Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Running Back Depth Chart


Week 11 Update: Week 11 gets back to a bit of normalcy, with only four teams on the Bye! However, it’s still a brutal week in terms of RB depletion, thanks to the Bye Week.

Saquon Barkley (NYG), Chris Carson (SEA), Aaron Jones/Jamaal Williams (GB), and Derrick Henry (TEN) are on the Bye this week. Plus, thanks to a slew of Week 10 injuries, fantasy teams will be hurting (pun intended) for yet another week.

Check out all of the latest updates, news and notes below to help you prepare for this week!

Earlier in this decade, the running back position in Fantasy Football saw a fairly sharp decline in importance. The following factors contributed to this decline:

  • The steep rise in popularity of PPR and Half-PPR scoring formats, which also bred the Zero-RB Theory draft strategy
  • An increase in season-ending injuries and/or lengthy contract negotiations/holdouts by top running backs
  • The NFL’s overall transition to more backfields implementing a Running Back by Committee approach to the game

PPR and Half-PPR scoring really leveled the fantasy playing field between wide receivers/tight ends and running backs. It forced managers to take much harder looks at the top receivers and tight ends earlier in drafts. The higher point output for wide receivers/tight ends also led to managers implementing the Zero-RB theory draft strategy. For those not familiar with this theory, it simply means managers wait numerous rounds before drafting their first running back.

Alas, PPR and Half-PPR scoring eventually allowed pass-catching running backs to gain more value in fantasy leagues. This, again, widened the gap in scoring between running backs and wide receivers/tight ends. Fortunately, this return-to-glory for running backs has conversely led to less use of the zero-RB theory draft strategy. Although, this strategy has not completely disappeared…yet.

The second and third factors listed above actually go hand-and-hand with each other. More-frequent injuries to lead-backs and contract holdouts during the preseason necessitated running back committees to become the new norm. However, the emergence of more workhorse running backs in recent years has helped buck that trend. If anything, running back committees are typically only implemented during the season when major injuries occur to starters.

So, where does that leave us for 2019? Well, even with the apparent shift back to prominence, the running back position still carries a level of volatility. Because of this, fantasy football managers need to be more in-tune with running back depth charts. These charts track the starters and handcuffs to own for each NFL team. They also provide insight on specific teams that have transitioned into a committee. This is beneficial for both drafting, as well as in-season roster adjustments.

To remain up-to-date throughout the season, we’re bringing you the 2019 Fantasy Six Pack Fantasy Football Running Back Depth Chart! Here is the explanation of our chart:

  • Starter: These are the running backs who are most likely to start each game for their team. Please note that this does not always mean that running back will get the most touches.
  • Handcuff(s): These are players who are likely to take over if the starter comes out of the game for any reason. They are especially valuable to target if a starter suffers a major injury.
  • Passing-Down Back(s): These are the players who are likely to get the bulk of the work in the passing game. These backs are good to stash in PPR/Half-PPR leagues.
  • Goal Line Back(s): These players are likely to get the bulk of the carries near the goal line.
  • RBBC: If touches will be split between multiple running backs, the Running Back by Committee column will be marked.

2019 Fantasy Football Running Back Depth Chart

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TeamStarterHandcuff(s)Passing-Down Back(s)Goal Line Back(s)RBBCNotes
Arizona CardinalsKenyan Drake- David Johnson
- Chase Edmonds (D)
Kenyan DrakeKenyan DrakeDJ was back in action in Week 10, but only notched 5 carries and 1 reception. Drake has taken the reigns, for now, but has a tough match-up against SF this week.
Atlanta FalconsBrian Hill- Qadree Ollison
- D. Freeman (O)
Brian HillBrian HillAtlanta lost Devonta Freeman to a foot injury in Week 10, but Brian Hill filled in quite nicely. Look for Hill to get the bulk of the Week 11 work.
Baltimore RavensMark Ingram- Gus Edwards
- Justice Hill
- Mark Ingram
- Justice Hill
- Mark Ingram
- Gus Edwards
Baltimore steam-rolled the still win-less Bengals in Week 10, but have a tougher test against Houston this week.
Buffalo Bills- Devin Singletary
- Frank Gore
T.J. YeldonT.J. Yeldon- Devin Singletary
- Frank Gore
XDevin Singletary had his best game of the season in Week 9, taking his 20 carries for 95 yards and 1 TD.
Carolina PanthersChristian McCaffreyReggie BonnafonChristian McCaffreyChristian McCaffreyChristian McCaffrey did not practice on Wednesday, as he deals with a knee issue. Should just be maintenance-related, though.
Chicago Bears- David Montgomery
- Tarik Cohen
Mike DavisTarik Cohen- David Montgomery
- Mike Davis
XDavid Montgomery had a strong showing against the Eagles stout Rushing Defense, and he'll look to build upon that success again in Week 10.
Cincinatti BengalsJoe Mixon Giovani BernardGiovani BernardJoe MixonCincy heads out of their Week 9 Bye to face the stout Ravens Defense.
Cleveland BrownsNick Chubb- Dontrell Hilliard
- D'Ernest Johnson
- Kareem Hunt (S)
- Nick Chubb
- Dontrell Hilliard
Nick ChubbCleveland is a train wreck of a team right now, yet Nick Chubb remains one of the top RB's in the league.
Dallas CowboysEzekiel Elliott Tony PollardEzekiel ElliottEzekiel ElliottZeke has a stiff test against Minnesota in Week 10.
Denver Broncos- Phillip Lindsay
- Royce Freeman
Devontae BookerPhillip Lindsay- Phillip Lindsay
- Royce Freeman
XDenver is one of six teams on the Bye for Week 10.
Detroit Lions- Ty Johnson
- J.D. McKissic
Paul Perkins
J.D. McKissicTy JohnsonXTy Johnson and J.D. McKissic will continue to split touches for Detroit in Week 10.
Green Bay Packers- Aaron Jones
- Jamaal Williams
Dexter Williams- Jamaal Williams
- Aaron Jones
Aaron JonesXAaron Jones and Jamaal Williams will get a week off thanks to their Week 11 Bye.
Houston TexansCarlos HydeDuke Johnson, Jr.Duke Johnson, Jr.Carlos HydeHouston is one of six teams on the Bye for Week 10.
Indianapolis ColtsMarlon Mack- Nyheim Hines
- Jordan Wilkins
Nyheim HinesMarlon MackWith Jacoby Brissett being banged up after Week 9, the Indy rushing attack could be leaned on a bit more than usual in Week 10.
Jacksonville JaguarsLeonard FournetteRyquell ArmsteadLeonard FournetteLeonard FournetteJacksonville will welcome Nick Foles back after their Week 10 Bye, which should open things up even more for Leonard Fournette.
Kansas City Chiefs- Damien Williams
- LeSean McCoy
Darrel Williams- LeSean McCoy
- Damien Williams
Damien WilliamsXDamien Williams took control in Week 9, rushing for 125 yards and 1 TD on 12 carries, further muddying the RB hierarchy in K.C.
Los Angeles Chargers- Austin Ekeler
- Melvin Gordon
- Justin Jackson
- Troymaine Pope
- Austin Ekeler
- Melvin Gordon
- Melvin Gordon
- Austin Ekeler
XMelvin Gordon finally had a big game in Week 9, and should be able to keep rolling against Oakland in Week 10.
Los Angeles RamsTodd Gurley- Darrell Henderson
- Malcolm Brown (Q)
- Todd Gurley
- Darrell Henderson
Todd GurleyL.A. comes out of the Bye to face the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week 10.
Miami DolphinsKalen Ballage- Myles Gaskin
- Mark Walton (SUSP)
Kalen BallageKalen BallageWith news that Mark Walton will serve a 4-game Suspension, Kalen Ballage is the leader of the backs in Miami.
Minnesota VikingsDalvin Cook- Alexander Mattison
- Ameer Abdullah
Dalvin CookDalvin CookCook faces a stingy Denver defense this week, but has shown that his fairly match-up proof in 2019.
New England Patriots- Sony Michel
- James White
- Brandon Bolden
- Rex Burkhead
- James White
- Brandon Bolden
- Sony Michel
- James White
XNew England heads into Week 11 well rested, and has a semi-tough match-up in Philly.
New Orleans SaintsAlvin Kamara (Q)Latavius Murray
- Alvin Kamara (Q)
- Latavius Murray
Alvin Kamara (Q)Alvin Kamara did not look great in Week 10 against ATL. Granted, no one on NO did. Look for him to rebound this week in Tampa.
New York GiantsSaquon Barkley- Wayne Gallman
- Buck Allen
Saquon BarkleySaquon BarkleySaquon Barkley will take a breather in Week 11, as the Giants are on the Bye.
New York JetsLe'Veon Bell (P)- Bilal Powell
- Ty Montgomery
- Le'Veon Bell (P)
- Ty Montgomery
Le'Veon Bell (P)Le'Veon Bell was held out of practice on Wednesday, and will be limited Thursday, but this is for maintenance only. He plans to suit-up to face Washington in Week 11.
Oakland RaidersJosh Jacobs- Jalen Richard
- D. Washington
Jalen RichardJosh JacobsJosh Jacobs continues to impress in his rookie season, and has a juicy match-up this week against Cincy.
Philadelphia Eagles- Jordan Howard (Q)
- Miles Sanders
Darren Sproles- Miles Sanders
- Darren Sproles
- Jordan Howard
- Miles Sanders
XThe Eagles come off the Bye to face the 1-loss Patriots in Philly. As if that wasn't bad enough, Howard is dealing with a shoulder issue, too.
Pittsburgh Steelers- James Conner (P)
- Jaylen Samuels
- Trey Edmunds
- Benny Snell (O)
James Conner (P)James Conner (P)James Conner was held out of Week 10's match-up, but will return tonight against Cleveland.
Seattle SeahawksChris Carson- Rashaad Penny
- C.J. Prosise
Rashaad PennyChris CarsonThe Seahawks are coming off a huge divisional win against the previously-undefeated 49ers, just in-time for their Bye Week.
San Francisco 49ers- Tevin Coleman
- Matt Breida
- Raheem Mostert
- Jeff Wilson, Jr.
- Tevin Coleman
- Matt Breida
- Tevin Coleman
- Matt Breida
XSF's rushing attack was held in-check in Week 10's loss to Seattle. Look for them to rebound against Arizona this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Ronald Jones
- Peyton Barber
Dare OgunbowaleRonald Jones
- Ronald Jones
- Peyton Barber
XRonald Jones was supposed to be the leader in TB's backfield, but he and Barber both notched 11 carries and a RuTD in Week 10. Back to RBBC territory we go!
Tennessee TitansDerrick HenryDion Lewis- Dion Lewis
- Derrick Henry
Derrick HenryDerrick Henry gets a much needed break this week thanks to the Bye.
Washington Redskins- Adrian Peterson
- Derrius Guice
- W. Smallwood
- C. Thompson (O)
Derrius GuiceAdrian Peterson
Washington will welcome back Derrius Guice this week, but it still remains to see how he will be used. Stay tuned.

