by Ray Kuhn
At the worst possible time, there are just three weeks remaining until the fantasy playoffs begin, we have our second and final week with six teams on bye. Filling out starting lineups may not be an easy proposition, but that can’t stop us. With that being said, let’s jump right into the rankings:
- Todd Gurley – LA Rams – vs. Kansas City
- Saquon Barkley – NY Giants – vs. Tampa Bay
- Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at Atlanta
- Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – vs. Philadelphia
- Melvin Gordon – LA Chargers – vs. Denver
- Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – at Detroit
- Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs – at LA Rams
- James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Jacksonville
- David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Oakland
- Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – at Seattle
- Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – at Baltimore
- Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Dallas
- Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Pittsburgh
- Kerryon Johnson – Detroit Lions – vs. Carolina
- Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at Chicago
- Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
- Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – vs. Philadelphia
- Lamar Miller – Houston Texans – at Washington
- Dion Lewis – Tennessee Titans – at Indianapolis
- Adrian Peterson – Washington Redskins – vs. Houston
- Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – at LA Chargers
- Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears – vs. Minnesota
- Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears – vs. Minnesota
- Alex Collins – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cincinnati
- Peyton Barber – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at NY Giants
- Rashaad Penny – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Green Bay
- Ito Smith – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Dallas
- Chris Thompson – Washington Redskins – vs. Houston
- Doug Martin – Oakland Raiders – at Arizona
- Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – at Indianapolis
- Jalen Richard – Oakland Raiders – at Arizona
- Josh Adams – Philadelphia Eagles – at New Orleans
- Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Tennessee
- Austin Ekeler – LA Chargers – vs. Denver
- Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Green Bay
- Wendell Smallwood – Philadelphia Eagles – at New Orleans
- Theo Riddick – Detroit Lions – vs. Carolina
- Javorius Allen – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cincinnati
- Royce Freeman – Detroit Lions – at LA Chargers
- Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – at Baltimore
- Finally. Just as we wrote off Rashaad Penny last week, there the rookie is showing why the Seahawks took him in the first round of the draft. With Chris Carson banged up and Mike Davis really just a “replacement value” option who has been having minimal success, Penny should have been able to grab hold of the job. Last week Davis out-touched Penny (15 to 12), but the rookie was clearly the better running back. It was an afternoon of firsts for Penny as he scored his first career touchdown while also eclipsing 100 yards (108) for the first time. In fairness to the Seahawks, who have yet to really give Penny a chance to show what he can do, he did look like a different running back. Perhaps everything finally clicked, but it appears that all systems are a go for him moving forward and I would target the first year runner as the back to own in Seattle’s backfield.
- Coming out of his bye week Marlon Mack had a very strong three week body of work and it appeared that he would be building on it moving forward. That wasn’t the case last week as he gained just 29 yards on 12 carries against the Jaguars. Indianapolis still was victorious, but it was the passing game that carried the load. Mack is fully healthy and off the injury report and I would chalk his struggles up to the strong Jacksonville run defense. In five games, three of which were successes, Mack is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. There is no reason not to move forward with Mack this week, and the rest of the season, despite last week’s dud.
- While you still have to hang onto Latavius Murray as a handcuff, or really just as a depth option with all of the bye weeks, things are transitioning for there to be a greater emphasis on Dalvin Cook. It does work in Murray’s favor that he is still going to have a role, he gained 47 yards on 11 touches and scored a touchdown last week, as the Vikings are going to want to preserve Cook for the remainder of the season. Cook appears to be back to full health, as he gained 89 yards on 10 carries in Week 9, and he is poised to build on that after Minnesota’s bye week. Thanks to health problems Cook has just 46 carries this season and he also has yet to find the end zone. We should also note that the majority of his output came on a 70 yard run in which he certainly looked healthy and explosive. Cook added four receptions for 20 yards, and while the match-up this week is tough (Chicago) he should finally give fantasy owners what they drafted him for on 15-20 touches.
- The Giants really tried to establish a running game, but their offensive line just didn’t allow for it. Saquon Barkley carried the ball 20 times on Monday, but despite hitting the century mark in yards for the eighth time in nine weeks he gained just 67 yards on the ground. Barkley was targeted five times, and he caught four passes for 33 yards. While New York is clearly struggling on offense he is averaging 4.5 yards per carry for 586 yards while catching 62 passes for 530 yards.
- After being sidelined since Week 4 the Jaguars wasted no time getting Leonard Fournette involved. In fact it was as if Fournette never left as he gained 53 yards on 24 carries while also scoring his first touchdown of the season. Jacksonville targeted him in the passing game and he delivered catching all five of his targets for 56 yards and another touchdown. Fournette showed some explosiveness in the passing game as one of his receptions went for 31 yards. It was clear that he is going to be the centerpiece of Jacksonville’s offense, and he delivered last week even if he was inefficient. The Steelers are going to be a tougher opponent than the Colts, but you still have to roll with him in all seasonal leagues as T.J Yeldon and Carlos Hyde are essentially rendered useless.
- Green Bay needs to keep it up. It sounds simple but it is the truth, and Aaron Rodgers also alluded to it after last week’s game. The Packers need to continue building on Aaron Jones’ role as the main running back in their offense. Jones took advantage of the Miami defense last week, as he gained 145 yards on 15 carries while scoring two touchdowns. That brought his average for the season up to 6.8 yards per carry, but the problem is that he only has 73 carries this season. He has now found the end zone four times and the only place for his role to go is up.
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings: