by Ray Kuhn
We have another four teams on bye this week as we look to navigate the ever changing running back situation across the league. Let’s take a look at how our options rank:
- Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
- Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – at Houston
- Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – vs. Pittsburgh
- Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
- Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders – vs. Tampa Bay
- James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Tennessee
- Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Las Vegas
- Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – at Cincinnati
- Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
- Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – at Arizona
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – at Denver
- Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Detroit
- Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
- David Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Green Bay
- Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – at NY Jets
- James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars – at LA Chargers
- Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Seattle
- David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – at LA Rams
- Antonio Gibson – Washington Football Team – vs. Dallas
- D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions – at Atlanta
- Darrell Henderson – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Chicago
- Devonta Freeman – New York Giants – at Philadelphia
- James White – New England Patriots – vs. San Francisco
- Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos – vs. Kansas City
- Boston Scott – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. NY Giants
- Justin Jackson – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Jacksonville
- Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers – at New England
- Joshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Jacksonville
- La’Mical Perine – New York Jets – vs. Buffalo
- J.D. McKissic – Washington Football Team – vs. Dallas
- Damien Harris – New England Patriots – vs. San Francisco
- Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Seattle
- Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
- Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – at Houston
- Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – vs. Kansas City
- Duke Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Green Bay
- Corey Clement – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. NY Giants
- Brian Hill – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Detroit
- Adrian Peterson – Detroit Lions – at Atlanta
- Le’Veon Bell – Kansas City Chiefs – at Denver
- With Miles Sanders missing practice on Tuesday, ahead of a Thursday match-up with the Giants, it seems pretty safe to assume that fantasy owners will be looking for a replacement. Sanders is averaging 6.1 yards per carry with 434 yards and 3 TD so he is someone that will leave a void in your lineup. Of course it’s not going to be easy enough to just drop in Sanders’ replacement, but that doesn’t mean it’s a situation to ignore. There is talk of of a committee, but Boston Scott appears to be the one to own. So far this season Scott has failed to make much of an impact with 67 yards on 21 carries. That is still more than Corey Clement, who has 30 rushing yards, but it’s hard to see Scott with anything more than just FLEX appeal.
- At this point it doesn’t matter when or if Leonard Fournette returns; the Tampa Bay backfield belongs to Ronald Jones. Last week brought us the third straight 100-plus yard effort for Jones who is coming into his own. The third year back turned 23 carries into 113 yards and 2 TD against Green Bay and he isn’t showing signs of slowing down. Based on his success, Tampa Bay has no reason not to continue to lean on Jones and with Tom Brady under center, their offense is a force to be reckoned with.
- Why do we always have to muddy the waters? It’s not good enough that the Chiefs spent a first round pick on Clyde Edwards-Helaire and he has generally been having a successful start to the season, so they went out and signed Le’Veon Bell anyway. Now Bell hasn’t exactly looked like much of a threat since joining the Jets last season, but he still has a pretty noteworthy past. Last week Edwards-Helaire carried the ball 26 times for 161 times which gives him 505 yards on the season, good enough for 4.7 yards per carry. It’s hard to argue with a debut like that while Edwards-Helaire is also chipping in 21 catches for 177 yards. At this point it remains to be seen how Bell will be worked into Kansas City’s offense, but I wouldn’t do anything rash with the rookie.
- The San Francisco backfield is a confusing place. Raheem Mostert’s ankle injury gives us a little more clarity as it also eliminates the best option, but it’s more of a worst case scenario than anything else. Jerick McKinnon is probably the most attractive of the options, but we should first note that when Mostert is healthy he has essentially been non-factor. When given a chance McKinnon has proved to be a viable FLEX option, as he has two weeks of 14 carries each for a combined 92 yards along with a touchdown in each game and 10 receptions for another 82 yards. That is about as high as we really can expect McKinnon to go as he will also have to contend with JaMycal Hasty (nine carries for 37 yards last week after being quiet otherwise) and Jeff Wilson, who is nursing a calf injury and likely won’t be much of a factor.
- There is no way I am going to defend the DeAndre Hopkins trade from Houston’s perspective, but David Johnson hasn’t been all that shabby. Now I’m not saying to give away the farm for him, but Johnson likely is an every week starter. Over the last three weeks he has carried the ball 52 times for 216 yards and a touchdown while playing a minimal role in the passing game. The good thing is that there isn’t going to be a guessing game as far as workload while he has just one game of less than a combined 90 yards.
- It took him long enough… In the case of Kenyan Drake, wouldn’t it be nice if fantasy football was a cumulative game instead of weekly? After failing to capitalize on good match-ups and leaving fantasy owners wanting more, Drake took full advantage of a blowout situation in Dallas. After previously topping out at 86 rushing yards this season, he carried the ball 20 times for 164 yards and 2 TD. It would be nice if Arizona involved Drake in the passing game, just six receptions for 22 yards on the season, but the good thing is that he is at least carrying the ball 18 times a week even if he could be doing more with those carries. Before we rush to overreact to Drake’s performance last week, perhaps his 69-yard touchdown run late in the game should be extracted from his performance. Regardless, he still belongs in your starting lineup.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: