Whether you’re a season-long or daily fantasy sports (DFS) player, finding success in fantasy football is all about exploiting matchups — especially at the running back position. And as we head into Week 2 of the NFL season, there are a handful of running backs who stand out above the rest.
We’re not going to touch on guys like Todd Gurley III, Alvin Kamara, and Ezekiel Elliott, who have favorable matchups in seemingly every game they play. Instead, we’re going to give you guys who don’t necessarily qualify as must-start players in every game they play.
With that being said, here is a look at five running backs with favorable fantasy matchups in Week 2.
Statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
If things go as planned for the Panthers against the Atlanta Falcons, McCaffrey will be an elite fantasy performer in Week 2. Atlanta will be without speedy linebacker Deion Jones and Pro Bowl safety Keanu Neal, both of whom would likely have been tasked with slowing down Carolina’s second-year running back. To top it all off, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is on record saying that he wants McCaffrey to get 15-20 carries and 6-10 receptions on Sunday afternoon.
Needless to say, McCaffrey is one of our favorite players (regardless of position) in Week 2.
Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins
Simply put: Peterson looked like his old self in his first regular season game as a member of the Redskins, rushing for 96 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, and hauling in two passes for 70 yards on three targets through the air.
In Week 2, the future Hall of Famer will face an Indianapolis Colts defense that allowed Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon, who has a very similar skillset to Peterson, to post 149 total yards (96 rushing and 54 receiving) and a touchdown in Week 1.
If his body holds up, Peterson could be in for a huge day in Week 2.
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
In Week 1, Cook showed no signs of any lingering issues from the knee injury that prematurely ended his 2017 season. In Week 2, he will face the Green Bay Packers, who are coming off a game against the Chicago Bears where they allowed Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to combine for 107 rushing yards on 20 carries on the ground, and eight receptions for 41 yards through the air. Don’t be surprised if Cook posts similar numbers by himself this Sunday.
Isaiah Crowell, New York Jets
Crowell flashed big time fantasy potential against the Detroit Lions in Week 1. And in Week 2, the 25-year-old running back will face a Miami Dolphins defense that is very suspect against the run.
Crowell will lose a few carries to Bilal Powell, but we still see him garnering at least 15-20 touches against the Dolphins on Sunday.
Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons
With Devonta Freeman out, Coleman will be the lead back for the Falcons in their Week 2 game against the Carolina Panthers. And as history has proven, the former Indiana Hoosier has thrived when given an expanded role.
Expect Coleman to have no fewer than 20 touches in Week 2.
More from The Odds-On Favorite:
- Fantasy Football Week 2 Waiver Wire Targets: Phillip Lindsay a Must-Add
- Week 2 NFL Point Spreads, Odds, Over/Unders, Money Lines
- Fantasy Football Week 2: Quarterbacks With Favorable Matchups