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This season has been chock full of surprises. Scoring is way up and with that comes the ripple effect of more players being more fantasy viable. The only issue that arises from more fantasy viable players, is the need for your studs to be actual studs. If you have been dealing with injuries or ineffective players, then you may have gotten off to a rough start. If you need to get your team on track, let’s look at some players trending in the right direction that you could buy low on.

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 efficiency can be streaky at times. Let’s dive into our Week 5 preview.

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RB Touches and Efficiency Breakdown

Week 4 Report

Team Carries Rec Total Touches Total Yards Yards Per Touch %RB Touches Week 1% Week 2% Week 3% Week 4%
Arizona Cardinals
David Johnson 22 3 25 112 4.5 86% 64% 70% 76% 86%
Yearly Total 56 13 69 292 4.2 75%
Chase Edmonds 3 1 4 1 0.3 14% 36% 30% 24% 14%
Yearly Total 13 10 23 79 3.4 25%
Atlanta Falcons
Devonta Freeman 0 0 0 0 0 0% 47% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 6 3 9 50 5.6 9%
Tevin Coleman 14 3 17 77 4.5 63% 53% 69% 77% 63%
Yearly Total 54 10 64 294 4.6 66%
Ito Smith 7 3 10 48 4.8 37% 0% 31% 23% 37%
Yearly Total 18 6 24 137 5.7 25%
Baltimore Ravens
Kenneth Dixon 0 0 0 0 0 0% 43% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 13 0 13 44 3.4 12%
Javorius Allen 10 2 12 47 3.9 46% 30% 48% 30% 46%
Yearly Total 26 15 41 149 3.6 38%
Alex Collins 11 1 12 45 3.8 46% 27% 52% 70% 46%
Yearly Total 45 8 53 228 4.3 49%
De'Lance Turner 1 1 2 14 7 8% 0% 0% 0% 8%
Yearly Total 1 1 2 14 7 2%
Buffalo Bills
LeSean McCoy 5 3 8 37 4.6 57% 47% 65% 0% 57%
Yearly Total 21 8 29 128 4.4 35%
Marcus Murphy 0 0 0 0 0 0% 35% 20% 28% 0%
Yearly Total 17 2 19 78 4.1 23%
Chris Ivory 6 6 15 2.5 43% 18% 15% 72% 43%
Yearly Total 31 4 35 181 5.2 42%
Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE 67% 88% 88% BYE
Yearly Total 46 22 68 428 6.3 82%
CJ Anderson BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE 29% 12% 9% BYE
Yearly Total 12 1 13 99 7.6 16%
Alex Armah BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE 4% 0% 3% BYE
Yearly Total 2 0 2 2 1 2%
Chicago Bears
Jordan Howard 11 0 11 25 2.3 34% 71% 77% 76% 34%
Yearly Total 64 10 74 281 3.8 64%
Tarik Cohen 13 7 20 174 8.7 63% 29% 23% 24% 63%
Yearly Total 27 14 41 308 7.5 35%
Benny Cunningham 1 1 0 3% 0% 0% 0% 3%
Yearly Total 1 0 1 0 0 1%
Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon 0 0 0 0 0 0% 92% 69% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 38 6 44 236 5.4 44%
Giovani Bernard 15 4 19 96 5.1 73% 8% 31% 100% 73%
Yearly Total 34 14 48 237 4.9 48%
Mark Walton 5 2 7 37 5.3 27% 0% 0% 0% 27%
Yearly Total 5 2 7 37 5.3 7%
Cleveland Browns
Carlos Hyde 22 0 22 82 3.7 71% 79% 71% 81% 71%
Yearly Total 83 4 87 300 3.4 76%
Duke Johnson 2 4 6 56 9.3 19% 21% 21% 13% 19%
Yearly Total 12 9 21 124 5.9 18%
Nick Chubb 3 3 105 35 10% 0% 8% 6% 10%
Yearly Total 7 0 7 125 17.9 6%
Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott 25 4 29 240 8.3 78% 95% 88% 83% 78%
Yearly Total 73 15 88 551 6.3 85%
Rod Smith 6 1 7 22 3.1 19% 5% 0% 0% 19%
Yearly Total 7 1 8 27 3.4 8%
Tavon Austin 1 1 7 7 3% 0% 12% 17% 3%
Yearly Total 3 5 8 121 15.1 8%
Denver Broncos
Phillip Lindsay 12 2 14 79 5.6 58% 47% 56% 14% 58%
Yearly Total 45 5 50 303 6.1 43%
Royce Freeman 8 0 8 67 8.4 33% 42% 30% 48% 33%
Yearly Total 44 1 45 224 5 39%
