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2020 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running backs for Week 3

Tiered RB rankings for Week 3.

Minnesota Vikings v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Welcome to my running back rankings for Week 3 fantasy football.

Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara take over the top two spots with Christian McCaffrey (ankle) out for weeks and Saquon Barkley (ACL) out for the year. Jonathan Taylor comes in at No. 3, to the delight of his drafters. James Conner returns to the thick of the RB1 group after silencing his doubters in Week 2. Jerick McKinnon and Mike Davis come in as mid-range RB2s as their team’s respective starters for the time being. Jacksonville Jaguars’ running back James Robinson has established himself as a reliable RB2 with outstanding upside as he walks into a Florida showdown against the hapless Miami Dolphins’ defense. Rookie backs Joshua Kelley and Antonio Gibson find themselves in RB2 territory. The latter is primed to establish his presence in the NFL, while the former has already done so. D’Andre Swift has earned rights to flex consideration.

Week 3’s Tiered Running Back Rankings

Rank High Floor/High Ceiling RB1s Team Opponent Breakdown
Rank High Floor/High Ceiling RB1s Team Opponent Breakdown
1 Ezekiell Elliott DAL at SEA It's tough to overstate how bad Seattle's defensive line is.
2 Alvin Kamara NO GB Target uptick with Michael Thomas out.
3 Jonathan Taylor IND NYJ Sterling matchup gives Taylor overall RB1 potential.
4 Miles Sanders PHI CIN There is no running back committee in Philadelphia. It's all Sanders.
5 Derrick Henry TEN at MIN Henry's weekly workload should finally yield high-end RB1 results this week.
6 Dalvin Cook MIN TEN Battle of the Backs in Tennessee.
7 James Conner PIT HOU The ankle injury was a non-issue in Week 2 and now the bellcow gets Houston's paltry front-seven.
8 Kenyan Drake ARI DET Detroit's hapless front-seven doesn't stand a chance.
9 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC at BAL Not an easy defense to run on but this game has high-end shootout potential.
10 Aaron Jones GB at NO Tough matchup but the dual threat usage should help negate it.
11 Nick Chubb CLE WAS WAS D-Line is stout but Cleveland should be able to score early and keep Chubb in RB1 territory.
12 Austin Ekeler LAC CAR The Panthers are fantasy's most friendly defense.
High Floor/High Ceiling RB2s
13 Chris Carson SEA DAL Carson's passing game usage has been consistent for two weeks now.
14 Joe Mixon CIN at PHI Mixon's passing game usage last week was promising.
15 Josh Jacobs LV at NE Brutal matchup but should see 20 or so carries, assuming his shoulder issue doesn't cause problems. As foretold in the Team Previews and rankings of Weeks 1 and 2, his passing game usage is slipping. Hat tip to Dwain McFarland on the usage data, sourced below.
16 Jerick McKinnon SF at NYG It's all systems go for SF's current lead back. Great matchup.
17 James Robinson JAX MIA Robinson has a great matchup on his hands with plenty of volume to boot.
18 Todd Gurley ATL CHI Chicago's defense is largely a pushover but Gurley's usage is not secure.
19 Melvin Gordon DEN TB Volume keeps Gordon afloat against the vaunted Bucs' D.
20 Mike Davis CAR at LAC Davis posted a perfect 8/8 receiving line (h/t Adam Levitan, sourced below) after CMC exited last week's game. He should see the overwhelming majority of touches for the duration of McCaffrey's injury absence. Tough matchup though.
21 Mark Ingram BAL KC Points-a-plenty in this one. KC's run defense can't stop anything and Ingram has maintained lead back duties, if narrowly, through the first two weeks.
22 Joshua Kelley LAC CAR Kelley's No. 2 status on the depth chart hurts his ceiling. Both he and Ekeler have 35 carries on the season though and Kelley's got the team's lone RB rushing touchdown thus far. Against Carolina, Kelley is a rock solid option with 18 or so touches expected.
