When it comes to start/sit fantasy advice for running backs and wide receivers, here are the ground rules. Any RB or WR who is a "consensus" RB1 or WR1 (i.e. typically a player in the top 12 for his position that week) will be mentioned as a "start." Likewise, you will typically not see any "sit" suggestions in this space for an RB or WR who is not in the top 30 of their respective position.
With one week of games in the books already, let's take a look at who is worthy of inserting into your starting lineup and who should ride the pine in Week 2.
START These RBs
Travis Etienne Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
Yes, I saw that James Robinson completely out-touched Etienne in Week 1. I'm not concerned. I wouldn't be surprised to see Robinson get more carries again this week. So why do I like Etienne?
Because it won't matter. For one, Etienne still out-snapped Robinson 36 to 34. I think the Colts gallop out to a lead and the Jags are forced to abandon the run. And Etienne is the far better receiving option than Robinson. Etienne's game is best when he is in space and has room to run. I'm sure many of his owners might be scared to start him again. They had best overcome their fear or they might regret their decision.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings (MNF)
Well, look at that! Sanders can find the endzone! I know his owners were aghast to see Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott also score, but that's looking at the glass half empty. Sanders saw 15 carries to Gainwell's seven and Scott's four. And Sanders did far more with his carries. He averaged an impressive 7.4 yards per carry on his way to a total of 96 rushing yards. Sanders also caught both of his two targets.
Minnesota, meanwhile, is struggling to stop the run again and gave up the seventh most points to running backs last week, despite being ahead of Green Bay nearly the whole game.
SIT These RBs
Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas Cowboys vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Right now, big D is in big trouble. I'm going to declare them unofficially the winner of the most mocked team last week:
That alone, however, is not a reason to sit Zeke. However, with Cooper Rush now under center for Dallas, so do you think Cincinnati might put eight or nine players in the box? It's not like Elliott had a huge game last week, mustering just 52 yards on the ground (and minus-three through the air).
Cincinnati, meanwhile, for all of its woes last week, can't blame that loss on the defense. The Cincinnati run defense, in particular, was stout, allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. And we haven't even discussed the threat of Tony Pollard possible stealing carries from Elliott. Elliott is an easy sit for me this week.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons at Los Angles Rams
On paper, Patterson looks like a must-start. He's coming off a strong week, having rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown. Furthermore, the matchup looks good, as the Rams gave up 31 points last week and 119 yards on 24 attempts by Josh Allen, Zack Moss, and Devin Singletary last week.
But here's the thing. Tyler Allgeier was inactive last week, and word is he's supposed to play this week. Either way, even Falcon beat writers don't see Patterson getting 22 carries again this week. Furthermore, as bad as the Rams looked last week, I wouldn't put too much stock in last week's game. The Bills are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl this season for a reason. And even as bad as the Rams were last week, they still allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to running backs last week.
Patterson might be a potential FLEX play depending on the strength of your wide receivers. But I wouldn't want him as my RB1 or RB2 this week.
START These WRs
Allen Robinson II, Los Angeles Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons
Robinson might have been one of the biggest disappointments last week, but I think he gets back on track this week. It's not like Sean McVay doesn't have faith in him. Robinson still had a 96 percent routes run share and a 97 percent snap share.
And that will be key because Atlanta still has trouble covering WRs. They allowed the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers last week. If Robinson is invisible again, feel free to bench him until he proves otherwise. But I've got a very strong suspicion we see a huge Robinson game this weekend.
Julio Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
No need to make things complicated. BOTH Mike Evans and Chris Godwin might not play this week. Jones had three receptions for 69 yards last week with both those wide receivers in the game. Expect Jones to easily top those marks this week.
SIT These WRs
Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens
I'm not actually suggesting you SIT Waddle. But I'm seeing him listed as a top-20 WR option this week, and I think he finishes outside of the top 25 this week. He's clearly the No. 2 target on his own team behind Tyreek Hill, and rightfully so. Furthermore, according to Pro Football Focus, the Ravens have the best secondary in the NFL. Yes, that was before the injury to Kyle Fuller. But that didn't count first-round pick Kyle Hamilton who many believe the Ravens absolutely stole as the No. 14 overall pick.
I will also remind you that Waddle had a very pedestrian game against Baltimore last year, catching just four passes for 61 yards. You're probably not going to sit him this week, but keep your expectations low.
Elijah Moore, New York Jets at Cleveland Browns
I would not drop any Jet WR right now, but I don't think I'd start a single one of them this week, and that includes Moore in particular.
First off, Cleveland's secondary is barely behind Baltimore, according to PFF's rankings. And they were in the top dozen in preventing fantasy points to wide receivers last week. Even more concerning is that both Jets running backs caught more passes last week than Moore. Garrett Wilson caught even less. Even the Jets top wide receiver on Sunday, Corey Davis, only caught six passes, which was still less than the seven catches running back Michael Carter had.
The takeaway here is that the Jets don't seem to be focusing on their downfield threats right now, which does not bode well for Moore. Both Davis and Wilson had far higher YPC last week than Moore.
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.