Week 1 Fantasy Football RB Report: Starts, Sits and the Consensus No. 1

Week 1 Fantasy Football RB Report: Starts, Sits and the Consensus No. 1 article feature image

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alex Collins

  • The Action Network ranked fantasy football running backs across standard, PPR and half-point PPR leagues for Week 1.
  • Here's a deeper dive on three RBs you should start, including Alex Collins.
  • We also break down why you should sit two RBs.

Which running backs have the most favorable fantasy matchups? Who should you fade?

Here’s a breakdown of five of the top fantasy football running backs, as ranked by Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon and Matthew Freedman in their Week 1 fantasy football rankings.

The No. 1 RB

Todd Gurley

Gurley is our rankers’ unanimous No. 1 RB across standard, PPR and half-point PPR leagues.

You can’t go wrong with a game script-independent running back who averaged 22.9 touches per game and 1.12 points per touch in PPR leagues last season.

Gurley leads all running backs in FantasyLabs floor, median and ceiling projections for Week 1 against a Raiders team that just traded Khalil Mack, who graded as the Raiders’ No. 1 run-defender by Pro Football Focus.

Good luck.

The Most Favorable Matchups

Melvin Gordon

Gordon isn’t the most efficient, but volume is king, and he averaged 21.4 touches per game in 2017 — the sixth-highest mark among running backs.

He’ll take on a Chiefs defense that struggled to stop the run last season and ranked in the bottom 10 in rushing yards allowed, yards per carry and touchdowns.

Gordon is the consensus No. 6 running back among our rankers in standard, PPR and half-point PPR.

The Chargers are favored by three points, and Gordon has historically averaged 18.53 fantasy points per game as a home favorite over the past two seasons (per the FantasyLabs Trends tool).

>> All odds as of 12 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.

Alex Collins

The game script should set Collins up perfectly as the spread opened at -4.5 Ravens and has since moved to -7.5.

The Ravens should dominate time of possession against a Bills defense that allowed a league-high 22 rushing touchdowns and the fourth-most rushing yards last year.

The Fades

LeSean McCoy

McCoy’s touches will still be there, but the Bills offensive line got throttled during the preseason. The Bills are 7.5-point road underdogs and have the slate’s lowest implied team total (16.75) with Nathan Peterman as the starting quarterback.

Marshawn Lynch

Lynch and the Raiders offensive line will be tested against the Rams interior defense, but the primary concern for Lynch is the potential for a poor game script.

The Raiders are 4-point underdogs, and Lynch has struggled in his career as an underdog, averaging 13.42 fantasy points per game compared to 17.48 as a favorite.

Those numbers have been even worse in Oakland, where he averaged 9.21 as a dog and 14.73 as a favorite last season.

Want another edge? Be sure to keep up with the week’s news on FantasyLabs.