Running Back Stock Watch
The Running Back Stock Watch is here to keep you ahead of the rest of your league and be ready to fill any roster situation your team encounters during the season. We all need to remember that fantasy football is not a science. Running backs are going to have good weeks and bad weeks. This article explains who you should start, sit, look to trade, or acquire this week! We are back with the Stock Watch.
Week Seven is here. We’re back with another edition of Running Back Stock Watch. With some obvious choices on this list comes the ebb and flow of the running back position. With six teams on bye this week, it will be a long week for some fantasy teams. Let’s see who has their stock up and their stock down.
Josh Jacobs and the Raiders this week play the Bears. With last week’s stats on the books, the Bears are a top-10 run defense. Jacobs is still a good play this week, mainly because Justin Fields won’t play; he is already doubtful with his right thumb dislocation. With that, the Bear’s defense will often be on the field and get worn down. They are against one of the best running backs that can wear down a defense. The Raiders will also want to keep Jimmy Garoppolo on his feet and might not even go with his back injury. They will play Brian Hoyer or Aiden O’Connell if he can’t go. This game screams a heavy run game for both sides. I will take Josh Jacobs every time I can this week.
Playing Brian Robinson should be an obvious choice for a lot of people. The Washington Commanders are playing the 31st in-run defense of the New York Giants. Last week may have been an anomaly against the Bills for New York. The Bills are outstanding at many things, but being a methodical offense is not one of them. The Commanders are the epitome of organized. They will give the Giants a heavy dose of Brian Robinson and even Antonio Gibson to open the screen and play action plays for Sam Howell. The Commander’s offense has also been up and down this year, so expect a Ron Rivera “get right” game, meaning a heavy dose of rushing plays. Fire up all the Commander’s running backs in this game.
Next man up here. Elijah Mitchell has fallen out of the rotation and is nonexistent even coming back from injury. Mason has a touchdown in the last two games against Dallas and Cleveland. He had ten rushes for 69 yards against Dallas and five rushes for 27 against Cleveland. 5 rushes is not a lot, but he still outsnapped Mitchell 15 – 7. Now, they have a middle-of-the-road rushing defense in Minnesota. Suppose Christian McCaffery’s rib injury makes him miss a game or two. Mason is the guy you want to have in that backfield. We can’t expect Christian McCaffery’s production level, but Jordan Mason should be the guy if he can’t go.
The Packers are playing one of the worst defenses in the league right now in the Denver Broncos. Ranked dead last in rush defense, and AJ Dillon was a disappointment in Jones’s absence. We will get a heavy dose of rushes and check-down passes to get Jordan Love some confidence and time to throw. With the Packers coming off a bye week and Jones getting some extra days to heal his hamstring injury. Expect the Packers to come out and utilize one of their best playmakers early on.
Next man up. Kyren Williams is likely a no-go with a sprained ankle, and Ronnie Rivers is heading to injury reserve with his injury. Evans is the only healthy running back on the 53-man roster and should be able to show out. With Royce Freeman getting a call-up from the practice squad and Darrell Henderson getting onto the practice squad. They will give Evans the chance to prove himself. The Rams are also playing the Steelers this week and ranked 29th out of 32 teams is ideal for a running back looking to get his first start. Unfortunately, as I have said a lot in the past few months, Sean McVay is still his coach. He may have lightning in a bottle and not open it. No matter what, though, Evans’s stock is as high as it has been since rookie drafts. Suppose you would like to read more about the rookie. Click the link above.
The Patriots are playing the Bills this week, like every last month. Stevenson will probably underperform. He still gets a plus 60 percent snap share at the running back position. Yet, Stevenson has not broken 60 yards rushing in a game this year. While his two touchdowns save him a bit, he has been an underperformer all year, and I don’t expect anything different. Buffalo has the 25th-ranked rush defense, so he should get opportunities, but when your backup, Ezekiel Elliott, starts getting goal-line work and producing with the touches he gets. That is concerning. It is also challenging to trust anyone on this team with how horrendous the quarterback and offensive line play has been. The wide receivers are not getting open, and Mac Jones is not helping the cause. Teams will start stacking the box more and more until Jones can prove he can do something. Stock is down for Stevenson
Another running back who has been a disappointment this year is Rachaad White. With no real competition behind him, even though I want Sean Tucker to be that, he is the lead guy for Tampa Bay. He has yet to be above 60 yards or score a touchdown since week two, and I do not expect him to this week, either. The Atlanta Falcons have been playing good defense against the run and are just outside of the top 10 this week at 11 in rush defense. Expect Atlanta’s reason to rise again after this week because it will always be a dogfight if we know anything about division matchups. The Buccaneers have the matchup between wide receivers and corners with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Expect Baker Mayfield to set the tone and do it early. Richard White is getting over 75% of snaps at the running back position for the Bucs. So he has been getting all the chances but still has been underwhelming. Expect the same this week.
The Vikings play the 49ers on Monday Night Football this week; you guessed it, they are a top-10 rush defense. For some reason, Cam Akers only saw nine snaps to Alexander Mattison’s 45 snaps. Mattison and Akers have proven that they are not bellcow backs. They are better when both get ten rushing attempts per game. San Francisco has been stingy to every running back except to the Browns running backs this last game. The 49ers will want a bounce-back game, and what a perfect team to have next, then a turnover-riddled Minnesota Vikings team. The Vikings want to run the ball, especially with Justin Jefferson out with his hamstring injury. Every team knows they will try to run the ball more, and they also know without Justin Jefferson, the wide receivers can’t get open. Stacked boxes are coming Mattison’s way—stock down.
Like last week, I wouldn’t say I like putting injured players on this list, but he would’ve been on it regardless. Playing the 10th-best rush defense in Baltimore and the presence of Jahmyr Gibbs returning, fantasy regression was coming; no one can withstand two touchdowns per game. Since September 28th, his breakout 121 yards and three touchdowns on Thursday Night Football. He has seen his rushing attempts and yardage go down. With Gibbs, Amon-Ra St Brown coming back from injury, and Jameson WIlliams coming back from suspension. The stock lowers because Montgomery is not the only playmaker anymore.
Come back next week to see which running back stock is going up or down based on the games. Enjoy the NFL slate this week.
Cody Folden joined the Dynasty Pros team in 2023. He plays in many dynasty leagues but dabbles in other leagues like devy, contract, and scouting leagues. He loves to dive deep into learning about prospects coming up through college and seeing them thrive when they get to the league.