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Fantasy Football Player Notes

Week 1 Rankings

Christian McCaffrey Note
Christian McCaffrey photo 1. Christian McCaffrey CAR (vs . LV)
The RB1 comes back to reclaim his throne atop the running back rankings. Did you know there was just two games all last year where he finished with fewer than 19.0 half-PPR points? Crazy, right? He'll start against the Raiders who allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per opportunity last year. They also allowed 205.7 PPR points through the air alone to running backs, which ranked as the fourth-most. There were just five teams in the NFL who allowed more fantasy points through the air to running backs than on the ground. The Raiders were one of them. This matchup appears tailormade for someone like McCaffrey, as most are expecting the Panthers to fall behind and throw the ball. The Raiders are also working with a brand-new group of linebackers, which could lead to some miscommunications. You don't need me to tell you to start McCaffrey as an RB1 every week. If you want to play him in DFS, go right ahead.
31 weeks ago
Ezekiel Elliott Note
Ezekiel Elliott photo 2. Ezekiel Elliott DAL (at LAR)
Will the Cowboys start to divvy up the workload between Elliott and Pollard now that Mike McCarthy is in town? We watched him use Aaron Jones/Jamaal Williams, Eddie Lacy/James Starks, and Ryan Grant/James Starks in timeshares over the last decade, so why not Elliott/Pollard? I just it to be known that it's possible this is more of a timeshare than it's been in years past. This duo crushed the Rams defense in Week 15 last year when they combined for over 300 total yards and three touchdowns (Elliott 160/2, Pollard 143/1). It's odd they demolished them the way they did, as the Rams allowed just 0.79 PPR points per opportunity to running backs in 2019, which ranked as the 11th-lowest number in the league. I went back and looked, and there were no major injuries that caused anyone to miss that game on the Rams defense, either. Given all the talent the Cowboys have at wide receiver, it's difficult to say the Rams can put any emphasis on shutting down the run, and it's clear their run game under Kellen Moore worked against the Rams talent. However, there are some unknowns in this game, as the Rams are under a new defensive coordinator (Brandon Staley), and one we know nothing about. We'll get information as we see the games played on both the Rams defense and the Cowboys potential timeshare, but for now, Elliott is the only one you can play with confidence as an RB1 while Pollard is more of an emergency RB4/5 option.
31 weeks ago
Dalvin Cook Note
Dalvin Cook photo 3. Dalvin Cook MIN (vs . GB)
There were six running backs who totaled at least 20 carries against the Packers last year. The only one who scored fewer than 16.4 PPR points was Adrian Peterson, who still tallied 76 yards and a touchdown. Cook was one of the running backs who crushed him when he ripped off 154 yards and a touchdown in their Week 2 meeting. That set the tone for the season with the Packers, as they allowed a massive 4.86 yards per carry on the season, which ranked as the fourth most in the league, behind only the Panthers, Jaguars, and Browns. The Packers have to be expecting a run-heavy attack from the Vikings, though that didn't seem to matter last year. Among the nine running backs who totaled at least 15 carries against them last year, none of them averaged less than 3.80 yards per carry, and six of them scored at least one rushing touchdown. This tells us that Cook's floor is extremely high in the matchup. Prior to his injury he suffered in Week 11, Cook had tallied at least 20 carries in 7-of-10 games. That's not even factoring in his receiving upside, which is obviously high in Cousins' first game without Stefon Diggs. Cook should be started as a high-end RB1 and can be placed in cash game lineups as one of the true gamescript-proof running backs.
31 weeks ago
Josh Jacobs Note
Josh Jacobs photo 4. Josh Jacobs LV (at CAR)
The Panthers were the team you wanted to play running backs against in 2019. They allowed a massive 5.32 yards per carry and allowed a touchdown every 14.0 carries. We can talk all day about how Jacobs doesn't catch as many passes as he should, but in this game, it won't matter. The Panthers allowed 363.1 fantasy points on the ground alone last year. No other team was above 297.8 points. The Panthers allowed 18 percent more fantasy points on the ground than any team in the league, think about that for a minute. Now, to be fair, they did hire a new defensive coordinator, but this team is clearly lacking talent to be an elite run-stopping unit. They also lost a lot of the talent they did have. It led them to an all-defense draft. Seriously, they didn't draft a single offensive player. That's a lot of young players in the starting lineup. Trust Jacobs as an RB1 this week and expect big results. He's worth both cash-game and tournament consideration.
31 weeks ago
Derrick Henry Note
Derrick Henry photo 5. Derrick Henry TEN (at DEN)
The last nine games we've seen Henry on the field, here are the numbers he's produced: 222 carries, 1,342 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns. Those would be elite numbers over the course of a whole season. We're talking about nine games. It's going to be tough against the Broncos though, who were already a good run-stuffing defense in 2019 when they allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to running backs. Now you add in interior lineman Jurrell Casey and get edge rusher Bradley Chubb back from injury? There was one game where the Broncos were absolutely crushed last year (Leonard Fournette rushed for 225 yards on 29 carries), but outside of that game, they allowed just 3.68 yards per carry. Henry himself was among the casualties against them last year, as he totaled a season-low 28 yards on 15 carries. Henry also lost his starting right tackle this offseason, though they did draft Isaiah Wilson in the first round to take Jack Conklin's place. If Henry wants to get into RB1 territory this week, he's going to need to be involved in the passing game more than he was last year (never saw more than three targets), so it's not looking great. You're starting him with the way he's played with Tannehill under center, but temper expectations to the high-end RB2 area this week in a tough matchup.
