Week 7 had some amazing highlights from the RB position. For one, we finally saw a breakout game from rookie sensation Antonio Gibson. Then, Jamaal Williams and Giovani Bernard both stepped into the roles of starting RBs and excelled. If anything, this week proved that opportunity is still king over talent. However, talent will eventually prevail and lead to opportunity, like in Gibson’s case.
Heading into Week 8, there are tons of questions still up in the air that could drastically change how these rankings shake out. Christian McCaffrey apparently has a chance to return this week, for example. This affects not only CMC but his replacement Mike Davis as well. Then, there are questions that we will not know the answer to until game time. Will Aaron Jones keep his snap count? How will the Bell/CEH or Jones/Fournette committees share the ball? These rankings will do their best to control for that and give you my predictions of who finishes where on the week.
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|1||Derrick Henry||TEN||at CIN||22.4|
|2||Dalvin Cook||MIN||at GB||21.1|
|3||Alvin Kamara||NO||at CHI||21.4|
|4||Kareem Hunt||CLE||vs. LV||19.6|
|5||Aaron Jones||GB||vs. MIN||18.3|
|6||Josh Jacobs||LV||at CLE||18.0|
|7||Ezekiel Elliott||DAL||at PHI||17.6|
|8||Giovani Bernard||CIN||vs. TEN||17.3|
|9||Mike Davis||CAR||vs. ATL||16.90|
|10||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||KC||vs. NYJ||15.5|
|11||Jonathan Taylor||IND||at DET||14.3|
|12||Todd Gurley II||ATL||at CAR||14.0|
|13||James Conner||PIT||at BAL||13.9|
|14||Ronald Jones II||TB||at NYG||13.7|
|15||D'Andre Swift||DET||vs. IND||13.7|
|16||Melvin Gordon III||DEN||vs. LAC||13.7|
|17||David Montgomery||CHI||vs. NO||12.1|
|18||Darrell Henderson||LAR||at MIA||12.0|
|19||JaMycal Hasty||SF||at SEA||12.0|
|20||Justin Jackson||LAC||at DEN||11.7|
|21||Myles Gaskin||MIA||vs. LAR||11.7|
|22||Boston Scott||PHI||vs. DAL||11.6|
|23||Devin Singletary||BUF||vs. NE||11.6|
|24||Le'Veon Bell||KC||vs. NYJ||11.4|
|25||Leonard Fournette||TB||at NYG||11.3|
|26||Jerick McKinnon||SF||at SEA||10.6|
|27||Damien Harris||NE||at BUF||10.6|
|28||Joshua Kelley||LAC||at DEN||10.5|
|29||Jamaal Williams||GB||vs. MIN||8.8|
|30||Devonta Freeman||NYG||vs. TB||8.6|
|31||Malcolm Brown||LAR||at MIA||8.5|
|32||Latavius Murray||NO||at CHI||8.4|
|33||Adrian Peterson||DET||vs. IND||8.3|
|34||Frank Gore||NYJ||at KC||8.3|
|35||J.K. Dobbins||BAL||vs. PIT||7.9|
|36||Lamical Perine||NYJ||at KC||7.9|
|37||Zack Moss||BUF||vs. NE||7.7|
|38||Wayne Gallman||NYG||vs. TB||7.4|
|39||D'Ernest Johnson||CLE||vs. LV||7.3|
|40||Carlos Hyde||SEA||vs. SF||7.3|
|41||Phillip Lindsay||DEN||vs. LAC||7.2|
|42||James White||NE||at BUF||6.9|
|43||Rex Burkhead||NE||at BUF||6.8|
|44||Brian Hill||ATL||at CAR||6.4|
|45||Tony Pollard||DAL||at PHI||6.2|
|46||Corey Clement||PHI||vs. DAL||6.1|
|47||Benny Snell Jr.||PIT||at BAL||5.7|
|48||Alexander Mattison||MIN||at GB||5.4|
|49||Jeremy McNichols||TEN||at CIN||5.1|
|50||Travis Homer||SEA||vs. SF||4.2|
The Top RBs
Dalvin Cook has had two weeks to rest and should be all good to go for the Packers game. While The Vikings look atrocious as a team, Dalvin Cook has been consistent this entire year. In his first game against the Packers, he ended with 21.8 PPR points, nabbing two TD scores. I believe that the Vikings will be using him a lot more in this matchup, and he has the potential to double that score. The Vikings need to get Cook more involved in the passing game like they did against Seattle, the last healthy game Cook played. Against these Packers, he will get into the mid-twenties in touches, which spells top RB numbers, with or without TDs. Dalvin Cook is one of the easiest guys to place on this list. His talent and opportunity are fantastic, and he has a good matchup.
