Fantasy football: Five running backs to avoid in Week 7

Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins is outside the Top 30 in my Week 7 rankings. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI
1 of 6 | Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins is outside the Top 30 in my Week 7 rankings. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 19 (UPI) -- David Montgomery and J.K. Dobbins are among my five running backs to avoid for Week 7 of the fantasy football season. Derrick Henry leads my Top 30 weekly rankings for the position.

Christian McCaffrey, Jamaal Williams and A.J. Dillon are among the other players I would lower my expectations for or try to keep out of my lineup.


Week 6 performance, opportunity, strength of Week 7 opponents and expected game script are among the factors I considered when determining the players to avoid. My full Top 30 rankings are below.

Dalvin Cook, Miles Sanders, Darrell Henderson Jr. and Devin Singletary are among the players who should be benched as the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills serve Week 7 byes.

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will get a tough Week 7 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI

Christian McCaffrey

McCaffrey likely will have to stay in your lineup, but I don't forecast a great Week 7 from the Carolina Panthers running back. McCaffrey lands at No. 15 in my rankings. Look for the Panthers star to provide RB2 level production due to his tough matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs through six weeks. They also allowed just 65 receiving yards to the position, the fewest in the league. The latter statistic is concerning for McCaffrey, who provided more value as a pass catcher than as a runner in recent weeks.

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (pictured) will compete with teammate Khalil Herbert for carries in Week 7. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI

David Montgomery

Montgomery ranks outside the Top 30 among running backs in fantasy points per game this season. He eclipsed 67 rushing yards in just one game so far this season.

This week, Montgomery and the Chicago Bears will battle the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots just held Cleveland Browns running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to a total of 68 rushing yards in Week 6. They also allowed the third-fewest fantasy points and did not allow a score to the position through their first six games.


Bears coach Matt Eberflus also told reporters Tuesday that the team plans to give more opportunities to the "hot hand," when asked about the workload split between Montgomery and second-string running back Khalil Herbert. Herbert's emergence should hinder Montgomery's fantasy football stock for the rest of the season.

Montgomery is my No. 27 option and can still be used, but only as a low-end RB2 or flex play in Week 7.

Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams (30) is a low-end fantasy football RB2 or flex play this week. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI

Jamaal Williams

Williams is my No. 28 option for Week 7 and is another running back who should only be plugged in as a low-end RB2 or flex play. The Detroit Lions veteran scored six times through his first four games, but failed to eclipse 56 yards and didn't find the end zone in Week 5.

The Lions, who were on bye in Week 6, will face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys tied for allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs through six weeks.

Lions starter D'Andre Swift, who missed the last two games due to injury, also returned to practice Monday. His potential return to the backfield will make Williams a pure touchdown-or-bust play in what I expect to be a Cowboys blowout victory.

Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins (L) is not in my Top 30 fantasy football positional rankings for Week 7. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI

J.K. Dobbins

Dobbins is not inside the Top 30 of my Week 7 running back rankings. The Baltimore Ravens running back received just seven carries and gained 15 yards in Week 6. He also failed to eclipse 44 rushing yards in his three previous appearances.

The Ravens turned to Kenyan Drake last week. Drake responded with 119 yards and a score on 10 carries in a loss to the New York Giants. Drake's emergence, paired with a decreased workload make Dobbins an unreliable play going forward.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh also said Dobbins' knee "tightened up" in Week 6, which could lead to another small workload.

Look for Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and Drake to do the most damage on the ground against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in Baltimore.

Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon is a risky fantasy football RB2 or flex play going forward. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI

A.J. Dillon

The Green Bay Packers roster two of the most talented running backs in the NFL, in starter Aaron Jones and backup A.J. Dillon. Both players provided consistent fantasy football value last season, but Jones has outperformed Dillon so far and appears in line to get even more work going forward.


The Packers will face the Washington Commanders this week. The Commanders allowed one 100-yard rusher (Derrick Henry) through six weeks. I expect them to use their running game to attempt to keep Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense off the field.

Dillon likely needs a touchdown to return RB2 value. He should only be plugged in as a low-end RB2 or flex play if you are desperate and in a league with at least 14 teams.

Week 7 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. IND

2. Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks at LAC

3. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants at JAX

4. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers vs. SEA

5. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at BAL

6. Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at CAR

7. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts at TEN

8. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. ATL

9. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. DET

10. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at WAS

11. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots vs. CHI

12. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders vs. HOU

13. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at ARI

14. Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders vs. GB


15. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers vs. TB

16. Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans at LV

17. Breece Hall, New York Jets at DEN

18. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. NYG

19. Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers vs. KC

20. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs at SF

21. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers at MIA

22. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns at BAL

23. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins vs. PIT

24. Eno Benjamin, Arizona Cardinals vs. NO

25. Kenyan Drake, Baltimore Ravens vs. CLE

26. Latavius Murray, Denver Broncos vs. NYJ

27. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears at NE

28. Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions at DAL

29. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys vs. DET

30. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. NYG

This week in the National Football League

Los Angeles Chargers kicker Dustin Hopkins (C) is lifted in the air by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal against the Denver Broncos in overtime at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Monday. The Chargers beat the Broncos 19-16. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

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