Week 2 RB Sit ‘Em, Start ‘Em: Running Back Fantasy Football Strategy: Is Benny Snell Jr. the new starter?
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After an exciting return to NFL football for week one, we were surprised to see many of the different running back “committees” that NFL offenses are allowing fantasy owners to select from to start in their lineups. Every year running backs are a real challenge for fantasy owners to make use of in their lineups. Now that most teams are running the ball between two and sometimes three running backs, it is vital for fantasy owners to find the right matchups and chances for running backs to boom week-to-week.
Jonathan Taylor/Nyheim Hines
The Colts started out this season with a clear “committee” of running the ball between three running backs. Now, after the loss of Marlon Mack for the season due to injury, I think Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines should always be considered starters week-to-week. In my opinion, I think this is what Jonathan Taylor needed to really take off in fantasy football, so to me he should be a clear RB2 for the weeks to come. I still like the potential that Hines brings with his opportunity to run and catch the ball. I think Taylor is the starter at RB2 and Hines the possible RB2 in bigger leagues but high-end flex play.
Ronald Jones Jr.
Ronald Jones Jr. started off with an abundance of carries in his first outing against the Saints. He had 17 carries for 66 yards but was without a touchdown in a heavy passing game. Leonard Fournette only had five rushes for the entire game, most likely because he is still learning the offense. But, against an easier Carolina Panthers defense, Tampa Bay should have a solid day for fantasy. Look for the Bucs to go up early so they will run the ball for most of the back half of the game. Ronald Jones is a solid week two RB2 and a great flex play.
Even though J.K Dobbins had a seriously impressive game in week one against the Browns, making the most of his seven touches in the backfield for two touchdowns, I still believe in Mark Ingram and his ability to produce for fantasy while splitting carries. The major concern is the amount Lamar Jackson will hog the ball to pass and run. Either way, I would not give up on Ingram just yet, especially in week two against the Houston Texans, who allowed the most amount of yards in week one to a running back with Clyde Edwards-Helaire running for 138 yards against them on Thursday night. Consider Ingram and Dobbins possible RB2 plays for week two.
David Montgomery surprised his fantasy owners by being able to start for the Bears in week one against the Detroit Lions. After being rumored with a serious groin injury, he destroyed his projected timeline for return and had 13 rushes for 64 yards in week one. Even though his numbers were not impressive for fantasy, I think he will improve upon those numbers in week two at home against the Giants’ defense that allowed 113 yards to Benny Snell Jr. in week one. The fact that Montgomery will get consistent touches and finally has somewhat of a passing offense to open up the run game for him, I would consider him a low-end RB2 for week two.
Benny Snell Jr.
I’m sold! Benny Snell Jr. was able to haul in 19 carries for 113 yards without a touchdown. Look, I know James Conner is supposed to be the outright starter for the Steelers and help them out after being out a lot of the season last year. But, the simple fact is the Steelers don’t like his availability. Conner is questionable for week two against the Broncos and I think this is a great opportunity to start Snell as a high end flex play against a Broncos’ defense that let Derrick Henry run all over them in week one. He may not be consistent, but he may be a great waiver wire pick up and start for week two if you need running back help.
I know he among many unexpected running backs put together a solid week one performance for fantasy, but I am not sold quite yet. I will give credit where credit is due, he almost cracked the top 20 in running back fantasy standings in week one against the 49ers. But, I am not sold on Chase Edmonds being consistent running back for the Cardinals down the line. I do not think he is worth the waiver wire pick up quite yet and I would not start him against a Washington defense that surprisingly contained the Eagles’ run game in week one.
I hate to rain on the outstanding parade that Adrian Peterson had with his new team in week one against the Bears, but I would not consider him a starter just yet. He still has to compete with D’Andre Swift and supposed “starter” Kerryon Johnson for touches. Look, he made it look like it was 2012 on the field in week one against the Bears defense, but I think he should be kept on the bench for a tough matchup against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers only allowed 50 yards to one of the league’s top running backs, Dalvin Cook, last week. Certainly, keep him on your bench for future plays, but I would not put him in the lineup for week one.
Antonio Gibson and Peyton Barber
Again, Peyton Barber strung together a great first outing against the Eagles to help his team get their first win of the season. Seriously, he surprised fantasy owners of Gibson by taking 17 of the touches, two for which he put in the endzone. But, he only had 29 yards, and I think Gibson will start to get a feel for his position in the NFL and take some of the action. The Cardinlas put an impressive defensive stunt on the 49ers rushing offense in week one, allowing only 123 total yards. Hence, I would stache Gibson and Barber on the bench for now until we find out who will make the most of their touches down the line.
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