Erik Smith’s RB Rankings
- Let’s go through the jumbled backfields this week, starting in Pittsburgh. Najee Harris looks set to miss the week, but Jaylen Warren returns just in time to squash any potential upside for Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr. The two backups started to mix in last week with Warren out, even before Harris left with an injury, and both looked solid in their opportunities. Expect a three-way split if Harris is out, but I would expect Warren to have some desperation RB2 value this week against a Falcons team giving up the 10th most points to opposing running backs.
- Michael Carter did not practice on Wednesday for the Jets with a low ankle sprain, and I am currently expecting him to sit out at least this week. Zonovan Knight led the backfield in snaps last week with 47%, and impressed head coach Robert Saleh in the process. He will fight with Ty Johnson and potentially James Robinson for carries, though Robinson was a healthy inactive last week. Knight can be started as a low-end RB2 this week, as the Jets’ solid defense should keep them within striking distance in Minnesota.
- Christian McCaffrey did not practice on Wednesday a knee issue, we will have to see how serious it is as the week progresses. With Elijah Mitchell out for 6-8 weeks, this backfield is suddenly wide open, and any missed time for CMC would open up a massive opportunity in a good offense. The backups are worth a spot on your roster just to see how McCaffrey’s health plays out. Jordan Mason filled in last week, but he is a special teams player that has taken snaps after in-game injuries before, only to get leap-frogged the next week. Tyrion Davis-Price looks like the highest upside stash in this backfield, over Mason and the ever-lurking Tevin Coleman. Keep an eye on this situation.
Green=Strong Starter, Yellow=Solid Starter, Red=Look for Better Options