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Matt Wispe | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Running Backs
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 9
QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks: Chicago, Cleveland, LA Chargers, Minnesota, New England, Pittsburgh

With Le'Veon Bell, Jordan Howard, Melvin Gordon, Jerick McKinnon, Duke Johnson, and the New England RB crowd all on bye, owners may have to get creative with RB starts in Week 9 and previously less trustworthy backs will be started as RB1s. Let's take a look at some of the best plays for the week and a few to leave out of your starting lineup.

Aaron Jones

Touches for Aaron Jones his last 3 games: 20-14-20. Expect a run-heavy approach against Detroit.

Grab a Helmet

Aaron Jones vs. Detroit: Aaron Jones is the 10th highest scoring RB in standard scoring on a per game basis. And Jones is the beneficiary of two things that make him a quality start in week 9. First, the Detroit Lions rank seventh in points allowed to opposing RBs. Four running backs have scored more than 10 points against the Lions in seven games. And secondly, Jones appears to be benefitting from a change in offensive philosophy in Green Bay. In their Week 7 game against New Orleans, the Packers attempted only 25 passes for 88 yards. Based on the success of Brett Hundley in his two appearances, it appears unlikely that he’ll be given the opportunity to lead a pass-first offense. And with Ty Montgomery’s value largely tied to his receiving usage, Jones is the back to play until further notice.

Mark Ingram vs. Tampa Bay: Has any running back benefited more from a trade more than Mark Ingram? Probably, but he’s sure seen an increase in his guaranteed usage. In the three games since Adrian Peterson was traded, Ingram has received at least 24 touches and has scored at least 15 fantasy points. Currently, Ingram is 12th in fantasy points per game among RBs and now plays the Tampa Bay defense. Tampa ranks 11th in points per game allowed to running backs and has allowed more than 20 points on three occasions this season (Dalvin Cook, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy). Ingram is more than a borderline RB1 and should be started like a top 5 play.

Lamar Miller vs. Indianapolis: The biggest argument in favor of Miller is projected game script. At 2-6, Indianapolis is expected to be trailing for the majority of this game which should favor the RB of the leading team. Additionally, the Colts defense allows the third most points to opposing running backs, including 8 double-digit performances. Indianapolis has allowed 10 total touchdowns to opposing RBs. If Miller can continue that level of success, he’ll likely be a low-end RB1. And if you’re desperately in need of a flex, D’Onta Foreman has received over ten carries in three games. If this game gets out of hand early, Foreman or Alfred Blue could see carries in the second half which would give them enough volume to be fantasy relevant. Blue played as the backup to Miller last week, so keep an eye on reports out of Houston to confirm who might see action in mop up time.

Grab a Gatorade

LeGarrette Blount vs. Denver: This might seem like a slightly obvious decision to sit, but there are plenty of rosters still relying on Blount as a RB2, especially with five top 24 RBs on bye. Blount is the RB26 with 8.6 points per game in standard scoring, but there are two definitive reasons to leave Blount out of your starting lineup, this week. First, he plays the Broncos defense which allows the fewest points to RBs on a per game basis. Denver hasn’t allowed a rushing RB touchdown this season and has only allowed two receiving touchdowns to the position. To make matters worse, the Eagles acquired Jay Ajayi and now there’s no clarity on the workload for either back. Stay away from the Eagles RBs in Week 9 for the benefit of your roster.

Frank Gore @ Houston: Despite being the RB19 in standard scoring, I’m not buying into Frank Gore as a viable weekly start. Gore has scored at least ten points in three of his eight games and has only exceeded 15 carries in two games. With the emergence of Marlon Mack as a viable second option in the Indianapolis backfield, Gore’s workload isn’t as consistent as we’ve grown accustomed to during his run with the Colts. In Week 9, he’s also tasked with playing the defense allowing the fourth fewest points to opposing RBs in a game where he’ll likely also be in a negative game script. If you have better options, bench Gore.

Bilal Powell vs. Buffalo: Powell ranks 26th in total fantasy points and 27th in points per game among RBs. It’s largely his inconsistent usage that has turned him into a middling flex asset. Powell has only exceeded 10 carries in three of the team’s seven games and during his Week 1 matchup with Buffalo, he only managed 3.9 fantasy points. Powell is a risky flex play, at best.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers