Week 2: Love, Like, Hate: Running Backs

LOVE: JALEN RICHARD, RB, Oakland Raiders

MATCHUP: @ Denver Broncos


Jalen Richard surprised many in week 1. Richard, a guy who was thought to be on the roster bubble just a few weeks ago, finished second on the team in targets with 11. Richard won’t be the lead back when it comes to carries, but his 5 attempts from a week ago could see a bump, as starter Marshawn Lynch has been limited in practice with a shoulder injury. Richard is locked in as the receiving back for a team that will be playing from behind a lot this season. This will force bruising backs Lynch and Doug Martin off the field and will force Richard on the field. While this week’s matchup may look tough to the naked eye, Denver gave up 7 receptions and 66 yards (9.0 avg) to Seattle running backs a week ago, none of which are as gifted as Richard out of the backfield. Richard is a bargain holding the cheapest salary amongst all running backs.


MATCHUP: vs. Seattle Seahawks  


All offseason we wondered how Tarik Cohen would eat into Howard’s production in the new Matt Nagy offense, and it turns out not much at all. While Cohen is being lined up all over the field, it is freeing up an opportunity for Howard (played 71% of snaps) to work as a three-down back. Howard caught 5 passes, for only the second time in his career, last week.

Seattle’s defense is no longer the juggernaut from years past. This is evident with the 28.8 ppr points surrendered to Broncos’ running backs in week 1.  Look for Chicago to lean on Howard early and often come Monday night.

HATE: DERRICK HENRY, RB, Tennessee Titans

MATCHUP: vs. Houston Texans


Derrick Henry is coming off a week where he saw fellow running mate Dion Lewis out snap him by 29 plays and handle 13 more touches.

Enter J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans, who gave up only 3.6 ypc to Rex Burkhead & James White in week 1. Houston also posses one of the more explosive offenses in all of football and should put enough points on the board to keep Tennessee’s offense in passing situations. Henry adds nearly nothing in the passing game, meaning that he will see more time on the bench rather than on the field. Expect Henry to be outperformed by Lewis for a second consecutive week.