Alvin Kamara hopes to keep catching passes like a mad man vs. the Bucs, Damien Harris looks to stay scorching in Los Angeles, and Cordarrelle Patterson aims to prove his post-bye usage is here to stay.
Updated 10/31 at 11:45 AM ET. Removed Jamaal Williams.
Week 8 Running Backs
RB Notes: Dalvin Cook had 143 yards on 31 touches before the Vikings’ bye. He is as healthy as he will be for the rest of the season for a Cowboys tilt with a 55 over/under. … You could consider it a bit of a stunt having Derrick Henry as the RB2. For what it’s worth, the Colts permit the third fewest RB fantasy points. … Alvin Kamara has a new running mate in Mark Ingram, but a big Week 8 Ingram workload is unlikely. Even were that to happen, Kamara’s third-down work can be counted on vs. the Bucs’ pass-funnel defense, while there will be goal-line carries in this 50-totaled dome affair. … Ezekiel Elliott was elite from both an efficiency and raw counting perspective for a month before the Cowboys’ bye. The Vikings stink on the ground, and there will be drives to finish in this guaranteed shootout. … Jonathan Taylor is averaging 138 yards from scrimmage over his past four appearances. He’s a home favorite for a game where Vegas is projecting north of 50 points. The scary part is, Taylor has yet to even have a 20-carry day. It’s coming.
With the Packers’ passing attack decimated by the coronavirus, it will be Aaron Jones vs. a Cardinals defense that is top three through the air but allowing over five yards per carry on the ground. Jones, of course, is also going to be needed for his pass catching. Everything about Week 8 feels like a bounce back for a back who has had only one top-12 Sunday in his past four appearances. … Matchups don’t really matter for the Browns’ rushing attack, as D’Ernest Johnson so vividly demonstrated in Week 7. Provided he avoids setbacks with his calf injury, Nick Chubb should immediately resume top-10 running against the Steelers’ admittedly solid ground defense. … Opposing Chubb will be Najee Harris, who caught six passes in the Steelers’ first full game without JuJu Smith-Schuster. Harris has reached five receptions in four of his past five contests, and will undoubtedly be receiving more layup looks in JuJu’s absence. … Austin Ekeler comes off bye vs. a Patriots defense that has not been very forgiving on the ground. Bill Belichick’s shaky linebacker group has permitted the sixth most running back receptions, however. We know Ekeler will be a BB focal point, but it shouldn’t really matter. The Chargers need his pass catching too badly and there remains no one to challenge Ekeler on early downs.
Darrell Henderson was a surprising Week 7 dud in what we thought would be dream game script. Instead, the Lions kept the proceedings close and limited Henderson to three yards per carry. Henderson gets an immediate do-over as a 14.5-point road favorite vs. a Texans team surrendering the second most rushing yards. … D’Andre Swift had his best day as a pass catcher in Week 7 while matching his second most carries of the year with 13. The Eagles’ sorry linebacker group is getting gutted by running backs, including both as pass catchers and between the tackles. … Running pure, James Robinson’s receiving usage should only continue to increase considering the Jaguars’ dwindling options at pass catcher. The Seahawks had been getting smoked on the ground before surprisingly locking up Alvin Kamara. … Joe Mixon remains frustratingly inconsistent, but it is difficult to see how he screws up being a 10.5-point road favorite against a Jets “defense” permitting the most running back fantasy points. … Leonard Fournette’s 90 yards from scrimmage against the Bears were his fewest in four games. Bottom five in running back fantasy points and allowing just 3.3 yards per carry, New Orleans will probably keep Lenny south of 100 yards.
Damien Harris has not great things going on behind him on the depth chart but comes off back-to-back 100-yard rushing efforts vs. the Chargers’ league-worst run D. … The Falcons came out of their bye as committed as ever to Cordarrelle Patterson, who continues to draw “Austin Ekeler lite” usage. The Panthers hand out the fewest running back fantasy points, but that sort of data is not very telling when you are used all over the field the way Patterson is. … There wasn’t much to do for Darrel Williams in Week 7 as the Chiefs’ offense kept stalling out. We doubt that lightning strikes twice against the Giants. … There is not much daylight between fill-in RBs Chuba Hubbard and Devontae Booker. Hubbard seems to have ever so slightly more juice. His team has better projected Week 8 game script vs. the Falcons, but Booker might get more big-play opportunities against the Chiefs’ truly awful defense. … Elijah Mitchell has yet to receive fewer than 17 carries in a game where he stayed healthy. He is one of the only positives beleaguered Niners coach Kyle Shanahan can point to at the moment. … Alex Collins defines empty volume, but he will be shoveled no shortage of it vs. Jacksonville. Predictably, Rashaad Penny didn’t move the needed as a Week 7 change of pace.
Khalil Herbert was a gleaming bright spot for the Bears in Week 7. It does not take the world’s best dot connector to ascertain he will be a focus vs. the 49ers’ unimposing run defense. It is possible Damien Williams gets more involved after his 10-day COVID absence limited his Week 7 volume potential, but Herbert showed enough that we would assume the Bears give the rookie another lead shot. … Let me know if you spot any good signs for Antonio Gibson. … It’s rare we get an obvious “Zack Moss week.” Two-touchdown home favorite against the Dolphins is one of them. .. With Malcolm Brown on injured reserve, the Dolphins’ three-man committee is down to two. As mentioned above, the Dolphins are two-touchdown ‘dogs. Myles Gaskin’s pass catching is the only Miami back attribute you can bet on. … Both Michael Carter and Ty Johnson had their best weeks as pass catchers in Week 7. Carter got Johnson 11-5 in the carries department. Expect more RB receptions with the Jets running as 10.5-point home underdogs. Tevin Coleman (hamstring) isn’t practicing, as usual. … Be leery of a potential “Kenneth Gainwell week.” The man couldn’t even out-carry Boston Scott in Week 7, and the Eagles had pivoted back hard to Miles Sanders before his ankle injury. The Lions are nevertheless an acceptable spot to place a PPR FLEX bet.