Eagles were a top-seven fantasy unit in terms of defending the RB position in 2019 and held Washington to just a meager 2.2 yards per carry average last Sunday. If Brown can’t find the endzone, it could be a rough outing for fantasy owners.
Buyers Beware: David Johnson vs. BAL
Chances are, if you have D.J. on your roster, you can’t afford to bench him one week into the season due to his draft status. So, with that said, be sure to greatly dampen your expectations for the Texans running back just one week after finishing as the 10th-highest scoring player at his position. Baltimore held Nick Chubb to just 5.1 fantasy points in the opening weekend and allowed the second-fewest points to RBs on a per-week basis in 2019.
- *Check out all our Week 2 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
- Start-Sit [QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DEF | Ks]
- Week 2 Fantasy Rankings: QB
- Week 2 Fantasy Rankings: RB
- Week 2 Fantasy Rankings: WR
- Week 2 Fantasy Rankings: TE
- Week 2 Fantasy Rankings: DEF
- Week 2 Fantasy Rankings: K