Fantasy football: Kamara among five running backs to avoid in Week 2

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (R) is not among my Top 10 fantasy football options this week. File Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI
1 of 5 | New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (R) is not among my Top 10 fantasy football options this week. File Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Alvin Kamara is among my five running backs to avoid for Week 2 of the fantasy football season. New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley leads my Top 30 weekly rankings for the position.

Aaron Jones, Rex Burkhead, Cordarrelle Patterson and Darrell Henderson Jr. are among the other players I would try to keep out of my lineup.


Week 1 performance, opportunity, strength of Week 2 opponents and expected game script are among the factors I considered when determining the players to avoid. My full Top 30 rankings are below.

Kamara was the player selected first in fantasy drafts among my five players to avoid.

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara is a low-end RB2 for me this week in fantasy football. File Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI

Alvin Kamara

Kamara's first- or second-round average draft position looks a bit pricey after he totaled just 46 yards on 12 touches in a Week 1 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

The New Orleans Saints also used Taysom Hill and Mark Ingram, who reach received four carries Sunday in Atlanta. Hill totaled 81 yards and a touchdown. Kamara's lack of success and the split workload make me feel uneasy about his success going forward.

The Saints also will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. The Buccaneers allowed the fewest rushing yards to running backs last season. They allowed tied for allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position in Week 1.

Kamara will still be involved in the passing game, but I would look elsewhere for production if you have decent options for a starter at the position, outside of the Saints running back.

The Saints star is my No. 19 running back for Week 2.

Green Bay Packers Aaron Jones (L) received just five carries in Week 1. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI

Aaron Jones

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones is my No. 20 option this week, a few spots behind backfield teammate A.J. Dillon.


Dillon received 10 carries and caught five passes, compared to Jones' five carries and three catches in Week 1. Dillon also appears to be the Packers' top goal-line option. Dillon's larger share of the workload could be a sign that the Packers intend to see if the young running back could take control of the top job.

The Packers will face the Chicago Bears in Week 2. The Bears tied the Buccaneers for allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs in Week 1. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' passing success against the Bears also leads me to think he finds the end zone several times, which could lead to fewer opportunities for Jones.

He can be used as a low-end RB2 this week, but don't expect elite production.

Houston Texans running back Rex Burkhead doesn't rank inside my Top 30 fantasy football options for Week 2. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

Rex Burkhead

Houston Texans running back Rex Burkhead totaled 19 touches for 70 yards in Week 1. His workload was a shock to many fantasy football team owners, who expected rookie Dameon Pierce to lead the Texans in carries.


Pierce totaled 12 touches last week, but coach Lovie Smith recently hinted he could get a larger workload in Week 2.

"I wish he had gotten more and we're going to work to get him more of those opportunities," Smith told reporters. "I wouldn't say that just being a primary ball carrier is holding him back. Those are some things that we're going to work on to make sure that that situation doesn't happen again."

Pierce's increase in touches should result in fewer opportunities for Burkhead. The Texans also will battle the Denver Broncos, who allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs in Week 1.

Burkhead, who was a popular waiver-wire pickup, is not included in my Top 30 rankings.

Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson can be used as a fantasy football RB2 or flex play this week. File Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI

Cordarrelle Patterson

Atlanta Falcons playmaker Cordarrelle Patterson exploded for 120 yards and a score on 22 carries in Week 1. He lands at No. 23 in my Week 2 rankings due to a matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Rams tied for allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points to running backs last season. They allowed the second-fewest points to the position in Week 1.


Patterson should still provide value, due to his ability to catch passes in addition to his running opportunities, but I would only plug him in as an RB2 or flex play.

Running back Darrell Henderson Jr. (27) dominated the backfield workload in Week 1 for the Los Angeles Rams. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Darrell Henderson Jr.

Rams running back Darrell Henderson Jr. was another player who received a surprisingly large workload in Week 1, with 13 carries and five catches in a loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Henderson received a start in the NFL's season opener, while Cam Akers totaled just three carries and didn't gain any yards. Look for the Rams to involve Akers and their other running backs more this week, which downgrades Henderson's fantasy football outlook.

The Rams also will face the Falcons, who just held Saints running backs to the fewest fantasy points in the league. Henderson is my No. 25 option for Week 2.

Week 2 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs. CAR

2. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts at JAX

3. Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos vs. HOU

4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at PHI


5. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers at NYG

6. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals at LV

7. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at BUF

8. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals at DAL

9. Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders at DET

10. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. CIN

11. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns vs. NYJ

12. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. NE

13. D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions vs. WAS

14. A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers vs. CHI

15. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles vs. MIN

16. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at NO

17. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. TB

18. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears at GB

19. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns vs. NYJ

20. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. CHI

21. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders vs. ARI

22. Chase Edmonds, Miami Dolphins at BAL

23. Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons at LAR

24. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. IND

25. Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams vs. ATL

26. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots at PIT

27. Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans at DEN

28. J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens vs. MIA


29. Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers vs. SEA

30. Michael Carter, New York Jets at CLE

This week in the National Football League

Los Angeles Chargers' quarterback Justin Herbert passes under pressure during the first half of the game between the Chargers and the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood Calif., on September 11, 2022. The Chargers won 24-19. Photo by Mike Goulding/UPI | License Photo

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