Dameon Pierce attempts to keep outperforming his environment, David Montgomery readies for a plus matchup in the Lions, and Leonard Fournette keeps one eye open on Rachaad White.
Other positions: Quarterback | Receiver | Tight End/Kickers/Defense
Updated 11/13 at 11:50 AM ET. Removed Ezekiel Elliott, moved Tony Pollard into top 10.
Week 10 Running Backs
RB Notes: There is no wrong answer at the top this week. Touch dominator Christian McCaffrey is facing a Chargers run defense allowing 5.7 yards per carry and 146 yards per game as a touchdown favorite at home. Saquon Barkley is encountering a Texans “run defense” permitting far and away both the most yards and fantasy points per game. With their upsides so limitless, I'll lean on McCaffrey's slightly higher floor — mostly in the form of bankable receptions — in the top spot. … Austin Ekeler is averaging four more weekly PPR points than any other back. With Keenan Allen (hamstring) seemingly nowhere close to a return, the gravy train isn't about to derail any time soon. … Derrick Henry's lack of Week 9 involvement was truly inexplicable, obscuring the fact he still managed to go 17/115/2 with a minor-league quarterback under center. Ryan Tannehill (ankle) finally seems on the right side of questionable. Even if Tannehill misses another game, the run-environment will remain positive for Henry against the Broncos. … Nick Chubb has finished below 87 yards rushing one time all year. He is coming off bye to a potential shootout with a pedestrian Dolphins ground defense.
Kenneth Walker has finished below 88 yards rushing one time in the past five weeks. His volume and floor have become as bankable as almost any back in football. … Travis Etienne has arrived at the stage where you don't worry about game environment, opponent, etc. so much. He is the heartbeat of his offense, one liable to rip a 40-yard gain on any given play. That being said … it's never recommended to be a 10-point road 'dog on the ground. Etienne could be a little more reliant on big plays than usual in Kansas City, but he should still get enough opportunities. … Dameon Pierce (chest, shoulder) is a bit banged up from putting the Texans' offense on his back, but he is practicing coming off Houston's “mini-bye.” Much like Ken Walker, Pierce has been held below 90 yards rushing one time in his past five starts. He just plays on a worse team. Thankfully, he has a soft Week 10 opponent, a Giants run defense coughing up 5.5 yards per carry. Pierce can keep supplying returns even in his awful offensive environment. … Alvin Kamara flopped along with the rest of the Saints' offense in Week 9. That will be harder to do against the Steelers' collapsed defense.
Dalvin Cook is maybe the least-discussed elite back of 2022. That's because he isn't really spiking weeks or stacking receptions. He nevertheless remains the RB12 by average PPR points. He has stayed healthy and maintained a high floor. It wouldn't be surprising if his second half returns were greater than the first. This is where I come in and say, Josh Allen or no Josh Allen, @BUF is an imposing date for any running back. … Josh Jacobs should probably be ranked higher against Jim Irsay's Traveling Football Revue, but the Raiders might be the only team whose vibes are almost as bad as Indy's right now. And for all the Colts' issues, run defense isn't one of them. Only the 49ers hand out fewer yards per carry. … Miles Sanders has cleared 70 yards and found the end zone in three straight starts. That won't be a difficult bar to clear as an 11-point home favorite against the Commanders, especially on 11 days' rest. … Most signs point toward Ezekiel Elliott (knee) returning against the Packers, and all signs point toward him maintaining his usual role against the Pack's awful run D. Tony Pollard predictably excelled in Zeke's Week 8 absence, and can be slotted into the top 24 with the Cowboys getting five points on the road in Green Bay.
Like Cooper Kupp in Week 8, Aaron Jones seems to have avoided a high-ankle sprain. The Packers' undermanned passing attack will have a near impossible time moving the ball through the air against Dallas' elite defense. The Cowboys are more forgiving on the ground, and Jones is by far Green Bay's best skill player. … Jonathan Taylor (ankle) seems set to return for the in-chaos Colts. With Deon Jackson (knee) banged up, Taylor could be the only backfield show in town. Receiving awful quarterback play and breaking in an offensive lineman as emergency head coach, it doesn't take much guessing to divine the Colts' likely game plan. … David Montgomery seems to have firewalled Khalil Herbert's advance for the time being. The Lions are an absolute smash spot for Chicago's run-first attack, keeping Herbert FLEX relevant. … By the same token, Jamaal Williams will be fed carries vs. a bottom-five run defense in this high-totaled contest. Coach Dan Campbell has admitted D'Andre Swift is ready for more work after last Sunday's five-touch disappointment. Even 10 handles would put Swift firmly in the FLEX mix. … James Conner (ribs) looked healthy in his Week 9 return. He would have notched far more than 12 touches had Kyler Murray not kept killing drives with sacks. Now with Murray bothered by a hamstring issue, Conner could be Plan A vs. the Rams' admittedly tough ground unit.
Smoke continues to billow that the Bucs could soon be moving on from Leonard Fournette as lead back. I just sort of doubt it will be the week they have to fly to Germany. Along with the rest of the Bucs' offense, Fournette is overdue for some touchdowns. … Torpedoed along with the rest of the Panthers' offense in Week 9, D'Onta Foreman must now deal with a returning Chuba Hubbard. It's notable, but the Panthers' short-week game plan should feature run after run vs. a Falcons' defense that is worse against the pass but bad against everything. … It would make a ton of sense for the Bills to employ a three-man Devin Singletary/James Cook/Nyheim Hines committee if Josh Allen can't go. Singletary is unlikely to rise into the top 20. … Jaylen Warren receiving more work at the expense of Najee Harris has been the week's worst-kept secret. Of course, it can be questioned how much it even matters in fantasy. An outright Harris benching also seems unlikely. … Raheem Mostert seemed to already be wearing down before Jeff Wilson arrived. There will be pop-up games for both, but this committee feels evenly matched heading into Week 10. … With Matthew Stafford (concussion) suddenly questionable, Darrell Henderson could reach 15 touches.