Week 2 RB Sleepers and Landmines
Each week, as we prepare to make some difficult lineup decisions, our team, which includes Rob Willette, Ryan McDowell, and Sal Leto, will bring you a few sleepers and landmines for each position. Our sleeper picks could be on your waiver wire or a low-priced DFS target or could simply be going overlooked this week. On the other hand, our landmine players are getting attention, too much attention. These are players we feel are being overvalued and overpriced and would avoid for this week.
Javorius Allen $5,300
In last week’s game, we saw Ravens starting RB Alex Collins benched after losing a fumble. At least we think that’s what happened. It is difficult to know for sure as Baltimore was laying 47 points on the Bills D. Regardless, backup Kenneth Dixon was the leading rusher, while Collins had just the fourth-most yards on his own team. With Dixon now out due to a knee injury, Javorius “Buck” Allen should see plenty of playing time with some major PPR upside. The Bengals defense is missing Vontaze Burflict and rookie RB Nyheim Hines caught seven balls last week against this defense. – Ryan McDowell
Austin Ekeler $4,800
We sometimes tend to move on when we see the “lead back” post a monster point total of 25.6 like Melvin Gordon did in week one. But a closer look would show that Austin Ekeler was right behind him with a 23.6 output himself. He is more than a handcuff and carries standalone flex value as the Chargers have been outspoken that they want to limit Gordon’s touches and the beneficiary will be Ekeler. Coming off a career-high 126 total yards and a touchdown you can expect him to continue to be worked in both rushing and receiving. Up next? The awful Bills who in game one allowed three different Ravens running backs to reach the end zone. – Sal Leto
James White $4,400
A New England offense already bereft of playmakers has become incredibly thin in the backfield. Jeremy Hill is out for the year. Rex Burkhead is in the concussion protocol. Sony Michel is a mystery after missing Week 1 and much of camp. While lacking any semblance of sex appeal, James White remains as old reliable in the Patriots backfield. He led New England in Week 1 targets and figures to be a big part of the Week 2 gameplan regardless of the personnel available. As you would expect, Jacksonville was stingy against running backs in the passing game in 2017, allowing the sixth fewest points to the position via the passing game. However, Bill Belichick has long schemed around strengths. Jacksonville is strongest on the outside with its elite corners and along the defensive line. Tom Brady could operate in the intermediate passing game all day, leading to a strong day for White in Jacksonville. – Rob Willette
Kenyan Drake $6,500
I think it is far too early to panic about Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake. While he was outrushed by old man Frank Gore last week, he saw more touches than Gore and was involved in the passing game. With that said, I’m not anxious to use Drake this week against a Jets defense that totally shut down the Lions offense, especially the run game. Drake should be fine this season overall, but I’m staying away in Week 2. – Ryan McDowell
LeSean McCoy $6,900
Listen, I get it, he fell to you the value was just too good and then comes word that he won’t be on the commissioner’s exempt list and you think you struck gold. Did you forget he’s playing for the Bills? The offense is brutal and they will turn to a rookie quarterback that no one is afraid of. We all had some good years with Shady but I don’t see how he finds a way to respectable numbers this season when defenses will stack the box challenging the rook to throw to below average receivers. The Chargers were able to bottle up a younger, healthier Kareem Hunt (53rd overall RB) a week ago playing in a much better offense. Maybe McCoy can finish with better than the 3.1 points he put up last week but are you risking that it will be by much?. – Sal Leto
Leonard Fournette $8,100
Despite battling a hamstring injury, Leonard Fournette is expected to play Sunday. Were he not to play, I would highly advise benching him. As is, Fournette is a risky proposition as a back limited by a soft tissue injury and a Patriots defense which tends to focus on the opposition’s best player and limit them in any way possible. The Pats were gashed by Lamar Miller in Week 1 but figure to key in more on the rushing game of Jacksonville while letting Blake Bortles do what he does best: give games away. At less than one hundred percent and potentially tapping out at any point in the game, Fournette is a complete roll of the dice in Week 2. – Rob Willette
Sal Leto (@LetoSal), Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23), and Rob Willette (@RobWillette24) are freelance contributors for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.