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Harris, Ekeler lead Week 9 fantasy football running back rankings

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Harris, Ekeler lead Week 9 fantasy football running back rankings
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris is my No. 1 fantasy football option for Week 9. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Najee Harris, Austin Ekeler, Darrell Henderson, Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliott top my Week 9 fantasy football running back rankings for 2021.

Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon, Aaron Jones, Nick Chubb and Elijah Mitchell round out my Top 10 options for Week 9.

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Myles Gaskin and Boston Scott are two other running backs to consider for your weekly lineup if you are in a league that features at least 14 teams.

D'Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams, Leonard Fournette, Chris Carson, Alex Collins and Antonio Gibson are among the players who should not be in starting lineups, as the Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Football Team get Week 9 byes.

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Plenty of other running backs with great matchups this week are available aside from the elite names. Try to find a player who will get a lot of carries, targets in the passing game or goal line work and has a good Week 9 matchup.

TOP SHELF

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Najee Harris is my No. 1 running back for Week 9. Harris scored a touchdown in three of his last four games. He also totaled at least 100 yards from scrimmage in four of his last five appearances.

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This week, the Steelers battle the Chicago Bears. The Bears allowed the third-most rushing yards to running backs through eight games. Look for the Steelers to give Harris at least 30 touches in this matchup. He is a near lock for 120 yards from scrimmage and a score.

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is my No. 2 option for Week 9. Ekeler is averaging the most fantasy points per game among active running backs, due to Derrick Henry's recent injury.

The Chargers star totaled at least 100 yards from scrimmage in five of his last six games. He also scored in four of his last five appearances.

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The Chargers face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Philadelphia. The Eagles tied for allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs through eight games.

I expect Ekeler to score and total at least 100 yards from scrimmage.

SNEAKY PLAYS

Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin remains an inconsistent fantasy football option, but I like him as an RB2 streamer in Week 9. Gaskin, my No. 12 option, faces the Houston Texans on Sunday in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The Texans allowed a league-high 1,034 rushing yards and tied the Eagles for allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs through eight games.

Gaskin totaled just 55 yards from scrimmage on 15 touches in Week 8, but should rebound with at least 80 yards and a score in Week 9.

LONGSHOTS

Boston Scott surprised some fantasy football players with a two-touchdown performance in Week 8 for the Philadelphia Eagles. He can be used as a low-end RB2 or flex play in Week 9, when the Eagles battle the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Chargers allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs through seven games. They also just allowed 80 yards and a score to New England Patriots running back Damien Harris in Week 8. I expect the Eagles to split carries, but give Scott a great chance to score again Sunday in Philadelphia.

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Scott is my No. 16 option.

Veteran running back Adrian Peterson is a low-floor, high-risk option in Week 9. Peterson joined the Tennessee Titans earlier this week as a depth option due to an injury to star running back Derrick Henry.

He will likely split carries with Jeremy McNichols in Week 9, but I like his odds to score a touchdown and receive between 10 and 15 carries.

Peterson is my No. 23 option, but should only be in your lineup if you are in a league with at least 14 teams and are desperate for production at the running back position.

The Titans face the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Los Angeles. The Rams will likely focus on stopping the Titans pass catchers instead of the now-limited rushing attack. That should give Peterson and McNichols room to run for modest gains.

Week 9 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. CHI

2. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at PHI

3. Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams vs. TEN

4. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings at BAL

5. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. DEN

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6. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. ATL

7. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. CLE

8. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at KC

9. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at CIN

10. Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers vs. ARI

11. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders at NYG

12. Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins vs. HOU

13. Devontae Booker, New York Giants vs. LVR

14. James Conner, Arizona Cardinals at SF

15. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

16. Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles vs. LAC

17. Damien Harris, New England Patriots at CAR

18. Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons at NO

19. Damien Harris, New England Patriots at CAR

20. Zach Moss, Buffalo Bills at JAX

21. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos at DAL

22. Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears at PIT

23. Adrian Peterson, Tennessee Titans at LAR

24. Devonta Freeman, Baltimore Ravens vs. MIN

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25. Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. BUF

26. David Johnson, Houston Texans at MIA

27. A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers at KC

28. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints vs. ATL

29. Kenyan Drake, Las Vegas Raiders at NYG

30. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys vs. DEN

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