Six… As if things haven’t been hard enough at the running back position, there are six teams on bye this week. Everyone knew this was coming and everyone is dealing with the same obstacles, but that doesn’t make things any better. So what do you do? First, take a deep breath. Of course it seems like the world is against you if your stud running back is on bye and your opponent gets to start theirs, but they are likely weaker somewhere else on their roster. Regardless, there is nothing you can do about it.
Take a look at the rankings, your roster, the waiver wire and all available options, and make the best decision possible. Let’s be honest, that is all you can do. Now, let’s jump into how our options rank:
- Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – at Green Bay
- Saquon Barkley – NY Giants – at NY Jets
- Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at Dallas
- Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Minnesota
- Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Miami
- Josh Jacobs – Oakland Raiders – vs. LA Chargers
- Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Carolina
- Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens – at Cincinnati
- Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – vs. Kansas City
- David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – vs. Detroit
- Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – vs. Buffalo
- Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – at San Francisco
- Le’Veon Bell – NY Jets – vs. NY Giants
- Tevin Coleman – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Seattle
- Todd Gurley – LA Rams – at Pittsburgh
- David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – at Tampa Bay
- Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
- Jaylen Samuels – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. LA Rams
- Austin Ekeler – LA Chargers – at Oakland
- Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – at Cleveland
- Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Baltimore
- Melvin Gordon – LA Chargers – at Oakland
- Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Arizona
- Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – vs. Carolina
- Matt Breida – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Seattle
- Damien Williams – Kansas City Chiefs – at Tennessee
- Ty Johnson – Detroit Lions – at Chicago
- Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears – vs. Detroit
- Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – vs. Buffalo
- Kalen Ballage – Miami Dolphins – at Indianapolis
- Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – at Tampa Bay
- JD McKissic – Detroit Lions – at Chicago
- Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Trey Edmunds – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. LA Rams
- Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Miami
- Dion Lewis – Tennessee Titans – vs. Kansas City
- Jalen Richard – Oakland Raiders – vs. LA Chargers
- Rashaad Penny – Seattle Seahawks – at San Francisco
- LeSean McCoy – Kansas City Chiefs – at Tennessee
- Congratulations! After holding him on your bench for however many weeks he was stashed Kareem Hunt is returning, though Nick Chubb owners aren’t sharing that sentiment. For as talented as Hunt is and for as much success as he has had, it’s been a while since we saw him in an NFL game. The Browns are being vague, as expected, about what we can expect from Hunt, but it does seem to be pretty clear that he will have a legitimate role in Cleveland’s offense. I also don’t believe it will come at the expense of Chubb. So far this season Chubb has 803 rushing yards while averaging 5.2 yards per carry and scoring 6 TD, and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down. While Hunt will likely be eased into the rushing game, Chubb is still going the primary ball carrier. Despite having 25 receptions on the season, that is not Chubb’s strength and that is where we should see Hunt make his impact. At this point I’m not downgrading Chubb, and while I’m treading lightly with Hunt he does have some FLEX appeal depending on your situation.
- New Orleans at home with Drew Brees under center is a pretty good situation, regardless of the opponent. When we factor in that the Saints are coming off their bye week and facing the Falcons and their weak defense, things get even more appealing. With the struggles Atlanta has had, especially against opposing running backs in the passing game, things are shaping up to be quite appealing for Alvin Kamara if he plays. The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time and all indications are that he will take the field. As a runner Kamara is averaging just 4.3 yards per carry with 1 TD, but he has made his impact in the passing game with 33 receptions for 276 yards. Overall, things haven’t gone completely according to plan as he has just 2 TD overall, but his PPR production has helped keep him atop our rankings. In his absence Latavius Murray showed he is more than capable as a runner, and even with Kamara returning he still retains some value. Regardless I would keep him around until we are completely certain that Kamara’s ankle is 100%.
- I suppose we can pick our poison with David Montgomery. Two weeks ago the rookie exploded for 135 yards and a touchdown, and our first thought was that he had finally arrived. Last week, at least from a yardage perspective, he took a step back as he gained just 40 yards on 14 carries, but I wouldn’t hold it against him. As a whole the Bears offense failed to get much done against the Eagles, but the fantasy production was still there as he scored 2 TD. With three receptions for 36 yards he finished pretty close to where he did the week prior. This week he gets to feast on the Lions and their league worst defense against opposing fantasy running backs. With Tarik Cohen the main passing game threat out of the backfield,Montgomery has found his niche of about three receptions per game, but more importantly he is beginning to emerge as a runner.
- While we are on the subject of rookie running backs, we finally saw Frank Gore take a back seat to Devin Singletary. Granted it was the Redskins, but Singletary gained 140 total yards in what was easily the best performance of his career. Singletary almost tripled his previous career high in carries (seven), and gained 95 yards on 20 carries while scoring a touchdown and adding three receptions for 45 yards. As he takes on the Browns this week, Singletary is poised to build on that performance. It is also pretty clear that despite Josh Allen’s success, Buffalo’s offensive game plan will trend to the conservative side and that will only serve to benefit Singletary.
- Was it really that simple? Did Kenyan Drake simply need a change of scenery, well get out of Miami, to find his groove? That is what it looked like last week as he found success just a few days after being traded to the Cardinals. We should note that it came against the 49ers and their strong defense. To Arizona’s credit they didn’t waste anytime in getting their new acquisition involved, and at this point who knows what to expect from the rest of the Cardinals’ backfield. The early indications are that David Johnson will be active this coming week against Tampa Bay, but will he be 100%? Regardless Drake will have a role as it appears that Chase Edmonds will be sidelined. After gaining 110 yards on 15 carries and scoring a touchdown, while also catching four passes for 52 yards, Drake had 10 days to continue his crash course in Arizona’s playbook. With Johnson returning Drake will obviously take a back seat, but Drake should still be on your FLEX radar. If Johnson does in fact return, despite fantasy owners having a sour taste in their mouths from a few weeks ago, he has to be in your lineup.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 10 rankings: