With another four teams on a bye, fantasy football managers will again be scrambling as they attempt to set lineups featuring fantasy relevant running backs (RBs) whose potential snap counts, receiving targets, and carries give them the best chance to win their weekly matchups in Week 10.

We’ve witnessed most of the fallout from last week’s NFL Trade Deadline deals but we’re still waiting to see how much playing time the newly acquired Chase Edmonds will receive in the revamped Broncos backfield. We also want to keep an eye on the Steelers, Bucs and Rams backfields over the next couple of weeks. Steelers RB Najee Harris has had a disappointing sophomore season (3.3 YPC) and Bucs RB Leonard Fournette has a 2.66 YPC in his last four games. Both have capable backups, and it will be interesting to note if there will be changes in their snaps played percentages in the coming weeks.  

The Rams backfield continues to confound us as we patiently wait for one of their RBs to flash some fantasy relevancy. Cam Akers played his first snaps since Week 5 but only gained three yards on five carries. Darrell Henderson logs mediocre performance after mediocre performance and we continue to anxiously wait for Kyren Williams 2022 debut. 

We’ve adjusted our RB handcuff grid to reflect recent changes to the composition of backfields who were involved in trades that included RBs last week. We’ll also identify a few RBs who might see increased or decreased opportunities this week. In addition, we’ll also examine some backfields that are in flux and analyze their recent and potential future RB usage in an attempt to project how their RBs will be utilized moving forward.



NFL Week 9 Running Back Usage Report

Miami Dolphins

Maybe we were too quick to write off Jeff Wilson Jr. after his trade to the Dolphins. Wilson only joined the Dolphins on Tuesday of last week, but head coach Mike McDaniel was his offensive coordinator when both were with the 49ers, and his familiarity with McDaniel’s playbook helped him make an immediate impact in Week 9. Wilson did a good job in pass protection and split carries with Raheem Mostert (each had nine). Wilson played slightly more total snaps (41) than Mostert (38) and edged him out in routes run (13 to 12) and he also caught three passes for 21 yards and a TD. Mostert chimed in with a rushing TD of his own. Adding a solid complimentary piece to the Dolphins’ backfield like Wilson can help the 30-year-old oft injured Mostert remain productive and on the field for the rest of the season.

Chicago Bears

In the two games since Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said that he’d continue using a committee backfield with RBs David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert, Montgomery has played 70% of the teams’ offensive snaps and averaged 14.5 carries per game. In comparison Herbert played 28% and averaged 11.5 carries. Herbert has been the more effective rusher, averaging 5.30 YPC compared to Montgomery’s 3.07 YPC, but Montgomery has been the teams’ pass catching back. Montgomery is the better pass protector from among the two and that will ensure that he continues to play a significant number of snaps every week. Both Bear RBs have fantasy value but with QB Justin Fields becoming more involved in the Bears’ run game lately, Montgomery and Herbert might have a hard time producing RB1 type production on a weekly basis. Entering Week 10 Herbert is averaging 11.2 PPR fantasy points per game as opposed to 10 for Montgomery. 

New York Jets

In his second game as a Jet, James Robinson’s snaps played percentage rose significantly from 22% in Week 8 to 40% in Week 9. The Jets rotated Robinson and Michael Carter in and out of the game and overall ran the ball just under 56% of the time. Robinson (13) and Carter (12) virtually split carries. Carter was the more explosive back averaging 6.33 YPC and he also rushed for a TD. Robinson only rushed for 3.69 YPC but he did convert one of his two receptions into a TD. With Zach Wilson still developing as a QB, and an upcoming schedule that is favorable to RBs, the Jets would be wise to continue to lean heavily on their run game. However, if Carter (52%) and Robinson continue to each play a high percentage of offensive snaps we shouldn’t expect more than RB2 or Flex fantasy production from them moving forward. 

Atlanta Falcons

After a four-game absence Cordarrelle Patterson finally returned to action in Week 9. He only played 39% of the Falcons’ offensive snaps as the Falcons eased him back into a four-back rotation, but he made the most of his playing time by converting both of his red zone carries into TDs. Look for Patterson’s snaps played percentage to gradually increase and gravitate towards the 62% he was averaging prior to his injury. Tyler Allgeier’s snaps will almost certainly decrease but he is clearly Patterson’s handcuff. Caleb Huntley and Avery Williams roles will undoubtedly shrink as the Falcons already crowded backfield could grow even more once Damien Williams is eventually activated off the IR.

Detroit Lions

D’Andre Swift continues to try to play through his nagging ankle and shoulder injuries but in Week 9 he only managed to lineup for 10 snaps. Jamaal Williams (eight TDs in eight games) continues to be the safest Lions RB to put in your starting lineup on a weekly basis. Craig Reynolds, who had been the Lions’ RB3 behind Swift and Williams in Week 9, suffered a rib injury and was ruled out mid-game. If he is inactive for Week 10 Justin Jackson would fill his role.  

Kansas City Chiefs

It seems that the Chiefs’ announcement that Isiah Pacheco would be the teams’ starting RB over Clyde Edwards-Helaire has resulted in both players being rosterable, and not startable for fantasy purposes. Pacheco had just a slight lead in snaps played (22 to 17) and carries (5 to 4) over Edwards-Helaire in Week 9. Jerick McKinnon is the only Chiefs RB who has retained his role and could be counted on to catch passes out of the backfield on a weekly basis. 

Indianapolis Colts

Figuring out which Colts RB to put in your starting lineup this week will be tricky. If Jonathan Taylor (ankle) is unavailable again this week, Deon Jackson would likely get the start. However, Jackson missed most of the fourth quarter in Week 9 after he suffered a knee injury. Jordan Wilkins, (remember him?), played 31% of the Colts’ offensive snaps and saw his first action of the 2022 season last week. Phillip Lindsay is also an option for the Colts this week and of course they could always choose to activate the newly acquired Zach Moss for Week 10. We’ll be following Colts RB progress reports all week long.



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