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Todd Gurley, Joe Mixon, Devonta Freeman, and Alvin Kamara are all on bye this week. Kamara being on bye gives him an extra week to get healthy, as he has been dealing with a few injuries. Latavius Murray is still on your radar to start if Kamara’s injuries return or linger on further. If you are looking for some permanent adds for Week 9 and moving forward, check out the waiver wire breakdowns. These are the top ranked running backs, with season long stats, and their projections for Week 9.
Week 9 Running Back Rankings + Stats & Projections
|Week 9 Ranking||Player||Week 9 Opponent||Rushing Attempts||Rushing Yards||Rushing Touchdowns||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Receiving Touchdowns||Week 9 Projection|
Week 9 Studs
It doesn’t seem to matter who Christian McCaffrey faces, he is going to crush. He is up to 154 total yards per game, and has ten total touchdowns on the season. He will face Tennessee this week, who rank 13th against the run. McCaffrey is averaging 20 rushing attempts per game and seven targets per game. I love Dalvin Cook this week, as Minnesota gets Kansas City. The Chiefs run defense has been easy to target, and giving up huge chunk plays. Cook is seeing a ton of volume, and is averaging 139.5 total yards per game. Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley will square off against each other this week. Elliott has the better game script and matchup, with New York sitting as underdogs and the 25th ranked run defense. Barkley’s volume hasn’t dipped much since returning from injury, and remains a top five back.
Leonard Fournette continues to churn out big yardage games, but the touchdowns have not followed. He is averaging 19.3 PPR points per game this season, and is averaging 5.6 targets per game. Despite the touchdowns he has been superb. Houston is a middle of the road rush defense that also just lost JJ Watt. Nick Chubb ripped apart New England on the ground, which isn’t easy. This is a better script for him, and Cleveland really should be running him in the red zone more. Chubb is a strong play on the road against Denver.
After Kerryon Johnson went down, Ty Johnson was the name we were expecting to see get more than 25 snaps. While he led the team in snaps, all four running backs were active and saw snaps. Tra Carson saw 19, JD McKissic saw 16, and Paul Perkins saw 6. Carson led the team with 12 touches, Johnson had 8, McKissic 4, and Perkins 3. Obviously this is not great for fantasy production, and we will continue to monitor moving forward.
The Cardinals traded for Kenyan Drake, and we will need to see how injuries shake out as David Johnson and Chase Edmunds both are dealing with injuries that will have them miss time or be in danger of missing time. Arizona is going to take on San Francisco this week, and Drake should see a healthy dose of touches right off the bat. Not a great matchup, but they should be there. Johnson and Edmunds are expected to miss this week. Moving forward there isn’t a big appeal for me here. They have a tough remaining schedule and also have a bye week mixed in.
Denver has been close to a true split this season, as Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are nearly 50/50 in touches. While it is not a great offense, they have had their spots this season. This duo will likely continue to split the workload moving forward, although Freeman is dealing with an injury this week.
Blah… Kansas City has been a revolving door for running backs this year. Nobody is playing over 40% of the snaps, and that is the downside. The upside is that the big play potential is there in this offense, but the floor is also there too.
San Francisco is an offense that continues to produce on the ground. Tevin Coleman is coming off a huge week, and will get Arizona this week. He checks in as a top ten back this week. The 49ers are a run heavy team, and can support two weekly backs in fantasy.
There are some possible trends to watch out for. David Montgomery saw a season high in snaps, as he was on the field for 73% of the snaps and also had over 25 carries. This knocked Tarik Cohen down quite a bit.
As mentioned above Kenyan Drake checks in with a tough matchup against the 49ers. Volume might help, but you’d have to be desperate to start him this week. The 49ers are allowing 11.1 fantasy points per game to opposing backs this season. Mark Ingram is averaging 15.9 touches per game this season, which isn’t bad, but might be tough to get him over the hump against the Patriots. The highest opposing running back score against the Patriots this season is 10.9, and no body else has cracked the double-digit mark. That 10.9 score was Frank Gore in Week 4.
I have plenty of Chris Carson, and will be firing him up, but this matchup does make me a bit nervous. Tampa is a legitimate threat against the run, and have allowed just 11.8 fantasy points per game to opposing backs. Only two backs have crossed the 50 rushing yard mark against them, but they have not allowed anyone to cross the 100 yard mark. They have also allowed just four total touchdowns. Three of them to McCaffrey, and one to Gurley. David Montgomery is coming off a career high in about everything, and will take on Philadelphia. The Eagles are a stout run defense, and the only real blow up game was Zeke in Week 7. Opposing backs are running for under four yards per carry against this defense.
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