Running Back Rundown: Who To Buy, Who To Sell & More After Week 9 (Devin Singletary, Melvin Gordon, Damien Williams & More)

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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:

Buffalo Bills
Did We Finally Get The Changing Of The Guard…

Fantasy owners have been waiting for the Bills to give Devin Singletary the opportunity to be the lead back. While part of the delay was due to his injury, when both Singletary and Frank Gore have been active it was Gore who had been operating as the leader. That all changed this week against the Redskins:

  • Singletary – 20 carries for 95 yards (4.8 YPC) & 1 TD
  • Gore – 11 carries for 15 yards (1.8 YPC)

Singletary added 3 catches for 45 yards. Over the past two weeks Gore has failed to break a run of more than 8 yards, while Singletary consistently has proven to be the more dynamic player. While we can’t yet assume that Singletary will see the bulk of the work every week, he’s definitely the better option and should be a solid RB2 moving forward.

Action – If Singletary happens to be available, he’s a must grab

Detroit Lions
Don’t Rush To Add Ty Johnson…

He was a must add a few weeks ago, only to seemingly take a backseat to Tra Carson in Week 8. With Carson sidelined speculation started to gain steam that Johnson would again be the lead back, and while he was the leader in terms of touches in Week 9 the production wasn’t there:

  • Ty Johnson – 9 carries for 29 yards (3.2 YPC)
  • J.D. McKissic – 4 carries for 32 yards (8.0 YPC)
  • Paul Perkins – 3 carries for 16 yards (5.3 YPC)

Would it be surprising to hear that the Lions sign Jay Ajayi early this week and quickly install him as the starter? Johnson likely missed his opportunity, and even if a move isn’t made he’ll likely be part of a timeshare and not a true lead option.

Action – Don’t be afraid to move on from Johnson if you need the spot

Kansas City Chiefs
Is McCoy No Longer A Viable Fantasy Option…

After losing a fumble last week against the Packers, LeSean McCoy clearly played second fiddle in the backfield in Week 9:

  • Damien Williams – 12 carries for 125 yards & 1 TD
  • LeSean McCoy – 3 carries for 9 yards

Williams’ line was buoyed by a 91-yard run (11 catches for 34 yards otherwise), so the numbers are skewed. Let’s not forget that Williams hadn’t broken a run of more than 9 yards all season prior to yesterday, so we don’t want to read too much into the performance. It’s not to say that Williams won’t re-emerge as the lead runner in Kansas City, but for now he’s only on the FLEX spectrum.

Action – Monitor the situation, but neither running back is more than a FLEX as of today (though Williams is the preferred option)

Los Angeles Chargers
Don’t Be So Fast To Write Off Melvin Gordon…

It had been a miserable start for Gordon, after missing a few weeks due to his holdout, but he showed that there was still significant upside against the Packers:

  • Rushing – 20 carries for 80 yards & 2 TD
  • Receiving – 3 receptions for 29 yards

He’s never going to be “the man”, as Austin Ekeler is going to remain part of the committee (16 touches for 93 yards). Gordon should be the favored option in short yardage, meaning TD opportunities, and there should be more than enough opportunities to go around.

Action – Value both Gordon & Ekeler as RB2, though Gordon is returning to the more valuable option

Miami Dolphins
Mark Walton Fails To Impress Against The Jets…

It seemed like a favorable matchup entering the week, and despite Miami getting their first win of the season Walton wasn’t overly productive:

  • Rushing – 12 carries for 29 yards (2.4 YPC)
  • Receiving – 3 catches for 12 yards

Kalen Ballage also struggled, taking 7 carries for 19 yards (2.7 YPC), so it’s not like Walton is at risk of losing his role. He should remain the leader in the backfield, though he’s more of a FLEX option (at best) most weeks.

Action – Continue valuing Walton as a low-end FLEX play

Philadelphia Eagles
Miles Sanders Sees His Role Expand…

Obviously he wasn’t quite as productive per touch, but it’s noteworthy that Sanders saw more opportunities this week:

  • Rushing – 10 carries for 42 yards
  • Receiving – 3 catches for 31 yards (on 3 targets)

Jordan Howard clearly remained the leading rusher, taking 19 carries for 82 yards and 1 TD. Darren Sproles also returned to the lineup, and while he was used sparingly in this one (1 reception on 2 targets) he could start to get more opportunities moving forward.

Sanders has the potential to emerge as the leader of the backfield, but for now he’s the second option and more of a FLEX play while Howard is a RB2.

Action – Keep Sanders stashed, though he’s a matchup based FLEX

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 10 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

4 COMMENTS

  1. I can pick up Singletary but who to drop? I’ve got Kamara, Jacobs, Montgomery and D Johnson. Could potentially drop TE Andrews as I have Waller and I was being stingy not dropping NE D this week, thoughts?

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