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football Page for more advice for the 2019 season.

About A.J. Applegarth

A.J. has been in the fantasy sports game for so long, that the first fantasy team he ever managed used football box scores from newspapers to calculate points. Since those days, A.J. has taken home numerous fantasy football and baseball championship titles. He has also taken his talents to a few fantasy basketball leagues and countless DFS games in more recent years. A.J. would openly admit that “luck” has been a factor in his two-plus decade-long success in fantasy sports, but he will also be the first one to tell you, “You can’t teach luck!” Catch A.J.’s witty banter and "Beer of the Week" picks on The Fantasy Six Pack Hour Podcast, and follow him on the Twitter-space @AppleGarthAlgar.

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  4. dk

    November 8, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    who are the must own handcuffs would you say? im currently holding damien harris and malcolm brown.. but i dont see much upside.

    would you rather drop them and pick up guys like armstead and bonnafon (if you’re a CMC owner)?

    • A. J. Applegarth

      November 9, 2019 at 10:28 pm

      I would have no problem dropping Harris in any non-dynasty format. I’m not a huge fan of NE RB as it is due to their inconsistency week-to-week. Brown does have some upside, especially if something were to happen to Gurley. But, even then, I could see a timeshare with Henderson.

      My Top-2 handcuffs would be Gus Edwards and Alexander Mattison, with Armstead/Bonnafon as my 3a/3b. Edwards has already been utilized a fair amount, and I think he would easily get the nod over Justice Hill if something were to happen to Ingram. Please Baltimore is a run-first team. As is Minnesota, and we know that Cook has a checkered injury history, hence why I love Mattison’s upside. The other guys are good to hold, but their value hinges on the health of Fournette and CMC.

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