Koerner’s Week 6 Fantasy Football RB Tiers: Where Joe Mixon Ranks Among the Elites

Koerner’s Week 6 Fantasy Football RB Tiers: Where Joe Mixon Ranks Among the Elites article feature image

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joe Mixon

  • Sean Koerner -- the No. 1 in-season fantasy football ranker in 2015, 2016 and 2017 -- takes a detailed look at his Week 5 running back tiers.
  • Use the strategies outlined below to build the most optimal starting lineup for your fantasy football team.

Below you’ll find my running back tiers for Week 6 fantasy football. These are based on standard scoring.

As a reminder, these tiers are not updated after publication. If you want my most up-to-date rankings for PPR, Standard and Half-Point PPR leagues, check out this post.

And, yes, my tiers will be part of our Action Network subscription this season. Be sure to check out everything that comes with a sub here.

Koerner’s Running Back Tiers

Based on standard scoring; +/- indicates how many Tiers up/down each player would move in a PPR format.

Tier 1
Todd Gurley (@ DEN)

Each week it is becoming much clearer that spending a No. 1 overall pick on Gurley was the way to go. He is matchup-proof and will have Tier 1 all to himself most weeks going forward.

Tier 2
Melvin Gordon (@ CLE)
Ezekiel Elliott (vs. JAX)

These two guys saw their long-term value get a boost after last week. Mark Ingram’s return in New Orleans appears as if it will greatly impact Alvin Kamara’s upside down the road (Saints are on a BYE this week).

Zeke has been banged up with various injuries the past couple weeks, but he seems unlikely to miss any time or snaps because of it. The Cowboys will need to lean on him early and often this week to have any chance of moving the ball against the Jags defense.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) leaps while running the ball away from Detroit Lions defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson (91) in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium.
Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) leaps Detroit Lions defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (91).

Tier 3
James Conner (@ CIN)
Christian McCaffrey (@ WAS)
Saquon Barkley (vs. PHI)
Joe Mixon (vs. PIT)

Mixon looked close to 100% after returning from minor knee surgery. With Giovani Bernard set to miss the next week or three, it’s pretty clear that the Bengals plan on giving Mixon all the touches he can handle. He is a rock-solid RB1 until further notice.

Tier 4
Sony Michel (vs. KC)
Kareem Hunt (@ NE)
David Johnson (@ MIN)
T.J. Yeldon (@ DAL)

It wasn’t until Rex Burkhead was placed on IR that I — and my model — began grading Michel as a borderline RB1 based on the expected increase in volume and high-leverage carries.

So far through two weeks, he has lived up to expectations with back-to-back games with at least 100 total yards and a touchdown. He has a dream matchup at home against the Chiefs this week.

Tier 5
Marshawn Lynch (vs. SEA)

Lynch has his first “revenge game” against the Seahawks. The Raiders foolishly had Carr throw on a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line last week instead of simply handing it off to Lynch for an easy 1-yard score.

Surely enough, Carr threw an interception in the end zone to give Lynch flashbacks of Super Bowl XLIX. Expect the Raiders to not make that mistake again and force-feed Lynch any time they get near the goal line this week.

Tier 6
James White (vs. KC) +2
Jordan Howard (@ MIA)

White has also benefited from the Burkhead injury. He is such a critical part of the passing attack that he is able to put up RB2 value in standard scoring based on his receiving stats alone. In PPR formats, White is clearly an every week RB1 until further notice.

Tier 7
Carlos Hyde (vs. LAC)
Isaiah Crowell (vs. IND)
LeSean McCoy (@ HOU)
Adrian Peterson (vs. CAR)
Alfred Morris (@ GB)
Devonta Freeman (vs. TB)

Crowell’s rank may seem a bit too much like we are chasing his massive 231-yard game from Week 5, but he is in a great spot this week at home against the Colts. In matchups where the Jets are favored to win and control the lead, the game flow will favor a two-down grinder such as Crowell.

It’s the matchups where the Jets are big underdogs and expected to trail most of the game that will favor Bilal Powell, who is much more of a pass-catching back.

Tier 8
Chris Carson (@ OAK)
Phillip Lindsay (vs. LAR)
Chris Thompson (vs. CAR) +1
Dion Lewis (vs. BAL)
Bilal Powell (vs. IND)
Alex Collins (@ TEN)
Lamar Miller (vs. BUF)

Lamar Miller is expected to return from injury this week. He’s only in play for fantasy purposes because the Texans look like they’ll win this game fairly easily. If he gets around 15 or so touches, he will warrant FLEX consideration.

Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) rushes against Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree' Jackson (25) during the second half at Nissan Stadium.
Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) rushes against Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (25).

It’s worth noting that D’Onta Foreman is set to return from PUP after this week, so if Miller happens to have a decent game, I would try to trade him away while you can. His fantasy value is about to evaporate.

Tier 9
Kenyan Drake (vs. CHI)
Tevin Coleman (vs. TB)
Royce Freeman (vs. LA)
Aaron Jones (vs. SF)
Nyheim Hines (@ NYJ)
Javorius Allen (@ TEN)
Tarik Cohen (@ MIA)
Corey Clement (@ NYG)
Wendell Smallwood (@ NYG)
Dalvin Cook (vs. ARI)
Austin Ekeler (@ CLE)

Jay Ajayi being placed on the IR is more likely to cause headaches for people expecting consistent production from either Clement or Smallwood than it is going to offer up a league-winning midseason pickup.

Josh Adams could make this more of a three-way RBBC, and it’s only going to get murkier once Darren Sproles is healthy enough to return.

Cook’s rank is based on him suiting up this week at less than 100%. Same goes for the rankings of every single Vikings running back, so take my mid-week rankings with a grain of salt. Be sure to check my rankings that are continually updated before making any sit/start decisions.

Tier 10
Derrick Henry (vs. BAL)
Latavius Murray (vs. ARI)
Mike Davis (@ OAK)

Henry has been one of the biggest disappointments of 2018. We knew the Lewis signing would cap Henry’s upside as a RB2/3, but I thought we’d be able rely on him having enough touchdown potential to warrant a spot start based on matchups.

Five weeks into the season, Henry has failed to score and might need a Lewis injury for us to ever feel comfortable inserting him into our lineups.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field.
Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field.

Tier 11
Peyton Barber (@ ATL)
Ronald Jones (@ ATL)
Frank Gore (vs. CHI)
Alfred Blue (vs. BUF)
Ty Montgomery (vs. SF)
Marlon Mack (@ NYJ)
Jamaal Williams (vs. SF)

The Falcons are a dream matchup for running backs right now, especially backs with receiving skills. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers offer no such RBs we can rely on this week.

Alfred Blue will sky rocket up my ranks if Lamar Miller is held out again this week. Blue could have had a huge Week 5 if the Texans didn’t shoot themselves in the foot with brutal goal-to-go play-calling.

Tier 12
Jalen Richard (vs. SEA)
Duke Johnson (vs. LAC)
Chris Ivory (@ HOU)
Kyle Juszczyk (@ GB)

Juszczyk should see an increased role in the passing game with Matt Breida ruled out, but don’t expect him to pick up any additional carries: He has just 15 carries compared to 144 career receptions. He’s much more of a fullback/tight end hybrid than a prototypical running back.

With McCoy trade rumors swirling, I added Ivory in a few of my leagues where I could afford a bench stash.

Will McCoy get traded? Not sure.

If Shady gets traded, will Ivory return to RB2/3 week in, week out? It’s possible, but not a guarantee. The point is, he is worth the gamble as opposed to hanging on to a backup tight end or a different backup running back who will need an injury to be playable.