Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Fantasy Football Week 2 Running Back Preview: Jeff Wilson is a fine flex, but not without risk

Fantasy Football Week 2 Running Back Preview: Jeff Wilson is a fine flex, but not without risk

Everything you need to know about the running back position in Week 2

San Francisco 49ers v Tennessee Titans
Wesley Hitt / Getty Images

Once it became clear that Najee Harris was expecting to play in Week 2 against the Patriots, Jeff Wilson became the clear top waiver wire. Wilson is expected to take over for Elijah Mitchell against the Seattle Seahawks. But any time we’re talking about a Kyle Shanahan offense and using the word “expected”, we need to be careful.

Remember, last year, no one expected Mitchell to be the lead back when Raheem Mostert went down. In fact, Shanahan hasn’t had the same leading rusher in back-to-back seasons for five years straight. Although, to be fair to Wilson, he was one of those backs, back in 2020. Shanahan himself has said he’ll use a hot-hand approach with both Tyrion Davis-Price and Jordan Mason potentially getting a chance. And the team just added Jordan Mason off the waiver wire. 

Shanahan isn’t the only risk to Wilson. He could lead the running backs in carries and still fall short. In Week 1 Trey Lance combined for 21 carries for 106 yards and a score. Wilson and Mitchell had 15 carries for 63 yards in that game. The 49ers interior offensive line wasn’t impressive either.

None of this is to say you can’t start Wilson in Week 2. I’d just feel much more comfortable doing so with boom-or-bust flex expectations than as a No. 2 running back.

Now let’s get to the rest of the Week 2 RB Preview:

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Week 2 RB Preview

The following players are not being projected to play Week 2 at this time. Here’s what it means:

RB Preview

Numbers to know

  • 194Saquon Barkley’s 194 scrimmage yards vs. the Titans was the fourth-most of his career and the first time he’s eclipsed 130 scrimmage yards since 2019.

  • 120Cordarrelle Patterson set a career-high with 120 rush yards in Week 1. His 22 carries may have had something to do with Damien Williams‘ early injury.
  • 15 — AJ Dillion out-touched Aaron Jones 15-8 in Week 1 and handled 10 carries to Jones’ five. Jones did lead the team with a 67% route participation. Both backs are starts.

  • 14Rex Burkhead out-carried Dameon Pierce 14-11 in Week 1. Lovie Smith says he wants to get Pierce more involved in Week 2.
  • 51% — Both James Robinson and Travis Etienne played 51% of the snaps in Week 1.
  • 7Jamaal Williams had seven touches in the red zone and stole two goalline touchdowns from D’Andre Swift.
  • 18%Cam Akers‘ snap share in Week 1. Sean McVay continues to be a one-back coach and Darrell Henderson is currently that back.
  • 8%Steelers running backs were targeted on 8% of Mitch Trubisky’s Week 1 pass attempts. At that rate, Najee Harris may be a bust even if he stays healthy.
  • 19.4% — Zach Moss saw nearly a 20% target share in Week 1. He’s a worthy stash just in case he’s also the goalline back.

RB Preview

Matchups that matter

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RB Preview

Waiver Wire Targets

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RB Preview

Heath’s Projections

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