Start: Kyren Williams — Los Angeles Rams (at CIN)
It appears as if former Notre Dame rusher Kyren Williams has taken over reins in LA’s backfield. Williams has found the end zone twice in each game for the Rams thus far, and was the unquestioned No. 1 option in the loss to the 49ers. And, it’s not just Williams getting lucky near the red zone that has us excited about his future potential. He’s getting fed like a top back, managing 14 carries and 10 targets in Week 2 leading to a 28.00 fantasy score.
Sit: Cam Akers — Los Angeles Rams (at CIN)
Well, looks like Cam Akers time in Los Angeles is finally coming to an end. After a strange season last year, Akers managed to stick with the team heading into the ’23 season. And, he operated as the lead back in the team’s first game. That didn’t go so well, as Akers managed just 29 total yards on 22 carries. it seems like the Rams were attempting to showcase Akers for a trade, as he was a healthy scratch for Week 2. We’re unsure if the Rams will be able to recoup anything in a potential deal, but it doesn’t appear Akers will be toting the rock for Los Angeles again.
Start: Tyler Allgeier — Atlanta Falcons (at DET)
It turns out the Falcons have the capability to sustain two relevant fantasy running backs. Those who selected Bijan Robinson early in their drafts were pleased to see the former Texas superstar shine in his first taste of NFL action. However, let’s not overlook what Robinson’s backfield mate was able to accomplish. Tyler Allgeier has continued his momentum from a strong rookie campaign into Year 2. Allgeier’s numbers in Week 2 won’t pop off the screen (4.8 FP), but the usage remained high (16 carries). The Falcons are the only team built to sustain two fantasy viable backs, and Allgeier will continue to get work alongside the rookie as the year wears on.
Sit: Dameon Pierce — Houston Texans (at JAX)
Last year, Dameon Pierce was the lone bright spot on a putrid Houston offense. It seemed likely that Pierce would continue to be the focal point of this team as rookie QB C.J. Stroud worked to get acclimated to the NFL. Instead, the Texans have been fairly successful throwing the ball, while Pierce has struggled to generate much on the ground. He did see an increase in carries in Week 2 (from 11 to 15), but he failed to rush for 40 yards for the second straight week. Houston’s offensive line is battered with injuries, leaving Pierce with minimal running space. The Jags have been great at defending the run thus far, making this a tough matchup for Pierce to exploit.
Start: Brian Robinson — Washington Commanders (vs BUF)
The writing was on the wall dating back to last year — this is Brian Robinson’s backfield. Despite fantasy owners salivating at Antonio Gibson’s pass-catching ability, it’s clear that the Commanders prefer Robinson’s rugged running style. And, through two games, they’ve been proven right given Robinson’s production. He scored twice in the win over Denver, and also cashed in a two-point conversion on his way to 28.90 FP (PPR). Robinson led all RB’s in scoring in Week 2, he’s a must-start in all formats.
Sit: Alexander Mattison — Minnesota Vikings (vs LAC)
Fantasy drafters looking for RB1’s in the middle rounds likely settled on somebody like Alexander Mattison to fill that role. Mattison performed well in the past when Dalvin Cook was forced to sit out games due to injury. Though, he was a bit underwhelming when given the rock in his first year as the nominal starter. Week 2 was rough sledding for Mattison as the Vikings were forced into a pass-heavy attack. That will likely happen often with this team, as Minnesota’s defense isn’t nearly potent enough to keep opponents off the scoreboard. As a result, Kirk Cousins and company will be forced to pass in order to crawl back into the game. Mattison had just eight carries in the loss, and caught three passes for 11 yards. It’s going to be a shootout against the Chargers, once again leaving Mattison with little work on the ground.
Start: Raheem Mostert — Miami Dolphins (vs DEN)
The Dolphins got back to the ground game in Week 2, and it looks like Raheem Mostert will be the team’s bellcow. Despite appearances from Salvon Ahmed and rookie Devon Achane, Mostert led the backfield with 18 carries for 121 yards and two scores (25.70 PPR). The threat of Miami’s passing game will lead to defenses lightening the box, and the 31-year-old Mostert still seems to have plenty of juice to shred defenses. The Broncos are in a spiral, and Miami should have no trouble moving the ball against a team that just gave up 35 points to the Commanders.
Sit: Josh Jacobs — Las Vegas Raiders (vs PIT)
Last year’s rushing leader is coming off one of the least productive games you’ll ever see. Jacobs rushed for negative yardage (-2) on nine carries in the loss to Buffalo. While his fantasy day was somewhat saved from a solid receiving effort (five receptions for 51 yards), it’s clear that something is wrong with the All-Pro back. And, the Raiders offense as a whole has not looked good through two weeks (13.5 PPG). Call it a hunch, but it seems like Jacobs is either not in shape or nursing an injury. We’d sit him in leagues that you can afford to until he breaks out again.
Start: D’Andre Swift — Philadelphia Eagles (at TB)
All it took was an injury to nominal starter Kenneth Gainwell to enable a huge game for the first-year Eagle. Anybody who has watched Swift throughout his career knows that he’s always been exceptionally talented. Though, the Lions were always a bit cautious in unleashing him as an every-down runner. In his second game with the Eagles, Swift was leaned upon and answered the call. Swift ended the Thursday night win with 27.10 FP. We can’t expect him to take 28 carries every week, but this Eagles offense is humming and they haven’t even tapped into the former Georgia runner’s pass-catching ability yet.
Sit: James Conner — Arizona Cardinals (vs DAL)
This list is notorious for listing James Conner as a ‘sit’, and the Cardinals rusher continues to put up solid RB2 numbers. However, Week 3 will almost certainly be a tough outing for the former Steeler. The 0-2 Cardinals take on the Dallas Cowboys — the league’s stingiest defense. With Dallas’ ability across the field, they should be able to take away Arizona’s rushing attack entirely. Though Conner has been solid through two weeks, he’s a clear ‘sit’ in this one.
Start: Jamaal Williams — New Orleans Saints (at GB)
Week 3 will mark the final game of Alvin Kamara’s suspension, leaving Jamaal Williams as the team’s lead back for one last game. Williams is a touchdown-dependent option in most situations, but he should get the ball plenty with no other viable option on the roster. With a matchup against the Packers, it’s more likely the Saints will have success on the ground rather than through the air. And, the Saints will have no problem handing the ball off to Williams knowing that Kamara will be back the next week to take over the backfield.
Sit: D’Onta Foreman — Chicago Bears (at KC)
It was unclear how the Bears backfield would shake up heading into the season. Foreman was one of three backs who looked to receive touches, and it seems like a committee approach could be in play here. However, Foreman could potentially be last in the pecking order. He finished last in touches (7) among Chicago RB’s behind Khalil Herbert (12) and rookie Roschon Johnson (11). Add in the fact that Justin Fields is probably who will be called upon near the goal line, and Foreman is essentially battling three other ball carriers for usage. Week 2 saw Foreman as a healthy scratch, as the Bears rushing attack sputtered mightily. It’s clear that the team has no vision for Foreman as a major contributor in the backfield.
Start: James Cook — Buffalo Bills (at WAS)
Week 2 was James Cook’s breakout performance. In Year 2 with the Bills, Cook finally looked like the player worth of a second-round selection. Cook dominated the Raiders, gaining a career-high 159 scrimmage yards on 21 touches. And, Cook didn’t even find the end zone despite the Bills scoring five touchdowns. He’ll get his chance to score at some point in this high-powered offense. Perhaps in Week 3 versus a Commanders team that hasn’t exactly looked as good as advertised on the defensive side of the ball.
Sit: AJ Dillon — Green Bay Packers (vs NO)
With Aaron Jones on the mend, AJ Dillon was expected to have a big game versus the Falcons. That became even more likely when Green Bay raced to an early lead, forcing them to a run-heavy approach. However, Dillon failed to produce despite operating as the lead back. Dillon rushed 15 times for 55 yards and caught his lone target for eight yards on his way to a modest 7.30 FP (PPR). With Jones likely returning for Week 3, Dillon will revert back to his reserve role against a stingy defense in New Orleans.
Start: Kenneth Walker III — Seattle Seahawks (vs CAR)
Kenneth Walker and the Seattle offense got back on track in the Week 2 win. Walker finished the day with 18.40 FP (PPR) and scored his first two touchdowns of the season. While the yardage wasn’t great (43), it’s about par for the course when it comes to Walker. He’s not the type of back who will break off 6-to-7 yard runs on every carry. Walker is a home run hitter who can tilt the field and break off a 60-yard gain at any point in the game. He’s clearly favored over rookie backup Zach Charbonnet (34 touches to 7), and it’s only a matter of time until he breaks off a few big ones.
Sit: Isaiah Pacheco — Kansas City Chiefs (vs CHI)
Pacheco’s Week 2 performance was a bit of a mixed bag. He was solid on the ground (12 carries for 70 yards), but failed to reach the end zone and caught just one pass for zero yards. The Kansas City runner is more useful in leagues that don’t hand out points for every reception. Week 1’s four-catch game seems like more of an anomaly, as Pacheco has just 18 receptions (20 targets) in 19 career games. While the Bears are a favorable matchup, we’d steer clear of Pacheco — especially considering how uneven the Chiefs offense has looked as a whole.
Start: Tony Pollard — Dallas Cowboys (at ARI)
Dallas’ new starter is living up to the preseason hype. After sitting behind Ezekiel Elliott to begin his career, Pollard is showing that he’s capable of being an everydown back. Through two games, Pollard ranks fourth in fantasy points among RB’s (PPR) with 42.10. While he hasn’t been quite as efficient as we’ve seen in the past, he ranks third in carries and second in targets among RB’s — a great sign that he’ll finish among the top backs each and every week. Fire him up in a juicy matchup against an awful Cardinals team.
Sit: Khalil Herbert — Chicago Bears (at KC)
This Bears attack is decrepit. Even the running game looks out of sorts. After leading the league in rushing last year, the Bears were stymied in a tough loss to the Buccaneers. Even Justin Fields failed to generate any traction on the ground, as the team finished with just 67 rushing yards on 16 carries. Khalil Hebert led the way with seven carries for 35 yards, and added a reception for 23 more yards. For now, every Bear can be safely avoided in all formats. This team lacks direction, and have seemingly lost their identity as a run-first club.
Start: Austin Ekeler — Los Angeles Chargers (at MIN)
Austin Ekeler missed Week 2 with an ankle injury, but it doesn’t seem like the veteran back will be out for long. There are reports that Ekeler — who was a top pick in fantasy drafts across all formats — will be ready to go when the Chargers take on the Vikings in Week 3. Though it’s still early in the season, this is essentially a must-win for an LA squad that can’t afford to drop to 0-3. If Ekeler suits up, there’s no doubt they will feed the explosive back plenty of touches on the ground and through the air.
Sit: Breece Hall — New York Jets (vs NE)
Breece Hall is among the most talented backs in all of football, but like every other New York Jet he is capped by the team’s poor passing attack. While he did well in his season debut, Week 2 was a different story as Hall rushed for just nine yards on four carries. Going up against the Patriots, we could see a similar situation unfold. Bill Belichick is among the smartest defensive minds in NFL history. And, he knows that the only way the Patriots lose this matchup is if the Jets dominate on the ground. Belichick will stack the box against Hall, and force Zach Wilson to drive the ball downfield.
Week 3 Sit/Start: WR’s
SIT: DeAndre Hopkins — Tennessee Titans (at CLE)
START: Amon-Ra St. Brown — Detroit Lions (vs. ATL)
Keep feeding the well. Brown has been one of the more prolific fantasy receivers from a production standpoint over the last three years. He’s off to another good start in 2023. Versus a tough Seattle secondary over the weekend, he led the team in most major statistical categories — including catches (6) and receiving yards (102). Atlanta is weak on the backend, and this game is being played in Detroit.
SIT: Kyle Pitts — Atlanta Falcons (at DET)
Atlanta has firmly established itself as a running football team centered around Bijan Robinson. In the win over Green Bay, the Falcons rushed the ball a whopping 45 times for 211 yards. Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, and Desmond Ridder all notched at least 10 carries each. Drake London led the team with six catches, and Kyle Pitts — on a paltry five targets — managed to accrue two catches for a meager 15 yards.
SIT: Luke Musgrave — Green Bay Packers (vs. NO)
The highly-touted rookie out of Oregon State hasn’t exactly gotten off to the greatest start so far. It’s to be expected being a first-year player. He’s caught five balls over a two-game span for 75 yards (no TDs). Until he starts to really emerge, we’ll probably pass on Musgrave being a TE1 option. With that said, we’d look into Jayden Reed. He’s coming off a two-touchdown performance in the loss to the Falcons.
START: Jayden Reed — Green Bay Packers (vs. NO)
There’s some definite value here. The 23-year-old out of Michigan State is most likely available in your fantasy leagues. He caught two TDs in the loss over the weekend to Atlanta. Over the first two games of the season, Reed has six grabs for 85 yards (13 total targets). Not only is Jordan Love making him a priority within the offense, but the touchdown performance may lead to some enhanced chemistry between the two. Grab Reed before it’s too late.
START: Jerry Jeudy — Denver Broncos (at MIA)
This might be a bit of a stretch, but we’re going for a leap of faith here. The Dolphins will score points on this Denver defense. Russell Wilson likely will be forced to throw the ball downfield in order to keep up with the potent Miami unit. Courtland Sutton will get the ‘move the chains’ looks, and Marvin Mims Jr. might get some shots downfield. Jeudy is the best of both worlds and is the most talented receiver on the team.
SIT: Durham Smythe — Miami Chargers (vs. DEN)
The Dolphins have two elite receivers, a host of sure-handed role players, and some speedy running backs. This is where 99-percent of the offense sits. For whatever reason, the tight end is seemingly an afterthought. Durham Smythe is not going to get a ton of targets with the plethora of skill guys Miami has at its disposal. Even without Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, the likes of River Cracraft, Braxton Berrios, Salvon Ahmed, and Raheem Mostert are all factoring into the passing attack.
SIT: JuJu Smith-Schuster — New England Patriots (at NYJ)
Rivalry games are always tricky — especially in the AFC East. The Patriots lost two close games to start the season in which they didn’t really play all that poorly. Mac Jones is throwing the ball over the yard, mostly targeting the likes of Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker, and the tight end duo of Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki. Smith-Schuster did have five catches in the loss to the Dolphins. However, he managed only 28 receiving yards in the process. We don’t think he’s enough of a big-play threat to be worth starting.
START: Mike Williams — Los Angeles Chargers (at MIN)
Playing on the road in a different time zone, you can expect Justin Herbert to rely on his favorite targets. This includes Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Williams in particular was quite busy over the weekend. Despite losing to Tennessee, he was targeted a team-high 13 times. In the process, Williams caught 8 of those for 83 yards. Allen will draw much of the attention, and Williams as a result should get some favorable single-coverage matchups downfield.
START: T.J. Hockenson — Minnesota Vikings (vs. LAC)
Hockenson is starting to heat up. After his massive contract extension, those in the Twin Cities expected him to be vying for Pro Bowl honors by the end of the year. Through two games, the Iowa product has been quite good. He’s caught a combined 15 balls for 101 yards and 2 TDs (both coming this past weekend). Clearly, Kirk Cousins has a strong rapport with Hockenson. Getting the Chargers at home is a major opportunity for the duo to go off. LA’s defense thus far has been pretty shaky.
START: Puka Nacua — Los Angeles Rams (at CIN)
The rookie out of BYU has been a true revelation thus far for the Rams. He’s caught at least 10 catches in back-to-back games (25 in total). Nacua was targeted a whopping 20 (!) times in the loss to San Francisco this past weekend. He managed to make 15 grabs for 147 yards versus arguably the best defense in football. Based on his usage rate and talent level, Nacua should be owned in all fantasy leagues at this point.
