Every season has at least one bye week from hell for a certain position. It looks this is that week for running backs. Najee Harris, Dalvin Cook, Austin Ekeler, Ezekiel Elliott, James Robinson, and Zack Moss are all out, leaving several holes in lineups for many fantasy football owners. It’s time to dig deep at this important position, and our Week 7 RB PPR rankings can help you find viable replacements.

Heading into last week, the Bucs, Jets, Bengals, and Cowboys were all giving up over seven receptions per game to RBs. Is that a product of matchups (i.e. playing teams with top receiving backs) or is that a product of poor pass defense against running backs? It’s always tough to say — and in the case of the Bucs, it might have more to do with garbage-time production than anything — but it’s still something to note for PPR purposes. The Seahawks, Dolphins, Packers, and Falcons were all averaging more than six RB receptions allowed per game.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

This week, the Bears (@ Buccaneers), Patriots (vs. Jets), Ravens (vs. Bengals), Saints (@ Seahawks), Falcons (vs. Dolphins), Washington (@ Packers), and Dolphins (@ Falcons) are facing those defenses, so borderline backs like Damien Williams, Rhamondre Stevenson, Cordarrelle Patterson and Mike Davis, J.D. McKissic, and Myles Gaskin have even more PPR value than usual.

Quarterback | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Of course, an extra reception or two isn’t enough to make a running back a top play. Rushing yards and touchdowns are still important, and guys like Damien Harris (vs. Jets), Miles Sanders (@ Raiders), and James Conner/Chase Edmonds (vs. Texans), who are traditionally on the start-sit bubble, look like must-starts this week. Edmonds always has more PPR appeal while the other three are generally downgraded quite a bit in point-per-reception formats. However, with so many top backs on bye or injured this week, beggars can’t be choosers. 

Similarly, high-volume RBs in tough matchups, such as Devontae Booker (vs. Panthers), Elijah Mitchell (vs. Colts), Mark Ingram (@ Cardinals), Michael Carter (@ Patriots), and Melvin Gordon/Javonte Williams (@ Browns), are all tough to sit, even in PPR. Ingram has the least value, but he’s always a candidate for 15-plus touches and a short TD. That’s worth something, though this might be the week that a four-catch RB has a higher floor. It’s also worth noting that JaMycal Hasty (ankle) and Jeff Wilson Jr. (knee) are eligible to return this week, so they could really eat into Mitchell’s value (and have some of their own).

Ultimately, there aren’t easy answers here, and there are even fewer worthwhile sleepers than usual in PPR formats. This is one of those weeks where you do your best and just take what you can get. If things are really rough, consider making a trade, but if you can handle a potentially low-scoring week at RB, then plow ahead and hope for a TD or a bunch of short catches. 

Note: We’ll be updating these RB PPR rankings throughout the week, so check back for analysis and the latest player movement.

Fantasy RB PPR Rankings Week 7: Who to start at running back

Rankings are based on full-point PPR scoring

1Derrick Henry, TEN vs. KC
2Alvin Kamara, NO @ SEA
3Aaron Jones, GB vs. WAS
4Jonathan Taylor, IND @ SF
5Darrell Henderson, LAR vs. DET
6Chuba Hubbard, CAR @ NYG
7D’Andre Swift, DET @ LAR
8Antonio Gibson, WAS @ GB
9Leonard Fournette, TB vs. CHI
10Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL @ MIA
11Nick Chubb, CLE vs. DEN
12Joe Mixon, CIN @ BAL
13Miles Sanders, PHI @ LV
14Darrel Williams, KC @ TEN
15Mike Davis, ATL @ MIA
16Damien Williams, CHI @ TB
17Damien Harris, NE vs. NYJ
18Josh Jacobs, LV vs. PHI
19Devontae Booker, NYG vs. CAR
20Myles Gaskin, MIA vs. ATL
21Chase Edmonds, ARI vs. HOU
22Alex Collins, SEA vs. NO
23Jamaal Williams, DET @ LAR
24Elijah Mitchell, SF vs. IND
25Michael Carter, NYJ @ NE
26Melvin Gordon, DEN @ CLE
27JD McKissic, WAS @ GB
28James Conner, ARI vs. HOU
29Mark Ingram, HOU @ IND
30D’Ernest Johnson, CLE vs. DEN
31Javonte Williams, DEN @ CLE
32Samaje Perine, CIN @ BAL
33Rhamondre Stevenson, NE vs. NYJ
34Latavius Murray, BAL vs. CIN
35AJ Dillon, GB vs. WAS
36Sony Michel, LAR vs. DET
37Nyheim Hines, IND @ SF
38Khalil Herbert, CHI @ TB
39Malcolm Brown, MIA vs. ATL
40Le’Veon Bell, BAL vs. CIN
41Devonta Freeman, BAL vs. CIN
42Kenneth Gainwell, PHI @ LV
43Tevin Coleman, NYJ @ NE
44David Johnson, HOU @ ARI
45Giovani Bernard, TB vs. CHI
46Kenyan Drake, LV vs. PHI
47JaMycal Hasty, SF vs. IND
48Salvon Ahmed, MIA vs. ATL
49Jeremy McNichols, TEN vs. KC
50Rashaad Penny, SEA vs. NO
51Jerick McKinnon, KC @ TEN
52Ronald Jones II, TB vs. CHI
53Ty Johnson, NYJ @ NE
54Brandon Bolden, NE vs. NYJ
55Phillip Lindsay, HOU @ ARI
56Trey Sermon, SF vs. IND