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As of Sunday morning, here's a list of just some of the running backs who won't be in my rankings for Week 7 of the Fantasy Football season: Tony Pollard (bye), Derrick Henry (bye), Breece Hall (bye), Kyren Williams (ankle), Joe Mixon (bye), Miles Sanders (bye), Chuba Hubbard (bye), Dameon Pierce (bye), and David Montgomery (ribs). And that's not even including guys like De'Von Achane, Khalil Herbert, or James Conner, who have been top-24 running backs in the past but are already on IR. 

That is, by my count, at least 10 running backs who might typically be in the top 24 of my rankings at least potentially out of commission for Week 7, and that's assuming Aaron Jones is back from his hamstring injury this week; if not, add him to the list. That's decidedly less than ideal.

So, before we get to the Week 7 rankings, here are some thoughts on how I'm going to approach some of the key injury replacements for Week 7: 

49ers: Christian McCaffrey dealing with an oblique injury 

Since Kyle Shanahan took over as the 49ers head coach in 2017, they've had 50 games with at least 75 rushing yards by a player, the seventh-most by any team in the NFL. That's impressive enough as it is, but it gets even more impressive when you realize that 12 different players have done it for the 49ers; The Ravens have had 11 players hit the 75-yard mark in that span, and no other team has had more than seven. Kyle Shanahan's offense has been the best plug-and-play RB situation in the league, even while acknowledging that nobody is going to replace what Christian McCaffrey brings to the table.

The tough thing here is, as of Sunday morning, we just don't know if McCaffrey is even going to play, let alone who would be the lead back if he does sit out. My assumption is that Elijah Mitchell would play the most snaps if McCaffrey is out, however Mitchell has already missed multiple games due to a knee injury, only just returning in Week 6 for two carries for -3 yards after McCaffrey went down. Mitchell has been terrific in this offense in the past -- eight games with 75-plus rushing yards -- but I wonder if the team just doesn't feel they can trust him to stay healthy anymore, unfortunately.

Both backs should have a role, and Mason very well may end up being the leading runner here. But one interesting wrinkle here comes in the question of who will get the passing downs for the 49ers. Jordan Mason has one catch in 22 NFL games and wasn't used much in that role in college, so could that be where we see Mitchell? He wasn't a terrific pass-catcher, but he does have four games with at least three catches in his career, so he's the most accomplished option among the remaining, non-McCaffrey backs.

At this point, I'm ranking McCaffrey, but if I don't have a viable replacement on Monday night, I'm probably just avoiding the entire situation. 

Rams: Kyren Williams on IR an ankle injury

Ronnie Rivers had been serving as the backup for the Rams, but he suffered a knee injury that landed him on IR this week, too. So this is truly a complete mess. 

That left rookie Zach Evans as the only other running back on the Rams roster to open the week, though he was joined by Royce Freeman (from the Rams practice squad) and Myles Gaskin (from the Vikings squad) during the week. Freeman was on the Rams roster last season but only appeared in two games, logging exclusively special teams snaps, so I would have assumed Evans would have gotten the first crack at being a lead back ... but now it's not so clear. In addition to Freeman and Gaskin, the Rams added Darrell Henderson, who obviously has some experience in this offense. And, according to reports Sunday morning, Henderson and Freeman are expected to be the top options here, with Evans still in reserve role as he continues to learn the offense.

My assumption is that Freeman will handle some obvious passing situations and get a few carries, but Henderson will be the lead back. But that's just a hunch, based on Henderson's experience as a starter in this offense; he also hasn't been on an NFL roster since the end of last season before this week, while Freeman has been with the Rams since the start of training camp. So, I genuinely have no idea what to expect here, and I'd have to be pretty desperate to trust anyone in this backfield right now. 

Here are my full rankings for Week 7 at running back for PPR leagues:

Week 7 Running Back Rankings

  1. Austin Ekeler @KC
  2. Bijan Robinson @TB
  3. Josh Jacobs @CHI
  4. Kenneth Walker vs. ARI
  5. D'Andre Swift vs. MIA
  6. Saquon Barkley vs. WAS
  7. Aaron Jones @DEN
  8. Raheem Mostert @PHI
  9. Christian McCaffrey @MIN
  10. Isiah Pacheco vs. LAC
  11. Jonathan Taylor vs. CLE
  12. Jahmyr Gibbs @BAL
  13. Jerome Ford @IND
  14. Zack Moss vs. CLE
  15. James Cook @NE
  16. Alexander Mattison vs. SF
  17. Brian Robinson Jr. @NYG
  18. Rachaad White vs. ATL
  19. Rhamondre Stevenson vs. BUF
  20. D'Onta Foreman vs. LV
  21. Gus Edwards vs. DET
  22. Najee Harris @LAR
  23. Jaylen Warren @LAR
  24. Javonte Williams vs. GB
  25. Jeff Wilson Jr. @PHI
  26. AJ Dillon @DEN
  27. Latavius Murray @NE
  28. Darrell Henderson vs. PIT
  29. Jaleel McLaughlin vs. GB
  30. Kenneth Gainwell vs. MIA
  31. Kareem Hunt @IND
  32. Darrynton Evans vs. LV
  33. Jerick McKinnon vs. LAC
  34. Ezekiel Elliott vs. BUF
  35. Tyler Allgeier @TB
  36. Jordan Mason @MIN
  37. Elijah Mitchell @MIN
  38. Royce Freeman vs. PIT
  39. Justice Hill vs. DET
  40. Keaontay Ingram @SEA
  41. Ke'Shawn Vaughn vs. ATL
  42. Zach Evans vs. PIT
  43. Craig Reynolds @BAL
  44. Antonio Gibson @NYG
  45. Damien Williams @SEA
  46. Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. LAC
  47. Cam Akers vs. SF
  48. Zach Charbonnet vs. ARI
  49. Joshua Kelley @KC
  50. Emari Demercado @SEA