Houston Texans running back Rex Burkhead surprised many fantasy owners after a strong debut in Week 1. After many assumed a high volume of carries would be handled by promising rookie Dameon Pierce, Burkhead both out carried and outrushed the rookie against the Indianapolis Colts. He also had an efficient receiving day in the box score, begging the question of whether he should start or sit in Week 2.
Fantasy Football analysis: Texans RB Rex Burkhead
Despite the hype for Pierce heading into the season, it was the veteran Burkhead that produced on the field in the season opener. Burkhead finished with 12.0 PPR fantasy points, after totaling 40 rushing yards and 30 receiving yards on five catches. His eight targets easily outpaced Pierce’s one receiving target all game. Despite head coach Lovie Smith indicating that he would like to get the rookie more involved in the offense, it’s clear that the Texans value experience early on in the season.
It remains to be seen whether the matchup in Week 2 is a favorable one for Burkhead, as they travel on the road to face a tough Denver Broncos defense in the Mile High City. Last week, the Broncos' defense allowed the seventh-fewest rushing yards with 76.0 all game, and that came against a Seattle Seahawks team that relies heavily on the run. Looking back to last season, Denver allowed the 13th-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, with an average of 17.1 fantasy points per game.
Start or sit in Week 2?
The volume of carries that Burkhead had over Pierce is promising early on in the season, and if the matchup were favorable then the veteran is an easy choice to fire up in fantasy lineups. Playing on the road is a tough obstacle for any fantasy player, and the fact that the Texans will be in the Mile High city only adds to the difficulty at hand. The Broncos defense also has a strong track record of holding their own against running backs, both in general and in fantasy leagues. With the factors in play, Burkhead is a sit this week against Denver.