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CFL Week 3 Running Back Rankings, 3 Stars, 1st Star: Taquan Mizzell

CFL week 3 running back rankings. Taquan Mizzell is named the first star at running back for the week. There were many impressive performances at the position in week 2.

1st Star: Taquan Mizzell (BC)

18 carries for 93 yards (5.2 average), 4 receptions for 21 yards receiving.

2nd Star: Dedrick Mills (CGY)

19 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown (5.4 average).

3rd Star: James Butler (HAM)

16 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown (4.1 average), 7 receptions for 57 yards receiving.

These rankings can help provide insight to give you an edge in CFL fantasy football games. Although week 2 is over you can still set up a head-to-head fantasy football league and draft a team in a league with your friends. Our friends at 110yards.ca are able to accommodate a CFL fantasy football league starting mid-season.

1. Ka’Deem Carey, Calgary Stampeders, Previous Ranking #RB2

Ka’Deem Carey had 7 carries for 43 yards (6.1 average) in week 1 prior to sustaining an injury. He is currently on the 6-game injured list and Dedrick Mills is expected to continue to start for Calgary.

In last week’s rankings, Oliveira was moved to the #1 spot in part due to the volume he was used on offense in week 1. His volume has since been reduced. For now, I am keeping the 2022 CFL All-Star at the #1 spot.

2. James Butler, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Previous Ranking #RB3

James Butler was used often in Hamilton’s loss to Toronto. He had 16 carries for 57 yards (4.1 average) and a touchdown. He also added a team lead 7 receptions for 57 yards. He is currently the only running back with 2 rushing touchdowns.

From a fantasy perspective, Butler may be the safest running back to have on your team. After 2 weeks most running backs have had a low volume of carries in games in which their team has been trailing yet despite 2 losses James Butler is still getting a lot of carries.

3. Brady Oliveira, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Previous Ranking #RB1

Brady Oliveira had 113 rushing yards on 22 carries in week 1. I wrote last week about how putting so many touches on a player in one of the most injury-prone positions may not be sustainable in an 18-game season. Brady Oliveira’s game status was questionable coming into the Bombers’ road game against Saskatchewan. As a result, Winnipeg began using their RB2, Johnny Agustine, who was given 6 of the 16 carries among runningbacks.

Oliveria had 10 carries for 42 yards (4.2 average) and 1 reception for 4 yards. He outperformed in yards per carry by Augustine who had 5.2 yards per carry. Oliveriea appears to still be dealing with an injury as he was not a participant in Monday’s practice due to what is listed as a thorax injury. I would expect Oliviera to share touches with Augustine against BC if they are both in the game due to the recent injury designations.

Oliveira is listed as doubtful on the injury report for Thursday.

4. Taquan Mizzell, BC Lions, Previous Ranking #RB4

It’s too early to start discussing names that should be considered for the Most Oustanding Rookie award but if Mizzell keeps up this level of production he will surely be in consideration for it. Mizzell had another big performance in week 2. He ran 18 times for 93 yards (5.2 average) and caught all 4 of his targets for 23 yards. Mizzell currently leads the league in rushing yards at 174.

Currently, he has the most rushing yards at 174 and the 2nd highest yards per carry among starting running backs with only Ka’Deem Carey being ahead of him. Carey only has 7 carries on the season. A lot of these runs came at parts of the game where his team is leading and it’s advantageous to kill the clock thus teams are expecting the run but he has still excelled.

He has a big test coming up against Winnipeg this Thursday. Mizzell was recognized for his performance by Pro Football Focus and named to their team of the week.

5. Dedrick Mills, Calgary Stampeders, Previous Ranking Unranked

Last season Dedrick Mills started in 4 games and played 2 as a backup. In his 6 games, he had 459 rushing yards and 105 receiving yards. He had the 4th highest points per game played among running backs last season. When Ka’Deem Carey was injured last season Dedrick Mills filled in very well for Calgary and I expect him to have some big games during his absence.

In week 2 Dedrick Mills had 102 yards on 19 carries (5.4 average) and a touchdown.

