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Another week and more injuries at running back. For this week’s article, I’m going to focus on backfields that have had injuries or guys currently banged up and what value can be found in their replacements. Will they just be a bye-week fill in or will some of these newly crowned starters be viable starters the rest of the season.

This article is all about watching how a backfield is being used for every team. Snap counts are very useful, but I want to know what a player is doing when he has the ball in his hands. Anytime a running back gets a touch, what is being done with that touch?

Watching a trend with touches for running backs will not only let us know their usage for any given week or period, but how effective they are with the ball. High volume plus high effectiveness is always the best outcome. High volume with low effectiveness can be great and low volume with high effectiveness can be streaky at times. Let’s dive into our Week 8 preview.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our fantasy football analysis and NFL news all year round. Read our daily articles about risers and breakouts, 2019 redraft rankings, the NFL draft, dynasty leagues and much more. It's always fantasy football season here. Read More

 

RB Touches and Efficiency Breakdown

Week 7 Report

Teams Car Rec Total Touches Total Yards Yards Per Touch %RB Touches Week 1% Week 2% Week 3% Week 4% Week 5% Week 6% Week 7%
Arizona Cardinals
David Johnson 14 3 17 70 4.1 68% 64% 70% 76% 86% 95% 95% 68%
Yearly Total 106 20 126 503 4 79%
Chase Edmunds 5 3 8 21 2.6 32% 36% 30% 24% 14% 5% 5% 32%
Yearly Total 20 13 33 103 3.1 21%
Atlanta Falcons
Devonta Freeman 0 0 0 0 0 0% 47% 0% 0% 0% 43% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 14 5 19 91 4.8 11%
Tevin Coleman 11 2 13 82 6.3 59% 53% 69% 77% 63% 39% 46% 59%
Yearly Total 82 15 97 447 4.6 58%
Ito Smith 7 2 9 45 5 41% 0% 31% 23% 37% 17% 54% 41%
Yearly Total 39 11 50 213 4.3 30%
Baltimore Ravens
Keneth Dixon 0 0 0 0 0 0% 43% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 13 0 13 44 3.4 7%
Javorius Allen 3 3 6 24 4 27% 30% 48% 30% 46% 50% 12% 27%
Yearly Total 38 27 65 270 4.2 34%
Alex Collins 11 3 14 48 3.4 64% 27% 52% 70% 46% 46% 58% 64%
Yearly Total 87 12 99 396 4 52%
Gus Edwards 2 0 2 0 0 9% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 30% 9%
Yearly Total 12 0 12 42 3.5 6%
De'Lance Turner 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 8% 4% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 1 2 3 21 7 2%
Buffalo Bills
LeSean McCoy 2 0 2 1 0.5 7% 47% 65% 0% 57% 65% 73% 7%
Yearly Total 63 13 76 331 4.4 42%
Marcus Murphy 4 5 9 70 7.8 30% 35% 20% 28% 0% 0% 0% 30%
Yearly Total 21 7 28 148 5.3 16%
Chris Ivory 16 3 19 106 5.6 63% 18% 15% 72% 43% 35% 27% 63%
Yearly Total 67 8 75 339 4.5 42%
Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey 7 6 13 100 7.7 100% 67% 88% 88% 0% 81% 100% 100%
Yearly Total 78 40 118 687 5.8 86%
CJ Anderson 0 0 0 0 0 0% 29% 12% 9% 0% 15% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 16 1 17 108 6.4 12%
Alex Armah 0 0 0 0 0 0% 4% 0% 3% 0% 4% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 3 0 3 6 2 2%
Chicago Bears
Jordan Howard 12 1 13 48 3.7 48% 71% 77% 76% 34% 0% 48% 48%
Yearly Total 90 11 101 398 3.9 59%
Tarik Cohen 6 8 14 83 5.9 52% 29% 23% 24% 63% 0% 41% 52%
Yearly Total 38 29 67 512 7.6 39%
Benny Cunningham 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 3% 0% 10% 0%
Yearly Total 4 0 4 8 2 2%
Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon 13 3 16 51 3.2 80% 92% 69% 0% 0% 93% 100% 80%
Yearly Total 84 16 100 486 4.9 62%
Giovani Bernard 0 0 0 0 0 0% 8% 31% 100% 73% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 34 14 48 237 4.9 30%
Mark Walton 4 0 4 10 2.5 20% 0% 0% 0% 27% 7% 0% 20%
Yearly Total 9 4 13 50 3.8 8%
Cleveland Browns
Carlos Hyde 0 0 0 0 0 0% 79% 71% 81% 71% 65% 61% 0%
Yearly Total 114 4 118 397 3.4 63%
Duke Johnson 1 4 5 19 3.8 22% 21% 21% 13% 19% 23% 26% 22%
Yearly Total 20 18 38 293 7.7 20%
Nick Chubb 18 0 18 80 4.4 78% 0% 8% 6% 10% 12% 13% 78%
Yearly Total 31 0 31 232 7.5 17%
Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott 15 2 17 42 2.5 100% 95% 88% 83% 78% 87% 76% 100%
Yearly Total 132 25 157 794 5.1 85%
Rod Smith 0 0 0 0 0 0% 5% 0% 0% 19% 10% 15% 0%
Yearly Total 15 1 16 41 2.6 9%
Tavon Austin 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 12% 17% 3% 3% 9% 0%
Yearly Total 5 7 12 184 15.3 6%
Denver Broncos
Phillip Lindsay 14 1 15 96 6.4 52% 47% 56% 14% 58% 54% 43% 52%
Yearly Total 75 15 90 546 6.1 46%
Royce Freeman 13 0 13 37 2.8 45% 42% 30% 48% 33% 29% 39% 45%
Yearly Total 71 4 75 333 4.4 38%
Devontae Booker 0 1 1 -1 -1 3% 11% 11% 34% 8% 18% 17% 3%
Yearly Total 13 16 29 175 6 15%
Andy Janovich 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 4% 3% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 1 1 2 13 6.5 1%
Detroit Lions
Theo Riddick 0 0 0 0 0 0% 5% 29% 8% 23% 16% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 8 23 31 168 5.4 18%
Kerryon Johnson 19 2 21 149 7.1 12% 5% 42% 46% 45% 45% 0% 12%
Yearly Total 69 15 84 503 6 47%
LeGarrette Blount 10 0 10 50 5 6% 2% 29% 46% 32% 39% 0% 6%
Yearly Total 57 3 60 194 3.2 34%
Ameer Abdullah 1 1 2 13 6.5 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1%
Yearly Total 1 1 2 13 6.5 1%
Green Bay Packers
Jamaal Williams Bye 12% 76% 29% 37% 36% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 53 7 60 234 3.9 50%
Ty Montgomery Bye 4% 24% 42% 23% 23% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 20 13 33 244 7.4 27%
Aaron Jones Bye 0% 0% 29% 40% 41% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 24 4 28 188 6.7 23%
Houston Texans
Lamar Miller 22 1 23 99 4.3 74% 81% 70% 75% 52% 0% 65% 74%
Yearly Total 95 11 106 449 4.2 59%
Alfred Blue 8 0 8 28 3.5 26% 19% 30% 25% 48% 100% 35% 26%
Yearly Total 64 11 75 310 4.1 41%
Indianapolis Colts
Jordan Wilkins 6 1 7 54 7.7 21% 59% 43% 44% 35% 27% 0% 21%
Yearly Total 50 10 60 262 4.4 32%
Nyheim Hines 5 1 6 42 7 18% 41% 18% 56% 57% 73% 22% 18%
Yearly Total 41 32 73 344 4.7 39%
Marlon Mack 19 2 21 159 7.6 62% 0% 39% 0% 0% 0% 57% 62%
Yearly Total 41 4 45 288 6.4 24%
Robert Turbin 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 22% 0%
Yearly Total 4 1 5 13 2.6 3%
Jeremy McNichols 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 9% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 2 0 2 4 2 1%
Jacksonville Jaguars
T. J. Yeldon 12 5 17 68 4 89% 57% 55% 62% 58% 86% 65% 89%
Yearly Total 79 30 109 590 5.4 66%
Leonard Fournette 0 0 0 0 0 0% 40% 0% 0% 33% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 20 4 24 90 3.8 14%
Corey Grant 0 0 0 0 0 0% 3% 45% 33% 8% 5% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 13 9 22 107 4.9 13%
Brandon Wilds 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 5% 0% 10% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 3 0 3 11 3.7 2%
Jamaal Charles 1 1 2 4 2 11% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 35% 11%
Yearly Total 6 2 8 14 1.8 5%
Carlos Hyde 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0%
Yearly Total 0 0 0 0 0 0%
David Williams 1 0 1 2 2 1% 0%
Yearly Total 1 0 1 2 2 1%
Kansas City Chiefs
Kareem Hunt 15 5 20 141 7.1 65% 80% 95% 86% 92% 88% 75% 65%
Yearly Total 118 15 133 768 5.8 82%
Spencer Ware 8 3 11 89 8.1 35% 20% 5% 14% 8% 8% 20% 35%
Yearly Total 18 9 27 195 7.2 17%
Damien Williams 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 4% 5% 0%
Yearly Total 2 0 2 2 1 1%
Los Angeles Chargers
Melvin Gordon 0 0 0 0 0 0% 71% 52% 71% 69% 77% 65% 0%
Yearly Total 91 30 121 745 6.2 61%
Austin Ekeler 12 5 17 68 4 85% 29% 48% 29% 31% 23% 23% 85%
Yearly Total 53 19 72 538 7.5 36%
Justin Jackson 2 1 3 14 4.7 15% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 13% 15%
Yearly Total 5 2 7 26 3.7 4%
Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley 15 4 19 86 4.5 58% 100% 65% 85% 100% 100% 86% 58%
Yearly Total 144 25 169 956 5.7 82%
Malcom Brown 13 1 14 71 5.1 42% 0% 35% 15% 0% 0% 14% 42%
Yearly Total 35 1 36 183 5.1 18%
Miami Dolphins
Kenyan Drake 6 4 10 87 8.7 48% 65% 60% 54% 22% 50% 52% 48%
Yearly Total 58 25 83 442 5.3 51%
Frank Gore 10 1 11 33 3 52% 35% 40% 46% 72% 46% 48% 52%
Yearly Total 72 5 77 389 5.1 48%
Kalen Ballage 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 6% 4% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 2 0 2 5 2.5 1%
Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook 0 0 0 0 0 0% 67% 76% 0% 67% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 36 9 45 205 4.6 31%
Latavius Murray 15 2 17 83 4.9 77% 33% 24% 70% 27% 68% 93% 77%
Yearly Total 69 12 81 407 5 57%
Mike Boone 4 0 4 4 1 18% 0% 0% 30% 0% 5% 4% 18%
Yearly Total 8 1 9 36 4 6%
Roc Thomas 1 0 1 23 23 5% 0% 0% 0% 7% 26% 4% 5%
Yearly Total 7 1 8 37 4.6 6%
New England Patriots
Rex Burkhead 0 0 0 0 0 0% 58% 21% 8% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 24 3 27 117 4.3 12%
James White 11 8 19 97 5.1 56% 27% 39% 29% 39% 39% 29% 56%
Yearly Total 40 45 85 569 6.7 37%
Sony Michel 4 1 5 35 7 15% 0% 39% 63% 61% 61% 63% 15%
Yearly Total 95 4 99 453 4.6 43%
Jeremy Hill 0 0 0 0 0 0% 15% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 4 1 5 31 6.2 2%
Kenjon Barner 10 0 10 36 3.6 29% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 8% 29%
Yearly Total 13 0 13 52 4 6%
New Orleans Saints
Alvin Kamara 17 2 19 75 3.9 11% 10% 68% 86% 83% 33% 0% 11%
Yearly Total 79 40 119 725 6.1 68%
Mike Gillislee 0 0 0 0 0 0% 2% 29% 8% 10% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 16 1 17 52 3.1 10%
Jonathan Williams 0 0 0 0 0 0% 1% 4% 6% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 3 1 4 1 0.3 2%
Mark Ingram 12 2 14 42 3 8% 0% 0% 0% 0% 67% 0% 8%
Yearly Total 28 4 32 115 3.6 18%
Dwayne Washington 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 0% 7% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 2 0 2 2 1 1%
New York Giants
Saquon Barkley 14 9 23 94 4.1 96% 80% 93% 73% 76% 100% 79% 96%
Yearly Total 98 49 147 905 6.2 84%
