Fantasy RB Rankings Week 6: Who to start, sit at running back in fantasy football

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Between injuries and byes, it might be difficult to field respectable running back starters from now until Week 15. Most teams in your league will have to go through it at least once, so don’t feel bad when it’s your turn. If anything, it’s probably better to get it out of the way early. So, depending on your injury situation, perhaps you should consider yourself lucky if you own one or more of Alvin Kamara, Michael Carter, Elijah Mitchell, or Mike Davis/Cordarrelle Patterson, all of whom are nowhere to be found in our Week 6 fantasy RB rankings.

Of course, those backs won’t be the only key players missing this week. David Montgomery (knee) is still on the shelf for a couple more games, Saquon Barkley (ankle) figures to be out at least this week, and Chris Carson (neck), Dalvin Cook (ankle), and Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) will be up in the air after missing last week. We know several more RBs will be “questionable” going into Sunday’s games, too. This will make lineup decisions difficult, but, again, that’s going to be par for the course going forward. 

WEEK 6 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Matchups, as always, will also play a big role in determining who to start and who to sit. This could be a big week for Antonio Gibson (vs. Chiefs), Najee Harris (vs. Seahawks), and Jonathan Taylor (vs. Texans), but they’re must-starts anyway. However, a couple of their backups known primarily for their PPR prowess — J.D. McKissic (vs. Chiefs) and Nyheim Hines (vs. Texans) — could also be in play in standard leagues because of the favorable opponents. 

WEEK 6 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Going a little deeper, Darrell Henderson (@ Giants) has established himself as a safe RB2 in most matchups, and the Giants are definitely a run defense he can compile points against. Leonard Fournette (@ Eagles) is in a similar situation, and given his ever-growing touch share, he’s a must-start against an overmatched Eagles defense. Both Broncos backs (vs. Raiders) have been mostly disappointing this year, but the Raiders are top 10 in fantasy points allowed to running backs, so this is a spot where one or both can return RB2 value. We like Melvin Gordon slightly more than Javonte Williams, but both are worth starting. The same goes for Darrel Williams (@ Washington), who figures to get the bulk of the Chiefs’ RB touches with Clyde Edwards-Helaire nursing a knee injury. Jerick McKinnon does have some PPR appeal, though.

WEEK 6 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts | Start ’em, sit ’em

We wish we could say the same about Myles Gaskin (@ Jaguars) after his monster week, but touches are always a question mark in Miami. The matchup is great, so you can use Gaskin in your flex, especially in PPR leagues, but don’t get overly confident. The same goes for the Bills’ backs (@ Titans), though Buffalo’s high-powered offense should afford both Zack Moss and Devin Singletary plenty of chances for points.

WEEK 6 DFS LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel | Yahoo

Of course, there are some unfavorable matchups, too, and while you still might start Damien Harris (vs. Cowboys), Devontae Booker (@ Rams), Chris Carson/Alex Collins (@ Steelers), and Josh Jacobs (@ Broncos) based on volume and short-TD potential, they’re all riskier plays than usual. Mark Ingram (@ Colts) is in a similar spot on a much worse offense.

MORE WEEK 6 DFS: Best stacks | Best values | Lineup Builder

The bigger worries are Eagles backs Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell (vs. Buccaneers) going against the league’s top run defense. It’s tough to make a case for either this week, though Gainwell could have an edge since Philadelphia will probably be passing more.

At this point in the season, it’s tough to find weekly “sleepers” at running back unless there’s an injury. Sure, secondary backs like McKissic and Hines could come alive in the right matchups, and you never know when someone like Samaje Perine (@ Lions), AJ Dillon (@ Bears), or Jeremy McNichols (vs. Bills) will steal a touchdown, but for the most part, you just have to cobble together the best you can, hope for a score, and try to make it to the next matchup. Chances are, it’s going to get worse before it gets better for you, so if you’re in a period of prosperity, enjoy it.

Note: We’ll be updating these RB rankings as needed throughout the week, so check back for the latest changes.

