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Fantasy football: Elliott, Edmonds, Gaskin among best in Week 6 running back rankings

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Oct. 14 (UPI) — Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Alexander Mattison, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and James Robinson top my Week 6 fantasy football running back rankings for 2020.

Aaron Jones, Jonathan Taylor, Raheem Mostert, Mike Davis and James Conner round out my Top 10 options for Week 6. Chase Edmonds, David Johnson, Myles Gaskin and Frank Gore are among my other favorite starts this week at the running back position.

Monitor the status for each of your players’ games this week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the NFL schedule. Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders players should be removed from all starting lineups, as those teams have Week 6 byes.

Check out my weekly waiver wire article for options of players to add at each position.

TOP SHELF

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is my No. 2 fantasy football running back for Week 6. The 2019 NFL rushing champion has scored four touchdowns in his last two games. Henry has averaged 25.3 carries per game.

I expect the Titans to continue to lean on Henry down the stretch. He should have an elite performance in Week 6 when the Titans battle a Houston Texans defense that has allowed a league-high 706 rushing yards and the sixth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

Alexander Mattison might be one of the best running back plays for Week 6. The Minnesota Vikings‘ No. 2 running back is expected to start this week against the Atlanta Falcons after starter Dalvin Cook sustained an injury in Week 5. The Falcons just fired their coach and have allowed at least 30 points in four of their five games this season.

Mattison is my No. 3 option this week. I expect at least one score and 100 yards from scrimmage from the RB1 streamer.

SNEAKY PLAYS

Chase Edmonds has been the best running back in the Arizona Cardinals backfield so far this season. He still sits at No. 2 on the depth chart, behind starter Kenyan Drake, but I like Edmonds better as a fantasy football option in Week 6.

Edmonds has scored in back-to-back games entering this Monday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have allowed the fourth-most rushing yards to running backs this season.

I expect Edmonds — my No. 16 option — to post solid RB2 fantasy football statistics in Week 6. He can also be used in your flex spot.

Houston Texans running back David Johnson is my No. 18 option for Week 6. Last week, Johnson had more than 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time since Week 1. He also had a season-high 19 touches in Week 5 in the Texans’ first win of the season.

I expect Houston to keep Johnson busy and ride the same recipe to another victory in Week 6 in an upset of the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Johnson should be a lock for at least 100 yards from scrimmage. He could post an RB1 day if he gets into the end zone.

LONGSHOTS

Miami Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin went off for 91 yards from scrimmage and a score in Week 5 against a tough San Francisco 49ers defense. This week he’ll face a New York Jets defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

I expect the Dolphins to dominate this matchup. Gaskin is my No. 21 option and can be used as a low-end RB2 or flex play.

Veteran running back Frank Gore will be on the other end of the New York Jets-Miami Dolphins matchup. The Jets just released running back Le’Veon Bell, which moves Gore to the top spot on the depth chart.

Gore is not explosive, but should get enough work to warrant a fantasy football start if you are desperate at the position or need a bye week replacement.

The Dolphins have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to running backs. I expect the Jets to lean on Gore in an attempt to control the pace of this AFC East game. He also has a decent chance to score a touchdown. Gore is my No. 25 option for Week 6.

Week 6 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. ARI

2. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. HOU

3. Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings vs. ATL

4. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs at BUF

5. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. DET

6. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at TB

7. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. CIN

8. Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers vs. LAR

9. Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers vs. CHI

10. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. CLE

11. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles vs. BAL

12. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns at PIT

13. Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons at MIN

14. Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team at NYG

15. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears at CAR

16. Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals at DAL

17. Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. GB

18. David Johnson, Houston Texans at TEN

19. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals at IND

20. Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills vs. KC

21. Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins vs. NYJ

22. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos at NE

23. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals at DAL

24. Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens at PHI

25. Frank Gore, New York Jets at MIA

26. Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions at JAX

27. Devonta Freeman, New York Giants vs. WAS

28. Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams at SF

29. James White, New England Patriots vs. DEN

30. Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco 49ers vs. LAR

This week in the National Football League

Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert (L) scrambles away from New Orleans Saints’ Sheldon Rankins in New Orleans, where the Saints rallied for their 30-27 victory in Monday Night Football. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo



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Saints WR Emmanuel Sanders put on COVID-19 list, out vs. Panthers

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Oct. 23 (UPI) — The New Orleans Saints will be without top wide receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders for their game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

The team announced Friday that Sanders, the Saints’ second-leading receiver this season, is out for Sunday’s matchup after landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Thomas, who was already dealing with an ankle sprain, was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters Friday that Sanders — who practiced Wednesday and Thursday — tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, leading to his placement on the COVID-19 list. The team then tested about 20 people who might have been in contact with Sanders, but all of them tested negative.

However, Payton said backup cornerback Ken Crawley will be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list as a precaution because of his close contact with Sanders.

“We found out [Thursday]. He wasn’t feeling well,” Payton said. “Right away, [director of sports medicine] Beau [Lowery] sent him to our doctors for one of our tests. That came back positive. After that happened, we traced those players he was around, coaches — we actually tested about 20 more people that might have been near him, and those all came back negative.

“Ken Crawley, for instance, came back with a time frame that puts him out, so he’ll show up as COVID but without a positive test. It’s more of a precaution.”

Sanders becomes the second Saints player to test positive for the coronavirus this season. Running back Dwayne Washington spent time on the team’s COVID-19 list in training camp and early in the season.

Sanders caught a career-best 12 passes for 122 yards in the Saints’ Week 5 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. New Orleans had a bye in Week 6.

Thomas will now miss his fifth straight game. He suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 1 and was benched for disciplinary reasons in Week 5.

This week in the National Football League

Philadelphia Eagles’ Boston Scott (L) makes the 18-yard, game-winning touchdown catch at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Thursday, to defeat the New York Giants 22-21. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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NBA considering 72 games, pre-Christmas start for 2020-21 season

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Oct. 23 (UPI) — The NBA is eyeing a pre-Christmas Day start and a reduced regular-season schedule for the 2020-21 season.

League sources told ESPN and The Athletic on Friday that the league proposed multiple changes to next season that include a 72-game regular season, a play-in tournament and the likelihood of no All-Star weekend in Indianapolis. According to the outlets, the NBA is targeting Dec. 22 to begin the upcoming season.

The league also is considering a two-week break at the halfway point of the season, according to ESPN. The NBA shared its plans in a conference call with team owners on Friday afternoon, and the league wants to move quickly to finalize negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association to implement the plan.

The reduction in the number of regular-season games — which would help accommodate a play-in tournament format for the Eastern and Western conferences — would allow the NBA to finish its season before the Summer Olympics in Japan next year.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA wants to avoid another bubble format, according to reports. Instead, the league continues to discuss travel and game schedules that would keep teams in cities for a longer amount of time to play multiple games, similar to a Major League Baseball series.

The NBA and the NBPA agreed that Oct. 30 would be the deadline to complete ongoing talks on modifications to the collective bargaining agreement for the 2020-21 campaign. That deadline date requires the league or players’ union to provide 45 days notice if either side opts to terminate the CBA.

The league recently completed its 2019-20 season in a bubble format on the Walt Disney World Resort campus near Orlando, Fla. A limited number of family members and friends were allowed to attend during the playoffs, but games were mostly held without anyone in attendance.



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Washington fines Dwayne Haskins for violating team’s COVID-19 protocols

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Philadelphia Eagles’ Boston Scott (L) makes the 18-yard, game-winning touchdown catch at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Thursday, to defeat the New York Giants 22-21. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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