Erik Smith’s RB Rankings
- David Montgomery is shockingly high in my rankings, coming in at RB10. I don’t love it, but Montgomery did play 81% of the snaps last week and has primarily been held back by a lack of offensive volume from the Bears. He’s still produced acceptable games against superior opponents in San Francisco and Green Bay, however, and finally gets a positive matchup at home against the Texans. Houston has given up the most rushing yards to opposing running backs on the season, and despite giving up just one touchdown to the position they have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs through two games. The usage and matchup makes Monty a clear start in a shockingly thin running back landscape.
- I remain encouraged by Miles Sanders and am actively looking to acquire him where I can. With a 53% snap share in one of the league’s hottest offenses, Sanders has been able to remain productive with excellent efficiency. This matchup against Washington looks to be yet another spot that the Eagles can take advantage of. Washington has allowed the fifth-most PPR points to running backs so far this year, and Philadelphia’s offensive line has flashed the talent that we all assumed they had coming into the season. This is just too good of a spot to overthink it with Sanders.
- Michael Carter vs. Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a lot closer than I anticipated, so I went to the Range of Outcomes Sit/Start Tool for help. Carter’s 60% snap share is the 15th highest among all running backs this year, with CEH coming in 41st with a 41% snap share. Sure, the blowout in the opener had a dampening effect on his numbers, but CEH has still been out-snapped by Jerick McKinnon on the season, while Carter has been able to hold off the rookie Breece Hall. Carter looks like a reliable PPR option with a 14% target share, and a matchup against the Bengals may continue the Jets’ pass-heavy ways. CEH is still a solid play but at some point, the usage may catch up to him, and a Colts defense allowing just 2.8 yards per carry could prove to be his first speed bump of the year. Our Sit/Start tool swayed me to chase the upside of Carter here.
- This looks like a playable spot for Dameon Pierce in Week 3, as the Texans face a Bears defense that has allowed the fourth-most rushing yardage in the league so far. Pierce bumped his snap share up to 62% last week, and while the threat of Rex Burkhead always looms (I wish this were a joke), the matchup is too good to ignore. Pierce has just a 3% target share on the season, capping his floor and ceiling in PPR leagues. But he’s got a good shot at a touchdown, and with so many poor running back situations across the league, Pierce is a totally acceptable back-end RB2 this week.
- Chase Edmonds is my cutoff, as he was surpassed by Raheem Mostert last week in a game in which the Dolphins trailed, a similar position to where they may find themselves against the Bills this week. I still have hope for Edmonds long-term, but this Bills defense has allowed the fifth-fewest PPR points to opposing running backs on the year, making this a matchup to avoid.
Green=Strong Starter, Yellow=Solid Starter, Red=Look for Better Options