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Running back standard rankings for Week 1 fantasy football

We take you through some of the best non-PPR running backs going in Week 1 for fantasy football, including a few viable streamers.

Miles Sanders #26 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs off the field after the game against the New York Jets during the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Jets defeated the Eagles 24-21. Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The NFL regular season gets underway on Thursday, September 8. The Buffalo Bills hit the road and head west to take on the Los Angeles Rams. All of the offseason moves and news have led up to this, and it is time to set your first line of the season. Here are some injuries to watch and players to get in your lineups for the first week of the fantasy football season in standard (non-PPR) leagues.

Injury news

JK Dobbins is coming off a torn ACL that saw him miss the entirety of the 2021 season. He hasn’t been ruled 100% for the opener, and if he is limited or misses the game, then Kenyan Drake and Mike Davis would see more opportunity.

Kenneth Walker for the Seattle Seahawks is dealing with his strange hernia issue and hasn’t been ruled active for Monday night’s game. If you are thinking of playing him, you may want to have a different running back playing Sunday or look into adding Travis Homer.


Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks

It may feel early to be looking into streamers, but not everyone has a great matchup in the season's first week. For example, expectations are high for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley while he stays healthy. He starts the season off against the Tennessee Titans, though, who allowed the fewest fantasy points to running backs last season. Instead of Barkley, I’d start Melvin Gordon on Monday night. He is a backup but faces a porous Seahawks defense that allowed the second most fantasy points to running backs a year ago.

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions

While Dameon Pierce was the darling of the offseason and saw a meteoric rise in ADP in the preseason, he has a tough test in Week 1. He and the Houston Texans have a divisional game against the Indianapolis Colts. Pierce will be the starting running back, but the Colts' defense is one of the better units in the league. I’d prefer playing Miles Sanders for the Eagles as they face the Detroit Lions. Yes, the Lions have a shiny new toy in Aidan Hutchinson on the edge, but the Eagles will have to establish a run game each week so quarterback Jalen Hurts can get the passing game moving.

Standard running back rankings