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Week 3 Fantasy RB Rankings: Must starts, sleepers, potential busts at running back


Rank
Player
1
Derrick Henry, TEN @ MIN
2
Dalvin Cook, MIN vs. TEN
3
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @ SEA
4
Kenyan Drake, ARZ vs. DET.  The Lions were absolutely gashed by the Packers running backs last week to the tune of 8.0 yards per carry and 72 yards and a TD through the air. They simply don’t stop the run well, and only the Bengals have allowed more than the Lions’ 353 rushing yards. Drake logged 95 total yards against a tough Washington front seven, so he can be trusted as an RB1 in a much more favorable matchup.
5
Jonathan Taylor, IND vs. NYJ.  So much for Taylor and Nyheim Hines splitting touches in Marlon Mack’s absence. Taylor handled 26 carries for the Colts and turned them into 101 yards and a TD against Minnesota’s defensive front. Now, he’ll get to take on a Jets defense that allows 24.7 FPPG to RBs and just let Raheem Mostert scamper untouched for an 80-yard TD on the first play of their Week 2 game.
6
Alvin Kamara, NO vs. GB
7
Austin Ekeler, LAC vs. CAR.  Ekeler has a juicy matchup against a Panthers defense that has allowed three rushing TDs to RBs in each of their first two games of the season after allowing a league-high 27 rushing TDs to the position last year. Ekeler may be splitting carries with Joshua Kelley, who got 23 carries compared to Ekeler’s 16 against the Chiefs, but Ekeler was more efficient (5.8 yards per carry to Kelley’s 2.8) and offers more as a receiver. 
8
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC @ BAL.  Can you trust Edwards-Helaire to bounce back after a middling outing against the Chargers? It won’t be easy against the Ravens, who are tied with the Chargers for the league’s best FPPG to RBs at 9.1, but he should get plenty of opportunities to produce once again. And if the Chiefs can avoid falling behind and give him more than the 10 carries he saw on Sunday, he should be positioned to rack up some yardage.
9
David Montgomery, CHI @ ATL. Atlanta’s defense is allowing an average of 39 points per game to opposing offenses and has allowed the fourth-most catches to RBs (15) and the most receiving TDs (2). Some may think this sounds like a smash spot for Tarik Cohen, but after Montgomery caught three passes for 45 yards and a TD, he may be in for a big game in Week 3.
10
Miles Sanders, PHI vs. CIN.  The Bengals have allowed the most rushing yards to RBs this season (358) and the second-most total TDs (5). Start Sanders, who just racked up 131 total yards and a TD against the Rams, with confidence.
11
Aaron Jones, GB @ NO
12
Josh Jacobs, LV @ NE
13
Nick Chubb, CLE vs. WAS.  Chubb just had a huge game against the Bengals, but two things keep him from being an RB1 against Washington. First, Washington has been great against RBs so far this year and is one of four teams yet to surrender a touchdown to the position as of this writing (the Ravens, Chargers, and Saints are the other three). Second, Kareem Hunt is still the preferred receiving back, so he may see more action in a game where Cleveland could struggle to find running room against Washington’s top-tier defensive line. You can still start Chubb with confidence, just don’t expect another massive game.
14
Joe Mixon, CIN @ PHI.  Mixon is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry and the Eagles are allowing just 3.9 yards per carry. His value will likely depend on scoring a touchdown, but luckily, the Eagles have surrendered three to the RB position, good for third-most in the NFL.
15
James Conner, PIT vs. HOU.  So much for the Benny Snell takeover that looked imminent after Week 1. Conner bounced back against a solid Denver defense and posted 106 yards and a score. He can be trusted against a Houston defense that has allowed 339 rushing yards and the seventh-most RB FPPG (25.1) through two weeks, good for the third-most in the NFL.
16
Melvin Gordon, DEN vs. TB.  The Bucs have allowed the most receiving yards to opposing RBs (168) and the second-most receptions (18). Gordon should continue to serve as the Broncos’ top backfield option with Phillip Lindsay likely out another week, so he can be trusted in a matchup that suits his receiving skills well.
17
Chris Carson, SEA vs. DAL.  Carson continues to be the lead back for the Seahawks and has already racked up three receiving TDs on the year. He can be trusted against a porous Dallas defense that has allowed an average of 110.5 rushing yards and a rushing TD per game.
18
Raheem Mostert, SF @ NYG.  If Mostert plays, he’ll get a chance to take on a Giants defense that is allowing 4.6 yards per carry to opposing RBs. Mostert is averaging 6.4 ypc, so expect him to rip off some more chunk plays depending on his injured knee.
