Jonathan Taylor injured his ankle after an unproductive game in week 4 and could very well miss Thursday night’s game against the Broncos. Can Taylor and Steelers RB Najee Harris be trusted despite mediocre starts to the season?
We are virtually a quarter into the NFL season and although there are many more weeks for preseason heavyweights to break out, time is running out for those late-round sleepers to come to fruition and produce at a high level. Travis Etienne Jr. is running out of time to impress Doug Pederson and the Jaguars staff, and Cam Akers’ inconsistencies and fumbles could cost him a starting job if he doesn’t turn it around.
One of my favorite preseason picks, Javonte Williams, has fallen victim to awful playcalling from his head coach Nathaniel Hackett, not to mention he could now miss multiple weeks due to a knee injury that he sustained in the Broncos’ 32-23 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Sleeper pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire has benefited from genius playcalling by Chiefs head coach Andy Reid whereas other sleeper picks such as Kareem Hunt and Rhamondre Stevenson are too inconsistent to gauge how valuable they actually are yet. Time will tell, but for now here are my RB rankings for this weekend.
1. Austin Ekeler – Chargers vs. Browns
Austin Ekeler exploded for 35 fantasy points after recording 3 total touchdowns against the Texans last weekend. Ekeler has been a force in the passing attack so far this season, but this performance solidified his continued dominance as a dual-threat back. The Browns have a good defense, but with Jonathan Taylor’s lack of production, and Christian McCaffrey facing off against a stout 49ers defensive line, Ekeler may be the best bet to produce at a high level.
2. Saquon Barkley, Giants vs. Packers
The Packers have a very good defense, but Saquon Barkley has defied the odds every week finding a way to produce a big play and get into the end-zone often. Volume is king in Fantasy Football and Barkley can be counted on to carry the ball a ton.
3. Derrick Henry, Titans vs. Commanders
Derrick Henry has had two 21+ fantasy point performances in a row without a good offensive line. He is in a good position to finish as a top 5 RB again this weekend against a Commanders team that has struggled on both sides of the football.
4. Nick Chubb, Browns vs. Chargers
The Chargers gave up 150+ yards to the Jaguars two weeks ago then allowed rookie Dameon Pierce to rush for 131 yards and a touchdown on Sunday as well. Nick Chubb is next in line to pulverize a Chargers rushing defense that has looked lost since Joey Bosa went down with an injury.
5. Christian McCaffrey, Panthers vs. 49ers
6. James Robinson, Jaguars vs. Texans
7. Joe Mixon, Bengals vs. Ravens
8. Jamaal Williams/D’Aandre Swift, Lions vs. Patriots
9. Aaron Jones, Packers vs. Giants
10. Clyde Edwards-Helaire Chiefs vs Raiders
11. Josh Jacobs, Raiders vs. Chiefs
12. Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers vs. Falcons
13. Dalvin Cook, Vikings vs. Bears
14. Dameon Pierce, Texans vs. Jaguars
15. J.K. Dobbins, Ravens vs. Bengals
J.K. Dobbins is coming off of a two-touchdown day and is looking to build off that momentum this weekend against the Bengals.
16. Miles Sanders, Eagles vs. Cardinals
17. Breece Hall, Jets vs. Dolphins
18.. Jeff Wilson Jr., 49ers vs. Panthers
19. Antonio Gibson, Commanders vs. Titans
20. James Conner, Cardinals vs. Eagles