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Week 9 Running Back Rankings - PPR Leagues

Examining the best matchups for week nine running backs from a point per reception-league standpoint.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

We are officially done with half of the fantasy football season. Owners now have just five weeks to make a push for the playoffs. Bye weeks are beginning to dismantle some teams, but we have a pretty clear picture of which running backs can be trusted and which can't. Let's see what week nine has in store for us.

Rank Player Team Opponent Analysis
1 Ezekiel Elliott DAL @CLE Zeke and David Johnson have been arguably the best first round fantasy picks. With DJ on a bye and Zeke in a picture perfect matchup, Zeke is the #1 play this week.
2 Le'Veon Bell PIT @BAL Matchups don't matter for Bell. In a division game with Big Ben coming off a multi-week injury, Bell will be used and leaned on heavily.
3 DeMarco Murray TEN @SD Toe injury is something to monitor. He's been one of the most consistent players in fantasy football all year.
4 Carlos Hyde SF NO Game script could get out of hand, but the Niners seem to play closer games at home. Saints defense has coughed up double digit RB performances in all but one week this season.
5 Devontae Booker DEN @OAK Shoulder injury is something to monitor. Could've had a huge game last week were it not for a fullback vulture and a fumble at the two yard line. Gets a fantastic matchup this week, as the Raiders have given up the 10th most fantasy points to RBs.
6 Devonta Freeman ATL @TB With Tevin Coleman likely out on a short week, Freeman is set up for a big workload in a decent matchup.
7 Matt Forte NYJ @MIA Back to getting huge workloads, Forte is hard to ignore as he's combined for 50 points over the past two weeks.
8 Melvin Gordon SD TEN Efficiency wasn't a problem against the Broncos last week. He looked great and continues to see a ton of volume. Fire him up as an RB1.
9 Jay Ajayi MIA NYJ Not expecting another 200 yard game against a stout Jets run defense, but he needs to be treated as an RB1 until further notice.
10 Jonathan Stewart CAR @LA Has gone over 20 points in his last two games, scoring two touchdowns in each contest. Now gets a Rams defense that hasn't been all that good at limiting opposing RBs.
11 Todd Gurley LA CAR While Gurley hasn't been able to get anything going on the ground, he's quietly scored double digit fantasy points in five straight games. The matchup isn't good by any means, but the RB position is so thin that it makes Gurley very valuable.
12 Frank Gore IND @GB The Packers run defense is slowly but surely coming undone. Zeke went nuts against them, then Ka'Deem Carey averaged 4.8 ypc against them, then Devonta Freeman rushed for and caught a TD against them. Play Gore with confidence.
13 Terrance West BAL PIT After stifling RBs to begin the season, Pittsburgh gave up 331 yards to starting RBs in the two weeks leading up to their bye. West is in a good spot to get going early and often at home against a division opponent.
14 Mark Ingram NO @SF This ranking is trusting that Sean Payton will not be dumb and not give Ingram touches because he fumbled in a fluky way. I don't know what Payton has against Ingram, but the matchup is literally the best it can be on paper.
15 Christine Michael SEA BUF There's not other way around it, the Seahawks offense looks terrible right now. That is adversely affecting Michael, as Russell Wilson's lack of mobility and a horrible o-line hasn't done him any favors. Still, Michael is the lead back in a home matchup against a Bills defense that has given up nine rushing TDs on the year.
16 Isaiah Crowell CLE DAL The Cowboys run defense isn't as bad as it was last year, but it still isn't that great. This isn't a tough matchup for Crowell, who has scored in two straight weeks.
17 LeSean McCoy BUF @SEA I'm not sure if he's going to play or not, but the matchup is daunting regardless. Plus, coming off a hamstring injury, expectations should be tempered for many reasons.
18 Theo Riddick DET @MIN Tough matchup, but the Vikings were just exposed a little on Monday night by Jordan Howard's receiving ability. Riddick is explosive and can still be trusted in a matchup like this.
19 Charcandrick West KC JAX I'm not expecting Spencer Ware to get cleared of his concussion in time for Sunday, leaving only West in the backfield with Jamaal Charles going for a second opinion on his knee. Volume galore.
20 Latavius Murray OAK DEN The Broncos have actually been getting pummeled by RBs for most of the season, but the Raiders rotation at RB is too much of a concern to rank Murray any higher than low-end RB2.
21 Tim Hightower NO @SF Not expecting Ingram to get benched for the entirety of a game again, but Hightower could still have flex appeal against the worst run defense in football.
22 Jerick McKinnon MIN DET Expecting him to be back and in there after missing a week with an ankle injury. The offensive line is still terrible, but the matchup is ripe for him to have a good game.
23 Darren Sproles PHI @NYG It appears that Sproles will begin to operate as the lead back, and rightfully so after a great performance on Sunday night. The matchup isn't imposing and Sproles always gets a bump in PPR.
24 Bilal Powell NYJ @MIA The Dolphins haven't been able to stop a running nosebleed, but have somehow managed to only give up two rushing TDs all year. Powell has the big-play ability to make it three.
25 Duke Johnson Jr. CLE DAL His usage and production has been kind of hit or miss. Expecting a solid game in an unimposing matchup.
26 Matt Asiata MIN DET Should get a fair share of looks at the goal line against one of the worst defenses in the league.
27 Antone Smith TB ATL Expected to be the lead back in Doug Martin's and Jacquizz Rodgers' absences. Has always possessed big-play ability and will go up against his former team #NarrativeStreet.
28 T.J. Yeldon JAX @KC Please get this team and RB situation out of my life.
29 Ryan Mathews PHI @NYG The Eagles coaches hate him, but he's always a short touchdown possibility.
30 Derrick Henry TEN @SD Could see more touches coming off a good performance and with Murray possibly limited/hobbled by his toe injury.
31 Rashad Jennings NYG PHI He's averaging 2.68 ypc (LOL), but continues to get the majority of work while every other Giants RB outplays him. If he doesn't score a touchdown, your lineup is nuked.
32 Kenneth Dixon BAL PIT The coaching staff apparently loves him. Should be much more involved coming out of the bye week.
33 C.J. Prosise SEA BUF Looked dynamic with his touches last week. Might continue to get more touches as the entire Seahawks offense is struggling and looking for a spark.
34 Jalen Richard OAK DEN Continues to look more explosive than backfield mate Washington, and Denver has struggled with receiving backs.
35 Chris Ivory JAX @KC Please get this team and RB situation out of my life.
36 Terron Ward ATL @TB Showed well as Freeman's back with Coleman out, and could get enough touches to do some damage again this week.
37 Peyton Barber TB ATL Only touched the ball once last week, taking a backseat to Smith, but will be needed in backup/change of pace duty with Martin and Quizz out this week.
38 Aaron Ripkowski GB IND If this doesn't go to show you how terrible week nine will be, then I don't know what will. Six teams on a bye has a fullback ranked 38th. He handled six carries last week and gained 34 yards and now gets the putrid Colts defense. He could sneak in a touchdown.
39 Mike Gillislee BUF @SEA If McCoy is back, he won't see much more than around 6-8 touches. And he might not be able to do much with them in a brutal matchup.
40 Damien Williams MIA NYJ Could be needed as a pass-catching back in a game against a tough run defense.
41 DeAndre Washington OAK DEN He's part of a three-man committee and doesn't get goal line looks.
42 Paul Perkins NYG PHI He's the Giants best and most talented RB, but the coaching staff doesn't see it just yet. Can still produce on his limited touches, but not much.
43 Kapri Bibbs DEN @OAK Would get a massive boost if Booker can't go or is limited by his shoulder injury, but will still be somewhat valuable as a breather back in a great matchup.
44 Alfred Morris DAL @CLE Hasn't gotten more than 10 touches in any game this year, but if there was ever a time for him to capitalize on his limited touches, this is it.
45 Don Jackson GB IND With Knile Davis cut, Jackson could see some increased touches, but not counting on many as the Packers have decided to pass on nearly every play.
46 Shaun Draughn SF NO Could have some value in the passing game if this game turns into a shootout.
47 Zach Zenner DET @MIN Only got three carries in a game against one of the league's worst run defenses.
48 Dexter McCluster SD TEN Non-existent part of the offense, but #RevengeGame.
49 Jamize Olawale OAK DEN If you're aiming for a hail mary, TD vulture RB play, then Olawale might be your guy.
50 John Kuhn NO @SF ^bump.