Patrick Daugherty


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Week 2 Rankings

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Week 2 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Todd Gurley vs. ARZ -
2 Alvin Kamara vs. CLE -
3 James Conner vs. KC -
4 Ezekiel Elliott vs. NYG -
5 Melvin Gordon at BUF -
6 David Johnson at LAR -
7 Saquon Barkley at DAL -
8 Joe Mixon vs. BAL Sidelined (knee surgery)
9 Kareem Hunt at PIT -
10 Christian McCaffrey at ATL -
11 Jordan Howard vs. SEA -
12 Dalvin Cook at GB -
13 Lamar Miller at TEN -
14 Alex Collins at CIN -
15 Tevin Coleman vs. CAR -
16 Adrian Peterson vs. IND -
17 Jay Ajayi at TB -
18 LeSean McCoy vs. LAC -
19 Kenyan Drake at NYJ -
20 Carlos Hyde at NO -
21 Dion Lewis vs. HOU -
22 T.J. Yeldon vs. NE -
23 Peyton Barber vs. PHI -
24 Rex Burkhead at JAC Questionable (concussion)
25 Jamaal Williams vs. MIN -
26 Royce Freeman vs. OAK -
27 Chris Thompson vs. IND -
28 Marshawn Lynch at DEN -
29 Chris Carson at CHI -
30 Isaiah Crowell vs. MIA -
31 Alfred Morris vs. DET -
32 Bilal Powell vs. MIA -
33 Derrick Henry vs. HOU -
34 James White at JAC -
35 Austin Ekeler at BUF -
36 Matt Breida vs. DET -
37 Tarik Cohen vs. SEA -
38 Kerryon Johnson at SF -
39 Javorius Allen at CIN -
40 Latavius Murray at GB -
41 Phillip Lindsay vs. OAK -
42 Theo Riddick at SF -
43 Ty Montgomery vs. MIN -
44 Duke Johnson at NO -
45 Jalen Richard at DEN -
46 Jordan Wilkins at WAS -
47 Rashaad Penny at CHI -
48 Nyheim Hines at WAS -
49 Frank Gore at NYJ -
50 Marlon Mack at WAS -
51 Corey Clement at TB -
52 Sony Michel at JAC Questionable (knee)
53 Corey Grant vs. NE -
54 Alfred Blue at TEN -
55 LeGarrette Blount at SF -
56 C.J. Anderson at ATL -
57 Spencer Ware at PIT -
58 Giovani Bernard vs. BAL -
59 Mike Gillislee vs. CLE -

RB Notes: Todd Gurley hit his 2017 touch average (23) against the Raiders while coming eerily close to his 2017 YFS average (140). There will be no Fishering under Sean McVay. … Alvin Kamara was otherworldly against the Bucs, finishing as the RB1 as he piled up 141 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. He did so on only 17 touches (eight rushes). Now he gets a Browns defense that got smashed by all-purpose back James Conner. …  Ezekiel Elliott managed just 15 Week 1 carries for the Cowboys’ lifeless offense. Even with his run blocking a mounting concern, the Cowboys have no choice but to get that number above 20 for Week 2. Elliott has cleared 100 yards rushing in 2-of-3 career meetings with the G-Men. … Melvin Gordon is coming off his first career 100-yard receiving effort. Now it will be time to hit that number on the ground against a shell-shocked Bills club. … Saquon Barkley would have had just 38 yards on 17 carries against the Jaguars without his 68-yard touchdown. But that’s the thing — that’s Barkley’s game. He is capable of flipping the script on any given snap.   

