Running Back Roundup: Week 11 (2019 Fantasy Football)
We’ve made it through Week 10. Many fantasy owners are looking ahead to the fantasy playoffs, which aren’t too far away. Last week, we watched Derrick Henry rumble for 188 yards, Joe Mixon break out of his fantasy slumber, and Kareem Hunt mark his Browns debut with a solid stat line. A pair of Jones made their way into the top-scoring backs of Week 10 while elite stalwarts Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley had less-than-stellar performances.
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 into our Running Back Roundup for Week 11!
Week 10 Rushing Leaders
Week 10 Scrimmage Yards Leaders
Week 10 Fantasy Leaders (PPR)
Week 10 Biggest Busts
Los Angeles Chargers
After a dominant Week 9 performance, Gordon looks to be firmly in control of this backfield. He led the touch battle 23-8 over Ekeler, compiling 133 yards to Ekeler’s 48. Ekeler still managed to score a touchdown and will remain in the flex conversation moving forward, but his outlook has definitely taken a hit over the past two weeks. Gordon is rounding into form just in time for the fantasy playoff push, and he’s a locked-in RB1 from here on out.
Hunt was surprisingly involved in his first game of the season, seeing seven receptions on nine targets and racking up an efficient 74 scrimmage yards on just 11 total touches. Chubb clearly operated as the lead back, carrying the ball 20 times, but Hunt’s impressive showing and involvement in the passing game could forebode a hit to Chubb’s value moving forward.
Freeman exited Sunday’s win over the Saints early with a foot injury, and he’s expected to miss two weeks of action while recovering. With Ito Smith on the IR, Hill stepped up, seeing 21 touches and scoring a short receiving touchdown in Atlanta’s shocking blowout victory. Hill should be the lead back for at least as long as Freeman is out; his only competition for backfield touches lies in Kenjon Barner and rookie Qadree Ollison.
New Orleans Saints
Reports surfaced early in the week that Kamara would be fine sharing work with Murray moving forward, and Murray actually saw more carries than Kamara in Sunday’s loss. Kamara stayed heavily involved as a receiver, and a surprising game script accounted for the lowly nine combined carries both backs logged in the upset. New Orleans won’t usually get blown out in this fashion, so Murray could retain some flex value if his role remains steady and he splits work more evenly.
New York Giants
No surprise here, as Barkley comfortably led the charge out of the backfield. What was concerning was after the game. Barkley went for X-rays that revealed no major damage, but his one-yard effort on 13 carries seems to paint the picture of a running back dealing with the residual impact of a high-ankle sprain suffered earlier in the season. Barkley has a Week 11 bye week to recover, but Gallman should be picked up as insurance with only a few weeks to go until the fantasy playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jones was given the full confidence of Bruce Arians following Week 9, but he still split the work evenly with Peyton Barber out of the backfield on Sunday. Both backs saw 11 carries, and both scored a rushing touchdown. Jones’ big role as a receiver was encouraging, but his promise of a starting job appears to have just been lip service. Jones is the better fantasy play, though Barber is still hanging around as a desperation flex.
It’s worth noting that Ballage was the workhorse back in Sunday’s win over Indianapolis, but he didn’t do much with his 24 total touches. Miami’s offense is terrible, and the rushing game hasn’t been able to muster much of anything this season. In fantasy, however, opportunity is king. With so much volume available to Ballage, he should certainly be rostered with Mark Walton suspended for two more games.
Green Bay Packers
Jones scored touchdowns 12, 13, and 14 in Sunday’s victory, piling up 93 rushing yards on just 13 carries. He and Williams split the rushes evenly, but Jones maintained his role as the preferred goal-line option. Williams is still a highly-prized handcuff who provides flex value most weeks thanks to his continued involvement in the offense. While both backs are typically utilized in the passing game, this outlier saw neither catch a single pass.
With James Conner (shoulder) still ailing, Samuels and Edmunds handled running back duties once again. Samuels led the way by a comfortable margin for the second week in a row and remains an elite handcuff option. With Conner’s availability for Week 11 trending up, Samuels could be headed back to the bench, but he could still find some work as a change-of-pace back.