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Running Back Roundup: Week 8 (2019 Fantasy Football)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Oct 23, 2019

Austin Ekeler continued to outproduce Melvin Gordon in Week 7.

Week 7 saw a pair of backups each explode for 150 yards as Latavius Murray and Chase Edmonds led their respective teams to victories. Leonard Fournette continued to put up big numbers as he rumbled for 131 yards on the ground, and Dalvin Cook went for 149 total yards in another spectacular effort. Each week, we’ll offer a look at the biggest performances, busts, timeshare situations, and storylines you need to be aware of to make the best fantasy lineup decisions possible. Let’s jump in to our Running Back Roundup for Week 8!

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Week 7 Rushing Leaders:

1. Dalvin Cook (MIN): 142 yards
2. Leonard Fournette (JAC): 131 yards
3. Chase Edmonds (ARI): 126 yards
4. Josh Jacobs (OAK): 124 yards
5. Latavius Murray (NO): 119 yards

Week 7 Scrimmage Yards Leaders

1. Chase Edmonds (ARI): 150 yards
2. Latavius Murray (NO): 150 yards
3. Dalvin Cook (MIN): 149 yards
4. Ezekiel Elliott (DAL):  147 yards
5. Leonard Fournette (JAC): 145 yards

Week 7 Fantasy Leaders (PPR)

1. Chase Edmonds (ARI): 36.0
2. Latavius Murray (NO): 33.0
3. Austin Ekeler (LAC): 31.5
4. Dalvin Cook (MIN): 28.9
5. Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): 27.7

Week 7 Biggest Busts

1. David Johnson (ARI): 0.2
2. Kerryon Johnson (DET): 2.3
3. David Montgomery (CHI): 2.9
4. Phillip Lindsay (DEN): 4.2
5. Devonta Freeman (ATL): 5.5

Arizona

Chase Edmonds: 27 carries, 126 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 24 receiving yards, 3 rushing TDs
David Johnson: 2-yard carry

Johnson was active, and much to the horror of his owners, he played only three snaps… totaling just two yards. Meanwhile, Edmonds racked up a monster 150-yard/three-touchdown effort to finish as the overall RB1 for Week 7. Edmonds is arguably the best running back handcuff in the game, and he needs to be added this week. With news that the Cardinals are working out running backs, DJ should be considered questionable for Week 8.

Atlanta

Devonta Freeman: 7 carries, 19 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 6 receiving yards
Brian Hill: 5 carries, 11 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards 

Ito Smith left the game with a stinger before Freeman was ejected for picking an ill-advised fight with Aaron Donald. That left Hill to handle the “bulk” of the work for the rest of the game. As long as Smith is out, Freeman will get an increased workload. Hill can be picked up in deeper leagues as a speculative handcuff.

Denver 

Phillip Lindsay: 11 carries, 36 rushing yards, -4-yard reception
Royce Freeman: 10 carries, 35 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 32 receiving yards 

The pair once again split work fairly evenly, though it was a huge letdown for fantasy owners against a porous Chiefs defense. Lindsay is still the back to own in this offense, but production from these guys is highly unpredictable from week to week. With Emmanuel Sanders traded to San Francisco, perhaps there will be more emphasis on the run moving forward, but fantasy owners can’t be too excited to deploy Lindsay or Freeman given the state of the offense.

Detroit

Ty Johnson: 10 carries, 29 rushing yards, 4 receptions, 28 receiving yards 
J.D. McKissic: 5 carries, 29 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 31 receiving yards 

Kerryon Johnson left Sunday’s contest early with a knee injury, and it’s likely that he misses a few weeks. In his absence in Week 7, Ty Johnson handled 14 touches to McKissic’s seven, showing that he’s the lead back in this offense while Kerryon is out. Ty should be picked up as a top waiver-wire add this week, and McKissic could offer some low-end flex value in PPR leagues because of his pass-catching abilities.

Kansas City

Darrel Williams: 2 carries, 1 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 5 receiving yards 
Damien Williams: 9 carries, 7 rushing yards, 2 receptions, -1 receiving yards 
LeSean McCoy: 12 carries, 64 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 12 receiving yards 

Damien Williams and McCoy will be the top two options in the backfield as long as both are healthy. The Chiefs’ backfield will remain an RBBC, and both backs are flex-worthy in the right matchup. Darrel Williams is an excellent handcuff, but he has no standalone value as long as the aforementioned backs are on the field.

Los Angeles Chargers

Melvin Gordon: 16 carries, 32 rushing yards, 2 receptions, -3 receiving yards, receiving TD
Austin Ekeler: 5 carries, 7 rushing yards, 7 receptions, 118 receiving yards, receiving TD

Ekeler has outplayed Gordon in the time that both have been on the field this season, and Ekeler remains a weekly RB2/flex. Gordon, on the other hand, has been a risky flex proposition thanks to his inefficient yards per attempt (2.3) totals in three games this season. It seems highly unlikely this timeshare will shift into a more substantial role for Gordon, and owners of the Wisconsin product need to be very concerned.

Los Angeles Rams 

Darrell Henderson: 11 carries, 31 rushing yards, 8-yard reception
Todd Gurley: 18 carries, 41 rushing yards, 13-yard receiving TD

Malcolm Brown (ankle) sat out Week 7, leaving Henderson to split carries with Gurley. Gurley’s weekly usage is troubling, and it especially concerns me to see him share the workload with another back. Henderson is an elite handcuff, and he will carry some deep-league flex value while Brown is out of the lineup. Gurley is a tough sell as more than a volatile RB2/3 given his volume and production this season.

San Francisco 49ers 

Tevin Coleman: 20 carries, 62 rushing yards, 2 receptions, -1 receiving yards 
Matt Breida: 8 carries, 35 rushing yards, 1-yard reception

Coleman is the true workhorse in this backfield, leading Matt Breida comfortably in touches since he returned from injury. He’s an easy RB2 every week, while Breida’s big-play abilities make him an attractive flex option most weeks.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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