Week 9 fantasy football rankings: Running back

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Below are this week's RB rankings and tiers based on a player's matchup, talent, offensive role and recent performance. Still have a tough start/sit question? Ask us anytime on Twitter @FantasySourceFB, or stop by our Sunday chats from 11 a.m. ET until kickoff on Facebook!

MORE WEEK 9 RANKINGS: QB | WRTE | DEF | K

FIVE STAR

1. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys vs. Ari. We're not concerned about Arizona's No. 3 run D stopping Murray. The Cowboys will keep feeding him with Tony Romo banged up, and Murray will keep chewing up yards. 

2. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs vs. NYJ. Poor matchup for between-the-tackles runners, but Charles will find a way around the Jets' top-five run D. 

3. Arian Foster, Texans vs. Phi

4. LeSean McCoy, Eagles @ Hou

5. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks vs. Oak. Lynch has been held to 62 rushing yards or less in three straight games and hasn't scored a TD in that stretch. We expect that mini-slump to come to an end Sunday against the Raiders, who are allowing the second-most fantasy points per game (FPPG). 

FOUR STAR

6. Andre Ellington, Cardinals @ Dal

7. Le'Veon Bell, Steelers vs. Bal. The tough matchup against Baltimore, which is allowing the second-fewest FPPG to RBs, knocks Bell out of the five-star group. 

8. Ronnie Hillman, Broncos @ NE. Despite missing out on multiple TDs in Week 8 for various reasons, Hillman continues to flourish in the Broncos' offense. On the bright side, at least he was on the field when Juwan Thompson punched in two shorts TDs as a fullback. Trust Hillman to break some big gains against the Patriots, who are allowing the fourth-most FPPG to RBs. 

9. Mark Ingram, Saints @ Car. Amid a banged-up backfield, Ingram absolutely busted out Sunday night against the Packers and former teammate Eddie Lacy. We're expecting Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson to miss Week 9 and for Ingram to keep the workhorse role again this week against a weak Panthers D that's tied for fourth in most FPPG allowed to RBs. 

10. Ahmad Bradshaw, Colts @ NYG. Bradshaw keeps getting into the end zone and currently ranks as the No. 5 RB in standard formats. He should stay in the lead role for the Colts with Trent Richardson still nursing a hamstring injury, making Bradshaw a must-start against the Giants, who are allowing the second-most fantasy FPPG to RBs. 

11. Ben Tate, Browns vs. TB. Another week, another great matchup for Tate, who salvaged his day last week with a late TD. The RB depth chart is unsettled behind him, so we expect Tate to dominate touches against the Bucs, who are allowing the seventh-most FPPG to RBs. 

12. Lamar Miller, Dolphins vs. SD

13. Alfred Morris, Redskins @ Min. Morris looked much more decisive and powerful Monday night against the Cowboys. That's a great sign heading into a favorable matchup against the Vikings, who are allowing more than 21 FPPG to RBs. Expect Washington to exploit that in order to cover up the shaky QB situation. 

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THREE STAR

14. Jerick McKinnon, Vikings vs. Was. McKinnon has been running well and the Vikings are steadily gaining faith in the rookie. The Redskins present a tough test, though, allowing the third-fewest FPPG to RBs. Temper expectations, but McKinnon is still a worthy RB2. 

15. Chris Ivory, Jets @ KC. Ivory also gets a tough test against the Chiefs, who are allowing the fifth-fewest FPPG to RBs. We still like his TD potential, though, and you know the Jets are going to pound the ball with such a terrible QB situation. Keep Ivory rolling. 

16. Frank Gore, 49ers vs. StL. We're down on Gore overall, but the Rams have the league's second-worst run defense. Gore should be ready to take advantage coming off a bye. Even Carlos Hyde could be a worthy flex flier.  

17. Jeremy Hill, Bengals vs. Jac. With Gio Bernard (hip), Hill sees a nice bump in value this week. The Jaguars are allowing the 12th-most FPPG to RBs; however, that number is slightly inflated by good receiving numbers, as Jacksonville is only giving up 3.9 ypc and 99.9 rushing ypg. Hill isn't known as a big-time receiver out of the backfield, so this matchup might not be as good as originally thought. His expected high volume of touches still makes him an RB2, though.

