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Erickson’s Top Fantasy Football Takeaways: Running Backs (2022)

Sep 27, 2022
Erickson's Top Fantasy Football Takeaways: Running Backs (2022)

Here are my top takeaways from Week 3 and the fantasy football stats you need to know as you prepare for Week 4. You can find my full Week 4 Usage Report here.

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Erickson’s Top Takeaways

  • Nick Chubb (62%) and Kareem Hunt (44%) split snaps again in Week 3, but both guys saw their usual workloads. Hunt has been right around the 15-touch mark all year as he was last season, and Chubb has constantly been getting fed carries – 23 on Thursday night – in the Browns’ Jacoby Brissett-led offense.
  • Buy Breece Hall: Hall seeing the massive target volume over Michael Carter in Week 3 is eye-opening. 11 to 2 is massive. Their carries were more split (8 to 11) in favor of Carter. Although they both rushed for 39 yards and Hall out-snapped Carter (51% versus 49%) for the first time all season. Hall also ran more routes. Buy Hall now before his massive breakout game. It’s coming. 2 of 1st three NFL games with 9-plus targets for a rookie RB should not be overlooked.
  • Najee Harris (80%, 47) dominated snaps over Jaylen Warren (20%, 12). He also out-touched him 18 to 5. Although Warren looked explosive in his limited touches compiling 30 rushing yards on just four carries. Harris rushed 15 times for 56 yards. Considering Harris’ workload and injury entering the season, Warren needs to be stashed. He’d likely be an immediate plug-in play fantasy RB2 should Harris miss anytime…even in the Steelers’ uninspiring offense.
  • Aaron Jones (63%) and A.J. Dillon (53%) split snaps for the third straight week, totaling 12 carries apiece. Jones had one more reception (3 vs 2) but also lost a fumble. Both guys earned RZ touches. Jones has three catches through 1st 3 games, slightly lower than his average last season (3.4). He still remains a sell candidate.
  • James Conner: 16 touches for 57 yards in Week 3 (60% snap share). No TDs and 3 catches. He’s still Arizona’s clear-cut RB1, with Darrel Williams (17% snap share) and Eno Benjamin (27% snap share) combining for just 7 touches. If you need to make roster depth, I’m okay with cutting those Zona backups. No guarantee either is a bellcow if/and when Conner goes down.The Cardinals offense (aside from feeding their top-3 WRs) is also not inspiring hope that they can support fantasy production for a lesser-talented RB based on just volume alone.
  • Add Craig Reynolds off waivers with D’Andre Swift‘s injury. Reynolds is the biggest threat to Jamaal Williams after he finished last season third in yards after contact per attempt (3.9) on the back of nearly 200 rushing yards in two spot starts in 2021.
  • The time is now to sell the TD-dependent Damien Harris, who will feel the biggest impact in a less efficient Patriots offense without Mac Jones. In back-to-back weeks, Rhamondre Stevenson has out-snapped Harris by a vast margin (62% versus 38%).
  • Miles Sanders‘ ceiling is always going to be limited by his lack of work as a receiver. Sub-50% route participation with a mobile QB isn’t going to cut it, even with his effectiveness as a rusher.
  • Sell Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He’s averaging just under 12 touches per game and finished with zero rushing yards on 7 carries in Week 3. Jerick McKinnon rushed 7 times for 20 yards, ran more routes and saw work in the RZ. Edwards-Helaire is not the exclusively featured goal-line back. Isiah Pacheco also had a carry inside the 10-yard line.
  • Chase Edmonds‘ role is bizarre in the Dolphins offense. Takes a backseat to Raheem Mostert in terms of snaps, carries, routes and targets…but gets the goal-line work for two touchdowns. We really need this backfield to become one-dimensional.
  • RBs that saw multiple carries inside the 10-yard line that did not score in Week 3 include: Jonathan Taylor (2), James Robinson (2), Kareem Hunt (3), Joe Mixon (3), Devin Singletary (3), Cam Akers (2), James Conner (2).
  • Saquon Barkley played 91% of the snaps on Monday night, totaling 18 touches for 126 yards and a rushing TD. Barkley’s 95% backfield opportunity share ranked second to only Leonard Fournette in Week 3. Top-3 fantasy RB ROS.

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