1. Christian McCaffrey CAR at MIA
2. Dalvin Cook MIN at SF
3. Jonathan Taylor IND vs. TB
4. Austin Ekeler LAC at DEN
5. Nick Chubb CLE at BAL
6. Joe Mixon CIN vs. PIT
7. Ezekiel Elliott DAL vs. LV
8. Darrell Henderson LAR at GB
9. David Montgomery CHI at DET
10. D'Andre Swift DET vs. CHI
11. James Robinson JAX vs. ATL
12. AJ Dillon GB vs. LAR
13. Najee Harris PIT at CIN
14. Leonard Fournette TB vs IND
15. Josh Jacobs LV at DAL
16. Saquon Barkley NYG vs. PHI
17. Melvin Gordon DEN vs. LAC
18. Antonio Gibson WAS vs. SEA
19. Cordarrelle Patterson ATL at JAX
20. Miles Sanders PHI at NYG
21. Damien Harris NE vs. TEN
22. Myles Gaskin MIA vs. CAR
23. Mark Ingram NO vs. BUF
24. Jeff Wilson SF vs. MIN
25. Javonte Williams DEN vs. LAC


Both Dalvin Cook and Jonathan Taylor have matchups against top five run defenses this week in the 49ers (Cook) and Tampa Bay (Taylor). You are starting both, obviously, here, but as far as why one would not rank Taylor #1 after his dominance against an excellent Bills defense? That’s why. 

Austin Ekeler has it easier than Taylor/Cook this week as he does against a Denver Broncos defense that ranking 28th against the run and 17th against the pass. Ekeler is ranked third in defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) among all running backs with at least 88 rushes this season and third in defense-adjusted yards over average (DYAR).  

Joe Mixon faces a Steelers defense that was just gashed every which way by Austin Ekeler, and he’s scored two TD’s in 3 consecutive games.   

The running back that is first in DVOA this season and second in DYAR? No, it’s not Taylor but he has obviously been great (second in DVOA, first in DYAR). It is Jacksonville’s James Robinson! He has been amazing this season when on the field and now takes on a Falcons team that is 24th against the run and 31st in defensive success rate. Woof.  

Detroit is ranked 29th against the run, so it should be a Thanksgiving Day feast for David Montgomery, who has returned to his usual workload in Chicago.  

The worst run defense in the league this season has been the Los Angeles Chargers, and they are on the road in Denver where Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams lay in wait to take advantage and make good flex plays. 

Miles Sanders finds a New York Giants defense that is 30th against the run and 11th against the pass, forcing a sort of run funnel to their opponents. TD variance can be awful, but Sanders should be in position to score, as long as his QB doesn’t take all the glory. 

Keep an eye on who start for the 49ers this week, but San Francisco will likely try to keep the potent Vikings offense off the field and take advantage of a Minnesota defense that is also funneling opposing offenses to the ground, ranking 8th against the pass, but 27th against the run.


Jason Walker