Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2020): Running Back Edition: Week 2: James Robinson, Melvin Gordon, Nyheim Hines & More


Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:

Start – James Robinson (JAX) – at Tennessee

The undrafted rookie carried the load for the Jaguars in Week 1, as he was the only running back in the NFL to carry 100% of their teams carries. It makes sense, with Jacksonville’s other two running backs being better known for their pass catching abilities. While Robinson could yield a handful of carries this week, it’s fair to assume that he will get the lions share of the work once again.

That should put him in an enviable situation against a Titans defense that allowed 102 rushing yards in Week 1 to the Broncos. The usage alone should put him on radars as a RB2 or FLEX play.

Sit – Frank Gore (NYJ) – vs. SF

With Le’Veon Bell sidelined it would appear that Gore is inline to take on the lead back duties for New York. Of course he draws a highly difficult matchup, and you have to wonder what type of workload he can handle at 37-years old. Since October 20, 2019 he’s played in 12 games (including the postseason) and gotten more than 11 carries just once.

Maybe he gets a few more chances than that, but given the matchup would you want to trust him?

Start – Austin Ekeler (LAC) – vs. KC

Many have been disappointed with the Week 1 performance because of his lack of work in the passing game… Of course that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t performing:

  • Rushing – 19 carries for 84 yards
  • Receiving – 1 catch for 3 yards

Should anyone really be disappointed with 20 touches in a game? Taking on the Chiefs there’s a good chance that there are even more pass catching opportunities, as the Chargers will need to try and keep up. Don’t make the mistake of losing hope in your early draft pick.

Sit – Devin Singletary (BUF) – at Miami

In PPR formats Singletary isn’t an obvious sit, but the usage in Week 1 is concerning for owners:

  • Devin Singletary – 14 touches for 53 yards
  • Zack Moss – 12 touches for 27 yards and 1 TD

Each back had 9 carries, and neither were overly impressive with them. That said would it be surprising to see Moss continue to grab some of the carries?

In PPR formats continue to view him at least as a FLEX, but if you have a more stable alternative you may want to utilize him.

Start – Nyheim Hines (IND) – vs. Minnesota

A hot waiver wire addition after Week 1, Hines was highly utilized in the offense and with Marlon Mack sidelined that isn’t about to change. Picking up 15 touches Hines totaled 73 yards and 2 TD, and he draws the defense that allowed the seventh most points to opposing running backs in Week 1.

Of course Jonathan Taylor is also going to be a major part of the rotation (he had 15 touches as well), and also should be on your start list for the coming week (and most weeks).

Sit – Melvin Gordon (DEN) – at Pittsburgh

With Philip Lindsey sidelined it’s easy to say that Gordon is a must use option, and in most cases he likely will be in your lineup this week. That said it’s hard to call him a must start against a team that may have the best front seven in the NFL.

We can all agree that Gordon isn’t Saquan Barkley, and in Week 1 the Steelers completely shutdown the New York Giants star runner (15 carries for 6 yards, with a long of 7 yards). Gordon did average 5.2 YPC in Week 1, though he managed just 3 receptions for 8 yards in the passing game. If that’s not a big part of his game this week, against the Steelers he’s going to be extremely hard to trust if you can at all avoid it.

Sources –, ESPN

Make sure to check out all of our Week 2 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends


  1. Paris Campbell, DJ Chark or Marvin Jones PPR

    James Robinson, Robby Anderson or Nyheim Hines PPR

    James Robinson, Chris Carson or Robby Anderson PPR flex

    Nyheim Hines, Tyler Lockett, James Conner, Diontae Johnson or Emmanuel Sanders PPR flex

    Cooper Kupp or Tyreek Hill

    Michael Gallup or Darius Slayton

    • Paris Campbell, DJ Chark or Marvin Jones PPR — Chark

      James Robinson, Robby Anderson or Nyheim Hines PPR — Robinson (but Hines is close)

      James Robinson, Chris Carson or Robby Anderson PPR flex – Carson

      Nyheim Hines, Tyler Lockett, James Conner, Diontae Johnson or Emmanuel Sanders PPR flex — Hines

      Cooper Kupp or Tyreek Hill — Hill

      Michael Gallup or Darius Slayton — Slayton


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here