Week 3 fantasy RB rankings for PPR leagues
The second week of the NFL season has come and gone, with well over 10 percent of the 2023 season in the books. We now have a better idea of where our running backs stand in PPR leagues, with a solid sample size of RB performances as well as a fairly good sense of which matchups to exploit or avoid. Our Week 3 fantasy RB PPR rankings will help you navigate all that you need to know in order to pull down a big win this weekend.
NFL fans and fantasy owners of Austin Ekeler had to go without their PPR god against the Titans last week, and we saw a guy who was practically absent in Week 1 assume the Week 2 throne. The Eagles' D'Andre Swift stepped up in a major way with Kenneth Gainwell (ribs) out, gashing the Vikings for 175 ground yards and a TD on Thursday Night Football. Swift ranked above even Christian McCaffrey on the week, no small feat considering CMC now has 268 rushing yards on the season.
We also can't overlook how awesome Bijan Robinson has been for Atlanta. The rookie has been every bit as explosive as the Falcons expected him to be after selecting him eighth overall in the draft. James Cook — one of our favorite PPR sleepers this offseason — looked darn good himself in a bounce-back Bills effort out in Vegas, though he had two different RBs (and his QB) poach short rushing touchdowns from him.
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Who will look good this week? Who should we roll the dice on or stay away from like gas-station sushi? What's the injury situation look like? We'll answer those burning questions and more in our Week 3 RB rankings for PPR leagues.
WEEK 3 PPR RANKINGS:QBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers
The cream of the PPR crop looks very similar to the cream of the standard-league crop at this point, as the majority of running backs have adapted to the pass-heavy climate of the modern NFL. You already know the names. Austin Ekeler (@ Vikings) if he's suiting up, Christian McCaffrey (vs. Giants), Bijan Robinson (@ Lions) rank in the top three, but you're obviously starting anyone in the top 15 spots of our rankings.
WEEK 3 STANDARD RANKINGS:QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Kickers
That includes Detroit's Jahmyr Gibbs (vs. Falcons), who bumps up to RB1 status now that Lions veteran David Montgomery finds himself nursing a quad injury. Gibbs has been explosive in the passing game, and he should be able to gash a talented but often-undisciplined ATL defense.
From there, we can understand having some tougher decisions. But the Bills' James Cook (@ Commanders), Broncos' Javonte Williams (@ Dolphins), and Rams' Kyren Williams (@ Bengals) serve as the PPR highlights in the 16-25 range. All three of these guys demonstrated strong burst and steady hands in their Week 2 performances, and they appear to be firmly in command of their respective backfields.
If Kyren Williams (@ Bengals) can somehow be found on your waiver wire, please go pick him up. He's not only the undisputed No. 1 in a redemptive Rams' running back room (alliteration for the win), he's also the NFL leader in touchdowns (four) and he's now also drawing a ton of targets from Matthew Stafford. Cam Akers seems closer to getting cut than getting his old role back — Kyren could be a league-winner if the Rams keep competing.
Speaking of competing, Zack Moss (@ Ravens) has very little competition in Indianapolis at this point. The Colts veteran amassed 88 yards and a TD on 18 carries against the Texans, and he added four catches for an additional 19 yards. With Jonathan Taylor not due back in Indy until Week 5 at the earliest (and never, at the latest), Moss is a borderline must-start and an absolute must-roster.
Last but certainly not least, Jerome Ford (vs. Titans) is not only a must-roster player in the wake of Nick Chubb's season-ending knee injury — but he's probably a must-start, too. Ford demonstrated his solid vision and burst in his relief-effort performance on Monday night against a tough Steelers defense, so we're not worried too much about Tennessee's run D. Cleveland's offensive line makes the lead dawg in the pound matchup-proof.
Carolina's Miles Sanders (vs. Saints) and Arizona's James Conner (vs. Cowboys) have both enjoyed surprisingly strong starts to their seasons (alliteration again!). However, tough matchups and inconsistent QB play have us concerned about their Week 3 outlook. We might be pursuing better options in both cases.
We're also a bit troubled by what we've seen from Breece Hall (vs. Patriots) and wonder if he's still not at 100 percent from his ACL tear last season. New England's offense looked awful against Miami on Sunday night, but that Bill Belichick defense remains solid, at least against one-dimensional offenses. Temper your expectations this week.
Rachaad White (vs. Eagles) and the Bucs have looked great, but they might experience a come-back to Earth this week against the reigning NFC champs. After seeing what Philly did to Alexander Mattison last Thursday, you might be better off going to your bench for a replacement.
UPDATE (9/19): Nick Chubb's devastating knee injury on Monday Night Football obviously headlines this list, with the Browns' veteran out for at least the rest of the season. As we mentioned in the sleepers section, Jerome Ford should be a priority add wherever he's available.
We'll be monitoring Saquon Barkley (ankle) and David Montgomery (quad) throughout the week. Barkley was noticeably upset after limping off the field, and with a short turnaround for a Thursday night game in San Francisco, we're not expecting him to suit up this week.
Montgomery (quad) also doesn't seem like a promising situation. The Lions veteran was carted back to the locker room following the injury, which was initially disclosed as a thigh. He later surmised that he could need "a couple weeks" to heal.
We'll also have to watch Austin Ekeler (ankle), Kenneth Gainwell (ribs), and Aaron Jones (hamstring) after they missed last week. We tentatively expect all to play, but their presences will obviously have a big effect on handcuffs Joshua Kelley (@ Vikings), D'Andre Swift (@ Buccaneers), and AJ Dillon (vs. Saints).
We'll continue to update our RB PPR rankings throughout the week, so check back for updates.
Rankings based on full-point PPR scoring formats
Rank Player1 Austin Ekeler, Chargers @ Vikings2 Christian McCaffrey, 49ers vs. Giants3 Bijan Robinson, Falcons @ Lions4 Tony Pollard, Cowboys @ Cardinals5 Travis Etienne, Jaguars vs. Texans6 Josh Jacobs, Raiders vs. Steelers7 Derrick Henry, Titans @ Browns8 Kenneth Walker III, Seahawks vs. Panthers9 Joe Mixon, Bengals vs. Rams10 Najee Harris, Steelers @ Raiders11 Aaron Jones, Packers vs. Saints12 Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots @ Jets13 Isiah Pacheco, Chiefs vs. Bears14 Miles Sanders, Panthers @ Seahawks15 Jahmyr Gibbs, Lions vs. Falcons16 Jerome Ford, Browns vs. Titans17 James Cook, Bills @ Commanders18 Dameon Pierce, Texans @ Jaguars19 Javonte Williams, Broncos @ Dolphins20 Gus Edwards, Ravens vs. Colts21 Kyren Williams, Rams @ Bengals22 Jamaal Williams, Saints @ Packers23 Breece Hall, Jets vs. Patriots24 Khalil Herbert, Bears @ Chiefs25 Alexander Mattison, Vikings vs. Chargers26 Tyler Allgeier, Falcons @ Lions27 D'Andre Swift, Eagles @ Buccaneers28 Rachaad White, Buccaneers vs. Eagles29 James Conner, Cardinals vs. Cowboys30 Zack Moss, Colts @ Ravens31 Ezekiel Elliott, Patriots @ Jets32 Brian Robinson Jr., Commanders vs. Bills33 Dalvin Cook, Jets vs. Patriots34 Raheem Mostert, Dolphins vs. Broncos35 Joshua Kelley, Chargers @ Vikings36 Justice Hill, Ravens vs. Colts 37 Samaje Perine, Broncos @ Dolphins38 Chuba Hubbard, Panthers @ Seahawks39 Latavius Murray, Bills @ Commanders40 Kenneth Gainwell, Eagles @ Buccaneers41 Roschon Johnson, Bears @ Chiefs42 AJ Dillon, Packers vs. Saints43 Jerick McKinnon, Chiefs vs. Bears44 Matt Breida, Giants @ 49ers45 Tank Bigsby, Jaguars vs. Texans46 Zach Charbonnet, Seahawks vs. Panthers47 Elijah Mitchell, 49ers vs. Giants48 Kendre Miller, Saints @ Packers49 Deon Jackson, Colts @ Ravens50 Michael Carter, Jets vs. Patriots51 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs vs. Bears52 Jaylen Warren, Steelers @ Raiders53 Antonio Gibson, Commanders vs. Bills54 Tyjae Spears, Titans @ Browns55 De'Von Achane, Dolphins vs. Broncos56 Damien Harris, Bills @ Commanders 57 Sean Tucker Buccaneers vs. Eagles58 Rashaad Penny, Eagles @ Buccaneers
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28 of September 2023