31 weeks ago
Saquon Barkley Note
Saquon Barkley photo 6. Saquon Barkley NYG (vs . PIT)
It's not the start to the season that you'd hope for with Barkley, as the Steelers defense is about as good as it gets. Fun fact about them: Just one running back scored more than 14.2 PPR points against them last year. The only running back that did was Kareem Hunt, and he totaled 17.5 PPR points, and finished as the RB14. Seriously, that's the best performance the Steelers allowed last season, and that's despite 12 different running backs totaling at least 15 touches, including six running backs with 21 or more touches. Fortunately for Barkley, he's someone who has one-play upside. He didn't break many long runs last year, which may have had something to do with his ankle injury that he rushed back from. Fresh off the offseason, his chances of breaking one of those long plays goes up. You're starting Barkley every week, so this point is moot, but do yourself a favor and make him tournament-only in DFS.
31 weeks ago
Joe Mixon Note
Joe Mixon photo 7. Joe Mixon CIN (vs . LAC)
Now that Mixon is under contract, it's business as usual. The coaching staff said they realized at the mid-way point last year that this offense needed to revolve around Mixon. The result? He totaled 214 touches over the final nine games. That's a ridiculous 23.8 touches per game. Now you add a more potent offense alongside him? There's massive upside here. The Chargers have one of the best pass-rush/secondary combos but haven't been true showstoppers when it comes to the run. They allowed a healthy 4.29 yards per carry last year with 14 rushing touchdowns (one every 25.9 carries, ranked as the seventh-most often). The issue is that their opponents averaged just 57.7 plays per game in 2019, the second lowest in the NFL. There were just four running backs who topped 17 carries against them last year, and each of them finished with at least 17.8 PPR points and as a top-eight running back that week. The biggest worry about Mixon and the Bengals offense is the Chargers running their slow-paced offense draining the clock. It's not a brutal matchup for Mixon and he can succeed here, so start him as you normally would. I might avoid in cash lineups just because of the low-play potential here if the Bengals fall behind and can't get their defense off the field. I do think Mixon has tournament appeal, though.
31 weeks ago
Alvin Kamara Note
Alvin Kamara photo 8. Alvin Kamara NO (vs . TB)
It seems like Kamara will be on the field for the Saints in Week 1, though nothing is set in stone until they agree to that contract extension. I'll come back on Saturday and update these notes if needed, but we'll plan like Kamara will be out there. The Bucs are a brutal matchup for running backs, as evidenced by the league-low 907 rushing yards they allowed in 2019. They allowed a league-low 3.02 yards per carry, and also contained running backs through the air, allowing just 4.21 yards per target, which was also the best in the NFL. It's rare to see a team accomplish elite numbers against both, and it's even more impressive when you know they played both Christian McCaffrey and Kamara twice. In the meetings last year, Kamara was able to remain decent, finishing as the RB17 in Week 5 and then the RB3 in Week 11. The latter performance was largely in part to his 10 receptions that only netted 47 yards. Murray didn't fare so well, totaling 55 yards on 17 carries in the two games with no touchdowns, finishing as the RB48 and RB52 in those games. Have the injuries piled up for Kamara to the point where they lessen his workload? Rumors have surfaced that he had an epidural injection in his back just a few weeks ago. There's certainly enough risk between that and the matchup to downgrade Kamara's expectations to low-end RB1/high-end RB2 territory.
31 weeks ago
Aaron Jones Note
Aaron Jones photo 9. Aaron Jones GB (at MIN)
This is a backfield that no one can tell you how it'll shake out with 100 percent certainty. The Packers drafted Dillon with a second-round pick, so that means they'll use him, right? Looking back over the last seven years, there have been 17 running backs drafted in the second round. Only four of them saw fewer than 123 touches and finished outside the top 46 running backs. So yeah, he likely matters. The Vikings allowed just the 12th-fewest points to running backs last year, but not because they were dominant or anything. The 4.39 yards per carry they allowed was the 11th-most in football, and they lost their best presence up the middle of the field in Linval Joseph. He recorded 19 run stops last year, while the runner-up Shamar Stephen totaled 10 of them. They snagged Michael Pierce in free agency to help fill the void, but he opted out for the season, leaving them to start Jaleel Johnson alongside Stephen. You should know that even with Joseph, Jones tagged this unit for 270 yards and three touchdowns on the ground alone last year in the two games they played. He did total 46 carries between the two games, a number he's unlikely to get to with Dillon on the roster, but it's clear LaFleur's scheme works against a then-more-talented Vikings unit, so playing him as a borderline RB1 this week makes sense. I'd probably fade him in cash considering there still is risk attached, but in tournaments, he's a go.
31 weeks ago
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Note
Clyde Edwards-Helaire photo 10. Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC (vs . HOU)
James Conner Note
James Conner photo 11. James Conner ARI (at SF)
I'm pretty sure Conner and the other running backs will be happy to have Roethlisberger back under center, as it'll surely force defenses to be honest. The Giants defense was horrendous last year, but their run defense was better than the pass, as they allowed just 0.78 PPR points per opportunity last year, which ranked as the seventh fewest in football. They actually held opposing running backs to just 3.96 yards per attempt, making them one of just eight teams who allowed fewer than four yards per carry. It's a new defense under Joe Judge, so we can't automatically assume that all remains status quo, especially considering how bad their secondary was last year. It's possible they place more emphasis on slowing down teams through the air this year, though they may not have the talent to do so. Whatever the case, it's a near-certainty that Conner touches the ball 18-plus times in a game they're favored, automatically bumping him into RB2 territory. Knowing the Steelers will likely take it slow in Roethlisberger's return, we could see them lean on Conner even more than normal. He's a safe low-end RB1/high-end RB2 this week with multiple touchdown potential.
31 weeks ago
Austin Ekeler Note
Austin Ekeler photo 12. Austin Ekeler LAC (at CIN)
The preseason was supposed to help us figure out which of Jackson/Kelley were going to be the No. 2 to Ekeler. Jackson is dealing with some sort of foot issue, so it could be Kelley. Whatever the case, Ekeler is going to be the guy. With Tyrod Taylor under center, this team won't be throwing the ball close to 600 times like they did last year. That hurts someone like Ekeler who got 73.5 percent of his production through the air last year. No other top-20 running back eclipsed 48.5 percent. The injury to Mike Williams helps his potential target share, as the Chargers are lacking pass-catching options behind Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry. The Bengals are a team that were demolished by running backs last year, allowing a massive 4.58 yards per carry and even more importantly, 7.40 yards per target. The acquisition of D.J. Reader in the middle of the defense will surely help, but they do have two new starting linebackers as well, so this unit is far from familiar with one another. Running backs averaged 29.1 touches per game against the Bengals last year, which leaves plenty of room for Ekeler to get 16-plus touches even if Kelley/Jackson are involved. Start him as a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 who should come with a high floor.
31 weeks ago
Chris Carson Note
Chris Carson photo 13. Chris Carson SEA (at ATL)
We don't know how this backfield will shape out, but it's hard to see the Seahawks taking the starting job away from Carson after the year he just had. With that being said, health can be a question mark after he suffered a season-ending hip injury that forced him to miss the playoffs last year. When you add in Hyde and the fact that they drafted a running back (DeeJay Dallas) in the fourth round, it's clear they were preparing for the worst. The Falcons could be described as an average defense last year, as they were around the league average in every major statistical category to running backs: rush attempts (20th), rushing yards (19th), rushing touchdowns (24th), receptions (19th), and receiving yards (23rd). It makes sense that Carson totaled 90 total yards and a touchdown against them in last year's meeting. He was one of 14 running backs who posted top-16 numbers against them. There were three running backs who totaled 100 yards on the ground last year, though nobody was able to eclipse 111 rushing yards. With Hyde on the roster, it's possible they do some sort of 60/40 split, which would hurt both Carson's floor and ceiling. I don't see the Seahawks blowing out the Falcons (neither do oddsmakers), which would play more into Carson/Dallas' role than Hyde's, as Hyde isn't a good pass-catcher. I feel Carson should be considered a mid-to-high-end RB2 in this game who has a little bit more touch concerns than he did in 2019, though not enough to move him out of RB2 territory, especially in a projected high-scoring game. There's a good chance he scores here, though I wouldn't bank on it with cash games now that Hyde's in the mix.
31 weeks ago
Nick Chubb Note
Nick Chubb photo 14. Nick Chubb CLE (at BAL)
It was a tale of two tapes when Chubb saw the Ravens last year, turning in a ridiculous 183-yard, three-touchdown performance in Week 4, but then falling flat on his face in Week 16 when he finished with just 45 yards on 15 carries. What changed? Defensive tackle Brandon Williams was out for the Ravens in their Week 4 meeting, and he's been a difference-maker when on the field. The Ravens did lose Michael Pierce and Chris Wormley on the interior of their defensive line this offseason, though they tried to make up for that, trading for Calais Campbell, a player who's continually one of the best in the league. The big change for Chubb will be the Kevin Stefanski offense that should fit his skill set extremely well. The Browns added both Jack Conklin and first-round pick Jedrick Wills to the offensive line, which should be massive upgrades over Greg Robinson and Chris Hubbard. Still, it may take some time for them to finesse the scheme and develop chemistry together. The biggest issue for Chubb (and Hunt) this week is that the Ravens opponents averaged just 22.3 running back touches per game. No other team allowed their opponents less than 23.1 touches. That's because they control the clock and allowed their opponents just 57.6 plays per game. If the Browns defense can't slow down Lamar Jackson, we're unlikely to see Chubb and Hunt total more than 25 combined touches. Chubb averaged 6.0 fewer PPR points per game in games the Browns lost last year. He's more of a middling RB2 this week than the RB1 you thought you drafted.
31 weeks ago
Kenyan Drake Note
Kenyan Drake photo 15. Kenyan Drake LV (at CAR)
From the time Drake joined the Cardinals last year, he was the No. 4 running back in fantasy football. One thing from that stretch that is unsustainable is his touchdown production, as he scored eight rushing touchdowns on just 123 carries. He still averaged 101.8 total yards per game, but there were three games where he totaled less than 70 total yards. It was a mixed bag against this 49ers defense, as he absolutely demolished them in their first game, racking up 162 total yards and a touchdown. That was one of just two games where the 49ers allowed a running back to crack the 20-point barrier in PPR formats (the other was Christian McCaffrey). In fact, there were just three backs who reached 100-plus total yards against them. The next meeting between the two, Drake finished with 80 total yards and no touchdown. The 49ers did trade away DeForest Buckner, who was a a big reason for their success up the middle of the field, even if he was a better pass rusher than anything. They drafted his replacement in Javon Kinlaw, but he's a rookie with no experience. But again, knowing there were just eight running backs who finished better than the RB24 against the 49ers, we know it's not a great matchup. Drake should still net 15-plus touches in this game and be treated as a decent RB2.
31 weeks ago
Todd Gurley II Note
Todd Gurley II photo 16. Todd Gurley II ATL (vs . SEA)
As long as Gurley is active, he belongs in your starting lineup due to the offense that he plays in. While the days of Gurley receiving 20+ carries are most likely gone, he can absolutely still make contributions for fantasy football with his scoring upside in this high-powered Falcons offense. Gurley's a low-end RB1 in this matchup against the Seahawks defense.
31 weeks ago
Raheem Mostert Note
Raheem Mostert photo 17. Raheem Mostert SF (vs . ARI)
The matchup looks enticing for Mostert, but the competition at his position makes him less appealing of a start this week. Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon both figure to be key parts of the game plan for the 49ers, which is going to cap Mostert's ceiling. He'll receive around his 12-15 touches, but very little involvement through the receiving game pushes his value down a bit. He's going to have to score for you to feel happy starting him this week. Mostert is a borderline RB3/FLEX option for your lineups against Arizona.