18. Branden Oliver, Chargers @ Mia

19. Justin Forsett, Ravens @ Pit

20. Shane Vereen, Patriots vs. Den. Vereen was forgotten about last week once the Pats jumped out in front of the Bears early. We doubt New England is going to blow out Denver, though. Expect Vereen's snaps and touches to drastically increase this week in what should be a track meet with Denver. 

21. Denard Robinson, Jaguars @ Cin. Robinson is settling into his new role as the Jaguars' feature back and is seeing plenty of touches even with Toby Gerhart back. Robinson may lose a few TDs to Gerhart along the way, but we still like his odds of putting up numbers against the Bengals, who have allowed the sixth-most FPPG to RBs. Robinson is a solid RB2 (and even better WR3).

TWO STAR

22. Andre Williams, Giants vs. Ind. Expected to start again with Rashad Jennings (knee) unlikely to play, but we're expecting the Giants to go into pass mode against the Colts.

23. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. NO. Stewart actually looked healthy in Week 8 and was surprisingly effective in a tough assignment against the Seahawks. That makes us cautiously optimistic about using him in a favorable matchup as a low-end RB2 in a thin week. One catch: DeAngelo Williams (ankle) is expected to return this week and even "start," though we expect Stewart to see far more touches, especially in the red zone. 

24. Bobby Rainey, Buccaneers @ Cle. Could draw the start in a great matchup if Doug Martin (ankle) is out. However, if Martin is playing, we'd avoid the Bucs backfield altogether. 

25. Darren McFadden, Raiders @ Sea. Kudos to Run DMC for his mini-comeback this season, but fantasy owners shouldn't trust him in Seattle if at all possible. 

ONE STAR

27. Tre Mason, Rams @ SF. Though we still consider Mason the best option in St. Louis' backfield, his role is still undefined and he draws one of the worst RB matchups against San Francisco. Worth a flier for his talent, but you can probably do better. 

28. Lorenzo Taliaferro, Ravens @ Pit. If you're looking for TDs, try Taliaferro, who vultured two last week with Bernard Pierce inactive. A rumble with the Steelers seems like the perfect matchup for Taliaferro to pound the rock more -- as long  as Pierce is inactive again.

29. Knile Davis, Chiefs vs. NYJ

30. Carlos Hyde, 49ers vs. StL

*31. Darren Sproles, Eagles @ Hou. Sproles (knee) is expected to return this weekend, but he could be limited. Keep in mind his touches were scarce even before the injury. 

32. Jonas Gray, Patriots vs. Den. Gray got involved last week with the Patriots crushing Chicago, but this feels like a game that will favor Vereen. Plus, the Broncos rank No. 1 against the run, so it's a bad matchup overall for Gray. He's still a decent TD flier, though. 

33. Travaris Cadet, Saints @ Car. Should get more reps this week with Pierre Thomas likely out again, but this is Ingram's backfield right now. Decent PPR flier, though. 

*34. Trent Richardson, Colts @ NYG. A hamstring injury kept Richardson on the sidelines last week. With Bradshaw performing well, the Colts may not want to push T-Rich much this week either. 

*35. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs. NO. Williams (ankle) is expected to return and even start for Carolina, but his snaps will likely be very limited. 

36. Benny Cunningham, Rams @ SF

37. Roy Helu Jr., Redskins @ Min

*38. Doug Martin, Buccaneers @ Cle. His status is uncertain after suffering an ankle injury in Week 8. Healthy or not, he sucks.

39. Juwan Thompson, Broncos @ NE. Vultured two scores as the fullback last week. Only worth using in TD-heavy leagues. 

ZERO STAR

40. LeGarrette Blount, Steelers vs. Bal

41. Chris Johnson, Jets @ KC. Five touches in Week 8. Five.

*42. Rashad Jennings, Giants vs. Ind. Expected to miss at least one more game with a knee injury. Even if he plays, Jennings risks losing goal-line snaps to Andre Williams.

*43. Ryan Mathews, Chargers @ Mia. There's a chance Mathews (knee) could return in Week 9, although that seems like manufactured optimism with Oliver slowing down. Mathews will split time, at least at first, whenever he returns. 

* Status in question

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