Analyzing All RBs and WRs Matchups – Week 2

Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire

Week One is in the books which means you are thinking one of three ways. First, you won. This means there is nothing that can bring you down or slow the hype train of an undefeated season. Second, you were in a close game. Win or lose, you think there was some luck involved and that this week could be different. WRONG. There is no luck in fantasy and I would never recommend a receiver that finished with one catch. Sorry. Finally, you lost in a blowout. This likely means your season is over and should trade everyone. At least, that’s what everyone has told you. Regardless of mindset, here is a look at this week’s matchups to help you bounce back to .500 or inch closer to a perfect year.

Italicized names below play Thursday night (Baltimore at Cincinnati).

Running Backs

Your RB1s RB1 Potential Safe RB2s Deep League Plays
Alvin Kamara Christian McCaffrey Joe Mixon Marlon Mack/Jordan Wilkins
Todd Gurley Leonard Fournette Kenyan Drake Tarik Cohen
Ezekiel Elliott Kareem Hunt Jamaal Williams Kerryon Johnson Jr.
James Conner Dalvin Cook Rex Burkhead/James White Javorius Allen
Saquon Barkley Jordan Howard Royce Freeman/Phillip Lindsay Rashaad Penny
David Johnson Devonta Freeman Peyton Barber Theo Riddick
Melvin Gordon Adrian Peterson Bilal Powell Austin Eckler
Lamar Miller Matt Breida/Alfred Morris Darren Sproles
LeSean McCoy Carlos Hyde/Duke Johnson Jr. Frank Gore
Dion Lewis Chris Carson Ty Montomgery
Isaiah Crowell Derrick Henry LeGarrette Blount
Jay Ajayi Marshawn Lynch Jordan Wilkins
Chris Thompson Tevin Coleman C.J. Anderson
Alex Collins

Your RB1 Plays

Alvin Kamara (NO) vs. Cleveland Browns

If there is any question as to how dangerous Alving Kamara is, he scored 40+ points in most leagues with only 29 yards on eight carries. Scoring twice on the ground and once through the air (in addition to his nine receptions for 112 yards), he remains one of the most explosive players in football. Next up is a Cleveland defense that was torched by James Conner. No disrespect to Conner, but I’m giving the week-to-week edge to Kamara in most cases.

Todd Gurley (LAR) vs. Arizona Cardinals

The reigning offensive player of the year had a productive outing against Oakland with 137 yards on 23 touches and a score. There was nothing particularly flashy about his game, but consistent production was there. Now he faces an Arizona defense that fell apart against a 33-year-old Adrian Peterson and percent healthy Chris Thompson.

Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) vs. New York Giants

Last week’s game against Carlina was simply weird. Dallas finished with only 232 yards and Dak Prescott was sacked six times. Elliott ran well with 69 yards on 15 carries, but his opportunity if “limited” compared to what it was given how the offensive line is looking now. Jacksonville was able to move the ball well enough with both Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon, opening the window for Zeke.

James Conner (PIT) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Conner posted nearly 200 yards on the ground last week in a debut tie against the Browns. Kansas City struggled with the air and rushing attack of Melvin Gordon, I expect more of the same this week.

Saquon Barkley (NYG) @ Dallas Cowboys

Barkley was a prime example of a disappointing week being forgotten by one long touchdown. However, his was not a Kareem Hunt-fourth quarter run, Barkley earned it.

The Cowboys were fairly average against the run last week, offering little insight coming into this game. Barkley has all of the talent, and Pat Shurmur is clearly not shying away from forcing him the ball.

David Johnson (ARI) @ Los Angeles Rams

Johnson is yet another example of simply a weird first week. He ran the ball well, carrying nine times for 37 yards and a score. However, a poor second quarter forced Arizona’s hand in the second half. Los Angeles came away with a sizeable win on Monday night, but Oakland managed to find success on the ground early.

Melvin Gordon (LAC) @ Buffalo Bills

Gordon found his worth through the air last week with Kansas City keeping the touchdown-dependent back out of the end zone. Buffalo managed to do absolutely nothing correctly a week ago. The team will look to bounce back this week, though I prefer the back in this instance.

RB1 Potential

Christian McCaffrey (CAR) @ Atlanta Falcons

Leonard Fournette (JAC) vs. New England Patriots

Kareem Hunt (KC) @ Pittsburgh Steelers

It isn’t unfair to say that Kareem Hunt looked like he was in mid-season form last week. Owners were hurt week after week in 2017 because of Hunt’s extended drought and Andy Reid’s questionable playcalling. Hunt did not exactly run the ball well a week ag (just a shy over three yards per carry), but he should be more involved in the passing game. Carlos Hyde played as a serviceable option a week ago, something Hunt may be able to build upon this week.

Dalvin Cook (MIN) @ Green Bay Packers

Jordan Howard (CHI) vs. Seattle Seahawks

Devonta Freeman (ATL) vs. Carolina Panthers

Adrian Peterson (WAS) vs. Indianapolis Colts

The former two-thousand-yard rusher will not receiver 26 carries a game. Against Indianapolis, he likely will not need it. The Colts struggled to contain Joe Mixon a week ago, and there could be more of the same this week. Consistency will be the biggest question for Peterson who had extreme highs and lows a year ago. This week though, he looks like another potential gem.

