The life of an NFL running back isn’t an easy one. Constantly getting slammed down by enormous defensive linemen and hit by linebackers built like brick walls, it’s not very difficult to understand why so many running backs are dinged up on a weekly basis. There are still enough options to get by in Week 9, but the quality of fantasy RBs surely thins out in a hurry.
Here are my Top 50 RBs for Week 9 vs. FantasyPros' ECR rankings:
Fantasy Football rankings - Week 9View Available Players
|#||Player (team)||Matchup||ECR™||vs. ECR|
|1||Le'Veon Bell (PIT)||at BAL||2||+1|
|2||Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)||at CLE||1||-1|
|3||Devonta Freeman (ATL)||at TB||4||+1|
|4||Melvin Gordon (SD)||vs. TEN||5||+1|
|5||DeMarco Murray (TEN)||at SD||3||-2|
|6||Jay Ajayi (MIA)||vs. NYJ||8||+2|
|7||Matt Forte (NYJ)||at MIA||6||-1|
|8||Devontae Booker (DEN)||at OAK||7||-1|
|9||Todd Gurley (LA)||vs. CAR||9||0|
|10||Carlos Hyde (SF)||vs. NO||12||+2|
|11||Christine Michael (SEA)||vs. BUF||10||-1|
|12||Jonathan Stewart (CAR)||at LA||11||-1|
|13||Frank Gore (IND)||at GB||13||0|
|14||LeSean McCoy (BUF)||at SEA||24||+10|
|15||Charcandrick West (KC)||vs. JAC||23||+8|
|16||Isaiah Crowell (CLE)||vs. DAL||14||-2|
|17||Theo Riddick (DET)||at MIN||18||+1|
|18||Latavius Murray (OAK)||vs. DEN||15||-3|
|19||Terrance West (BAL)||vs. PIT||16||-3|
|20||Mark Ingram (NO)||at SF||17||-3|
|21||Jerick McKinnon (MIN)||vs. DET||39||+18|
|22||Matt Asiata (MIN)||vs. DET||19||-3|
|23||Tim Hightower (NO)||at SF||21||-2|
|24||Rashad Jennings (NYG)||vs. PHI||22||-2|
|25||Ryan Mathews (PHI)||at NYG||26||+1|
|26||Darren Sproles (PHI)||at NYG||27||+1|
|27||Derrick Henry (TEN)||at SD||25||-2|
|28||C.J. Prosise (SEA)||vs. BUF||35||+7|
|29||Antone Smith (TB)||vs. ATL||29||0|
|30||Peyton Barber (TB)||vs. ATL||34||+4|
|31||Duke Johnson (CLE)||vs. DAL||28||-3|
|32||Mike Gillislee (BUF)||at SEA||30||-2|
|33||Chris Ivory (JAC)||at KC||32||-1|
|34||T.J. Yeldon (JAC)||at KC||33||-1|
|35||DeAndre Washington (OAK)||vs. DEN||36||+1|
|36||Kenneth Dixon (BAL)||vs. PIT||37||+1|
|37||Alfred Morris (DAL)||at CLE||38||+1|
|38||Zach Zenner (DET)||at MIN||40||+2|
|39||Bilal Powell (NYJ)||at MIA||31||-8|
|40||Jalen Richard (OAK)||vs. DEN||41||+1|
|41||Kapri Bibbs (DEN)||at OAK||42||+1|
|42||Paul Perkins (NYG)||vs. PHI||43||+1|
|43||Mike Davis (SF)||vs. NO||44||+1|
|44||Terron Ward (ATL)||at TB||45||+1|
|45||Shaun Draughn (SF)||vs. NO||46||+1|
|46||DeAngelo Williams (PIT)||at BAL||47||+1|
|47||Don Jackson (GB)||vs. IND||48||+1|
|48||DuJuan Harris (SF)||vs. NO||49||+1|
|49||Dwayne Washington (DET)||at MIN||59||+10|
|50||Fozzy Whittaker (CAR)||at LA||52||+2|
Notes & Analysis:
- Ezekiel Elliot (@CLE) has joined forces with Le’Veon Bell (@BAL) and David Johnson (bye) in what appears to be a trio of backs who are virtually matchup-proof. Touchdowns are icing on the cake for these guys, as their weekly yardage production is almost a guarantee.
- Devonta Freeman gets another week of elite RB1 status without Tevin Coleman in the mix. He’ll get a plus matchup this Thursday night against a soft Tampa Bay defense.
- Melvin Gordon and DeMarco Murray square off in what should be a battle of heavyweight fantasy RBs who thrive on voluminous workloads. They’re both quality RB1s.
- Jay Ajayi’s bye week may have come at the worst time possible — right after he racked up back-to-back 200-yard performances. Theoretically, he could come out of the gates slow against the Jets, but I’m all aboard the “Jay Train” in a week with limited high-end fantasy runners.
- Carlos Hyde will be a borderline RB1 in a soft matchup against New Orleans if he can get over his shoulder injury from two weeks ago, but some rumors are swirling about getting his backups more involved.
- Charcandrick West suddenly becomes a potential high-end RB2 in a week that Jamaal Charles was sent to IR (knee) and Spencer Ware remains questionable (concussion). A home game against the Jags is about as pleasant of a setting as fantasy owners could wish for.
- Todd Gurley comes out of his own bye week to face a Carolina defense that looked completely rejuvenated last week against Arizona. Los Angeles’ boring, predictable offensive gameplan could mean stacked boxes against the former Georgia Bulldog.
- LeSean McCoy’s services are badly needed in Week 9 if the Bills want to stay competitive in Seattle on Monday Night Football. If he gives it a go, he’ll be a high-end RB2 even with a scaled-back workload.
- Theo Riddick was fantastic last week in his usual multi-purpose role. Will he get the same Vikings defense that just surrendered over 200 scrimmage yards to Jordan Howard or the dominating force from earlier in the season? I see Riddick as a versatile RB2.
- Mark Ingram fumbled early in Week 8’s matchup against the Seahawks and didn’t get a chance to redeem himself. As of right now, it looks like he’ll be a committee back in Week 9, albeit one with a bit more upside than Tim Hightower and company.
- C.J. Prosise makes for an intriguing RB3/flex play this week as his role continues to expand. The Seahawks’ organization didn’t spend a third-rounder on him (and cut C.J. Spiller) to keep him on the sideline for much longer.
- Antone Smith and Peyton Barber figure to divvy up the carries in Tampa this Thursday against a beatable Falcons run D, but it’s anyone’s guess as to who will get more touches. I personally prefer Barber’s abilities, but the coaching staff seems to favor Smith. They’re both extremely risky RB3s.