Week 7 Rankings (2020): Top 40 Running Backs

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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:

  1. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
  2. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – at Houston
  3. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – vs. Pittsburgh
  4. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
  5. Josh Jacobs – Las Vegas Raiders – vs. Tampa Bay
  6. James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Tennessee
  7. Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Las Vegas
  8. Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – at Cincinnati
  9. Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
  10. Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – at Arizona
  11. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – at Denver
  12. Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Detroit
  13. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
  14. David Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Green Bay
  15. Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – at NY Jets
  16. James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars – at LA Chargers
  17. Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Seattle
  18. David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – at LA Rams
  19. Antonio Gibson – Washington Football Team – vs. Dallas
  20. D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions – at Atlanta
  21. Darrell Henderson – Los Angeles Rams – vs. Chicago
  22. Devonta Freeman – New York Giants – at Philadelphia
  23. James White – New England Patriots – vs. San Francisco
  24. Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos – vs. Kansas City
  25. Boston Scott – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. NY Giants
  26. Justin Jackson – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Jacksonville
  27. Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers – at New England
  28. Joshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. Jacksonville
  29. La’Mical Perine – New York Jets – vs. Buffalo
  30. J.D. McKissic – Washington Football Team – vs. Dallas
  31. Damien Harris – New England Patriots – vs. San Francisco
  32. Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Seattle
  33. Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
  34. Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – at Houston
  35. Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – vs. Kansas City
  36. Duke Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Green Bay
  37. Corey Clement – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. NY Giants
  38. Brian Hill – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Detroit
  39. Adrian Peterson – Detroit Lions – at Atlanta
  40. Le’Veon Bell – Kansas City Chiefs – at Denver

Notes:

  • 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:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses



12 COMMENTS

  1. Prof, I have been offered DeAndre Hopkins for Tyler Lockett and either Justin Jackson or Philip Lindsay. Full point PPR league. My other WRs are Tyreek Hill, Darius Slayton, and Jarvis Landry. My other RBs are CMC, Kareem Hunt, James Conner, and Nick Chubb. Thoughts?

      • Thanks, Prof. However, Swift is coming along nicely, especially the last two games. You suggest I wait one more week before I start to plug him in my lineup? I thought this was the week, with Drake up against a decent Seahawks run defence. But you’re right. It’s close between Drake and Swift.

        • Yea, Swift is coming along but he’s not there yet. With the game Drake is coming off, you almost have to run him out there

  2. Was offered Miles Gaskin for Mike Evans…1 point ppr

    Have other decent WR (Robinson, Parker, Claypool. Cooks, Mike Williams) but light at RB outside of Drake/Ronald Jones…..

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