Did one (or several) of your fantasy running backs go down with an injury during Week 2? Yeah, same here. You should check out one of our fantasy injury support groups, otherwise known as the waiver-wire. It might make you feel better. From Jamaal Charles to Ryan Mathews to Mark Ingram, Week 2 was a rough one. And owners who hoped for big outings from the feature backs in Sunday night's game between the Bears and the 49ers were somewhat let down save for a Frank Gore touchdown. Quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick each led their squads in rushing yards in the game. Definitely didn't see that coming. I digress. Let's check in on some of the committee backfields from Week 2.
Cincinnati leaned heavily on their run game after A.J. Green left the game early in the first quarter with a toe injury on Sunday against the Falcons. Giovani Bernard was impressive using his speed on the outside and hurdling defenders on several occasions. His Week 2 highlight reel is pretty ridiculous as evidenced above. Bernard rushed a career high 27 times and collected 90 yards and a touchdown. His previous career high was 15 rush attempts in Week 6 of last season. Bernard also led the Bengals with five receptions for a total of 79 yards on the day. He currently stands as Week 2's highest scoring fantasy running back with 22.90 points in standard scoring formats, enough to be one of our #KABOOM winners of Week 2. The second-year back now has 279 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown through the first two weeks.
While fantasy owners should be extremely pleased with Bernard's big day, rookie Jeremy Hill's performance should not be overlooked. The rookie carried the ball 15 times for 74 yards and a touchdown and was, as predicted, the thunder to Bernard's lightning. Both backs rank in the top 10 scorers at their position for Week 2, and Hill is only owned in 59.8 percent of NFL.com leagues. If Bernard had to miss playing time for any reason (let's hope he doesn't), Hill has proven that the Bengals and fantasy owners can rely on him. Cincinnati takes on Tennessee in Week 3 -- a defense that gave up 167 rushing yards and a touchdown to DeMarco Murray of the Cowboys on Sunday.
Gang Green totaled 146 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, one of them going to quarterback Geno Smith, in a tough loss on Sunday to Green Bay. Chris Ivory took his 13 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown while Chris Johnson only managed 21 yards on 12 carries for a dismal 1.3 yards per carry average on the day. CJ2K is looking more and more like a boom-or-bust play while Ivory seems to be emerging as the best runner on the Jets with 145 yards and two touchdowns through the first two weeks.
For the second week in a row, Mark Ingram finished as a top 10 fantasy running back in total points as he led the Saints' three-headed committee backfield against the Browns on Sunday. Ingram posted 11 rushes for 83 yards and a touchdown for an average of 7.5 yards per rush which is the second highest of his career. He added three receptions for 21 yards, putting him over 100 yards from scrimmage. Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson combined for 14 total touches, but their contributions were insignificant from a fantasy perspective.
Unfortunately, it was reported on Monday morning that Ingram will be out for about four weeks as he suffered a broken hand in Sunday's game. Through the first two weeks, Ingram has posted 143 rushing yards and three touchdowns, so it's a huge blow both to the Saints' backfield and for fantasy owners who seemingly got a value pick with his mid- to late-round ADP in drafts before the season. Expect Robinson and Thomas to handle the workload until Ingram can return. At least a hand injury shouldn't affect Ingram's agility and play-making ability once he returns.
The Chargers only totaled 101 rushing yards on the day (17 of which were Rivers'), as they split the workload pretty evenly between Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown. In contrast to Week 1 when Woodhead seemed virtually invisible, he managed 32 rushing yards on eight carries and caught four receptions for 28 yards. Brown finished the day with seven carries for 21 yards and three catches for 10 yards.
But the big story here is the injury that Mathews suffered late in the game. He was carted off the field with a knee injury that's believed to be an MCL sprain that will reportedly keep him out for four to five weeks. Mathews had 11 rushes for 31 yards and two catches for 26 yards when he left the game in the second half.
Until Mathews is able to return from his injury, both Brown and Woodhead should expect to see an increased amount of carries out of the Chargers' backfield. Brown should be the lead back on early downs with Woodhead seeing more work on passing downs.
Surprisingly, Jackson was targeted more on passing plays collecting two receptions for 27 yards while Spiller only had one catch for nine yards. Neither scored on offense, but Spiller returned a kickoff for 102 yards for a touchdown. Fantasy owners can expect the Bills' backfield to continue to be an even split going forward as both Spiller and Jackson remain starting fantasy options on a weekly basis.
We've been warning fantasy owners of the Patriots' backfield for months now. It remains one of the most unpredictable committees in the entire league. The team rushed for 150 yards in Week 2, but this time it was Stevan Ridley who led New England with 25 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown, snapping his streak of six straight games without a rushing score. Ridley's 25 attempts are the third highest total of his career.
Shane Vereen only received six carries that he took for a total of 40 yards, and caught one pass for zero yards on the day. After Week 1 saw Vereen collect 12 touches for 71 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown, the Patriots' Week 2 game solidified the fact that starting any New England running back is playing with fire. You can thank Bill Belichick's #Belitricks. Or, just don't thank him at all because, come on man.