The 2021-22 NFL season has only one week left. Bye weeks have been over and the fantasy leagues that are still active are in their fantasy championship. This time of year COVID-19 is running rampant which makes it important to have backup options on your fantasy roster. Also since a majority of teams have clinched their playoff spots teams will rest their starters this week. On top of all of that, injuries are continuing to mount up. It is always a great idea to evaluate backup options so that way fantasy managers are prepared if star players miss time. Here are the Fantasy Football Week 18 running back rankings.
*Ratings are subject to change due to injury reports or possible move to reserve/COVID-19 list*
(Check out the 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. They 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 the potential to play better than their point projection. However, this player has the potential to flop and causes 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||Jonathan Taylor||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB1|
|Must Start||Dalvin Cook||vs Chicago Bears||RB2|
|Must Start||Austin Ekeler||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB3|
|Starting RB1||Najee Harris||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB4|
|Starting RB1||David Montgomery||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB5|
|Starting RB1||Alvin Kamara||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB6|
|Starting RB1||Josh Jacobs*||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB7|
|Starting RB1||Antonio Gibson*||vs New York Giants||RB8|
|High-End RB2||Ezekiel Elliott||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB9|
|High-End RB2||Nick Chubb*||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB10|
|Starting RB2||Devin Singletary||vs New York Jets||RB11|
|Starting RB2||Elijah Mitchell*||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB12|
|Starting RB2||Darrel Williams||vs Denver Broncos||RB13|
|Starting RB2||D’Onta Foreman||vs Houston Texans||RB14|
|Starting RB2||Javonte Williams||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB15|
|Starting RB2||Sony Michel||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB16|
|Starting RB2||Rashaad Penny||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB17|
|Low RB2||D’Andre Swift||vs Green Bay Packers||RB18|
|Low RB2||Saquon Barkley||vs Washington Football Team||RB19|
|Low RB2||Samaje Perine||vs Cleveland Browns||RB20|
|Low RB2||Chase Edmonds*||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB21|
|Flex||Damien Harris*||vs Miami Dolphins||RB22|
|Flex||Michael Carter||vs Buffalo Bills||RB23|
|Flex||James Conner*||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB24|
|Flex||Devonta Freeman||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB25|
|Flex||Dare Ogunbowale||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB26|
|Flex||Ronald Jones*||vs Carolina Panthers||RB27|
|Flex||Melvin Gordon||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB28|
|Flex||Aaron Jones*||vs Detroit Lions||RB29|
|Flex||Boston Scott*||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB30|
|Deep League Flex||Tony Pollard||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB31|
|Deep League Flex||Cordarrelle Patterson||vs New Orleans Saints||RB32|
|Deep League Flex||A.J. Dillon||vs Detroit Lions||RB33|
|Deep League Flex||Devontae Booker||vs Washington Football Team||RB34|
|Deep League Flex||Duke Johnson Jr.||vs New England Patriots||RB35|
|Deep League Flex||Justin Jackson||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB36|
|Deep League Flex||Kareem Hunt*||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB37|
|Deep League Flex||Rhamondre Stevenson||vs Miami Dolphins||RB38|
|Deep League Flex||Jamaal Williams||vs Green Bay Packers||RB39|
|Deep League Flex||Dontrell Hilliard||vs Houston Texans||RB40|
|Deep League Flex||Chuba Hubbard||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB41|
|Deep League Flex||Rex Burkhead||vs Tennessee Titans||RB42|
|Deep League Flex||Ke’Shawn Vaughn||vs Carolina Panthers||RB43|
|Leave on the Bench||Chris Evans||vs Cleveland Browns||RB44|
|Leave on the Bench||Ameer Abdullah||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB45|
|Leave on the Bench||Jordan Howard*||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB46|
|Leave on the Bench||Nyheim Himes||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB47|
|Leave on the Bench||Mike Davis||vs New Orleans Saints||RB48|
|Leave on the Bench||Latavius Murray||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB49|
|Leave on the Bench||Brandon Bolden||vs Miami Dolphins||RB50|
|Leave on the Bench||Zack Moss||vs New York Jets||RB51|
|Leave on the Bench||Derrick Gore||vs Denver Broncos||RB52|
|Leave on the Bench||Jaret Patterson||vs New York Giants||RB53|
|Leave on the Bench||Cam Akers*||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB54|
|Leave on the Bench||Myles Gaskin||vs New England Patriots||RB55|
|Leave on the Bench||Jeremy McNichols||vs Houston Texans||RB56|
|Leave on the Bench||Mark Ingram*||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB57|
|Leave on the Bench||Alexander Mattison||vs Chicago Bears||RB58|
|Leave on the Bench||Le’Veon Bell||vs Carolina Panthers||RB59|
|Leave on the Bench||Kyle Juszczyk||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB60|
|Leave on the Bench||Craig Reynolds||vs Green Bay Packers||RB61|
|Leave on the Bench||Tevin Coleman||vs Buffalo Bills||RB62|
|Leave on the Bench||Peyton Barber||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB63|
|Leave on the Bench||David Johnson||vs Tennessee Titans||RB64|
|Leave on the Bench||Kenneth Gainwell||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB65|
|Leave on the Bench||Phillip Lindsay||vs New England Patriots||RB66|
|Leave on the Bench||DeeJay Dallas||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB67|
|Leave on the Bench||Jeff Wilson Jr.||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB68|
|Leave on the Bench||Austin Walter||vs Buffalo Bills||RB69|
Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday
RB7 Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs was limited in practice Thursday with a rib injury. If Jacobs was to miss this weekend’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers then Peyton Barber would move up to RB20 between Samaje Perine and Chase Edmonds.
RB8 Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team
Antonio Gibson missed last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles because he was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. He has also dealt with a hip injury that caused him to be limited in practice Thursday. If he doesn’t play this week against the New York Giants then Jaret Patterson would then move up to RB22 between Damien Harris and Michael Carter.
Cleveland Browns Running Backs: RB10 Nick Chubb & RB37 Kareem Hunt
Nick Chubb was limited in practice Thursday with both a chest injury and an injury to his ribs. Kareem Hunt last week’s game because of an ankle injury. He missed the game before that because he was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list If both Chubb and Hunt were to miss this week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals then D’Ernest Johnson would become the RB19 between Saquon Barkley and Samaje Perine.
If Chubb was to miss this week’s game and Hunt was to be active then Kareem Hunt would become the RB11 between Devin Singletary and Elijah Mitchell. D’Ernest Johnson would then join the list at RB45 between Ameer Abdullah and Jordan Howard.
If Hunt is to miss this week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals then Nick Chubb would retain his ranking and D’Ernest Johnson would join the list at RB45 between Ameer Abdullah and Jordan Howard.
RB12 Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
Elijah Mitchell was limited Thursday with a knee injury. Even though Mitchell made his return last week the knee injury is still bothering him. If Mitchell was to miss this week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams then Jeff Wilson Jr. would move up to RB20 between Samaje Perine and Chase Edmonds.
Arizona Cardinals Running Backs: RB21 Chase Edmonds & RB24 James Conner
James Conner the past two games against the Indianapolis Colts with a heel injury. Now Chase Edmond missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with both a rib and toe injury. Conner was limited in practice Thursday with his heel injury. If both were to miss this week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks then Eno Benjamin would become the RB30 between Tony Pollard and Cordarrelle Patterson.
But if Conner was to miss this week’s game and Chase Edmonds was to play then Edmonds would move up to RB12 between Devin Singletary and Elijah Mitchell.
If Edmonds was to miss this week’s game and James Conner was to play then Conner would move up to RB9 between Antonio Gibson and Ezekiel Elliott.
RB27 Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ronald Jones missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with an ankle injury. If he doesn’t play this week against the Carolina Panthers then Ke’Shawn Vaughn would move up to RB30 between Boston Scott and Tony Pollard. Le’Veon Bell would move up to RB54 between Cam Akers and Myles Gaskin.
RB29 Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Jones was limited in practice Thursday with a knee injury. Green Bay will likely rest their starters during this game but could opt to make Jones inactive. If he was to be inactive then A.J. Dillon would move up to RB29 where Jones occupies and the next man up for the Packers would be Patrick Taylor who shold be nothing more than a DFS play this week.
Philadelphia Eagles Running Backs: RB30 Boston Scott RB46 Jordan Howard
Miles Sanders has already been ruled out this week because of his hand injury. Both Boston Scott and Jordan Howard were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. If both Howard and Scott were to miss this week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys then Kenneth Gainwell would move up to RB26 between Devonta Smith and Dare Ogunbowale.
If Scott were to miss this week’s game and Howard was to be active then Jordan Howard would move up to RB30 where Scott currently slots in.
If Howard was to miss this week’s game and Scott was to be active then Boston Scott would move up to RB26 between Devonta Smith and Dare Ogunbowale.
RB54 Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams
Now that Darrell Henderson has been placed on Injured Reserve Cam Akers has the opportunity to return this week from his Achilles tear. It would be bold to play Akers this week considering this is his first action since the Summer and he will likely be on a pitch count. If the Rams were to hold Akers out this week against the San Francisco 49ers then Jake Funk would slot in at RB66 between Phillip Lindsay and DeeJay Dallas.
RB57 Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
Mark Ingram missed last week’s game with a knee injury. He missed practice Thursday because of that injury after being limited in practice Wednesday. If Ingram misses this week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons then Tony Jones Jr. and Ty Montgomery would split his snaps behind Alvin Kamara.