Joe Mixon, Breece Hall among 5 fantasy football RBs to avoid in Week 2

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (R) jumps out of the grasp of Cleveland Browns defender Rodney McLeod Jr. on Sunday in Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
1 of 5 | Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (R) jumps out of the grasp of Cleveland Browns defender Rodney McLeod Jr. on Sunday in Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Joe Mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals and Breece Hall of the New York Jets are among my five fantasy football running backs to avoid in lineups in Week 2.

Javonte Williams, Brian Robinson Jr. and Cam Akers are the other running backs I would bench, unless you don't roster another option listed higher in my rankings.


My Week 2 quarterback, tight end and wide receiver rankings and waiver-wire additions articles remain available for your preparation. My positional rankings will continue to be altered for developments, including injuries. Players from Thursday's Minnesota Vikings-Philadelphia Eagles game were removed from my rankings.

My Top 30 running back rankings for Week 2 are below. My running backs to avoid either rank just inside or outside the Top 24 of my rankings.

Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry is the No. 1 player in my Week 2 running back rankings. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

Breece Hall

Hall, who missed the majority of the last two seasons because of injuries, showed off why the New York Jets selected him early in the second-round of the 2022 NFL Draft in his 2023 debut. The second-year running back scorched the Buffalo Bills for 127 yards on just 10 carries, including one that went for 83 yards, the longest run for any player in Week 1.

Hall is capable of taking any handoff to the end zone at any point in a game, but he could find it a bit harder to find space Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys dominated the New York Giants in Week 1, overwhelming their offensive line in a 40-0 blowout. The Cowboys also limited Giants running back Saquon Barkley to just 51 yards on 12 carries.

Hall should break loose a few times this week, but I don't expect him to be quite as explosive. The Jets will likely lean on Dalvin Cook a little more as they attempt to keep Hall fresh and control the clock in this road matchup.

Hall is the No. 23 option in my Week 2 running back rankings. He should only be used in leagues that include at least 14 teams or feature a flex position.

Running back Javonte Williams (33) and the Denver Broncos will face the Washington Commanders on Sunday in Denver. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI

Javonte Williams

Williams ran for 52 yards on 13 carries and caught four passes for five yards in the Denver Broncos' Week 1 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

This week, the Broncos will host the Washington Commanders. The Commanders, who allowed fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs in 2022, held Arizona Cardinals running backs to just 58 yards on 19 carries in Week 1.

Look for a low-scoring game between the Broncos and Commanders, with Williams failing to eclipse 80 yards from scrimmage. He is my No. 25 option and should only be plugged in as a low-end RB2 or flex play in deeper leagues.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) eludes a tackle from Cleveland Browns defender Ogbo Okoronkwo on Sunday in Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI

Joe Mixon

Mixon and the entire Cincinnati Bengals offense failed to find a rhythm in a Week 1 loss to the Cleveland Browns. The veteran running back totaled 16 touches for 70 yards in the loss.

This week, the Bengals will battle the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards and sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs last season. They started the 2023 campaign by limiting Houston Texans starter Dameon Pierce to just 38 yards on 11 carries.


The Bengals -- who roster a better playmaker arsenal than the Texans -- should rebound offensively this week, but look for more of a running back rotation, with Mixon splitting touches. I also see Burrow finding more of a rhythm with pass catchers Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

Mixon can still be in lineups in deeper leagues, but I would look elsewhere for a starter if you roster a player higher in my rankings.

Brian Robinson Jr.

Robinson received the majority of work in the Commanders backfield in Week 1, edging fellow running back Antonio Gibson 19-3 in carries. Robinson turned that workload into just 59 rushing yards, but salvaged his fantasy stock with a 7-yard touchdown catch.

I would avoid Robinson this week when the Commanders face the Broncos, who just held reigning rushing champion Josh Jacobs to 48 yards on 19 carries in their Week 1 loss to the Raiders. Gibson also should receive a better share of the backfield split.

Robinson is my No. 28 play for Week 2.

Running back Cam Akers and the Los Angeles Rams will face a tough San Francisco 49ers run defense in Week 2. File Photo by Mike Goulding/UPI

Cam Akers

Akers entered Week 1 eying a juicy matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, who allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs last season. The Los Angeles Rams running back received 22 carries, but disappointed his stock owners by producing just 29 yards.

Akers scored a touchdown, which helped his cause, but his lack of usage in the passing game and inefficiency as a runner is a huge concern going forward.

Fellow Rams running back Kyren Williams was on the field for nearly twice the amount of snaps as Akers -- with 53 snaps compared to 28 -- and received 15 carries and scored twice.

Beyond those production and usage concerns, the Rams will host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2. The 49ers. who allowed the fewest rushing yards and fantasy points to running backs last season, held Pittsburgh Steelers running backs to just 50 yards on 19 carries in Week 1.

Akers, who isn't in my Top 30, should not be in lineups until he proves he can become the clear leader of this murky backfield.

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb (L) runs past the Cincinnati Bengals defense Sunday in Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI

Week 2 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. LAC

2. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at PIT

3. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons vs. GB

4. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers at LAR

5. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders at BUF

6. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants vs. ARI

7. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at TEN

8. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys vs. NYJ

9. Kenneth Walker, Seattle Seahawks at DET

10. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots vs. MIA

11. Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans vs. IND

12. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. KC

13. Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions vs. SEA

14. Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. CHI

15. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals vs. NYG

16. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at ATL

17. James Cook, Buffalo Bills vs. LV

18. Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens at CIN

19. Jamaal Williams, New Orleans Saints at CAR

20. A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers at ATL

21. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. CLE

22. Miles Sanders, Carolina Panther vs. NO

23. Breece Hall, New York Jets at DAL

24. Isaiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs at JAX


25. Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos vs. WAS

26. David Montgomery, Detroit Lions vs. SEA

27. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. BAL

28. Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders at DEN

29. Samaje Perine, Denver Broncos vs. WAS

30. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins at NE

NFL: San Francisco 49ers dominate Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy runs off the field after his team's 30-7 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh on September 10, 2023. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

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