Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings - Week 1 ✭
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Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings – Week 1

Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings - Week 1

Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings – Week 1

Each week with the positional rankings, I’m going to offer you what you came here for; Dallas Cowboys centered Fantasy Football information. I’ll offer you a breakdown of the matchup for your and my running backs. Whether it’s Ezekiel Elliott or Alfred Morris, this is your home for Dallas Cowboys Fantasy Football insight.

Make sure you go to to get the breakdowns on all the important match ups for the coming week.

Your Dallas Cowboys Running Backs

The Dallas Cowboys are going to run the ball, they are going to run it a lot, and they are going to run it well. In 2015 they averaged 4.6 yards per rush. They did it while being led by Darren McFadden, who has never been a good fit for a zone blocking scheme.

The runners they have to lead the charge in 2016 are great fits for what Dallas wants to do when running the ball.

Ezekiel Elliott

Raise your hand if you are really excited about seeing Ezekiel Elliott take his first hand off.

Good to know we are all on the same page.

In case you forgot how good he looked behind this offensive line. Here. Warning: Close your eyes for the second play. A certain Quarterback gets tackled awkwardly. 

Ezekiel Elliott Highlights vs Seahawks | Every Run from 2016 Preseason Week 3

Check out every rush by Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliot as he took on the Seattle Seahawks during week 3 of their 2016 preseason matchup. Subscribe to NFL: Subscribe to the NFL YouTube channel to see immediate in-game highlights from your favorite teams and players, daily fantasy football updates, all your favorite NFL Network podcasts, and more!


Elliott ran for 48 yards on 7 carries against a really good and physical Seattle Seahawks defense. He showed everything you’d want to see from a rookie runner; decisiveness, quickness, burst, and physicality. The most important thing was what he didn’t do. He didn’t try to do too much. Trying to do too much is what stalled out Chris Johnson’s career. He thought he had to hit a home run every time he took the hand off.

Ezekiel Elliott is going to lead the Cowboys in rushing carries, touchdowns, yards, and probably running back receptions.

Elliott does it all and he does it really well. There isn’t much reason to take him off the field, but as I outlined in the Preseason Running Back Outlook, I think the coaching staff isn’t going to overwork him. As much as we want to see him get the DeMarco Murray 2014 workload, I just don’t see it happening.

Ezekiel Elliott is a must-start every week behind this powerful offensive line. This will be the first in a long line of 100 yard games that we see from the rookie out of Ohio State.

Alfred Morris

For the first time in his career, Alfred Morris didn’t finish a season with more than 1,000 yards rushing. As a team, Washington was inefficient running the ball, averaging 3.7 yards per carry (YPC).

Washington deployed a timeshare between him and Matt Jones, who was just as inefficient as Morris. Washington allowed Morris to walk away from the team as a free agent and Dallas signed him to a very inexpensive two-year deal.

In the preseason Morris ran the ball 18 times for 108 yards (6 yards per carry). He was active in the passing game as well with 4 catches for 38 yards.

Here is what Alfred Morris looks like.

Every Alfred Morris Run from Week 2 | 2016 NFL Preseason Highlights

Check out every run by Dallas Cowboys RB Alfred Morris against the Miami Dolphins in week 2 of the 2016 NFL preseason. Subscribe to NFL: Subscribe to the NFL YouTube channel to see immediate in-game highlights from your favorite teams and players, daily fantasy football updates, all your favorite NFL Network podcasts, and more!


I’m curious to see the workload, but after the preseason, I’m of the mind that the Cowboys coaching staff is going to use Alfred Morris. If he can get anywhere from 8-12 touches a game, he is a deep league flex option.

In 2015 the New York Giants gave up 1,942 yards and 15 touchdowns on over 400 carries. I fully expect the Dallas offensive line and running game to go into week one and set the tone for the season.

One to Start

Justin Forsett, Baltimore RavensFantasy Football - Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings - Week 1 1

Justin Forsett certainly had a weird end to the preseason. The Ravens waived Forsett as they attempted to get down to their final 53 man roster. On Monday he was re-signed.

The news surrounding the Baltimore Raven running back stated that not only would he re-sign, but he would have a heavy workload in week 1.

FantasyLabs NFL on Twitter

Expectation remains that Justin Forsett will re-sign with Ravens, play “significant” Week 1 role.

Baltimore has several guys who they can give the ball to out of the backfield, but Justin Forsett is the lead guy. Before a season ending injury in week 10, he had totaled 794 (even with a shortened week 10 appearance) yards of offense and a 4.25 YPC. They like him in Baltimore because he is dependable.

If we extrapolate his numbers over a 16 game season, he would have had 1,270 total yards.

The Buffalo Bills in 2015, were right about the league average in rushing yards allowed, while allowing 10 touchdowns, again near the league average. As a team they allowed 4.4 yards per carry. Defensive end Mario Williams left in free agency to the Miami Dolphins and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is suspended for the first four games of the regular season.

The Buffalo Bills can be run on in week one.

Flawless Fantasy Prediction: 18 total touches (carries+receptions) for 98 yards and one touchdown.

One to Sit

Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ersFantasy Football - Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings - Week 1 2

You, like me, may already be off of the Carlos Hyde bandwagon. In mock drafts and in my leagues, I attempted to avoid the San Francisco 49ers running back at every step. Usually there was someone willing to draft him a round or two before I was.

Hyde only played seven games last year. In seven games the third year runner only totaled 523 total yards (74 total yards/game). Consider that in week one though, he had 182 total yards against the Minnesota Vikings and that accounts for 33% of his total yards for those 7 games.

Yes, he averaged 4.09 YPC, but there were only two games in which he averaged better than 4 YPC. Against Minnesota he had a 6.46 YPC and against the New York Giants, Hyde averaged 4.43 YPC.

In Week one, Hyde is facing one of the best defensive lines in the NFL; The Los Angeles Rams. While the Rams did allow 4 yards per carry in 2015, they only allowed seven rushing touchdowns and nine touchdowns to running backs.

I don’t think the 49ers have much to take the focus away from the running game and with Hyde’s inefficiency, I don’t expect him to do much.

Flawless Fantasy Prediction: 22 touches, 65 total yards, zero touchdowns.

The Running Back Rankings

[table id=61 /]

Previous Position: Quarterbacks Next Position: Wide Receivers
See All 2016 Week 1 Fantasy Rankings

John Williams

I didn’t start out as a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quickly as I could. I grew up a Joe Montana fan when he was with the 49ers and followed him to the Chiefs, until we moved to Texas. I’ve now been a Fan of the Boys since the Dark Days of the Post-Aikman, Pre-Romo era of abysmal quarterback play, now relishing in more than a decade of franchise quarterbacking for America’s Team.

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