Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 2: Running backs

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate weekly look at NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Fantasy superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Saquon Barkley will not be featured in this column. All player matchups are based on a PPR scoring system. For your final starting lineup decisions, check my weekly fantasy football lineup rankings.

Start 'Em

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Start of the Week - Austin Ekeler vs. Detroit Lions

Ekeler exceeded expectations a week ago, scoring three touchdowns and over 39 fantasy points in a win over the Colts. He was also on the field for 60 percent of the snaps, which was double that of Justin Jackson. Ekeler should post another nice stat line in Week 2, as the Lions gave up over 25 fantasy points to David Johnson in Week 1.

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Derrick Henry vs. Indianapolis Colts

I blew the call on Henry last week, as the Browns offered less defensive resistance than I thought. He also saw 59 percent of the Titans snaps and led the backfield in touches. This week's matchup dictates a start for Henry, as he'll face a Colts defense that Ekeler dominated for three scores and over 39 fantasy points one week ago.

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Chris Carson vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

This week's matchup against the Steelers doesn't look great on paper, but here's what does look good: Carson was on the field for 77 percent of the Seahawks offensive plays a week ago, and his six catches proved he'll be used as a true featured back this season. Volume is king in fantasy football, so I'd keep riding Carson.

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Mark Ingram vs. Arizona Cardinals

Ingram, listed as a start 'em last week, went off for two touchdowns and 22.7 points in a blowout win over the Dolphins. He has another great matchup on the slate this week, as Ingram faces a Cardinals defense that allowed the third-most fantasy points to home running backs in 2018. Consider Ingram a high No. 2 back until further notice.

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Sony Michel vs. Miami Dolphins

Michel put up a massive stink bomb in last week's win over the Steelers, but I'd forgive, forget and start him against the Dolphins. Their defense was horrendous in a blowout loss to the Ravens, allowing a ridiculous 265 rushing yards to Mark Ingram and the rest of the Baltimore runners. Look for Michel to bring back No. 2 back value.

Start 'Em: Damien Williams at Oakland Raiders, Josh Jacobs vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sleepers: Matt Breida at Cincinnati Bengals, Miles Sanders at Atlanta Falcons

Sit 'Em

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Sit of the Week - Phillip Lindsay vs. Chicago Bears

Lindsay's 10.6 fantasy points last week left much to be desired, and the fact that he had just four more snaps than Royce Freeman indicates the Broncos are going to split the backfield work (as projected). If that weren't enough to sit Lindsay, well, he's also up against the Bears and their more-than-formidable run defense.

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Kenyan Drake vs. New England Patriots

Drake was the running back sit of the week in the opener, and he didn't disappoint (4.7 points). I'd keep him on the sidelines once again, this time against the Patriots. Their defense held James Conner in check a week ago, and the Dolphins will no doubt have to abandon the run in what could be a blowout against Tom Brady and crew.

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Aaron Jones vs. Minnesota Vikings

I'm not telling you that Jones is a must-start (heck, I probably have to start him), but I am concerned. He saw 38 snaps and lost some work to Jamaal Williams last week, and an upcoming matchup against the Vikings isn't favorable. In fact, their defense held Devonta Freeman to 19 yards on eight carries a week ago. Start Jones with caution.

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Devonta Freeman vs. Philadelphia Eagles

If you drafted Freeman to be your No. 2 back, well, you're not feeling all that good about what happened in Week 1. The veteran finished with a mere 11 touches, and his 39 snaps were the same as backfield mate Ito Smith. Freeman also has a tough matchup versus and Eagles defense up next, so he's no more than a risky flex starter.

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David Montgomery vs. Denver Broncos

The decision to sit Montgomery isn't about his talent or even the matchup ... it's about his usage in Week 1. The Bears went three-headed backfield monster, and Montgomery was the low man on the totem pole in snaps (28) and touches (7). Maybe that will change, but until it does we can't start Montgomery with confidence.

Sit 'Em: James White at Miami Dolphins, Adrian Peterson vs. Dallas Cowboys
Busts: Kerryon Johnson vs. Los Angeles Chargers, LeSean McCoy at Oakland Raiders


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!