This year more than ever it has been difficult to make decisions about fantasy football lineups because of injuries, byes and Covid-19 concerns. With players like Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffery/Mike Davis, Alvin Kamara, and Miles Sanders sitting out this week championship fantasy teams could be largely affected and could force teams to start emergency options.
This week is the second week of championship week in a majority of leagues so owners may have a few running backs on their roster that they have been flipping between all season. Deciding between them could be the difference between winning and losing. For owners who have to stream a running back this week, it may be difficult to choose who to put into the lineup.
Here are my running back rankings for Week 17 of the 2020 NFL Season.
*Ratings are subject to change due to injury reports or possible move to reserve/COVID-19 list*
(Check out section below for details on players already rumored to possibly miss this week and how their replacement options rank for the week)
Must Start- a player who is in your lineup regardless of the matchup or most circumstances. Will likely finish near the top of the league in points that week and in most weeks.
Starting RB1- a player who makes fantasy owners comfortable starting week after week. Regardless of the matchup this player has a high floor.
High End RB2- a player who may isn’t likely to carry a lineup that week, but has the ability to have a breakout game and is teetering between RB1 and RB2 category.
Starting RB2- a player who should be started in most lineups and should reach their point projection. This player is started is because of their consistency and moderately high floor
Low RB2- a player who may not be a lock to start for a team every week, but will start more times than not. Their production may not be pretty or win a person their lineup but the production is consistent enough to make a fantasy owner comfortable starting them.
Flex- a player who could float around the territory of being benched, but is started due to potential to play better than their point projection. However this player has the potential to flop and cause a fantasy team to lose if he has a bad game.
Deep League Flex- a player who is more of a Hail Mary throw at the position. There are enough reasons to leave this player on the bench, but their upside makes them an attractive option. Desperate times may call for a player like this to be inserted into starting lineups.
Leave on the Bench- a player who should be avoided in all lineups that week. Many times this player could even be left on waivers.
|Must Start||Derrick Henry||vs Houston Texans||RB1|
|Inactive||Alvin Kamara||vs Carolina Panthers||OUT|
|Must Start||Nick Chubb||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB2|
|Must Start||Jonathan Taylor||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB3|
|Must Start||David Montgomery||vs Green Bay Packer||RB4|
|Starting RB1||Austin Ekeler||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB5|
|Starting RB1||Myles Gaskin||vs Buffalo Bills||RB6|
|Starting RB1||D’Andre Swift||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB7|
|Inactive||Miles Sanders||vs Washington Football Team||OUT|
|Starting RB1||David Johnson||vs Tennessee Titans||RB8|
|High End RB2||Jeff Wilson Jr.||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB9|
|Starting RB2||Alexander Mattison||vs Detroit Lions||RB10|
|Starting RB2||Aaron Jones||vs Chicago Bears||RB11|
|Starting RB2||J.K. Dobbins||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB12|
|Starting RB2||Melvin Gordon||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB13|
|Starting RB2||Chris Carson||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB14|
|Starting RB2||Josh Jacobs||vs Denver Broncos||RB15|
|Low RB2||Antonio Gibson||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB16|
|Low RB2||Ronald Jones||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB17|
|Low RB2||Ezekiel Elliot||vs New York Giants||RB18|
|Low RB2||Kenyan Drake||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB19|
|Flex||Wayne Gallman||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB20|
|Flex||Gus Edwards||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB21|
|Flex||Nyheim Hines||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB22|
|Flex||Malcom Brown*||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB23|
|Flex||J.D. McKissic||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB24|
|Flex||Dare Ogunbowale||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB25|
|Flex||Zack Moss||vs Miami Dolphins||RB26|
|Flex||James Conner||vs Cleveland Browns||RB27|
|Flex||Giovanni Bernard||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB28|
|Inactive||Damien Harris*||vs New York Jets||OUT|
|Flex||Ty Montgomery||vs Carolina Panthers||RB29|
|Deep League Flex||A.J. Dillon||vs Chicago Bears||RB30|
|Deep League Flex||Ty Johnson||vs New England Patriots||RB31|
|Deep League Flex||Boston Scott||vs Washington Football Team||RB32|
|Deep League Flex||Kareem Hunt||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB33|
|Deep League Flex||Sony Michel||vs New York Jets||RB34|
|Deep League Flex||Darrel Williams||vs Los Angles Chargers||RB35|
|Inactive||Latavius Murray||vs Carolina Panthers||OUT|
|Deep League Flex||Rodney Smith||vs New Orleans Saints||RB36|
|Deep League Flex||Devin Singletary||vs Miami Dolphins||RB37|
|Deep League Flex||Ito Smith||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB38|
|Deep League Flex||Tony Pollard||vs New York Giants||RB39|
|Deep League Flex||Mike Boone||vs Detroit Lions||RB40|
|Deep League Flex||Duke Johnson Jr.*||vs Tennessee Titans||RB41|
|Deep League Flex||Josh Adams||vs New England Patriots||RB42|
|Deep League Flex||Samaje Perine||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB43|
|Deep League Flex||Adrian Peterson||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB44|
|Deep League Flex||Benny Snell||vs Cleveland Browns||RB45|
|Leave on the Bench||Leonard Fournette||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB46|
|Leave on the Bench||James White||vs New York Jets||RB47|
|Leave on the Bench||Chase Edmonds||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB48|
|Leave on the Bench||Kalen Ballage||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB49|
|Leave on the Bench||Salvon Ahmed||vs Buffalo Bills||RB50|
|Leave on the Bench||Devonta Freeman||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB51|
|Leave on the Bench||Le’Veon Bell*||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB53|
|Leave on the Bench||Devontae Booker||vs Denver Broncos||RB54|
|Leave on the Bench||Jerick McKinnon||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB55|
|Leave on the Bench||Todd Gurley||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB56|
|Leave on the Bench||Carlos Hyde||vs San Fransisco 49ers||RB57|
|Leave on the Bench||Royce Freeman||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB58|
|Leave on the Bench||Jamaal Williams||vs Chicago Bears||RB59|
Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday
New Orleans Saints Running Backs: Alvin Kamara & Latavius Murray
Both Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray have landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list making them ineligible to play in Week 17. The Saints will likely deploy a committee led by flex player Ty Montgomery who could fill in for Kamara. The Saints are also expected to sign a running back off their practice squad. That running back can be Tony Jones Jr. Both Montgomery and Jones Jr. would be risky starts in a championship week. But if someone is forced to pick up Montgomery he ranks as RB29 on the week between Giovanni Bernard and A.J. Dillon.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are resting some of their starters for Week 17. One of those major starters is running back Miles Sanders who is listed with a knee injury. With Sanders out of the lineup Boston Scott becomes RB32 between Ty Johnson and Kareem Hunt.
RB23 Malcom Brown, Los Angeles Rams
Originally when the week started it seemed very clear that Malcom Brown would be the Rams starting running back for Week 17. However there is a slight chance that Cam Akers could return this week. If Akers returns he would become RB21 between Wayne Gallman and Gus Edwards. While Brown would move back to RB37 between Rodney Smith and Devin Singletary.
Damien Harris, New England Patriots
Damien Harris has missed the past two weeks with an ankle injury and will make it three in a row this week. Sony Michel will once again slide into Harris’ role on the offense and be RB34 between Kareem Hunt and Darrell Williams. Also J.J. Taylor becomes an interesting name as a boom or bust play in deep leagues. He will see more work with Harris out. Taylor slides into the RB52 spot between Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell.
RB41 Duke Johnson Jr., Houston Texans
David Johnson has played extremely well during Duke Johnson’s absence. Duke Johnson has missed the past two weeks because of a neck injury. With not much to play for The Texans may keep David Johnsons role the same if Duke was to return just to see what type of production they could get from his as a full time work horse back. David Johnson is still a great play regardless of Duke Johnson playing or not.
RB52 Le’Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs
Last week Le’Veon Bell did not look great and was outsnapped by Darrell Williams. Bell has not practiced Wednesday or Thursday because of a knee injury. Even if Bell is active he could be rested since the Chiefs are resting their starters. If that is the case Darwin Thompson could slide into Bell’s RB53 slot. If Darrel Williams was to be rested Sunday as well Thompson would jump into the RB38 spot in between Ito Smith and Tony Pollard.