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Fantasy Football Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 2 Running backs

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books, and Week 2 kicks off on Thursday. Fantasy football managers will be looking to set the perfect lineup ahead of Week 2.

On this list, we will be breaking down which running backs are must-starts and which should be on the bench this week. This list will not include the obvious must-starts like Christian McCaffery.

With that said, let's move on to the start-em list for Week 2.

Start 'Em Week 2 Running backs

Jahmyr Gibbs, DET (vs. SEA)

Jahmyr Gibbs was taken by the Detroit Lions with the 12th pick in the 2023 draft. Gibbs had a good Week 1 performance with six carries for 42 yards and two catches for 18 yards.

In the limited workload Gibbs had in Week 1, he had explosive plays. The 21-year-old running back is expected to get more touches in Week 2. While David Montgomery is a good running back, Gibbs will get more opportunities this week.

The Seattle Seahawks don't have an elite run defense, which should allow Gibbs to put up great numbers in Week 2.

If Gibbs is on your fantasy roster, he's a must-start.

James Cook, BUF (vs. LV)

James Cook had a solid Week 1 but didn't get a ton of touches. Cook finished with 12 carries for 46 yards and zero touchdowns. He also had four receptions for 17 yards.

Cook is a talented back for one of the best offenses in football. The 23-year-old and the Buffalo Bills face off against the Las Vegas Raiders. Las Vegas's run defense isn't great, which allows Cook to have a good game.

The Bills are coming off a tough loss to the New York Jets in overtime. Their offense underperformed in Week 1 and will be looking to bounce back.

Cook should be more involved in the offense in Week 2 and perform well.

James Conner, ARI (vs. NYG)

James Conner is the top running back for the Arizona Cardinals. Conner had a solid Week 1, with 14 carries for 62 yards. He also had five receptions for eight yards.

Conner is going up against a New York Giants team that was blown out by the Dallas Cowboys 40-0. The Cardinals are one of the worst teams in football, but Conner is still a good player.

Arizona will lean on their rushing attack, and with a good matchup, Conner is a must-start in fantasy for Week 2.

Sit 'Em Week 2 Running backs

Alexander Mattison, MIN (at PHI)

Alexander Mattison made his debut as the starting running back for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1. Mattison had 11 carries for 34 yards and zero touchdowns. He had three receptions for 10 yards and a touchdown.

Mattison is a quality running back but is going up against an elite run-stuffing Philadelphia Eagles defense.

With a difficult matchup and not having much success on the ground in Week 1, Mattison should be on the bench for fantasy managers this week.

Cam Akers, LAR (vs. SF)

Cam Akers is the top running back for the Los Angeles Rams, but split some carries with Kyren Williams. Akers had 22 carries for 29 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.

Against a stellar San Francisco 49ers defense, it will be tough for Akers and the Rams' offense to get going.

With the combination of a horrible matchup and a weak performance on the ground in Week 1, Akers should be sat by fantasy managers in Week 2.

Antonio Gibson, WAS (at DEN)

Antonio Gibson was expected to split carries with Brian Robinson Jr. entering the season. However, Robinson Jr. has the lead back role, and Gibson only got three carries for nine yards.

Fantasy managers can feel safe sitting him out in Week 2 with Gibson's limited role.

Week 2 of the NFL season starts on Thursday Night Football. Fantasy managers need to set their lineup ahead of the game tonight.

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