If there’s anything we fantasy football players need to remember, it’s that healthy running backs who’ve had at least a bit of success, don’t stay unemployed for too long. Jay Ajayi was medically cleared to play back in July, but reports this week say that he is “close to being game ready.” The Texans worked out former Lions RB C.J. Anderson this week. The Giants worked out some veteran RBs this week as well. All too often the two RBs that we fantasy football players start the season with as our starters are forced to miss time. Having a substantial amount of depth on our fantasy rosters at RB is one of the keys to a successful fantasy football season. Check out some more RB related news and observations from around the league:

Chicago Bears

The Bears continue to confound David Montgomery owners. They continued to increase his snaps played percentage in Week 3, but even though they had a big lead for much of their Monday night game against Washington, they didn’t run the ball as much as many of us thought they would or should. Montgomery’s carries actually fell to 13, down five from Week 2. We’re hoping that the Bears finally devise a long term optimal offensive scheme which will take advantage of Montgomery’s skill set. Don’t be too hard on yourself if Montgomery is sitting on your bench when he has his first breakout game of the season. 

Kansas City Chiefs

Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy are again dealing with injuries leading up to Week 4. Darrel Williams would again have an opportunity for expanded playing time this week should either Damien Williams or McCoy either be limited or be forced to miss time. Follow this situation closely as game time approaches. 

Los Angeles Chargers (Updated 9/28)

Melvin Gordon has finally ended his holdout. He was initially expected to be inactive this week, but with Justin Jackson expected to be sidelined for the next few weeks due to a calf injury Gordon will see some limited playing time. Austin Ekeler will still probably be the lead back for this week. Gordon will likely have a limited role as the Chargers wisely ease him back into his previous role. Only the most desperate fantasy owners in danger of getting a zero at the RB or flex spot due to the first bye week should start Gordon. He’ll be a must start as he slips into his old role as the Chargers’ lead back next week. Fantasy owners should hold on to Ekeler who is a valuable handcuff. Gordon has been susceptible to injuries in the past and players who’ve missed big chunks of practice and playing time like he has, tend to be prone to suffering soft tissue injuries.

Los Angeles Rams

Todd Gurley played 73% of the Rams’ Week 3 offensive snaps, an increase of nine from Week 2. He’s averaged just under 15 carries per week thus far, after averaging a little over 18 carries per week the past two seasons. While we expected his carries to be limited, the fact that he has four pass targets on the season (zero last week) is surprising and disturbing for fantasy players owning shares in the Gurley man.  

Minnesota Vikings

We knew the Vikings wanted to run the ball more this season, but while fantasy owners who invested in Dalvin Cook are ecstatic, can the Vikings continue to win by running the ball an NFL leading 61.31% of the time? Only time will tell. Cook is on pace to carry the ball 300 times this season and with his injury history, if you own shares in the third year Vikings back please do whatever you can to get Alexander Mattison on your roster as well. 

New York Giants

In case you’ve been living under a rock and hadn’t heard, Saquon Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 3 and will be out for four to eight weeks. The Giants worked out veteran RBs Benny Cunningham , Fozzy Whitaker and Zach Zenner this week but as of Wednesday night, none of the three have been signed. As of now it looks as if Barkley’s handcuff Wayne Gallman will be the Giants’ lead back. Gallman’s obviously no Barkley but he has a semi-respectable 4.0 YPC on 169 rushing attempts and has shown the ability to catch the ball. He had a career 5.1 YPC in three seasons at Clemson and will have volume and an improved offensive line on his side. In a fantasy football environment where having depth on your fantasy roster is key, just about every RB with a pulse and a starting job has fantasy value. As long as you keep your expectations in check Gallman could play a role as a serviceable low-end RB2 or flex play on your fantasy squad. 