Jonathan Stewart 0 0 0 0 0 0% 8% 0% 7% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 4 0 4 16 4 2%
Wayne Gallman 0 0 0 0 0 0% 12% 7% 20% 24% 0% 21% 0%
Yearly Total 14 8 22 101 4.6 13%
Elijhaa Penny 1 0 1 2 2 4% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 4%
Yearly Total 1 0 1 2 2 1%
New York Jets
Bilal Powell 5 1 6 25 4.2 25% 43% 42% 44% 71% 56% 52% 25%
Yearly Total 80 11 91 453 5 47%
Isaiah Crowell 11 1 12 50 4.2 50% 33% 58% 56% 29% 44% 48% 50%
Yearly Total 81 9 90 528 5.9 46%
Trenton Cannon 2 4 6 73 12.2 25% 23% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 25%
Yearly Total 8 5 13 94 7.2 7%
Oakland Raiders
Jalen Richards Bye 42% 7% 16% 13% 35% 35% 0%
Yearly Total 11 31 42 285 6.8 24%
Marshawn Lynch Bye 39% 67% 59% 72% 55% 62% 0%
Yearly Total 90 15 105 460 4.4 59%
Doug Martin Bye 18% 27% 24% 16% 10% 4% 0%
Yearly Total 27 4 31 110 3.5 17%
Philadelphia Eagles
Jay Ajay 0 0 0 0 0 0% 52% 42% 0% 69% 60% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 45 5 50 204 4.1 29%
Darren Sproles 0 0 0 0 0 0% 31% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 5 4 9 32 3.6 5%
Corey Clement 8 2 10 22 2.2 48% 17% 58% 59% 0% 0% 42% 48%
Yearly Total 46 13 59 328 5.6 34%
Wendell Smallwood 9 2 11 37 3.4 52% 0% 0% 41% 31% 40% 58% 52%
Yearly Total 45 12 57 301 5.3 33%
Pittsburgh Steelers
James Conner Bye 100% 87% 87% 100% 83% 96% 0%
Yearly Total 103 26 129 710 5.5 92%
Steven Ridley Bye 0% 13% 13% 0% 17% 4% 0%
Yearly Total 10 1 11 35 3.2 8%
San Francisco 49ers
Alfred Morris 9 0 9 25 2.8 36% 50% 53% 48% 29% 58% 0% 36%
Yearly Total 71 6 77 319 4.1 41%
Matt Breida 5 0 5 15 3 20% 50% 47% 45% 71% 25% 54% 20%
Yearly Total 68 11 79 535 6.8 42%
Raheem Mostert 7 4 11 78 7.1 44% 0% 0% 7% 0% 17% 46% 44%
Yearly Total 25 6 31 182 5.9 17%
Seattle Seahawks
Rashaad Penny Bye 52% 53% 8% 26% 0% 44% 0%
Yearly Total 38 6 44 197 4.5 26%
Chris Carson Bye 48% 32% 92% 0% 59% 56% 0%
Yearly Total 78 6 84 413 4.9 49%
C.J. Procise Bye 0% 16% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 0 3 3 22 7.3 2%
Mike Davis Bye 0% 0% 0% 74% 41% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 33 6 39 199 5.1 23%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Peyton Barber 11 0 11 30 2.7 50% 83% 65% 57% 42% 0% 100% 50%
Yearly Total 74 6 80 297 3.7 66%
Jacquizz Rodgers 3 1 4 19 4.8 18% 13% 31% 29% 0% 0% 0% 18%
Yearly Total 12 7 19 75 3.9 16%
Shaun Wilson 0 0 0 0 0 0% 4% 4% 14% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 2 2 4 24 6 3%
Ronald Jones 6 1 7 28 4 32% 0% 0% 0% 58% 0% 0% 32%
Yearly Total 16 2 18 56 3.1 15%
Tennessee Titans
Dion Lewis 13 6 19 155 8.2 56% 66% 45% 40% 57% 58% 47% 56%
Yearly Total 73 29 102 476 4.7 53%
Derrick Henry 12 2 14 65 4.6 41% 34% 55% 60% 43% 42% 53% 41%
Yearly Total 84 6 90 322 3.6 47%
David Fluellen 1 0 1 2 2 3% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 3%
Yearly Total 1 0 1 2 2 1%
Washington Redskins
Adrian Peterson 24 1 25 107 4.3 76% 67% 44% 68% 0% 25% 77% 76%
Yearly Total 101 8 109 582 5.3 60%
Chris Thompson 0 0 0 0 0 0% 26% 53% 25% 0% 58% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 23 26 49 300 6.1 27%
Rob Kelley 0 0 0 0 0 0% 7% 3% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 4 0 4 8 2 2%
Kapri Bibbs 2 4 6 43 7.2 18% 0% 0% 7% 0% 17% 14% 18%
Yearly Total 10 5 15 72 4.8 8%
Samaje Perine 2 0 2 2 1 6% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 9% 6%
Yearly Total 3 1 4 2 0.5 2%

 
Buffalo Bills

LeSean McCoy is currently in the concussion protocol and even though he’ll get an extra day to rest up since the Bills don’t play New England until Monday night, there is no guarantee he will be ready to go. The good news for the Bills, who don’t have many offensive weapons, is that Chris Ivory has been serviceable in his role this season.

After McCoy left the Bills Week 7 matchup with only two carries, Ivory stepped in with 16 carries, passing McCoy for the team lead this season. Ivory and McCoy both have a 42% touch share this season and Ivory is averaging 4.5 yards per touch compared to McCoy’s 4.4 yards per touch. The Patriots are currently giving up 19.07 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Due to the lack of offensive weapons for the Bills, they must lean on the run game, even in a scenario where the Patriots may run away with the game. If McCoy is out and you need a running back this week, Ivory could be a flex play in PPR leagues.

Denver Broncos

Royce Freeman is going to miss some time with an ankle sprain and all of a sudden Devontae Booker has some fantasy relevance again. Phillip Lindsay has led the Broncos backfield with 46% of touches through seven weeks, so he will continue to be the lead back, but the Broncos still won’t want to increase his workload much.

Booker only has 29 touches this season, good for 15% of the touches. In that limited action though, Booker has averaged six yards per touch. The Broncos have a matchup with the Chiefs in Week 8, who is giving up 25.71 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, second worst in the league. There is a chance Booker could handle some pass-catching work in Week 8, making him a streaming option for deeper leagues. I wouldn’t fully bank on it though as it’s tough to trust a guy with less than 30 touches on the season.

Minnesota Vikings

It appears Dalvin Cook is going to be missing for a few more weeks so it’s time to fire up Latavius Murray, right? Maybe not this week. Murray averaged 4.9 yards on 17 touches last week, but this week he will be in the middle of an offensive shootout, playing a defense that can stuff the run. For as bad as the Saint have been containing opposing quarterbacks and wide receivers, they give up the third lowest points per game to running backs (12.70). If these two teams put up a lot of points, Murray probably won’t see enough volume to be a reliable play in Week 8.

New England Patriots

The promising rookie, Sony Michel, escaped disaster last week. What appeared to be a bad knee injury that could threaten his season turned out to be a scare that may only keep him out a few weeks. For the time being, Kenjon Barner will get some playing time but fantasy football owners don’t need to rush and grab him. James White will continue to be an RB2 with RB1 upside in PPR league and Barner may only see 10-15 touches a game. He would need to be extremely efficient to help return any value and it’s not worth the risk having him in your lineup. After Michel went out last week, Barner had 10 carries and 36 yards. Even if he was able to find the end zone once, those numbers won’t even be worthy in your flex. Look for higher upside options.

New York Jets

Isaiah Crowell takes over as the RB1 in New York after Bilal Powell saw his season come to an end with a neck injury. Crowell has been a roller coaster this season, but he is averaging 5.9 yards per touch, so the upside has been there every week. Unfortunately, the match with the Bears this week doesn’t look good for fantasy production. If you are in a pinch and need a guy, Crowell will see plenty of volume to potentially give you enough points to make it worthwhile. Want to get bold in PPR leagues?

Trenton Cannon had six touches for 73 yards last week and did much of his damage in the passing game. Cannon will more than likely serve as the pass-catching back again and if this game heads into a negative script for New York, Cannon could be the running back with the most points this week. If it’s a PPR league and you need a higher ceiling than what Crowell will offer, Cannon is a sneaky start for me in Week 8.

Oakland Raiders

This one is pretty cut and dry for me. Don’t trust Doug Martin. Oh, but Jon Gruden said Martin was poised to be the featured back? Yeah, that’s the same guy that traded Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. Don’t trust him either. Play this one safe and run Jalen Richard out in PPR league. Richard has averaged 6.8 yards on 42 touches this season and has been featured the most in the passing game. Expect more of the same this Sunday.

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