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Fantasy Football Player Notes

Week 4 Rankings
Alvin Kamara Note
Alvin Kamara photo 1. Alvin Kamara NO (at DET)
We watched Kamara be treated like a slot receiver last week, as he totaled just six carries but racked up 13 receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns. On the year, Kamara has 31 carries while Murray has 30 of them, so maybe we're seeing them turn more towards the way it was with Mark Ingram? It's too small of a sample size to tell, and we can't forget Kamara out-carried Murray 13-3 back in Week 2. If the Saints want to win this game, they'll walk into Detroit and run the ball. A lot. The Lions have allowed a league-high 6.10 yards per carry to running backs this year, and it's not like they've played the most talented running backs in the world. David Montgomery and Kenyan Drake were two of the three starters they played against. I said back in the offseason that Aaron Jones was someone who compares to Kamara, and we watched Jones trample this defense for 236 total yards and three touchdowns just two weeks ago. The Lions allowed Damon "Snacks" Harrison to leave this offseason and I believe he was the difference. With him on the field, they allowed 3.26 yards per carry in 2019 and 2.95 yards per carry in 2018. Without him on the field? They allowed 5.53 yards per carry in 2018 and 5.29 yards per carry in 2019. You're starting Kamara as an elite RB1 play who's gamescript-proof. Murray is someone who can be considered as a flex-type option this week, as the Lions have faced a rather-high 27.7 touches per game by running backs and allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per opportunity on them.
40 mins ago
Ezekiel Elliott Note
Ezekiel Elliott photo 2. Ezekiel Elliott DAL (vs . CLE)
It was one of Elliott's worst games in the NFL last week when he rushed for just 34 yards against the Seahawks. That's the third-lowest total of his career, though you shouldn't get used to it. The Browns are a team that you can run the ball against. Some will say they've still yet to allow a running back more than 15.0 PPR points, but I'll remind you they've played against Mark Ingram, Joe Mixon, and Antonio Gibson, who have all struggled to start the year. It's still pretty shocking to see that the Browns haven't allowed a team of running backs more than 70 yards on the season considering their linebacker and safety issues. There are multiple avenues for Elliott, though, as they've allowed 15 receptions for 110 yards through the air to running backs over the last two weeks. The Browns have only faced 56 carries despite their opponents running 69.3 plays per game to this point. So, it's no shock to see their opponents have called a pass play on 63.5 percent of plays, which ranks as the sixth-most in the league. The Cowboys need to bring more balance to their offense, and it should start in this game. Elliott should be started as a high-end RB1 against a team that allowed seven different top-six running backs last year. I'd certainly consider him in cash games.
28 mins ago
Dalvin Cook Note
Dalvin Cook photo 3. Dalvin Cook MIN (at HOU)
His role is growing as the Vikings run more and more plays. His touch totals have gone 14, 16, and 24. Despite being behind in every game, the Vikings have called a passing play on just 53.8 percent of their plays, which is the ninth-lowest percentage in the league. This actually matches up with what the opponents have done against the Texans, as they've called a passing play on just 47.6 percent of plays, the lowest mark in the league. It should come as no surprise that they've already allowed three running backs to finish with 15.7 or more PPR points, including James Conner's 159-yard, one-touchdown performance. He had holes the size of Texas to run through last week and didn't offer much in terms of creativity to his runs. On the season, they're allowing a massive 5.84 yards per carry. The 502 rushing yards they've allowed are the most in the league while the 592 total yards they've allowed to running backs are the second-most. There's no logical reason to avoid Cook this week, as he should make a big RB1 splash. He's someone to play in both cash and tournament lineups.
33 mins ago
Aaron Jones Note
Aaron Jones photo 4. Aaron Jones GB (vs . ATL)
Remember when Jones finished as the No. 2 running back in fantasy football last year and no one thought it was possible for him to do it again? Well, through three games, he's in the exact same spot. He's playing lights out and there's no way the Packers could limit his workload considering he's averaging a monstrous 6.1 yards per carry while scoring five total touchdowns. Now onto the Falcons, who have actually done a great job limiting opposing run games over the first three weeks, as no team of running backs has totaled more than 95 yards on the ground, which includes Chris Carson and the Seahawks, as well as Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys. That didn't stop either of those running backs from finishing as top-eight running backs, as they both found the end zone at least once while racking up six receptions apiece. That's been a continuing theme under Dan Quinn - the Falcons allowing tons of receptions to running backs. Jones has averaged 1.86 yards per route run, which ranks sixth among running backs with at least 10 targets. On top of that, the Falcons might be without interior lineman Grady Jarrett this week, as he's dealing with a hip injury that forced him to leave last week's game. The Falcons are a team you choose to pass on most of the time, but as Jones has shown, he'll get it done anywhere the team needs him to. He's a must-play RB1 every week.
15 mins ago
Jonathan Taylor Note
Jonathan Taylor photo 5. Jonathan Taylor IND (at CHI)
It hasn't been the explosion fantasy managers were expecting when Taylor took over the starting job with the Colts, as he's racked up a solid 48 carries, but he's averaged just 3.8 yards per carry and scored twice on them. He's currently the No. 15 running back through three weeks and now set to go against the Bears tough run defense. Going back to the start of last year, there have been just three running backs who've hit the century-mark against them, and one of them was in Week 17 in a throwaway game. The good news is that running backs get plenty of opportunity to rack up the touches, as there have been 15 running backs who've totaled at least 15 touches against them in their last 19 games. Both Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley were able to accumulate 80-plus yards on the ground against them, so it's not like it's a must-avoid matchup, but rather one that caps upside. We knew the opting out by Eddie Goldman would impact this defense, but they've allowed 0.94 PPR points per opportunity in 2020, which ranks as the eighth-most through three games, with the majority of that coming on the ground, as they've allowed 4.93 yards per carry and four rushing touchdowns. Meanwhile, they've allowed just 4.71 yards per target and 22.9 PPR points through the air, which is the eighth-fewest in the league. This matchup suits Taylor's skillset better than it does Hines, so keep plugging Taylor in as a high-end RB2 who's getting great workloads, even if he's not crushing his opportunity just yet. Hines bounced back and saw 12 opportunities last week, which restores confidence, and it's possible he's even more involved now that Campbell and Pittman are out, though the Bears have done well with pass-catching running backs to this point. Still, I'd guess he sees at least 10 opportunities, which makes him a flex/RB4-type option in a tough matchup.
25 mins ago
Nick Chubb Note
Nick Chubb photo 6. Nick Chubb CLE (at DAL)
The Browns running backs are averaging a massive 34.0 touches per game this season, which is more than the Vikings running backs averaged last year under Kevin Stefanski. That also means there's plenty of room for both running backs to produce on a weekly basis. While Chubb has four rushing touchdowns to Hunt's one, they're both getting similar workloads in the red zone, as Hunt actually has one more carry inside the 20-yard-line. Everyone knows Hunt is the preferred option in the passing game, but there may not be a whole lot for them to split this week, as running backs have seen just 13.1 percent of the targets when playing against the Cowboys, which is the lowest mark in the league. Under Mike Nolan, this team is actually the second-most efficient defense against running backs, as they've allowed just 0.62 PPR points per opportunity to running backs. We've seen four different running backs total 15-plus touches against them, though just one of them has topped 10.6 PPR points, and that was Malcolm Brown who scored two touchdowns. It's clear they've placed an emphasis on limiting the run, and against the Browns, that will be necessary. This game has the highest total on the board, so you can't avoid Chubb and Hunt, but it's not likely going to be another game where they combine for 174 total yards and three touchdowns like they did against Washington. Chubb should be considered a high-end RB2 while Hunt falls into the low-end RB2/high-end RB3 territory. *Update* Hunt is dealing with a groin strain that kept him out of practice on Wednesday. It's something to monitor as the week goes on.
29 mins ago
Josh Jacobs Note
Josh Jacobs photo 7. Josh Jacobs LV (vs . BUF)
The only player with more carries than Jacobs through three games is Derrick Henry. His 13 targets do leave a little bit to be desired, but it does rank 13th among running backs, so it's a step in the right direction. With the Raiders down two of their top receiving options, Jacobs should have an even bigger role this week. The Bills have played against just one running back who's totaled more than 13 touches, and that was Darrell Henderson last week who totaled 120 total yards and a touchdown. There were 12 running backs who totaled more than 15 touches against the Bills last year, and in those games, nine running backs finished as top-24 options, including five who finished top-12. If there's one thing we've seen under Sean McDermott, it's that they're willing to allow some production on the ground to running backs. Through 51 games as the head coach, they've allowed 47 rushing touchdowns. The efficiency on carries has been good, too, as they've allowed 4.43 yards per carry this year while allowing 4.37 yards per carry last year. Jacobs is locked into 18 touches in this game and should find his way into the end zone with a team-implied total of 23.5 points. He's a low-end RB1 this week.
