Running Back Roundup Week 6: Ronald Jones, Le’Veon Bell, D’Andre Swift
Week 6 is in the books, and it’s time to take stock of the crazy week we just experienced. What better way to do that then with a retrospective of the top stories from fantasy’s favorite position – the running back. Each Wednesday, we’ll look back on studs, busts, breakouts, timeshares, situations to monitor, and all things RB from the past week.
So settle in, partner. It’s time to saddle up for the RB Roundup. Yeehaw.
Stud of the week: Derrick Henry (TEN) 39.4 fantasy points
King Henry had a regal showing in this one as he dominated Houston to the tune of 212 yards rushing, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime and this ridiculous 94-yard scamper to the house. His weekly volume and accompanying upside are tremendous, and despite limited work as a pass-catcher (though his usage in that department is improving), Henry should challenge to be the overall RB1 this season.
DERRICK HENRY ABSURD 94-YARD TD 🤯
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 18, 2020
Bust of the week: Alexander Mattison (MIN) 3.5 fantasy points
Wow, what a week for the “automatic” RB1. Mattison was a stud in Week 5 when he came into the game behind Dalvin Cook, but when gifted a starting role against a weak Atlanta defense, Mattison stunk up the joint. Minnesota fell behind early and was forced to abandon the run, but A-Matt was still largely ineffective on his touches. The biggest single-week stinker of the season thus far will head back to the bench with Dalvin Cook likely healthy in Week 8.
Breakout of the week: Kenyan Drake (ARI) 28.4 fantasy points
He’s not cooked yet. Drake’s fantasy obituary may have been written a bit prematurely (I alluded to it in last week’s roundup), and he showed out on MNF. Drake capped his night with this highlight touchdown run and finished the game with 164 yards and two scores. He’s still got a lead over Chase Edmonds for this backfield’s No. 1 role.
Kenyan Drake 69-yard TD run 😱
Cards taking it to the Cowboys.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 20, 2020
Surprise of the Week: J.D. McKissic (WAS) 11.4 fantasy points
McKissic out-touched Antonio Gibson and out-produced him as a rusher and a receiver. After a breakout against Baltimore, Antonio Gibson hasn’t been heard from, and it’s been McKissic who’s been the better WFT fantasy back over the last couple of weeks. McKissic has caught at least six balls in each of his three contests, and Gibson’s work as a pass-catcher has been capped. Washington’s backfield has turned into a full-blown committee, and while Gibson is still the back to own, JDM is a PPR flex due to his involvement.
RoJo So-So? Not So. He’s Full Go, Fo Sho
It’s time to finally start talking about how good Ronald Jones has been this season. Across his last three games, the numbers have been outrageous, as evidenced below:
|Carries||Rush Yards||Targets||Receptions||Receiving Yards||Total TD||Fantasy Points (.5 PPR)|
From Weeks 4-6, RoJo has totaled at least 120 scrimmage yards in all three contests while staying involved as a pass-catcher. Leonard Fournette broke out in Week 3 but injured his ankle and has not played since then. His absence has accounted for Jones’ uptick in usage and production … or has it? Fournette was on the sidelines and available as an emergency option against Chicago in Week 5, indicating he’s healthy enough to play. He was then inactive for Week 6, and it appears that was a healthy scratch.
It seems as if Jones has done enough to keep the starting gig in Tampa Bay even when Fournette next takes the field.
— NFL (@NFL) October 18, 2020
The Buccaneers’ schedule is very favorable to close out the season, as five of the team’s nine remaining games are against bottom-10 run defenses.
Who Will be the Chief Back in Kansas City?
What should we make of the Chiefs backfield moving forward? The addition of Le’Veon Bell won’t be the death knell of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and the rookie made sure of that with a dazzling performance on MNF.
Clyde the Glyde for 31 yards. #ChiefsKingdom
— NFL (@NFL) October 19, 2020
The rookie piled up a career-high 167 yards in the first game since the team signed Le’Veon Bell, and CEH now ranks second in the league behind only Derrick Henry with 505 rushing yards. The addition of Bell provides depth and a quality weapon in the passing game, though Darrel Williams is the back most likely to lose work here. CEH could see a decline in his touches, but he should remain the featured back in this offense.
Slow to Start, Swift to Breakout
Coming out of the bye, Swift had a monster game and may never look back. Playing behind Adrian Peterson (and occasionally Kerryon Johnson) to that point in the season, Swift saw the most touches out of the backfield and handily outplayed his teammates.
14 carries, 116 yards and 2 touchdowns for UGA great D’Andre Swift pic.twitter.com/C7o1tPhKUd
— UGA Football Live (@UGAfootballLive) October 18, 2020
After a strong collegiate career at Georgia, Swift was taken in the second round of this year’s draft to provide immediate production for a team lacking a run game. Swift missed time in training camp due to a leg injury, and the team was forced to bring him along slowly. He then dropped a would-be game-winning reception in Week 1 against the Bears, and proceeded with limited touches over the next three weeks. After this huge game, Swift should continue to see his workload increase moving forward, and he’ll look to keep the momentum going against the Falcons in Week 7 – a team that consistently gives up receiving production to opposing backs.
- It was an absolutely brutal night for Zeke and his hopeful fantasy managers on MNF as the stud RB fumbled on back-to-back touches early in the game and ceded 10 carries to Tony Pollard. Despite putting the ball on the turf, there’s no concern for Elliott losing work moving forward.
Cardinals safety Budda Baker on forcing this fumble: “I heard Andy Dalton. He was saying, ‘Zeke! Zeke!’ because I think Zeke wasn’t looking. He dumped it down to Zeke and I knew Zeke didn’t see me, so I just tried to rip the ball out. Luckily it came out.” pic.twitter.com/iJ7ILCd9rE
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 20, 2020
- Frank Gore continues to operate as the Jets’ No. 1 back, though Lamical Perine and Ty Johnson mixed in and looked more explosive than the 37-year-old veteran.
- You didn’t think you’d make it through a RB Roundup without some Mike D love, did you? Come on, now. Davis has been the truth for fantasy managers fortunate enough to have picked him up off the waiver wire, as he’s scored in four straight games as Carolina’s starter.
Mike Davis took a nap after the TD 😂 pic.twitter.com/tPng9K72Ug
— Athlete Swag (@AthleteSwag) October 18, 2020
- Aaron Jones was stuffed against Tampa Bay, but he still scored his seventh touchdown in just five games in 2020. After leading the league with 19 scores in 2019, Jones is on pace for 22 this season.
- Myles Gaskin racked up a season-high 91 rushing yards and topped 100 scrimmage yards Sunday in Miami’s dominant win over the Jets. Gaskin has 109 total touches through six weeks, including 27 receptions. He’s a clear RB2 with this volume, though his upside is capped there due to the single score he has on the year.
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