Week Two is in the books, and it was a chaotic week. We saw big-time performances from names like Aaron Jones, D’Andre Swift, and others, but many busts like Ezekiel Elliott, Najee Harris, James Conner (injury), Jonathan Taylor, and many more. Now we are onto Week Three in what will hopefully be a much better football week. I’ll be helping the NerdHerd out this season with some players that you should either Start/Sit for that week of fantasy football. Analysis and reasoning will be provided for every player that I mentioned. I’m here to help you win your fantasy football week and, ultimately, the championship. You might remember me from last year as I covered whom to start/sit at tight end. This year, I’m covering the Running Back start/sit.
There is one thing I want to note. For this article and every running back start/sit article I write, I won’t be including players like Jonathan Taylor or Austin Ekeler. These are apparent starts so long as they aren’t on bye or injured. If you don’t start them, well, you’re a taco. I’ll be focusing on players that are a bit harder to decide whether to start or what to expect from them. All scoring in this article series will be PPR. All stats/RB# number finishes come from FantasyPros. So, let’s make this a great season as we get to watch over 200+ games of NFL football. It’s back! Good luck this dynasty fantasy football season.
Be sure to follow our other start/sit articles and authors; they contain great advice to help you each week.
Week 2 Recap
This is my recap of my picks from Week Two, and they qualify as a “win” if they finish among the top 30 running backs in PPR scoring. Hopefully, Week 3 Start/Sit fare better!
Antonio Gibson: Gibson was a great start once again despite a lackluster 2.0 yards per carry (ypc). He had 28 yards, a touchdown, and two receptions for 13 yards en route to the RB16 finish.
Jeff Wilson: Wilson was another strong start after he had 84 rushing yards, two receptions, and 19 receiving yards. Good enough numbers to be the RB15.
Travis Etienne/James Robinson: Robinson was a mega-good start as the RB8 overall with 64 rushing yards, a touchdown, and two receptions for 14 yards. Etienne struggled. He finished as the RB31, just outside the top-30, with 20 rushing yards, three catches, and 33 receiving yards.
Miles Sanders: Sanders continued his strong start to the season with an RB18 finish. He had 80 yards and three catches for six yards.
Josh Jacobs: Jacobs was a top-30 play with 69 yards and a catch for 12 yards. The touchdowns will come.
Chase Edmonds: The Dolphins were explosive but forgot about Chase. He was the RB48 after only 33 yards on five attempts and one catch for eight yards.
Cam Akers: Cakers got some work in but was a worthy sit as the RB32. He had 44 yards and two catches for 18 yards: decent usage and a definite improvement from Week 1.
Rashaad Penny: Hope you sat Penny as he did absolutely nothing. He had six carries for 15 yards. OUCH.
Dameon Pierce: Pierce barely snuck into the top-30 at RB29. He had 69 yards, an eight-yard catch, and showed why he deserves more touches.
Michael Carter: I doubted Carter again as I thought Hall would be used more. Carter was used plenty to finish as the RB22. He had 23 yards on the ground with five catches for 27 more yards. Great play in PPR leagues.
David Montgomery: I honestly didn’t think Montgomery would do what he did against the Packers. In a miserable running back week, he was the RB10 with 122 yards on the ground and two catches for 14 yards.
Grade: 7/11, on the season 13/21
Start: Michael Carter, NYJ
Not sure anyone predicted Carter to be the RB16 after two weeks of the season. However, he’s earned his touches by being extremely effective with the ball. He’s averaged 4.9 yards per carry and has 83 rushing yards on 17 touches. Plus, he has 12 receptions on 14 targets for 67 yards. This is good enough for an average of 13.7 ppg. Breece Hall will get his touches, but Carter is an excellent flex play. With Flacco in there at quarterback, Carter will get plenty of targets. Fire him up against the Bengals. We saw what a pass-catching back like Pollard did against them last week.
Start: Dameon Pierce, HOU
Pierce is finally getting his chance to be the lead running back. He had 16 touches last week against the Broncos’ tough defense. He did alright with a reception and 77 combined yards. The touchdown will come, and it might happen this week. He faces the Chicago Bears, who were assaulted by Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon last week. Also, the 49ers could run the ball on the Bears too. I like Pierce’s odds of having a good week in Week Three.
Start: Antonio Gibson, WAS
Gibson struggled to gain much yardage last week but still had a strong game in the fantasy world. He’s pushing to keep his RB1 job, so you know he’ll be doing his absolute best against a rival like the Eagles. Through two weeks, Gibby is the RB11 on the season and has proven to be a good target for Wentz. He has 12 targets and caught nine of them for 85 yards. Gibson has added a touchdown and 86 yards on 28 rushes on the ground. I like him scoring a touchdown again this week. At the very least, he should see a good number of rushes/targets.
Honorable Mentions: Cordarrelle Patterson, Jeff Wilson Jr.
Sit: Chase Edmonds, MIA
Edmonds had a massive dud against the Ravens. The Dolphins ran Mostert a ton for some reason, but I expect that to change slightly this week. Edmonds did well with the touches he had last week. The team paid him, so he will be used. Edmonds has 58 yards on the ground and 48 receiving yards on five catches. Yet, I would sit him against the red-hot Buffalo Bills. They shut down King Henry. Be smart and bench Edmonds.
Sit: Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
I get it if you feel like you have to start him or if you have no one realistically better than Zeke. However, manage your expectations. The Giants have been pretty good at stopping the run. They limited Derrick Henry and CMC to below their normal career numbers. Neither of them has to deal with a strong RB2 in Tony Pollard or a backup quarterback. In two games thus far, Elliott has 53 and 52 rushing yards with one reception in each. That’s awful. It’s definitely not what you expected from him. He’s a flex play right now. Playing on Monday night doesn’t favor starting him either, so if you have someone you trust more, start them.
Sit: Rashaad Penny, SEA
I told you to sit Penny last week due to an unfavorable matchup, Walker being healthy, and a general distrust in Penny. The same applies this week. The Falcons surprisingly have been decent against the running game, which hurts Penny as he’s not an outstanding receiving back. He has two catches for seven yards. He is averaging 4.2 yards per carry but only on nine carries a game so far. The Seahawks have a rough offense, and I wouldn’t be coming near starting Penny. Until he proves it or the Seahawks’ offense improves, there is no reason to start him.
Honorable Mentions: Breece Hall, Josh Jacobs
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As always, May the Force be with You…