Why You Should Start C.J. Anderson and Other RB Start/Sit Fantasy Advice for Week 2

Plus should you really be concerned with Todd Gurley this week?

So with one week of fantasy action in the books, let’s see how many fantasy start/sit advice for running backs did for Week 1 shall we?

 

Good Calls...

 

Start Spencer Ware (25.90 fantasy points) - This might have been too easy of a call with Jamaal Charles out, but it’s nice to start the year off on the right foot.

 

Sit Jeremy Hill (9.1 FP) - Hill only had 31 rushing yards and his day was saved by a touchdown.

 

Sit Arian Foster (10 FP) - The Dolphins vs. Seahawks game was tough to watch and Foster was easily held in check.

 

Bad Calls...

 

Start Eddie Lacy (7.8 FP) - In what should have been the game where Lacy showed everyone he was back against the Jags, he only carried the ball 14 times for 61 yards.

 

Sit Melvin Gordon (17.70 FP) - Who knew that Gordon’s first two touchdowns of his career would come in Week 1 against the Chiefs?

 

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

 

START THESE RBs...

 

Rashad Jennings, NYG (vs. NO)

Would you like a piece of advice? Start your running backs against the Saints. After ranking second  to last (31st) against the run in 2015, they started 2016 in similar fashion, giving up 167 yards on the ground to Raiders in Week 1. Jennings got 18 carries in the Giants’ opener, and seems to have a lock on the job despite Shane Vereen getting a good amount of work. Jennings won’t be as valuable in PPR leagues, but he’s facing New Orleans and should see the red zone work against a soft defense.

 

C.J. Anderson, DEN (vs. IND)

Anderson sure did look good in Week 1 and anyone who thought it was risky to draft him early is really happy about it now. He went off in the season opener, scoring two touchdowns and 25.90 fantasy points in a win over the Panthers. He also saw 48 snaps compared to six for rookie Devontae Booker, so CJA looked like a true featured back. This week, Anderson faces a Colts defense that surrendered 46.90 fantasy points to RBs in Week 1.

 

LeGarrette Blount, NE (vs. MIA)

The Dolphins' defensive line is in shambles heading into this game, which should mean the Patriots can lean on Blount, especially if they are playing with a lead in the fourth quarter. Blount had a good start to the season last week at Arizona with 22 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. You never know how the Patriots will use their running backs, but it appears that Blount and James White (one carry for four yards, five catches for 40) are locked into their respective roles. And with Jimmy Garoppolo still starting for the suspended Tom Brady, we expect Blount to have a chance for a solid outing this week.

 

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

 

Jeremy Langford, CHI (vs. PHI, Mon.)

Langford's Week 1 performance was the definition of "meh": 17 carries, 57 yards (3.4 YPC), two receptions on four targets for six yards, but he did have a rushing touchdown to save his day. The important part, though, is that he was very obviously Chicago's three-down back, playing on 96 percent of offensive snaps and out-touching backup Ka'Deem Carey, 19:1. A similar workload against a much more favorable opponent (the Eagles allowed 84 rushing yards on 15 carries to Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson in Week 1) gives Langford RB1 upside in Week 2.

 

SIT THESE RBs...

 

Frank Gore, IND (at DEN)

Gore carried the ball 14 times for 59 yards against a decent Lions defense, but his Week 2 task is a little more difficult. Gore, who is now 33, faces a Denver defense that limited Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart to just 64 yards on opening night. Denver’s defense lost some key contributors in the offseason, but returns many from a unit that finished third against the run last season. Playing in Denver is never an easy task, and the Broncos’ stout run defense makes Gore an unattractive option this week.

 

Ameer Abdullah, DET (vs. TEN)

Abdullah was a pleasant surprise last week, scoring 18 fantasy points in a win over the Colts. But can he do it in back-to-back weeks? Probably not because he'll be facing a Titans defense that held Adrian Peterson to 31 yards and a terrible 1.6 yards per attempt a week ago. This defense also allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to RBs last season.

 

Jeremy Hill, CIN (at PIT)

Hill struggled in Week 1, gaining just 31 yards on nine carries, although he did manage a goal-line touchdown. While Hill is a constant threat to score a touchdown every game, he's also become dependent on end zone visits to fuel his fantasy impact. This week he goes up against the Steelers, which have held him to an average of 6.7 fantasy points in four career meetings. Hill also has never scored a touchdown against them, making him tough to start.

 

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...

 

Todd Gurley, STL (vs. SEA)

In most leagues, sitting Gurley just isn't a realistic option. You likely drafted him in the first round, and you should always play your studs no matter what, but this is more of a way to say you should keep your expectations in check. While Gurley is an electrifying talent and can easily break a big gain at any given moment, the offense around him is terrible. Teams are going to continue to stack the box with Case Keenum and the Rams' vanilla passing offense not serving as much of a threat. And against the 49ers in Week 1, that resulted in very little running room for Gurley, who had to work hard for his 47 yards rushing (2.8 ypc). It probably won’t get much better for Gurley this week against Seattle, which has ranked first or second in the NFL in total defense in each of the past three seasons. Gurley will likely need a touchdown to provide a useful line in fantasy.

 

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

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