Running Back Rundown: Who To Buy, Who To Sell & More After Week 2 (Miles Sanders, Kerryon Johnson, Devin Singletary & More)

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With many teams heading towards a running back by committee, fantasy owners constantly need to be analyzing the situations and determining who has value and is worth utilizing.  Let’s take a look at some of the key situations from yesterday and try to determine who should be used and who should be ignored:

Buffalo Bills

They continue to try and force feed the veteran, but for how much longer can it last:

  • Frank Gore – 19 carries for 68 yards and 1 TD (3.6 YPC)
  • Devin Singletary – 6 carries for 57 yards and 1 TD (9.5 YPC)

It wasn’t one big run for Singletary, as his longest run went for 20 yards (take that out and he still had an impressive 7.4 YPC). It’s clear that Singletary is the more explosive back, and before long he’s going to claim the lead role and have the potential to thrive (think RB2).

Note – Singletary did miss time late with a minor hamstring issue, though that wasn’t the cause for the usage

Denver Broncos

Both Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman remained part of the committee, and both were factors running and catching the football, though could the split start to change? Look at the Week 2 performances:

  • Royce Freeman – 11 carries for 54 yards (4.9 YPC)
  • Phillip Linday – 13 carries for 36 yards (2.8 YPC)

Freeman also bettered him catching the football, with 5 receptions for 48 yards (Lindsay had 4 receptions for 30 yards). Over the first two weeks Freeman has averaged 5.2 YPC, compared to 3.3 YPC for Lindsay (who hasn’t had a run of more than 9 yards).

Until something changes we will continue to view this as a timeshare, with both having their upside limited to being a FLEX for fantasy owners. However would it be surprising if Freeman starts to get more touches if the production continues this way? It’s a situaton to watch closely.

Detroit Lions

Isn’t this supposed to be the Kerryon Johnson show? Instead we got more of a committee approach, and while Johnson was the leader this type of carry-share is going to be concerning:

  • Kerryon Johnson – 12 carries for 41 yards
  • Ty Johnson – 5 carries for 30 yards
  • C.J. Anderson – 5 carries for 8 yards
  • J.D. McKissic – 2 carries for 2 yards

Obviously some of the performances weren’t impressive, but Kerryon Johnson still got just 50% of the carries. He saved his day with a 36 yard touchdown grab, which will continue to be part of his game, but his overall upside is capped based on the opportunities. While there’s still potential, consider him more of a low-end RB2 for now.

Houston Texans

Maybe the team decided to simply ride the “hot hand”, but those expecting a steady dose of Duke Johnson were sorely disappointed after Week 2:

  • Carlos Hyde – 20 carries for 90 yards
  • Duke Johnson – 6 carries for 32 yards

Just to make things worse, Johnson was targeted just once in the passing game (and it didn’t go for a completion). This comes a week after it was a basic 50/50 split, but the performance from Hyde is likely what has fueled the split (Hyde has averaged 5.8 yards/carry over the first two weeks). While Johnson remains a potential PPR FLEX play, for most he’s nothing more than a stash while Hyde operates as a RB2.

Philadelphia Eagles

Miles Sanders was the leader of this backfield once again, but for the second straight week his performance was underwhelming:

  • Week 1 – 11 carries for 25 yards
  • Week 2 – 10 carries for 28 yards

It’s not like Jordan Howard was better in Week 2 (8 carries for 18 yards), but you have to wonder if there is going to start to be a change in the carry share. Sanders remains the best option and could get on track against the Detroit Lions in Week 3 (who have allowed 442 total yards and 2 TD to opposing running backs over the first two weeks). Continue to view him as a RB2 for now.

San Francisco 49ers

With Tevin Coleman sidelined San Francisco took a committee approach to their backfield:

  • Matt Breida – 12 carries for 121 yards
  • Raheem Mostert – 13 carries for 83 yards
  • Jeff Wilson – 10 carries for 34 yards and 2 TD

Mostert added 3 receptions for 68 yards and 1 TD, though you also have to wonder how much the big lead factored into the split. For now Breida and Mostert are potential FLEX options, while Wilson is more of a handcuff option, though neither should be considered great options.

Seattle Seahawks

It appears that Chris Carson has played himself out of the lead back role, as he lost a fumble for the second straight week. It led to Rashaad Penny seeing his role expand, and he delivered on the opportunity:

  • Rushing – 10 carries for 62 yards and 1 TD
  • Receiving – 1 reception for 3 yards

It would appear that neither will emerge as a true leader at this point, instead with this being some type of committee (though Penny could seize a larger share of the touches). For now value them both as FLEX options, though given the fumble issues Penny is the favored option.

Sources – NFL.com, ESPN

Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses



4 COMMENTS

  1. Prof,
    I was just offered Michael Thomas for my Sony Michel. 8 team PPR.
    QB: Josh Allen
    RB: CMc, Michel, Marlon Mack, Chris Carson, Miles Sanders, Chris Thompson
    WR: Mike Evans, Diggs, Jeffery, Robby Anderson, Fuller,
    TE: Kelce
    D/ST: HOU
    K: Lutz

    Given the injury to Brees, and my current uncertainty @WR. What is your input on this trade?

  2. It does leave you a little shallow at RB, though in an 8-team league I’d think you could recover. Thomas’ value isn’t going to fall much and he’s an improvement (especially if you start 3 WR).

    In a 3-receiver league, I’d def. pull the trigger

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