Lamar Miller (HOU) @ Tennessee Titans

LeSean McCoy (BUF) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Dion Lewis (TEN) vs. Houston Texans

Isaiah Crowell (NYJ) vs. Miami Dolphins

Crowell looks to back-up his primetime performance with another strong outing against Miami this time around. The Dolphins were successful in slowing Derrick Henry, but Dion Lewis found success on the ground. The workload is still a question for Crowell who only carries 10 times – making him one of the largest boom or bust names of the week.

Jay Ajayi (PHI) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chris Thompson (WAS) vs. Indianapolis Colts

Alex Collins (BAL) @ Cincinnati Bengals

Safe RB2 Plays

Joe Mixon (CIN) vs. Baltimore Ravens

Kenyan Drake (MIA) @ New York Jets

Jamaal Williams (GB) vs. Minnesota Vikings

Rex Burkhead/James White (NE) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Burkhead missed practice Wednesday due to a concussion/concussion symptoms. With Jeremy Hill out for the year, James White would see an immediate boost and rookie Sony Michel should eventually found some opportunities.

Royce Freeman/Phillip Lindsay (DEN) vs. Oakland Raiders

It’s sort of cheating to list multiple backs as reliable options (something I did quite a few times). In my defense, it can be difficult to differentiate between two players who posted nearly identical games on the ground. Freeman totaled 71 yards on 15 carries with a long of 17 yards. Lindsay really looked different with 71 YARDS ON 15 CARRIES but a long of 14 yards. The latter’s difference came via one reception where he tallied 29 of his 31 yards for a score. A mystery into Week 2, I’d like to at least say Devontae Booker should be out of the equation.

Peyton Barber (TB) vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Bilal Powell (NYJ) vs. Miami Dolphins

Alfred Morris/Matt Breida (SF) vs. Detroit Lions

Carlos Hyde/Duke Johnson Jr. (CLE) @ New Orleans Saints

Chris Carson (SEA) @ Chicago Bears

Derrick Henry (TEN) vs. Houston Texans

Marshawn Lynch (OAK) @ Denver Broncos

Tevin Coleman (ATL) vs. Carolina Panthers

Deep League Plays

Marlon Mack (IND) @ Washington Redskins

Mack is a question yet again due to injury. Though he is practicing, the second-year back has been limited for three consecutive days. It sounds more and more promising, but anyone in the Colts’ backfield is a question mark anyways.

Tarik Cohen (CHI) vs. Seattle Seahawks

Kerryon Johnson/LeGarrette Blount (DET) @ San Francisco 49ers

Javorius Allen (BAL) @ Cincinnati Bengals

Rashaad Penny (SEA) @ Chicago Bears

Theo Riddick (DET) @ San Francisco 49ers

Austin Ekeler (LAC) @ Buffalo Bills

Darren Sproles (PIT) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Frank Gore (MIA) @ New York Jets

Ty Montgomery (GB) vs. Minnesota Vikings

C.J. Anderson (CAR) @ Atlanta Falcons

Anderson is the ultimate deep league FLEX play as a potential vulture on touchdowns with the potential to break a big run. Christian McCaffrey fumbled on the goal line a week ago, which may be enough to open the window for Anderson. More of a bench stash at this point, if you missed on backs in the draft (or maybe took Bell and McKinnon), this might not be your worst option.

Week One is in the books which means you are thinking one of three ways. First, you won. This means there is nothing that can bring you down or slow the hype train of an undefeated season. Second, you were in a close game. Win or lose, you think there was some luck involved and that this week could be different. WRONG. There is no luck in fantasy and I would never recommend a receiver that finished with one catch. Sorry. Finally, you lost in a blowout. This likely means your season is over and should trade everyone. At least, that’s what everyone has told you. Regardless of mindset, here is a look at this week’s matchups to help you bounce back to .500 or inch closer to a perfect year.

Michael Collins

Michael is an analytics guru starting with football and extending to all major sports. Defensive aficionado despite being raised by the offensive success of the Indianapolis Colts.

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Comments


theKraken

Whoever gets the carries on Drew Brees’ team is a great RB… ever since the Saints decided to prioritize the running game over wins a few years ago whoever gets the carries has been a monster. The Chargers are also utilizing this philosophy to which Melvin Gordon owes his fantasy relevance. In the past it was usually split two or three ways… I like to try to give the credit to one of the best QB to ever suit up as opposed to the carries that get gifted to whomever is in the backfield. I don’t know that Kamara isn’t special, but I know that Mark Ingram isn’t, nor was Pierre Thomas or whoever else has benefited from Brees’ legacy.

Sean

I think youre way too low on Marshawn, he was getting fed early and looked like a feature back but he got sick on the sidelines to they slowed his usage, no way Richard eats so many of his targets again

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