Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings: RB

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Cordarrelle Patterson looks to keep carrying the Falcons’ offense in New Orleans, Devontae Booker makes yet another start in place of Saquon Barkley, and Myles Gaskin hopes for a big day against the Texans.

Other positions: Quarterback | Receiver | Tight End/Kickers/Defense

Week 9 Running Backs

Updated 11/5 at 7:00 PM ET. Moved Carlos Hyde down. Waiting on James Robinson. Removed Latavius Murray.

RB Notes: Now the RB3 by average half PPR points, The sky is the limit for Jonathan Taylor vs. a Jets “defense” gifting the most running back fantasy points. … Although he finally has a back to share touches with in Mark Ingram, it is difficult to see Alvin Kamara finishing with fewer than 20 handles against the Falcons. That’s a number Kamara has cleared every game but one, while Jameis Winston’s season-ending knee injury places ever more pressure on the Saints’ rushing attack. Fantasy managers will remember, of course, that Kamara drew only six targets through Taysom Hill’s first three starts last season before receiving 10 in the fourth. We expect much closer to the latter vs. a Falcons D that has been predictably permissive to runners in 2021. … For the second straight week, the novel coronavirus is going to have the Packers leaning on their run game. The Chiefs are breathtakingly bad against the pass right now but have struggled all season vs. the run. Whereas Aaron Jones’ 11 Week 8 targets were because of losses in the receiver corps, he should once again approach that number with deer-in-headlights fill-in starter Jordan Love sure to be coached to take the easy looks. Behind Jones, AJ Dillon is all but guaranteed to reach at least 11 carries for the fourth time in six weeks, and has FLEX viability.

The Ravens are a pass-funnel defense, but Dalvin Cook has been reaching 20 touches in his sleep. He has ceiling to spare as this game total approaches 50. … Averaging 27 touches over his past five contests, Najee Harris has indeed become too big to fail. The Bears are one of just five teams to enter the season’s halfway point having surrendered 1,000-plus rushing yards. … Only the Bengals have donated more running back receptions than Philadelphia. Austin Ekeler remains the RB2 by average half PPR points and has a bully Week 9 case. … Ezekiel Elliott has had a quieter two weeks but averaged 22 touches in the process, reaching 20 both times out. Calling it a day on 2021, the Broncos’ defense will be adjusting to life without Von Miller as 10-point road underdogs. That mouthwatering game script keeps Tony Pollard FLEX viable despite a quiet two weeks of his own. … The Saints are an awful running back matchup. Thank heavens Cordarrelle Patterson is not a real running back. C-Patt has hit 14 touches in three straight games, with two of those coming after the Falcons’ bye week, meaning more C-Patt was an off-week focus. … Elijah Mitchell’s (ribs) health is something to monitor heading into a plus matchup with a Cardinals defense handing out 4.9 yards per carry. If Mitchell can’t go, some combination of JaMycal Hasty, Trey Sermon and perhaps Jeff Wilson will take the day vs. the Birds.

Michael Carter led the Week 8 Jets in carries, rushing yards, targets, receptions and receiving yards while averaging more than five yards per carry and 10 yards per catch. Not too shabby. His explosive day came against a solid Bengals run defense that actually rates better than Indy’s also decent unit. Looking game-flow proof because of his prodigious passing-game usage, Carter can flirt with a top-12 ranking. Behind him, Ty Johnson is also a solid PPR FLEX bet as The White Lotus Mike White hones in on checkdowns with laser precision. … Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) remained “pretty limited” on Wednesday. Coach Matt Rhule has been an unreliable narrator when it comes to his All-Pro’s health, but most signs point toward another Chuba Hubbard start against the Patriots’ average run defense. Hubbard is averaging 22 touches over the past month, with a low of 16. … Khalil Herbert has out-touched Damien Williams 48-6 over the past two weeks. The volume is coming no matter the game script vs. the Steelers. There is an off chance David Montgomery (knee) returns. … Devontae Booker can hang his hat on a Raiders defense getting smashed for run game volume, something that should remain a theme with the West Coast road trippin’ Silver and Black modestly favored in New York.

With 34 touches over his past two appearances, Myles Gaskin could reach 20 for the first time in a game this season with the Dolphins operating as touchdown home favorites vs. pathetic Houston. … James Robinson (heel) isn’t practicing after managing only four touches in Week 8. The Jags’ offense is bad enough that Carlos Hyde should be expected to receive an RB2 workload vs. the Bills even if game script goes south in a hurry with the Jags as 14.5-point home underdogs. … Zack Moss is always better in theory than practice, but the theory is quite sound with the Bills again catching two-plus touchdowns as a Week 9 favorite. … With the trade deadline having come and gone without a Melvin Gordon move, I think the tide might finally start to turn in Javonte Williams’ favor. Not that Gordon is washed up or deserving of such a fate. It just makes too much sense with the Broncos’ campaign drain-circled. The Cowboys have been a strong run defense from both a rate stat and raw counting perspective. … I feel like I barely understand what is going on with Josh Jacobs and Vegas’ backfield. I just know the traveling Raiders’ ground commitment will be strong. … Darrel Williams has a Derrick Gore problem, but he remains the 1A in this hibernating offense’s attack.

You have probably already read about Adrian Peterson vs. Jeremy McNichols ad nauseam, but of course I am going to offer my two cents. Derrick Henry leaves behind an otherworldly 27 carries per game. The Titans are not going to claw back that entire number, but the majority of whatever they attempt to reclaim will go Peterson’s way. Fifth-year pro McNichols has 56 career totes, just seven of which have come this year. The Titans do not think he can handle such a role. McNichols’ targets per game should increase from 3-4 to 5-6, giving him PPR FLEX appeal, especially for a 53.5-totaled game where the Titans are touchdown-plus road ‘dogs. … I am leery of going back to the Eagles’ backfield well, especially since they are going from the Lions to home underdogs against the Chargers. The ground is where you — well, everyone — gets the Bolts, with Brandon Staley’s defense hemorrhaging 160 rushing yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry. Capable of catching passes despite last week’s zero-reception performance, I will give Boston Scott the rankings advantage over recent practice squad promotee Jordan Howard. As for Kenneth Gainwell, every indicator light remains bad. The Eagles went decisively away from Gainwell before Miles Sanders’ injury, and the supposed pass catcher was used for 12 cannon fodder fourth quarter carries in last Sunday’s blowout win.