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Tremendous running back play is essential to having fantasy football success. Having a bonafide workhorse back at your disposal could be the difference in a win or loss for your fantasy team. Equally as paramount, finding a diamond in the rough player with a good matchup can catapult your team past your weekly projections. These running back rankings are determined by an assessment of the players week 1 performance, week 2 matchup, and role on their respective teams. Using a PPR (points per reception) format, here are the top 50 running backs for week 2.
|12||3||Todd Gurley II||Rams|
|20||4||Mark Ingram II||Ravens|
|41||8||Ronald Jones II||Buccaneers|
Tier 1 Running Backs
There is not much explanation needed for the backs at the top of the list. McCaffrey posted the best stats of all running backs in week 1. He finished with a monster performance of 128 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, and 10 receptions for 81 yards. He now gets to face a Buccaneers team that has given up 4.7 yards per touch to running backs in the red zone since week 11 of last season. That is the second worse yards per touch in that time span in the entire league. It also helps that McCaffrey averages 5.8 touches in the red zone in that same time period, which ranks him first in that category among all running backs. Despite the Giants struggles in week 1, Saquon Barkley should still tear up the Bills in week 2. Arguably the most talented back in the league, Barkley wowed with 139 yards on just 15 touches against the Cowboys. Alvin Kamara should not miss a beat against the Rams this weekend. In what should be another shootout, Kamara will be deadly in both the rushing and passing game. Kamara found the end zone three times in their last regular season meeting.
Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dalvin Cook should all feast against their opponents. Bell’s usage was terrific in week 1, as he played every snap in the game. Bell flexed his versatility against the Bills, with 60 rushing yards to go along with 32 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown. Elliott should see an increased workload after being limited last week due to his lengthy contract holdout. I expect the Cowboys to feed Elliott early and often against a Redskins defense that allowed Elliott an impressive, 121 yards and a touchdown in their last matchup. Minnesota’s Cook was simply sensational against the Falcons. He was so good, Kirk Cousins only had to throw the ball 10 times in the win. Cook popped off for 120 all purpose yards and 2 touchdowns. Since week 11 of last season, the Packers have allowed an average of 1.1 touchdowns to running backs per contest. I look forward to Cook having a repeat performance of last week’s success against Green Bay.
Tier 3 Running Backs
Todd Gurley was impressive in his 2019 debut, despite only getting 15 touches. He has all the talent to be a solidified tier 1 running back, as he has recorded the most total touchdowns these past 2 seasons at his position. However, his health concerns have forced the Rams to monitor his usage. He hopefully will get more goal line work in week 2 against the Saints. Marlon Mack is a player who could see his ranking rise if he continues to perform the way he did in week 1. Mack had 174 yards and a touchdown against the Chargers last week. He is far and away the best running back option on the team, which should give him great opportunity to shine against the Browns in week 2. No other running back on the Colts recorded more than 4 carries, while Mack dominated with 25 last week. Damien Williams should add to his solid start to the 2019 campaign. Williams has a matchup against the Raiders, who has given up an average of 1 touchdown per game to running backs since the start of last season. Williams who scored in week 1, will be receiving the bulk of the goal line work again in week 2. He also is an impressive pass catcher out of the backfield, snagging all 6 of his targets last week. He should remain a tier 3 running back, despite the ascension of LeSean McCoy as his backup.
Notable Other Running Backs
I really like Chris Thompson in all PPR formats. He received 10 targets in week 1, resulting in 7 receptions for 68 yards. With starting running back Derrius Guice injured, I expect Thompson more involved in the rushing attack as well. Sony Michel had a very disappointing week 1 performance against the Steelers. Michel should receive plenty of opportunity to make up for it against the Miami Dolphins in week 2. The Dolphins allowed 265 rushing yards last week against the Ravens, which was a league worst. The Bengals may be without starting running back Joe Mixon in week 2. If that is the case, look for Giovani Bernard to have a productive game against the 49ers. Bernard should be in serious consideration as a RB3 this week if Mixon is out. Rams backup running back Malcolm Brown is an interesting fantasy option. Brown managed to score 2 touchdowns in just 11 carries in week 1. If he truly is the Rams goal line option all year, he will be an outstanding player to pick up if he’s on the waiver wire. Philadelphia’s running back committee is a tough code to crack. Miles Sanders looks to be the best back in the committee, however, Darren Sproles and Jordan Howard are both very much in the mix. Sanders lead the committee in snaps played in week 1, which is a promising sign moving forward. Sanders would be an exceptional player to have on your bench, as he has the potential to be a starter by year’s end.
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