Is Christian McCaffrey the best running back in football?
That's the question that should be posed after week 1 of the NFL season. We watched in the offseason as several pundits couldn't quite put McCaffrey into the top-two of running backs in fantasy football. After week 1, though, it's time to believe that was a mistake.
He's a true three-down running back, who will have to carry this Carolina offense. He's game-flow proof and doesn't really have anybody to compete with for touches or carries. He's an easy start, so here's the start 'em, sit 'em guide for week 2 fantasy football running backs.
Mark Ingram vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Detroit Lions have never been known as a power running team, but they sure looked the part in week 1 against the Cardinals. I understand that the Lions have a new offensive focus, but what they did against Arizona, should be noteworthy for opposing running backs.
And that should help Ingram have another RB1 game in week 2.
Ingram was a pleasant surprise in week 1, finishing ninth in fantasy points among running backs with more than 100 yards and two touchdowns. The game flow helped him, but I still anticipate him to dominate the carries for a Ravens team that will focus on the run.
The Cardinals allowed more than 100 rushing yards in week 1, so I believe the Ravens will exploit that in week 2.
Derrick Henry vs. Indianapolis Colts
We shouldn't be surprised by Henry's production in week 1. He basically was a one-man wreaking machine in the latter part of 2018 and picked up where he left off in week 1. Henry finished with 28 fantasy points, managing a touchdown on the goal-line and through the air on a 75-yard screen pass.
The Titans are going to keep needing Henry to produce and that shouldn't be a problem against the Colts, which gave up 6 yards per rush attempt in week 1 against the Chargers. The Titans are going to run first and pass second and that will benefit Henry's value this year.
I have a feeling by the end of this season, Henry will be a major fantasy steal.
Matt Breida vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Here's a long shot start for your week 2 lineup, especially with a Flex leagues. Breida will shoulder plenty of the workload in week 2 with Tevin Coleman's injury. The amount of touches he'll compile will be worth giving him a start, even against a Cincinnati defense that looked good against the Seahawks.
Even though the Bengals did well against the run, they still allowed Chris Carson to notch the seventh-most fantasy points among running backs in week 1.
Breida had a tough opener against Tampa Bay, but with him being the primary running back in San Francisco, he should be able to come close to reaching his potential from last year.
Kerryon Johnson vs. Los Angeles Chargers
I love the matchup, but I hate the running back committee once again in Detroit.
It appears the Lions, with a desire toward establishing the running game, will once again employ a hot-hand approach. That's disappointing since Johnson was supposed to be the primary running back finally in this offense.
But he once again was in a timeshare in week 1. The Chargers didn't do well against the run in week 1, so the matchup would be nice to exploit. However, I can't trust this running-back-by-committee approach by the Lions. Sit Johnson until things clear up for the Lions offense.
Adrian Peterson vs. Dallas Cowboys
Peterson was a healthy scratch in week 1 against Philadelphia for the first time in his career. But with Derrius Guice likely out for a few weeks with an injury, Peterson will once again be the main early down running back for the Redskins.
Now while that could give some owners hope, especially in Flex leagues, there's really not enough evidence to point to Peterson as a reliable fantasy running back. Dallas gave up the most yards per rush attempt in week 1 against Saquon Barkley and company, but I don't expect that to continue.
And even if it does in week 2, can we trust that Peterson will be able to carve out a role in this running back committee. I'm highly doubtful of that. Because of that, I'm sitting Peterson.
Aaron Jones vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings defense has been consistently dominant against opposing running games. Week 1 once again proved that to be true.
And once again, the Packers showed an inability to establish a solid running game against a good Bears defense in week 1. That's why I'm sitting Jones in this matchup, especially with the Vikings coming off of such a dominant performance.
Even with Jones as the No. 1 running back in Green Bay, I'm not sold that he can be an RB2 in week 2.
Scott Levine blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him three consecutive Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more sports betting coverage at Against The Chalk.