Running back has been a very difficult position to get a gauge on during the early going of this season. There have been guys with high expectations who have struggled, while under-the-radar guys have had some fantastic fantasy weeks.
Adjusting in real time to ascending talents and falling stars is how one separates oneself in fantasy football.
Rhamondre Stevenson and Rachaad White are two running backs who have been inconsistent this year. Which one should fantasy football managers trust in Week 7?
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Rachaad White Fantasy Outlook This Week
White hasn’t been able to find much success running the ball and is coming off a game against the Detroit Lions, where he had seven carries for 26 yards. As a team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushed the ball 16 times in the game for 46 yards.
It’s not a shock that he struggled against the Lions, as they have the best rush defense in the NFL at 64.7 yards allowed per game. He did have three catches for 12 yards and has had at least three catches in the last four games. Unfortunately, the matchup against the Atlanta Falcons is another tough one for White.
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Through Week 6, the Falcons have given up 99 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 11th in football. They’ve been even better at stopping the pass, ranking fourth best at 179.2 yards per contest.
The Buccaneers are 3-2 on the year, and their only two losses are to the Philadelphia Eagles and Lions, which happen to be the best two defenses they’ve played this year. Another tough defense coming into Tampa Bay could mean a long day for White and the offense.
Rhamondre Stevenson Fantasy Outlook This Week
It wasn’t a super productive day for Stevenson against the Las Vegas Raiders, but it did turn out to be a solid fantasy outing. He carried the ball 10 times for 46 yards and scored one touchdown. He was also able to make five catches for 24 yards. Stevenson ended up scoring 18.0 PPR points last weekend.
MORE: Week 7 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet
However, that was against a Raiders defense that isn’t quite on the same level as the New England Patriots‘ next opponent, the Buffalo Bills. The Bills enter this game ranked seventh in passing yards allowed (190.2) but have struggled to stop the run, giving up an average of 133.7 yards (25th).
In the two games against Buffalo last year, Stevenson rushed for 108 yards on 16 carries. He was productive in the passing game, too, as he had 11 catches in the two games. They were mostly on short dump-offs, but it counts all the same.
Should You Start Stevenson or White?
In our Start/Sit Optimizer, PFN’s Consensus Rankings say to play White. His projected 12.8 points include a projection of 34 rushing yards, five catches, and 29 receiving yards.
That doesn’t seem like a huge offering, but it outperforms the consensus projection for Stevenson (12.2 points).
Neither has separated themselves much, but I’m going against the optimizer in Week 7. Atlanta has been stingy all year and has made things tough for opposing offenses. They gave up just 24 points to the Washington Commanders in Week 6 — the most they’ve allowed all season. Conversely, they only allowed 223 total yards of offense.
It would be surprising to see either of these running backs have a big day, but the difference between these two should be Stevenson’s prowess in the passing game.
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