Kareem Hunt had a good week against a Bengals defense who was selling out to stop him on every touch. Now, he gets another plus matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. Last week the Raiders let Fournette and Jones control the game on the ground and through the air. With Hunt not splitting the backfield with anyone, he has to be a favorite to end the week as the RB1.
Kareem Hunt will once again see 20+ touches, and his efficiency with those touches has been off the charts so far throughout the 2020 season. I expect that there will be fireworks in this game as neither team’s defense should really be able to stop the opposing offense. Hunt will be leaned on throughout in another high-powered and plus matchup game.
One of my favorite RB2 plays on the week has to be Melvin Gordon. With Philip Lindsay most likely out, he will be relied upon as the main RB for the Broncos. We just saw James Robinson tear up this Chargers’ defense on the ground, and Melvin Gordon has every bit of talent and opportunity that Robinson does. Let us not forget that this is also a revenge game for Melvin Gordon. He did not leave the Chargers on the best of terms and will be highly motivated to prove to his former team that they made a mistake.
Last week against a good Kansas City defense, Melvin Gordon was efficient, grabbed a TD, and was targeted 4 times in the passing game. I expect much better numbers in this game and, obviously, a higher-touch total with Lindsay out. Gordon is a top-end RB2 who can easily sneak into the RB1 range.
Le’Veon Bell also has a revenge game against the team that just cut him in the New York Jets. This story between Bell and the Jets has so many layers to it that it could be an article on its own. Let us just say that Bell does not like Adam Gase, and Adam Gase does not like Bell. Luckily for Le’Veon Bell, he has a good team and competent coach behind him, which should set him up for success in this matchup. I expect that Bell will run hard and angry in this game.
Expect Bell’s snap count to go up as he gets acclimated to the Chiefs’ offense, and we already saw an extremely efficient Le’Veon Bell in his first game, averaging 6.5 yards per carry against the Broncos. This is a perfect matchup for Bell, and I expect fireworks from him and this Kansas City Chiefs’ offense.
Dart Throw Plays
Damien Harris has been sneaky good his first three starts in the NFL. While the past few games have been bad for the Patriots, Harris is leaving them with 5.4 yards per carry on 33 attempts. If Harris could see more of the ball and get closer to that 17 attempt total that he had against the Chiefs, then he has every opportunity to end up in RB2 territory.
A thing to remember with Harris is that he got rave reviews in camp about his pass-catching ability. We have yet to really see that on display. However, if he mixes in catching passes with his 10+ rushes, then you have yourself a weekly starter in your flex spot, no questions asked. It is tough to tell whether this will be the week this starts, but there is a strong chance.
Travis Homer may be the starter in Seattle against the 49ers. While the matchup stinks, the opportunity is delightful for a guy who is on waivers even in deep dynasty leagues. Both Carlos Hyde and Chris Carson are injured, and if neither can go, that leaves Homer as the starting back for an explosive offense. Homer has the ability to catch passes, and I imagine that Seattle feels comfortable with him in the bell cow role.
So far this season, Travis Homer has not been electric. However, we have seen flashes of talent. Last year on his limited carries, he averaged 6.4 yards per carry, and this year he is around the 4-yard mark. He obviously has the ability to hang with NFL caliber players. I say that if Carson and Hyde are out, then take a chance on him.
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