Welcome to the fantasy football Week 2 running back rankings hub!
Below you will find my top-60 running backs for Week 2, perhaps unsurprisingly dominated by some familiar names up top. After teasing fantasy managers for years, Cincinnati Bengals’ lead back Joe Mixon established himself as one of the league’s few true bellcows. He’s a top-5 back this week. David Montgomery of the Chicago Bears was just too productive against Aaron Donald and Co. to be ignored this week. Against a far softer Bengals’ front-seven, Montgomery should have little resistance en route to a top 12 outing.
These rankings are geared toward .5PPR scoring formats for Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season but should aid those who play in both non-PPR and full-point PPR formats. Check back throughout the week to see how expectations have changed as news continues to roll in, enhancing our prognostication abilities. Feel free to hit me up on twitter @Ginger__Nic for any fantasy related advice.
Week 2 Standouts
D’Andre Swift (RB13) & Jamaal Williams (RB18) — Detroit shocked the world last week. Many expected Anthony Lynn and Co. to dial back the pace of play and finish near the bottom of the league in overall offensive snaps. Instead, the Lions paced the whole league, pumping out 84 offensive plays in their loss to the 49ers. While that number may settle closer to 75, the overall usage the team employed shouldn’t. Lynn embraced symmetry on Sunday, dishing out a 9 carry, 9 target workload for Williams and a matching 11 carry, 11 target day for Swift and both backs finished inside the top 5 of the .5PPR ranks. The Lions’ 1-2 punch should again have a healthy output against a Green Bay defensive front that just rolled out the red carpet for Alvin Kamara and Tony Jones Jr.
Elijah Mitchell (RB17) — With Trey Sermon a surprise inactive—potentially a punitive move—and lead back Raheem Mostert injuring his knee early in Week 1, Mitchell rose to the occasion for San Francisco, toting the rock 19 times for 104 yards and 1 touchdown. JaMycal Hasty figures to remain a factor in the passing game and Sermon should be back in the lineup this Sunday with Mostert out for the rest of the year, but it would be a massive blow to team morale if Kyle Shanahan didn’t name Mitchell the starter for Week 2. The explosive rookie rusher should see at least 15 touches against Philly this week.
Nyheim Hines (RB26) — The Colts ditched their three-man backfield ways last week with Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines taking the entirety of the team’s RB touches. Some thought Marlon Mack would be a factor but that bet was fool’s gold. It’s tragically difficult for a running back to return from a ruptured Achilles tendon. Hines’ newly solidified role (on top of his newly signed contract) tells us a big season is on tap. The fourth-year back logged a respectable nine carries and saw a team-high eight targets come his way as well. The Rams’ high-octane offense should only benefit Hines this week as the pace is sure to be pushed.
Latavius Murray (RB29) — Rookie Ty’Son Williams did a decent job as Baltimore’s lead back but as the great Matt Waldman lays out below, he left yards on the field.
He was tentative as a finisher. Seemed very concerned about holding onto the ball, which he did, but didn't finish with the authority we saw in preseason. Latavius ran a little harder although the creases weren't there for either in second half.
This will be a split in Wk2 https://t.co/qJzY99aZBB
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) September 14, 2021
After half-time veteran back Latavius Murray got some run and managed to find the end zone in the process. Although Williams should retain the No. 1 RB role, Murray should absolutely see fantasy-relevant usage this week. Something in the neighborhood of 12-15 touches is in order.
Week 2 Running Back Rankings
|1||Christian McCaffrey||CAR||vs. NO|
|2||Alvin Kamara||NO||at CAR|
|3||Dalvin Cook||MIN||at ARI|
|4||Joe Mixon||CIN||at CHI|
|5||Derrick Henry||TEN||at SEA|
|6||Nick Chubb||CLE||vs. HOU|
|7||Jonathan Taylor||IND||vs. LAR|
|8||Austin Ekeler||LAC||vs. DAL|
|9||Aaron Jones||GB||vs. DET|
|10||Ezekiel Elliott||DAL||at LAC|
|11||Antonio Gibson||WAS||vs. NYG|
|12||David Montgomery||CHI||vs. CIN|
|13||D'Andre Swift||DET||at GB|
|14||Chris Carson||SEA||vs. TEN|
|15||Najee Harris||PIT||vs. LV|
|16||Kareem Hunt||CLE||vs. HOU|
|17||Eli Mitchell||SF||at PHI|
|18||Jamaal Williams||DET||at GB|
|19||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||KC||at BAL|
|20||Miles Sanders||PHI||vs. SF|
|21||Saquon Barkley||NYG||at WAS|
|22||Damien Harris||NE||at NYJ|
|23||Darrell Henderson Jr.||LAR||at IND|
|24||Nyheim Hines||IND||vs. LAR|
|25||Mike Davis||ATL||at TB|
|26||Melvin Gordon III||DEN||at JAC|
|27||Javonte Williams||DEN||at JAC|
|28||Ty'Son Williams||BAL||vs. KC|
|29||Kenyan Drake||LV||at PIT|
|30||Latavius Murray||BAL||vs. KC|
|31||Chase Edmonds||ARI||vs. MIN|
|32||James Robinson||JAC||vs. DEN|
|33||Myles Gaskin||MIA||vs. BUF|
|34||James White||NE||at NYJ|
|35||Trey Sermon||SF||at PHI|
|36||Kenneth Gainwell||PHI||vs. SF|
|37||Peyton Barber||LV||at PIT|
|38||JaMycal Hasty||SF||at PHI|
|39||Ronald Jones II||TB||vs. ATL|
|40||Mark Ingram II||HOU||at CLE|
|41||Devin Singletary||BUF||at MIA|
|42||Cordarrelle Patterson||CHI||at TB|
|43||Tony Jones Jr.||NO||at CAR|
|44||James Conner||ARI||vs. MIN|
|45||Tony Pollard||DAL||at LAC|
|46||Alexander Mattison||MIN||at ARI|
|47||Carlos Hyde||JAC||vs. DEN|
|48||Giovani Bernard||TB||vs. ATL|
|49||Sony Michel||LAR||at IND|
|50||Leonard Fournette||TB||vs. ATL|
|51||AJ Dillon||GB||vs. DET|
|52||DeeJay Dallas||SEA||vs. TEN|
|53||Damien Williams||CHI||vs. CIN|
|54||Tevin Coleman||NYJ||vs. NE|
|55||Ty Johnson||NYJ||vs. NE|
|56||J.D. McKissic||WAS||vs. NYG|
|57||Salvon Ahmed||MIA||vs. BUF|
|58||Zack Moss||BUF||at MIA|
|59||David Johnson||HOU||at CLE|
|60||Justin Jackson||LAC||vs. DAL|