With the game over early — the Redskins led 24-0 at the 12:13 mark of the third quarter — the Cardinals throttled off David Johnson in the second half. Rookie Chase Edmonds notched eight touches on 17 snaps. Even in a blowout, it was somewhat surprising usage. Johnson’s skill-set is supposed to be game flow proof. Negative game script is going to be a recurring theme for the Cardinals. … For the first time in a full game, Kareem Hunt notched zero receptions in Week 1. He also lost a pair of potential touchdowns to shovel passes. Hunt’s ceiling remains, but the Chiefs’ high-octane passing attack is going to lead to weeks where he gets lost in the shuffle. … Joe Mixon out-touched Giovani Bernard 22-2 in Week 1, playing 44-of-56 snaps. Speaking Monday, coach Marvin Lewis said he “liked” Mixon’s number of catches (four) and believed his carries should be in the 22 range. 22-24 weekly touches are in play. That’s a scary thing for a slimmed down, explosive three-down back. … We are waiting and seeing on Devonta Freeman (knee) and Leonard Fournette (hamstring). Tevin Coleman will be a high-end RB2 if Freeman sits. T.J. Yeldon would be a floor-based FLEX in Fournette’s absence. Corey Grant, a dart throw wild card.         

Christian McCaffrey’s 2018 got off to a sleepy start against the Cowboys. A trio of injuries should have him looking wider-eyed against the Falcons. As Pro Football Focus’ Scott Barrett reminds, McCaffrey was much more productive without Greg Olsen on the field last season. He will be getting the ball more. He will be doing so against a Falcons defense that just lost MLB Deion Jones and SS Keanu Neal. Not only does that hurt the Falcons’ run defense, it frees up McCaffrey in the passing game, as Jones was one of the league’s best coverage ‘backers in 2017. … After an offseason where coach Matt Nagy said he wanted to feature Jordan Howard more in the passing game, the Bears’ lead back tied a career high with five catches against the Packers. Even with Tarik Cohen Sprolesing, 3-5 weekly grabs is a realistic expectation for Howard. Mitchell Trubisky looks primed to be the one true checkdown/screen/quick out king. … So much for Dalvin Cook being eased in. He played 57-of-71 snaps against the 49ers, touching the ball 22 times. Latavius Murray isn’t going to vulture enough touchdowns to ding Cook’s RB1/2 borderline case.

Lamar Miller had one of his best games as a Texan against the Patriots, though he did get vultured by Alfred Blue for a score. His role is RB2 secure. … Alex Collins had a bizarre Week 1, getting punished for a lost fumble by getting out-touched by Kenneth Dixon. Dixon has since landed (back) on injured reserve. Expect a Collins mulligan for a short-week matchup with the Bengals where the runs should be plentiful. … The Redskins are going to ride Adrian Peterson until the wheels fall off. 20-25 touches could go a long way against a Colts defense that just got dominated by Joe Mixon. … Nursing a foot injury, Jay Ajayi played one first quarter snap against the Falcons before checking in to lead the Eagles’ backfield. Coach Doug Pederson has said the training wheels will be off going forward. … LeSean McCoy was my “Do Not Draft” player of the summer. Then I said everything would be fine for Week 1 despite the Bills’ manifold concerns. I was … wrong. All I’m assuming for Week 2 is that McCoy can’t get out-gained by Marcus Murphy again.      

Rex Burkhead is concussed. Jeremy Hill is ACL’d. Sony Michel (knee) is still rehabbing. The Patriots’ “run game” in Jacksonville could be limited to James White receptions. … Jamaal Williams had a disappointing Week 1. He’s a touchdown-dependent RB2 against the Vikings’ elite run defense. … I’m going to assume game flow will favor Dion Lewis over Derrick Henry until the Titans get a game they’re favored in. … Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay had identical workloads and nearly identical snap counts against the Seahawks. With the Broncos big home favorites over the Raiders, I am guessing game flow will favor early-down hammer Freeman. … Speaking of identical workloads, there was Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. Unlike with Freeman and Lindsay, one player was vastly more productive for Seattle. Pete Carroll said Carson “really took the lead” going forward. Expect workload to match rhetoric against the Bears. … Chris Thompson is a unique weapon who can “poor man’s Kamara” even in standard leagues. … The 49ers are six-point home favorites this week. Alfred Morris should take the Week 1 hot hand from Matt Breida. … LeGarrette Blount’s knee injury ups Kerryon Johnson’s FLEX/RB3 appeal, though it’s still middling. … I have nothing intelligent to say about Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell. … Floor for Jordan Wilkins, ceiling for pass-catcher Nyheim Hines.       

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Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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