Running Back Start or Sit- Unleash Rashad Jennings against the Saints?
Week one of the season was a sign of great things to come. So many exciting and close scoring games which is really what separates this sport from so many others. And of course, close games also mean good running back usage! As you know I will be here every week to help make decisions by offering you five starts and five sits at the running back position. You will obviously be starting your studs every week so I am not going to tell you to have guys like David Johnson in your lineup week after week. Instead I will be focusing much more on the RB2 and Flex positions where you may have no idea who will produce. Additionally, I will provide projected stat lines but please take those with a grain of salt. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, share this page and comment down below! Now lets look at start and sits for week two, my man Rashad Jennings is certainly one of them. To see more advice check out the Fantasy Football Start Sit hub.
In week one my starts had combined for 98.1 standard fantasy points (19.6 average) and the sits managed 39.1 (7.8 average)
Must Start: Rashad Jennings, New York Giants vs. NO
So Jennings was a sit last week but he turned 18 carries into a respectable 75 yards. This week he faces a defense that I am confident saying is the worst in football. The Giants are five point home favorites and this game likely won’t recreate last years match up where the teams combined for over 100 points. The Giants spent a lot of money on defense this off-season and Brees plays down quite a bit when outside of New Orleans. For these reasons the Giants will likely be running in the latter part of the game to burn clock and thus Jennings will get fed even more than last week. I guarantee he scores at least one this game and he realistically could triple his production in week one.
Projection: 20 carries, 94 yards, 2 TD; 2 catches, 8 yards
Start: Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears vs. PHI
The main reason I like Langford this week is because of his week one performance. While 17-57-1 is good it is still just 3.35 yards per carry, so it may seem like nothing of beauty. The thing that should have fantasy owners licking their chops is the 17 carries which solidifies Langford as a three down back, which against a defense like the Eagles would produce a much better line. I don’t know if too many people are really considering sitting Langford but if so you should really strive to make room on the starting roster. He is a great play on daily sites too and should easily exceed his value.
Projection: 16 carries, 90 yards, 1 TD; 4 catches, 11 yards
Start: Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks @ LA
The Rams were a team I liked prior to week one but after that putrid display on Monday night I wish I could change my 8-8 season prediction. The 49ers rushed for three scores against the Rams and the Seahawks can replicate that if Rawls is finally going to get the number of snaps he deserves. With Wilson banged up and Seattle listed as a seven point favorite this will be a game where they will rush a lot more often than in week one. The Rams run defense did only allow 3.24 yards per carry but the two score upside makes Rawls a good sleeper pick in week two.
Projection: 15 carries, 64 yards, 1 TD; 4 catches, 23 yards
Start: Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons @ Oakland Raiders
So yeah I was huge on Coleman going into last year but he let his starting job slip to Freeman. Flash forward to this year where even after an awesome campaign by Freeman last season it seems like the two backs are going to be in a committee. In week one the Saints targeted RBs 11 times against the Raiders. As the Falcons get set for their game things look good for Coleman as he is a far better receiving option than Freeman, catching five passes for 95 yards in week one. The starting job will still be up for grabs, but this week Coleman will continue to make his case heard. We still are unaware who will get touches on the goal line but regardless of if he scores Coleman will be a safe play with high upside thanks to his receiving capabilities.
Projection: 9 carries, 40 yards; 6 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD
Start: Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers vs SF
J-Stew looked okay on Thursday. 4.26 yards per carry isn’t too shabby against an elite defense like Denver and he may face a tough task again this week with San Francisco who was able to shut down Todd Gurley. The 15-64 line is disappointing but even if he repeats it a trip to the end zone will turn his day around. This game will be a lot closer than people think and I am a bit confused at the 50 percent of people going with Carolina in survival leagues. This means they will keep a good ratio of passing to rushing plays, at least until late in the game. Lock in Stewart as a high-end RB2.
Projection: 14 carries, 68 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 7 yards
Sit of the Week: Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers vs. JAX
The rookie Melvin Gordon scores his first two TDs in week one! Oh my mistake, he was a rookie last season and it took him 15 games in the league to find pay dirt. I think it is good that the Chargers are utilizing him but a two score week is most definitely a fluke. With Keenan Allen out with a ACL injurt he is surely going to see more carries and just look at how he performed against the Kansas City defense. So what’s not to love? Splitting carries with Danny Woodhead who is almost always on the field for passing downs along with just 57 rushing yards week one make Gordon a sketchy start against the Jags. By all means he will be a decent use in season long, but not this week. Let him sit.
Projection: 13 carries, 43 yards, 0 TDS; 0 catches
Sit: Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ ARI
Sims is a decent back in PPR but a 10 point standard game may make it tempting for some to start him week two. He is going to take some of the work off of Martin this season and could find himself on the field during pivotal situations. The big issue with Sims is that he misses out on a lot of the Bucs rushing opportunities. Even though Martin was inefficent on qutie a few runs he won’t be ceding many more touches to Sims. I like running backs that run and I doubt Sims will be able to do much of that facing the Cardinals who have a top ten defense against RBs. Avoid in standard and be very careful of playing in PPR.
Projection: 6 carries, 19 yards, 0 TDS; 4 catches, 20 yards
Sit: Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions vs. TEN
This is a tough one. The Lions had a great running back tandem against the Colts and now draw the Titans at home. Normally that’d be a good thing but Tennessee was able to completely shut down Adrian Peterson. Riddick split carries 12-17 with Ameer Abdullah but missed a chunk of the game due to fear of concussion. Still he was able to put together a two score game. This week I don’t think he will score once and see a few more touches lost to Abdullah and Dwayne Washington. If history tells us anything it is that Riddick is inconsistent. I wouldn’t sell him but I certainly wouldn’t start him either.
Projection: 6 carries, 31 yards, 0 TDS; 4 catches, 34 yards
Sit: Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens @ CLE
Don’t believe what your fantasy site might say, Forsett is not a flex option at the “lowly Browns”. Buffalo did a good job at shutting down the Ravens run game and did not allow the Ravens to get in any goal line carries. While the Browns really do suck they allowed 4.13 yards per carry which is decent in the NFL. The downside of Forsett is certainley still there as Terrance West will still split carries and nothing good should be expected from the offense that could only put up seven points in their home opener. If he is lucky he will repeat his 10-41 from week one.
Projection: 12 carries, 39 yards, 0 TDS; 2 catches, 10 yards
Sit: Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts @ DEN
It was nice of me not to pick on the old guy last week but against Denver there is no way I want him playing in any of my fantasy leagues. 14 carries is about what I expected from Gore, and his 59 yards seemed appropriate too. The big surprise for me was his six targets as the other Indianapolis running backs were barely seen. Against Denver he is going to have trouble. If J-Stew can only churn out 64 I don’t see Gore being fantasy relevant. If he is your only option for flex then go ahead and plug him in but don’t be surprised so see some underwhelming numbers.
Projection: 12 carries, 46 yards, 0 TDS; 1 catch, 3 yards