Nick Chubb looks to build on his promising return as D’Andre Swift hopes to continue his hostile takeover of the Lions’ backfield.
Week 11 Running Backs
RB Notes: It was brute force in a bad Week 10 matchup for Dalvin Cook, who turned 34 touches into the RB16 finish in half PPR. Adrian Peterson would be proud. The Cowboys’ No. 31 run defense will be much more palatable. … Alvin Kamara has 17 carries for 55 yards over the past two weeks. He’s also scored four touchdowns. The Falcons, of all teams, will not stop Kamara from reaching his five-catch floor, while 8-9 is squarely in play. … Derrick Henry is mostly blowing up good matchups and powering through bad ones. The Ravens are the latter, though not to the extent you might expect, as Damien Harris can attest. John Harbaugh’s defense provides 4.5 yards per carry. … Nick Chubb and RG Wyatt Teller hit the ground running in their Week 10 return. Chubb appeared a little rusty, but he seemed to knock most of it off on his game-ending 59-yard scamper. Quietly permitting the league’s seventh most rushing yards, the Eagles will not stop the Browns’ two-back attack. … The Chiefs are once again a bottom-five run defense. Josh Jacobs just needs to hope the eight-point underdog Raiders can keep it close enough. As mentioned in the quarterback section, the Chiefs are taking this game personally.
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Aaron Jones is averaging 3.7 yards per carry in two games since his return, though he’s compensated with 10 receptions. The Colts are a top-three defense on the ground. It’s about volume and touchdowns. … Adam Levitan lays out just how absurd and disappointing Miles Sanders’ Week 10 return was. The Eagles’ lead back: Handled 72 percent of the snaps/77 percent of the touches but Boston Scott had one touchdown on four touches and Corey Clement had one on … one. Brutal. The good news is, Sanders appeared healthy and explosive. Something always seems a little off with the way the Eagles use their lead back, but he has the requisite talent and workload. … Now one of the league’s most heavily-used backs, James Robinson has 70 carries over his past three games. The Steelers are his toughest test of the season so far, especially with the Jags 10-point home ‘dogs with Jake Luton under center. This is a bet that there is no amount of negative game flow that can shake the Jags from their ground game commitment. … As I laid out in The Sunday Aftermath, it’s finally happening for D'Andre Swift. Matt Patricia is the kind of coach who can abandon a good plan on a dime, but why would you not feature Swift vs. the Panthers’ awful run defense? Only three teams are coughing up more RB fantasy points. No one has allowed more RB receptions.
Mike Davis’ returns have been ever diminishing. He at least has the right matchup for Week 11. No team has been victimized for more running back fantasy points than Detroit. Despite some Week 10 seepage, Davis maintains a vice grip on the Panthers’ post-CMC touches. … James Conner has failed to reach 50 yards rushing in three straight starts. That includes A+ matchups in Dallas and Cincinnati. The Jags are yet another gift horse. Please do not look it in the mouth, James. … The Football Team stopped targeting J.D. McKissic so much in the second half on Sunday and almost came back against the Lions. Unchallenged on early downs, allowing him to score seven touchdowns, Antonio Gibson even saw a few third down snaps in Week 10. … Damien Harris has seized control of the Patriots’ backfield at just the right time. The Texans allow 10 more rushing yards per game (167.4) than any other team. Of course, we must monitor Sony Michel’s (quad) potential return. Even if Michel suits up, I will not drop Harris out of the RB2 ranks. … Behind Harris is Rex Burkhead, whose hybrid role has squeezed out James White. Burkhead is a fine FLEX for this appetizing matchup. … With RG Wyatt Teller back and Odell Beckham out, the Browns’ backfield is big enough for the two of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
If the center holds in the Dolphins’ backfield, Salvon Ahmed will be a no-brainer RB2 for a Broncos matchup where the ‘Fins are 3.5-point road favorites. If Matt Breida (hamstring) returns, Ahmed will be a more uncertain RB2/FLEX. It is worth noting that the Dolphins have not been enamored with Breida. … Todd Gurley has failed to average more than 2.8 yards per carry in any of his past four games. He’s also reached 18 totes in each of those appearances. So it goes, though the Saints allow the second fewest RB fantasy points. … Ezekiel Elliott is a slightly better Gurley in a far worse offense. He does have the better Week 11 matchup. … The Chase Edmonds nightmare scenario unfolded. Kenyan Drake missed less time than expected, Edmonds flopped his spot start and Drake immediately reclaimed 1A duties. A 57 over/under with the Seahawks means enough goal-line opportunities for Drake to return RB2 value and enough big-play opportunities for Edmonds to maintain FLEX. … Kalen Ballage is the captain now? Ballage has 40 touches in two games since getting promoted from the practice squad. With Justin Jackson on injured reserve, that status quo will likely maintain vs. the tanked Jets. What a world. … Duke Johnson has been one of the league’s least-effective runners. If that remains the case vs. New England, the Texans may have to start getting their Buddy Howells involved.
The Chiefs weren’t running before their Week 10 bye because they didn’t have to. It’s up for debate if they will this week. The Raiders are more vulnerable through the air than ground. Patrick Mahomes’ laser show will probably remain the modus operandi. Le’Veon Bell isn’t exactly contributing, but Clyde Edwards-Helaire has only 26 total touches in three games since Bell’s arrival. … Not cutting it, Giovani Bernard’s every-down, plug-and-play role in Joe Mixon’s absence has faded. Bernard still gets enough work for RB2 returns, but Samaje Perine has cut the heart out of his RB1 candidacy. … Ronald Jones has to be the Bucs’ lead back this week, right? Right….? Whoever leads will be facing a fearsome Rams front. … With Carlos Hyde (hamstring) cleared and Chris Carson (foot) doubtful, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer and Alex Collins will probably fade to fantasy black. The committee simply did nothing during the two lead backs’ absence. Homer is the most likely to mix in for COP work. … Darrell Henderson is Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 rated runner. He remains the only back worth betting on in the Rams’ apparent three-man committee. … What can I say with the Colts other than I’m a prisoner of the moment and I’m guessing? Nyheim Hines has been weirdly consistent with his play-making. … If you have a reason to rank any Ravens back in the top 30, I’m all ears.