We have reached the midway point of the regular season, and Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler and Yahoo Sports’ Fantasy Analyst Matt Harmon discuss the cream of the crop when it comes to fantasy RBs. Our fearless co-host leads all running backs in points in Yahoo half-PPR formats. The next five backs come as no surprise but numbers 7-12 come with some interesting stories. Catch fresh episodes of Ekeler’s Edge every Wednesday on Yahoo Sports and your favorite social media platforms. Listen to Ekeler’s Edge on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast wherever you get podcasts.
- The top 12 running backs in God's game, half PPR, the Yahoo! Standard. One, number one, you might have heard of him, Austin Ekeler.
- Best running back in fantasy football right now.
The rest of the top 12-- Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon-- Joe Mixon rocketed up from like, you know, 11, 13 to 4, after a 50-point game. That'll do it for you.
- Oh, yeah, that'll do it.
- Number five, Christian McCaffrey. Number six, Saquon Barkley. This is where it kind of leaves the established dudes into some new dudes who are like kind of coming up here. Number seven, Rhamondre Stevenson from the New England Patriots. Number eight, Josh Jacobs. Nine, Leonard Fournette. Number 10, Aaron Jones. Number 11, Dameon Pierce. And 12, Miles Sanders. Pretty big surprise.
Austin, I don't know if you know this but Miles Sanders did an interview in the offseason, where he like-- you know, the word fantasy football came up. And he immediately just like shook his head. And was like, I don't know-- you know, I don't know what you want me to tell you about fantasy football. Like, I don't get the ball enough. Like, basically, he said, like don't draft me in fantasy. Well, shoot, Miles, you're kind 0 for--
- We got to get him on our show.
- I know. We have-- we have to get him on the show. He's 0 for 1 in terms of giving fantasy advice because Miles Sanders actually was one of the best draft picks you could have made this year.
- Yeah, man. You know, your boy holding the top spot. You know, let's try to do that as long as I can. Try to-- you know, I was number two last year. So I still want to, you know, get that number one spot. You know, it's one of my--
- Yeah, there you go.
- One of my side quests, I guess, along my journey of trying to win a championship with the Chargers. But yeah, all these other guys, I mean, I'm expecting to see these guys pop off up here. There's some other guys that aren't on this list, but I think it's, well, mainly because of injuries.
I think, you know, Jonathan Taylor would have been another guy up here. But getting down to Rhamondre. This is his second year, man. He has really come alive, man, for that slot over there. Like is Damien Harris, is he injured?
- Yeah, Harris has struggled a little bit with injuries that I think is opened up the door a little for Rhamondre. But I think-- I think Rhamondre has kind of like taken that job by storm. And what's really interesting with him, man, is that he is-- this was not something that like fantasy Twitter was all about in the offseason. Like, is Rhamondre Stevenson gonna take over the passing down job from James White, right? Because James White retired.
- He had an injury, the whole thing. And over the last three weeks, there are only three running backs with 20-plus catches. You, Alvin Kamara, and Rhamondre Stevenson. But yeah, Stevenson, I think, you know, in terms is just like rest of season, I'd spread him, like, seven right now. Like, I think he's easily a top-- easily a top 12 guy rest of the way.
- Moving down the list, we've got Josh Jacobs. Shout out to that guy, man.
- Because he said what-- he said, what, Raiders? You're not gonna pick up my fifth year. Now, it's personal. Now, look at him. Now, he's blowing through all these tackles, you know? He's, you know, like top five or something like that in rushing yards. Man is making an impact over there. The team in general. I'm just like, how? I don't get how they're the record is what it is.
- Yeah. I mean, I saw a stat that like in the entire history of the Raiders, they've blown a 17-plus lead five times in the entire history. This year it's three, three times.
- Jacobs has had a great year, though. And you know, shout out to him, man, like you said. 5.6 yards per carry, six rushing touchdowns. And he's been pretty good in the pass game, too, with 22 catches, 152 yards.
- Yeah. Yeah, man, shout out to him. I'm looking for a big payday for my guy Josh after this year.
- Yeah, that'll be pretty exciting. Yeah, Fournette is the interesting one here that like from an efficiency standpoint, it's not been there on the ground. 3.3 yards per carry for Leonard Fournette. But 42 catches. Like when you're playing with Tom Brady, you get in those little dump-offs at the running back position. That's-- you're gonna put up fantasy numbers.
- Yeah, that reminds me of a playing back with Philip Rivers, right? Where it's like, hey, if no one's open, I'm throwing the ball to you so like, get ready, right? And you get the opportunities, right? Especially down in the red zone where you can convert some of those touchdowns.
- Obviously, Dameon Pierce. That guy is so good. My brother-in-law has Dameon Pierce on his fantasy team because I told him to draft Dameon Pierce on his fantasy team. And he's like-- he texted me on Thursday night. He's like, I've never seen this guy play before. He's not tuned into a lot of Houston Texans games, which is understandable.
But he's like, I've never seen this guy play before, he's just on my fantasy team. He's so good. How the hell is he this good or whatever? And yeah, man, he's a stud. You know, number 13. Just beyond the top 12, Kenneth Walker, who we talked about a couple episodes ago. Breece Hall, we mentioned, is 15.
Travis Etienne's 20th on the season, the Jaguars running back. But he's second over the last three weeks in just rushing yards. So he's-- they move on from James Robinson. And he's been electric this year. He's averaging over 6 yards per carry on the year.
- Yeah, man. It's exciting. It's exciting to see some young guys come in and compete for some of these spots.