23 David Montgomery CHI at ATL Atlanta's defense puts Montgomery's ceiling firmly in RB2 territory. The Bears' offense is his biggest hindrance.
24 Antonio Gibson WAS at CLE Per Rotoworld's Hayden Winks, Antonio Gibson saw a massive increase in usage between Weeks 1 and 2. Cleveland's unimposing run defense is the perfect time to showcase his fantasy potential. Gibson announces his presence in Week 3.
High Floor/Capped Ceiling RB3s
25 Darrell Henderson LAR at BUF Cam Akers may not play (ribs) and while Malcolm Brown is expected to be available, he had surgery to fix a broken pinky finger on Monday. Buffalo's defense is dangerous but Myles Gaskin was able to produce a PPR-floor last week. With Henderson being the only back likely to see real passing game work, he's a decent back-end RB2.
26 Leonard Fournette TB at DEN Fournette just might be the team's No. 1 RB. His passing game usage was solid in Week 2.
27 Myles Gaskin MIA at JAX Gaskin's has rocked a 63-65% snap share over the first two weeks of the season. He's Miami's No. 1 RB and he's got a delicious matchup against Jacksonville's hapless defense on tap this week.
28 J.K. Dobbins BAL KC The Ravens backs should run wild against KC.
29 Jeff Wilson Jr. SF at NYG Wilson Jr. has proven to be a talented rusher near the goal line under Shanahan's watch. Expect him to find paydirt as the Niners try not to overload McKinnon, whose ACL-reconstruction recovery took far longer than normal.
30 Kareem Hunt CLE WAS Hunt's pass catching ability will be needed to neutralize Washington's pass rush.
31 David Johnson HOU at PIT Brutal matchup but volume keeps him in the RB2 conversation. Buy-low on him this week, if you're a believer. Minnesota and Jacksonvile in Weeks 4 and 5 should be fruitful.
Shaky Floor/Capped Ceiling RB3s
32 Wayne Gallman NYG SF Theoretically Gallman should lead the backfield in touches. It's a risky backfield to bet on with the acquisition of Devonta Freeman though.
33 D'Andre Swift DET at ARI Swift's passing game usage should come into play against the Cards' high-flying offense.
34 Devin Singletary BUF LAR Singletary offers little upside but it's a decent matchup.
35 Ronald Jones TB at DEN Jones should see 30-40% of the backfield touches.
36 Malcolm Brown LAR at BUF Brown should see 10 or so carries in this one.
37 Zack Moss BUF LAR The transfer of power has taken longer than expected.
38 James White NE LV Vegas' offense should push the Pats to throw.
39 Dion Lewis NYG SF Lewis should own rights to the Giants' passing game usage in this one.
40 Adrian Peterson DET at ARI Arizona's defense doesn't offer much. Peterson could grind his way to a touchdown on 12 or so carries.
41 Boston Scott PHI CIN Scott's change-of-pace role could be fruitful with such a good matchup.
42 Jordan Wilkins IND NYJ The Colts established Wilkins as the No. 2 back when the team is winning.
43 Matt Breida MIA at JAX Breida's 10 or so touches might be enough for low-end flex value against such a bad defense.
44 Tony Pollard DAL at SEA Shootout potential that could lead to Pollard targets.
45 Alexander Mattison MIN TEN Mattison should provide a change of pace in this clock-killing matchup.
46 Chase Edmonds ARI DET These teams should trade blows and Edmonds might get some work because of it.
47 Nyheim Hines IND NYJ It's possible Hines gets work early but don't count on it. Indy should jump out to an early lead and control the clock with Jonathan Taylor and Jordan Wilkins.
48 Devonta Freeman NYG SF Gettleman is likely to mandate that the team force their newly signed, washed up running back into the offense. Expect Freeman to be the No. 1 back next week.

Sourced links: Dwain McFarland on Josh Jacobs’ passing game usage, Todd Gurley’s snap share, Adam Levitan on Mike Davis’ 8/8 receiving line, Myles GaskinsPPR production against the Buffalo Bills, Hayden Winks on Antonio Gibson’s upward trending usage, Malcolm Brown’s Monday pinky finger surgery, and Leonard Fournette’s passing game usage.