Week 2 of FOX4 fantasy football proves just how valuable good running backs can be

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Editor’s note: This is part of a season-long look at the FOX4 fantasy football league, as told through my eyes as team owner. Read last week’s blog here

Week 1 result: 140.65-73.80 = WIN

Season standings: 2-0

Overconfidence is a cardinal sin in fantasy football, one I’m not trying to admit. But, so far, I like how my team has come together.

I didn’t have quite the jaw-dropping numbers a week ago, but I got a strong enough performance from my squad that I didn’t have to sweat anything out in Week 2. I’ve still got two points of concern on my team that I’m looking to address this week.

The good: Running back play was everything I could’ve hoped for more. Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook and Austin Ekeler all found the end zone in Week 2 and are firmly locked into my starting and flex spots every week they aren’t on byes.

Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs the ball against the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter at Ford Field on September 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

I can’t stress enough how valuable it is to get three good running backs in all league formats, even where you can only start two. At best, you have a formidable lineup at the most important position on a fantasy roster; at worst, you have an asset to spin off in a trade should it come to that.

The bad: Once again, I put a 0 in my lineup, this time from Jimmy Graham at tight end.

It’s the second straight week I’ve chosen incorrectly at the TE spot, but to be fair, I think many others with a not-fully-healthy Greg Olsen playing on a wet field in a Thursday night game might have done the same.

My Graham gamble doesn’t look great so far — he’s got a touchdown, but very few targets. He’s certainly on my bench this week, and I might have to drop him quickly because of other roster concerns (more on that in a moment).

Olsen I think is at least going to get some grabs, which is probably as much as I can hope for without an elite tight end.

The ugly: The Cowboys’ Michael Gallup is out 2-4 weeks with a meniscus injury, further depleting what was an already weak receiving group for me.

Gallup had looked good as the second receiving option in what’s suddenly become a robust Dallas offense. (A quick note: it’s much better to get the second and sometimes third receiver in a strong offense than the best one in a weak system.)

He’s too valuable to drop, especially for an injury that shouldn’t last more than a month, so I’ll be playing a man down when I was already playing match-up.

Waiver wire additions: WR Sterling Shepard, Philadelphia defense

I lucked out last week when another owner dropped Shepard off their team. Granted, I had to stash him Week 2 as he sat with an injury.

Sterling Shepard #87 of the New York Giants carries the ball against Xavier Woods #25 of the Dallas Cowboys in the second half at AT&T Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

While I admittedly don’t love the Giants passing attack, this is a matter of grabbing the least worst option available. I at least have the silver lining that the Giants benched Eli Manning in favor of Daniel Jones, so I expect all their offensive players to see increased production.

The Eagles defense is simply a streaming option for me. As good as the Ravens have been to me this season, I can’t expect them to contain the Chiefs offense in their home opener. I’m much more comfortable with Philly hosting a middling Detroit team.

What I’m hoping for this week: Clarity outside my core.

My three running backs and Deandre Hopkins at receiver are clear starts each week. Despite a bad week against the Falcons, Carson Wentz is the best option I have at quarterback. Kickers are whatever.

I’d like to see even something reliably average from my second receiver slot and tight end.

I’ve been fortunate enough to get wins two weeks while getting a zero from a starter, but I’ve played long enough to know that won’t continue.

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