Saquon Barkley gets a slight uptick due to a likely strong PPR day against the Cowboys. Le’Veon Bell should get the squeaky wheel treatment after two low opportunity games and it comes in a smash spot against the Dolphins. Jaylen Samuels moves up to 10th overall with James Conner doubtful. His PPR upside could push him higher than 10th this week. Mark Walton’s targets have been fair this season but with Kenyan Drake gone, they should be substantial moving forward and the Jets are hurting at linebacker, so I moved him up to RB22. Ty Johnson also gets a boost with Tra Carson out.
Welcome to Week 9. We are officially over the mid-season hump, and it is time to finish strong. This week you’re hoping, like all of us, that you have one or two of these Top-10 running backs and that you have a useful replacement for bye week players. The Falcons, Bengals, Rams, and Saints are all taking a breather along with their running backs. But getting Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara some rest for the stretch run is likely a blessing in disguise. But enough of these slackers, let’s get to the players who will make it to the field this week.
I was worried about Christian McCaffrey against a 49ers team that had yet to give up a single touchdown or over 100 total yards to a running back, but I shouldn’t have been. He went off like he usually does, despite the 51-13 annihilation. The Titans are no pushovers, but you know what to do with Mr. McCaffrey.
In one of the more surprising turns, Leonard Fournette is a PPR back this season, as he has more PPR points than standard. His 35 receptions through eight games are one off of his career-high while his one touchdown comes from a whopping 39 red zone touches. His 24.8 touches per game only trail McCaffrey, who has 25.7 per game. The touchdowns will happen, but his matchup against the Texans could be tough, as they’ve allowed just four to running backs this year. But with his overall usage and red zone work, those end zone trips will likely happen at any time.
Tevin Coleman scorched the Panthers last week and could be asked to a bit more this week due to injuries. Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert are both hurting, which could boost Coleman’s workload against the Cardinals. Arizona was just run over by Latavius Murray and rank 26th in run defense DVOA. Keep an eye on the practice reports and be prepared to boost Coleman this week.
James Conner is hurt once again, but we don’t have any definitive news on his status for his status against the Colts. If he can’t play, Jaylen Samuels gets a big bump in the rankings, especially in PPR, where he can shine as a pass catcher when called upon.
With both David Johnson and Chase Edmonds out for Thursday night, Kenyan Drake could be the starter. We’ll keep our ear to the news reports on how he looks this week with his new team, but even against a dominant 49ers defense, Drake could be the starter in a game where he would see good target numbers.
With rumors flying of a Le’Veon Bell trade, it’s fair to wonder where his mental state will be when the Jets take on the Dolphins this week. Bell’s matchup couldn’t be any better, as Miami ranks near the bottom in every running back related defensive statistic. I’m going to err on the side of him running angry in a smash spot because I like to keep a positive outlook on life.
Austin Ekeler is a PPR stud and deserves more work than he’s received since Melvin Gordon returned. Thankfully the Packers are favored in what will probably feel like Lambeau in Los Angeles. If they can take the lead, Ekeler will get his share of work through the air, and his ability keeps his upside high.
Running Back PPR Rankings, Week 9
|Ronald Jones II