Week 1 of the NFL season offers us our first look into how teams will play and what certain players' roles are on the roster. While it's obviously useful info, the issue becomes trying not to overreact to what we saw considering it was just one game. With that being said, there are three running backs who enter Week 2 in a potentially favorable situation.
The Miami Dolphins had an active offseason, causing their acquisition of Chase Edmonds to go a little under the radar. Edmonds had a solid season last year with the Arizona Cardinals, joining forces with James Conner to form a very good running back duo. After moving to Miami, many wondered how the workload would be split between Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Myles Gaskin in the Dolphins' backfield. Week 1 was favorable for Edmonds as he operated as the clear No. 1 running back and played over 63% of snaps.
A lot has been made about Tua Tagovailoa's lack of desire to throw the ball down field. He averaged just 4.7 air yards per attempt in Week 1, which is actually up from his 4.1 average last season that ranked near the bottom of the league. Edmonds took advantage in Week 1, cashing in four receptions for 40 yards. That was with the Dolphins having a comfortable lead most of the game.
This week, the Dolphins head to Baltimore where they are a 3.5-point underdog. Game script might be favorable for a pass-catching running back, but more importantly, the Ravens showed a propensity to allow running backs to catch dump offs all day in Week 1. The Jets' duo of Michael Carter and Breece Hall had 13 receptions for 78 yards in Baltimore's opener.
Let's roll with Edmonds to go over 22.5 receiving yards. If you're willing to lay juice, over 2.5 receptions at -175 seems like a good bet as well.
Aaron Rodgers has a long history of taking a while to trust young wide receivers and he's already said that the team needs to get the ball in the hands of A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones as much as possible. That's music to my ears as the Packers enter Week 2 as a double digit favorite against the Chicago Bears.
Dillon doubled up Jones in carries in Week 1 (10-to-5) and nearly doubled him in total touches (15-to-8) as he continues his ascension in the league. Despite a negative game script with Green Bay trailing Minnesota almost all game, Dillon rushed for 45 yards on 10 carries in the opener. Green Bay should be playing with the lead on Sunday night, which means more carries for Dillon.
Chicago gave up 176 rushing yards to the San Francisco 49ers in their Week 1 victory. The 49ers averaged nearly five yards per attempt. Elijah Mitchell was averaging nearly 7 yards per carry before his injury.
With Green Bay as a massive favorite and Rodgers making it clear Dillon is one of the few players he trusts on this offense, Dillon should get plenty of carries in Week 2. The Bears have already shown their susceptible to the rush attack, so let's roll with Dillon to go over 50.5 rushing yards on Sunday night.
By his standards, Christian McCaffrey had a quiet opener. He had just 57 total yards (though his 28-yard fumble recovery was more of a rushing attempt). Only 24 of those yards came through the air. As a result, it feels like his receiving props for this upcoming week are depleted.
Last season, CMC had at least 54 receiving yards in all five games that he got through healthy. His over/under for receiving yards in Week 2 is set at just 41.5 yards.
The Panthers struggled early in their opener, causing them to run just 50 plays on offense. That was the second lowest mark in the league. However, from a positive angle, it seemed like the offense figured things out in the latter part of the game as they scored 17 points in the fourth quarter. Hopefully that carries over to Week 2 as Baker Mayfield continues to get acclimated to the offense. The Panthers will certainly run more plays this week, which is more opportunity for McCaffrey.
Carolina's Week 2 opponent is the New York Giants, who were burned by a pass-catching running back in their Week 1 victory over the Titans. Dontrell Hilliard had 61 receiving yards and two touchdowns. If Dontrell Hilliard can do that to New York, it's frightening to think what the best receiving back in football can do.
I expect the Panthers to make an effort to get their best player much more involved in Week 2. This is a low total for McCaffrey based on his history and it seems like the Giants' might be susceptible to running backs coming out of the backfield. As a result, I'm taking McCaffrey to go over 41.5 receiving yards. I also don't mind the price at -155 for CMC to score a touchdown at anytime in the game. He scored a rushing touchdown in the opener.