31 weeks ago
Mark Ingram II Note
Mark Ingram II photo 18. Mark Ingram II HOU (at KC)
This backfield was more of a mess last year than most realize, simply because Ingram scored a lot of touchdowns. But get this... based on how many touches he received and where they took place on the field, Ingram "should have" finished as the No. 23 running back instead of the No. 8 running back where he did. If you combined Gus Edwards and Justice Hill as one running back, this backfield was a 52/48 split. Seriously. Ingram had 228 touches while Edwards/Hill combined for 206 touches. Now you add Dobbins to the mix? The Browns allowed a robust 4.96 yards per carry last year and are extremely light on talent at the linebacker position. Their starters are currently B.J. Goodson, Sione Takitaki, and Tae Davis. They lost last year's fourth-round pick Mack Wilson (linebacker), as well as second-round pick Grant Delpit (safety) during training camp. This is a new defensive scheme, but it's hard to see them turning things around right away, especially given the injuries they're dealing with. The biggest question mark is how this timeshare shakes out, though Ingram should resume his 12-16 touch role to start the season. Knowing the Browns allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per opportunity last year, you can start him as a stable RB2 this week, though he doesn't have a massive ceiling.
31 weeks ago
David Johnson Note
David Johnson photo 19. David Johnson HOU (at KC)
Jonathan Taylor Note
Jonathan Taylor photo 20. Jonathan Taylor IND (at JAC)
We didn't get any preseason games, so we don't have any clue how this timeshare will work, but I'm going with talent. The Colts selected Taylor in the second round of the draft because they felt they had a void at the position, period. They're now about to go and face the defense that allowed 10 running backs to post top-12 performances against them in 2019. Keep in mind they had Calais Campbell on the roster the entire season and Marcell Dareus for half of it. They're no longer on the defensive line. To highlight the issue, the Jaguars allowed 5.20 yards per carry with Dareus off the field last year. They allowed 5.76 yards per carry when Campbell was off the field. Teams should be able to run wild on this defense, especially one with a top-three offensive line. Again, going back to last year, they allowed 205.2 total yards per game to running backs, which allows for multiple producers. I'm expecting around 15 touches for Taylor in his debut and that's good enough for an RB2 start, even with the uncertainty in his role, as this defense is just too giving.
31 weeks ago
Melvin Gordon III Note
Melvin Gordon III photo 21. Melvin Gordon III DEN (vs . TEN)
All we've heard out of Broncos camp is that they may be regretting their decision to pay Gordon all that free agent money, as Lindsay has looked like the better back. It's not surprising to those who've watched Lindsay over the last two years. There have been just nine running backs who've totaled 2,000 rushing yards over the last two years: Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Christian McCaffrey, Chris Carson, Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon, Todd Gurley, and Lindsay. It'll be interesting to see if this is a true 50/50 timeshare under Pat Shurmur. The Titans allowed the 13th-most fantasy points to running backs last year, with much of that production coming through the air, as they allowed 194.7 PPR points through the air alone, which ranked as the eighth-most in the league. I was guessing we'd see Gordon as the starter and getting a 55/45 split from the start, though it's also worth noting Gordon has reportedly had trouble adjusting to the Denver altitude. This could benefit Lindsay in the early going. Lindsay did total 70 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries against the Titans last year, too. For now, we must consider them both RB3s until we see what the true split is. Gordon likely gets first shot at goal-line work, so I'll say he has the slight edge, but it's not much.
31 weeks ago
Le'Veon Bell Note
Le'Veon Bell photo 22. Le'Veon Bell KC (vs . HOU)
Marlon Mack Note
Marlon Mack photo 23. Marlon Mack IND (at JAC)
Boston Scott Note
Boston Scott photo 24. Boston Scott PHI (at WAS)
With the news that Sanders is out, Scott vaults up into start-worthy consideration this week. While he's going to absolutely split time with Corey Clement, he has some extra value in PPR leagues. You can roll out Scott as a low-end RB3 with some upside in Full PPR formats.
31 weeks ago
Devin Singletary Note
Devin Singletary photo 25. Devin Singletary BUF (vs . NYJ)
Cam Akers Note
Cam Akers photo 26. Cam Akers LAR (vs . DAL)
Akers is an intriguing play this week with Darrell Henderson potentially limited with an injury. If Henderson is reportedly fully healthy, Akers moves from a back-end RB2 in my rankings to a FLEX option. However, in what should be a high-scoring matchup, Akers deserves to be in consideration for your starting lineup in some form or fashion.
31 weeks ago
Kareem Hunt Note
Kareem Hunt photo 27. Kareem Hunt CLE (at BAL)
Hunt should be an interesting play this week, as the Browns are heavy underdogs in this game. His splits in wins/losses weren't nearly as bad as Chubb's. Still, you worry about the potential lack of plays for the Browns offense this week, as Stefanski averaged just 60.4 plays per game in Minnesota last year, combined with the Ravens opponents averaging just 57.6 plays per game. It seems somewhat unlikely that Hunt winds up with more than 10-12 touches this week, and it's not a great matchup against a defense that allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points in 2019. Because of that, Hunt should be considered a somewhat low-upside RB3/flex play.
31 weeks ago
Antonio Gibson Note
Antonio Gibson photo 28. Antonio Gibson WAS (vs . PHI)
Do you know how many touches the Washington backfield averaged last year? 24.4 touches per game. Trying to project how the timeshare in Washington is going to work out might be a waste of time, as there's not enough volume for any of them to be consistent. Can that change under a new offensive coordinator? Sure, but it's hard to say that'll happen without any actual game reps together. Teams like Washington are behind the 8-ball with the shortened offseason and non-existent preseason games. Their offensive line got worse when they traded away Trent Williams, as they're likely to lean on fourth-round rookie Saahdiq Charles at left tackle. That's... not great. Fortunately, the Eagles are not a team to attack with running backs. They ranked No. 7 against fantasy running backs last year and were No. 6 against them in 2018. They added interior lineman Javon Hargrave to the mix this offseason, which should only help matters. Gibson is a wild card where it wouldn't shock me if he saw as little as five touches or as many as 15 touches, though I'd lean on the cautious side considering he saw less than 80 touches during his entire college career. The Eagles have been a very good unit against the run, and though Gibson is somewhat a hybrid running back/wide receiver, the Eagles allowed just 1.33 PPR points per target last year, which ranked as the fifth-lowest mark in the league. Gibson is a risk/reward RB3, but I'd play safer options until we know his role on this offense. He was technically listed behind McKissic on the depth chart, though that may mean nothing.