Fantasy RB Rankings Week 6: Who to start at running back

Rankings are based on standard, non-PPR scoring

Rank Player
1 Christian McCaffrey, CAR vs. MIN
2 Derrick Henry, TEN vs. BUF
3 Antonio Gibson, WAS vs. KC
4 Najee Harris, PIT vs. SEA
5 Jonathan Taylor, IND vs. HOU
6 James Robinson, JAX vs. MIA
7 Aaron Jones, GB @ CHI
8 Joe Mixon, CIN @ DET
9 Dalvin Cook, MIN @ CAR
10 Nick Chubb, CLE vs. ARI
11 Austin Ekeler, LAC @ BAL
12 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @ NE
13 Darrell Henderson, LAR @ NYG
14 Leonard Fournette, TB @ PHI
15 D’Andre Swift, DET vs. CIN
16 Damien Williams, CHI vs. GB. His ceded more carries than expected to Khalil Herbert (18 for Herbert, 16 for Williams), but Williams was used more in the passing game, had more total yards (84 to 75), and scored Chicago’s lone rushing touchdown. If the Bears aren’t winning comfortably, which we don’t expect them to be this week, Williams will see a much higher snap share, making him a solid RB2 in all formats against Green Bay’s below-average RB defense. Herbert does have some flex appeal in standard leagues, though.
17 Josh Jacobs, LV @ DEN. The touches are there (18.5 the past two games), including a surprising amount of receptions (nine total in that span). However, the yards haven’t followed (124 total in the past two weeks). Still, you know Jacobs will break through eventually with that many touches, and he’s always a candidate for a short TD like last week. The Broncos had been tough on RBs all year, entering Week 5 allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to the position, but Najee Harris put up big numbers against them (24 touches, 142 total yards, TD), so continued high volume can lead to RB2-level stats for Jacobs.
18 Kareem Hunt, CLE vs. ARI. You can make a case for Hunt to be ranked higher since he’s scored one more TD than Nick Chubb and is averaging 14.4 touches/game (compared to 19 for Chubb). Any way you look at it, Hunt is at least a flex with RB1 upside, especially against a poor Cardinals run defense.
19 Devontae Booker, NYG vs. LAR. With Saquon Barkley (ankle) on the shelf, Booker should see high volume. He received 19 touches in relief of Barkley last week, and while he turned that into just 58 total yards, he managed to get into the end zone twice. The Rams are middle of the road against RBs, alternating good showings with bad ones, so consider Booker a low-end RB2/high-end flex thanks to the 15-plus touches he figures to see. Even if the Giants get blown out, he should soak up some cheap catches and receiving yards.
20 Zack Moss, BUF @ TEN. Moss and Devin Singletary both disappointed against the Chiefs last week, but it really wasn’t their fault — Buffalo didn’t have the ball much because it was scoring so quickly thanks to big pass plays or big Josh Allen runs. Moss dominated playing time, though, garnering 74 percent of the snaps compared to 26 for Singletary. Even more worrisome for Singletary is Moss is getting extensive work in the receiving game, catching three-of-five targets last week compared to just one-of-two for Singletary. It seems clear Moss the guy to play here, especially in standard leagues where he’s more likely to plunge in a short TD. Singletary still has some upside thanks to his explosiveness and Buffalo’s high-powered offense, but Moss is better equipped to take advantage of a struggling Tennessee defense that couldn’t stop James Robinson’s power running last week.
21 Myles Gaskin, MIA @ JAX. Gaskin completely disappeared in Week 4, then bounced back with a monster performance against the league’s top run defense in Week 5. Go figure. To be fair, most of his damage against the Bucs came through the air, as he caught all 10 targets for 74 yards and two scores, but he did lead the team in rushing, too (as sad as that total was). It feels like Gaskin is back in the lead-back role, so we’ll trust him as an RB2 in a highly favorable matchup against the Jaguars, who remain top five in fantasy points allowed to RBs.
22 Melvin Gordon, DEN vs. LV. Gordon vs. Javonte Williams swings back and forth every week. Last week, Williams looked more impressive despite Gordon getting 60 percent of the snaps compared to Williams’ 42. They had the same amount of touches (11), though, and Williams put up 86 total yards to Gordon’s 43. Against the Raiders, who entered Week 5 allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to RBs before having trouble with the Bears’ duo of Khalil Herbert and Damien Williams, both can have flex value. In a normal week, Gordon would be ranked a little lower, but with several key backs out and so many similar committees, he’s in the RB2 tier. 
23 Darrel Williams, KC @ WAS. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee) expected to be out, Williams should see 15-plus touches against a Washington defense that’s top 10 in fantasy points allowed to RBs. Williams is averaging just 4.4 yards/touch this year, but Kansas City’s offense should move the ball with ease against Washington, so Williams will get plenty of chances for yards and TDs. Jerick McKinnon will steal some targets, giving him moderate flex value in PPR leagues, but Williams should handle most of the carries.
