The season’s opening week started with a whimper for widely started running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Ronald Jones II, then proceeded to feature more stunning developments, from Trey Sermon and Zack Moss being inactives to Elijah Mitchell and Mark Ingram dominating carries and breaking out in big ways. There were a few backs who did what they were supposed to do (Alvin Kamara, Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey), but it’s likely more than a few fantasy fantasy football owners were left disappointed by their RB production. We did our best not to overreact when putting together our Week 2 fantasy RB rankings, but in some instances, how could we not?
We’re still waiting to find out more about the Sermon and Moss situations, but with Raheem Mostert (knee) leaving Week 1 early, it’s possible Sermon will be thrust into action in Week 2. He’s in our rankings, but he’s still well behind Mitchell (@ Eagles). Moss is also in our rankings for now, but we’re treating Devin Singletary (@ Dolphins) as the clear starter. James Robinson (vs. Broncos), Saquon Barkley (@ Washington), Aaron Jones (vs. Lions), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (@ Ravens), and Najee Harris (vs. Bengals) were all major disappointments, too, but we still love this week’s matchups for Jones and Harris, so we’re not too worried about them. Robinson (usage, matchup), Barkley (usage, matchup, short rest), and CEH (effectiveness, matchup) all have major worries going into this week, though. For now, we have all three ranked merely as flex backs. Mike Davis (@ Buccaneers) and Josh Jacobs (@ Steelers) are in that tier, too.
WEEK 2 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker
Of course, when some backs disappoint, there are bound to be others who break out. Mitchell (@ Eagles) and Ingram (@ Browns) were the big winners in Week 1, and for now, we like them as RB2s in fairly neutral matchups this week. Darrell Henderson (@ Colts) also looked better than expected and dominated touches over Sony Michel, while Leonard Fournette (vs. Falcons) figures to continue to be Tampa’s primary guy while RoJo is in the doghouse with his fumbling issues.
WEEK 2 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker
Several other RB situations remain unsettled. Chase Edmonds and James Conner (vs. Vikings) both had 16 touches for the Cardinals, with Edmonds serving more as the receiving back (four catches) and Conner serving as the goal-line back. Both were decent, but Conner is shaping up to be a TD-or-bust play most weeks, while Edmonds is better suited for PPR leagues. Still, he has a slightly higher floor thanks to his yards. Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon also saw a similar split (three more carries for Williams, two more catches for Gordon), but Gordon popped a 70-yard TD while Denver was running out the clock, giving him the much better fantasy day. Still, this is as equal as it gets, and against Jacksonville this week, both are in play as RB2/flex backs. Detroit will likely have a nearly even split again between D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams again, and against Green Bay, that gives both flex value.
Myles Gaskin (14 touches) was the clear leader in the Dolphins backfield, but he had a relatively subpar day (76 total yards). A matchup against the Bills, who shut down Najee Harris, doesn’t figure to help his cause, but he still has flex value, too. The same can’t be said for Tevin Coleman in New York. He was the clear leader in the Jets backfield, getting nine carries compared to four apiece for Ty Johnson and Michael Carter, but he did nothing with them (24 yards). Against New England, all Jets backs are stayaways.
It’s not uncommon to see pretty wild swings in workload from Week 1 to Week 2. It shouldn’t shock anyone if the Jaguars decide to lean on Robinson in Week 2 after getting thumped in Week 1. The Bucs could give Jones another chance, the Rams could use Michel more now that he’s had another valuable week with the team, Sermon could be the 49ers lead back, and Salvon Ahmed could suddenly start racking up carries for the Dolphins. Hell, even Larry Rountree III (vs. Cowboys) could continue to get more carries and operate as the goal-line back for the Chargers. We’re not taking anything for granted, but obviously we have to base our rankings on something, so here’s hoping coaches don’t get too crazy in Week 2.
Note: We’ll be updating these RB rankings as needed throughout the week. so check back for the latest changes.
Fantasy RB Rankings Week 2: Who to start at running back
Rankings are based on standard, non-PPR scoring .
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