31 weeks ago
Sony Michel Note
Sony Michel photo 29. Sony Michel NE (vs . MIA)
Jordan Howard Note
Jordan Howard photo 30. Jordan Howard PHI (at WAS)
It seems the Dolphins are happy with the duo they've assembled this offseason, though not many are talking about the biggest variable they'll be dealing with. They Dolphins have replaced every member on the offensive line (which really isn't a bad thing considering who was there last year), including three rookies. Knowing they have zero game experience together, it's likely to be an issue. Howard isn't someone who's super elusive, but rather relies on his blocks being set up and hitting the hole. The Patriots allowed just four running backs to finish as top-24 options last year, though the biggest reason was due to them allowing just one running back touchdown the entire season. The Patriots defense has lost interior lineman Danny Shelton, edge rusher Kyle Van Noy, linebackers Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts in free agency, and then had linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung opt out for the season. So, it's fair to say they won't be the same elite unit. They did allow a stable 4.06 yards per carry with those players, so it's not a flat-out zero for Howard, but I'm more worried about his offensive line and lack of scoring opportunities. I wouldn't rely on him for anything more than RB3/4 production.
31 weeks ago
Ronald Jones II Note
Ronald Jones II photo 31. Ronald Jones II TB (at NO)
Jones should still be the lead option in this backfield, but the presence of Leonard Fournette limits his overall ceiling. Additionally, the Saints DST is an extremely difficult matchup for RBs. All of those things point towards Jones being a RB3/FLEX option at best this week.
31 weeks ago
Zack Moss Note
Zack Moss photo 32. Zack Moss BUF (vs . NYJ)
James White Note
James White photo 33. James White NE (vs . MIA)
J.K. Dobbins Note
J.K. Dobbins photo 34. J.K. Dobbins BAL (vs . CLE)
You can't start him with any confidence, as the Ravens continue to say Edwards will be involved, and we know they'll run with the veteran Ingram out of the gate. I'll just make my prediction: I don't think Dobbins totals more than 7-10 touches in his first NFL game, leaving him outside starting range.
31 weeks ago
Phillip Lindsay Note
Phillip Lindsay photo 35. Phillip Lindsay HOU (at KC)
All we've heard out of Broncos camp is that they may be regretting their decision to pay Gordon all that free agent money, as Lindsay has looked like the better back. It's not surprising to those who've watched Lindsay over the last two years. There have been just nine running backs who've totaled 2,000 rushing yards over the last two years: Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Christian McCaffrey, Chris Carson, Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon, Todd Gurley, and Lindsay. It'll be interesting to see if this is a true 50/50 timeshare under Pat Shurmur. The Titans allowed the 13th-most fantasy points to running backs last year, with much of that production coming through the air, as they allowed 194.7 PPR points through the air alone, which ranked as the eighth-most in the league. I was guessing we'd see Gordon as the starter and getting a 55/45 split from the start, though it's also worth noting Gordon has reportedly had trouble adjusting to the Denver altitude. This could benefit Lindsay in the early going. Lindsay did total 70 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries against the Titans last year, too. For now, we must consider them both RB3s until we see what the true split is. Gordon likely gets first shot at goal-line work, so I'll say he has the slight edge, but it's not much.
31 weeks ago
David Montgomery Note
David Montgomery photo 36. David Montgomery CHI (at DET)
Montgomery has now logged back to back full practices on Thursday and Friday, which indicates that he should be good to go for Sunday. Based on his assumed volume and the matchup, Montgomery should be a fine RB2 start this week.
31 weeks ago
Leonard Fournette Note
Leonard Fournette photo 37. Leonard Fournette TB (at NO)
Fournette should see some touches in this matchup, but it might not be enough to be FLEX worthy. There's a possibility that Fournette takes on more of a workload in upcoming weeks, but it's going to be hard to trust him right away in this matchup. He's a RB4 at best this week.
31 weeks ago
Tarik Cohen Note
Tarik Cohen photo 38. Tarik Cohen CHI (at DET)
If you're looking for a good FLEX play this week, it's hard to go wrong with Cohen. Cohen should be heavily involved in the game plan against the Lions defense and he's always a threat to make an explosive play that can win you a matchup. With the question marks surrounding Montgomery and his status for this week, Cohen's looking like a sneaky option to plug in as a starting option in your lineup.
31 weeks ago
Kerryon Johnson Note
Kerryon Johnson photo 39. Kerryon Johnson DET (vs . CHI)
Johnson's a depth option in a rotational backfield. Unless D'Andre Swift completely misses this game, it's hard to see how Johnson sees enough work to be a reliable fantasy option. I recommend looking elsewhere if you can.
31 weeks ago
Matt Breida Note
Matt Breida photo 40. Matt Breida BUF (vs . NYJ)
Breida is the better pass-catching option of the two and will likely be mixed in throughout the game on early downs. He's also more elusive and may not rely on his offensive line as much as Howard. Because of that, he may be the better option of the two this week, though Howard will be the goal-line back. No matter the case, it's not one to be excited about for Breida, an RB4 who gets a slight bump in PPR formats.
