There aren’t many significant changes for the standard running backs. Nick Chubb should have plenty of opportunity with Brandon Allen likely keeping the Broncos points low and this is the last game Chubb has before Kareem Hunt returns. Chubb also wants to redeem himself for his recent fumbles. He’s my RB5 now. With James Conner doubtful, Jaylen Samuels moves into RB13. Ty Johnson gets a boost with Tra Carson out but he’s still a borderline flex. Mark Walton moves up a handful of spots with the Jets linebackers hurting. Even in standard I moved Devin Singletary ahead of Frank Gore and rather play him in all formats.
When looking at standard rankings, there are only a few players who get a nice bump in the rankings due to the lack of PPR scoring. So far this year, those running backs have been Derrick Henry, Mark Ingram, Josh Jacobs, Jordan Howard, Marlon Mack, Sony Michel, and Carlos Hyde. But even in standard scoring, you want those backs who can also catch the ball, because that means they aren’t on the sideline.
The byes are out in full force now, so we’ll need to find subs for Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and Todd Gurley. Our rankings should give you a head start on finding the right players to give a chance to prove themselves.
In Week 9, we’ll start where we usually do, with Christian McCaffrey as the No. 1 running back. Last week McCaffrey proved his matchup-proof status more than anyone this year, as he put up 150 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers. Before last week, San Francisco hadn’t allowed a single running back to top 100 yards against them or get into the end zone. The Titans aren’t an easy matchup, but they have allowed the fifth-most receptions and eighth-most receiving yards per game to opposing running backs. As long as he sees around 26 touches a game, he will thrive.
Dalvin Cook currently is the closest to McCaffrey in fantasy points per game. His ability has popped in every game, and this week, he gets an advantageous matchup against Kansas City. K.C. has given up the fourth-most fantasy points, highest yards per carry, fourth-most touchdowns and most yards per touch to running backs this season. If McCaffrey weren’t McCaffrey, Cook would quickly get the No. 1 nod.
Monday night gives us a look at two of the best backs in the league, as Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott face off against middling run defenses. Both are strong starts as usual, and the spotlight of Monday night can always boost a star’s upside.
Aaron Jones has been inconsistent compared to his insanely high upside, but his usage as a receiver with Aaron Rodgers cooking and Davante Adams out should keep him elevated. The Chargers rank seventh in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs and haven’t shown enough on offense to push Jones out of the running the ball due to a significant deficit.
James Conner is a question mark this week after hurting his shoulder on Monday night, so his current ranking is tenuous at best. The good news is that Jaylen Samuels was cleared to play last week and will start against the Colts if Conner can’t. Indianapolis limits running backs reasonably well due to slowing the game down and containing big plays, but they are susceptible, ranking 29th in DVOA against the run.
We’ll need to keep an eye on Josh Jacob’s practice participation this week, as he was slightly limited last week with a shoulder injury. If he looks like his health is on the upswing, he gets a great matchup with the Lions. Detroit has allowed the third-most fantasy points, second-most touchdowns, and second-most fantasy points per touch to opposing backs this season.
Derrick Henry doesn’t have Kyle Shanahan scheming for him, but the Panthers did allow five rushing touchdowns to the 49ers and over 200 yards rushing. In standard leagues, he deserves a nice bump this week in a good matchup.
Running Back Standard Rankings, Week 9
|1||Christian McCaffrey||CAR||vs TEN|
|2||Dalvin Cook||MIN||@ KC|
|3||Ezekiel Elliott||DAL||@ NYG|
|4||Saquon Barkley||NYG||vs DAL|
|5||Nick Chubb||CLE||@ DEN|
|6||Tevin Coleman||SF||@ ARI|
|7||Aaron Jones||GB||@ LAC|
|8||Leonard Fournette||JAC||vs HOU|
|9||Le'Veon Bell||NYJ||@ MIA|
|10||Josh Jacobs||OAK||vs DET|
|11||Derrick Henry||TEN||@ CAR|
|12||Chris Carson||SEA||vs TB|
|13||Jaylen Samuels||PIT||vs IND|
|14||Marlon Mack||IND||@ PIT|
|15||Phillip Lindsay||DEN||vs CLE|
|16||Melvin Gordon||LAC||vs GB|
|17||Sony Michel||NE||@ BAL|
|18||Austin Ekeler||LAC||vs GB|
|19||Royce Freeman||DEN||vs CLE|
|20||Mark Ingram||BAL||vs NE|
|21||Jordan Howard||PHI||vs CHI|
|22||Adrian Peterson||WAS||@ BUF|
|23||Carlos Hyde||HOU||@ JAC|
|24||David Montgomery||CHI||@ PHI|
|25||Mark Walton||MIA||vs NYJ|
|26||James White||NE||@ BAL|
|27||LeSean McCoy||KC||vs MIN|
|28||Devin Singletary||BUF||vs WAS|
|29||Jamaal Williams||GB||@ LAC|
|30||Matt Breida||SF||@ ARI|
|31||Miles Sanders||PHI||vs CHI|
|32||Frank Gore||BUF||vs WAS|
|33||Damien Williams||KC||vs MIN|
|34||Kenyan Drake||ARI||vs SF|
|35||Ty Johnson||DET||@ OAK|
|36||Alexander Mattison||MIN||@ KC|
|37||Ronald Jones II||TB||@ SEA|
|38||Rashaad Penny||SEA||vs TB|
|39||Raheem Mostert||SF||@ ARI|
|40||Tarik Cohen||CHI||@ PHI|
|41||DeAndre Washington||OAK||vs DET|
|42||Peyton Barber||TB||@ SEA|
|43||Duke Johnson||HOU||@ JAC|
|44||Zach Zenner||ARI||vs SF|
|45||Kalen Ballage||MIA||vs NYJ|
|46||Nyheim Hines||IND||@ PIT|
|47||Paul Perkins||DET||@ OAK|
|48||Gus Edwards||BAL||vs NE|
|49||Tony Pollard||DAL||@ NYG|
|50||Rex Burkhead||NE||@ BAL|