18 mins ago
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Note
Clyde Edwards-Helaire photo 8. Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC (vs . NE)
Through three weeks, Edwards-Helaire is operating as a full-fledged workhorse in what is likely the best offense in the league. He's totaled 66 of the 86 touches available to running backs, which amounts to 76.7 percent. He's only scored one touchdown to this point, but don't worry, better days are coming. The Patriots have been consistent in the production allowed over the first three games, as Myles Gaskin, Chris Carson, and Josh Jacobs all averaged in between 4.24 and 4.44 yards per carry. We haven't seen a whole lot of production, though, as teams have run an average of just 58.0 plays per game against them, which is the third-lowest number in the league. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have run an average of 70.0 plays per game. Something's got to give. There were just 11 running backs who totaled more than 13 touches against the Patriots last year, and nine of them totaled at least 10.3 PPR points, though just three of them finished as a top-12 running back. Knowing how much Edwards-Helaire is being used in the passing game the last two weeks (14 targets), he needs to be in lineups as a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 in a game they're projected for 30.5 points.
20 mins ago
Kenyan Drake Note
Kenyan Drake photo 9. Kenyan Drake ARI (at CAR)
I'm with you. It's been a bad start to the season for Drake, who's averaged a respectable 4.1 yards per carry, but he's caught just five passes through three games, and has found the end zone just once. He's still getting 74.7 percent of the running back touches in this backfield, so in games where they're projected to run a lot of plays, he should be in for a big performance. Last week was surely a disappointment, but don't hang onto that because you don't want to miss his Week 4 performance against the Panthers. Through their last 19 games, they've now allowed 34 rushing touchdowns, including seven of them in their three games this year. Those touchdowns came courtesy of Josh Jacobs, Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones, and Austin Ekeler. Outside of their games with the Panthers, do you know how many touchdowns those running backs have scored? ZERO. This is Drake's chance to get right and pad his fantasy stats. They've allowed 1.23 PPR points per opportunity and Drake hasn't had fewer than 18 opportunities in a game yet. Start him as an RB1 and reap the benefits. I'm willing to go back to him in cash games as well. Knowing the Panthers have already allowed six running backs to finish as the RB43 or better, even Edmonds has RB4 appeal this week.
2 days ago
Miles Sanders Note
Miles Sanders photo 10. Miles Sanders PHI (at SF)
The good news is that Sanders has continued to take on the workhorse back role in the offense, but the problem is that this team isn't getting into scoring position very often and now has an 18.5-point team-implied total. The Eagles offensive line has caught a lot of heat this year, but their running backs are averaging 1.38 yards before contact, which is right around the league average. Meanwhile, the 49ers have allowed 1.32 yards before contact to running backs, so it's a near-even match here, though the 49ers aren't allowing much beyond that, as their 3.24 yards per carry they've allowed indicates. They've also allowed just 3.12 yards per target to running backs, which all amounts to a league-low 0.61 PPR points per opportunity. What does that mean? On average, a running back who totaled 15 touches would finish with less than 10 PPR points. Crazy, right? To be fair, the running backs they've played have included Kenyan Drake (who finished as the RB17), Frank Gore, and Devonta Freeman, so they've hardly been tested. With Dallas Goedert out, it should raise Sanders' floor in the receiving game, which was already massive with 15 targets through two games. Start him as a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 despite the numbers the 49ers defense has put up to this point, as Sanders' floor is just too high.
17 mins ago
James Robinson Note
James Robinson photo 11. James Robinson JAC (at CIN)
This is just a feel-good story all around, as Robinson was an undrafted free agent who earned the starting job in training camp and it led the Jaguars to cutting Leonard Fournette. Through three games, he's rushed for three touchdowns, which is the same number Fournette had the entire 2019 season on 265 carries on this same team. Robinson has now totaled 43 of the team's 47 carries and racked up a career-high six targets in Week 2. Meanwhile, Thompson has touched the ball just 14 times through three games. The pending return of Ryquell Armstead is worrisome to Robinson's insane workload, but he's earned the majority of work. Similar to last year, the Bengals are a team to run the ball against. Through three games, they've allowed the third-most fantasy points on the ground to running backs (23.5 points per game on the ground alone), behind only the Panthers and Raiders. Of the flip side of that, they've allowed just 39 yards through the air to running backs through three games, which is the fewest in the league. The Bengals also faced the sixth-fewest targets to running backs in 2019, so teams just don't feel the need to attack underneath. The 14.0 percent of targets that have gone to running backs through three weeks is the second-lowest percentage. Knowing Robinson has totaled 91.5 percent of the team's carries to this point, this matchup suits him well. He should be started as an RB2 this week against a team whose opponents are averaging 71.7 plays per game.
3 days ago
Derrick Henry Note
Derrick Henry photo 12. Derrick Henry TEN (vs . PIT)
Joe Mixon Note
Joe Mixon photo 13. Joe Mixon CIN (vs . JAC)
There's panic through the fantasy world when it comes to Mixon, which is something similar to what happened in 2019 when he was the RB34 through the first seven weeks of the season. Did you know he only had one touchdown through those seven games? Well, for the remainder of the season, he was the RB5 in fantasy and scored six touchdowns in the last nine games. As Joe Burrow continues to improve and force defenses to be honest, Mixon will get better. The Jaguars have surprisingly been one of the better run defenses to start the year, allowing just 3.17 yards per carry through three weeks. It's not a small sample size, either, as they've faced 75 rushing attempts, which ranks as the sixth-most in the league. They also played against Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor, so it's not like they played backups. Still, the Bengals are an offense that'll stretch out that defense in ways that the Titans and Colts couldn't. To be fair, though, Mixon has only faced eight-man defensive fronts on 7.7 percent of his carries, so that hasn't been too much of an issue. When playing against a defense that's surrendered 99 touches to running backs over the first three weeks, you'd better be playing Mixon, even if you're upset with the way the year has started. He's getting 20-plus touches this game where they're the favorites, and I'd be willing to bet he scores his first touchdown.
3 days ago
Austin Ekeler Note
Austin Ekeler photo 14. Austin Ekeler LAC (at TB)
It's clear that this is a timeshare, but you need a positive gamescript in order to trust someone in Kelley's role as anything more than a touchdown-dependent RB3. If we can't trust them to be in a positive gamescript against the league's worst run defense (Panthers), how can we trust him against the league's best run defense (Bucs) who are coming off wins of 14 and 18 points? The Bucs have been the best run defense in the league since the start of last year, allowing just 1,057 rushing yards on 357 carries over a span of 19 games. That amounts to just 2.96 yards per carry and 55.6 rushing yards per game. Whew. Here's the list of running backs who've finished as top-12 options over their last 19 games: Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Todd Gurley, and Leonard Fournette. If there's any hope for Ekeler, it's through the air, as the Bucs have had some trouble slowing pass catchers out of the backfield. They've actually allowed 51.1 PPR points through the air alone, which ranks as the fourth-most in football. If the Chargers want to slow the Bucs pass rush, they'll need to involve Ekeler in the screen game. Knowing Herbert has targeted him 15 times over the last two weeks, that's a step in the right direction. Ekeler should be in lineups as a mid-to-high-end RB2 this week even though it is a tough matchup. Kelley is going to have a much tougher time in this matchup, as he's not heavily involved in the passing game (four targets through three games). The Bucs have allowed just 13 running backs finish as top-30 options against them since the start of 2019, which is now a span of 19 games. The odds of two running backs getting there when their team-implied total is just 19 points is highly unlikely. Kelley has still totaled six carries inside the 10-yard-line compared to just one for Ekeler, so we can't write off the possibility that he scores a touchdown. But even if he does, you're looking at what might be RB3 numbers. He's just a mediocre RB4 this week in what's projected to be a negative gamescript.
38 mins ago
Devin Singletary Note
Devin Singletary photo 15. Devin Singletary BUF (at LV)
After missing practice all of last week, Moss was ruled inactive days before the game, which means he wasn't close with his toe injury. We'll pay attention to the practice reports as the week goes on, but we should prepare for another Singletary-heavy game. He had his best game of the year in Week 3, compiling 121 yards on 17 touches against the Rams, though he didn't find the end zone. On to the Raiders, it's a matchup to attack. 55.3 percent of skill-players production against them has come via the running back position, the highest mark in the league. No one else is above 51.3 percent. They've faced the eighth-most running back touches but have allowed more fantasy points to them than any other team in the league, as the 1.34 PPR points per opportunity is the highest in the league. Keep in mind the league leader in that category last year was the Panthers who allowed 1.05 PPR points per opportunity. To be fair, the Raiders did play against Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara the first two weeks, but then when we watch Sony Michel hit 117 yards on just nine carries and Rex Burkhead have a three-touchdown game, it's time to lock in running backs against the Raiders. Singletary would be a must-play high-end RB2 if Moss is out again, but would fall to low-end RB2 if Moss returns, as he'd lose out on the goal-line touches. Moss is going to be tough to trust unless he practices in full all week. I'll update his notes at the end of the week, but for now, treat him as a risky RB4. He did return to practice on Wednesday, though in a limited fashion.
