Week 11 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

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Injuries and Bye Weeks… Those two things consistently cause issues for fantasy owners and Week 11 is no different. While some players may try to play through injury, we’ve seen the impact of that time and time again (David Johnson, Saquan Barkley) and it’s important to value them accordingly. So whose value is on the rise this week? Who should we be ignoring? Let’s take a look:

  1. Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – vs. Atlanta
  2. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at Detroit
  3. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Denver
  4. Josh Jacobs – Oakland Raiders – vs. Cincinnati
  5. Melvin Gordon – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Kansas City
  6. Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Indianapolis
  7. Le’Veon Bell – New York Jets – at Washington
  8. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – at Tampa Bay
  9. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – vs. Pittsburgh
  10. Tevin Coleman – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
  11. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – at Oakland
  12. Damien Williams – Kansas City Chiefs – at Los Angeles Chargers
  13. Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Jacksonville
  14. Brian Hill – Atlanta Falcons – at Carolina
  15. Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Kansas City
  16. Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – at Miami
  17. Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Chicago
  18. James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cleveland
  19. Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – at Minnesota
  20. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – at Los Angeles Rams
  21. Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Houston
  22. Carlos Hyde – Houston Texans – at Baltimore
  23. David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – at San Francisco
  24. Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. New Orleans
  25. Matt Breida – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Arizona
  26. Jordan Howard – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. New England
  27. Sony Michel – New England Patriots – at Philadelphia
  28. Kalen Ballage – Miami Dolphins – vs. Buffalo
  29. Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – vs. Pittsburgh
  30. James White – New England Patriots – at Philadelphia
  31. Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – at San Francisco
  32. Royce Freeman – Denver Broncos – at Minnesota
  33. Derrius Guice – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Jets
  34. Jaylen Samuels – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cleveland
  35. Frank Gore – Buffalo Bills – at Miami
  36. Peyton Barber – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. New Orleans
  37. Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Houston
  38. Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – at Tampa Bay
  39. Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears – at Los Angeles Rams
  40. Darrell Henderson – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Chicago

Thoughts:

  • Only 4 carries for Alvin Kamara in his return to the lineup?!  Game flow likely had a role in that, and he did rack up 8 receptions for 50 yards.  It’s frustrating, but we need to keep in mind that Latavius Murray was only given 5 carries (7 total touches).  Murray is going to be a factor, after dominating in Kamara’s absence, but he’s more of a desperation FLEX play while Kamara is a borderline RB1.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs have really been torched by pass catching running backs, especially of late, having been burned for 271 receiving yards and 4 TD in Weeks 8 & 9.  Lucky for that Chargers that both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler will play a role there, but Gordon becomes the better option with Kansas City also routinely being torched on the ground (1,245 yards and 8 TD).  Gordon, who has 188 yards and 3 TD over the past two weeks, is an easy RB1 (something that didn’t look possible a few weeks ago) with Ekeler in the RB2 mix for those in PPR formats.
  • It appears Devonta Freeman will miss Week 11 after he was forced to leave Week 10 with a foot injury. That causes Brian Hill to rise into the RB2 spectrum (there’s too much risk to simply sub him into what would’ve been Freeman’s spot), so keep that in mind if you have a need.
  • While Nick Chubb still operated as the lead rusher, the return of Kareem Hunt clearly had an impact.  Hunt had 7 receptions in his first game with Cleveland and could start to take a few more carries as time progresses (he only had 4 carries).  That risk is going to push Chubb down a little bit from where we’ve likely become accustomed, but he’s still a RB1 given the questions the team’s passing attack has generated.
  • So much for Devin Singletary emerging as a can’t miss fantasy option…  He only had 8 carries for 42 yards against the Browns, though he remained the far superior producer compared to Frank Gore.  At the very least Singletary should continue to gain opportunities and out-touch Gore, and in a matchup against the Dolphins he should still remain a solid RB2 (and you could argue that he has RB1 upside for this coming week).
  • Generally the Raiders have been good against the run this season, though they were torched for 128 yards and 1 TD against the Chargers in Week 10.  That’s three straight games with at least 77 rushing yards allowed, and over the past two weeks Joe Mixon has 180 yards on 47 carries (including 114 yards on 30 carries against the Ravens in Week 10).  Throw in an ability to make some plays catching the football and Mixon is suddenly back on the RB1 radar.
  • With LeSean McCoy a healthy scratch there was little doubt who the top running back for the Chiefs’ was, as Damien Williams took 19 carries for 77 yards while adding 5 catches and 32 yards.  Over the past two weeks he has 202 rushing yards on 31 carries, and in a matchup against the Chargers he has RB1 upside.  The only “problem” is if the Chiefs instead ride Patrick Mahomes and the passing game instead, but Williams is a must play in all formats.
  • Will James Conner be ready to return for Week 11?  He did practice ahead of Week 10 and he’s been practicing in full this week, so we are going to proceed with the thought that he’ll play.  Jaylen Samuels should remain a factor in the offense, but Conner is by far the superior option.
  • As we’ve often stated, does anyone want to trust the New England Patriots’ running backs if they can avoid it?  Just when you thought Sony Michel was emerging as the best option of the group, he’s coming off a 4 carry, 18 yard performance against the Ravens.  Taking on the Eagles also isn’t the best matchup you could ask for, leaving all of the Patriots’ running backs as more of FLEX options given the uncertainty in their roles and the matchup.
  • Derrius Guice is expected to return this week, though it’s hard to envision Adrian Peterson completely being ignored (let’s not forget he was a healthy scratch in Week 1 under the previous coaching staff).  Guice should be viewed as the favored option, though with Dwayne Haskins under center all of Washington’s running backs could find it hard to find running room.  Guice is more of a FLEX play, though he’s not a highly recommended option against a Jets’ defense that just stopped Saquan Barkley.
  • For now we’ve included Matt Breida on the rankings, but monitor the news carefully. There’s a good chance he is forced to miss Week 11, and while Raheem Mostert may not simply slide into his spot in the rankings, he should be on radars for the bottom of the rankings.

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

13 COMMENTS

  1. Full PPR. Need 1 WR, 1 RB and Flex.

    RB- Gurley vs Chicago, Bell @ Washington, Ekeler vs KC (Mexico) .

    WR- Crowder @ Washington, Golladay vs Dallas ( normal starter but major QB issue), Woods vs Chicago.

    In line up now: WR-Crowder, RB-Bell and Flex- Ekeler. Going back and forth between Ekeler and Gurley for flex spot.

    Help.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

  2. Hello Professor,
    Half ppr

    Wrs: J. Jones, Evans, Ridley

    Rb: zeke, White, Singletary, Brian Hill, Samuels

    My 2 Wrs are easy Julio and Evans
    Rb zeke is fixed in.

    Need to fill 1 spot at rb and flex

    Thank You

    • RB – Hill
      FLEX – Singletary (Ridley is a tough sit, but with all the injuries in the office you have to wonder how they will move the ball. Plus Singletary has an extremely favorable matchup to try and exploit)

  3. 1 pt. PPR
    Need 3
    RB R Jones TB
    RB J Samuels PIT
    RB S Michel NE
    WR C Kirk ARI
    WR JuJu PIT

    .5 pt PPR
    Need 4
    RB P Lindsey DEN
    RB L Murray NO
    RB J Samuels PIT
    WR DJ Moore CAR
    WR M Gallop DAL
    WR K Allen SD

    Standard Need 2
    RB K Drake ARI
    RB R Freeman DEN
    WR C Samuel CAR
    WR T Williams OAK

    QB Watson or Brady?

    • Q1 – Kirk / Smith-Schuster / Jones

      Q2 – Lindsay & then all the WR

      Q3 – Drake & Williams

      Q4 – Watson, but it’s a coin flip (back-to-back on the rankings)

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