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Ezekiel Elliott signing shakes up Week 1 running back PPR fantasy rankings

Zeke is back and it shakes up Week 1 before it even gets started! We break down the top 50 running backs heading into Week 1 PPR leagues.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott celebrates after scoring a 1 yard touchdown in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The 2019 NFL season is upon us, and that means it’s time to set your fantasy football lineups! The NFL is a passing league more than anything else, but fantasy football remains committed to the importance of the running back position. And considering Wednesday’s big running back news, it has to remain firmly on your radar. We’ve got a full rundown of the running backs to consider for Week 1, and a few that you might want to hold off on for the time being.

We got some clarity to the Ezekiel Elliott situation on Wednesday morning, as he inked a six-year extension worth $90 million. Now the big question is how much he’ll play on Sunday against the Giants without any work since mini camp. If he does play a full workload, he’s my No. 3 overall RB play this week. If Tony Pollard is going to share the work, both can be considered middle of the pack plays.

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I think there’s an elite top tier of three RBs that we do know will play — Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffery and Alvin Kamara. I ranked them in that order, but if you have them on your season-long team, you’re obviously starting them. I think I prefer taking the discount on CMC from a DraftKings perspective.

Once we get past that first tier, things get really interesting. Chris Carson is set up to potentially have a monster game, with everything working in his favor. I have Dalvin Cook ranked slightly ahead of him in my PPR rankings, as the Falcons allowed the most receptions to the RB position last season.

Two guys that got huge boosts from me in my PPR rankings (compared to standard) were Duke Johnson and James White. Johnson will have to run the ball by necessity for the Texans, but is a terrific receiving back that should get a lot of targets in a shootout in New Orleans. White has the potential to get 80 percent of his touches through the air, which gives him a much higher ceiling in PPR. There’s 10-catch potential here.

Week 1 RB Rankings (PPR)

Rk Player Team Opp
Rk Player Team Opp
1 Saquon Barkley NYG @Dallas
2 Christian McCaffrey CAR Los Angeles Rams
3 Alvin Kamara NO Houston
4 Dalvin Cook MIN Atlanta
5 Chris Carson SEA Cincinnati
6 David Johnson ARI Detroit
7 Nick Chubb CLE Tennessee
8 Leonard Fournette JAX Kansas City
9 Le'Veon Bell NYJ Buffalo
10 James Conner PIT @New England
11 Kerryon Johnson DET @Arizona
12 Sony Michel NE Pittsburgh
13 Todd Gurley LAR @Carolina
14 Duke Johnson HOU @New Orleans
15 Mark Ingram BAL @Miami
16 Aaron Jones GB @Chicago
17 Damien Williams KC @Jacksonville
18 James White NE Pittsburgh
19 Devonta Freeman ATL @Minnesota
20 Derrick Henry TEN @Cleveland
21 David Montgomery CHI Green Bay
22 Austin Ekeler LAC Indianapolis
23 Joe Mixon CIN @Seattle
24 Marlon Mack IND @Los Angeles Chargers
25 Matt Breida SF @Tampa Bay
26 Justin Jackson LAC Indianapolis
27 Tarik Cohen CHI Green Bay
28 Tevin Coleman SF @Tampa Bay
29 Phillip Lindsay DEN @Oakland
30 Josh Jacobs OAK Denver
31 Miles Sanders PHI Washington
32 Devin Singletary BUF @New York Jets
33 Kenyan Drake MIA Baltimore
34 Jordan Howard PHI Washington
35 LeSean McCoy KC @Jacksonville
36 Royce Freeman DEN @Oakland
37 Rashaad Penny SEA Cincinnati
38 Jaylen Samuels PIT @New England
39 Dion Lewis TEN @Cleveland
40 Peyton Barber TB San Francisco
41 Ty Montgomery NYJ Buffalo
42 Nyheim Hines IND @Los Angeles Chargers
43 Justice Hill BAL @Miami
44 Derrius Guice WAS @Philadelphia
45 Latavius Murray NO Houston
46 Kallen Ballage MIA Baltimore
47 Giovani Bernard CIN @Seattle
48 Chris Thompson WAS @Philadelphia
49 Jalen Richard OAK Denver
50 Carlos Hyde HOU @New Orleans