19 mins ago
David Montgomery Note
David Montgomery photo 16. David Montgomery CHI (vs . IND)
Now that Tarik Cohen is out for the year with a torn ACL, this is Montgomery's backfield. While Cordarrelle Patterson will be involved, it's hard to see his current workload of 5.0 carries per game go up. That would mean Montgomery would inherit most of Cohen's 7.7 opportunities per game. This moves Montgomery into 20-touch potential most weeks, including games like this one where it's projected to be competitive. Unfortunately, it's not a great matchup against this Colts defense, who, under Matt Eberflus, have allowed just one 100-yard rusher through 35 regular season games. It doesn't help that their opponents have averaged just 51.3 plays per game this year, limiting opportunity. Running backs have averaged just 24.3 touches per game against the Colts, which is the sixth-lowest mark in the league. Even going back to the start of last year, the Colts allowed just nine top-20 running backs in their last 19 games. Montgomery may have a bigger workload, but he'll need it to perform in this game. Consider him a low-end RB2/high-end RB3 in this tough matchup, just know that his ceiling isn't very high.
25 mins ago
Melvin Gordon III Note
Melvin Gordon III photo 17. Melvin Gordon III DEN (at NYJ)
Gordon was stifled in week three by the stout Buccaneers run defense and he should have some more room to run in this one. However, this offense looks atrocious without Drew Lock and Gordon's not going to be in very many scoring opportunities, which is what has inflated his fantasy value up to this point. Gordon's a low-end RB2 due to his workload, but he might not be anything more than that this week.
3 days ago
James Conner Note
James Conner photo 18. James Conner PIT (at TEN)
David Johnson Note
David Johnson photo 19. David Johnson HOU (vs . MIN)
With Duke Johnson out the last two weeks, David Johnson has managed to total 28 of the Texans 30 running back touches available. It seems they're expecting Duke back this week after he participated in practice most of last week, so the workload will get a bit smaller for David. The Vikings weren't supposed to be a great match for running backs, but that's not the case. Through three games, running backs have managed to rack up 107 total touches against them, which leads the league. That's large in part to do with the 72.0 plays per game that their opponents are averaging. They're allowing more yards per carry on the ground (4.43) than they are yards per target through the air (3.67) to running backs through the first three games. Each starting running back has totaled at least 16 carries, including at least 25 carries to both Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry over the last two weeks. The Packers, Colts, and Titans have all totaled at least 29 running back touches. This is great news for Johnson, who should be relatively fresh after totaling just 28 touches over the last two weeks in brutal matchups against the Steelers and Ravens. As a home favorite with an implied team total of 27.8 points, the stage is set for Johnson to get back into RB2 territory this week.
3 days ago
Todd Gurley II Note
Todd Gurley II photo 20. Todd Gurley II ATL (at GB)
If you've watched the Falcons this year, you can tell Gurley isn't going to turn a corner any time soon. You can watch guys like Joe Mixon and think, "He looks good, just hasn't quite hit yet." You cannot say that about Gurley. He's essentially a running back who's getting what's blocked, and fortunately for him, the Falcons offensive line ranks eighth in terms of yards created before contact for their running backs. Against the Packers, we might see another competent fantasy performance out of Gurley, though. They've allowed a massive 5.38 yards per carry through three games, including a rushing touchdown every 18.7 carries. That's where Gurley has to make his mark because if he doesn't score, he's not offering much. Fantasy managers found that out when he totaled just 6.1 PPR points in a game against the Cowboys. The worst part for Gurley is that this team has had a big lead each of the last two weeks, and it's led to 35 carries for 141 yards and one touchdown. The projected gamescript and pace of this game favors pass-catching backs, and Gurley has just two targets over the last two weeks, and that's with Julio Jones out of the lineup last week. In terms of pass routes run, it's been Gurley 47, Hill 35, and Ito Smith 29, so it's split three ways with a quarterback who's not checking down very much. Knowing no running back has totaled more than 12 carries against the Packers, combined with Gurley's limitations in the passing game, he's a bust-risk this week, though touchdowns might save him, as he's gotten 75 percent of the Falcons touches inside the 10-yard-line. He's a RB2/RB3 who's more touchdown dependent than most in that range. Hill is someone who should be rostered with the way Gurley has looked, though you can't start him just yet with just 22 opportunities through three weeks. Whoever gets the most usage in the passing game will likely be the most valuable this week, but there's no clear-cut answer among them.
16 mins ago
Mike Davis Note
Mike Davis photo 21. Mike Davis CAR (vs . ARI)
In the first game without Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers gave Davis 22 of the 24 running back opportunities, so it's fair to say he's the workhorse until further notice. He wasn't particularly efficient on the ground, but it was a tough matchup against the Chargers, and he made up for that while catching eight balls (for the second straight week) for 45 yards and a touchdown. It's a much better matchup this week, and one that actually suits his role quite well. The Cardinals have allowed 10.1 yards per target to running backs over the first three weeks, which ranks as the second-most in the league. The 2.26 PPR points per target they've allowed also ranks as the second-most. Knowing Davis has seen 17 targets over the last two weeks, this matchup bodes well for him. The Cardinals have also allowed a respectable 4.36 yards per carry, so it's not like he can't do anything on the ground, either. I'd consider him a stable RB2 this week, particularly in PPR formats.
2 days ago
Kareem Hunt Note
Kareem Hunt photo 22. Kareem Hunt CLE (at DAL)
The Browns running backs are averaging a massive 34.0 touches per game this season, which is more than the Vikings running backs averaged last year under Kevin Stefanski. That also means there's plenty of room for both running backs to produce on a weekly basis. While Chubb has four rushing touchdowns to Hunt's one, they're both getting similar workloads in the red zone, as Hunt actually has one more carry inside the 20-yard-line. Everyone knows Hunt is the preferred option in the passing game, but there may not be a whole lot for them to split this week, as running backs have seen just 13.1 percent of the targets when playing against the Cowboys, which is the lowest mark in the league. Under Mike Nolan, this team is actually the second-most efficient defense against running backs, as they've allowed just 0.62 PPR points per opportunity to running backs. We've seen four different running backs total 15-plus touches against them, though just one of them has topped 10.6 PPR points, and that was Malcolm Brown who scored two touchdowns. It's clear they've placed an emphasis on limiting the run, and against the Browns, that will be necessary. This game has the highest total on the board, so you can't avoid Chubb and Hunt, but it's not likely going to be another game where they combine for 174 total yards and three touchdowns like they did against Washington. Chubb should be considered a high-end RB2 while Hunt falls into the low-end RB2/high-end RB3 territory. *Update* Hunt is dealing with a groin strain that kept him out of practice on Wednesday. It's something to monitor as the week goes on.
29 mins ago
Darrell Henderson Note
Darrell Henderson photo 23. Darrell Henderson LAR (vs . NYG)
If you've watched any Rams game this year, you can see that Henderson should be the lead back. He's run like he's a man that knows he can lose the job at any moment and has played extremely well in back-to-back tough matchups. In games against the Bills and Eagles, he's amassed 201 rushing yards on 35 carries (5.7 yards per carry) with two touchdowns, and then chipped in with another three catches for 46 yards. He's been the No. 10 running back in fantasy over the last two weeks. We don't know if Akers will be back this week, but it shouldn't matter all that much if he is active, as Henderson would need to screw something up to lose his lead role. The Giants have allowed three different running backs to finish as top-15 options over the last two weeks, and they've allowed points in a variety of different ways, as they allowed 124 rushing yards in Week 1, then 119 rushing yards in Week 2, but then held the 49ers running backs to just 62 rushing yards in Week 3. Still, they've allowed 170 receiving yards to running backs over the last two weeks. Opposing running backs have averaged just over 30 touches per game against them this year, so even if we see Brown mixed in, it should be another 16-plus touch game for Henderson. Similar to Ronald Jones, Henderson may be on a short leash, but it had to have gotten longer after his performances the last few weeks. Consider him a mid-tier RB2 who may come with more risk with most in that range, but it should be worth it.
2 days ago
Mark Ingram II Note
Mark Ingram II photo 24. Mark Ingram II BAL (at WAS)
As mentioned in the Jackson notes, the Ravens simply lost their way last week and Jackson's struggles had a butterfly effect down the entire roster. Through three games, Ingram has just 26 carries, which is nowhere near enough. In fact, none of the Ravens running backs have enough touches, as they've combined for 54 carries and seven receptions. That's an average of 20.3 touches for a backfield that's averaging 5.91 yards per carry and 8.11 yards per target. They need more touches. Running backs have averaged a healthy 29.0 touches per game against Washington, which is more than enough, though the 0.77 PPR points per opportunity ranks as the 10th-lowest mark through three weeks. That mark looked much better through two weeks, but Nick Chubb crushed them for 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns last week, with most of it coming after both Matt Ioannidis and Chase Young left the game. We already know Ioannidis is out for the year, while Young isn't going to play this week. The matchup is clearly better than it was a few weeks ago and the Ravens have to know they need to get back to what works. Ingram is likely to be the leader in carries, but he can't be trusted as anything more than a low-end RB2/high-end RB3 while averaging just 9.3 touches per game. Dobbins played a season-high 24 snaps in Week 3 and it appears he's their favorite passing-down back, but he's totaled just 15 touches through three games. In a game they're expected to win (by a lot), it's a hit-or-miss RB4 game for him where there may be enough to go around between them, but this game does favor the Ingram and Edwards roles.
