The 2021-22 NFL season is at its halfway point. Bye weeks have been taking place the past few weeks. This means that running backs like Leonard Fournette and D’Andre Swift will be out this week. On top of that injuries have started to mount up at this point of the 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 Fantasy Football Week 9 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 New England Patriots||RB1|
|Must Start||Jonathan Taylor||vs New York Jets||RB2|
|Must Start||Najee Harris||vs Chicago Bears||RB3|
|Must Start||Austin Ekeler||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB4|
|Starting RB1||Alvin Kamara||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB5|
|Starting RB1||Dalvin Cook||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB6|
|Starting RB1||Aaron Jones||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB7|
|Starting RB1||Saquon Barkley*||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB8|
|High-End RB2||Joe Mixon||vs Cleveland Browns||RB9|
|High-End RB2||Ezekiel Elliott||vs Denver Broncos||RB10|
|Starting RB2||Darrell Henderson||vs Tennessee Titans||RB11|
|Starting RB2||Nick Chubb||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB12|
|Starting RB2||Michael Carter||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB13|
|Starting RB2||Josh Jacobs*||vs New York Giants||RB14|
|Low RB2||Zack Moss||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB15|
|Low RB2||Cordarrelle Patterson||vs New Orleans Saints||RB16|
|Low RB2||James Robinson*||vs Buffalo Bills||RB17|
|Low RB2||Myles Gaskin||vs Houston Texans||RB18|
|Low RB2||Khalil Herbert||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB19|
|Low RB2||Boston Scott||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB20|
|Flex||Melvin Gordon||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB21|
|Flex||Chase Edmonds*||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB22|
|Flex||Clyde Edwards-Helaire*||vs Green Bay Packers||RB23|
|Flex||Kenyan Drake||vs New York Giants||RB24|
|Flex||Jeremy McNichols||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB25|
|Flex||Elijah Mitchell*||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB26|
|Flex||Kenneth Gainwell||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB27|
|Flex||Ty Johnson||vs Indianapolis Colts||RB28|
|Flex||Damien Harris||vs Carolina Panthers||RB29|
|Deep League Flex||D’Enrest Johnson||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB30|
|Deep League Flex||Javonte Williams||vs Dallas Cowboys||RB31|
|Deep League Flex||James Conner||vs San Francisco 49ers||RB32|
|Deep League Flex||Darrel Williams||vs Green Bay Packers||RB33|
|Deep League Flex||Adrian Peterson||vs Los Angeles Rams||RB34|
|Deep League Flex||David Johnson||vs Miami Dolphins||RB35|
|Deep League Flex||A.J. Dillon||vs Kansas City Chiefs||RB36|
|Deep League Flex||Latavius Murray*||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB37|
|Deep League Flex||Mark Ingram||vs Atlanta Falcons||RB38|
|Leave on the Bench||Nyheim Hines||vs New York Jets||RB39|
|Leave on the Bench||Mike Davis||vs New Orleans Saints||RB40|
|Leave on the Bench||Tony Pollard||vs Denver Broncos||RB41|
|Leave on the Bench||Devin Singletary||vs Jacksonville Jaguars||RB42|
|Leave on the Bench||Rex Burkhead||vs Miami Dolphins||RB43|
|Leave on the Bench||Brandon Bolden||vs Carolina Panthers||RB44|
|Leave on the Bench||Salvon Ahmed||vs Houston Texans||RB45|
|Leave on the Bench||JaMychal Hasty||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB46|
|Leave on the Bench||Devonta Freeman||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB47|
|Leave on the Bench||Jordan Howard||vs Los Angeles Chargers||RB48|
|Leave on the Bench||Sony Michel||vs Tennessee Titans||RB49|
|Leave on the Bench||Phillip Lindsay||vs Miami Dolphins||RB50|
|Leave on the Bench||Le’Veon Bell||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB51|
|Leave on the Bench||Samaje Perine||vs Cleveland Browns||RB52|
|Leave on the Bench||Alexander Mattison||vs Baltimore Ravens||RB53|
|Leave on the Bench||Devontae Booker||vs Las Vegas Raiders||RB54|
|Leave on the Bench||Damien Williams||vs Pittsburgh Steelers||RB55|
|Leave on the Bench||Marlon Mack||vs New York Jets||RB56|
|Leave on the Bench||Rhamondre Stevenson||vs Carolina Panthers||RB57|
|Leave on the Bench||Carlos Hyde||vs Buffalo Bills||RB58|
|Leave on the Bench||Kyle Juszczyk||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB59|
