There were plenty of shifts in my rankings for Week 11. We saw players come back from injury, breakout games, and honestly some really disappointing outings. Read my quick introduction below below and take a look at my rankings.
I want to quickly clarify a couple things about my running back rankings. First of all since this is a week-specific rankings, I never include players on a bye week. This list is solely based on how I think they will do in a specific week. Tiers 1 through 2 are my RB1s, tiers 3 through 4 are my RB2, tiers 5 through 6 are my flex options, beyond that are usually waiver wire running backs that might have potential in the future.
Quick Note: Christian McCaffery is listed as Questionable for his game on Sunday, and it still ambiguous on to whether he will play. I have left both him and backup Mike Davis out of the rankings as it is unclear which of the two will be RB1 on Sunday.
|17||4||Ronald Jones II||Buccaneers|
|19||4||Todd Gurley II||Falcons|
|30||6||Darrell Henderson Jr.||Rams|
|42||9||Mark Ingram II||Ravens|
Tier 1 Running Backs
There should be no surprise with who is at the top of my rankings. Dalvin Cook rushed for 96 yards and caught 4 passes for 16 more last Sunday, and that was considered an off-game. Since returning from injury in week 8, Cook is averaging just over 34 fantasy points per game PPR. He leads the league in rushing at 954 yards despite missing a game and already having his bye week. This makes his per game average a ridiculous 119 yards per game, a good 14 more yards than the next most rusher. He is on track to average the 14th most rushing yards per game in a season of any rusher all time. He is playing a disastrous Dallas Cowboys defense this weekend that allows the 31st most rushing yards per game (157). He is a fantasy superstar that needs to be started every game. His ADP was early this year at around 5, but expect him to go even earlier at first or second overall this offseason.
Alvin Kamara, likewise, has been having another fantastic campaign. Although he is second in my rankings, he is officially the number one running back in total fantasy points scored this season. Averaging well into the 20s for points per game, he has been rewarding his fantasy owners all year long. Most fantasy relevant, Alvin Kamra has been remarkably consistent. His worst game still netted 15.9 fantasy points. His floor is high, and his ceiling is effectively non-existent. He has scored well into the 30s in three games, including his last on Sunday in which he tallied 34.8 points. He is an automatic start every week.
Derrick Henry and Aaron Jones both had similarly underwhelming performances last weekend. They each underperformed their season averages by several fantasy points. They are each reliable double-digit fantasy scorers, but won’t carry your team necessarily. Averaging around 18 fantasy points per game, however, they are strong RB1 players. I don’t expect them to always put up the numbers Cook and Kamara put up, but they are certainly a level above the rest of the league. Start them every week.
High-Tier (Not 1) Running Backs
Josh Jacobs has been knocking on the door from becoming a tier 1 running back for weeks now. He only got closer this week after posting a 100+ yard, 2 touchdown performance against the Broncos. Josh Jacobs has been a menace on the ground, ranking 7th in rushing yards so far this season with 700 yards. Maybe even more noteworthy for fantasy owners, Jacobs is an absolute workhorse. He is third in rushing attempts per game with 20.22, just under Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry. It is a recipe for huge fantasy games. Last Sunday was no exception when his 21 carries awarded him 29.6 fantasy points. It is hard for me to put Josh Jacobs as a tier 1 until he proves he is an automatic double-digit fantasy star. Until then, he is the best running back you can get outside those top 4 elite players.
Joe Mixon is looking like he is coming back from injury this weekend in a game against the Washington Football Team. Before going out, Mixon was averaging 15 fantasy points per game in what looked like to be a respectable year for the running back. With an opportunity to come back and reward waiting fantasy owners, he should come out with a good game. The Football Team are not particularly strong on defense, and Mixon is a workhorse back. In rushing attemps per game, Mixon ranks 4th with 19.83. He should be a core part of this Bengals offense should he suit up on Sunday.
Antonio Gibson somehow continues to impress on that awful Washington Football Team. He has now recorded over 3 games over 18 fantasy points, and most of his games are now in the double digits. Most importantly, Gibson is scoring touchdowns. The Washington’s last three games, Gibson has recorded 4 touchdown scores. I expect his fantasy value to continue increasing throughout this season.
D’Andre Swift has been quietly improving his fantasy status on the Lions with some unexpected performances. He is coming off a game against the Washington Football Team in which he tallied 149 total yards and a receiving touchdown that came out to 25.9 fantasy points. He heads out to North Carolina this weekend to play a Panthers team that ranks 29th against fantasy running backs. Don’t sleep on this surprise fantasy stud.
Mid-Tier Running Backs
Ronald Jones II had himself a career run on Sunday. His 98 yard touchdown rushing score was the longest in Buccaneers history, and ties second longest for any NFL run. You can watch it here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zkvqUMBP4s). It certainly helped his fantasy performance, but Jones would have an above average game either way. Not including his big run, he recorded 22 attempts for 94 yards and a catch for 6 yards. The stats would have netted him 11 points, which would’ve been his best outing since week 6. Jones has not proved yet he consistently put up strong numbers, but his impressive run should be enough for coaching staff to work him more into offensive game planning. He will be tested on Sunday against a very strong Rams defense. I rank him as an optimistic RB17.
Salvon Ahmed came out of nowhere on Sunday and had an amazing fantasy game. He’s a player that most NFL fans, casual or not, have never heard of until he broke out. He was given 21 carries in which he used to run for 85 yards and a touchdown. The Dolphins could use some help in the ground game, with their leading rusher totalling just 387 yards. It’s a very realistic possibility that head coach Brian Flores works Ahmed into a workhorse role for this offense, and continues seeing 20+ carries. He has played in just two games this season, both in last two weeks. His first game saw little opportunities, with just 7 carries. And of course last week he was impressive. I would highly recommend ordering a waiver wire pickup for this player and watching carefully to see how he progresses. Is Salvon Ahmed a Fantasy Gem? I see it as a very strong possibility.
Nyheim Hines had a huge fantasy game on his birthday last Thursday. He ran the ball for 70 yards, received for 45 more, and had two total touchdowns. This impressive statline came out to a fantasy game of 28.5 fantasy points, his most of the season. He hasn’t had a performance nearly this strong since week 1, in which he recorded just over 27 fantasy points at Jacksonville. He became somewhat irrelevant early season when he failed to live up to his week 1 hype. He consistently scored in and around just 5 points. These past 3 weeks, however, have shown promise for the 28 year old running back. In that timespan he is averaging 18.5 fantasy points. Those are really strong numbers. It is a question of whether he can be consistent or not, not whether he is capable of having great games. He is certainly a player to keep an eye on and one that I would strongly consider adding to your team, even if it’s just on the bench.
Low-Tier Running Backs
Devontae Booker had a noteworthy performance on Sunday. With his 16 rushing attempts, he ran for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns. Being a running back on the Raiders not named Josh Jacobs is a difficult position to say the least, but he is getting some snaps in when his teammate gets tired. I don’t expect him to have a repeat game any time soon, but he is certainly someone to keep an eye out for. At best, he is an elite handcuff player to hold on to.
Philip Lindsay is one of the few low tier running backs that has real fantasy upside. He’s shown fantasy sparks this season with double-digit fantasy performances in week 6 and 8. Beyond those games, however, he has shown very little to turn heads in the fantasy world. He is likely fantasy irrelevant for the rest of the season, but I like his odds above most other low tier running backs to have a breakout game.
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