Le’Veon Bell made his debut for the Chiefs in Week 7 and from a fantasy perspective it’s about what we expected. Bell took some baby steps, playing 33% of the snaps, while Clyde Edwards-Helaire maintained his grip on the Chiefs backfield (for now) with 53% of the snaps played. Bell was effective, rushing for 39 yards on six carries (6.50 YPC). While he probably won’t take over lead back duties, Bell’s role will likely gradually increase, and will most likely expand into the Chiefs’ passing game as well.

The New York Jets, Bell’s old team, continued to use Frank Gore and rookie RB La’Mical Perine in a 50/50 split on the field (each had 11 carries), but Perine played 40 snaps to Gore’s 16. 

The RB position is one of the most volatile in fantasy football and there are a number of backs nursing injuries this week including Joe Mixon , Chris Carson , Carlos Hyde Devonta Freeman , Phillip Lindsay and Jeffery Wilson , who was placed on the IR. Christian McCaffrey ’s Week 8 availability is still up in the air. 

Fantasy Alarm will keep you up to date on all the latest breaking fantasy football injury news as it happens. In the meantime, the following analysis provides a closer look at a few of the NFL backfields that deserve your attention.  We hope that it helps you better manage your fantasy football team(s).

Buffalo Bills

With QB Josh Allen ’s production leveling off a bit over the past few weeks, the lackluster level of play that the Bills are getting from their RBs has become much more apparent. The Bills have the third lowest rushing yards per game average (97) in the NFL. That average drops to 68 yards per game when only RBs are taken into consideration. With the level of competition that Bills RBs have been facing, that number is unacceptable. They’ve played two games against the Jets, one against the Dolphins and another against the Raiders, and all three of those teams are in the top eight in fantasy points allowed to RBs. They also faced the Chiefs, who’ve given up the third most rushing yards to RBs on the season. Second year back Devin Singletary has yet to rush for more than 71 yards in a game this season, and he’s averaging 3.8 YPC after averaging 5.1 YPC last season. With Singletary having faced eight or more defenders in the box on just 1.27% of his rushes this season, (the lowest total in the NFL), his regression doesn’t make sense. Rookie RB Zack Moss, who missed three games (Week 3 through 5) due to a toe injury, hasn’t played much better but, he did he did compile an encouraging seven carry 47 rushing yard (6.71 YPC) three catch 25 yard stat line this past week. Singletary played more snaps (54%) than Moss in Week 7, but Moss’ 47% share was his highest of the season. Look for Moss to get more playing time if Singletary continues to underwhelm. 

Chicago Bears

Speaking of underwhelming team backfields, the Bears have rushed for a third worst 3.8 YPC on the season. Since Week 2 David Montgomery is averaging just 3.09 YPC. The fact that he’s caught 21 passes for 129 yards during that period has at least helped him salvage some of his fantasy value. Montgomery is WR27 and is averaging 13 fantasy points per game (FPPG) in PPR scoring formats per Fantasy Football Today. With fellow Bears RB Tarik Cohen on the IR since Week 4, other than giving Cordarrelle Patterson a few carries a game, the Bears haven’t explored other options at the RB position. Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce are both on the team roster, but haven’t had a carry as of yet. Maybe it’s time to give them to get an opportunity to showcase their talents. Unfortunately, things won’t get any easier for Montgomery against the Saints in Week 8. They’ve given up the fourth fewest fantasy points to RBs this season.

Cincinnati Bengals

As this article is being written Joe Mixon ’s status for Week 8 is uncertain. With the Bengals having a Week 9 bye it would make sense for them to sit Mixon this week so that he can have two full weeks to rest his injured foot. In his place Giovani Bernard played 76% of the Bengals’ offensive carries compared to Samaje Perine ’s 25% in Week 7. Bernard, whose value as a handcuff is often overlooked, rushed for 37 yards on 13 carries, logged five catches for 59 yards, and added a receiving TD as well. Bernard is not a long term bell cow RB option, but he has been effective in spurts when called upon to be the lead back throughout his career.  In 12 career games with 15 or more carries he’s rushed for 941 yards on 213 carries (4.4 YPC), and averaged almost four catches and 32 receiving yards per game. He’s also scored eight total TDs and averaged 14 FPPG in full point PPR scoring in those 12 games. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Keep an eye on the Jaguars’ backfield. They have a bye this week but with the Jaguars losing six straight the Jaguars might look to shake things up a bit in Week 9. Except for Weeks 5 and 6 rookie RB James Robinson’s fantasy production has been outstanding. However, the Jags activated Devine Ozigbo from the IR prior to Week 7 and although he played zero snaps, it will be interesting to see if and how, they incorporate him into their offensive game plan moving forward. Robinson has done enough to secure his role as the Jags’ early down back but, with Chris Thompson on the Covid-19 list, Ozigbo’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield may help him carve out a role in third down situations. Dare Ogunbowale , another pass catching back, is lurking in the background as well. Will he ever play a snap for the Jags? Stay tuned.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Prior to Week 1 and after just having signed him to a one year deal, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians described Leonard Fournette as “a big, strong back that can really catch.” In his first activity in two weeks Fournette immediately took over the Bucs’ pass-catching duties in Week 7. On Monday, head coach Bruce Arians confirmed that Fournette had replaced LeSean McCoy as the team’s third down back moving forward. However, with Fournette having played 40 snaps in Week 7 compared to Ronald Jones ’ 31, it looks as if Fournette’s role will go beyond just pass catching duties. Fournette and Jones basically split the backfield’s carries in Week 7. Jones led the way with 13 and Fournette had 11. More importantly, Fournette edged out Jones with three carries from inside the 10 yard line compared to Jones’ two. For now, it appears that Jones and Fournette will be able to co-exist with each having some fantasy value moving forward.

 Buffalo BillsMiami DolphinsNew England PatriotsNew York Jets
Primary RBDevin SingletaryMyles GaskinDamien HarrisLa'Mical Perine
Change of PaceZack MossMatt BreidaRex BurkheadFrank Gore/Ty Johnson
3rd Down  James White 
HandcuffZack MossMatt BreidaRex Burkhead / James WhiteFrank Gore
Injured  Sony Michel 
Jordan Howard was a healthy scratch Week 5 and 6
 Indianapolis ColtsJacksonville JaguarsHouston TexansTennessee Titans
Primary RBJonathan TaylorJames RobinsonDavid JohnsonDerrick Henry
Change of PaceJordan Wilkins Duke Johnson 
3rd DownNyheim HinesChris Thompson  
HandcuffJordan WilkinsChris Thompson / Dare Ogunbowale/Devine OzigboDuke JohnsonJeremy McNichols
InjuredMarlon MackRyquell Armstead Senorise Perry
 Baltimore RavensCincinnati BengalsCleveland BrownsPittsburgh Steelers
Primary RBMark IngramJoe MixonKareem HuntJames Conner
Change of PaceGus EdwardsGiovani Bernard/Samaje PerineD'Ernest Johnson/Dontrell HilliardBenny Snell/Anthony McFarland Jr.
3rd DownJ.K. DobbinsGiovani Bernard Jaylen Samuels
HandcuffGus Edwards / J.K. DobbinsGiovani BernardD'Ernest JohnsonBenny Snell
Injured  Nick Chubb 
Watch Ingram's progress (ankle)
Joe Mixon (foot) was out Week 7. Watch his progress for Week 8.
 Denver BroncosKansas City ChiefsLas Vegas RaidersLos Angeles Chargers
Primary RBMelvin GordonClyde Edwards - HelaireJosh JacobsJustin Jackson/Joshua Kelley
Change of PaceRoyce FreemanLe'Veon Bell/Darrel Williams /Darwin ThompsonJalen Richard 
3rd Down Le'Veon Bell
Devontae Booker
HandcuffRoyce FreemanLe'Veon BellJalen Richard / Devontae BookerJustin Jackson/Joshua Kelley
Phillip Lindsay (concussion) will likely be out Week 8
Theo Riddick was transferred back to the practice squad after Week 4
Austin Ekeler has been sidelined since Wk 4 (hamstring injury) and was originally expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks.
 Dallas CowboysNew York GiantsPhiladelphia EaglesWashington Football Team
Primary RBEzekiel ElliottDevonta FreemanMiles SandersAntonio Gibson
Change of PaceTony PollardWayne Gallman/Dion LewisBoston Scott/Corey Clement/Jason HuntleyJ.D. McKissic/Peyton Barber
3rd Down    J.D. McKissic
HandcuffTony PollardWayne GallmanCorey ClementJ.D. McKissic / Peyton Barber
Injured Saquon Barkley  
Watch Freeman's progress (ankle) as game time approaches
Miles Sanders (knee) missed Week 7. Watch his progress for Week 8.
 Atlanta FalconsCarolina PanthersNew Orleans SaintsTampa Bay Buccaneers
Primary RBTodd GurleyMike DavisAlvin KamaraRonald Jones/Leonard Fournette
Change of PaceBrian Hill / Ito SmithTrenton CannonLatavius MurrayKe'Shawn Vaughn / LeSean McCoy
3rd Down   Leonard Fournette
HandcuffBrian HillTrenton CannonLatavius MurrayRonald Jones/Leonard Fournette
Injured Reggie BonnafonTy Montgomery 
Christian McCaffrey hasn't played since Wk 2 (high ankle sprain). There's a chance he'll play Week 8. Track his progress.
 Chicago BearsDetroit LionsGreen Bay PackersMinnesota Vikings
Primary RBDavid MontgomeryD'Andre SwiftAaron JonesDalvin Cook
Change of PaceCordarrelle PattersonAdrian Peterson/Kerryon JohnsonJamaal Williams /A.J. DillonAlexander Mattison/Mike Boone
3rd Down    
HandcuffRyan Nall / Artavis PierceAdrian Peterson/Kerryon JohnsonJamaal WilliamsAlexander Mattison
InjuredTarik CohenBo Scarbrough  
Jones missed Week 7 (calf). Watch his progress for Week 8.
Cook (groin injury) was out in Wk 6.
 Arizona CardinalsLos Angeles RamsSan Francisco 49ersSeattle Seahawks
Primary RBChase EdmondsDarrell HendersonJamychal HastyChris Carson
Change of PaceEno BenjaminMalcolm Brown/Cam Akers Carlos Hyde / Travis Homer
3rd DownChase Edmonds Jerick McKinnonDeeJay Dallas
HandcuffEno BenjaminMalcolm Brown Carlos Hyde
InjuredKenyan Drake Jeff Wilson, Raheem Mostert, Tevin ColemanRashaad Penny
Watch Drake's progress (ankle) as Week 9 approaches
Watch Tevin Coleman's (knee) progress
Carson (foot) is likely to be out Week 8. Hyde is nursing a sore hamstring. Homer has a bruised knee.