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Fantasy Football Week 2: Top 5 running backs to start

By William Schneiderhan
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09: James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball in front of Larry Ogunjobi #65 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09: James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball in front of Larry Ogunjobi #65 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 09: James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball in front of Larry Ogunjobi #65 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 09: James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball in front of Larry Ogunjobi #65 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Week 1 of the NFL regular season is officially in the books. Now, let’s look at the top five running backs you will want to start in fantasy football in Week 2.

The Lose Angeles Rams vs. Oakland Raiders game capped off what proved to be a great start to the brand-new NFL season.

Fans saw massive days from many players, which led to huge fantasy football games. Week 1 is usually a feeler week for fantasy. Meaning, owners basically assess their teams and roster players to then see if they need to make any changes.

Owners evaluating their rosters means one thing: use of the “free agents” section. This is also known as the “waiver wire”, or “add/drop players”. This section is barely touched in Week 1, but it becomes a war zone after.

This is where sleepers are found, claims are made or where you can swoop someone up without fellow league members knowing. Why am I talking about this so much? Well, let’s take a look at the top five running backs you will want to start in Week 2 and see.

CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 09: James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushes for a touchdown in front of Damarious Randall #23 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 09: James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushes for a touchdown in front of Damarious Randall #23 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

5. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers

Bingo, waiver wire must have right here.

Le’Veon Bell who? That’s the question floating around Pittsburgh after James Conner went off for a huge day against the Cleveland Browns.

Of course, Bell has taken his absence from the team to the next level as he sat out of the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 1 game. However, the team didn’t skip a beat without the two-time All-Pro.

Conner scored a whopping 34.2 points in ESPN standard PPR scoring leagues. He rushed for 135 yards, caught five passes for 57 yards, and punched the rock into the end zone twice with two rushing touchdowns.

The second-year running back is a hot commodity in many leagues and there is no reason to believe he won’t be productive next week if Bell’s absence extends further. Conner will look to torch the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. The Chiefs have a suspect defensive unit, which allowed Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon to go for 27.6 points in Week 1.

Next: 4. Ezekiel Elliott

CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 09: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against Da’Norris Searcy #21 of the Carolina Panthers in the third quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 09: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against Da’Norris Searcy #21 of the Carolina Panthers in the third quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

4. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

There is no doubt about it, Ezekiel Elliott was not used nearly enough in the Dallas Cowboys Week 1 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Yes, the team is without star center Travis Frederick. However, you cannot only feed Elliott 15 rushing attempts.

Elliott basically got half the reps he usually gets. Yet, he was still very productive with his limited usage as he ran for 69 yards and a touchdown, as well as three catches for 17 yards.

The issue with how the Cowboys used Elliott is that he is a workhorse type player who should get upwards to 30+ attempts again. Obviously, not burning him out early in the season is something the Cowboys want to monitor.

However, look for Elliott to go off and top his Week 1, 17.6 point performance this week against the New York Giants. The Giants have a tougher defense than the Panthers, but the Cowboys will have to ramp up Elliott’s reps in this division rivalry match up.

Next: 3. Melvin Gordon

CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers carries the ball in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at StubHub Center on September 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers carries the ball in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at StubHub Center on September 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

3. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers

Why start Melvin Gordon? Well, here’s one major reason: The Buffalo Bills. Yes, the Los Angeles Chargers face the Bills in Week 2.

However, playing the Bills isn’t the only reason that Gordon should be locked into your fantasy lineup. Gordon is coming off a 27.6 fantasy point day against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Although, Gordon had an interesting game. He didn’t necessarily run all over the Chiefs, but he did exploit them via the passing attack with nine receptions for 102 receiving yards.

Gordon will look to find the end zone against the Bills in Week 2, which seems to be a fair task against a team that surrendered 47 points to the Baltimore Ravens. Whether it is through the air or on the ground, the Bills will be looking at the back of Gordon all day if they’re not careful.

Next: 2. Todd Gurley

2. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

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Todd Gurley finished Monday night’s win over the Oakland Raiders with 23.7 points. Down day? A little bit, at least for his standards.

The reigning AP Offensive Player of the Year saw a steady workload but look for an increase in reps this week. Gurley ran for 108 rushing yards on 20 attempts and caught three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown.

Gurley is projected to score 21.5 points in ESPN PPR leagues in the Los Angeles Rams Week 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Washington Redskins ran all over the Cardinals on Sunday. If Adrian Peterson can run for a shade under 100 yards, then Gurley will be able to get whatever he wants this week.

Lock Gurley in and rely on him to carry the bulk of your team scoring this week. This is a highly favorable matchup.

Next: 1. Alvin Kamara

NEW ORLEANS, LA – SEPTEMBER 09: Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints runs with the ball as Ryan Smith #29 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defends during the first half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 9, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA – SEPTEMBER 09: Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints runs with the ball as Ryan Smith #29 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defends during the first half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 9, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

1. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

43.1. What’s that number mean? That’s the number of fantasy points that Alvin Kamara accumulated against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kamara’s Week 1 score of 43.1 points not only led all running backs but all players. He came in .8 points ahead of the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill.

The best part about Kamara in Week 1 was the fact he only registered 29 rushing yards on eight attempts. So, you may be asking how did he get all of those points if he barely did anything on the ground? Well, he caught nine passes for 112 yards.

Must Read. Top 10 Jets running backs of all-time

Yeah, that’s an insane day for a running back. But, Kamara’s best asset when it comes to fantasy is his ability to find the end zone. His dynamic style makes him a threat all over the field, which can be seen in his two rushing touchdowns and one receiving score against the Bucs. Kamara and his Saints play the Browns this upcoming week, the team that let Conner get whatever he wanted. This guy may have another 30+ point performance in him this week.

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