19
Todd Gurley, ATL vs. CHI.  Gurley hasn’t done much yardage-wise through two games, as he has just 117 rushing yards and a single receiving yard. However, he is a TD threat for a very good Falcons offense that should see some red-zone opportunities against a Bears defense that has allowed 4.0 red-zone trips per game to start the season.
20
James Robinson, JAX vs. MIA. In each of his first two games, Robinson has gotten 16 carries for the Jaguars. He had his first 100-yard game and TD against the Titans last week and should have a chance to do well against a Dolphins team that is allowing 4.8 yards per carry to RBs this season.
21
Mark Ingram, BAL vs. KC
22
Joshua Kelley, LAC vs. CAR. Kelly currently ranks eighth in the NFL in red-zone carries with eight. He saw 23 carries against the Chiefs and it’s clear that the Chargers want to use him in tandem with Ekeler. Much like the Ekeler-Gordon tandem of previous years, both Chargers backs can be trusted as starters, especially in a matchup with the Panthers and their weak run defense.
23
David Johnson, HOU @ PIT. Johnson handled all of the RB work for the Texans last week with Duke Johnson out, but he has a tough matchup with the Steelers in Week 3. The Steelers are allowing only 48.5 rushing yards per game and have mostly contained Saquon Barkley and Melvin Gordon through two games. Johnson is still an RB2 for volume reasons, but this matchup simply isn’t a good one for him.
24
Kareem Hunt, CLE vs. WAS. As mentioned earlier, Hunt matches up better against Washington than Chubb does. As such, he’s a fringe RB2 this week and could be in for a big game, especially in PPR formats.
25
Antonio Gibson, WAS @ CLE
26
JK Dobbins, BAL vs. KC
27
Leonard Fournette, TB @ DEN
28
Sony Michel, NE vs. LV
29
Dion Lewis, NYG vs. SF
30
Mike Davis, CAR @ LAC. Davis seems like the top candidate to replace Christian McCaffrey who is expected to miss multiple weeks with an ankle injury. This isn’t a good matchup for him, however, as the Chargers have been one of the best defenses against the run and have allowed a league-best 9.1 FPPG to RBs. They have allowed 12 receptions, good for sixth-most in the league, but it’s unclear if Davis will be able to take advantage of that.
31
Cam Akers, LAR @ BUF
32
Zack Moss, BUF vs. LAR
33
Malcolm Brown, LAR @ BUF
34
Frank Gore, NYJ @ IND
35
Ronald Jones II, TB @ DEN
36
Devin Singletary, BUF vs. LAR
37
D’Andre Swift, DET @ ARZ
38
Tarik Cohen, CHI @ ATL
39
Myles Gaskin, MIA @ JAX
40
James White, NE vs. LV
41
Gus Edwards, BAL vs. KC
42
Darrell Henderson, LAR @ BUF
43
Jerick McKinnon, SF @ NYG
44
Jordan Howard, MIA @ JAX
45
Kerryon Johnson, DET @ ARZ
46
Adrian Peterson, DET @ ARZ
47
Wayne Gallman, NYG vs. SF
48
Matt Breida, MIA @ JAX
49
Nyheim Hines, IND vs. NYJ
50
Latavius Murray, NO vs. GB
51
Jamaal Williams, GB @ NO
52
Tevin Coleman, SF @ NYG
53
Carlos Hyde, SEA vs. DAL
54
Chris Thompson, JAX vs. MIA
55
LeSean McCoy, TB @ DEN
56
Boston Scott, PHI vs. CIN
57
Alexander Mattison, MIN vs. TEN
58
Royce Freeman, DEN vs. TB
59
Chase Edmonds, ARZ vs. DET
60
Benny Snell Jr., PIT vs. HOU
61
Darwin Thompson, KC @ BAL
62
Giovani Bernard, CIN @ PHI
63
Tony Pollard, DAL @ SEA
64
Peyton Barber, WAS @ CLE
65
Trenton Cannon, CAR @ LAC
66
Brian Hill, ATL vs. CHI
67
Rex Burkhead, NE vs. LV
68
Corey Clement, PHI vs. CIN
69
La’Mical Perine NYJ @ IND
70
J.D. McKissic, WAS @ CLE
71
Devontae Booker, LV @ NE
72
AJ Dillon, GB @ NO
73
Jalen Richard, LV @ NE

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