Fantasy Football Week 2 Running Back Preview: Expectations for Joe Mixon, DFS plays, and more
Heath Cummings tells you what he expects from Joe Mixon,gives his top DFS plays and more.
On Friday Joe Mixon returned to practice, which means he's returning to my projections and our rankings. We don't know for sure that Mixon will suit up, but when a player practices on Friday we generally behave as if that's the case. So what do we expect?
It's never easy to set expectations for a player who is limited throughout the week with an injury. Mixon's is an ankle injury, which is at least better than soft tissue, but could still flare up on game day.
It's also possible he could see a slightly smaller workload because of the injury. To account for the those risks I projected him for fewer touches than I did in Week 1, but still the most on the Bengals.
My current projection for Mixon is for 17 touches and 75 yards. That's enough to make him a low-end No. 2 running back and someone you're probably starting.
If you picked up Giovani Bernard, I'd hold on to him. He's still one of the more valuable back ups in Fantasy.
Week 2 RB Preview
The following players are not being projected to play Week 2 at this time. Here's what it means:
SF San Francisco • #26
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Coleman will miss multiple weeks which opens up the door for Breida to be a top-25 running back, if not more. The 49ers will still use a committee and Mostert will have deep flex appeal.
WAS Washington • #29
Age: 22 • Experience: 3 yrs.
With Guice out for multiple weeks Adrian Peterson will not only be active, he'll be the lead back again. I prefer Peterson to Chris Thompson in non-PPR, but they're both flexes. In PPR the choice is easily Thompson.
Numbers to know
- 8.1 - LeSean McCoy's rushing average on 10 carries Sunday against Jacksonville. In the same game Damien Williams averaged 2.0 on 13 carries. It's impossible to have a good read on which direction this goes, but it's something we'll all watch on Sunday.
- 35% - Chris Carson's target share in Week 1, which led the Seahawks. They'd talked about increasing his role in the passing game but we didn't expect anything like this. If he gets five targets per game he's a no-doubt No. 1 running back.
- 80% - The percentage of running back touches Nick Chubb earned in Week 1. It wasn't cool that he lost a touchdown to Dontrell Hilliard but this wasn't anything close to a committee approach. Chubb should still be awesome.
- 15 - The number of snaps David Johnson lined up split out as a receiver. That's only one snap shy of his total for 2018. This is outstanding for his Fantasy value.
- 22 - First half total yards for Marlon Mack. Over half of his yards on the day came on a pair of third quarter carries. I need to see more before I embrace him with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback.
- 2 - Touchdowns Malcolm Brown stole from Todd Gurley. I don't expect that will be the norm.
- 98 - Total yards for Devin Singletary, who only touched the ball nine times. Hopefully he pushes Frank Gore out sooner rather than later.
- 0.9 - Yards per carry for Sony Michel against the Steelers. Rex Burkhead and James White were far more efficient. I expect this number will improve in Week 2 against the Dolphins. If it doesn't, you can panic.
- 0 - Targets for Jalen Richard on Monday night. If Josh Jacobs doesn't have to worry about Richard, I was way too low on him. I'll be interested to see if this continues Week 2 against the Chiefs.
Matchups that matter
Aaron Jones RB
GB Green Bay • #33
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
For the second straight week Jones has an absolutely awful matchup. The only benefit is this week he's at home. In PPR I don't think you can start Jones as anything more than a desperation flex. Falcons running backs only picked up 50 yards on 14 carries against this defense last week and Jones didn't show much promise against the Bears. Things should get better for him in Week 3 against the Broncos.
Sony Michel RB
NE New England • #26
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Michel was one of the biggest disappointments of Week 1. Rex Burkhead was stealing touches and flat out outplaying him. That being said, I'm still starting Michel in non-PPR because he faces a defense that just allowed 59 points to the Baltimore Ravens. Hopefully he turns things around.
DEN Denver • #30
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
We thought the Raiders were going to be a great matchup for Lindsay. That didn't really come to fruition. Against the Bears we have no such hope. If the Broncos line couldn't manhandle the Raiders front I'm afraid they'll get manhandled in Week 2. Lindsay has big-play upside, so it might work out but this is a full committee against a great defense. The one encouraging thing was Lindsay's usage in the passing game. Four to five targets could make him viable even against a bad matchup.
Waiver Wire Targets
If you're in a PPR league the first thing you need to do is see if Thompson is available. He led Washington in targets in Week 1 and he's averaged 12.7 PPR points per game over the past three seasons. There's no No. 1 receiver on this team and Jordan Reed isn't healthy. Add him and start him.
SF San Francisco • #31
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Mostert is likely to be a good flex this week but I don't feel great about this one. For one thing, I don't think he's valuable once Coleman returns. Maybe more importantly, I'm not sure he's startable for as long as Breida is healthy. But if something happens to Breida we'll be calling him Raheem Must-Start.
MIN Minnesota • #25
Age: 21 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Mattison was very impressive in tandem with Dalvin Cook on Sunday. He picked up 49 yards on nine carries, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. We all know about Cook's injury history and it's apparent Mike Zimmer would like to be one of the more run-heavy teams in the league. If Cook goes down we're all starting Mattison.
Rex Burkhead RB
NE New England • #34
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Burkhead's usage on Sunday was shocking. His eight targets were second only to Julian Edelman and he had eight carries as well. We've seen enough one-week anomalies from Bill Belichick to question this but at the very least it's worth adding Burkhead and seeing what happens against the Dolphins.
Justice Hill RB
BAL Baltimore • #43
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Hill was actually dropped in a lot of leagues this week as teams scrambled for wide receivers. I'd still like to have the rookie on my bench because this is still a spectacular opportunity in Baltimore if something happens to Mark Ingram.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #26
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Barkley wasn't worth the money in Week 1 because he didn't reach the end zone but don't let that distract you from how awesome he was. He ran for 120 yards on just 11 carries and caught another four passes. Now Sterling Shepard is in the concussion protocol and Barkley could be looking at a 25% target share.
JAC Jacksonville • #27
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Like Barkley, a lack of scores hurt Fournette, as did an uncharacteristic fumble. But I loved the volume and the fact that he so thoroughly dominated snaps and running back touches. This suspect Texans defense just allowed 216 yards to Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. Fournette won't match that total, but he won't have to share like they did either.
WAS Washington • #26
Age: 35 • Experience: 13 yrs.
One weird thing about Week 1 was Barkley averaging better than 10 yards per carry against the Cowboys. It's probably nothing, but it does make me consider a motivated Peterson against them in Week 2. He was a healthy scratch last week and now he might be looking at 15 to 20 touches at a discounted price. I won't touch him in cash but I want some exposure in tournaments.
We've talked plenty about Thompson, right? Basically, if Washington keeps this game close I want Peterson exposure. If it turns into a blowout I want Thompson. I'll have some exposure to both in Week 2.
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