The 2023-24 NFL season has begun which means fantasy football is back! Since every week is important it would be irresponsible to start a player with a rough matchup over a player with a more favorable one that is ranked or projected to perform similar to the original player. Here are fantasy football Week 3 running back rankings.
*Ratings are subject to change due to injury reports or possible move to the Injured Reserve 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 not be likely to carry a lineup that week, but has the ability to have a breakout game and is teetering between RB1 and RB2 territory.
Starting RB2- a player who should be started in most lineups and should reach their point projection. This player is started 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 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||Christian McCaffrey||vs New York Giants||RB1|
|Must Start||Austin Ekeler*||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB2|
|Starting RB1||Bijan Robinson||vs Detroit Lions||RB3|
|Starting RB1||Tony Pollard||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB4|
|Starting RB1||Derrick Henry||vs Cleveland Browns||RB5|
|Starting RB1||Travis Etienne Jr.*||vs Houston Texans||RB6|
|Starting RB1||Rhamondre Stevenson||vs New York Jets||RB7|
|High-End RB2||Josh Jacobs||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB8|
|High-End RB2||Kyren Williams||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB9|
|High-End RB2||Kenneth Walker III||vs Carolina Panthers||RB10|
|Starting RB2||Joe Mixon||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB11|
|Starting RB2||Aaron Jones*||vs New Orleans Saints||RB12|
|Starting RB2||Jahmyr Gibbs||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB13|
|Starting RB2||Isiah Pacheco||vs Chicago Bears||RB14|
|Starting RB2||Alexander Mattison||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB15|
|Starting RB2||Miles Sanders||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB16|
|Starting RB2||Raheem Mostert||vs Denver Broncos||RB17|
|Starting RB2||James Cook||vs Washington Commanders||RB18|
|Low RB2||Javonte Williams||vs Miami Dolphins||RB19|
|Low RB2||Brian Robinson Jr.||vs Buffalo Bills||RB20|
|Low RB2||Rachaad White||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB21|
|Flex||James Conner||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB22|
|Flex||Zack Moss||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB23|
|Flex||Jerome Ford||vs Tennessee Titans||RB24|
|Flex||Najee Harris||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB25|
|Flex||Dameon Pierce||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB26|
|Flex||Breece Hall||vs New England Patriots||RB27|
|Flex||Jaylen Warren||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB28|
|Deep League Flex||Tyler Allgeier||vs Detroit Lions||RB29|
|Deep League Flex||Khalil Herbert||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB30|
|Deep League Flex||Kenneth Gainwell*||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB31|
|Deep League Flex||Samaje Perine||vs Miami Dolphins||RB32|
|Deep League Flex||Craig Reynolds||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB33|
|Deep League Flex||D’Andre Swift||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB34|
|Deep League Flex||Dalvin Cook||vs New England Patriots||RB35|
|Deep League Flex||Rochon Johnson||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB36|
|Deep League Flex||Justice Hill||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB37|
|Deep League Flex||Matt Breida||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB38|
|Deep League Flex||Tony Jones Jr.||vs Green Bay Packers||RB39|
|Leave on the Bench||Gus Edwards||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB40|
|Leave on the Bench||Chuba Hubbard||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB41|
|Leave on the Bench||Kendre Miller||vs Green Bay Packers||RB42|
|Leave on the Bench||AJ Dillon||vs New Orleans Saints||RB43|
|Leave on the Bench||Jerick McKinnon||vs Chicago Bears||RB44|
|Leave on the Bench||Joshua Kelley||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB45|
|Leave on the Bench||Antonio Gibson||vs Buffalo Bills||RB46|
|Leave on the Bench||Salvon Ahmed||vs Denver Broncos||RB47|
|Leave on the Bench||Gary Brightwell||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB48|
|Leave on the Bench||Tyjae Spears*||vs Cleveland Browns||RB49|
|Leave on the Bench||Pierre Strong Jr.||vs Tennessee Titans||RB50|
|Leave on the Bench||Ezekiel Elliott||vs New York Jets||RB51|
|Leave on the Bench||Tank Bigsby||vs Houston Texans||RB52|
|Leave on the Bench||Devin Singletary||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB53|
|Leave on the Bench||Damien Harris||vs Washington Commanders||RB54|
|Leave on the Bench||Zach Charbonnet||vs Carolina Panthers||RB55|
|Leave on the Bench||Elijah Mitchell||vs New York Giants||RB56|
|Leave on the Bench||Ty Chandler||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB57|
|Leave on the Bench||Latavius Murray||vs Washington Commanders||RB58|
|Leave on the Bench||Eric Gray||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB59|
|Leave on the Bench||Devon Achane||vs Denver Broncos||RB60|
|Leave on the Bench||Kyle Juszczyk||vs New York Giants||RB61|
|Leave on the Bench||Rashaad Penny||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB62|
Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday
RB2 Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
Austin Ekeler last week’s game against the Tennessee Titans with an ankle injury. Brandon Staley told reporters that there is “no timeline” for his return from his ankle injury. If Ekeler misses Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings Joshua Kelley moves up to RB28 between Jaylen Warren and Tyler Allgeier.
RB6 Travis Etienne Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars
Travis Etienne Jr. dealt with cramps during last week’s game against Kansas City. This shouldn’t effect his status for next week. If Etienne Jr. was to miss Week 3 against the Houston Texans Tank Bigsby would move up to RB20 between Brian Robinson Jr. and Rachaad White.
RB12 Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Jones missed last week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons with a hamstring injury. It is unclear at this point if Jones will return to Green Bay’s offense this week. If Jones misses Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints A.J. Dillon moves up to RB23 between Zack Moss and Jerome Ford.
RB31 Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles
Kenneth Gainwell missed last week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings with a rib injury. After more than a week off, Gainwell could return this week. If Gainwell was to miss Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers D’Andre Swift moves up to RB20 between Brian Robinson Jr. and Rachaad White.
RB42 Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints
Kendre Miller missed the past two games hamstring injury. He is expected to have an expanded role next week since Alvin Kamara is suspended for one more game and Jamaal Williams is expected to miss time with an hamstring injury. If Miller was to miss Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers Tony Jones Jr. moves up to RB28 between Jaylen Warren and Tyler Allgeier.
RB47 Salvon Ahmed, Miami Dolphins
Salvon Ahmed suffered a groin injury last week against the New England Patriots. If Ahmed misses Week 3 against the Denver Broncos Devon Achane moves up to RB52 between Tank Bigsby and Devin Singletary.
Players that are currently not expected to play
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Saquon Barkley is expected to miss a few weeks with a sprained ankle. He hasn’t been ruled out officially. However on a short week Barkley is expected to sit out New York’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. When Barkley returns he should be inserted back into fantasy lineups.
David Montgomery, Detroit Lions
David Montgomery is officially listed as day-to-day with a thigh injury. He said that he expects to need “a couple of weeks” to recover. While Montgomery is out 2023 first round pick Jahmyr Gibbs and Craig Reynolds is expected to lead the Lions rushing attack.
Jamaal Williams, New Orleans Saints
Jamaal Williams is expected to miss multiple weeks with a hamstring injury suffered last week against the Carolina Panthers. New Orleans’ backfield is now extremely thin until Alvin Kamara returns from his suspension next week.
Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams
Shockingly Cam Akers was a healthy scratch before last week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. This feels like the end of Akers’ time with the Rams as he has become the center of trade talks. Ronnie Rivers is expected to backup Kyren Williams going forward.