24 mins ago
Jerick McKinnon Note
Jerick McKinnon photo 25. Jerick McKinnon SF (vs . PHI)
While I expected Wilson to get 15-plus touches last week, the way he got them was not exactly how I expected it. He didn't play much until later in the game when McKinnon had to step out due to a rib injury. Still, it was good to see Wilson involved in the passing game, collecting three receptions for 54 yards and a score. While the 49ers haven't ruled out Raheem Mostert, I don't expect him to play this week, and knowing McKinnon is dinged up, we should see another dozen touches or so for Wilson against the Eagles. Despite allowing three rushing touchdowns through three games, the Eagles have still allowed just the ninth-fewest PPR points per opportunity to running backs. Darrell Henderson was the first one who topped 50 rushing yards against them last week. Going back to the start of last year, a span of 19 games, they've allowed just three running backs to rush for more than 66 yards. Still, Wilson is the goal-line back in a game they're six-point favorites while at home, which is typically the recipe for success. He's not a must-play, but he is someone who should at least be able to deliver mediocre RB3-type numbers. As for McKinnon, he's more of a wildcard due to his injury which has been described as a rib contusion. It could be the reminder to the 49ers that he's not a durable running back meant for a three-down role. They could also decide that they're going to put him out there in a similar role to last week, which had him net 18 opportunities. Let's pay attention to his practice participation this week. For now, I'll say Wilson is the preferred option because I'm assuming he's limited, but McKinnon isn't far behind.
17 mins ago
Leonard Fournette Note
Leonard Fournette photo 26. Leonard Fournette TB (vs . LAC)
I said it last week, but I'll say it again. I'm getting vibes of the 2019 Bucs backfield of Peyton Barber and Jones. Though there was production to be had most weeks, predicting who proved to be a tougher task than I'd like to admit. Through three games, the opportunities are Jones 46, Fournette 32, and McCoy 13. With Jones not doing anything to forfeit the job in Week 3, we must assume he's the one with the most value in this backfield, though we have to remain fluid. The downside with the Bucs is that they've won 2-of-3 games, with both of their wins coming by at least 14 points. Still, the running backs have combined to average just 20.7 carries per game. Jones and Fournette have combined to average just 5.7 targets per game. When you look at those numbers and see a near-even timeshare, it's not one you can start anyone confidently. Not just that but running backs have averaged just 23.0 touches per game against the Chargers. Them and the Ravens are the only teams in the NFL who haven't allowed a rushing touchdown to a running back, and keep in mind they've played against Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Joe Mixon. None of the three starting running backs they've played have averaged more than 3.80 yards per carry, either. We have to treat Jones as the starter right now and the superior fantasy play, though he's on a short leash. Consider him a mediocre RB3 in this tough matchup, though it helps that his team has an implied total of 26.0 points. As for Fournette, he remains in the RB3/4 conversation as someone who can take over this backfield at any minute, though he comes with a low floor, as highlighted last week. It's also worth noting that Fournette missed practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury.
37 mins ago
Antonio Gibson Note
Antonio Gibson photo 27. Antonio Gibson WAS (vs . BAL)
After playing 43 snaps in the Week 2 game against the Cardinals, Gibson fell back down the ladder last week and finished with just 25 snaps played, which paled in comparison to J.D. McKissic who played 34 snaps. But most importantly, in a game like this where they're expected to fall behind early, it plays more into McKissic's role, as he's played 59 pass snaps to this point while Gibson has played just 44 of them. That's not to say it's static and cannot change, but it's reflected in their targets as well, as McKissic has nine to Gibson's seven. When playing against a team like the Ravens, volume is extremely important, as they've allowed the sixth-fewest points per opportunity to running backs through three weeks. It's not to say you can't run the ball on them - they're allowing 4.20 yards per carry - but the opportunity to do so consistently is tough. They've only faced 25.0 running back touches per game, so when you start splitting those up, there are problems playing any of these backs confidently. Knowing they've allowed no touchdowns to running backs through three games, it's not even wise to search for one of those. Gibson is just a low-upside, low-end RB3 this week.
2 days ago
Joshua Kelley Note
Joshua Kelley photo 28. Joshua Kelley LAC (at TB)
It's clear that this is a timeshare, but you need a positive gamescript in order to trust someone in Kelley's role as anything more than a touchdown-dependent RB3. If we can't trust them to be in a positive gamescript against the league's worst run defense (Panthers), how can we trust him against the league's best run defense (Bucs) who are coming off wins of 14 and 18 points? The Bucs have been the best run defense in the league since the start of last year, allowing just 1,057 rushing yards on 357 carries over a span of 19 games. That amounts to just 2.96 yards per carry and 55.6 rushing yards per game. Whew. Here's the list of running backs who've finished as top-12 options over their last 19 games: Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Todd Gurley, and Leonard Fournette. If there's any hope for Ekeler, it's through the air, as the Bucs have had some trouble slowing pass catchers out of the backfield. They've actually allowed 51.1 PPR points through the air alone, which ranks as the fourth-most in football. If the Chargers want to slow the Bucs pass rush, they'll need to involve Ekeler in the screen game. Knowing Herbert has targeted him 15 times over the last two weeks, that's a step in the right direction. Ekeler should be in lineups as a mid-to-high-end RB2 this week even though it is a tough matchup. Kelley is going to have a much tougher time in this matchup, as he's not heavily involved in the passing game (four targets through three games). The Bucs have allowed just 13 running backs finish as top-30 options against them since the start of 2019, which is now a span of 19 games. The odds of two running backs getting there when their team-implied total is just 19 points is highly unlikely. Kelley has still totaled six carries inside the 10-yard-line compared to just one for Ekeler, so we can't write off the possibility that he scores a touchdown. But even if he does, you're looking at what might be RB3 numbers. He's just a mediocre RB4 this week in what's projected to be a negative gamescript.
37 mins ago
Jeff Wilson Jr. Note
Jeff Wilson Jr. photo 29. Jeff Wilson Jr. SF (vs . PHI)
While I expected Wilson to get 15-plus touches last week, the way he got them was not exactly how I expected it. He didn't play much until later in the game when McKinnon had to step out due to a rib injury. Still, it was good to see Wilson involved in the passing game, collecting three receptions for 54 yards and a score. While the 49ers haven't ruled out Raheem Mostert, I don't expect him to play this week, and knowing McKinnon is dinged up, we should see another dozen touches or so for Wilson against the Eagles. Despite allowing three rushing touchdowns through three games, the Eagles have still allowed just the ninth-fewest PPR points per opportunity to running backs. Darrell Henderson was the first one who topped 50 rushing yards against them last week. Going back to the start of last year, a span of 19 games, they've allowed just three running backs to rush for more than 66 yards. Still, Wilson is the goal-line back in a game they're six-point favorites while at home, which is typically the recipe for success. He's not a must-play, but he is someone who should at least be able to deliver mediocre RB3-type numbers. As for McKinnon, he's more of a wildcard due to his injury which has been described as a rib contusion. It could be the reminder to the 49ers that he's not a durable running back meant for a three-down role. They could also decide that they're going to put him out there in a similar role to last week, which had him net 18 opportunities. Let's pay attention to his practice participation this week. For now, I'll say Wilson is the preferred option because I'm assuming he's limited, but McKinnon isn't far behind.
17 mins ago
Myles Gaskin Note
Myles Gaskin photo 30. Myles Gaskin MIA (vs . SEA)
This backfield is getting clearer by the week. Gaskin got the start last week and received 27 of the team's 33 running back touches but lost them when they mattered most - the goal line. Howard has a league-high eight carries inside the five-yard line, while Ryan Fitzpatrick has two, and Gaskin has one. Remember Devin Singletary last year? That's kind of the comp you get with Gaskin. Just 17 percent of all fantasy production the Seahawks have allowed to skill-position players has gone to running backs, which is by far the lowest mark in the league, so it's not a great matchup to attack with the Dolphins backfield. Through three games, they've yet to allow a team of running backs total more than 72 rushing yards, and that includes the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott last week when he totaled just 34 yards on 14 carries. The issue is that most teams are falling behind early and often, forcing them to go pass-heavy, which is why no team has totaled more than 18 carries with their running backs through three games. They have allowed two different running backs (Rex Burkhead, Elliott) to total at least 8.4 PPR points through the air over the last two games, so we should still see Gaskin produce a semi-decent floor in this matchup, even if the upside is capped. Consider him a low-end RB3/high-end RB4-type option who's safer than most in that area. Howard is droppable in all formats, as he's only being used in goal-line situations, which doesn't happen often enough in the Dolphins offense. Breida is clearly not someone who should be rostered, as he's totaled five or less touches in 2-of-3 games without any goal-line work.
