The good news is that there weren’t any major injuries to start the season. Of course Todd Gurley’s workload is going to be something to keep an eye on and there are some running backs who are a little bit banged up (more on them later), but nothing season defining took place. If we are going to be optimistic, I guess that is all we can really ask for.
As far as the questions we had last week some have been answered, but in reality not much has really changed. While there are some targets on the waiver wire, there isn’t that “must add” or cheap, chalk DFS play that will jump off the page. With that in mind, here is how our options rank for the upcoming week:
- Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – vs. Tampa Bay
- Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – at LA Rams
- Saquon Barkley – NY Giants – vs. Buffalo
- Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
- Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
- Le’Veon Bell – NY Jets – vs. Cleveland
- Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Arizona
- Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – at NY Jets
- Austin Ekeler – LA Chargers – at Detroit
- Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Houston
- Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – vs. Indianapolis
- James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Seattle
- Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – at Pittsburgh
- David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – at Baltimore
- Todd Gurley – LA Rams – vs. New Orleans
- James White – New England Patriots – at Miami
- Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – at Tennessee
- Kerryon Johnson – Detroit Lions – vs. LA Chargers
- Josh Jacobs – Oakland Raiders – vs. Kansas City
- Matt Breida – San Francisco 49ers – at Cincinnati
- Sony Michel – New England Patriots – at Miami
- Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Philadelphia
- Duke Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Jacksonville
- Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. San Francisco
- Damien Williams – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
- Adrian Peterson – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
- Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
- Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – vs. Chicago
- Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears – at Denver
- Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – at Atlanta
- Ronald Jones II – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Carolina
- Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – at NY Giants
- David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – at Denver
- Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – at LA Rams
- LeSean McCoy – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
- Justin Jackson – LA Chargers – at Detroit
- Malcom Brown – LA Rams – vs. New Orleans
- Jordan Howard – Philadelphia Eagles – at Atlanta
- Kenyan Drake – Miami Dolphins – vs. New England
- Raheem Mostart – San Francisco 49ers – at Cincinnati
- After missing all of last season with a knee injury Derrius Guice decided to give the other knee some attention, and he will now be sidelined for a few weeks with a meniscus injury. As far as injury related blows at the running back position, Guice’s was the biggest one as he was primed to be the bell-cow for Washington’s offense. If we were unsure of how much to believe them, Adrian Peterson wasn’t even active last week. With just 18 yards on 10 carries Guice didn’t exactly impress against the Eagles, but it goes without saying the sample size is just too small to judge him as a professional. Despite the lack of success for the Redskins’ ground game, we are safely able to draw the conclusion that Peterson will step right in and receive the majority of the carries with Chris Thompson’s role remaining that of a pass-catching threat (seven receptions for 68 yards). With 1,042 rushing yards last year and the motivation of being a healthy scratch in Week 1, I would look for Peterson to have some success against Dallas. However, it is also very possible you have a better option on your bench as we know Peterson won’t be involved in the passing game.
- Before exiting with an ankle sprain Joe Mixon managed just 17 combined yards, and his current status for Week 2 is up in the air. While Mixon is younger and is clearly the better option, at least from a fantasy standpoint Gio Bernard isn’t that large of a downgrade. Now, this comes with the caveat that the Bengals’ offensive line did not look good last week, but there should be more room to run against the 49ers than there was against Seattle. Bernard touched the ball nine times, but what is concerning is that he was only targeted three times as a receiver (and that is where we can expect the bulk of his value to come from). With 4.2 yards per carry for his career Bernard has never been a particularly explosive option out of the backfield, and I would lean on him as more of a waiver wire replacement for Mixon than anything else. Since we are doing the ranks so early in the week (Monday night), I’m leaving Mixon off my list with the caveat that he would be an RB2 if active.
- I previously alluded to that cheap DFS option, and if anyone is going to qualify that would be Raheem Mostert. At this point we know two things for sure; Tevin Coleman will be sidelined with an ankle injury and the Bengals’ run defense (San Francisco’s opponent this week) is not very good. Despite temporarily leaving due to hydration issues, Matt Breida managed to carry the ball 15 times for 37 yards. What is holding me back from truly going all in on Mostert, even though he looked more impressive with nine carries for 40 yards, is the fact that Breida is ahead of him on the depth chart and he is the better running back (at least based on talent). Both should be owned, and Breida will be ranked higher, even if there is the chance that Mostert does outscore him for the week. With 814 rushing yards last season, 5.3 yards per carry, and 27 receptions for 261 yards last season, Breida also proved that he can be counted on as the better option.
- He certainly is rested after not playing at all last season, but it was a good sign to see Le’Veon Bell on the field for every offensive snap on Sunday. Every single one of Bell’s 60 rushing yards, on 17 carries, was gained after contact, but it was his six receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown that truly saved the day. It is very possible that Bell’s 23 touches will end up being his lowest total of the season, although things will be equally as difficult for him this week against Cleveland’s tough front seven. As Sam Darnold continues to take the next steps in his progression, New York’s offense will focus on Bell, and so far he does appear to be up to the task. On a day in which the Jets’ offense left a lot to be desired, Bell was still a viable fantasy option and there is no reason for that not to continue all season.
- Yes, a part of, at this point it’s unclear as to its size, Baltimore’s success last week can be attributable to how bad Miami truly is this season. With that being said, there is a lot to like about the Ravens’ ground game and that is being led by Mark Ingram. Baltimore’s new addition needed just 14 carries to gain 107 yards while also scoring two touchdowns. While Gus Edwards is going to make an impact and have a role, and we can’t forget about Lamar Jackson running the ball, Ingram is the main show in town and should be valued as such. Just keep in mind that he didn’t catch a pass last week, although game flow dictated Edwards finishing with three more carries than Ingram. That likely won’t happen again.
- Let’s give Kerryon Johnson one more week. While in reality Johnson deserves more than that, with 16 carries for 49 yards he didn’t exactly jump off the page at us this week. He started the game off by carrying the ball three straight times, but he had the same role in the passing game as JD McKissic and C.J. Anderson also carried the ball 11 times. It certainly is a situation to monitor, but there is no need to jump to react after just one week. At least let’s wait until we see how Johnson does against a porous Chargers’ run defense that failed to impress last week as Marlon Mack ran all over them.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 2 rankings: