Week 10 RB Fantasy Rankings PPR: McCaffrey Is Great In Return, But Falls Just Short of First in Rankings
The upcoming week can be summarized into one headline, running backs returning from injury. While not all guaranteed, the biggest names this headline include are Joe Mixon, Miles Sanders and Nick Chubb. Missing out several weeks of an already short football season is frustrating, but each look to rebound for a competitive second half a season. These players look to reignite their teams offenses, and for their fantasy managers. To find out where they fall in my week 10 fantasy football PPR rankings, look at the table below.
*indicates may be out with injury
|19||5||Melvin Gordon III||Broncos|
|26||5||Darrell Henderson Jr.||Rams|
|40||7||Mark Ingram II*||Ravens|
Tier 1 Running Backs
McCaffery, to his credit, had a much better fantasy game than I anticipated. My prediction was not for a lack of talent, we all know McCaffery is a proven elite back, it was for a lack of playing time. I thought head coach Matt Rhule would slowly ease his best player into his usual workload over the course of a couple weeks. That was totally wrong. In-fact McCaffery had more touches this game than in either of his two games this season, including week 1 when he never left early for an injury. McCaffery talled 18 touches for 151 yards, and 2 total touchdowns. He did this against a Kansas City defense who ranked 10th best in yards allowed entering week 9. McCaffery will return as a usual fantasy superstar. He is matchup-proof, injury resistance, and ridiculously talented. If you’re lucky enough to have him on your team, start him every week.
Despite McCaffery’s dramatic return, however, there is a different player that takes the crown at number one. Some light must have sparked in Cook after he went down with a groin injury in week 5, because since then he has been playing at an MVP level. You would think his stats are from a Madden video game in the two games since his return. In that timespan, he is averaging 189 total yards, and 3 touchdowns per game. To reiterate, he is averaging what would be a career game for most NFL running backs these past two consecutive weeks alone. For his third consecutive game against an NFC north rival in the Chicago Bears, I expect him to have another fantasy winning game. Cook is the best fantasy running back for the foreseeable future.
Aaron Jones and Alvin Kamara have been clear fantasy superstars since before the season began. There are no surprises here. They won’t single-handedly win fantasy games for you like Cook will and McCaffery might, but they get you close. They are each averaging over 20 fantasy points per game among just 4 running backs to do so (McCaffery and Cook). I gave Jones the edge over Kamara this weekend just for a much better matchup. Kamara will playing against a tough 49ers defense that is allowing the 2nd fewest fantasy points to running backs. Jones, on the other hand, is playing a Jacksonville defense that gives up the 5th most. I expect both to have great games, but Jones will pass the Saints star just slightly.
High-Tier (Not 1) Running Backs
Among all the picks I made in this ranking, placing Antontio Gibson at 10 felt the weirdest. But it shouldn’t be a total surprise. Gibson has quietly put together enough games to make him a top 15 RB in total points this season, averaging over 12 per game. With starting quarterback Kyle Allen suffering a season ending injury last Sunday, it would make sense that Washington begins to run the football a lot more. Gibson did not get a lot of touches last game (9), but he took advantage of the opportunities as they came to him. He averaged over 11 yards per reception, and took in one of his 6 carries for a touchdown. Against a Lions defense that is dead last in fantasy points allowed for running backs, he could easily have a big game.
Maybe one of the more noticeable changes in my rankings is that I dropped Derrick Henry to tier 2. Most people might assume it was for his disappointing game last weekend, when he recorded 6.8 fantasy points in his lowest mark of the season. But his performance does not worry me whatsoever. The Titans fed him the ball 21 times, and he was playing one of the best d-lines in the league with the Bears. The Titans switched to an aerial attack against a less impressive secondary and it worked. The Titans won the game. My only caution this weekend is that he’s playing the number one ranked defense against running backs in the Indianapolis Colts. Derrick Henry is mostly matchup-proof, but not entirely. It is likely the Titans feed him the ball, but he may not have a season-best outing. Start Henry, but rely on the rest of your fantasy team to score points.
Joe Mixon, Miles Sanders, and Nick Chubb are all closely packed in my rankings, and for good reason. The three running backs share an injury plague this season that has cut their seasons in almost half. Coincidentally, these three running backs had very similar fantasy seasons last year. With Nick Chubb slightly ahead of the pack at 8, Mixon and Sanders ranked 13 and 15 for total points for RBs last season respectively. This similarly comes despite slightly differences in playstyle. While Sanders’ is a catch heavy back, (50 receptions last season), Chubb and Mixon touch the ball more primarily on runs. If God-willing all three running backs play this weekend, Mixon will have the worst matchup against a very strong Pittsburgh defense. With Sanders playing the Giants and Chubb against Houston, they don’t have as much to worry about. I look forward to seeing these running backs return from injury and play this season. It may very well shake up the fantasy season for many managers.
Mid-tier Running Backs
I was so happy to put Zach Moss at 23 in my rankings, a climb of 13 spots that led all players. The Bills running back, coming after his best game of the season, returned with another applaudable game. He brought in a rushing touchdown in an almost entirely aerial game. Between the two teams, there were 43 more passes thrown than rushing attempts. There was no reason a running back should have scored double-digit fantasy points, and Zach Moss did so in style. Moss is making his way into weekly flex conversations. Against a very average Arizona Cardinals this weekend, it will be game to determine if Moss really does have the fantasy value he appears to from these past two games.
Chase Edmonds, on the other hand, dropped more than any other player on my rankings. He had a disappointing game last weekend. Maybe it was my own fault for being so bull-ish on the player, placing him at 6th overall. Without any optimism, however, for such a poised position to breakout last week it was unexpected for him to only meet his season’s point average. Kenyan Drake is looking like he will be back this weekend, so Chase Edmonds could become fantasy irrelevant quickly. Keep him on your bench or consider starting him if Drake is out on Sunday.
Low-tier Running Backs
Mark Ingram might be back this weekend as well. The Ravens running back suffered an ankle injury week 6 that has sidelined him ever since. Before his injury, however, Ingram was not exactly playing lights out. He only averaged about 7 fantasy points per game, and was widely inconsistent. Game logs include 2 point performances and double digit ones. He was becoming somewhat unstartable before this injury, and now after it he’s very risky. Among all the players, however, in my low-tier, he has the most potential. Watch for how he plays against this bad New England team if he even plays at all.