32 mins ago
Ronald Jones II Note
Ronald Jones II photo 31. Ronald Jones II TB (vs . LAC)
I said it last week, but I'll say it again. I'm getting vibes of the 2019 Bucs backfield of Peyton Barber and Jones. Though there was production to be had most weeks, predicting who proved to be a tougher task than I'd like to admit. Through three games, the opportunities are Jones 46, Fournette 32, and McCoy 13. With Jones not doing anything to forfeit the job in Week 3, we must assume he's the one with the most value in this backfield, though we have to remain fluid. The downside with the Bucs is that they've won 2-of-3 games, with both of their wins coming by at least 14 points. Still, the running backs have combined to average just 20.7 carries per game. Jones and Fournette have combined to average just 5.7 targets per game. When you look at those numbers and see a near-even timeshare, it's not one you can start anyone confidently. Not just that but running backs have averaged just 23.0 touches per game against the Chargers. Them and the Ravens are the only teams in the NFL who haven't allowed a rushing touchdown to a running back, and keep in mind they've played against Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Joe Mixon. None of the three starting running backs they've played have averaged more than 3.80 yards per carry, either. We have to treat Jones as the starter right now and the superior fantasy play, though he's on a short leash. Consider him a mediocre RB3 in this tough matchup, though it helps that his team has an implied total of 26.0 points. As for Fournette, he remains in the RB3/4 conversation as someone who can take over this backfield at any minute, though he comes with a low floor, as highlighted last week. It's also worth noting that Fournette missed practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury.
37 mins ago
J.K. Dobbins Note
J.K. Dobbins photo 32. J.K. Dobbins BAL (at WAS)
As mentioned in the Jackson notes, the Ravens simply lost their way last week and Jackson's struggles had a butterfly effect down the entire roster. Through three games, Ingram has just 26 carries, which is nowhere near enough. In fact, none of the Ravens running backs have enough touches, as they've combined for 54 carries and seven receptions. That's an average of 20.3 touches for a backfield that's averaging 5.91 yards per carry and 8.11 yards per target. They need more touches. Running backs have averaged a healthy 29.0 touches per game against Washington, which is more than enough, though the 0.77 PPR points per opportunity ranks as the 10th-lowest mark through three weeks. That mark looked much better through two weeks, but Nick Chubb crushed them for 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns last week, with most of it coming after both Matt Ioannidis and Chase Young left the game. We already know Ioannidis is out for the year, while Young isn't going to play this week. The matchup is clearly better than it was a few weeks ago and the Ravens have to know they need to get back to what works. Ingram is likely to be the leader in carries, but he can't be trusted as anything more than a low-end RB2/high-end RB3 while averaging just 9.3 touches per game. Dobbins played a season-high 24 snaps in Week 3 and it appears he's their favorite passing-down back, but he's totaled just 15 touches through three games. In a game they're expected to win (by a lot), it's a hit-or-miss RB4 game for him where there may be enough to go around between them, but this game does favor the Ingram and Edwards roles.
24 mins ago
Carlos Hyde Note
Carlos Hyde photo 33. Carlos Hyde SEA (at MIA)
It seems like a foregone conclusion that Chris Carson will miss this week's game with a sprained knee, which is a similar injury to the 49ers' Raheem Mostert. That means we'll see Hyde in the starting role against the Dolphins. They've oddly been better against the run that you'd expect, as they've allowed just 87.0 rushing yards per game to running backs, which ranks as the 12th-fewest in the NFL. Part of the reason they've looked good in that department is due to how bad they've been against the pass. Running backs have averaged just 19.0 carries per game against them, while racking up 32.0 pass attempts. Efficiency has been the name of the game against this defense, as their opponents have averaged just 61.7 plays per game, which ranks as the sixth-lowest, but they're allowing the 15th-most fantasy points per game as a whole to opponents. On a per-play basis, that's horrible efficiency. It's concerning that no running back has totaled more than 11 carries against the Dolphins to this point, but we have to expect Hyde to cross that mark with no Carson. I'm expecting 12-15 carries with a few targets mixed in, making him a high-end RB3 this week. *Update* Carson practiced on Wednesday in a limited fashion, so it's something to pay attention to, though you shouldn't expect him to play.
32 mins ago
Adrian Peterson Note
Adrian Peterson photo 34. Adrian Peterson DET (vs . NO)
Peterson saw the majority of the work last week in a plus matchup, but it still didn't turn into anything crazy from a fantasy perspective. Moving forward, he's probably the RB to roster in this backfield, but this is a tough matchup for opposing RBs. AP is nothing more than a RB3 in this game.
2 days ago
Sony Michel Note
Sony Michel photo 35. Sony Michel NE (at KC)
Sure, Burkhead has seen his touches ramped up the last two weeks, but if White plays, what do those touches look like? Probably similar to what they were in Week 1. The Chiefs have allowed just one running back touchdown through three games, which have kept their overall numbers down, but the efficiency has been strong. They've allowed 4.82 yards per carry and a league-high 10.88 yards per target to running backs. That's more yards per target than any other team has allowed to wide receivers. This bodes well for the White/Burkhead role, but if both are active, it's going to be tough to say which is the better option. Michel has played the Chiefs three times in the last two years, totaling 100-plus yards and two touchdowns in two of the games, but the most recent game, Week 13 of last year, he totaled just eight yards on five carries. The matchup isn't bad. In fact, it's a very good matchup. Still, you can't say with any degree of certainty that any of these running backs are going to get 10-plus touches if White is active, and we haven't even touched on the pending return of Harris, who was close to stealing the starting job before his injury. If White plays, he should be considered a risk/reward RB3, especially in PPR leagues. If White sits, Burkhead becomes someone you should be able to trust as a reliable RB3 with a decent floor with the projected gamescript. Michel is not someone you should aim to start considering he's maxed out at 11 touches through three weeks and will lose out on goal-line work to Newton most of the time. He's an RB4. I'll update the bottom of these notes later in the week.
20 mins ago
Malcolm Brown Note
Malcolm Brown photo 36. Malcolm Brown LAR (vs . NYG)
If you've watched any Rams game this year, you can see that Henderson should be the lead back. He's run like he's a man that knows he can lose the job at any moment and has played extremely well in back-to-back tough matchups. In games against the Bills and Eagles, he's amassed 201 rushing yards on 35 carries (5.7 yards per carry) with two touchdowns, and then chipped in with another three catches for 46 yards. He's been the No. 10 running back in fantasy over the last two weeks. We don't know if Akers will be back this week, but it shouldn't matter all that much if he is active, as Henderson would need to screw something up to lose his lead role. The Giants have allowed three different running backs to finish as top-15 options over the last two weeks, and they've allowed points in a variety of different ways, as they allowed 124 rushing yards in Week 1, then 119 rushing yards in Week 2, but then held the 49ers running backs to just 62 rushing yards in Week 3. Still, they've allowed 170 receiving yards to running backs over the last two weeks. Opposing running backs have averaged just over 30 touches per game against them this year, so even if we see Brown mixed in, it should be another 16-plus touch game for Henderson. Similar to Ronald Jones, Henderson may be on a short leash, but it had to have gotten longer after his performances the last few weeks. Consider him a mid-tier RB2 who may come with more risk with most in that range, but it should be worth it. Brown will mix in and will likely get 8-10 touches in this game, but with the way Henderson is playing, you can't trust him as anything more than an emergency RB4. If you have Akers rostered, you just have to wait it out and consider him as a handcuff right now.
22 mins ago
Latavius Murray Note
Latavius Murray photo 37. Latavius Murray NO (at DET)
We watched Kamara be treated like a slot receiver last week, as he totaled just six carries but racked up 13 receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns. On the year, Kamara has 31 carries while Murray has 30 of them, so maybe we're seeing them turn more towards the way it was with Mark Ingram? It's too small of a sample size to tell, and we can't forget Kamara out-carried Murray 13-3 back in Week 2. If the Saints want to win this game, they'll walk into Detroit and run the ball. A lot. The Lions have allowed a league-high 6.10 yards per carry to running backs this year, and it's not like they've played the most talented running backs in the world. David Montgomery and Kenyan Drake were two of the three starters they played against. I said back in the offseason that Aaron Jones was someone who compares to Kamara, and we watched Jones trample this defense for 236 total yards and three touchdowns just two weeks ago. The Lions allowed Damon "Snacks" Harrison to leave this offseason and I believe he was the difference. With him on the field, they allowed 3.26 yards per carry in 2019 and 2.95 yards per carry in 2018. Without him on the field? They allowed 5.53 yards per carry in 2018 and 5.29 yards per carry in 2019. You're starting Kamara as an elite RB1 play who's gamescript-proof. Murray is someone who can be considered as a flex-type option this week, as the Lions have faced a rather-high 27.7 touches per game by running backs and allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per opportunity on them.
40 mins ago
D'Andre Swift Note
D'Andre Swift photo 38. D'Andre Swift DET (vs . NO)
This is a complete mess. There are times you just throw your hands up, and this is one of them. The snap counts through three weeks are Peterson 79, Swift 60, and Johnson 59. The touches are a much larger gap, though, as Peterson has totaled 47, Johnson 19, and Swift 17. It would seem like Peterson would be the obvious play this week, right? Well, the Saints are not a team to run the ball against, and carries have accounted for 91.5 percent of Peterson's touches. The Saints have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points per opportunity this year, and that's despite playing against Aaron Jones and Josh Jacobs in two of those games. This is no different than 2019 when they allowed just 3.65 yards per carry on the season. Since the start of last year (19 games), they've allowed just nine rushing touchdowns to running backs on 362 carries (one every 40.2 carries). You'd think Peterson would get those carries on the goal-line, right? Well, no. Peterson has still yet to get a carry inside the five-yard-line, while Johnson and Swift each have one. Peterson would still be the running back of choice if you had to play one, but he's just a low-upside RB3/4 in this matchup. Swift's skillset would work best in this matchup, but after he played just six snaps in Week 3, you cannot trust him. Johnson is stuck in the in-between.
39 mins ago
Frank Gore Note
Frank Gore photo 39. Frank Gore NYJ (vs . DEN)
We saw Adam Gase try to get the rookie Perine on the field during their Week 3 blowout against the Colts, though Gore still led the team with 16 opportunities. The snaps were Gore 26, Perine 20, and Kalen Ballage 15. The expectation should be that Perine's role continues to grow, but Gase's affinity with Gore won't stop. These are two of the slower-paced teams in the league, as the Jets are averaging just 58.3 plays per game while the Broncos are averaging 63.3 plays per game and have a backup quarterback under center. The Broncos have allowed two 100-yard rushers through three weeks, but they've allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per opportunity. Every time a running back gets a target or carry, the average outcome has been just 0.65 PPR points, meaning volume is paramount to their success. Both Derrick Henry (34 touches) and James Conner (18 touches) each saw plenty of it, while Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette didn't. Gore has now scored two rushing touchdowns on his last 464 carries. Meanwhile, the Broncos have allowed just eight rushing touchdowns on 447 carries since the start of 2019. Gore has zero upside, so why do it to yourself? He should total his usual 4-8 PPR points, which isn't anything more than an RB4/5. Perine isn't someone you're contemplating in fantasy football right now.
41 mins ago
Rex Burkhead Note
Rex Burkhead photo 40. Rex Burkhead NE (at KC)
Sure, Burkhead has seen his touches ramped up the last two weeks, but if White plays, what do those touches look like? Probably similar to what they were in Week 1. The Chiefs have allowed just one running back touchdown through three games, which have kept their overall numbers down, but the efficiency has been strong. They've allowed 4.82 yards per carry and a league-high 10.88 yards per target to running backs. That's more yards per target than any other team has allowed to wide receivers. This bodes well for the White/Burkhead role, but if both are active, it's going to be tough to say which is the better option. Michel has played the Chiefs three times in the last two years, totaling 100-plus yards and two touchdowns in two of the games, but the most recent game, Week 13 of last year, he totaled just eight yards on five carries. The matchup isn't bad. In fact, it's a very good matchup. Still, you can't say with any degree of certainty that any of these running backs are going to get 10-plus touches if White is active, and we haven't even touched on the pending return of Harris, who was close to stealing the starting job before his injury. If White plays, he should be considered a risk/reward RB3, especially in PPR leagues. If White sits, Burkhead becomes someone you should be able to trust as a reliable RB3 with a decent floor with the projected gamescript. Michel is not someone you should aim to start considering he's maxed out at 11 touches through three weeks and will lose out on goal-line work to Newton most of the time. He's an RB4. I'll update the bottom of these notes later in the week.
21 mins ago
Chase Edmonds Note
Chase Edmonds photo 41. Chase Edmonds ARI (at CAR)
I'm with you. It's been a bad start to the season for Drake, who's averaged a respectable 4.1 yards per carry, but he's caught just five passes through three games, and has found the end zone just once. He's still getting 74.7 percent of the running back touches in this backfield, so in games where they're projected to run a lot of plays, he should be in for a big performance. Last week was surely a disappointment, but don't hang onto that because you don't want to miss his Week 4 performance against the Panthers. Through their last 19 games, they've now allowed 34 rushing touchdowns, including seven of them in their three games this year. Those touchdowns came courtesy of Josh Jacobs, Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones, and Austin Ekeler. Outside of their games with the Panthers, do you know how many touchdowns those running backs have scored? ZERO. This is Drake's chance to get right and pad his fantasy stats. They've allowed 1.23 PPR points per opportunity and Drake hasn't had fewer than 18 opportunities in a game yet. Start him as an RB1 and reap the benefits. I'm willing to go back to him in cash games as well. Knowing the Panthers have already allowed six running backs to finish as the RB43 or better, even Edmonds has RB4 appeal this week.
27 mins ago
Nyheim Hines Note
Nyheim Hines photo 42. Nyheim Hines IND (at CHI)
It hasn't been the explosion fantasy managers were expecting when Taylor took over the starting job with the Colts, as he's racked up a solid 48 carries, but he's averaged just 3.8 yards per carry and scored twice on them. He's currently the No. 15 running back through three weeks and now set to go against the Bears tough run defense. Going back to the start of last year, there have been just three running backs who've hit the century-mark against them, and one of them was in Week 17 in a throwaway game. The good news is that running backs get plenty of opportunity to rack up the touches, as there have been 15 running backs who've totaled at least 15 touches against them in their last 19 games. Both Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley were able to accumulate 80-plus yards on the ground against them, so it's not like it's a must-avoid matchup, but rather one that caps upside. We knew the opting out by Eddie Goldman would impact this defense, but they've allowed 0.94 PPR points per opportunity in 2020, which ranks as the eighth-most through three games, with the majority of that coming on the ground, as they've allowed 4.93 yards per carry and four rushing touchdowns. Meanwhile, they've allowed just 4.71 yards per target and 22.9 PPR points through the air, which is the eighth-fewest in the league. This matchup suits Taylor's skillset better than it does Hines, so keep plugging Taylor in as a high-end RB2 who's getting great workloads, even if he's not crushing his opportunity just yet. Hines bounced back and saw 12 opportunities last week, which restores confidence, and it's possible he's even more involved now that Campbell and Pittman are out, though the Bears have done well with pass-catching running backs to this point. Still, I'd guess he sees at least 10 opportunities, which makes him a flex/RB4-type option in a tough matchup.
25 mins ago
Devonta Freeman Note
Devonta Freeman photo 43. Devonta Freeman NYG (at LAR)
It was said that he knew about half the playbook going into last week's game, so it was expected that he'd play limited snaps. The snaps went Dion Lewis 20, Wayne Gallman 18, Freeman 15, though Freeman got five of the 10 carries. He should be in the primary role this week, though they're big underdogs in this game and the Giants running backs as a whole have averaged just 1.80 yards per carry behind this line. If Freeman wants any chance of success, it's got to come in the passing game. The Rams have allowed a healthy 0.93 PPR points per opportunity to running backs, but they've averaged just 26.3 touches per game. That's another issue considering the Giants running backs themselves average just 18.0 touches per game. This is a backfield to avoid until we see Freeman earn a majority of the snaps, but even if he does this week, it may not amount to more than 12 touches. He should be considered a weak RB4 option for now.
2 days ago
Alexander Mattison Note
Alexander Mattison photo 44. Alexander Mattison MIN (at HOU)
Jordan Howard Note
Jordan Howard photo 45. Jordan Howard MIA (vs . SEA)
This backfield is getting clearer by the week. Gaskin got the start last week and received 27 of the team's 33 running back touches but lost them when they mattered most - the goal line. Howard has a league-high eight carries inside the five-yard line, while Ryan Fitzpatrick has two, and Gaskin has one. Remember Devin Singletary last year? That's kind of the comp you get with Gaskin. Just 17 percent of all fantasy production the Seahawks have allowed to skill-position players has gone to running backs, which is by far the lowest mark in the league, so it's not a great matchup to attack with the Dolphins backfield. Through three games, they've yet to allow a team of running backs total more than 72 rushing yards, and that includes the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott last week when he totaled just 34 yards on 14 carries. The issue is that most teams are falling behind early and often, forcing them to go pass-heavy, which is why no team has totaled more than 18 carries with their running backs through three games. They have allowed two different running backs (Rex Burkhead, Elliott) to total at least 8.4 PPR points through the air over the last two games, so we should still see Gaskin produce a semi-decent floor in this matchup, even if the upside is capped. Consider him a low-end RB3/high-end RB4-type option who's safer than most in that area. Howard is droppable in all formats, as he's only being used in goal-line situations, which doesn't happen often enough in the Dolphins offense. Breida is clearly not someone who should be rostered, as he's totaled five or less touches in 2-of-3 games without any goal-line work.
