Start Em Sit Em

NFL Fantasy 2022 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 2: Running backs

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'Em

Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Kansas City Chiefs · RB

Edwards-Helaire may have only had 10 touches in Week 1, but he did enough where you should definitely consider getting him back in your starting lineup. CEH was the lead back for the Chiefs, playing around 60% of the snaps with a stranglehold on touches before the game got out of hand. The usage looks skewed because CEH was pulled and the other RBs finished the blowout in Arizona. Edwards-Helaire ran well and, even more importantly, was used in the passing game and near the end zone. This was his first normal preseason as an NFL player and it showed. CEH looked healthy and could finally be the player we were all hoping he would be when he was drafted. This week he faces the Chargers who last year allowed the second-most fantasy points and most rushing yards to running backs. Fire up CEH with confidence this week. 

Antonio Gibson
Washington Commanders · RB
Detroit Lions
2022 · 0-1-0

Gibson may make myself and many others look foolish after doubting him in the preseason. In Week 1, Gibson played 64% of snaps and logged 14 carries for 58 yards. But the biggest positive from the opener was that Gibson was targeted eight times, catching seven balls for a team-high 72 yards. That was a career-high in targets and tied his high for catches. If that usage continues, Gibson has the capability of putting up RB1 numbers on a weekly basis. This week he faces the Lions, who allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to RBs last year and just allowed four rushing touchdowns to the Eagles in Week 1. Go ahead and get Gibson in your lineup this week. 

Darrell Henderson
Los Angeles Rams · RB
Atlanta Falcons
2022 · 0-1-0

Henderson not only got the start but dominated the workload in Week 1. He played 82% of the snaps and saw 18 touches, compared to just three for Cam Akers. Henderson turned that into 73 yards and 12.3 fantasy points, good enough to make him an RB2 on the week. Akers will remain a candidate to take carries away at any point, but for the time being, Henderson needs to be viewed as the Rams' lead runner. In Week 2 he faces a Falcons defense that allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs. Alvin Kamara did not have a great day against Atlanta, but the Falcons were still run all over by Taysom Hill. It’s a much better matchup than Henderson saw in Week 1 versus Buffalo. This week's matchup, paired with his usage in what should still be a high-powered offense (one that traditionally features a lead back), is enough to make Henderson a top-20 RB in Week 2.

Jeff Wilson
San Francisco 49ers · RB
Seattle Seahawks
2022 · 1-0-0

Wilson will be the lead runner with Elijah Mitchell sidelined due to a knee injury. We have seen Wilson start and be a useful fantasy asset before when the 49ers' lead back misses time. He has seven career games with 16 or more carries and has put up double-digit fantasy points in all but one. It gives him a safe floor, and his ceiling is higher as he always has a chance of scoring a touchdown (he scored eight in those seven games, including a three-touchdown outing). Plus, we know the Niners will look to establish the run with Trey Lance at the helm. Wilson also faces the Seahawks who allowed the most fantasy points to running backs in 2021. He is an RB2 in Week 2. 

Sit 'Em

Josh Jacobs
Las Vegas Raiders · RB
Arizona Cardinals
2022 · 0-1-0

Jacobs carried 10 times and saw just one target in Week 1. He went for just 57 rushing yards against the defense that allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL last year. The one target is worrisome as last year he saw a career-high 64 targets, which helped salvage his season as the Raiders passed more. That continued to be the case in Week 1 when the Raiders ran the ball on just 22% of plays. Jacobs' floor and ceiling would be significantly lowered if both those trends continue. Las Vegas is loaded with weapons in the passing game and clearly not afraid to take advantage of that. Jacobs is a flex option at best. This week he faces the Cardinals who ranked middle of the pack against running backs.

Cam Akers
Los Angeles Rams · RB
Atlanta Falcons
2022 · 0-1-0

Akers cannot be started even in deeper formats. Last week he played just 18% of the snaps and saw three touches, scoring zero fantasy points. Sean McVay after the game said Akers has to run with more urgency. It is the opposite of what you want to see from an early-round pick. He is working his way back from a torn Achilles and then was banged up in the preseason. While it is not time to panic, Akers cannot be trusted until he both earns more work and shows that he can still play at a high level. It is not time to drop Akers, but it is certainly not the time to start him. You have to take a wait-and-see approach with Akers moving forward.

Dameon Pierce
Houston Texans · RB
Denver Broncos
2022 · 0-1-0

Pierce played just 28% of the snaps in Week 1 with 11 carries and one target, tallying just 39 yards and less than five fantasy points. It was a disappointing start to the season after what was a very promising preseason. This was in a game that played the entirety of an overtime frame and one in which the Texans were playing with a lead, which is a positive game script for Pierce, and yet he still saw such little work. If the Texans are trailing, like they very well could be this week against the Broncos, Pierce could be phased out even more as Rex Burkhead saw eight targets and is clearly the passing-down option. If that’s the case, Pierce could see even less work. Do not drop Pierce, but for now you have to sit him until he starts to see a larger role. 

Damien Harris
New England Patriots · RB
Pittsburgh Steelers
2022 · 1-0-0

Harris is a part of a Patriots backfield that remains a mess for fantasy purposes. Harris led with 40% of the snaps to go with nine carries and three targets. Overall, he finished with less than eight fantasy points. Rhamondre Stevenson saw eight carries and two targets, while Ty Montgomery stole two carries and four targets -- one that went for a touchdown. There are too many options currently taking snaps, carries and targets to make any of the three worth trusting. Additionally, with Mac Jones banged up right now, defenses may just stack the box against the ground game and make the Pats beat them through the air. This backfield is entirely too murky to trust right now for fantasy purposes. 

Follow Michael Florio on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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