Erik Smith’s RB Rankings
- Jonathan Taylor was the RB2 overall in Week 1, and there was much rejoicing. Our safe 1.01 in fantasy drafts was here to lead us to glory. Unfortunately, Taylor hasn’t topped RB20 in a given week since, has battled an ankle injury along the way, and now faces the direst head coach/play-caller/QB situation in the entire league. The Colts may or may not be tanking, and coupled with questions surrounding Taylor’s health, it’s hard to envision that 1.01 upside any time soon. The Raiders have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to the running back position this year, but they have been relatively competent defending rushers on the ground. Much of the fantasy scoring has come through the air, and Taylor may struggle to find opportunities to catch the ball in this broken passing game. He’s my RB16 this week, even if healthy.
- Despite the hype that Rashaad White is coming for Leonard Fournette‘s job, this feels like more of the same in this Tampa Bay backfield. Fournette has seen his snaps fluctuate between 82% and 60% over the past four weeks, so last week’s 62% snap share doesn’t seem all that worrisome. White hasn’t exactly done much to force the coaching staff’s hand either, as he has the same Juke Rate as Fournette does, ranking 23rd among running backs across the league. And White has failed to have a single Breakaway Run (15+ yards) while Fournette has just two. This feels like a split backfield in a struggling offense, making White just a bench stash for the time being.
- Similarly with Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren, I’m not quite ready to hand over this backfield to the rookie. The fantasy community is getting hyped over some vague reports and some classic coach speak from Mike Tomlin, and Warren’s snap share has held steady in the 30% range over the past three weeks. Maybe Warren pushes this backfield towards a 50/50 split, but where does that get us on a struggling Pittsburgh offense with a poor offensive line and a rookie quarterback? Warren should be rostered for now as a handcuff with upside for more, but we probably aren’t looking at more than a middling RB2 even if things break right.
- In Jeff Wilson Jr.‘s first week with the Dolphins, he out-snapped Raheem Mostert 28-27, had an equal rush share to Mostert, out-targeted him 3-2, and both scored a touchdown. One would have to assume that Wilson can grow his role from here, and for this week both are RB2 options going against a Browns defense that has allowed 10 rushing touchdowns on the season. With so many struggling offenses this year, I’ll take my chances on either of these backs falling into the end zone after a long Tyreek Hill reception.
Green=Strong Starter, Yellow=Solid Starter, Red=Look for Better Options