Fantasy Football: Week 1 Running Back Rankings

By Alex Butler   |   Sept. 7, 2017 at 6:02 AM
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Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Ezekiel Elliott and Jay Ajayi have already provided some early season headaches as far as fantasy football is concerned. Elliott is ellgible to play in Week 1, despite a six-game suspension. Ajayi is out this week after the Miami Dolphins' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was postponed due to Hurricane Irma.

Luckily for you, there are plenty of other talented running backs available for your first game of the 2017 season.

TOP 30 WEEK 1 RANKINGS BELOW

TOP SHELF

You are already starting Le'Veon Bell, but you should have even more comfort in doing so this week against the Cleveland Browns. The Pittsburgh Steelers star is teed up for a humungous day against a defense that allowed the second-most fantasy points and yards to running backs in 2016.

Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard is another obvious must-start. Howard is my No. 6 running back for Week 1 with a matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. Last season, the Falcons allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

SNEAKY PLAYS

Rookie runner Christian McCaffrey has a welcoming early season slate and that starts with a matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. McCaffrey has the stage for an RB1 performance in Week 1 if you are feeling gutsy. Last year, the Niners allowed the most fantasy points and yards to opposing running backs.

Dalvin Cook in another rookie running back with a great opening week matchup. Cook's Minnesota Vikings host the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football at U.S. Bank Stadium. Expect plenty of work for the talented tail back against a defense that allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs in 2016. Cook will a big workload in this one as Minnesota tries to dictacte the game's pace while keeping Drew Brees off of the field.

LONGSHOTS

The New York Jets might not be loaded with playmakers, but Bilal Powell has a good enough matchup to warrant an RB2 start in Week 1. The Jets travel to New York to battle the Buffalo Bills. In 2016, the Bills allowed the third-most yards and fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

Starting LeGarrette Blount has plenty of risk in Week 1, but a great matchup could make that hesitance fade. Blount and the Philadelphia Eagles battle the Washington Redskins in a road NFC East matchup. In 2016, the Redskins allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Blount is a borderline RB2 in deeper leagues and a possible flex option.

Week 1 Running Back Rankings
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