Numerous injuries forced fantasy managers to scramble to make lineup decisions prior to Week 1. Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending Achilles injury Sunday, but prior to the injury, he played nearly all offensive snaps and had 10 touches and 11.7 fantasy points.
Dobbins has missed 43 of 67 career games. He suffered a season-ending ACL injury just days before the start of the 2021 season and will likely look to sign a prove-it deal next offseason.
Gus Edwards (rostered in 21.4% of ESPN leagues) and Justice Hill (0.3%) were heavily used following Dobbins’ injury, and the Ravens are likely to elevate Melvin Gordon III from the practice squad. There’s also a chance Baltimore will bring in Leonard Fournette and Kareem Hunt for a visit. The Ravens’ backfield appears to be moving toward a committee approach, so Edwards and Hill should be targeted on the waiver wire. Edwards is the preferred target and profiles as a low-end RB2. He has had 11 games with 15 or more rushing attempts and in those 11 games has averaged 12.5 fantasy points over his career.
With all that in mind, here are some other RB options to consider:
Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons (43.6%): It was surprising to see the usage split between Bijan Robinson and Allgeier. Allgeier finished with 18 touches and 24.4 fantasy points against the Carolina Panthers Sunday. He and Robinson played a similar number of snaps and the Falcons ranked second in run play percentage last season. It looks like Atlanta will continue to rely heavily on its running game. After a successful rookie season with the Falcons, it looks like Allgeier will continue to play a big role in the backfield.
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (21.5%): Gainwell finished with 18 touches and 11.4 fantasy points against the Patriots while Rashaad Penny was a healthy scratch and D’Andre Swift played minimal snaps. While there’s no guarantee this will continue to be the rotation moving forward, Gainwell looks like the Eagles running back you want on your fantasy roster. Philadelphia’s offensive line was one of the top run-blocking units last season, while Gainwell averaged 0.77 fantasy points per touch.
Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (11.8%): Spears led the Titans’ backfield in snaps, routes run and targets in Week 1. This implies he’ll have a meaningful role in Tennessee’s backfield. The Titans were open to trading Derrick Henry early this year, and he is set to become a free agent following this season. The 29-year-old is entering the last of his prime years in the NFL, so this is a great time to add Spears to your roster as a stash.
Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams (10.2%): Williams led the Rams’ backfield in snaps, routes run, touches (17) and fantasy points (17.4) in Week 1. Cam Akers has struggled with inefficiency throughout his career, averaging a middling 4.0 yards per touch over the past three seasons. Akers also is not viewed as a viable receiver out of the backfield. Sean McVay can be unpredictable with his backfields, but it sure looks like Williams is set to become the starter in Los Angeles.
Deon Jackson had a chance to cement himself as the Colts’ starter against the Jaguars but failed to impress, which opens the door for Zack Moss (10.6%) to win the job in Week 2 against the Texans.
Jaylen Warren (46.6%) and Najee Harris are clearly in a committee as evidenced by their snaps played and routes run Sunday. The 49ers’ defense was a tough matchup for the Steelers’ offense in Week 1.
While the Browns are no walk in the park, the Steelers’ schedule eases up after Week 2 with games against the Raiders and Texans.
Chicago’s backfield is a frustrating three-man committee, but Roschon Johnson (21.1%) scored the team’s lone rushing touchdown. As we watch things unfold, now is the time to stash him. Chuba Hubbard (11.3%) and Joshua Kelley (11.3%) are behind established starters in Miles Sanders and Austin Ekeler but could find themselves firmly on the flex radar based on the touches they were provided in Week 1.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (48.6%): The Lions’ offense had a pedestrian game against the Chiefs last Thursday, but beating the Chiefs on the road is pretty impressive. Even though Goff scored only 14 fantasy points, he did finish as the QB10 overall last season. The Lions have two home games coming up against the Seahawks and Falcons. Goff averaged 21.6 fantasy points at home last season.
Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers (24.5%): Purdy has averaged 18.3 fantasy points per game in his brief time as a starter, and he could have had a much bigger fantasy performance if the game were more competitive. Purdy is on the streaming radar for Week 2 against the Rams due to his stellar offensive supporting cast, which includes Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle.
Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers (15.8%): Love scored 23 fantasy points against the Bears without Christian Watson on the field and Romeo Doubs playing at less than 100%. Love is a strong QB2 in superflex formats who could make a strong case for being rostered in one-quarterback leagues. He faces the Atlanta Falcons on the road in Week 2.
Matthew Stafford (30.2%) had his eighth career 300-yard passing game in a season opener, an impressive performance especially without Cooper Kupp. Derek Carr’s (28.1%) lack of touchdowns resulted in a lackluster fantasy performance, but he did throw for 305 yards. Carr is set for better statistical days this season as New Orleans plays one of the easier schedules in the league. Don’t overlook Baker Mayfield (4.1%) in deeper formats. He had a strong road performance against the Vikings in Week 1 and benefits greatly from having Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as his top two receivers. Mac Jones (4.9%) should not be overlooked by fantasy managers in superflex formats. He is worth stashing after posting 24.1 fantasy points against the Eagles.
