There weren't really any big changes at the top of my running backs rankings for Week 2 of the Fantasy Football season, despite some disappointing starts from the likes of Najee Harris, Aaron Jones, Austin Ekeler, and Derrick Henry. In fact, all four of those players are still in my top 10 for Week 2. How's that for trusting the process?
There were, of course, changes up and down the RB rankings, but those almost exclusively came from changes in roles or usage, or because of injuries. At this point in the season, that's what you should be reacting to. You can see my top-60 rankings for PPR leagues at running back in Week 2 below, along with my thoughts on 35 of them compiled while putting the rankings together. Check out my quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end rankings here, and keep these links bookmarked as I will be updating and adding throughout the week.
Fantasy Football Today Newsletter
Know What Your Friends Don't
Get tips, advice and news to win your league - all from the FFT podcast team.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Week 2 RB Rankings
- Christian McCaffrey vs. Saints -- McCaffrey heads into Monday Night Football as the top scoring running back despite not scoring a touchdown. He's absolutely ridiculous.
- Alvin Kamara vs. Panthers -- I thought the Saints might use Kamara more as a rusher this season, and at least in Week 1, they definitely did. Now, it's worth noting that I had him projected for half of their team carries, and that's pretty much what they got -- they were just able to run the ball over and over against the Packers. I don't expect him to be the new Derrick Henry, or anything.
- Dalvin Cook vs. Cardinals
- Joe Mixon vs. Bears -- Mixon's Week 1 lived up to all of my expectations and then some. He dominated carries as expected and ran routes on two-thirds of the team's pass plays, as hoped. As long as the targets are there, he's an elite Fantasy RB -- and why shouldn't they be there?
- Najee Harris vs. Raiders -- It was an underwhelming debut from a statistical standpoint, but there was a ton to like about Harris' role in his first NFL game, even above and beyond the 16 carries and three targets. He was on the field for every single snap for the Steelers, running 30 routes. He's going to be a top-12 RB by default with that usage, even if you are pessimistic about the Steelers offense as I am.
- Aaron Jones vs. Lions -- Week 1 was such a weird game that I really don't think you can or should take anything from it whatsoever for Jones. He's a must-start RB against a defense that just got gashed by Elijah Mitchell -- and A.J. Dillon is a decent flex option, too.
- Austin Ekeler vs. Cowboys -- Ekeler didn't get a single target in Week 1, which was stunning. However, he ran 25 routes in the game, so he was more involved than you might think, which is a good thing. I still expect him to be one of the top targets in this offense, but I would very much like to see it in Week 2.
- Nick Chubb vs. Texans -- Chubb might be the single player most likely to score a touchdown in the entire league this week.
- Derrick Henry -- See, Henry is mortal after all. I'm still viewing him as one of the most likely players to score a touchdown in any given week and a strong bet for 20 carries. It would be a shock to see him struggle two weeks in a row, because it's been years since it happened.
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. Ravens -- Edwards-Helaire got 14 of 15 RB carries in Week 1 and played a significant role in the passing game too, even if he was only targeted three times. Concerns about Darrel Williams taking on a bigger role seem completely unfounded as of now.
- Antonio Gibson vs. Giants -- Gibson still didn't play much on third down, but the Football Team has shown now in Week 1 and in the preseason they are going to scheme up touches for him in the passing game either way. I already view him as one of the highest-volume rushers in the game, and if he gets three or four targets every week, he's an RB1.
- Jonathan Taylor vs. Rams -- Taylor's Week 1 passing game usage was very promising, though his seven targets came on just 18 routes, a pretty unsustainable pace. The question is whether Taylor can be more than just a two-targets-per-game guy. If Week 1 was the start of an expanded role in the passing game, he'll be in the top-five conversation.
- D'Andre Swift vs. Packers -- I don't want to overreact to Week 1, because the Lions will never run 84 plays in a game again. However, Anthony Lynn's Chargers averaged 70-plus plays per game last season, the only team in the NFL to do so. Swift was the clear lead back despite pre-game reports of him being worked in slowly. He's in the fringe-RB1 conversation, and if he sees a similar passing role every week, he's going to crash into that group.
