Our Week 2 Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em is an in-depth look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they will impact your lineup decisions for your fantasy football team. Our list of Week 2 running back starts and sits features regular fantasy starters, as well as lesser-known players, who are likely to exceed expectations based on a favorable matchup, or fail to meet expectations due to the strength of their opponent.
With Chris Ivory sitting out last week, TJ Yeldon was the Jaguars workhorse. However, Yeldon struggled to do much with his 25 touches, yielding just 69 total yards. That being said, there’s room for optimism this week when the Jaguars travel to San Diego. With Chris Ivory released from the hospital yesterday and sitting out of practice today, he’s no better than questionable for Sunday’s tilt with the Chargers. If Yeldon gets another crack at a full complement of snaps on Sunday, he’ll undoubtedly improve on his 69 total yards. Spencer Ware posted 199 total yards last week vs. these same Chargers, a good chunk of the yardage coming on his seven receptions and 129 receiving yards. Even if Ivory is active, Yeldon’s volume will still be there in the passing game. With a much more appealing matchup and a good chance Ivory misses his second consecutive week, Yeldon has RB2/Flex appeal and comes with an affordable DFS price tag.
Rashad Jennings posted a respectable 18-75-0 line in Sunday’s opener in Dallas and looks to improve on those numbers this week in the Giants home-opener. With a matchup set with the Saints, the G-Men’s offensive line should be able to open up the running lanes for Jennings. The New Orleans defenses’ priority will be preventing Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. from having massive days, but that almost seems like an impossible task for one of the league’s worst secondaries. In what projects to be a shootout, I fully expect the Giants offense to click on all cylinders, with copious red zone opportunities. Jennings is a legitimate RB2 and has a good chance at finding pay dirt this week in the Meadowlands.
Coming off a serviceable Week 1 performance, Jeremy Langford will have every opportunity to seize his usual pass-catching role in the Bears offense this week vs. the Eagles. Langford posted only two receptions for six yards in last week’s loss to the Texans, but I anticipate Jay Cutler and the Chicago offense to ensure Langford is heavily targeted this week in the passing game. Langford cashed in big plays last season on screen plays and check-downs and with an offense that lacks consistency outside of Alshon Jeffery, their gameplan should be simplified this week at home. I like Langford to total close to 100 yards and find the end zone on Monday Night. Start him!
There may be no better example of a TD dependent running back in fantasy than Isaiah Crowell. The Crow turned in a 15 fantasy point performance last week in Philadelphia, with six of those points coming on a 1-yard touchdown run. The plodding-back gets one of the best run defenses in the NFL this week, when the Browns host the Ravens. With Duke Johnson Jr. expected to carve out a bigger role in order to space the field against the Baltimore defense, Crowell is far from a lock to find the end zone, making him a risky start. I’m not expecting more than seven or eight fantasy points this week. Sit ’em!
Frank Gore and the Indianapolis running game is only as good as their defense — and if their defense showed us anything last week vs. the Lions, it’s that they can’t stop a nosebleed. Trevor Siemian may very well fall under the nosebleed tier of quarterbacks, but that won’t prevent the Broncos from finding their rhythm come Sunday. This is all important because the Colts will be forced to air it out for much of the second half if they fall behind, abandoning the running game. With the Broncos fielding one of the most talented group of run-stoppers in the NFL, the Colts’ middling offensive-line will struggle to open up running lanes. Gore is not an advisable start for Week 2.
C-Mike has had countless opportunities to stake his claim as a legitimate No. 1 back in the NFL. Unfortunately, last week’s mediocre showcase did nothing for his chances at cementing himself in the Seahawks backfield. Michael recorded 15 carries for 66 yards, while Thomas Rawls was on a snap count. With Police Chief Rawls set to shed his limitations this week, the Seahawks should hand the reigns back over to Rawls in the backfield. There’s no guarantee Michael receives more than 12 touches on Sunday, making him a risky bet to produce as a flex option for this week. Start Rawls, but sit Michael for Week 2.