6. William Stanback, Montreal Alouettes, Previous Ranking #RB6

William Stanback and the Alouettes were on a bye in week 2. In week 1 Stanback was held to a 2.6 yards per carry against Ottawa during which he rushed 16 times for 42 yards. Ottawa’s defensive line played very well in that game in which they had 6 sacks. Stanback will look to have more production as Montreal visits Hamilton on Friday.

I’m not willing to move the 2021 CFL All-Star below number 6, but he will need to show a better performance than in week 1 this week.

7. Kevin Brown, Edmonton Elks, Previous Ranking #RB7

Brown only had 7 carries in Edmonton’s loss to BC this past week. He had 41 yards on the 7 (5.9 average) and caught both his targets for an additional 18 yards. Edmonton may want to consider running the ball more often during the struggles of the passing game. Edmonton has a good running back who has a 5.6-yard per carry on the season. The only running backs with more yards per carry who have started a game are Ka’Deem Carey with 6.1 and Taquan Mizzell with 5.8. Edmonton will aim to break their 18-game at-home losing streak this Sunday when they host Toronto.

8. A.J. Oullette, Toronto Argonauts, Previous Ranking #RB10

A.J. Oulette rushed 13 times for 60 yards (4.6 average). He had the 5th highest yards per carry among the 8 starting running backs in week 2 but was listed on the Pro Football Focus’ Week 2 Honor Roll and recognized with the highest PFF grade among running backs.

I went back and rewatched all of Oulette’s carries to see what stood out. Note the grade takes into account other plays for them such as pass protection and such where I am primarily discussing their play when getting touches. In my opinion, his best run was a 15-yarder in which he broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage. Overall Hamilton played pretty well at bringing him to the ground and keeping him contained for the most part with multiple tackles for a loss. Oullette played well, but Hamilton also played pretty good run defense.

I’m really excited to see more of Toronto’s backfield with Oullette and Harris playing together.

9. Jamal Morrow, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Previous Ranking #RB5

Jamal Morrow struggled in week 2 against Winnipeg. He rushed 6 times for 20 yards (3.3 average) with 17 of the 20 yards coming on one play. He did add 17 yards on 1 reception. He plays next Saturday night as Saskatchewan visits Calgary.

10. Devonte Williams, Ottawa Redblacks, Previous Ranking #RB7

Williams had limited production in week 1 against Montreal where he contributed 36 yards on 11 carries (3.3 average). He missed week 2 as he was placed on the 1-game injured list with what was listed as a hamstring injury. Ottawa is on the bye this week.

11. Andrew Harris, Toronto Argonauts, Previous Ranking #RB9

Andrew Harris played as the second-string running back in week 1. He had 4 carries for 24 yards (6 average) and 1 touchdown. Andrew Harris didn’t have many carries but he looks really strong again this year. On 2 of the 3 plays he was tackled he was not even brought to the ground but just had his progress stopped by multiple Tiger-Cats. He still looks like one of the hardest running backs in the league to bring to the ground.

12. Johnny Augustine, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Previous Ranking Unranked

Johnny Augustine has been one of the hidden gems of the CFL for years. If Brady Oliviera is unable to play Thursday, Augustine will likely get the start. Augustine had 6 carries against Saskatchewan for 31 yards (5.2 average). Last year was somewhat of a down year for him as he had 65 carries for 290 yards (4.46 average). In his three seasons before last year, he averaged over 6 yards per carry every season.

For the last several seasons Winnipeg has always given the vast majority of the carries to 1 runningback. I have been of the belief since Andrew Harris left Winnipeg that they should utilize somewhat of a shared backfield with Augustine and Olveira to keep defenses on their toes as both bring a different style of play. Oliveira is often somewhat of a battering ram type of runner whereas Augustine is very shifty and agile and has a great ability to make defenders miss.

13. De’Montre Tuggle, Ottawa Redblacks, Previous Ranking Unranked

Tuggle had 4 attempts for 20 yards (5 average) against Calgary. Ottawa only handed the ball off to their running backs 5 times. I can’t help but question Ottawa’s decision not to commit to establishing the run when the passing game was struggling.

You might also like:

Week 2 QB Rankings

Mike Mitchell’s: Power Rankings

Stay tuned for my updated running back and wide receiver rankings!

Follow me on Twitter: @JonathanClink

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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