Week 2 Start’em or Sit’em: Running Backs
When looking for a top running back each week, there are a few things to ask yourself before putting them in your fantasy lineup. Is your running back playing a top defense? You want to typically stay away from running backs playing defenses like Arizona, who always have a tough rush defense. Is your running back playing against an inferior opponent? When your running back is playing a team like the Jets, you can expect them to get more carries in the second half of the game. Finally, stay away from running back that play for a team with a terrible defense. Sounds weird right? Running backs tend to disappear when the score gets out of hand early and their team has to play from behind a lot.
The Jets gave up 110 rushing yards to LeSean McCoy in week 1 on 22 carries. Last week Lynch ran the ball 18 times in his first start in almost 2 years. I expect Lynch to see 20+ carries in a game that should be lopsided early. If he can punch a TD in or two, Lynch will see north of 20 fantasy points. Hopefully the game doesn’t get so out of hand they rest starters in the second half.
Ty Montgomery put all worries to bed last week for fantasy owners. Rushing the ball a carrier high 19 times, his yardage didn’t look impressive but he was playing Seattle. The number of touches is the exciting stat. This week he gets a Falcons defense that was torched by Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard in Week 1. If he sees a similar work load he will have a monster week.
The Patriots backfield is always a cloudy circumstance. The one constant is James White. He will get his touches and last week he led all other backs in snap count by a lot. New Orleans gave up big chunks of yards last week and also allowed 6 receptions to Minnesota running backs. White should have a good day through the air in a game that expects to be a high scoring affair.
The Baltimore Ravens showed the world last week they are committed to running the ball this year. West ran the ball 19 times last week for 80 yards and a TD. The Browns rush defense looked tough last week against LeVeon Bell who wasn’t in football shape. Don’t buy in to that narrative. The Ravens will grind this game out and West will see another 18+ carries this week. He also gets the goal line carries in this offense.
Unfortunately for Christian McCaffery, he has come into the fantasy season a bit over hyped. Taking nothing away from his talent, his ADP forces a lot of fantasy owners to have to play him every week. Week 1 was a prelude to what you can expect from McCaffery as long as Jonathan Stewart has anything to do with it. This week the Panthers play a much tough defense and McCaffery could see less touches.
Jordan Howard is another example of a guy drafted as an RB1 in a lot of fantasy leagues, leaving owners no choice but to start him every week. Last week, however, should have been a huge wake up to owners of Howard. He is not reliable as a pass catching back and Tarik Cohen is. That means he may be relegated to a 2 down back and offering less value. Not to mention, he is nursing a bum shoulder and could see limited snaps this week.
This game may not be pretty for Kyle Shanahan and his 49ers offense. Seattle is arguably one of the hardest places to play, especially for a younger less talented team. Hyde had almost as many catches (6), last week, as he did carries (9). That number of touches won’t cut it against Seattle. I don’t expect him to see a red zone opportunity so he will need to break a big play to get in the end zone.
BREAKING NEWS: The Jets are BAD!! If you have Powell on your team, I probably don’t need to write much else here. You saw last week. Without anything that resembles an offense Powell will never be fantasy relevant. Bilal led the Jets with 12 touches last week, and mustered up a whopping 39 yards from scrimmage. Oakland’s defense won’t give up much more this week.
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