24 Damien Harris, NE vs. DAL. Harris looked to be on his way to a big day, but he lost a fumble inches from the goal line, then injured his ribs and didn’t return. If Harris plays this week, he should see decent volume, but he disappeared in tough matchups earlier in the season. We’re still giving Harris the benefit of the doubt in standard leagues because of his TD upside, but he’s obviously a risk in all formats. Dallas has been good against RBs this year, but they did allow a pair of RB touchdowns to Devontae Booker last week, so perhaps Harris can plunge in. 
25 Chris Carson, SEA @ PIT. Carson has averaged 15 touches per game, but he missed last week because of a neck injury. Assuming he returns, he might see fewer carries, but he should still dominate RB touches. Pittsburgh has been strong against backs all year, ranking in the bottom five in fantasy points allowed to the position, so Carson has a fairly low ceiling and mediocre floor, but it’s tough to trust many of the committee backs over him. 
26 Javonte Williams, DEN vs. LV. See Melvin Gordon.
27 James Conner, ARI @ CLE. Conner has averaged 13.4 touches per game, but the fact he has just four total targets tells you all you need to know about his PPR potential. Still, he can get it done in standard leagues, as he’s scored five TDs in his past three games. Cleveland was strong against RBs before having some trouble with Austin Ekeler last week, but the Browns still present the kind of matchup that could give Conner trouble. Consider him a fairly safe flex in standard leagues and merely a borderline flex in PPR leagues. Chase Edmonds is the preferred play in PPR and merely a flex in standard leagues.
28 Jamaal Williams, DET vs. CIN. Williams has averaged just over 14 touches over the past three games, so he has a higher floor than at least a couple of the RBs above him. The Bengals have been middle of the road against RBs this year, but after having trouble with the Packers’ duo last week, it’s entirely possible the Lions duo has a good game, too. We’re still waiting for D’Andre Swift to take more carries, but for now, it looks like Williams will continue being the 1B and getting 12-plus touches. 
29 Latavius Murray, BAL vs. LAC. Murray seemed to have established himself as Baltimore’s lead back, garnering 18 carries in Week 4 and scoring rushing TDs in three of Baltimore’s first four games, but Ty’Son Williams was active again in Week 5 and both him and Murray received just four carries. It’s unclear how this situation is going to shake out in Week 6, but we still give Murray the nod as most likely to produce. The Chargers have really struggled against RBs this year, and after getting pummeled on the ground by Cleveland’s two-headed monster last week, their fantasy points against are better than only a small handful of teams. Murray seems like a good start, but there’s just something about Baltimore’s RBs that’s tough to trust. Consider him a flex with RB2 upside.
30 Devin Singletary, BUF @ TEN. See Zack Moss.
31 JD McKissic, WAS vs. KC. McKissic has been all-or-nothing this year, but the Chiefs defense gives up points to everyone. You never know how much playing time McKissic will get, but in a game where Washington figures to be trailing in the fourth quarter, McKissic is in a good spot for targets and production. 
32 Chase Edmonds, ARI @ CLE. See James Conner.
33 Tony Pollard, DAL @ NE. Pollard continues seeing steady touches and production, averaging 12.6 touches and 83.6 total yards per game. It’s tough to count on that in a tough matchup like this one, but Pollard still has plenty of flex upside. 
34 Miles Sanders, PHI vs. TB. It’s entirely possible Sanders or Gainwell has a decent game through the air like Myles Gaskin did last week, but against Tampa’s dominant run defense, it’s tough to trust either of these disappointing RBs. Sanders dominated snaps last week (75 percent to 24 percent), so we give him the edge just a week after Gainwell looked like he was taking over, but neither is particularly dependable. 
35 Mark Ingram, HOU @ IND. Ingram is still the “lead back” in Houston, but in some weeks, that hasn’t yielded more than six carries. Against Indy’s top-five RB defense, he’s a low-floor and low-ceiling play.
36 Kenneth Gainwell, PHI vs. TB. See Miles Sanders. 
37 Samaje Perine, CIN @ DET
38 AJ Dillon, GB @ CHI
39 Khalil Herbert, CIN vs. GB. See Damien Williams
40 Nyheim Hines, IND vs. HOU
41 Jerick McKinnon, KC @ WAS. See Darrel Williams
42 Ronald Jones II, TB @ PHI
43 Alex Collins, SEA @ PIT
44 Alexander Mattison, MIN @ CAR
45 Kenyan Drake, LV @ DEN
46 Sony Michel, LAR @ NYG
47 Brandon Bolden, NE vs. DAL
48 David Johnson, HOU @ IND
49 Giovani Bernard, TB @ PHI
50 Rhamondre Stevenson, NE vs. DAL
51 Jeremy McNichols, TEN vs. BUF
52 Chuba Hubbard, CAR vs. MIN
53 Malcolm Brown, MIA @ JAX
54 Phillip Lindsay, HOU @ IND
55 Larry Rountree III, LAC @ BAL
56 Joshua Kelley, LAC @ BAL
57 Le’Veon Bell, BAL vs. LAC
58 Devonta Freeman, BAL vs. LAC
59 Carlos Hyde, JAX vs. MIA





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