If you didn't pick a running back in the first few rounds of your fantasy football draft, fear not. There are still plenty of running backs with great matchups to open the 2019 season. Try to find players who will be on the field for a lot of snaps and are highly-involved in their respective offenses when deciding on starting options for your lineup.
Here are some of my favorite players in this week's rankings.
TOP 30 WEEK 1 RANKINGS BELOW
Fournette is my No. 3 option at running back for Week 1. The Jacksonville Jaguars star will get a huge amount of work against the Kansas City Chiefs as his team tries to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field. Kansas City allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2018. Fournette should be in a much more balanced attack this season after the Jaguars signed quarterback Nick Foles. He should be in all lineups while healthy.
Kerryon Johnson is also an RB1 this week. He is also my No. 5 option for Week 1. I expect the Detroit Lions to feed Johnson early and often in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals, a unit that allowed the most fantasy points, rushing touchdowns and rushing yards to opposing running backs last season.
Cook is a mid-to-low range RB1 for me to open the season. I have the Minnesota Vikings ball-carrier ranked No. 8 in Week 1 as he faces the Atlanta Falcons in Minneapolis. The Falcons allowed the second-most receiving yards and sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs last season. I expect a very productive day for Cook in terms of total yards. He could score on the ground or through the air in this high-scoring matchup.
Ingram is my No. 10 option for Week 1, landing in low-end RB1 territory. I expect the Baltimore Ravens to demolish the Miami Dolphins to open the season and Ingram should get a ton of work once the Ravens build their lead. The Dolphins allowed the third-most rushing yards and fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs last season. Ingram should get more than 100 total yards and has a good chance to score in a lopsided victory for the Ravens.
With Melvin Gordon still holding out, Austin Ekeler is expected to lead the Los Angeles Chargers backfield in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts. Ekeler is a very dynamic running back and the Colts struggled mightily against pass-catching running backs in 2018, allowing a league-high 973 receiving yards to opposing running backs last season. The Colts were better in limiting rushing yards, but I expect Ekeler to have a huge day through the air. He lands at No. 18 in my Week 1 rankings, landing in RB2 territory. Ekeler is also an excellent flex option in Week 1.
While Chris Carson was drafted much earlier, don't forget about Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny. The second-year ball-carrier should also be on the winning end of a one-sided game in Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals. I expect the Seahawks to dominate on the ground with their two talented playmakers. The Bengals allowed the second-most fantasy points and fourth-most receiving yards to opposing running backs last season. I expect Penny to be highly-involved for the Seahawks in this matchup and he should put up at least 75 total yards. He is a low-end RB2 in deeper leagues and a flex option to open the season.
Week 1 fantasy football running back rankings
1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants at DAL
2. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. HOU
4. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers vs. LAR
5. Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions at ARI
6. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns vs. TEN
7. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks vs. CIN
8. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. ATL
9. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers at NE
14. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals at SEA
17. Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos at OAK
18. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers vs. IND
21. Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders vs. DEN
23. Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs at JAX
24. Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts at LAC
26. Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers vs. IND
27. Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks vs. CIN
28. Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints vs. HOU
29. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys vs. NYG
30. Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins vs. BAL