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

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Sleeper alert features an under-the-radar player who could produce good numbers. Owners beware features a regular fantasy starter who could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters like Peyton Manning and LeSean McCoy will not be featured. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Start of the week

Giovani Bernard vs. Atlanta Falcons: Bernard didn't put up huge stats in Week 1, but he still scored a respectable 11 fantasy points in a win over the Baltimore Ravens. This week he'll face the Falcons, who surrendered more fantasy points to running backs than any other team in the National Football League last week. In fact, all three Saints runners scored over eight points in the contest. That bodes well for Bernard.

Start 'em

Alfred Morris vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Morris ranked just 27th in fantasy points among running backs in Week 1, but you have to like his upcoming matchup against the Jaguars. Their defense looked vulnerable to running backs, allowing 26 fantasy points in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He's also scored three rushing touchdowns in his last four home games against the AFC, so Morris is in a good position to find success.

Knowshon Moreno at Buffalo Bills: Moreno looked great in his debut with the Dolphins, rushing for 134 yards with one touchdown while scoring 19.40 fantasy points in a win over the Patriots. Next on the schedule is a road game against the Bills, who surrendered 17.30 fantasy points to Matt Forte and the Chicago Bears runners last week. Moreno might split the work with Lamar Miller, but he's still a solid flex option.

Frank Gore vs. Chicago Bears:  Gore wasn't able to make a major fantasy impact against the Dallas Cowboys last week, but he had just 16 carries in the contest. This week he has a great matchup against the Bears, who surrendered 174 yards on the ground and 25.80 fantasy points to the Buffalo Bills last week. Gore might not be more than a flex starter, but he does warrant starting consideration in most fantasy leagues.

Sleeper alert - Terrance West vs. New Orleans Saints:Ben Tate was unable to finish last week's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers due to a sprained knee, and he'll now miss two to four weeks recovering. Enter West, who came in and rushed for 100 yards on 16 carries (6.2 YPC) in Tate's absence, and could be quite the sleeper back if he's moved into a starting role this week. Consider West a viable flex option against the Saints in Week 2.

Sit of the week

Reggie Bush at Carolina Panthers: Bush is still a nice option in PPR leagues as a flex starter, but fantasy owners in standard formats might want to bench him in Week 2. That's due to a trend of statistical struggles he's had against the Panthers. In seven career games against them, Bush has averaged a 61.8 scrimmage yards with one touchdown. Carolina is also tough on running backs, which makes Bush a massive risk.

Sit 'em

Zac Stacy at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Stacy was a disappointment last week, posting just 43 rushing yards on 11 carries. With Austin Davis now at the helm of the Rams offense, the Bucs will be able to stack the link of scrimmage to stop the run. So unless Stacy is able to score on a goal-line look, he's not going to project to post good totals in yardage alone. If you do start him, it shouldn't be as more than a third runner or flex starter this week.

Steven Jackson at Cincinnati Bengals: Jackson returned from a hamstring ailment in Week 1, posting 52 rushing yards on 12 carries in a win over the New Orleans Saints. He lost backfield touches to Jacquizz Rodgers, Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith, though, and this week's matchup in Cincinnati is anything but favorable. Their defense surrendered just 13.80 fantasy points to Ravens running backs during their season opener.

Trent Richardson vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Mon.): Richardson hasn't been the same running back who finished in the top 10 in fantasy points at his position as a rookie, and things don't look to be changing for the better. Last week, he rushed for a mere 20 yards (3.3 YPC) and lost backfield touches to Ahmad Bradshaw. When you also consider Indianapolis' offensive line issues it's tough to start Richardson with confidence right now.

Owners beware - Ryan Mathews vs. Seattle Seahawks: Seattle's defense is better at home than on the road, but it's still formidable regardless of location. In fact, the Seahawks have allowed just two 100-yard rushers and two rushing touchdowns in their last six road contests. That's not a good stat for Mathews, who played well in San Diego's opener but could post mediocre numbers against this unit. Mathews is no more than a flex option.

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. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.