This season for fantasy football, running backs have been thin due to the committees of running backs between NFL teams. Also, we have seen some major running backs get injured like Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. There will always be waiver wire pickups and a bench running backs you will need to know just in case one of your starters is not available to play. Here, I will be discussing running backs to start and sit in week seven of the NFL season. Need more help? Check out the fantasy football section to see more statistics, rankings, and projections for running backs and all other fantasy positions.
Jerick McKinnon has another opportunity to thrive in fantasy football after Raheem Mostert went down again with an ankle injury last week. The 49ers report that Mostert will likely go on IR, giving him at least another three-week window before he plays again. With Tevin Coleman also remaining on IR, McKinnon owners will go back to enjoying the player they had in the first four weeks. He averaged 16.63 fantasy points in the first four weeks and with his touches most likely going back to anywhere between 10-15 per game, he will likely capitalize on that. He is a low-ceiling RB2 and a high ceiling flex option for week seven.
D’Andre Swift has been slowly proving his possibility to contribute to fantasy football. While I’m not entirely sold on him, he is averaging 13.8 points per game after a monster 27.3 point game last week. Four of the five games that he has played have been in double-digit figures which are promising, but his touches have not been consistent. However, that could change going forward as he is proving he can do a lot with little touches. Before his 14 touch game last week, he had only gotten 12 touches total through five weeks. But, Atlanta has given up the tenth most points to running backs this season, and the fact that Swift can catch out of the backfield gives him much more value. Consider him a better flex option rather than a starter, but a good replacement for any starter on a bye/injury.
Latavius Murray has been allowed by Sean Payton’s offense to let him thrive in the backfield with Alvin Kamara. While Kamara and Michael Thomas may take the majority of the action on offense, the Carolina Panthers have a DVOA efficiency of 4.0% on rushing defense which is one of the worst in the league. There should be enough ceiling for both running backs to have a great day next week. Not to mention, Latavious Murray has averaged a little over 11 carries per game in the least three weeks and around 12 fantasy points per game. He should be good enough for an RB2 filler spot or a flex option.
Philip Lindsay saw 23 touches for 101 yards against a hardcore Patriots’ defense last week, during Melvin Gordon’s absence. Gordon had strep throat last week, which kept him from being able to play. However, he also received a DUI in which he may receive punishment from the league for it. Regardless if he plays or not, Lindsay showed his well-known capabilities of being a starting running back in for the Broncos and they may want to use him. The Chiefs have an excellent defensive line but have still allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. I expect Philip Lindsay to have potential RB2 numbers, but better flex option numbers for week seven.
Antonio Gibson has had a so-so fantasy year so far due to his handcuff of J.D Mikissic in the backfield. Gibson has had four weeks in double-digit points and has averaged 12.3 fantasy points this season. I expect him to have a great week next week against an atrocious Dallas Cowboys’ run defense. Look for Gibson to have strong RB2 potential next week for fantasy football.
Leveon Bell was recently released from the New York Jets after they could not find a trade for him. But, soon enough the Kansas City Chiefs swooped him off of free agency and made them their backup for Clyde-Edwards Helaire. While Leveon might be a solid goal-line piece and reliever to their rookie stud, it does not take away from the fact that Edwards-Helaire is second in yards this season with 107 attempts. He has proven to be one of the most valuable running backs in the league, and I’m not sure the Chiefs want to take away many of his touches. Leveon’s status is uncertain for how well he will perform against the Broncos, who have a really solid rush defense. I would wait to see how Leveon pans out next week before throwing him in your lineups.
Frank Gore will now be seeing most of the action in the Jets’ backfield as the starting running back after the Jets shipped off Leveon Bell. But, Gore is one of the least efficient running backs in the league. Even with a plethora of touches, he averages 3.3 yards per carry which is one of the worst values for a starting running back. He hasn’t even scored a single rushing touchdown this season while ranking 16th in attempts. I would not suggest even having Gore on your bench, even though his value seems high with being able to get more touches.
Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson lead the Charger’s backfield while Austin Ekeler serves time on IR. At first, I thought Joshua Kelley would be the guy with the number of touches he saw in weeks one and two. Then, Justin Jackson came back from injury and looked like the lead back for them two weeks ago against the Saints. Justin Jackson saw 42 snaps in that game while Kelley only saw 25. Now, I think neither of these running backs is worth starting because their value is undetermined. Let these two guys ride the bench for week seven.
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