Week 10 Running Backs
RB Notes: Averaging a monumental 170 yards rushing across his past four healthy appearances, Dalvin Cook has stacked up 478 yards from scrimmage over the past two weeks. The Bears will be the best defense Cook has faced since Week 2, but there are only nits to pick with the league’s hottest player. … Aaron Jones had his first scoreless outing of the year in his Week 9 return. It was a rare rush job from the Packers’ medical staff with the backfield short-handed due to coronavirus. Jones avoided setbacks and will be on 10 days rest against a Jaguars Defense that is bottom six in both rushing yards allowed and running back fantasy points permitted. … Alvin Kamara caught “just” five passes in Michael Thomas’ return. The catch? The game was over at halftime. Elite coverage ‘backer Fred Warner is one of the few nice things the 49ers’ defense has remaining, but matchups simply do not matter for Kamara. … Derrick Henry spent the entirety of Week 9 brick-walling. That will remain a Week 10 concern vs. the Colts’ top-three run D. In volume and goal-line carries we trust.
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As so often happens with seemingly foolproof plug-and-play RB1 fill-ins, Chase Edmonds flopped his Week 9 audition against the Dolphins’ elite defense. Fantasy managers must go back to the well. The Cardinals are two-point home favorites for a Bills showdown with a 56.5 over/under. The Bills surrender a cool 4.6 yards per carry and 126 rushing yards per game. … James Robinson was on the field for 50-of-69 snaps in Week 9, carrying the ball a season-high 25 times. With sixth-round rookie Jake Luton under center, game script could be less of a concern for Robinson because the Jags figure to lean on the run no matter the score, a la Joe Mixon in the second half of 2019. The Packers are a primo matchup. … Nick Chubb (knee) is “progressing.” He seems likely to suit up for the first time since Week 4. Kareem Hunt didn’t make the expected hay during Chubb’s four-game absence, averaging 3.9 yards per carry and 64 rushing yards. That is compared to 5.2 and 68, respectively, when Chubb played start to finish in Weeks 1-3. It’s difficult to say Chubb’s return will help Hunt in fantasy, but it won’t be a death knell, especially considering the sorry state of the RB2/3 ranks. Chubb will offer immediate RB1 value against the Texans’ laughingstock defense. Hunt will remain locked in as a high-end R2.
The Raiders are 4.5-point home favorites vs. the Broncos. It’s difficult to envision Josh Jacobs missing his floor. … Miles Sanders (knee) was seeing some strange usage before his injury, saving back-to-back fantasy efforts with 74-yard runs. Fill-in Boston Scott had the days Sanders managers were hoping for during his absence. The Giants are tough on the ground. The overall game environment should be positive. … Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) will sit against the Bucs. It’s a massive disappointment following his successful Week 9 return, though Mike Davis remains an every-down, plug-and-play replacement. No team permits fewer rushing yards than the Bucs, but Davis’ pass catching keeps him locked in as a low-end RB1. … Reports of Joe Mixon’s return were greatly exaggerated? The beleaguered back could manage only a “limited” practice on Wednesday following the Bengals’ bye. His ranking will be reassessed as the week goes on. Giovani Bernard would slot into the RB10-16 range vs. the Steelers’ elite defense. … James Conner was a massive Week 9 disappointment. With the Steelers operating as seven-point home favorites, Conner gets a mulligan against the Bengals’ bottom-feeding run defense. … Even as J.D. McKissic refuses to stop catching passes, Antonio Gibson remains unchallenged on early downs. No team is handing out more RB fantasy points than Detroit.
David Johnson (concussion) is “up in the air” for Sunday’s game against the Browns. Duke Johnson, though he struggled, was an every-down player in David’s Week 9 absence. With running back in abject chaos, Duke will be an easy RB2 if David sits. … Darrell Henderson comes off bye/injury for a glorious date with Seattle. The Seahawks are actually strong on the ground, but their nonstop shootouts have led to 11 opponent rushing scores. Maybe Malcolm Brown/Cam Akers will be nuisances, but Henderson has proven to be an RB2 worth betting on in this chaotic year. That’s if he plays. Henderson missed Wednesday’s practice. … Better game script could mean more Adrian Peterson for the Lions, but D’Andre Swift’s 10-12 touch floor is safe at this point. He can do more with that work than most of the backs behind him. … I am not ranking the Bears’ running backs yet. David Montgomery (concussion) seems on the wrong side of questionable. Ryan Nall/Cordarrelle Patterson/practice squadder Lamar Miller will form some sort of strange committee in his absence. If Montgomery gets the go-ahead, he remains the quintessential, stubborn usage-based RB2. … Zack Moss is getting the Bills carries that matter. Life comes at you fast at running back, but Moss has settled the Buffalo backfield debate for now.
Colts coach Frank Reich has said he’s “excited” to continue employing a committee. Slowed by an ankle injury in Week 8, Jonathan Taylor was Week 9 doghoused by a fumble. Out-carried 31-17 by Jordan Wilkins over the past two weeks, only blind faith would call for ranking Taylor higher. The Titans are a much more appetizing matchup than the Ravens. … If nothing changes in the Seahawks’ backfield, DeeJay Dallas will remain a last-gasp RB2. Something seems likely to finally change with Chris Carson (foot) and Carlos Hyde (hamstring). … The Bucs’ backfield … I don’t know, man. The last time the Bucs actually ran, Leonard Fournette had the advantage on Ronald Jones. The Panthers are easier to get on the ground than air. … The Chargers are “leaning toward” holding Justin Jackson (knee) out. Troymaine Pope (concussion, neck) has resumed practicing in full, meaning we could be looking at a three-man committee between Kalen Ballage, Pope and Joshua Kelley. If Week 9 is any indication, Ballage will be the leader. … If Damien Harris (chest) gets cleared, it will be for a daunting matchup with the Ravens. Rex Burkhead could split Harris and James White’s Week 10 difference. … The Patriots are extremely vulnerable on the ground, boding well for J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. It is hard to predict game flow for this one, however, while neither back is pulling away. ... Devonta Freeman’s (ankle) return would end the Wayne Gallman RB2 party even if Gallman remains the lead back.