- Well, Christian McCaffrey is back. CMC has played in just six games due to injury this year, and in two of those games he played less than 50% of the snaps, so let’s throw those games out. In his four games with a heavy workload in 2021, McCaffrey has finished as the RB1, RB3, RB4, and RB3 in PPR leagues. Over the past two weeks, he’s caught a combined 17 of 18 targets for 126 yards, and he’s posted these impressive numbers despite scoring just two touchdowns on the year. And the cherry on top is that CMC played a season-high 90% of the offensive snaps last week, back to his old bell cow usage. Let’s try to get some normalcy back into this crazy 2021 season by putting McCaffrey on the cover of The List and ranking him as out RB1, right where he belongs.
- Ezekiel Elliott has played 70% or less of the offensive snaps in each of the past three weeks after topping it in all but one of the first eight weeks and faces a short week coming off of a minor injury against KC on Sunday. He’s still a solid play due to the matchup and touchdown potential, but lower expectations just a bit this week. Tony Pollard looks set for a 35-45% snap share if this plays out the way we think it could, making him a decent desperation RB2 in an exploitable matchup. The Raiders have given up the ninth-most PPR points to running backs on the year, and just got worn down last week by Joe Mixon and the Bengals. On a short week, I would expect Dallas to be able to do the same, especially if Tyron Smith returns at left tackle.
- With Michael Carter out for the foreseeable future, Ty Johnson is an intriguing RB2/Flex with upside, as he faces a Texans team allowing the tenth-most PPR points to running backs. Tevin Coleman is probably going to annoyingly eat into his work, but Johnson has so much more juice than Coleman and is the preferred passing game option. If the Jets fall behind on the road, Johnson may actually be in a better spot, and he’s shown flashes of relevance even while sharing the work with the superior Carter.
- With Jordan Howard set to miss this week and potentially more, Boston Scott could be worth a start for running back desperate teams. With Howard playing just 13 snaps last week, Miles Sanders took 46% of the snaps while Scott grabbed 37%. Kenneth Gainwell will likely be active replacing Howard, but the Eagles have stopped throwing to their running backs which fits Gainwell’s game, so he may not be much of a factor. Sanders had a bad fumble last week, and if he finds himself in the doghouse this week, Scott would stand to benefit. Scott isn’t an exciting option by any means, but he’s hit ten PPR points in three of the past five games, and Howard’s absence is a significant change.
Green=Strong Starter, Yellow=Solid Starter, Red=Look for Better Options