With Week 1 of the 2020-21 NFL regular season now officially in the books, all eyes are already on Week 2. With this week’s Thursday Night Football matchup only one day away as Sunday looms larger and larger as the week goes on, fantasy football owners throughout the country are already attempting to get their respective lineups in order.
Unfortunately, Week 1 saw more than a few players go down due to injury, with a slew of running backs notably encountering significant setbacks. As a result, things will begin to get dicey in a hurry for fantasy football owners that were already pretty thin at the running back position. Even with bye weeks not yet taking effect, going with the right running backs will be huge in Week 2.
Luckily, there are still quite a few rock-solid options out there for the upcoming slate of NFL action.
Here are the fantasy football start ’em sit ’em running backs for Week 2.
RBs to Start in Week 2
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
Despite the fact that it appeared as though the Denver Broncos slowed down Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry in Week 1, last year’s rushing leader still racked up over 100 yards and currently ranks second in the entire NFL in such a category.
However, because Henry didn’t manage to break off any massive or dominant rushing attempts in Denver, the veteran rusher will no doubt take that out on the rival Jacksonville Jaguars. Henry always produces against the Jaguars while he is sure to put on yet another show in Week 2. Henry is a must-start every week in fantasy football but especially against the Jaguars.
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
In Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley was able to impress in the passing game, but not so much on the ground. In fact, Barkley tallied less than 10 yards via the ground attack against the Steelers while Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger even out rushed him. Obviously such an outing was an anomaly as Barkley will certainly be looking to turn on the jets against the Chicago Bears in Week 2.
With the Bears fresh off a comeback win over the Detroit Lions, Chicago will be riding high — and wrongfully so considering that the team did not look good in Week 1 — as Barkley looks to bounce back in a major way. The Giants standout is simply just too good of a player to be held down for more than a week here and there.
Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons
The Dallas Cowboys are absolutely decimated on defense as two of the team’s three starting linebackers will miss Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons. Although the Falcons didn’t win in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta did put on a pretty solid offensive performance with former Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley receiving the majority of the workload out of the backfield.
With Gurley seemingly ready to once again take on the role of a workhorse running back for the Falcons, he should have no problem blasting through the hobbled Cowboys just like his former team in the Rams did to Dallas in Week 1. There should be a lot of points scored in this one while Gurley should find the end zone once if not twice.
Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills
The Miami Dolphins played some solid defense against quarterback Cam Newton and the New England Patriots on Sunday. With another AFC East rival up next in the Buffalo Bills, the Dolphins should be able to once again play some formable defense as this game could be closer than most expect. However, and much more importantly, it appears as though the Bills will be employing a 50-50 split of the team’s reps in the backfield as running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss did exactly that in Week 1 against the New York Jets.
Because the Dolphins are not quite as bad as the Jets, Buffalo will have a little bit tougher of a time in Week 3 while the team’s approach at running back is just too risky for fantasy football owners to play around with. It is just impossible to know whether Singletary or Moss eventually comes away with more points this week. The safer bet is simply to stay away altogether if at all possible.
David Johnson, Houston Texans
The Baltimore Ravens absolutely demolished the competition during last year’s regular season while the surging AFC North franchise has already picked up right where it left off in 2019-20. After throttling the rival Cleveland Browns, who actually defeated the Ravens once last season, in Week 1, Baltimore is expected to win once again in Week 2 with the Houston Texans next up on the schedule. In addition to the team’s high-powered offense, the Ravens also sport a pretty scary and talented defense that attacks the opposition, especially near the line of scrimmage.
Even though Texans running back David Johnson looked a little bit like his former self on Thursday evening against the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, it is still too early to tell if such a performance was too good to be true. If the Ravens just out to an early lead, expect the Texans to immediately pivot to a pass-heavy approach on offense, which could either help or hurt Johnson. Then again, with head coach Bill O’Brien at the helm, who knows what will happen? I, for one, would not be willing to take a chance on Johnson against the Ravens in Week 2.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
The Minnesota Vikings are a solid football team despite coming up way short in Week 1 against the rival Green Bay Packers. Looking to bounce back, the Vikings should be able to do so against a disappointed and vulnerable Indianapolis Colts team that suffered both injury and defeat in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. With the Colts already losing to one of the worst teams in the league in Week 1, things may get worse in a hurry for Indianapolis with the always dangerous Vikings up next.
With injured Colts running back Marlon Mack now out for the season, one can expect rookie rusher Jonathan Taylor to take over control of the backfield with Nyheim Hines being sprinkled in accordingly. Even though Hines had a big Week 1 performance despite the loss, the Colts will probably look to get Taylor as many touches as possible in Mack’s absence as the latter is slated to become a free agent this offseason. It would be hard to imagine another insane fantasy performance from Hines against a much better defense come Sunday.