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Top 10 Running Back Studs - Best Fantasy Football RB Performances Including D'Andre Swift, Kyren Williams, Bijan Robinson, and more

Alright, party people, guess who's back? Fantasy football, that's who! This year, many draft enthusiasts were all googly-eyed over wide receivers in the early rounds, pushing those reliable running backs to the fantasy equivalent of the backseat. Now that we are just about two weeks in, it's time to take a look and see who is red hot and how some of the RB backfields are working their way out.

But hold up! Before we throw any toys out of the fantasy pram, remember: it's only Week 2. While we're all about peeking at backfield dynamics and counting how many snaps our favorite running backs get, let's not forget it's still the early days. Here's a heads up: defenses usually lead the pack at the start of the season, so if your heartthrob team or fantasy running back took a nap in Week 2, no need to sound the alarm!

Ready for some name-dropping? Here are the Week 2 Top 10 RB MVPs, based on half-PPR fantasy scores (excluding the Monday night drama). And for those who live for real-time stats, pin our live fantasy scoreboard to your browser. You'll get live updates, top performances, and more – because who doesn't love some live fantasy action?

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Top 10 Running Backs Of The Week

Here are the top 10 running back from Week 2 of the 2023 NFL season in half-PPR scoring:

Rank Player Team Points
1 Brian Robinson WAS 27.9
2 D'Andre Swift PHI 25.6
3 Raheem Mostert MIA 25.2
4 Kyren Williams LAR 25.0
5 Saquon Barkley NYG 24.2
6 Christian McCaffrey SF 21.0
7 Bijan Robinson ATL 19.2
8 Rachaad White TB 18.8
9 Zack Moss IND 18.7
10 James Cook BUF 17.9

1. Brian Robinson, Washington Commanders

All hail the Commanders. After the nightmarish Daniel Snyder era finally came to an end this summer, Washington is now 2-0 and running back Brian Robinson has been a big part of it. On Sunday, Robinson rushed 18 times for 87 yards and 2 TDs to go along with 2 receptions for 42 yards. Robinson is carving out such a large role for himself in this backfield that fellow running back Antonio Gibson isn't even a big factor anymore. With the new-look Commanders looking much better with offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy running the show, you can safely set Robinson in your fantasy lineup each week. While the hope is he will continue to see some of the receiving work, he probably won't get it all. Best to view Robinson as a high-end RB2 with RB1 upside in good matchups. Robinson impressed on Sunday.

2. D'Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles

Yours truly was giddier than a school girl in the 90s opening up a love note from a crush during Swift's epic performance on Thursday night. After Kenneth Gainwell was sidelined from Week 2 with a rib injury, Swift was thrust into action and didn't miss a beat. While fellow RBs, Rashaad Penny and Boston Scott were involved, they didn't hold a candle to Swift. On TNF, he carried the rock 28 times for 175 yards and 1 TD on top of being vultured by QB Jalen Hurts twice inside the 1 yard-line. Swift could've easily gone for 40-plus fantasy points otherwise! He also played 75 percent of the snaps and saw 3 targets where he caught all 3 for 6 yards. There is still a good chance he is going to need to fend off Gainwell, but we have clarity on the Eagles backfield for fantasy. Swift can be viewed as a high-end RB2 for now who can be efficient with touches in this dynamic offense.

3. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins

Mostert continues to age like fine wine. Despite being 31 years old, he hasn't shown any signs of slowing down and has such an explosive burst as a running back. He is the ideal fit for the Dolphin offensive scheme. On Sunday Night, Mostert carried the rock 18 times for 121 yards and 2 TDs on top of having 1 reception for 6 yards. While Jeff Wilson Jr. will return from injured reserve in two weeks and rookie RB De'Von Achane looms in the background, Mostert is worth startng in all formats for the time being. The Dolphins are 2-0 and have such a high-powered offense. Mostert hasn't proven to be able to put it together for an entire season, so it's best to get your usage out of him now and have him in your lineups. Let's hope that's not the case, but for now Mostert can be viewed as an RB2 with upside for the time being.

4. Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams

This one was a bit of an early season surprise, but after Kyren finished as the RB8 in Week 1, maybe we should have seen this coming. Former RB Cam Akers was inactive for all of Week 2 and it appears that the Rams will again look to trade him elsewhere. Rookie RB Zach Evans was also inactive and Williams got the bulk of the carries against a brutal 49ers defense. Williams rushed 14 times for 52 yards and 1 TD on top of seeing 10 targets where he caught 6 for 48 yards and a TD. While this might not look overly impressive, don't forget just how good the 49ers defense is. Williams played almost the entire game and looks to be the RB1 for the Rams going forward. With Akers now likely out of the way that changes everything. The Rams offense looks a lot better this year and Williams is a big part of it.

5. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

All of America held it's collective breath on Sunday afternoon when Barkley was helped off the field. The Giants pulled off an epic comeback once down 28-7 and won 31-28 in Arizona to save their season. Barkley was effective on the ground yet again, rushing 17 times for 63 yards and 1 TD while seeing 7 targets and finishing with 6 receptions for 29 yards and 1 TD. While we still don't know the full report on his lower body injury, it does appear from early reports that he suffered a high-ankle sprain. The Giants play the 49ers on Thursday Night Football in Week 3, so don't expect Barkley to play. Hopefully he won't be out more than a few weeks. In the meantime, Matt Breida Gary Brightwell, and Eric Gray are worth a look as fantasy replacements, but they aren't likely anyone you want to play against the 49ers defense in Week 3.

6. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers

Alright, gather 'round fantasy fans! Guess who's still wearing the G.O.A.T. crown? None other than CMC! This dynamo is reminding all of us of his fantasy magic, racing through defenses this week with 20 rushes, racking up 116 yards, and blessing fantasy owners with a touchdown. Oh, and did I mention his casual 3 targets? Yep, snagged 3 for a smooth 19 yards. The 49ers rolled into Los Angeles like they owned the place, and CMC? He's not just a fantastic runner, but a receiver magician out of the backfield, making him almost immune to game scripts. Heard the whispers about the 49ers lightening CMC's load in 2023? Pfft! As long as the offense keeps the party going, CMC's fantasy stock isn't going anywhere but up! At this point he looks very much like the overall RB1. CMC is one of the most talented RBs we have seen in years.

7. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons

Through 2 weeks, Bijan is on the verge of making running backs great again. Robinson shared some of the load with Tyler Allgeier on Sunday, but he's got solid RB1 finishes in back to back weeks. According to some data from Dwain McFarland of MB Fantasy Life, Robinson played 73% of the snaps, 43% of rush attempts, had a 79% route participation, a 17% target share, and 50% of snaps inside the 5 yard-line. The Falcons sit at 2-0 and Bijan is a large part of it. On Sunday, Robinson rushed 19 times for 124 yards while hauling in 4 of his 5 targets for 48 yards. He is such a phenomenal receiver out of the backfield that he has multiple avenues of scoring fantasy points. At this point in the season, it's safe to say that CMC, Ekeler, and Bijan are all in a tier of their own. Allgeier could be a pest, but start Bijan with confidence.

8. Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A bit of a surprise on Sunday, the Bucs are 2-0 and their offense looked much better than advertised. White was a big part of that, rushing 17 times for 73 yards and a 1 TD on top of catching all 5 of his targets for 30 yards. White struggled as a runner in Week 1 against a mediocre Vikings defense, but he looked much better in Week 2. For the time being, White looks like a fantasy bargain as he's been hardly leaving the field and neither backup RBs Sean Tucker or Chase Edmonds have done anything to step up. White is a better receiver than he is a runner, but this is likely a good thing for fantasy. For the time being he can be safely slotted into your lineups as an RB2 with upside. White could easily finish in the top 3 among running backs in receptions this season.

9. Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts offense came out firing on all cylinders on Sunday against the Texans. Rookie RB Evan Hull was placed on injured reserve this week and in Week 1, Deon Jackson didn't make the most of his opportunities, which opened the door for Moss. On Sunday, Moss rushed 18 times for 88 yards and a TD while nabbing all 4 of his targets for 19 yards. With defenses having to play wider to stop quarterback Anthony Richardson from finding the edge on designed runs and scrambles, this likely will open up inside running lanes for their RBs. Incumbent RB Jonathan Taylor will be sidelined for two more weeks and Moss is likely a matchup-dependent RB2/RB3 in the meantime. The bad news? The Colts draw the Ravens and the Rams over their next two games. Despite the positive performance, temper your expectations for Moss.

10. James Cook, Buffalo Bills

One of the more controversial RBs of the 2023 draft season, the belief regarding James Cook was that he couldn't be a workhorse type of running back. After playing 59 percent of the Week 1 snaps, Cook was even better in Week 2 against the Raiders where he saw 17 rush attempts for 123 yards while catching all 4 of his targets for 36 yards. The Bills rolled over the Raiders 38-10, but it was an impressive showing from Cook. He saw a 58 percent snap share, an 11 percent target share, and over half of the team rush attempts, but was again vultured by RBs Latavius Murray and Damien Harris in the red zone. This could likely cap Cooks' upside for the rest of the season, but it's hard not to be encouraged by what we are seeing so far. Best to view him as a middling RB2 with potential upside for now.


Looking Forward to the Rest of 2023

How did you do in Week 2? While we want to remain aware of things like usage and snap shares, it is vital that we don't completely overreact and abandon our process after just two weeks. NFL offenses definitely looked a lot better in Week 2 compared to Week 1 and this is a trend that should continue as the season goes along. Be sure to follow us here at RotoBaller with up-to-date fantasy news and team reports.

Are there any running backs not on this list who you expect to bounce back in Week Three? If you have any FAAB or waiver questions as well, feel free to get at me on Twitter.

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