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Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 2: James White and Other RB Start/Sit Fantasy Advice

Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 2: James White

Start 'em, Sit 'em Week 2: James White

It's only Week 2 and there are already plenty of factors at play when it comes to fantasy start/sit decisions for running backs. First off, some significant injuries have already occurred, such as Derrius Guice going on injured reserve. There's also some backfields for certain teams that still lack clarity when it comes to workload.

So with that in mind, I am going to focus on the running back situations for three particular teams. For each team, I will discuss the current circumstances regarding the perceived starter, how you should handle that player and the others in the picture.

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

New England Patriots RBs

Rex Burkhead was labeled as a "sneaky pickup" with the news that James White's wife is expecting and White might not play in this week's game. However, White did make the trip to Miami and now appears to be playing in this Sunday's game against the Dolphins.

So let's start with this: SIT Rex Burkhead. Burkhead will likely still see action. But unless you need an absolute Hail Mary play (and given that there are no byes and its only Week 2, you really shouldn't), ignore the temptation to start Burkhead. The eight touches and eight targets Burkhead saw last week is his ceiling.

White is the pass catcher, Sony Michel is the runner, and Burkhead does a little of both.

The Hooded One's game plan might be to come out slinging it. I wouldn't be surprised if Brady throws three quick touchdown passes to start this game. Or he might not. But the line on this game has the Patriots currently favored by 18.5 points. If the books are even close to being right, there's going to be a lot of New England handoffs in the second half. That likelihood means this will be Michel's game. So I would sit not just Burkhead but White as well.

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In fact, I'd START Sony Michel over other fantasy football RB2s this week like Leonard Fournette, Kerryon Johnson, and Mark Ingram. Speaking of Ingram...

Baltimore Ravens RBs

Justice Hill owners who didn't also have Mark Ingram were smiling devilishly earlier in the week when it was reported that Ingram was "limited" at practice. But it was simply the Ravens giving their 30-year-old running back some rest. He was upgraded to "full" after Thursday's practice, as well as Friday.

The Ravens are also double-digit favorites this weekend at home. With Lamar Jackson a bit more mobile than Brady, Ingram is a less obvious start than Sony Michel, but he is a START nonetheless. I'd SIT Gus Edwards and Justice Hill as well. I think the Ravens will win this game, but there is no way this is a laugher like the Ravens had last week.

Cleveland Browns RBs

I can hear the Nick Chubb owners shaking and asking, "Wait, what's wrong with Chubb?" The answer is absolutely nothing. But that's exactly the point. Last week Chubb owners screamed in anguish as Dontrell Hilliard got a goal-line carry and scored the Browns only rushing TD of the day. I can promise you that will not happen again this week. Hilliard has already been ruled out for Monday night. D'Ernest Johnson makes for a sneaky START in 16-team and deeper leagues, but don't even consider him in 10- and 12-team leagues.

Meanwhile, with the announcement on Thursday that Sam Darnold was out, the Browns became heavy favorites. But not only is Darnold sitting this one out, but key offseason acquisition linebacker C.J. Mosley also won't play. There will be very little standing in the way of the Browns absolutely steamrolling the Jets on Monday night.

After last week's embarrassment, the Browns will be looking to make a statement on offense this week. I might be underestimating how much passing the Browns do, but Chubb is an obvious START. But he's more than simply a start for me this week. I think he will have one of the five highest rushing totals of the weekend. I'm starting him without even thinking about it over any RB not named Barkley, Kamara, or Elliott.

— 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.