31 weeks ago
D'Andre Swift Note
D'Andre Swift photo 41. D'Andre Swift DET (vs . CHI)
Swift gets a nice welcome to the NFL by going up against the vaunted Chicago bears defense. With the unknowns of how exactly this backfield is going to play out, plus Swift's potential injury concerns, it's probably best to leave Swift on your bench for this matchup. Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson should both see some work this week, which leaves very little left over for Swift.
31 weeks ago
James Robinson Note
James Robinson photo 42. James Robinson JAC (vs . IND)
We all talked about Leonard Fournette losing targets in the passing game under Jay Gruden, and now that he's out of the picture, we must figure out where they're going to go. In a game where they're big underdogs, there will be plenty of dropbacks. Thompson has averaged 7-10 touches per game over the last three years, so it's not like he's getting crazy involved. Running backs averaged 26.9 touches per game against the Colts last year, so even if we go high-end with Thompson, it's likely we see 17-plus touches for Robinson. Since Frank Reich and Matt Eberflus came to the Colts, they have allowed just one 100-yard rusher against them, and that was Derrick Henry during his late-season domination. The Colts also added DeForest Buckner to the defensive line which is clearly an upgrade. They slowed Fournette down big-time last year, as he totaled a season-low 23 yards on just eight carries in Week 11. He did chip in with seven receptions for 34 yards, but it was one of his worst games all year. Those are the negatives for Robinson behind the same offensive line. Is a late-game goal-line plunge out of the question? It may not look likely considering the Colts allowed just four rushing touchdowns during the entire 2019 season. Robinson should be considered an RB4 this week who needs to score in order avoid busting.
31 weeks ago
Latavius Murray Note
Latavius Murray photo 43. Latavius Murray NO (vs . TB)
This is a matchup that you want to start as many players as you can due to the projected point totals. Murray is an intriguing FLEX option this week and can be started in that spot with confidence. He's a RB3 with upside this week.
31 weeks ago
Tevin Coleman Note
Tevin Coleman photo 44. Tevin Coleman NYJ (at BUF)
Tevin Coleman is going to be needed as a receiver out of the backfield with the injuries the 49ers have suffered at the WR position. He's a sneaky FLEX play this week, but it might be best to wait it out a week and see how Kyle Shanahan divvies up the touches amongst these three RBs in SF before rolling out Coleman in your lineup.
31 weeks ago
Chris Thompson Note
Chris Thompson photo 45. Chris Thompson JAC (vs . IND)
Thompson is a flex/RB4-type player in PPR formats, and it's worth mentioning the Colts allowed the most running back receptions (109) in the league last year. The 1.55 PPR points per target was very middle of the pack, but given the expected game flow, there could be more volume than normal.
31 weeks ago
Darrel Williams Note
Darrel Williams photo 46. Darrel Williams KC (vs . HOU)
Duke Johnson Jr. Note
Duke Johnson Jr. photo 47. Duke Johnson Jr. FA (BYE)
Joshua Kelley Note
Joshua Kelley photo 48. Joshua Kelley LAC (at CIN)
Malcolm Brown Note
Malcolm Brown photo 49. Malcolm Brown MIA (at NE)
Malcolm Brown should be involved in this game if Darrell Henderson is not fully ready to go, but it is not going to equate to enough for standalone fantasy value. Brown can remain on your bench in deeper leagues or even on your waiver wires.
31 weeks ago
Alexander Mattison Note
Alexander Mattison photo 50. Alexander Mattison MIN (vs . GB)
Mattison was fantastic when called upon last year, but let's not pretend he was getting nearly enough touches to be relied upon in a fantasy lineup. With Cook healthy, there were just three games all season where he saw double-digit carries, and the Vikings won each of those games by double-digits. I don't see that happening this week, making Mattison an RB4/5-type option.
31 weeks ago
Adrian Peterson Note
Adrian Peterson photo 51. Adrian Peterson DET (vs . CHI)
Peterson's joining the Lions after being released by Washington and he figures to be a part of the game plan right away. With that being said, this is going to be a messy situation to figure out for fantasy football and none of these backs are worth starting against the Bears if you can avoid it. I'd recommend looking elsewhere if you can.
31 weeks ago
Tony Pollard Note
Tony Pollard photo 52. Tony Pollard DAL (at LAR)
Pollard's an elite insurance RB, but he's simply not going to see enough work to be a useful week in and week out contributor for fantasy football. He can remain on your bench with the other options you most likely have available to you.
31 weeks ago
Nyheim Hines Note
Nyheim Hines photo 53. Nyheim Hines IND (at JAC)
Rex Burkhead Note
Rex Burkhead photo 54. Rex Burkhead NE (vs . MIA)
Darrell Henderson Note
Darrell Henderson photo 55. Darrell Henderson LAR (vs . DAL)
Chase Edmonds Note
Chase Edmonds photo 56. Chase Edmonds ARI (at SF)
Once Drake joined the team in Arizona, no other running back (David Johnson or Chase Edmonds) topped six touches, so they have no standalone value. Unless something changes, Edmonds is just a handcuff to Drake.
31 weeks ago
Justin Jackson Note
Justin Jackson photo 57. Justin Jackson LAC (at CIN)
Jerick McKinnon Note
Jerick McKinnon photo 58. Jerick McKinnon SF (vs . ARI)
Carlos Hyde Note
Carlos Hyde photo 59. Carlos Hyde JAC (vs . IND)
Hyde will assume the vacated Rashaad Penny role in this offense, but that most likely isn't going to equate to a ton of fantasy value in week one. Chris Carson is going to be the clear-cut lead option in this backfield, which is unlikely to leave much left over for Hyde. Hyde can remain on your bench.
31 weeks ago
Jamaal Williams Note
Jamaal Williams photo 60. Jamaal Williams DET (vs . CHI)
Frank Gore Note
Frank Gore photo 61. Frank Gore NYJ (at BUF)
AJ Dillon Note
AJ Dillon photo 62. AJ Dillon GB (at MIN)
Dillon should see 5-8 carries in this game, which isn't enough to have standalone fantasy value, but it's enough to eat into Aaron Jones' workload. Dillon should be left on your bench in deep leagues or even on your waiver wire in smaller leagues.
