With many teams heading towards a running back by committee, fantasy owners constantly need to be analyzing the situations and determining who has value and is worth utilizing. Let’s take a look at some of the key situations from yesterday and try to determine who should be used and who should be ignored:
Was David Johnson Really Just A Decoy…
Was the lack of touches for Johnson due to the injury or the fact that Chase Edmonds dominated early and often? It’s impossible to know for sure, and it’s possible whatever they tell us is just coach speak, but the fact is that Edmonds carried the offense taking 27 carries for 126 yards and 3 TD (and also added 2 catches for 24 yards).
Now the question is how does the touch split look moving forward, even once Johnson is healthy? Considering he was carrying a meager 3.9 YPC entering the day, it’s very possible that Edmonds starts to see his carries increase significantly moving forward. Time will tell, but there could be enough touches to make both viable RB2/FLEX options moving forward.
Action – If Edmonds was not owned, grab him immediately as he could become the 1A and viable RB2
Game Flow Likely Costs David Montgomery…
The Bears fell behind early, and ultimately had a total of 7 rushing attempts. That likely played a role, but Montgomery also lost a fumble and you have to wonder if that played more of a role considering it was just 12-10 at the half.
Regardless of the reason, look for things to change next week as Montgomery had just 2 carries and 2 catches on the afternoon. With Tarik Cohen also in the mix Montgomery is going to have a low floor but there will be upside if he gets the touches. For now view him more as a FLEX as opposed a trustworthy option.
Action – Decrease the outlook for Montgomery, but stay patient
Is It Time To Write Off Joe Mixon…
Abysmal… That’s about the only word we can use to describe yesterday’s performance for Mixon as he managed 2 yards on 10 carries. Over the past two weeks he’s totaled 12 yards on 18 carries, failing to break a run of more than 4 yards.
To an extent his day was “saved” by a 2 yard TD reception, though he still fell well short of expectations. He showed that he was better than this earlier in the season, though the Bengals continue to lose and it’s possible they look to mix things up. More at risk is Andy Dalton, but you have to wonder if perhaps Giovani Bernard starts to play a bigger role? Regardless all we can do is stick with Mixon, keeping him stashed on the bench if you have the appropriate depth.
Action – Keep Mixon stashed, for now
Who Will Step Up To Replace Kerryon Johnson…
We don’t know the extent of the knee injury suffered by Kerryon Johnson, though it appears that he’s primed to miss some time. That said who steps into a feature role remains to be seen, though Ty Johnson failed to seize the role yesterday despite being given the opportunity:
- Ty Johnson – 10 carries for 29 yards; 4 catches for 28 yards
- J.D. McKissic – 5 carries for 29 yards; 2 catches for 31 yards
It would appear that Ty Johnson is the favored option, though chances are they end up in a timeshare. Regardless, while both are worth stashing Ty Johnson is the preferred option (though not a trustworthy one).
Action – Both stashable, but neither are usable
Green Bay Packers
Right Back To Aaron Jones We Go…
A week after Jamaal Williams seemingly took over as the lead back, the Packers went right back to Jones and he delivered a solid performance:
- Aaron Jones – 12 carries for 50 yards; 4 catches for 33 yards & 1 TD
- Jamaal Williams – 3 carries for 5 yards; 4 catches for 26 yards & 1 TD
Both will likely remain involved, but Jones should clearly remain the preferred option when setting your lineups.
Action – Continue viewing Jones as the better option
Los Angeles Chargers
Is Austin Ekeler Officially The More Valuable RB…
While Melvin Gordon dominated the carries (16 vs. 5 for Ekeler), he also fumbled the ball twice (losing one to end the game) and didn’t get much going on the ground. While he did score a TD in the passing game, it was Ekeler who put up huge numbers catching the football for the second time in the past three weeks:
- Week 5 – 15 catches for 86 yards
- Week 6 – 3 catches for 14 yards
- Week 7 – 7 catches for 118 yards & 1 TD
Gordon, meanwhile, has been terrible since ending his holdout taking 36 carries for 81 yards (2.25 YPC). While he’s going to remain a significant part of the offense and have upside, for now he’s nothing more than a desperation FLEX while Ekeler holds more appeal.
Action – Move Gordon to your bench unless you’re desperate
A Changing Of The Guard…
Considering the state of the team it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are trying new things, and this week they gave Mark Walton an opportunity as the lead back. While it wasn’t a blow away performance, against a tough Buffalo run defense it was still impressive:
- Mark Walton – 14 carries for 66 yards (4.7 YPC)
- Kenyan Drake – 6 carries for 21 yards (3.5 YPC)
- Kalen Ballage – 3 carries for 7 yards & 1 TD (2.3 YPC)
Ballage vultured the TD, but that does nothing to take away from the performance. Walton has been the best runner on the team thus far, entering the day averaging 4.4 YPC and with rumors of Drake being on the trade block there’s a good chance Walton continues to lead the way. He may not have a huge ceiling, but the opportunities will be there putting him on the RB2/FLEX spectrum depending on the matchup.
Action – Walton is a must add
St. Louis Rams
Todd Gurley Proves That He’s Healthy…
The quad issue that sidelined him last week is clearly behind him. While the production wasn’t overly impressive, the fact that he worked without limitation was the key takeaway:
- Rushing – 18 carries for 41 yards (2.3 YPC)
- Receiving – 1 reception for 13 yards & 1 TD
That said Gurley has morphed into a TD dependent runner, averaging under 4.0 YPC in every game since Week 1. He’s scored 6 TD over this span, which is masking the issue, but sooner or later he could see his value disappear if the TD dry up. Consider selling high on him, now that he’s proven that he’s healthy.
Action – Shop Gurley as a Sell High candidate
Peterson Delivers Another Strong Performance…
After a breakout performance against the Dolphins in Week 7 (23 carries for 118 yards) it was easy to expect a step backwards against San Francisco. Instead he delivered another strong outing, taking 20 carries for 81 yards (4.1 YPC). While he likely benefited from the absence of Chris Thompson, it has become clear that the new coaching staff will be featuring the run moving forward.
Peterson has a limited ceiling in a poor offense, but he’s averaged 21.5 carries over the past two weeks and delivered 199 yards in the process. Ultimately he should start to find the end zone given the workload, and that will only add to the upside. His schedule isn’t ideal over the next few weeks, but he at least should be a viable FLEX option during the bye weeks.
Action – Peterson is worth adding as a potential high usage bye week fill in
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: