Pollard, Jones among 4 fantasy football running backs to avoid in Week 9

Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard runs against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
1 of 5 | Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard runs against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Tony Pollard and Aaron Jones are among my five fantasy football running backs to avoid in lineups in Week 9.

If you need more options for your roster, check out my top add/drops article. My Week 9 rankings for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends also are available and will be updated throughout the week.


Austin Ekeler, Jonathan Taylor, Breece Hall, Saquon Barkley and Alvin Kamara lead my Top 30 rankings, which are listed below. Isiah Pacheco, Josh Jacobs, Raheem Mostert, Joe Mixon and Kenneth Walker round out my Top 10 plays.

All of my running backs to avoid rank outside the Top 12 of my rankings. You should only bench my players to avoid if you don't roster a higher-ranked option.


Players from the Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers should either be benched or dropped, as those teams have Week 9 byes. Running backs from Thursday's Tennessee Titans-Pittsburgh Steelers game were removed from my rankings.

Running back Tony Pollard (C) and the Dallas Cowboys will face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Philadelphia. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI

Tony Pollard

Benching Pollard comes with risk, but I would lean toward starting players on your roster with better matchups, if they are listed higher in my rankings.

The Dallas Cowboys running back, who is listed at No. 13 in my rankings, hasn't rushed for more than 53 yards in a game since Week 3.

He failed to eclipse 64 yards from scrimmage in three of his last four games. Pollard, who also hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1, will face the best rush defense in the NFL in Week 9, when the Cowboys travel for a road game against the Philadelphia Eagles.


The Eagles allowed the fewest rushing yards and fantasy points to running backs through eight weeks. They also have yet to allow a running back to eclipse 59 rushing yards and surrendered just two total touchdowns to the position.

Pollard should get at least 15 touches in this matchup, but I don't anticipate much success from those opportunities. He likely needs a touchdown to pay off as an RB2.

Running back Aaron Jones and the Green Bay Packers will host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Green Bay, Wis. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI

Aaron Jones

Like Pollard, Jones reached the end zone just twice so far this season. Jones also is averaging a career-low 4.2 yards per carry and failed to eclipse 41 rushing yards through four appearances.

His Green Bay Packers will battle the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9. The Rams tied for allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs so far this season. They also allowed more than 70 rushing yards to a running back just once, surrendering 116 yards and a score to Christian McCaffrey in Week 2.

Jones is my No. 15 option and could still be productive if he plays a role as a pass catcher in this game, with both teams using high-volume passing games. I would consider other options at RB2.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (L) hands the ball to running back Alexander Mattison on Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI

Alexander Mattison

Mattison is not included in the Top 20 of my rankings. The Minnesota Vikings running back failed to eclipse 44 rushing yards in six of eight games this season. He also has yet to score a rushing touchdown.

This week, the Vikings will face the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs through eight weeks. They also didn't allow a rushing touchdown to the position during that span.

Mattison, who needs a score to provide RB2 value, isn't likely to get many opportunties in this matchup, as the Vikings will be playing with a backup quarterback and could struggle to move the ball offensively.

Running back Gus Edwards (L) and the Baltimore Ravens will host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in Baltimore. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI

Gus Edwards

Edwards is also outside of my Top 20 for Week 9. The Baltimore Ravens veteran was the highest-scoring running back of Week 8, when he scored three touchdowns in a win over the Arizona Cardinals.

Outside of that success in the end zone, Edwards totaled 94 yards from scrimmage against one of the most generous defenses in the NFL.


The week, the Ravens will face the Seattle Seahawks, who allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game to running backs through eight weeks. Edwards is still averaging a career-low 4.1 yards per carry this season and I don't expect his efficiency to rebound in this tough matchup.

Los Angeles Chargers star Austin Ekeler leads my Week 9 running back rankings. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

Week 9 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers at NYJ

2. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts at CAR

3. Breece Hall, New York Jets vs. LAC

4. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants at LV

5. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. CHI

6. Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs vs. MIA

7. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders vs. NYG

8. Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins vs. KC

9. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. BUF

10. Kenneth Walker, Seattle Seahawks at BAL

11. Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons vs. MIN

12. D'Andre Swift, Philadelphia Eagles vs. DAL

13. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys at PHI

14. Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots vs. WAS

15. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. LAR

16. James Cook, Buffalo Bills at CIN


17. Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at HOU

18. Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders at NE

19. Emari Demercado, Arizona Cardinals at CLE

20. Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns vs. ARI

21. Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings at ATL

22. Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens vs. SEA

23. Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts at CAR

24. Darrell Henderson Jr., Los Angeles Rams at GB

25. D'Onta Foreman, Chicago Bears at NO

26. Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears at NO

27. A.J. Dillon, Green Bay Packers vs. LAR

28. Cam Akers, Minnesota Vikings at ATL

29. Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers vs. IND

30. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns vs. ARI

NFL: Minnesota Vikings beat Green Bay Packers as Kirk Cousins leaves with injury

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon (R) breaks up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on October 29, 2023. The Vikings defeated the Packers 24-10. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI | License Photo

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