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Week 6 Rankings (2016): Top 40 Running Backs

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 2:10
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(Before It's News)

by Ray Kuhn

We first have to start with a disclaimer: I don’t want to jinx anything. There has been, and likely will continue to be, a great deal of drama, injury and confusion at the running back position, but entering Week 6 there are a minimal amount of questions and new injuries to deal with (partially due to just two teams with byes)

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the running backs rank for Week 6:

  1. Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Miami
  2. LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills – vs. San Francisco
  3. DeMarco Murray – Tennessee Titans – vs. Cleveland
  4. David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – vs. New York Jets
  5. C.J Anderson – Denver Broncos – at San Diego
  6. Todd Gurley – St. Louis Rams – at Detroit
  7. Lamar Miller – Houston Texans – vs. Indianapolis
  8. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at Green Bay
  9. Melvin Gordon – San Diego Chargers – vs. Denver
  10. Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – vs. Carolina
  11. Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears – vs. Jacksonville
  12. Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  13. Christine Michael – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Atlanta
  14. Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers – vs. Dallas
  15. Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers – at Buffalo
  16. Ryan Mathews – Philadelphia Eagles – at Washington
  17. Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons – at Seattle
  18. Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston
  19. Theo Riddick – Detroit Lions – vs. Los Angeles
  20. Terrance West – Baltimore Ravens – at New York Giants
  21. Isaiah Crowell – Cleveland Browns – at Tennessee
  22. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
  23. T.J. Yeldon – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Chicago
  24. James White – New England Patriots – vs. Cincinnati
  25. Matt Forte – New York Jets – at Arizona
  26. Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons – at Seattle
  27. Matt Jones – Washington Redskins – vs. Philadelphia
  28. Jeremy Hill – Cincinnati Bengals – at New England
  29. Jay Ajayi – Miami Dolphins – vs. Pittsburgh
  30. DeAndre Washington – Oakland Raiders – at Kansas City
  31. Bilal Powell – New York Jets – at Arizona
  32. Darren Sproles – Philadelphia Eagles – at Washington
  33. Spencer Ware – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  34. Duke Johnson – Cleveland Browns – at Tennessee
  35. LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots – vs. Cincinnati
  36. Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – at New England
  37. Arian Foster – Miami Dolphins – vs. Pittsburgh
  38. Fozzy Whitaker – Carolina Panthers – at New Orleans
  39. Bobby Rainey – New York Gaints – vs. Baltimore
  40. Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders – at Kansas City

Notes:

  • The Lions aren’t going to waste any time with their new addition, as Justin Forsett figures to jump right into things. As far as the Lions are concerned, the help is very desperately needed. Ameer Abdullah is on Injured Reserve, Dwayne Washington is banged up (and hasn’t done much to stand out) and Zack Zenner has yet to show he can be more than a goal line back. That left the Lions with Theo Riddick, and for all of his exploits as a pass catcher (and corresponding PPR value) he isn’t a workhorse runner,. Last week he carried the ball 11 times for 49 yards, but his main value came from the six passes he caught for 33 yards and two touchdowns. While Forsett warrants a look on the waiver wire if you are hurting at running back, I wouldn’t go too crazy as he was averaging just 3.16 yards per carry for Baltimore prior to his release. The Lions will likely ease him in this week, and I wouldn’t expect to see him touch the ball much more than 15 times. Riddick’s value will remain unchanged.
  • At this point we have to downgrade our expectations for Matt Forte. While entering the season it was apparent he was more of an RB2 than the RB1 stud we had become accustomed to, he figured to be a large part of the receiving game for the Jets. In the first two weeks of the season that was the case, but in recent weeks they have moved to reducing his workload. Last week Forte caught just two passes for seven yards, while Bilal Powell caught six passes. Game flow, the Jets were playing from behind in the second half, limited Forte to just 12 carries on which he gained 53 yards. This week things aren’t going to get any easier as New York faces the Cardinals, and their eighth ranked fantasy defense against running backs, on the road in a game they will likely be trailing in.
  • Just in time for Jonathan Stewart to return, Cameron-Artis Payne found the end zone twice. Artis-Payne carried the ball 18 times for 85 yards, but it must be noted that Cam Newton was sidelined with a concussion and at least one of those touchdowns likely would have gone to Newton. With their bye week coming next week, Carolina will likely ease Stewart into action, but their match-up with New Orleans will also include a great deal of offense. The Saints are last in the league against opposing running backs, and Stewart should capitalize as long as his hamstring can handle it. While Artis-Payne losses his value, other than as a handcuff, Fozzy Whittaker should at least remain on your radar as a cheap option for this week; as long as Newton returns. While he caught just one pass last week, Whittaker has 19 receptions for 164 yards so far this season which gives him some PPR value.
  • One question mark for this week is Eddie Lacy. His ankle injury doesn’t appear to be concerning, but at the same time Mike McCarthy has yet to commit to Lacy playing against the Cowboys, which means it is something you have to monitor. While he has found the end zone only once in four games), Lacy is averaging 5.5 yards per carry on 54 carries. The ever popular handcuff, James Starks, got a chance in the second half of last week’s game after Lacy left with his injury, but he failed to impress gaining 33 yards on 12 carries. On the season Starks is averaging 1.8 yards per carry, and while he will get the playing time if Lacy is sidelined it’s hard to bank on the results. As a handcuff he has more value in seasonal leagues as a replacement for Lacy due to the guaranteed workload and the chance at a touchdown than in DFS. Dallas is also sixth against opposing running backs this season, so this might be a situation to stay away from as Lacy could be lacking for explosiveness.
  • Coming out of Kansas City’s bye week, Jamaal Charles looks ready to go. Originally the plan was to hold Charles out through the bye week, but he ultimately returned in a very limited role two weeks ago; 11 snaps and two carries for seven yards. According to Charles he is at 100%, and the Chiefs will not hesitate to bring him back into the fold. While Spencer Ware will still have a role, his true value is now as a handcuff and nothing much beyond that. Oakland and their 25th ranked defense against opposing fantasy running backs also will help to ease Charles back into action in a game which will feature a lot of offense.

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