At the beginning of the week we thought Miles Sanders would be fine and David Montgomery was definitely out for Week 1. As of Saturday afternoon, Sanders has been ruled out and Montgomery looks like he could very well play. Projections and rankings have been updated, so let's see how these backfields look this week.
In Chicago, we're still unsure just how involved Montgomery will be, because we didn't expect him to be fully recovered by this point. Playing two weeks after suffering a groin injury does make me more concerned about the possibility of a re-injury. For that reason, I don't have him projected for his full workload and I wouldn't view him as anything more than a deep flex. Tarik Cohen remains in play as a low-end No. 2 running back in PPR, but Cordarrelle Patterson loses whatever chance he had at Fantasy relevance.
In Philadelphia, we expect a timeshare between Boston Scott and Corey Clement, though Scott is better, and should certainly do more in the passing game. We also expect Scott to handle short yardage. I have Scott projected for 14 carries and three catches. That gets him to 77 total yards with decent touchdown odds. He's a solid No. 2 running back that I'd start over anyone in Chicago in any format. Somehow he's still available in 30% of leagues, so make sure your's isn't one of them. He's also now the clear No. 1 value play in DFS.
As for Sanders, this sounds mostly precautionary. It's a long season and the Eagles didn't want to risk it in Week 1, but our expectation is that Sanders should be back in Week 2. With that in mind it's hard to get too excited about adding Clement. You probably won't play him this week and it's unlikely he has much of a role starting next week.
Week 1 RB Preview
The following players are not being projected to play Week 1 at this time. Here's what it means:
NE New England • #37
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
It was a rocky offseason for Sony Michel, but it sure looks like he's right back where he started as the starting running back for the Patriots.
JAC Jacksonville • #23
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
James Robinson was listed as the starter on the Jaguars' depth chart. He and Chris Thompson make interesting flex plays.
Numbers to know
- 20 -- Austin Ekeler averaged 20 touches per game in four games without Melvin Gordon last year. If he's anywhere close to that this season, he's a top-five back.
- 20.3 -- James Conner averaged 20.3 Fantasy points per game from Week 1 of 2018 through Week 8 of 2019. He's a No. 1 running back whenever he's healthy.
- 4 -- Boston Scott had four carries inside the 5-yard line and scored all four times.
- 29.75 -- Kevin Stefanski's Vikings averaged 29.75 rush attempts per game in 2019. If he brings that plan to Cleveland, both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt could be 1,000-yard rushers.
- 33 -- Antonio Gibson had 33 career carries in college.
- 5.7 -- DeAndre Washington averaged 5.7 touches per game when Josh Jacobs was healthy last year. The hope is that a couple of those, in the form of receptions, now go to Jacobs.
Matchups that matter
Waiver Wire Targets
JAC Jacksonville • #30
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
James Robinson is an undrafted rookie out of Illinois State. He's also, apparently, the reason Jacksonville felt comfortable releasing Leonard Fournette. Robinson looks like the Week 1 starter, and while Chris Thompson should handle passing downs, there's still 20-touch upside for the rookie. Robinson is a solid flex in non-PPR.
LAR L.A. Rams • #34
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Malcolm Brown is projected as the Week 1 starter with Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson behind him. Like Robinson, I'd prefer not to start Brown, but I also wouldn't hate it. The Rams and Cowboys have one of the biggest totals of the weekend, and Brown is slotted in as their short-yardage guy. Last year he scored five touchdowns inside the 10-yard line, and that was with Todd Gurley on the roster. Brown won't do much in the passing game, but he's a deep flex in non-PPR.
LAR L.A. Rams • #27
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Henderson looks like the passing downs back for the Rams early in the season, and he has upside well beyond that. The Rams have nearly as much invested in him as they do in Cam Akers, and Henderson was arguably more impressive in college. We saw how hard it was for a rookie running back to get on the field for the Rams last year, and it's quite possible that Henderson is the best Rams back to roster in full PPR.
JAC Jacksonville • #34
Age: 30 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Thompson is a PPR-only play, but in that format he's a very solid flex. The Colts allow passes to running backs at a very high rate and Thompson has more experience in Jay Gruden's offense than any other player on the roster. There's not a ton of upside, and his injury history is extensive, but at least for Week 1 I wouldn't feel bad rolling Thompson out there.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #27
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Kelley is battling Justin Jackson for a share of the Melvin Gordon role While either back could have upside if they earn the role, Kelley has the best pedigree and could eventually work his way into a short yardage role without an injury. In deeper leagues I'm looking to stash Jackson as well.
Bryce Love RB
WAS Washington • #35
Age: 23 • Experience: 1 year
After missing 2019 due to an injury suffered in college, Love is back competing for touches in Washington. I'd expect Peyton Barber, J.D. McKissic and Antonio Gibson to earn more touches in Week 1, but Love is the only former 2,000-yard rusher in the group. If he's able to prove to the coaching staff he's back to the player he was in college, Love should dominate early down work and catch some passes in what should be an improved offense.
CAR Carolina • #22
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
With so many values at every position and a matchup against the Raiders, I'd probably play McCaffrey even if he was $1,000 more. If you're worried about ownership in a tournament, you should get cute somewhere else.
Boston Scott RB
PHI Philadelphia • #35
Age: 25 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Scott averaged 20.5 PPR Fantasy points per game in the final four games if 2019 and Miles Sanders was healthy for three of those games. His roster rate is going to be very high on every site, but I'm playing him anyway.
Who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 1 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.