Running backs are often not given enough attention in fantasy football, but they can have a big impact on your weekly performance. As we gear up for Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season, it's time to discuss which running backs you should include in your fantasy football lineup and which ones you might want to keep on the bench. Running backs can earn valuable points for your fantasy team, so let's break it down in a simple way.

Running Backs to Start in Week 2:

Rhamondre Stevenson, NE (vs MIA)

New England's running game had a tough time in Week 1. They gained only 76 yards on 22 carries. Rhamondre Stevenson had just 12 of those carries, which was only five more than Ezekiel Elliott had in his debut with the Patriots.

However, we still recommend starting Stevenson in Week 2. Keep in mind that he was the most involved running back in the offense. While he didn't have a great day running the ball (12 carries for 25 yards), he excelled as a pass-catcher (six receptions on six targets for 64 yards). He had a total of 89 yards on the day, which is not bad at all.

Second, if Week 1 is any indication, the Miami Dolphins defense may be a favorable matchup for fantasy running backs. They struggled to stop the Los Angeles Chargers' running game. In fact, they allowed 234 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 40 carries.

Travis Etienne, JAC (vs KC)

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The Jacksonville Jaguars' offense looked promising in their Week 1 win over the Indianapolis Colts. One notable aspect was how the carries were split between Travis Etienne and Tank Bigsby.

Week 1 heavily favored Etienne. He had 23 total touches compared to Bigsby's seven. Etienne also outgained Bigsby, totaling 104 yards to Bigsby's 13.

Both running backs scored rushing touchdowns, but it seems like Etienne is the primary back heading into Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Remember also that the Chiefs allowed 118 rushing yards to the Detroit Lions in Week 1.

David Montgomery, DET (vs SEA)

Speaking of the Lions, David Montgomery had 21 total touches in their upset win over the Chiefs to kick off the 2023 season. In contrast, Jahmyr Gibbs had only nine touches.

Yes, Gibbs showed promise. However, as long as Montgomery continues to receive this level of involvement, he's a must-start fantasy option. He also scored the only rushing touchdown in the game.

Start ‘Em: Isiah Pacheco, KC (@ JAC) and Rachaad White, TB (vs CHI)

Running Backs to Sit in Week 2:

James Conner, ARI (vs NYG)

We like James Conner as an individual player. Having said that, it's challenging to trust any Arizona Cardinals skill-position player when Joshua Dobbs is starting at quarterback.

Conner actually had a decent showing in his 2023 debut. He had 70 total yards on 19 touches against the Commanders in Week 1. However, the offense didn't score either on the ground or through the air last week. They now face a New York Giants defense that was recently humiliated on national television. The Giants are out to make a statement in Week 2. As such, it might be wiser to explore other running back options this week.

Raheem Mostert, MIA (@ NE)

Raheem Mostert didn't make a significant impact with his 12 total touches in a high-scoring game against the Chargers to start the season. In Week 2, the Miami offense, which leans towards passing, will face a New England Patriots defense that held the Philadelphia Eagles' rushing attack to just 97 yards. While investing in the Dolphins' passing game makes sense, the upside for their running backs seems limited. This is especially true as the backfield gets healthier in the coming weeks.

Khalil Herbert, CHI (@ TB)

Khalil Herbert may have disappointed a bit in the season opener. However, he did receive more touches than any other Bears running back in Week 1.

The Bears' offense is expected to perform better in Week 2 against the Buccaneers. It's reasonable to give Herbert another chance and start him in your lineup. However, it's also important to note that Herbert's rushing ability isn't top-notch. Take note that he gained only 27 yards on nine carries in Week 1. Meanwhile, Roschon Johnson had five carries for 20 yards, and D'Onta Foreman had five carries as well. This tells us that Herbert's production might get lost in the shuffle of the running back rotation.

Sit 'em: D'Andre Swift, PHI (vs MIN) and Najee Harris, PIT (vs CLE)

In summary, don't underestimate the significance of running backs in fantasy football. For Week 2 of the 2023 season, it's advisable to start Rhamondre Stevenson, Travis Etienne, and David Montgomery. Conversely, it's probably wise to bench James Conner, Raheem Mostert, and Khalil Herbert. Make your running back choices carefully as you kick off the 2023 season!