Lewis and Darius Slayton should both see expanded roles with all of the injuries on the New York Giants
The running back position took a lot of injury hits in Week 2, and fantasy owners were scrambling to the waiver wire. As a result, some of the starting running backs on fantasy teams this week were simply waiver wire fodder a week ago. That's how quickly fantasy football changes. Owners need to be ready, be prepared, and be aware of who is in and who is out. Some of these players may even still be available to you. Take a look at your waiver wire and make the best start/sit decisions you can.
START These Running Backs
Dion Lewis, New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers
While the Giants did sign Devonta Freeman, it’s going to be hard for him to have a meaningful role in Week 3. He may come in for a goal-line carry, but the RB that is going to get the majority of carries is likely going to be Lewis. Lewis came in when Saquon Barkley went down in Week 2. He had 10 carries for 20 yards and a touchdown. He added four receptions for 36 yards, which is really more of his specialty. In PPR leagues, Lewis should be started as a RB2 this week.
Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants
Tevin Coleman is on injured reserve. Raheem Mostert is injured and likely out for Week 3. That leaves Wilson and waiver wire darling Jerick McKinnon to carry the load. McKinnon had one long run in Week 2, which boosted his numbers, but Wilson will likely be involved as well. He hasn’t played much this season, so this may be a long shot, but fantasy owners in deep leagues or leagues with a picked-over waiver wire should consider Wilson as an RB3 this week.
SIT These Running Backs
Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers
When Christian McCaffrey went down, owners scrambled to find a replacement. Make no mistake: Davis is not going to replace CMC’s production. However, he is going to be a popular addition to fantasy teams. Unfortunately for him, the Panthers face the Chargers in Week 3. Los Angeles has already limited Joe Mixon to 69 rushing yards in Week 1 and Clyde Edwards-Helaire to 38 in Week 2. CEH added six receptions for 32 yards, which is where Davis is going to have value. Those in PPR leagues can consider him as a flex, but those in standard scoring leagues should keep him on the bench this week.
Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos
At this point, it’s not clear who the No. 1 running back in Tampa Bay is: Jones or Leonard Fournette. Fournette barely played in Week 1 (although that was expected due to him just signing with the time the week leading into the opener). In Week 2, Jones had 23 rushing yards and an early touchdown before Fournette came in. Fournette had 103 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also added four receptions for 13 yards. It seems that Fournette will be the primary back with Jones just coming in to spell him. It’s hard to trust either, but if you have to start one, go Fournette.
START These Wide Receivers
Darius Slayton, New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sterling Shepard is on injured reserve. Saquon Barkley is on IR. The Giants (and their Week 3 foe, the San Francisco 49ers) suffered some brutal injuries in Week 2. The beneficiary of that may just be Slayton. In Week 1, Slayton had six receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. In Week 2, he had three receptions for 33 yards. While the matchup against San Francisco is tough, he’s going to be the default No. 1 receiver playing alongside Golden Tate. He should be considered a WR2/3.
Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
Robinson, through two weeks, has eight receptions for 107 yards. He had a rough Week 2, with only three receptions for 33 yards. He did, however, have nine targets. Mitchell Trubisky is looking for him, and while Trubisky isn’t exactly a top-tier quarterback, he knows his success goes through Robinson. The Bears face the Falcons in Week 3, and Trubisky may have to air the ball out. Robinson will be a target hog, and he should reel some of those in and hopefully find the end zone for the first time this season.
SIT These Wide Receivers
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions
Fantasy owners anxiously started Kirk in Week 1 and he had one reception for no yards. Owners were hesitant in Week 2 and Kirk fared slightly better with two receptions for 57 yards. Add in that Kirk suffered a groin injury in Week 2 and that should be enough to leave him on the bench. It’s hard to recommend dropping him just yet in re-draft formats, but even with Kyler Murray playing well, Kirk should not be in starting lineups.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs. Chicago Bears
Most fantasy owners drafted Jones to be their WR1. However, the Jones they drafted is not the one that has been on the field for the first two weeks of the season. He’s been dealing with a hamstring injury and head coach Dan Quinn said Jones re-aggravated the injury last Sunday. After playing like the elite wideout he is in Week 1 9/157/0), last Sunday's production (2/24/0) reinforces that he wasn't completely healthy. Jones faces Chicago in Week 3. His status is somewhat in doubt but even if he's able to play, it's safe to assume he won't be going at full speed.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo courtesy of newyorkgiants.com)