Week 7 Rankings (2019): Top 40 Running Backs: Identifying Bye Week Alternatives, Big Names Carrying Risk & More

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Christian McCaffrey… James Conner… Nick Chubb…

Yes I am naming three running backs who are valued as an RB1, but I’m not simply seeking out to list top fantasy options. Instead each of those running backs are on bye this week. That means fantasy owners are left with a gaping hole in their starting lineup (Tampa Bay is the fourth team with a bye this week), so things might be a little tougher for some this week. Of course that shouldn’t slow us down, so let’s take a look at how our options rank for this week:

  1. Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Cincinnati
  2. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at Detroit
  3. David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – at NY Giants
  4. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Philadelphia
  5. Saquon Barkley – NY Giants – vs. Arizona
  6. Le’Veon Bell – NY Jets – vs. New England
  7. Todd Gurley – LA Rams – at Atlanta
  8. Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Baltimore
  9. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – at Chicago
  10. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – vs. LA Chargers
  11. Tevin Coleman – San Francisco 49ers – at Washington
  12. Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Houston
  13. Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens – at Seattle
  14. Josh Jacobs – Oakland Raiders – at Green Bay
  15. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons – vs. LA Rams
  16. Kerryon Johnson – Detroit Lions – vs. Minnesota
  17. Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – vs. Kansas City
  18. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Jacksonville
  19. James White – New England Patriots – at NY Jets
  20. Melvin Gordon – LA Chargers – at Tennessee
  21. Damien Williams – Kansas City Chiefs – at Denver
  22. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Oakland
  23. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – vs. New Orleans
  24. Carlos Hyde – Houston Texans – at Indianapolis
  25. Jordan Howard – Philadelphia Eagles – at Dallas
  26. Austin Ekeler – LA Chargers – at Tennessee
  27. Royce Freeman – Denver Broncos – vs. Kansas City
  28. Frank Gore – Buffalo Bills – vs. Miami
  29. Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – vs. Oakland
  30. Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – at Dallas
  31. Sony Michel – New England Patriots – at NY Jets
  32. Matt Breida – San Francisco 49ers – at Washington
  33. Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears – vs. New Orleans
  34. Adrian Peterson – Washington Redskins – vs. San Francisco
  35. Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – vs. Miami
  36. LeSean McCoy – Kansas City Chiefs – at Denver
  37. Kenyan Drake – Miami Dolphins – at Buffalo
  38. Duke Johnson – Houston Texans – at Indianapolis
  39. Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals – at NY Giants
  40. Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Houston

Notes:

  • At the top we focused on those who aren’t going to be active, but we also welcome back Saquon Barkley to the fold. For a fleeting moment it looked like he was going to return last week (I’m not sure it was ever that realistic of a possibility), but all indications are that he will be good to go against the Cardinals. The second year running back started the week off by practicing on Monday, and with Wayne Gallman still battling a concussion the newly signed Buck Allen is Barkley’s lone competition in the Giants’ backfield. In other words he will go back to being the focal point of New York’s offense, as his workload will be as much as he can handle. After eclipsing the century mark on the ground in each of the first two weeks, things do look a little different for Barkley as he now gets to play with both Daniel Jones and Golden Tate. The Cardinals have done well against opposing running backs, but they likely will have difficulty slowing Barkley down.
  • You would like to see Chris Carson facing a more hospitable defense than Baltimore, but there is no questioning who the number one running back is in Seattle’s backfield. With 4.3 yards per carry he isn’t necessarily an explosive threat, but with 118 carries for 504 yards the volume is there. In PPR leagues it is also a nice touch that Carson has 19 receptions for 140 yards, but you would like to see him with more than four total touchdowns (two rushing and two receiving). After carrying the ball 15 times in each of the first three weeks he has turned it on as of late. In each of his last three games Carson has eclipsed the century mark on the ground, and his volume has increased with between 22 and 27 carries. There is no reason not to expect that to continue moving forward.
  • We still have to consider Alvin Kamara as an RB1, but for the second straight week fantasy owners will likely be disappointed. Kamara went into the week dealing with an ankle injury but ultimately suited up against Jacksonville. With 11 carries for 31 yards he didn’t make an impact on ground, but with just 373 rushing yards (an average of 4.3 yards per carry), that is how things have been going for him all season. When it comes to the passing came Kamara is coming through with 33 receptions for 276 yards. Last week his seven receptions for 35 yards helped to save some of his value. This week, with Kamara still likely dealing with the ankle injury and facing a tough defense in the Bears, he should be in line for another similar performance.
  • After Aaron Jones had his game of the season two weeks ago against the Cowboys, he came crashing back down to earth against Detroit. A large part of that is Jones’ own fault as he both fumbled and dropped what would have been a clear touchdown reception. He still finished with 15 touches, 11 carries for 47 yards and four receptions for 13 yards, but it was Jamaal Williams who stole the show. Moving forward things will likely go back towards more of a timeshare, and with 3.9 yards per carry on the season it is likely best there.
  • Frank Gore is still going to be a factor, both this week and moving forward, but as the Bills face the Dolphins on Sunday there is plenty of production to go around. Miami is currently allowing the second most points to opposing running backs and Devin Singletary will likely be returning. The explosive rookie had just 17 touches on the season before dealing with injury, but with 10 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown while catching five passes for another 28 yards he has big play potential.
  • Wait, we said the Bears have a tough defense? Well two weeks ago, granted the game was in England, Josh Jacobs debunked that myth. The rookie had the best game of his career with 26 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns as he headed into his bye week on a high note. Jacobs now returns to face the Packers who have allowed opposing running backs to finish in the top-5 against them so far this season. With just six receptions for 77 yards we can’t really count on him to do much in the passing game, but with 4.9 yards per carry, and now his first 100-plus yard game, the rookie is coming through on the ground. That makes him a legitimate RB2 option moving forward.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

13 COMMENTS

  1. Need 2 RB’s from this group, 2 WR’s and a flex spot. Full PPR league.

    Ekeler @ Tenn ( I have him right now starting but if Gurley plays???)
    J.Jacobs @ GB ( He’s in my line up now, IMO must start)
    Gurley @ Atl. ( if he is active does he make my starting line up?)
    Singletary vs. Miami
    Montgomery vs NO

    Need 2 from this group WR: and 1 flex from the WR’s or RB’s.
    Hopkins @ Indy (must start)
    Woods @ Atl
    J.Brown vs Miami ( right now I think Brown is a must start)
    Golladay vs Minny

    I have right now RB- Ekeler but do you agree if Gurley is active he starts over Ekeler? , and J.Jacobs.
    WR- Hops, Brown and Flex- Golladay

    Agreed? and what to do if Gurley is active? Insert him over Ekeler?

    Thank you!!!

    • RB – Gurley / Jacobs
      WR – Hopkins / Gollado
      FLEX – Ekeler

      I have a tough time trusting Brown, even in a positive matchup. He’s not a bad option if Gurley sits, but if Gurley is playing you have too much depth to utilize him.

  2. Standard need 2:?
    RB Frank Gore
    RB Jamal Williams
    RB Royce Freeman

    1 pt. PPR need 2?
    RB Devonta Freeman
    RB Sony Michel
    RB Matt Breida
    WR Christian Kirk

    Bills or 49er’s DST?
    Minshew or Garoppolo QB?

    Half Pt. PPR
    RB Gore or RB Peterson?

    • 1) Gore/Freeman (ugh)

      2) Freeman / Michel

      3) Bills (but really can’t go wrong)

      4) Minshew (but I have them back-to-back, so really a coinflip)

      5) Gore

  3. 2 teams both std. scoring. team 1 start 2 rb’s Gore, Mixon, Or Hyde at one Spot. 3 WR’s Starting Hill, Gallup & Edelman. Have McLaurin, Woods M. Jones & M. Brown on bench. Which RB and recommend any changes at WR? Team 2 has 2 rb, 2 wr & a flex. Starting Henry and Ingram II at RB & T. Coleman at flex. Have Singletary on the bench any changes? Need a defense choices are Broncos, Rams, Saints, Seahawks and Packers. Thanks.

    • Team 1:
      RB – Mixon for me ad I’d leave the WR the way you have them (love Gallup this week)

      Team 2:
      I’d love to recommend Singletary, but I wouldn’t over those other options
      As for the D, I’d roll with the Saints

  4. 1 pt PPR- Obviously you’re high on Tevin Coleman this week, I have Le’Veon Bell, Aaron Jones, Josh Jacobs, and Tevin Coleman. Which 3 would you roll with?

    • Jones is the odd man out for me. There are going to be questions about his usage, which alone puts him behind the other 3

  5. 1) With Kamara ruled out, where do you place Murray?

    2) Murray or Singletary in 1/4 pt PPR? I know Singletary isn’t the primary back, but I have faith he will be by the end of the season and that he’s capable of doing more with 10-15 touches than Gore is with 20+. I also fear the Chicago/NO game will be relatively low scoring.

    • 1) He should be a solid RB2, but it’s tough matchup so he’s still a borderline option

      2) I think Singletary definitely has the higher upside but a much lower floor. Murray is the safe play, so it depends if you think you need to roll the dice and gamble

  6. 1/2 pt PPR RB
    Gore or L Murray?

    Have Cam on IR, Minshew, and Garopolla
    Would you pick up QB Sam Darnold (available this week) for weeks 8-10?
    If so who do I cut from the three above?

    Standard RB ( Singletary is back)
    Gore or J Williams?

    • I’d roll Murray, as Gore may have the better matchup but he’s also more likely to lose touches

      I’d cut Minshew of the three, as he has the lowest upside and Foles appears to be getting closer to a return

      Gore

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