- David Montgomery vs. Bengals -- Montgomery only got one target in Week 1, while Damien Williams got four, which is a concern. But I'm not going to put too much stock into that yet, because Montgomery did have to leave the game for a while in the third quarter with an injury, and nearly all of Williams' targets came with the Bears chasing points. In a more normal game script, Montgomery should have his role.
- Ezekiel Elliott vs. Chargers -- The Cowboys wisely abandoned the run early against the Buccaneers, but there aren't many teams that can force a change in game plan like that. I have no concerns about Elliott's role this week.
- Chris Carson vs. Titans
- Darrell Henderson vs. Colts -- I don't expect Henderson to dominate work nearly to the extent that he did in Week 1, but he's also clearly a bigger part of the offense than I expected. If he trips up or gets hurt, Sony Michel is waiting in the wings, but I think you can probably start Henderson with confidence for now.
- Miles Sanders vs. 49ers -- One of the big surprises of Week 1, at least in my eyes, was Sanders earning a 14.3% target share. For all the talk of him losing passing game work, Sanders ran 19 routes, a decent number. He was also out there for eight of 13 third-down snaps. He may have a path to high-end upside after all.
- Kenyan Drake vs. Steelers --Even with a tough matchup against the Steelers, I think Drake is a very good starting option this week. He had 13 points in PPR against the Ravens, another tough matchup, in Week 1, and while I do expect Peyton Barber to play a role this week, Drake should get more than six carries. His role in the passing game is solidified, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see six-plus catches from Drake along with some goal-line work.
- Myles Gaskin vs. Bills -- Gaskin is the lead back, but I don't think he's going to dominate work the way he did last season, and I'm not sure he's good enough to be a must-start RB without that. The passing game role was nice to see, at least, and gives him a nice cushion against bottoming out.
- Mike Davis vs. Bucs -- Davis more or less got the role we wanted in Week 1, as he was the clear lead back and had a healthy role in the passing game. Hopefully the Falcons offense will look better than it did against the Eagles, but I'd still be willing to trust Davis as my No. 2 RB.
- James Robinson vs. Broncos -- I expected James Robinson to have a pretty similar role to last season, but the Jaguars actually started Carlos Hyde in the second half, using Robinson almost exclusively on passing downs. He can still be relevant in that role, but he won't be a must-start back by any means.
- Chase Edmonds vs. Vikings
- Kareem Hunt vs. Texans
- Melvin Gordon vs. Jaguars -- There does seem to be some optimism about the Broncos backfield split after Week 1, and the matchup against the Jaguars helps that along. But I wonder how we'd be viewing this if Gordon didn't have that 70-yard touchdown run last week? Besides that, this looked like a pretty frustrating one-for-one split.
- Jamaal Williams vs. Packers -- As with Swift, you don't want to overreact to Williams' usage in Week 1 given the circumstances. And Williams played just 35% of the snaps for the Lions, so don't expect as many touches as he got last week. Still, he's a viable flex starter in all formats where catches count.
- Saquon Barkley vs. Washington -- I'm hoping for the training wheels to come off, more or less, in this one, but I'm not sure we'll see it. Barkley got his feet wet in Week 1, and while I think he will be the clear lead option in this backfield moving forward, the question is whether we should be expecting that coming off a short week. I'm not outright benching Barkley in all circumstances, but he's more of a PPR flex. You're going to get predatory buy-low offers for Barkley if he has another poor game, but he gets the Falcons in Week 3 with extra rest, and he'll be fully unleashed there. Keep the faith.
- Devin Singletary vs. Dolphins -- Because the Bills offense has been the worst in the NFL for Fantasy production by running backs since Josh Allen became the starter, I kept saying in the preseason that a back would need to dominate playing time to be Fantasy relevant. Singletary did that in Week 1, and if that remains the case, he'll be a flex option. But don't get too excited, because I would be surprised if Zack Moss is inactive every week.
- Elijah Mitchell vs. Eagles -- Mitchell was the No. 1 waiver-wire priority, but Kyle Shanahan's lead back usually doesn't see more than around 15 carries most weeks, and that lead back has to tendency to change quite a bit throughout the season. He's more of an RB2 for me.
- Damien Harris vs. Jets -- There has been some talk that Harris may be looking at a smaller role after his costly Week 1 fumble, but I still think he'll be the lead back for the Patriots. I just can't be sure he'll dominate carries like he did in Week 1, making him a risky play.
- Javonte Williams vs. Jaguars
- Nyheim Hines vs. Rams
- Latavius Murray vs. Chiefs -- Murray ended up matching Ty'Son Williams carry for carry and even got into the end zone as well. And that was after being with the team for just a few days. His role may only expand, and it's possible he ends up the lead back here. For now, I'll start Williams ahead of him, but both are low-end starters with touchdown potential.
- J.D. McKissic vs. Giants
- Ty'Son Williams vs. Chiefs -- Williams ran the ball well and was surprisingly active in the passing game, but didn't get the role as a runner we hoped for. In fact, when the Ravens were moving down the field late in the game looking to go ahead, it was Latavius Murray in there alongside Lamar Jackson, not Williams. That's frustrating, because Williams looked great, but he's a low-end Fantasy option if he is splitting carries with Murray (who, admittedly, didn't look great).
- James Conner vs. Vikings -- If the Cardinals are leading, expect to see a lot of Conner late in games, like in Week 1. Conner was on the field for four of six plays the Cardinals ran inside of the 10 yard line, and while Murray will also be a threat to take on a significant role near the goal line, if Conner has Kenyan Drake's role from last year, he's going to be better than we expected.
- Leonard Fournette vs. Falcons -- Fournette got to be the lead back after Ronald Jones' fumble in Week 1, and maybe that will carry over to Week 2. But you can't predict how Bruce Arians is going to react to these kinds of things, so it's best to stay away from either unless you're desperate -- especially after Arians pointedly named Jones the starter.
- James White vs. Jets
- A.J. Dillon vs. Lions
- Ronald Jones vs. Falcons -- Jones will start in Week 2, but can you trust him? N-O-P-E. Maybe he'll have a good game, and if you're desperate, the matchup is obviously advantageous. But the margin for error for Jones in any given week is razor-thin.
- Mark Ingram vs. Browns -- Week 1 was a perfect storm for Ingram, and the Texans aren't going to have that many opportunities to sit on the ball late with a lead. However, he was the clear top option here, and should be the lead back. What that means in practice, however, is the slightly larger part of a three-way split without a passing game role, so don't get too excited. He's an RB3 who'll need a touchdown to justify a spot in your starting lineup.
- Peyton Barber vs. Ravens -- You're hoping for 50 yards and a touchdown from Barber, and I can't say either is all that likely in this matchup.
- David Johnson vs. Browns
- Tevin Coleman vs. Patriots -- You'll probably just want to avoid this backfield entirely when setting your lineups, at least for now. Coleman will probably get the most rush attempts, but there's nothing to be excited about here.
- Giovani Bernard vs. Falcons
- Cordarrelle Patterson vs. Bucs
- Carlos Hyde vs. Broncos
- Michael Carter vs. Patriots
- Tony Pollard vs. Chargers
- Trey Sermon vs. Eagles -- Sermon was a surprise inactive for Week 1, but with Mostert out, I'm willing to bet he'll be part of the game plan this week. I wouldn't want to start him, but I would definitely continue to stash him.
- Kenneth Gainwell vs. 49ers -- Gainwell still isn't someone you'll want to trust for Fantasy, but he scored a rushing touchdown and had a receiving touchdown called back by penalty in his debut. He's the clear No. 2 back here, and a priority add ahead of Week 2.
- Ty Johnson vs. Patriots
- Tony Jones vs. Panthers -- Jones is going to have a consistent role in this offense, and I'm expecting 8-12 touches per game for him. He'll be a touchdown-or-bust desperation play for Fantasy, but one of the better ones in that group.
- Larry Rountree vs. Cowboys -- Rountree is the clear No. 2 back here, though he was mostly absent in passing situations, with Ekeler and Justin Jackson handling those. He's the backup RB to roster here, at least.
- Jeremy McNichols vs. Seahawks
- Malcolm Brown vs. Bills
- Phillip Lindsay vs. Browns
- Damien Williams vs. Bengals
- Darrel Williams vs. Ravens
- Sony Michel vs. Colts
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 2 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that has out-performed experts big-time.