It’s been a typical running back year with several failures, some surprise breakouts and a lot of injuries. Some of those beaten backs may be back this week (David Montgomery, Christian McCaffrey, Clyde Edwards-Helaire), but as usual, we probably won’t know their status until next Sunday. This makes it difficult to put together our Week 9 fantasy RB rankings, but that’s nothing new for this time of the season.
First, here’s a reminder that Washington, Seattle, Tampa, and Detroit are on hold this week, so this takes away even more appetizers each week. It also takes away some top-notch matchups, as Detroit and Seattle are two of the worst defenses against the RBs and Washington is also below average. However, there are plenty of matchup-based sleepers that can be lifted off the benches or even taken off waivers to help.
A couple of frustrating committees have top 10 matchups this week, with Zack Moss and Devin Singletary in strong positions against the Jaguars and Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams having a similar lead against Dallas. It’s always hard to guess which player on each committee will have the best play, but in these matchups – this week – everyone has at least a flex value. The Raiders (@ Giants) and Eagles (vs. Chargers) also have great pairings, so depending on your health, you might try two full backs for each team. Right now, Josh Jacobs (chest) and Boston Scott appear to be the main benefactors, but Kenyan Drake and Jordan Howard will also be involved.
The Houston duo of David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay probably have the best match of the week against Miami, but, again, which one do you trust? Johnson appears to be the most likely to post good numbers, but Lindsay can’t be completely wiped out, at least in standard leagues. The same goes for Salvon Ahmed (against the Texans), who will complement Myles Gaskins. At this point, these three backs are barely flexible, but depending on your situation, you may need them.
Going even deeper, AJ Dillon (@ Chiefs) and Nyheim Hines (@ Jets) cuffs could be in play as deep league pushups. The truly needy can try Devonta Freeman (vs. Vikings) if Latavius Murray (ankle) is back. If Murray is out, then unfortunately Freeman is almost a must to start.
As always, there are some RBs with difficult pairings. James Robinson (versus Bills), Damien Harris (@ Panthers), and Chuba Hubbard (versus Patriots) probably get too much volume to sit on, though Harris’s workload can vary greatly. Of course, Carlos Hyde (against Bills) could start for Robinson (ankle) and McCaffrey (hamstring) could come back to replace Hubbard, but again, we probably won’t know until the end of the week.
Khalil Herbert (@ Steelers) and Elijah Mitchell (vs. Cardinals) are also pretty close to the start at this point. However, the Arizona duo of James Conner and Chase Edmonds (@ 49ers), Michael Carter of the Jets (@ Colts), Mike Davis of Atlanta (vs. Saints), and Brandon Bolden of New England (@ Panthers) are hard to find. sell. Conner always has the TD lead, Edmonds has a pretty reliable floor in the PPR leagues, and Carter is fresh out of a breakout match, so those three will likely be in many formations.
These rankings could really have a nice facelift by the end of the week if it looks like some of the aforementioned stars are making a comeback, but honestly, it wouldn’t be surprising if the opposite happened – even more back-keyers joined them on the inactive list. We’ll have to wait and see, and in the meantime, be ready to grab some key handcuffs.
Grade: We will be updating these RB rankings throughout the week, so check back for analysis and the latest player movement.
Fantasy RB Rankings Week 9: Who To Start Running Back?
The rankings are based on standard, not PPR score
|1||Jonathan Taylor, IND v NYJ|
|2||Austin Disgust, LAC @ PHI|
|3||Aaron Jones, GB @ KC|
|4th||Dalvin Cook, MIN @ BAL|
|5||Alvin Kamara, NO against ATL|
|6th||Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. DEN|
|7th||Najee Harris, PIT vs. WHO|
|8th||Nick Chubb, CLE @ CIN|
|9||Josh Jacobs, LV @ NYG|
|10||Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL @ NO|
|11||Darrell Henderson, LAR v TEN|
|12 °||James Robinson, JAX vs. BUF|
|13||Joe Mixon, CIN v CLE|
|14||Darrel Williams, KC versus GB|
|15 °||Devontae Booker, NYG v LV|
|16||Boston Scott, PHI v LAC|
|17 °||Khalil Herbert, CHI @ PIT|
|18 °||Damien Harris, NE @ CAR|
|19 °||Elijah Mitchell, SF vs. ARI|
|20||Melvin Gordon, DEN @ DAL|
|21||Adrian Peterson, TEN @ LAR|
|22||Chuba Hubbard, AUTO versus NE|
|23||Myles Gaskin, MIA v HOU|
|24||Zack Moss, BUF @ JAX|
|25||Michael Carter, NYJ @ IND|
|26||Jordan Howard, PHI v LAC|
|27||Keniano Drake, LV @ NYG|
|28||Devin Singletary, BUF @ JAX|
|29||Javonte Williams, DEN @ DAL|
|30||James Conner, ARI @ SF|
|31||Chase Edmonds, ARI @ SF|
|32||AJ Dillon, GB @ KC|
|33||Mike Davis, ATL @ NO|
|34||Tony Pollard, DAL versus DEN|
|35||David Johnson, HOU v MIA|
|36||Latavius Murray, BAL v MIN|
|37||Phillip Lindsay, HOU @ MIA|
|38||Derrick Gore, KC vs GB|
|39||Jeremy McNichols, TEN @ LAR|
|40||Salvon Ahmed, MIA against HOU|
|41||Mark Ingram, NO against ATL|
|42||Ameer Abdullah, CAR v NE|
|43||Nyheim Hines, IND v NYJ|
|44||Devonta Freeman, BAL vs MIN|
|45||D’Ernest Johnson, CLE @ CIN|
|46||Samaje Perine, CIN v CLE|
|47||Ty Johnson, NYJ @ IND|
|48||Brandon Bolden, NE @ CAR|
|49||Le’Veon Bell, BAL v MIN|
|50||Alexander Mattison, MIN @ BAL|
|51||Carlos Hyde, JAX versus BUF|
|52||JaMycal Hasty, SF vs ARI|
|53||Sony Michel, LAR against TEN|
|54||Jerick McKinnon, KC vs GB|
|55||Kenneth Gainwell, PHI v LAC|
|56||Damien Williams, CHI @ PIT|
|57||Justin Jackson, LAC @ PHI|
|58||Rhamondre Stevenson, NE @ CAR|
|59||Larry Rountree III, LAC @ PHI|