SIT: Rondale Moore — Arizona Cardinals (vs. DAL)
This is not a good matchup for the Cardinals or Moore. Dallas is one of the best defenses in all of football — allowing only 10 points total in its first two games of the season. In last week’s loss to the Giants, Moore had only one catch (on one target) for 14 yards. It appears as if he’s somewhat down the pecking order compared to Marquise Brown, Zach Ertz, Michael Wilson, and others. We’d pass on Moore despite his electric skill set in space.
SIT: Michael Gallup — Dallas Cowboys (at ARI)
Even with Brandin Cooks sidelined, Gallup did not have a good day in the win over the Jets. He caught only one pass (on two targets) for three yards. Dallas force-fed CeeDee Lamb (13 targets) — and then utilized a plethora of running backs in the passing game. When throwing in tight end Jake Ferguson, there simply weren’t many opportunities for Gallup to shine downfield. If this new offensive scheme prioritizes the short passing game with its running backs leaking out of the backfield, Gallup could be trending towards a rough statistical year.
START: Garrett Wilson — New York Jets (vs. NE)
We don’t love this matchup for the Jets and their offense. Bill Belichick is a defensive genius and has held the Dolphins and Eagles in back-to-back weeks relatively in check. With that said, Zach Wilson seems overly comfortable with throwing the ball to his top target, Garrett Wilson. Wilson is bar none the most talented skill player on this roster. With the run game really a question mark at this point (Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook combined for eight carries last week), you’d assume we’d see plenty of the Wilson-to-Wilson connection in the passing game.
START: Terry McLaurin — Washington Commanders (vs. BUF)
The Commanders are an interesting team. On paper, they have a pretty legitimate defense. First-round pick Emmanuel Forbes is a talent at corner, and the front seven is strong. With that said, it’s been the offense shocking people so far this year. Sitting at 2-0, the Commanders are coming off a 35-point effort against the Broncos. McLaurin had a TD catch in the game, and led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and targets. Sam Howell might just be the missing link this team has needed all along. They get Buffalo at home, the Bills look far from a Super Bowl contender at this point.
SIT: D.J. Moore — Chicago Bears (at KC)
We know Moore is coming off a game in which he caught six passes for 104 yards (on seven targets). With that said, we don’t trust Justin Fields at this point — especially on the road in front of arguably the toughest road crowd in the league. The Chiefs will surely press Moore at the line of scrimmage — daring Fields to beat them over the top. With Fields’ issues with accuracy, we aren’t sure he can exploit these matchups with regularity or consistency.
START: Mike Evans — Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. PHI)
In a contract year, Mike Evans sure does seem to be motivated to make some big-time money. He exploded over the weekend versus the Bears — catching six passes for 171 yards and a TD. This equates to a whopping 28.5 yards-per-catch average. The Eagles do possess a good defense. However, Evans is a matchup issue for any corner based on his combination of size and speed. Plus, the 2-0 Bucs (led by Baker Mayfield) are playing with a ton of confidence right now.
SIT: Hunter Renfrow – Las Vegas Raiders (vs. PIT)
In the 28-point loss to Buffalo, Renfrow only had one catch — on one target — for 23 yards. Jimmy Garoppolo was much more invested in trying to get the ball to Davante Adams. Even Josh Jacobs had five catches on the evening. With Pittsburgh coming to town, we aren’t necessarily sure that Renfrow will break out for a massive game here. If anything, we can see Las Vegas trying to establish the ground game and working off of it from there.
START: Gabe Davis — Buffalo Bills (at WAS)
Davis went off this past weekend versus the Raiders. He caught six passes for a team-high 92 yards. This included seven targets and a TD catch in the process. With teams paying so much attention to Stefon Diggs and an emerging Dalton Kincaid, Davis should be able to utilize his deep-field speed quite often. He could be one of the more underrated fantasy matchups collectively this week on the road in Washington.
START: Zay Flowers — Baltimore Ravens (vs. IND)
We like this matchup a lot. Odell Beckham Jr. left last week’s game with an ankle injury, and his status for next week is up in the air. The Ravens are back at home versus one of the league’s worst teams in Indianapolis. Flowers is a big play waiting to happen, evidenced by this past weekend when he made a 52-yard catch. With presumably a bigger role, he should be cooking on Sunday.