|Leave on the Bench||Chuba Hubbard||vs New England Patriots||RB60|
|Leave on the Bench||Larry Rountree III||vs Philadelphia Eagles||RB61|
|Leave on the Bench||Demetric Felton||vs Cincinnati Bengals||RB62|
|Leave on the Bench||Jalen Richard||vs New York Giants||RB63|
|Leave on the Bench||Chris Evans||vs Cleveland Browns||RB64|
|Leave on the Bench||Derrick Gore||vs Green Bay Packers||RB65|
|Leave on the Bench||J.J. Taylor||vs Carolina Panthers||RB66|
|Leave on the Bench||Ty’Son Williams||vs Minnesota Vikings||RB67|
|Leave on the Bench||Trey Sermon||vs Arizona Cardinals||RB68|
Possible Changes that can occur before Sunday
RB1 Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is eligible to come off IR this week after dealing with a hamstring injury. However, if McCaffrey is not activated then Chuba Hubbard would move up to RB18 between Myles Gaskin and Khalil Herbert.
RB8 Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Saquon Barkley missed games the past three weeks after spraining his ankle against the Dallas Cowboys. On top of that Barkley did miss practice Wednesday due to Covid-19. However, he did test negative that same day but was added to the reserve/COVID-19 list. The Giants haven’t been clear on when they expect Barkley to return if he remains negative. If he doesn’t return this week Devonte Booker moves up to RB14 between Josh Jacobs and Zack Moss.
RB14 Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Before the bye week, Josh Jacobs had left the game against the Philadelphia Eagles with a chest contusion. He had a week to rest and is expected to play. However, if Jacobs cannot play Kenyan Drake would slot in at RB16 between Cordarrelle Patterson and James Robinson. Jalen Richard would move up to RB53 between Samaje Perine and Alexander Mattison. If activated Peyton Barber would slot in at RB60 between Kyle Juszczyk and Chuba Hubbard.
RB17 James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
James Robinson suffered a bruised heal last week against the Seattle Seahawks. His status is uncertain for this weekend against the Buffalo Bills. If Robinson was unable to play then Carlos Hyde would move up to RB26 between Elijah Mitchell and Kenneth Gainwell.
RB22 Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals
Chase Edmonds suffered a shoulder injury during last Thursday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. If Edmonds was to miss this game then James Conner would boost up to RB23 between Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Kenyan Drake.
RB23 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
Clyde Edwards-Helaire could be activated off of IR this week. However, if he doesn’t suit up against the Green Bay Packers then Darrel Williams will jump up to RB18 between James Robinson and Myles Gaskin. Derrick Gore would move up to RB39 between Mark Ingram and Nyheim Hines.
RB26 Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
Elijah Mitchell sustained a rib issue last week against the Chicago Bears. It is unclear if he will be able to play this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals. If Mitchell is out it will likely be a committee made up of JaMychal Hasty, Kyle Juszczyk, and Trey Sermon. Hasty would move up to RB29 between Damien Harris and D’Ernest Johnson.
RB37 Latavius Murray, Baltimore Ravens
Latavius Murray missed Week 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals because of an ankle injury. After the bye last week it is unclear whether he will return or not this week against the Minnesota Vikings. If Murray does not return this week Devonta Freeman will move up to RB38 between Mark Ingram and Nyheim Hines. Le’Veon Bell would move up to RB49 between Sony Michel and Phillip Lindsay. If activated Ty’Son Willians would move up to RB61 between Chuba Hubbard and Larry Rountree.
RB55 Damien Williams, Chicago Bears
Damien Williams left last week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers with a knee injury. It is unclear if Williams will play this week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Williams does not play this will solidify Herbert’s status as RB19.
RB64 Chris Evans, Cincinnati Bengals
Chris Evans missed the last two weeks with a hamstring injury. If he was to miss this week Samaje Perine would retain his slot at RB52 and Trayveon Williams would be the most likely candidate to take his reps.