Puka Nacua (2.3%) and Tutu Atwell (5.6%), Los Angeles Rams: Nacua caught 10 of 15 targets for 119 receiving yards against the Seahawks Sunday and became the fourth player in league history to have at least 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards in his first career game. Atwell caught 6 of 8 targets for 119 receiving yards. The 49ers present a difficult matchup for the Rams’ new receiving duo in Week 2, but both Nacua and Atwell are firmly on the flex radar.
Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars (29.8%): Jones was not far behind Calvin Ridley in snaps played and routes run. In Sunday’s game against the Colts, Jones finished with seven targets and 16.5 fantasy points, while Christian Kirk finished with three targets and only 1.9 fantasy points. It appears Jones is more valuable than Kirk, who was the WR33 in our live draft trends this summer.
Romeo Doubs (19.1%), Green Bay Packers: Doubs was dealing with a hamstring injury heading into Sunday’s game against the Bears but delivered for fantasy managers. The Packers played it smart with Doubs, limiting his snaps, and he had two receiving touchdowns. Although Christian Watson might return against the Falcons in Week 2, Doubs can be viewed as a WR2. The Packers have an easy fantasy schedule. Add Doubs to your roster to take advantage of it.
Robert Woods, Houston Texans (2.7%): Woods is being used as a possession receiver, which will limit his fantasy upside, but he should be rostered in deeper formats considering his target volume. It’s going to be a tough season for the Texans, who will be trailing in a lot of games. While Woods doesn’t have touchdown upside like Collins, he’s going to accumulate a ton of targets as C.J. Stroud’s safety blanket. Bye weeks and injuries will make Woods look more appealing as the season progresses. Now is the time to stash him on your bench.
Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints (2.0%): Michael Thomas doesn’t look washed up, but it remains to be seen if he will remain healthy. With that said, Shaheed shined in Week 1 with 19 fantasy points. Despite playing fewer snaps than Thomas and Chris Olave, Shaheed’s routes run weren’t far off. He also got some designed carries, which is very encouraging. Shaheed is a playmaker, so New Orleans will want to get the ball in his hands as much as possible.
Jayden Reed (16.7%) should not be overlooked on the wire, especially for fantasy managers in deeper formats. It is important to be aware of one thing, especially with Watson returning sooner rather than later. Reed played a high percentage of his snaps against the Bears in 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end and three wide receivers).
Allen Robinson II (1.7%) has suddenly become fantasy relevant with Diontae Johnson dealing with a hamstring injury. Robinson could find himself playing every down this week against the Browns depending on the severity of Johnson’s injury.
Josh Reynolds (0.4%) is someone to add in deeper formats. Amon-Ra St. Brown was the only Lion who ran more routes than Reynolds did against the Chiefs. He has solidified his role as the Lions’ No. 2 receiver.
Kendrick Bourne (2.3%) scored 24.4 fantasy points against the Eagles in Week 1. While that is impressive, I find it hard to get excited about a player who has averaged 3.7 targets per game in his career.
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans (48.6% of ESPN leagues): Okonkwo is going to be overlooked in fantasy leagues since he finished with two targets and zero fantasy points against the Saints on Sunday. You shouldn’t let that discourage you. New Orleans’ defense does a great job containing tight ends and Okonkwo still played a high number of snaps and ranked fourth in routes run. He averaged nearly 2.1 fantasy points per target last season and will have a better chance to showcase his skills against the Chargers in Week 2.
Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals (39%): Fantasy managers aren’t super excited about the Cardinals, but Ertz had 10 targets and ran as many routes as Marquise Brown in Week 1. Arizona plays the Giants in Week 2, so Ertz will likely be touted as a streamer this week. He has a five-game touchdown streak against the Giants dating back to his time with the Eagles.
Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions (34.3%): LaPorta played well in his NFL debut last Thursday, playing 58 snaps and catching all five of his targets for 39 yards. He also improved his blocking during training camp and the preseason. You shouldn’t hesitate to pick up LaPorta if you need a tight end.
Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers (8.5%): Musgrave caught 3 of 4 targets for 50 receiving yards in Week 1 while playing a high number of snaps. Don’t overlook Musgrave on the waiver wire given his rapport with Jordan Love and the Packers’ easy schedule.
Hayden Hurst, Carolina Panthers (4.8%): Hurst had seven targets and 15.1 fantasy points in Week 1. Head coach Frank Reich has a history of leaning heavily on tight ends and was vocal about his plans for the Panthers’ tight end room this summer. Carolina ranked last in tight end receptions (122), receiving yards (1,173) and touchdowns (6) over the past three seasons, but there is a good chance that will change in 2023 with Bryce Young and Hurst in the fold.
Irv Smith Jr. (6.5%) had five targets and the fourth-most routes run on the Bengals in Week 1.
Logan Thomas (2.8%) dealt with a calf injury this summer but played nearly as many snaps as Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson against the Cardinals in Week 1. He should be considered in deeper formats.