31 mins ago
Kerryon Johnson Note
Kerryon Johnson photo 46. Kerryon Johnson DET (vs . NO)
This is a complete mess. There are times you just throw your hands up, and this is one of them. The snap counts through three weeks are Peterson 79, Swift 60, and Johnson 59. The touches are a much larger gap, though, as Peterson has totaled 47, Johnson 19, and Swift 17. It would seem like Peterson would be the obvious play this week, right? Well, the Saints are not a team to run the ball against, and carries have accounted for 91.5 percent of Peterson's touches. The Saints have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points per opportunity this year, and that's despite playing against Aaron Jones and Josh Jacobs in two of those games. This is no different than 2019 when they allowed just 3.65 yards per carry on the season. Since the start of last year (19 games), they've allowed just nine rushing touchdowns to running backs on 362 carries (one every 40.2 carries). You'd think Peterson would get those carries on the goal-line, right? Well, no. Peterson has still yet to get a carry inside the five-yard-line, while Johnson and Swift each have one. Peterson would still be the running back of choice if you had to play one, but he's just a low-upside RB3/4 in this matchup. Swift's skillset would work best in this matchup, but after he played just six snaps in Week 3, you cannot trust him. Johnson is stuck in the in-between.
39 mins ago
Gus Edwards Note
Gus Edwards photo 47. Gus Edwards BAL (at WAS)
As mentioned in the Jackson notes, the Ravens simply lost their way last week and Jackson's struggles had a butterfly effect down the entire roster. Through three games, Ingram has just 26 carries, which is nowhere near enough. In fact, none of the Ravens running backs have enough touches, as they've combined for 54 carries and seven receptions. That's an average of 20.3 touches for a backfield that's averaging 5.91 yards per carry and 8.11 yards per target. They need more touches. Running backs have averaged a healthy 29.0 touches per game against Washington, which is more than enough, though the 0.77 PPR points per opportunity ranks as the 10th-lowest mark through three weeks. That mark looked much better through two weeks, but Nick Chubb crushed them for 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns last week, with most of it coming after both Matt Ioannidis and Chase Young left the game. We already know Ioannidis is out for the year, while Young isn't going to play this week. The matchup is clearly better than it was a few weeks ago and the Ravens have to know they need to get back to what works. Ingram is likely to be the leader in carries, but he can't be trusted as anything more than a low-end RB2/high-end RB3 while averaging just 9.3 touches per game. Dobbins played a season-high 24 snaps in Week 3 and it appears he's their favorite passing-down back, but he's totaled just 15 touches through three games. In a game they're expected to win (by a lot), it's a hit-or-miss RB4 game for him where there may be enough to go around between them, but this game does favor the Ingram and Edwards roles.
24 mins ago
Jamaal Williams Note
Jamaal Williams photo 48. Jamaal Williams GB (vs . ATL)
Dion Lewis Note
Dion Lewis photo 49. Dion Lewis NYG (at LAR)
Boston Scott Note
Boston Scott photo 50. Boston Scott PHI (at SF)
Chris Thompson Note
Chris Thompson photo 51. Chris Thompson JAC (at CIN)
Wayne Gallman Note
Wayne Gallman photo 52. Wayne Gallman NYG (at LAR)
Darrel Williams Note
Darrel Williams photo 53. Darrel Williams KC (vs . NE)
Matt Breida Note
Matt Breida photo 54. Matt Breida MIA (vs . SEA)
This backfield is getting clearer by the week. Gaskin got the start last week and received 27 of the team's 33 running back touches but lost them when they mattered most - the goal line. Howard has a league-high eight carries inside the five-yard line, while Ryan Fitzpatrick has two, and Gaskin has one. Remember Devin Singletary last year? That's kind of the comp you get with Gaskin. Just 17 percent of all fantasy production the Seahawks have allowed to skill-position players has gone to running backs, which is by far the lowest mark in the league, so it's not a great matchup to attack with the Dolphins backfield. Through three games, they've yet to allow a team of running backs total more than 72 rushing yards, and that includes the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott last week when he totaled just 34 yards on 14 carries. The issue is that most teams are falling behind early and often, forcing them to go pass-heavy, which is why no team has totaled more than 18 carries with their running backs through three games. They have allowed two different running backs (Rex Burkhead, Elliott) to total at least 8.4 PPR points through the air over the last two games, so we should still see Gaskin produce a semi-decent floor in this matchup, even if the upside is capped. Consider him a low-end RB3/high-end RB4-type option who's safer than most in that area. Howard is droppable in all formats, as he's only being used in goal-line situations, which doesn't happen often enough in the Dolphins offense. Breida is clearly not someone who should be rostered, as he's totaled five or less touches in 2-of-3 games without any goal-line work.
31 mins ago
Giovani Bernard Note
Giovani Bernard photo 55. Giovani Bernard CIN (vs . JAC)
Chris Carson Note
Chris Carson photo 56. Chris Carson SEA (at MIA)
J.D. McKissic Note
J.D. McKissic photo 57. J.D. McKissic WAS (vs . BAL)
After playing 43 snaps in the Week 2 game against the Cardinals, Gibson fell back down the ladder last week and finished with just 25 snaps played, which paled in comparison to J.D. McKissic who played 34 snaps. But most importantly, in a game like this where they're expected to fall behind early, it plays more into McKissic's role, as he's played 59 pass snaps to this point while Gibson has played just 44 of them. That's not to say it's static and cannot change, but it's reflected in their targets as well, as McKissic has nine to Gibson's seven. When playing against a team like the Ravens, volume is extremely important, as they've allowed the sixth-fewest points per opportunity to running backs through three weeks. It's not to say you can't run the ball on them - they're allowing 4.20 yards per carry - but the opportunity to do so consistently is tough. They've only faced 25.0 running back touches per game, so when you start splitting those up, there are problems playing any of these backs confidently. Knowing they've allowed no touchdowns to running backs through three games, it's not even wise to search for one of those. Gibson is just a low-upside, low-end RB3 this week while McKissic is a low-upside RB4/5-type option.
24 mins ago
Tony Pollard Note
Tony Pollard photo 58. Tony Pollard DAL (vs . CLE)
Jordan Wilkins Note
Jordan Wilkins photo 59. Jordan Wilkins IND (at CHI)
Benny Snell Jr. Note
Benny Snell Jr. photo 60. Benny Snell Jr. PIT (at TEN)
Peyton Barber Note
Peyton Barber photo 61. Peyton Barber WAS (vs . BAL)
Travis Homer Note
Travis Homer photo 62. Travis Homer SEA (at MIA)
Brian Hill Note
Brian Hill photo 63. Brian Hill ATL (at GB)
If you've watched the Falcons this year, you can tell Gurley isn't going to turn a corner any time soon. You can watch guys like Joe Mixon and think, "He looks good, just hasn't quite hit yet." You cannot say that about Gurley. He's essentially a running back who's getting what's blocked, and fortunately for him, the Falcons offensive line ranks eighth in terms of yards created before contact for their running backs. Against the Packers, we might see another competent fantasy performance out of Gurley, though. They've allowed a massive 5.38 yards per carry through three games, including a rushing touchdown every 18.7 carries. That's where Gurley has to make his mark because if he doesn't score, he's not offering much. Fantasy managers found that out when he totaled just 6.1 PPR points in a game against the Cowboys. The worst part for Gurley is that this team has had a big lead each of the last two weeks, and it's led to 35 carries for 141 yards and one touchdown. The projected gamescript and pace of this game favors pass-catching backs, and Gurley has just two targets over the last two weeks, and that's with Julio Jones out of the lineup last week. In terms of pass routes run, it's been Gurley 47, Hill 35, and Ito Smith 29, so it's split three ways with a quarterback who's not checking down very much. Knowing no running back has totaled more than 12 carries against the Packers, combined with Gurley's limitations in the passing game, he's a bust-risk this week, though touchdowns might save him, as he's gotten 75 percent of the Falcons touches inside the 10-yard-line. He's a RB2/RB3 who's more touchdown dependent than most in that range. Hill is someone who should be rostered with the way Gurley has looked, though you can't start him just yet with just 22 opportunities through three weeks. Whoever gets the most usage in the passing game will likely be the most valuable this week, but there's no clear-cut answer among them.
16 mins ago
Lamical Perine Note
Lamical Perine photo 64. Lamical Perine NYJ (vs . DEN)
We saw Adam Gase try to get the rookie Perine on the field during their Week 3 blowout against the Colts, though Gore still led the team with 16 opportunities. The snaps were Gore 26, Perine 20, and Kalen Ballage 15. The expectation should be that Perine's role continues to grow, but Gase's affinity with Gore won't stop. These are two of the slower-paced teams in the league, as the Jets are averaging just 58.3 plays per game while the Broncos are averaging 63.3 plays per game and have a backup quarterback under center. The Broncos have allowed two 100-yard rushers through three weeks, but they've allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per opportunity. Every time a running back gets a target or carry, the average outcome has been just 0.65 PPR points, meaning volume is paramount to their success. Both Derrick Henry (34 touches) and James Conner (18 touches) each saw plenty of it, while Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette didn't. Gore has now scored two rushing touchdowns on his last 464 carries. Meanwhile, the Broncos have allowed just eight rushing touchdowns on 447 carries since the start of 2019. Gore has zero upside, so why do it to yourself? He should total his usual 4-8 PPR points, which isn't anything more than an RB4/5. Perine isn't someone you're contemplating in fantasy football right now.
41 mins ago
Jalen Richard Note
Jalen Richard photo 65. Jalen Richard LV (vs . BUF)
James White Note
James White photo 66. James White NE (at KC)
Sure, Burkhead has seen his touches ramped up the last two weeks, but if White plays, what do those touches look like? Probably similar to what they were in Week 1. The Chiefs have allowed just one running back touchdown through three games, which have kept their overall numbers down, but the efficiency has been strong. They've allowed 4.82 yards per carry and a league-high 10.88 yards per target to running backs. That's more yards per target than any other team has allowed to wide receivers. This bodes well for the White/Burkhead role, but if both are active, it's going to be tough to say which is the better option. Michel has played the Chiefs three times in the last two years, totaling 100-plus yards and two touchdowns in two of the games, but the most recent game, Week 13 of last year, he totaled just eight yards on five carries. The matchup isn't bad. In fact, it's a very good matchup. Still, you can't say with any degree of certainty that any of these running backs are going to get 10-plus touches if White is active, and we haven't even touched on the pending return of Harris, who was close to stealing the starting job before his injury. If White plays, he should be considered a risk/reward RB3, especially in PPR leagues. If White sits, Burkhead becomes someone you should be able to trust as a reliable RB3 with a decent floor with the projected gamescript. Michel is not someone you should aim to start considering he's maxed out at 11 touches through three weeks and will lose out on goal-line work to Newton most of the time. He's an RB4. I'll update the bottom of these notes later in the week.
20 mins ago
Zack Moss Note
Zack Moss photo 67. Zack Moss BUF (at LV)
After missing practice all of last week, Moss was ruled inactive days before the game, which means he wasn't close with his toe injury. We'll pay attention to the practice reports as the week goes on, but we should prepare for another Singletary-heavy game. He had his best game of the year in Week 3, compiling 121 yards on 17 touches against the Rams, though he didn't find the end zone. On to the Raiders, it's a matchup to attack. 55.3 percent of skill-players production against them has come via the running back position, the highest mark in the league. No one else is above 51.3 percent. They've faced the eighth-most running back touches but have allowed more fantasy points to them than any other team in the league, as the 1.34 PPR points per opportunity is the highest in the league. Keep in mind the league leader in that category last year was the Panthers who allowed 1.05 PPR points per opportunity. To be fair, the Raiders did play against Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara the first two weeks, but then when we watch Sony Michel hit 117 yards on just nine carries and Rex Burkhead have a three-touchdown game, it's time to lock in running backs against the Raiders. Singletary would be a must-play high-end RB2 if Moss is out again, but would fall to low-end RB2 if Moss returns, as he'd lose out on the goal-line touches. Moss is going to be tough to trust unless he practices in full all week. I'll update his notes at the end of the week, but for now, treat him as a risky RB4. He did return to practice on Wednesday, though in a limited fashion.
18 mins ago
Devontae Booker Note
Devontae Booker photo 68. Devontae Booker LV (vs . BUF)
Reggie Bonnafon Note
Reggie Bonnafon photo 69. Reggie Bonnafon CAR (vs . ARI)
Ito Smith Note
Ito Smith photo 70. Ito Smith ATL (at GB)
Anthony McFarland Jr. Note
Anthony McFarland Jr. photo 71. Anthony McFarland Jr. PIT (at TEN)
Phillip Lindsay Note
Phillip Lindsay photo 72. Phillip Lindsay DEN (at NYJ)
Lindsay is going to be tough to trust in his first game back from a multi-week injury, and the expectation should be that they ease him back in. Even going back to Week 1, he had seven carries and just one target through a majority of the game. He's a weak RB4 at the moment.
3 days ago
Corey Clement Note
Corey Clement photo 73. Corey Clement PHI (at SF)
T.J. Yeldon Note
T.J. Yeldon photo 74. T.J. Yeldon BUF (at LV)
C.J. Prosise Note
C.J. Prosise photo 75. C.J. Prosise HOU (vs . MIN)
LeSean McCoy Note
LeSean McCoy photo 76. LeSean McCoy TB (vs . LAC)
Josh Adams Note
Josh Adams photo 77. Josh Adams NYJ (vs . DEN)
Raheem Mostert Note
Raheem Mostert photo 78. Raheem Mostert SF (vs . PHI)
Darwin Thompson Note
Darwin Thompson photo 79. Darwin Thompson KC (vs . NE)
Kalen Ballage Note
Kalen Ballage photo 80. Kalen Ballage NYJ (vs . DEN)
Dare Ogunbowale Note
Dare Ogunbowale photo 81. Dare Ogunbowale JAC (at CIN)
Duke Johnson Jr. Note
Duke Johnson Jr. photo 82. Duke Johnson Jr. HOU (vs . MIN)
AJ Dillon Note
AJ Dillon photo 83. AJ Dillon GB (vs . ATL)
Darrynton Evans Note
Darrynton Evans photo 84. Darrynton Evans TEN (vs . PIT)
Patrick Laird Note
Patrick Laird photo 85. Patrick Laird MIA (vs . SEA)
Cam Akers Note
Cam Akers photo 86. Cam Akers LAR (vs . NYG)
J.J. Taylor Note
J.J. Taylor photo 87. J.J. Taylor NE (at KC)
Jaylen Samuels Note
Jaylen Samuels photo 88. Jaylen Samuels PIT (at TEN)
Kyle Juszczyk Note
Kyle Juszczyk photo 89. Kyle Juszczyk SF (vs . PHI)
JaMycal Hasty Note
JaMycal Hasty photo 90. JaMycal Hasty SF (vs . PHI)
Tyler Ervin Note
Tyler Ervin photo 91. Tyler Ervin GB (vs . ATL)
Royce Freeman Note
Royce Freeman photo 92. Royce Freeman DEN (at NYJ)
Ryan Nall Note
Ryan Nall photo 93. Ryan Nall CHI (vs . IND)
DeeJay Dallas Note
DeeJay Dallas photo 94. DeeJay Dallas SEA (at MIA)
Jeremy McNichols Note
Jeremy McNichols photo 95. Jeremy McNichols TEN (vs . PIT)
Alex Armah Note
Alex Armah photo 96. Alex Armah CAR (vs . ARI)
Damien Harris Note
Damien Harris photo 97. Damien Harris NE (at KC)
C.J. Ham Note
C.J. Ham photo 98. C.J. Ham MIN (at HOU)
Alec Ingold Note
Alec Ingold photo 99. Alec Ingold LV (vs . BUF)
Cordarrelle Patterson Note
Cordarrelle Patterson photo 100. Cordarrelle Patterson CHI (vs . IND)
Mike Boone Note
Mike Boone photo 101. Mike Boone MIN (at HOU)
Artavis Pierce Note
Artavis Pierce photo 102. Artavis Pierce CHI (vs . IND)
Eno Benjamin Note
Eno Benjamin photo 103. Eno Benjamin ARI (at CAR)
Note
 photo 104. (BYE)
Jakob Johnson Note
Jakob Johnson photo 105. Jakob Johnson NE (at KC)
Reggie Gilliam Note
Reggie Gilliam photo 106. Reggie Gilliam BUF (at LV)
Andy Janovich Note
Andy Janovich photo 107. Andy Janovich CLE (at DAL)
Ke'Shawn Vaughn Note
Ke'Shawn Vaughn photo 108. Ke'Shawn Vaughn TB (vs . LAC)
Anthony Sherman Note
Anthony Sherman photo 109. Anthony Sherman KC (vs . NE)
Buddy Howell Note
Buddy Howell photo 110. Buddy Howell HOU (vs . MIN)
D'Ernest Johnson Note
D'Ernest Johnson photo 111. D'Ernest Johnson CLE (at DAL)
Ameer Abdullah Note
Ameer Abdullah photo 112. Ameer Abdullah MIN (at HOU)
Trenton Cannon Note
Trenton Cannon photo 113. Trenton Cannon CAR (vs . ARI)
Justin Jackson Note
Justin Jackson photo 114. Justin Jackson LAC (at TB)
Patrick Ricard Note
Patrick Ricard photo 115. Patrick Ricard BAL (at WAS)
Qadree Ollison Note
Qadree Ollison photo 116. Qadree Ollison ATL (at GB)
Justice Hill Note
Justice Hill photo 117. Justice Hill BAL (at WAS)
Dontrell Hilliard Note
Dontrell Hilliard photo 118. Dontrell Hilliard CLE (at DAL)
Khari Blasingame Note
Khari Blasingame photo 119. Khari Blasingame TEN (vs . PIT)
Keith Smith Note
Keith Smith photo 120. Keith Smith ATL (at GB)
Derek Watt Note
Derek Watt photo 121. Derek Watt PIT (at TEN)
Samaje Perine Note
Samaje Perine photo 122. Samaje Perine CIN (vs . JAC)
Elijhaa Penny Note
Elijhaa Penny photo 123. Elijhaa Penny NYG (at LAR)
Trayveon Williams Note
Trayveon Williams photo 124. Trayveon Williams CIN (vs . JAC)
Lynn Bowden Jr. Note
Lynn Bowden Jr. photo 125. Lynn Bowden Jr. MIA (vs . SEA)
Jason Huntley Note
Jason Huntley photo 126. Jason Huntley PHI (at SF)