Seattle Seahawks

Let’s keep an eye on the Seahawks usage of Chris Carson this week. Carson has carried the ball 15 times in each of the first three games, but has also had a fumble in each of the last three games as well. Carson fumbled three times all of last season. Rashaad Penny didn’t see any action last week due to a hamstring injury. With Penny out, C.J. Prosise played 55% of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps compared to 13% the week before. With Prosise being more of a third down pass catching option, and Penny potentially hindered by injury, Carson will likely have Week 4 to show Coach Pete Carroll that he deserves to continue to be the Seahawks’ lead back. 

Team

Primary RB

Change of Pace

3rd Down Back

Handcuff

IR/PUP/Susp./Holdout/Injured

Arizona Cardinals

David Johnson

 

 

Chase Edmonds  

 

Atlanta Falcons

Devonta Freeman  

Qadree Ollison /Brian Hill

 

Ito Smith  

 

Baltimore Ravens

Mark Ingram  

Justice Hill 

 

Gus Edwards  

 

Buffalo Bills

Frank Gore  

Devin Singletary

Devin Singletary

Devin Singletary

 

Carolina Panthers

Christian McCaffrey  

Jordan Scarlett 

 

Jordan Scarlett/Reggie Bonnafon

 

Chicago Bears

David Montgomery

Mike Davis

Tarik Cohen  

 

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Mixon  

 

Giovani Bernard

Giovani Bernard

 

Cleveland Browns

Nick Chubb  

Dontrell Hilliard

D'Ernest Johnson

Dontrell Hilliard

 Kareem Hunt

Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott  

 

 

Tony Pollard

 

Denver Broncos

Phillip Lindsay

Royce Freeman  

Devontae Booker

Royce Freeman  

 

Detroit Lions

Kerryon Johnson  

Ty Johnson

J.D. McKissic  

Ty Johnson 

 

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Jones  

 

 

Jamaal Williams  

 

Houston Texans

Duke Johnson  

 Carlos Hyde

 

Carlos Hyde

Lamar Miller  

Indianapolis Colts

Marlon Mack  

Jordan Wilkins  

Nyheim Hines  

Jordan Wilkins  

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Leonard Fournette  

 

 

Ryquell Armstead  

Alfred Blue  

Kansas City Chiefs

Damien Williams  

Darwin Thompson

LeSean McCoy

LeSean McCoy Darrel Williams

 

Los Angeles Chargers

Austin Ekeler  

Melvin Gordon

 

Melvin Gordon

Justin Jackson (inactive)

Los Angeles Rams

Todd Gurley  

   

Malcolm Brown  

 

Miami Dolphins

Kenyan Drake  

Kalen Ballage  

 

Kalen Ballage  

 

Minnesota Vikings

Dalvin Cook  

 

 

Alexander Mattison 

 

New England Patriots

Sony Michel  

Rex Burkhead

James White  

Damien Harris 

James Develin

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara  

 

 

Latavius Murray  

 

New York Giants

Wayne Gallman

Elijhaa Penny

 

Elijhaa Penny  

Rod Smith , Saquon Barkley  

New York Jets

Le'Veon Bell  

 

 

Ty Montgomery  

 

Oakland Raiders

Josh Jacobs  

DeAndre Washington

Jalen Richard  

DeAndre Washington /Jalen Richard  

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Jordan Howard  

Miles Sanders

Darren Sproles

Miles Sanders 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

James Conner  

Benny Snell Jr.

 Jaylen Samuels

Jaylen Samuels  

 

San Francisco 49ers

Matt Breida  

Raheem Mostert

Jeff Wilson

Raheem Mostert

Jerick McKinnon , Tevin Coleman

Seattle Seahawks

Chris Carson  

Rashaad Penny  

C.J. Prosise  

 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Peyton Barber  

 

Dare Ogunbowale  

Ronald Jones II

 

Tennessee Titans

Derrick Henry  

 

 Dion Lewis

Dion Lewis  

 

Washington Redskins

Adrian Peterson

 

Chris Thompson  

Wendell Smallwood

Derrius Guice