31 weeks ago
Jalen Richard Note
Jalen Richard photo 63. Jalen Richard LV (at CAR)
Giovani Bernard Note
Giovani Bernard photo 64. Giovani Bernard CIN (vs . LAC)
Benny Snell Jr. Note
Benny Snell Jr. photo 65. Benny Snell Jr. PIT (at NYG)
Peyton Barber Note
Peyton Barber photo 66. Peyton Barber WAS (vs . PHI)
Brian Hill Note
Brian Hill photo 67. Brian Hill ATL (vs . SEA)
Hill is the clear backup in Atlanta, but that doesn't mean that he can be relied upon for weekly fantasy production. He's someone to hold onto in deep leagues in the event that Gurley struggles with injury this season again, but otherwise he can be avoided in leagues with shorter benches.
31 weeks ago
J.D. McKissic Note
J.D. McKissic photo 68. J.D. McKissic WAS (vs . PHI)
McKissic is a borderline RB3/RB4 in this matchup in Half PPR formats, but he does get a boost in Full PPR. Washington should be trailing in this matchup, which leads to some garbage time opportunity for McKissic in the receiving game. This is going to be a messy backfield and we need to see how it plays out on the field before we start any of these options with confidence. McKissic can be deployed as a FLEX option in Full PPR leagues, but only if you absolutely need.
31 weeks ago
Corey Clement Note
Corey Clement photo 69. Corey Clement PHI (at WAS)
Clement will see some work now that Sanders is out for this matchup. However, it might not be enough to warrant RB3 or better value. He's going to split the work with Boston Scott, but Clement should be the goal line back. He's a fine FLEX play if you're desperate at the position.
31 weeks ago
Gus Edwards Note
Gus Edwards photo 70. Gus Edwards BAL (vs . CLE)
LeSean McCoy Note
LeSean McCoy photo 71. LeSean McCoy TB (at NO)
McCoy is the passing-down back, which carries some value in this matchup. The Saints allowed the 10th-most fantasy points through the air to running backs last year, as the 95 receptions they allowed ranked as the fifth-most. Still, McCoy is sharing a lot of snaps and is clearly the No. 3 on this team. He may be usable in deep PPR formats that utilize multiple flex spots as a semi-decent floor play, but he doesn't come with any upside.
32 weeks ago
Ito Smith Note
Ito Smith photo 72. Ito Smith ATL (vs . SEA)
Dion Lewis Note
Dion Lewis photo 73. Dion Lewis NYG (vs . PIT)
Lewis is nothing more than a backup RB that will come onto the field in obvious passing down situations when Barkley needs a break. He's not worth considering in any format this week.
31 weeks ago
Ke'Shawn Vaughn Note
Ke'Shawn Vaughn photo 74. Ke'Shawn Vaughn TB (at NO)
Jaylen Samuels Note
Jaylen Samuels photo 75. Jaylen Samuels PIT (at NYG)
Mike Davis Note
Mike Davis photo 76. Mike Davis ATL (vs . SEA)
Davis seems locked in as the backup RB in Carolina, but that doesn't mean much for fantasy football when CMC is above you on the depth chart. Davis can be left on waiver wires in all leagues.
31 weeks ago
Mike Boone Note
Mike Boone photo 77. Mike Boone DEN (vs . TEN)
Ryan Nall Note
Ryan Nall photo 78. Ryan Nall CHI (at DET)
Royce Freeman Note
Royce Freeman photo 79. Royce Freeman DEN (vs . TEN)
Darwin Thompson Note
Darwin Thompson photo 80. Darwin Thompson KC (vs . HOU)
Patrick Laird Note
Patrick Laird photo 81. Patrick Laird MIA (at NE)
Wayne Gallman Note
Wayne Gallman photo 82. Wayne Gallman NYG (vs . PIT)
Devontae Booker Note
Devontae Booker photo 83. Devontae Booker NYG (vs . PIT)
Eno Benjamin Note
Eno Benjamin photo 84. Eno Benjamin ARI (at SF)
Kyle Juszczyk Note
Kyle Juszczyk photo 85. Kyle Juszczyk SF (vs . ARI)
Jordan Wilkins Note
Jordan Wilkins photo 86. Jordan Wilkins IND (at JAC)
T.J. Yeldon Note
T.J. Yeldon photo 87. T.J. Yeldon BUF (vs . NYJ)
Qadree Ollison Note
Qadree Ollison photo 88. Qadree Ollison ATL (vs . SEA)
Travis Homer Note
Travis Homer photo 89. Travis Homer SEA (at ATL)
DeAndre Washington Note
DeAndre Washington photo 90. DeAndre Washington MIA (at NE)
Ryquell Armstead Note
Ryquell Armstead photo 91. Ryquell Armstead JAC (vs . IND)
Ty Montgomery Note
Ty Montgomery photo 92. Ty Montgomery NO (vs . TB)
Khari Blasingame Note
Khari Blasingame photo 93. Khari Blasingame TEN (at DEN)
Ameer Abdullah Note
Ameer Abdullah photo 94. Ameer Abdullah MIN (vs . GB)
C.J. Ham Note
C.J. Ham photo 95. C.J. Ham MIN (vs . GB)
