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Fantasy football: Hunt, Kamara among best in Week 7 running back rankings

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Oct. 21 (UPI) — Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara, Aaron Jones, Chris Carson and James Conner top my Week 7 fantasy football running back rankings for 2020.

Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Mike Davis and Todd Gurley round out my Top 10 options for Week 7. Justin Jackson, Latavius Murray, Devin Singletary and J.D. McKissic 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. Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts players should be removed from all starting lineups, as those teams have Week 7 byes.

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

TOP SHELF

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt is my No. 1 running back for Week 7. Hunt had just 57 yards on 15 touches in Week 6 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I expect a rebound game in Week 7 when the Browns battle the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals have allowed the third-most rushing yards to running backs. I expect the Bengals defense to struggle in this matchup. Hunt should post at least 100 yards from scrimmage and a score in Week 7.

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara has been one of the best players in fantasy football this season. Kamara has seven touchdowns and has scored in four of five games. He has also gone over 100 yards from scrimmage in four of five games.

I expect a huge performance from Kamara in Week 7 when the Saints host a Carolina Panthers team that has allowed the most rushing touchdowns and sixth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Kamara is my No. 2 running back.

SNEAKY PLAYS

Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson is my No. 16 option for Week 7. Jackson can be used as an RB2 or flex play this week if you are in a league that has at least 14 teams. The Chargers running back had a season-high 94 yards from scrimmage on 20 touches in Week 6.

I expect Jackson to get another hefty workload in Week 7 when the Chargers host the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Start Jackson as a bye week replacement option or as a streamer due to his good matchup.

Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary is my No. 18 option at the position. Singletary has yet to eclipse 100 rushing yards in a game this season, but I think he’ll accomplish that goal this week when the Bills face the New York Jets.

The Jets have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to running backs. I also expect the Bills to lead for most of this game, which should result in a ton of carries for Singletary. Start Singletary as a low-end RB2 or flex play.

LONGSHOTS

J.D. McKissic probably was a waiver-wire addition in your league after he went off for 84 yards from scrimmage on 14 touches in Week 6. He should get a lot of work again in Week 7 when the Washington Football Team battles the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys are allowing the most points-per-game in the NFL and have allowed the second-most rushing yards to running backs. McKissic is my No. 23 option for Week 7 and is a great bye week replacement option.

Latavius Murray of the New Orleans Saints is worth consideration as a streaming play or bye week fill in for Week 7. Murray and Alvin Kamara should demolish the Carolina Panthers on the ground this week.

I expect Murray to get at least 15 carries in this matchup, which should lead to RB2 or flex play production. Murray has had at least 10 touches in four of his five games this season. He also had a two-touchdown performance in Week 4.

Murray is my No. 24 option and should be started this week if you are weak at running back and in a league with at least 14 teams.

Week 7 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns at CIN

2. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints vs. CAR

3. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at HOU

4. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks at ARI

5. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers at TEN

6. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys at WAS

7. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans vs. PIT

8. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs at DEN

9. Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers at NO

10. Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons vs. DET

11. David Johnson, Houston Texans vs. GB

12. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. CLE

13. Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams vs. CHI

14. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders vs. TB

15. Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at LV

16. Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers vs. JAX

17. Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco 49ers at NE

18. Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills at NYJ

19. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos vs. KC

20. David Montgomery, Chicago Bears at LAR

21. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals vs. SEA

22. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars at LAC

23. J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team vs. DAL

24. Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints vs. CAR

25. James White, New England Patriots vs. SF

26. D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions at ATL

27. Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos vs. KC

28. Devonta Freeman, New York Giants at PHI

29. Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills at NYJ

30. Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles vs. NYG

This week in the National Football League

Baltimore Ravens Justin Tucker celebrates after kicking a field goal against the Philadephia Eagles on Sunday. The Ravens defeated the Eagles 30-28. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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Toronto Raptors to play home games in Tampa to begin 2020-21 season

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Nov. 20 (UPI) — The Toronto Raptors will begin the NBA season next month in Tampa, Fla., because of travel restrictions implemented by the Canadian government stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ultimately, the current public health situation facing Canadians, combined with the urgent need to determine where we will play means that we will begin our 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement Friday.

Toronto had been eyeing other sites to hold home games for multiple weeks, including Sunrise, Fla., the home of the NHL’s Florida Panthers. But with the start of the upcoming NBA season quickly approaching, the Raptors were forced to make a decision.

The Raptors — the NBA’s only Canadian team — will now play their home games at Amalie Arena, which is home to the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

The NBA will release the first half of its 2020-21 schedule around Dec. 1. The second half of the schedule is expected to be revealed in January or February, and there is a chance the Raptors could return to Toronto at that point if coronavirus-related restrictions are loosened.

“We’ll be away from our home and our fans for now,” Ujiri wrote in his statement. “They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m not sure that’s possible for us — we love Toronto and Canada, and we know we have the best fans in the NBA. For now, I’ll ask you to cheer for us from afar, and we’ll look forward to the day we are all together again.”

Other U.S. cities that showed interest in serving as the Raptors’ temporary home for this season were Nashville, Tenn., Newark, N.J. and Kansas City, Mo.



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Goran Dragic, Meyers Leonard agree to return to Miami Heat

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Nov. 20 (UPI) — All-Star guard Goran Dragic and veteran big man Meyers Leonard have agreed to re-sign with the Miami Heat for the 2020-21 season.

League sources told ESPN and The Athletic on Friday that Dragic’s deal is worth $37.4 million over two years. The second year of the contract is a team option.

Later Friday, Dragic confirmed the agreement with a post on social media.

“I’m glad that I can announce that I’m staying with my #HeatNationFamily,” Dragic wrote on Twitter. “Let’s finish the job we started!”

Meanwhile, Leonard’s deal also is for two years and worth about $20 million, according to ESPN and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The second year of his agreement is a team option.

The 34-year-old Dragic will be entering his seventh season with the Heat. He averaged 16.2 points per game while coming off the bench in last year’s regular season. He cracked the starting lineup in the playoffs, but he tore his plantar fascia in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers to dampen Miami’s title hopes.

Leonard, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, averaged 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for the Heat this past season.



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Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox signing 5-year, $163M max extension

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Nov. 20 (UPI) — Star point guard De’Aaron Fox has agreed to a five-year maximum extension with the Sacramento Kings.

League sources told ESPN and The Athletic on Friday that Fox’s multiyear extension is worth at least $163 million. According to the outlets, the deal contains escalators that would allow him to reach the $195.6 million super max if he makes an All-NBA team and the league’s salary cap climbs above $112 million.

The 22-year-old Fox will receive a total of $170 million in the deal for being named to the All-NBA Third Team, $183 million for a second-team selection and $196 million for a first-team selection.

Fox, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Kentucky, averaged a career-best 21.1 points to go with 6.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game this past season.

Fox is entering his fourth season with the Kings, who are searching for their first playoff berth since 2006. Sacramento posted a 31-41 record in the pandemic-shortened season last year.

Fox’s maximum extension is the first of the 2020 off-season.



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