The 2021-22 NFL season has already been extremely entertaining. It has shown fantasy trends that have started to develop and show what could happen the rest of the season. Already some players have proven to be fantasy relevant while some fantasy stars have been alarmingly disappointing to this point. Injuries have started to mount up this season. 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 Week 3 fantasy football 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||Christian McCaffrey||vs Houston Texans||RB1|
|Must Start||Dalvin Cook*||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB2|
|Must Start||Derrick Henry||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB3|
|Starting RB1||Austin Ekeler||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB4|
|Starting RB1||Najee Harris||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB5|
|Starting RB1||Aaron Jones||vs San Fransisco 49ers||RB6|
|Starting RB1||Alvin Kamara||vs New England Patriots||RB7|
|Starting RB1||Nick Chubb||vs Chicago Bears||RB8|
|Starting RB1||Saquon Barkley||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB9|
|Starting RB1||Jonathan Taylor||vs Tennessee Titans||RB10|
|High-End RB2||Chris Carson||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB11|
|High-End RB2||Ezekiel Elliott||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB12|
|Starting RB2||Ty’Son Williams||vs Detriot Lions||RB13|
|Starting RB2||David Montgomery||vs Cleveland Browns||RB14|
|Starting RB2||Miles Sanders||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB15|
|Starting RB2||Antonio Gibson||vs Buffalo Bills||RB16|
|Low RB2||Chase Edmonds||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB17|
|Low RB2||D’Andre Swift||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB18|
|Low RB2||Elijah Mitchell*||vs Green Bay Packers||RB19|
|Low RB2||Mike Davis||vs New York Giants||RB20|
|Low RB2||Darrell Henderson*||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB21|
|Low RB2||Josh Jacobs*||vs Miami Dolphins||RB22|
|Flex||Melvin Gordon||vs New York Jets||RB23|
|Flex||Myles Gaskin||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB24|
|Flex||Joe Mixon||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB25|
|Flex||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB26|
|Flex||James White||vs New Orleans Saints||RB27|
|Deep League Flex||Devin Singletary||vs Washington Football Team||RB28|
|Deep League Flex||Javonte Williams||vs New York Jets||RB29|
|Deep League Flex||Kareem Hunt||vs Chicago Bears||RB30|
|Deep League Flex||Damien Harris||vs New Orleans Saints||RB31|
|Deep League Flex||James Robinson||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB32|
|Deep League Flex||Latavius Murray||vs Detriot Lions||RB33|
|Deep League Flex||Leonard Fournette||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB34|
|Deep League Flex||Tony Pollard||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB35|
|Deep League Flex||Jamaal Williams||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB36|
|Deep League Flex||Cordarrelle Patterson||vs New York Giants||RB37|
|Deep League Flex||Kenneth Gainwell||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB38|
|Deep League Flex||J.D. McKissic||vs Buffalo Bills||RB39|
|Deep League Flex||Nyheim Hines||vs Tennesee Titans||RB40|
|Deep League Flex||Kenyan Drake||vs Miami Dolphins||RB41|
|Deep League Flex||James Conner||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB42|
|Leave on the Bench||Mark Ingram||vs Carolina Panthers||RB43|
|Leave on the Bench||Ronald Jones II||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB44|
|Leave on the Bench||Michael Carter||vs Denver Broncos||RB45|
|Leave on the Bench||Zack Moss||vs Washington Football Team||RB46|
|Leave on the Bench||Marlon Mack||vs Tennessee Titans||RB47|
|Leave on the Bench||A.J. Dillon||vs San Fransisco 49ers||RB48|
|Leave on the Bench||David Johnson||vs Carolina Panthers||RB49|
|Leave on the Bench||Jeremy McNichols||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB50|
|Leave on the Bench||Darrel Williams||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB51|
|Leave on the Bench||Ty Johnson||vs Denver Broncos||RB52|
|Leave on the Bench||Phillip Lindsay||vs Carolina Panthers||RB53|
|Leave on the Bench||Sony Michel||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB54|
|Leave on the Bench||Trey Sermon*||vs Green Bay Packers||RB55|
|Leave on the Bench||Giovanni Bernard||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB56|
|Leave on the Bench||Alex Collins||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB57|
|Leave on the Bench||Damien Williams||vs Cleveland Browns||RB58|
|Leave on the Bench||Alexander Mattison||vs Seattle Seahawks||RB59|
|Leave on the Bench||Salvon Ahmed||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB60|
|Leave on the Bench||Larry Rountree III||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB61|
|Leave on the Bench||Carlos Hyde||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB62|
|Leave on the Bench||Chuba Hubbard||vs Houston Texans||RB63|
|Leave on the Bench||Jacques Patrick||vs Green Bay Packers||RB64|
|Leave on the Bench||Tony Jones Jr.||vs New England Patriots||RB65|
|Leave on the Bench||Tevin Coleman||vs Denver Broncos||RB66|
|Leave on the Bench||Samaje Perine||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB67|
|Leave on the Bench||Devontae Booker||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB68|
|Leave on the Bench||Kyle Juszczyk||vs Green Bay Packers||RB69|
|Leave on the Bench||Malcolm Brown||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB70|
|Leave on the Bench||Demetric Felton||vs Chicago Bears||RB71|
|Leave on the Bench||Peyton Barber||vs Miami Dolphins||RB72|
|Leave on the Bench||Jake Funk||vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers||RB73|
|Leave on the Bench||Rhamondre Stevenson||vs New Orleans Saints||RB74|
Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday
RB2 Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook sprained his ankle last week against the Arizona Cardinals. Despite this injury, the Vikings decided to play Cook as much as he can to try to win that game. Mike Zimmer said that due to the importance of this game he won’t reduce Cook’s workload as long as he is active. He missed practice both Wednesday and Thursday. If Cook does not play Alexander Mattison becomes a running back to play in a great matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Mattison would be the RB19 between Elijah Mitchell and Mike Davis.
RB19 Elijah Mitchell, San Fransisco 49ers
Last week was brutal for the San Fransisco 49ers running back group. Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon, and JaMychal Hasty all suffered injuries against the Eagles. Mitchell suffered a shoulder stinger that allowed him to get back into the game once Sermon and Hasty left. He is considered day to day and the 49ers have faith that he should be ready to go for Sunday. If Mitchell isn’t ready, Trey Sermon figured to be the starter and would be the RB24 between Myles Gaskin and Joe Mixon. If Sermon cannot play the 49ers signed Jacques Patrick off the Bengals practice squad. Patrick would bump up to RB33 between Latavius Murray and Leonard Fournette.
RB21 Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams
Rams running back Darrell Henderson has dominated the running back snaps this season despite Sony Michel being traded to the team. Last week against Indianapolis Henderson suffered a rib cartilage injury. He is not likely going to practice until Friday and may not play this weekend. Sony Michel would be the Rams starting running back if Henderson cannot play against the Buccaneers. Michel would be RB30 between Kareem Hunt and Damien Harris. Also, Jake Funk boosts up to RB56 between Giovanni Bernard and Alex Collins.
RB22 Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs missed the Raiders game last week due to a toe and ankle issue. Jon Gruden called Jacobs “very questionable” for their game against the Miami Dolphins. If Jacobs misses a second straight game Kenyan Drake moves up to RB33 between James Robinson and Latavius Murray. Also, Peyton Barber would bump up to RB42 between James Conner and Mark Ingram.
RB55 Trey Sermon, San Fransisco 49ers
On his first NFL carry 49ers’ third-round pick Trey Sermon suffered a concussion on an awkward scary landing. He could very well miss this weekend’s game the 49ers have prepared for that by bringing in multiple veteran backs to their practice squad. San Fransisco’s practice squad features notable veterans like Kerryon Johnson and Chris Thompson. They also worked out Lamar Miller and T.J. Yeldon. After Elijah Mitchell, Trenton Cannon, and newly-signed running back Jacques Patrick are the next running backs on the depth chart. If Mitchell is active and Sermon is not Patrick would jump up to RB61 between Salvon Ahmed and Larry Rountree III.