Reggie Bonnafon Note
Reggie Bonnafon photo 96. Reggie Bonnafon CAR (vs . LV)
Jeff Wilson Jr. Note
Jeff Wilson Jr. photo 97. Jeff Wilson Jr. SF (vs . ARI)
Trayveon Williams Note
Trayveon Williams photo 98. Trayveon Williams CIN (vs . LAC)
Alec Ingold Note
Alec Ingold photo 99. Alec Ingold LV (at CAR)
Buddy Howell Note
Buddy Howell photo 100. Buddy Howell HOU (at KC)
Tyler Ervin Note
Tyler Ervin photo 101. Tyler Ervin GB (at MIN)
Myles Gaskin Note
Myles Gaskin photo 102. Myles Gaskin MIA (at NE)
Senorise Perry Note
Senorise Perry photo 103. Senorise Perry TEN (at DEN)
Jason Huntley Note
Jason Huntley photo 104. Jason Huntley PHI (at WAS)
Kalen Ballage Note
Kalen Ballage photo 105. Kalen Ballage PIT (at NYG)
Patrick Ricard Note
Patrick Ricard photo 106. Patrick Ricard BAL (vs . CLE)
Jakob Johnson Note
Jakob Johnson photo 107. Jakob Johnson NE (vs . MIA)
Ty Johnson Note
Ty Johnson photo 108. Ty Johnson NYJ (at BUF)
Derrius Guice Note
Derrius Guice photo 109. Derrius Guice FA (BYE)
D'Ernest Johnson Note
D'Ernest Johnson photo 110. D'Ernest Johnson CLE (at BAL)
J.J. Taylor Note
J.J. Taylor photo 111. J.J. Taylor NE (vs . MIA)
Andy Janovich Note
Andy Janovich photo 112. Andy Janovich CLE (at BAL)
Lamar Miller Note
Lamar Miller photo 113. Lamar Miller WAS (vs . PHI)
Alex Armah Note
Alex Armah photo 114. Alex Armah NO (vs . TB)
Trenton Cannon Note
Trenton Cannon photo 115. Trenton Cannon CAR (vs . LV)
Rashaad Penny Note
Rashaad Penny photo 116. Rashaad Penny SEA (at ATL)
Rico Dowdle Note
Rico Dowdle photo 117. Rico Dowdle DAL (at LAR)
Anthony Sherman Note
Anthony Sherman photo 118. Anthony Sherman KC (vs . HOU)
Elijhaa Penny Note
Elijhaa Penny photo 119. Elijhaa Penny NYG (vs . PIT)
Rodney Anderson Note
Rodney Anderson photo 120. Rodney Anderson FA (BYE)
Derek Watt Note
Derek Watt photo 121. Derek Watt PIT (at NYG)
Patrick DiMarco Note
Patrick DiMarco photo 122. Patrick DiMarco FA (BYE)
Jordan Scarlett Note
Jordan Scarlett photo 123. Jordan Scarlett MIA (at NE)
Devonta Freeman Note
Devonta Freeman photo 124. Devonta Freeman BUF (vs . NYJ)
 photo 125. (BYE)
De'Angelo Henderson Sr. Note
De'Angelo Henderson Sr. photo 126. De'Angelo Henderson Sr. FA (BYE)
Nathan Cottrell Note
Nathan Cottrell photo 127. Nathan Cottrell JAC (vs . IND)
Keith Smith Note
Keith Smith photo 128. Keith Smith ATL (vs . SEA)
Artavis Pierce Note
Artavis Pierce photo 129. Artavis Pierce CHI (at DET)
Reggie Gilliam Note
Reggie Gilliam photo 130. Reggie Gilliam BUF (vs . NYJ)
Michael Burton Note
Michael Burton photo 131. Michael Burton NO (vs . TB)
Taiwan Jones Note
Taiwan Jones photo 132. Taiwan Jones BUF (vs . NYJ)
David Fluellen Note
David Fluellen photo 133. David Fluellen FA (BYE)
Kenneth Dixon Note
Kenneth Dixon photo 134. Kenneth Dixon FA (BYE)
Xavier Jones Note
Xavier Jones photo 135. Xavier Jones LAR (vs . DAL)
Samkon Gado Note
Samkon Gado photo 136. Samkon Gado TEN (at DEN)
Dontrell Hilliard Note
Dontrell Hilliard photo 137. Dontrell Hilliard HOU (at KC)
Raymond Calais Note
Raymond Calais photo 138. Raymond Calais LAR (vs . DAL)
Josh Adams Note
Josh Adams photo 139. Josh Adams NYJ (at BUF)
Scottie Phillips Note
Scottie Phillips photo 140. Scottie Phillips HOU (at KC)
Josh Ferguson Note
Josh Ferguson photo 141. Josh Ferguson FA (BYE)
Samaje Perine Note
Samaje Perine photo 142. Samaje Perine CIN (vs . LAC)
Tra Carson Note
Tra Carson photo 143. Tra Carson FA (BYE)
Troymaine Pope Note
Troymaine Pope photo 144. Troymaine Pope LAC (at CIN)
 photo 145. (BYE)
Rod Smith Note
Rod Smith photo 146. Rod Smith NYG (vs . PIT)
Dwayne Washington Note
Dwayne Washington photo 147. Dwayne Washington NO (vs . TB)
Chandler Cox Note
Chandler Cox photo 148. Chandler Cox FA (BYE)
Tony Brooks-James Note
Tony Brooks-James photo 149. Tony Brooks-James ATL (vs . SEA)
Taquan Mizzell Note
Taquan Mizzell photo 150. Taquan Mizzell NYG (vs . PIT)
Jonathan Hilliman Note
Jonathan Hilliman photo 151. Jonathan Hilliman FA (BYE)
Elijah McGuire Note
Elijah McGuire photo 152. Elijah McGuire KC (vs . HOU)
Nick Bellore Note
Nick Bellore photo 153. Nick Bellore SEA (at ATL)
Kenjon Barner Note
Kenjon Barner photo 154. Kenjon Barner TB (at NO)
Damarea Crockett Note
Damarea Crockett photo 155. Damarea Crockett DEN (vs . TEN)
Ricky Ortiz Note
Ricky Ortiz photo 156. Ricky Ortiz FA (BYE)