Check out Marc Caviglia’s fantasy football rankings and hot takes on the Week 2 running back matchups:
- Austin Ekeler owners, please stop your whining. All week I heard on Twitter about how Ekeler only had 1 reception and 1 target in Week 1. Well, he still finished the game with 19 touches and averaged 4.42 yards per carry. Yes, the target total wasn’t ideal but this is more of the offense getting comfortable with Tyrod Taylor under center than Ekeler’s role changing. The Chiefs struggled containing David Johnson in Week 1, who is a similar back to Ekeler, and there isn’t a better Week 2 bounce back candidate at the position than the Chargers dual-threat. For good measure, Ekeler had 17 receptions on 23 targets and 221 total yards (rushing & receiving) against the same Chiefs defense a year ago.
- Full disclaimer, I don’t hit the panic button in Week 1. I like to see players for 3-4 games before giving a fair assessment of their long term value. However, I do have some concern with the James Conner situation in Pittsburgh. An ankle injury forced him to miss the 2nd quarter and beyond in Week 1 and that led to Benny Snell Jr. torching the Giants defense. Snell Jr. finished with 19 carries for 113 yards and in comparison Conner had 6 rushes for 9 yards against the same Giants front seven. Conner has practiced throughout the week and is expected to play in Week 2 against a Denver Broncos defense that contained Derrick Henry in the opener, so the matchup isn’t ideal. Plus with Snell looming to cut into Conner’s workload this could be a situation that you monitor closely before going all-in on Conner this week.
- At least for the time being Bruce Arians made it loud and clear who the main running back is in Tampa Bay. Jones II had a team-high 17 carries for 66 yards and added 2 receptions for 16 yards. In comparison, Leonard Fournette had 5 carries for 5 years and LeSean McCoy only touch was a reception. To Fournette’s defense he was acquired late in the preseason and isn’t fully comfortable with the playbooks, but it looks like Jones II has some staying power moving forward. Fantasy owners need to make sure he’s in their Week 2 lineup against the Carolina Panthers. In Week 1, the Panthers gave up 122 rushing yards, 84 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns to the Oakland Raiders running backs. I like Jones II chances of scoring his first TD of the young season on Sunday.
- It should be interesting to see how Mark Ingram and J.K Dobbins are used in Week 2. Last week we saw Dobbins getting the bulk of the red zone work and scoring 2 touchdowns while Ingram finished with just 10 rushes for 29 yards. The Ravens like to play fast on offense and at times this diminishes the value of their RBs, now factor in a potential even split from Ingram and Dobbins and you could have a weekly headache. Their Week 2 opponent, the Houston Texans, had trouble tackling last week and both Baltimore running backs should be used as low-end RB2 or Flex plays in 12-team leagues or higher. I’m not saying these two won’t have standalone value weekly, it’s just a matter of trying to figure out how things go from week to week.
- Some running backs worth investing in your daily fantasy leagues this week include Raheem Mostert against a New York Jets defense that will have trouble keeping up with the speed of Mostert and Adrian Peterson against the Green Bay Packers. I can’t see Peterson being heavily owned because there are a lot of RBs in Detroit, but the Packers did give up 5.6 yards per carry and 2 rushing touchdowns to the Minnesota Vikings last week.
Rankings are based on the following scoring:
6 points per touchdown
1 point per 10 rushing & receiving yards
-2 points per turnover
.5 point & 1 point per reception (toggle to find scoring format)