Devontae Booker 1 1 2 14 7 8% 11% 11% 34% 8%
Yearly Total 11 8 19 88 4.6 16%
Andy Janovich 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 4% 3% 0%
Yearly Total 1 1 2 13 6.5 2%
Detroit Lions
Theo Riddick 1 4 5 27 5.4 23% 43% 29% 8% 23%
Yearly Total 5 21 26 145 5.6 23%
Kerryon Johnson 9 1 10 56 5.6 45% 38% 42% 46% 45%
Yearly Total 38 11 49 269 5.5 43%
LeGarrette Blount 7 7 12 1.7 32% 19% 29% 46% 32%
Yearly Total 35 3 38 122 3.2 34%
Green Bay Packers
Jamaal Williams 11 0 11 27 2.5 37% 75% 76% 29% 37%
Yearly Total 47 5 52 182 3.5 53%
Ty Montgomery 5 2 7 74 10.6 23% 25% 24% 42% 23%
Yearly Total 16 12 28 206 7.4 28%
Aaron Jones 11 1 12 82 6.8 40% 0% 0% 29% 40%
Yearly Total 17 2 19 129 6.8 19%
Houston Texans
Lamar Miller 14 0 14 49 3.5 52% 81% 70% 75% 52%
Yearly Total 58 8 66 279 4.2 69%
Alfred Blue 13 0 13 31 2.4 48% 19% 30% 25% 48%
Yearly Total 29 1 30 120 4 31%
Indianapolis Colts
Jordan Wilkins 8 0 8 16 2 35% 59% 43% 44% 35%
Yearly Total 38 7 45 160 3.6 46%
Nyheim Hines 4 9 13 73 5.6 57% 41% 18% 56% 57%
Yearly Total 18 22 40 177 4.4 41%
Marlon Mack 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 39% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 10 1 11 36 3.3 11%
Jeremy McNichols 2 2 4 2 9% 0% 0% 0% 9%
Yearly Total 2 0 2 4 2 2%
Jacksonville Jaguars
T. J. Yeldon 18 3 21 100 4.8 58% 57% 55% 62% 58%
Yearly Total 49 14 63 330 5.2 58%
Leonard Fournette 11 1 12 35 2.9 33% 40% 0% 0% 33%
Yearly Total 20 4 24 90 3.8 22%
Corey Grant 1 2 3 17 5.7 8% 3% 45% 33% 8%
Yearly Total 12 9 21 99 4.7 19%
Brandon Wilds 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 5% 0%
Yearly Total 1 0 1 5 5 1%
Kansas City Chiefs
Kareem Hunt 19 3 22 175 8 92% 80% 95% 86% 92%
Yearly Total 71 4 75 348 4.6 88%
Spencer Ware 2 0 2 6 3 8% 20% 5% 14% 8%
Yearly Total 7 3 10 79 7.9 12%
Los Angeles Chargers
Melvin Gordon 15 7 22 159 7.2 69% 71% 52% 71% 69%
Yearly Total 54 24 78 475 6.1 66%
Austin Ekeler 8 2 10 56 5.6 31% 29% 48% 29% 31%
Yearly Total 28 13 41 351 8.6 34%
Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley 17 4 21 156 7.4 100% 100% 65% 85% 100%
Yearly Total 79 15 94 532 5.7 85%
Malcom Brown 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 35% 15% 0%
Yearly Total 17 0 17 0 0 15%
Miami Dolphins
Kenyan Drake 3 1 4 16 4 22% 65% 60% 54% 22%
Yearly Total 33 10 43 162 3.8 52%
Frank Gore 11 2 13 57 4.4 72% 35% 40% 46% 72%
Yearly Total 35 3 38 174 4.6 46%
Kalen Ballage 1 1 3 3 6% 0% 0% 0% 6%
Yearly Total 1 0 1 3 3 1%
Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook 10 0 10 20 2 67% 67% 76% 0% 67%
Yearly Total 36 9 45 205 4.6 60%
Latavius Murray 2 2 4 18 4.5 27% 33% 24% 70% 27%
Yearly Total 19 7 26 110 4.2 35%
Mike Boone 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 30% 0%
Yearly Total 2 1 3 11 3.7 4%
Roc Thomas 1 1 4 4 7% 0% 0% 0% 7%
Yearly Total 1 0 1 4 4 1%
New England Patriots
Rex Burkhead 0 0 0 0 0 0% 58% 21% 8% 0%
Yearly Total 24 3 27 117 4.3 21%
James White 8 8 16 112 7 39% 27% 39% 29% 39%
Yearly Total 21 22 43 303 7 34%
Sony Michel 25 25 112 4.5 61% 0% 39% 63% 61%
Yearly Total 49 2 51 202 4 40%
Jeremy Hill 0 0 0 0 0 0% 15% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 4 1 5 31 6.2 4%
New Orleans Saints
Alvin Kamara 19 5 24 181 7.5 83% 81% 68% 86% 83%
Yearly Total 56 35 91 611 6.7 80%
Mike Gillislee 2 1 3 15 5 10% 14% 29% 8% 10%
Yearly Total 16 1 17 52 3.1 15%
Jonathan Williams 0 0 0 0 0 0% 5% 4% 6% 0%
Yearly Total 3 1 4 1 0.3 4%
Dwayne Washington 2 2 2 1 7% 0% 0% 0% 7%
Yearly Total 2 0 2 2 1 2%
New York Giants
Saquon Barkley 10 6 16 100 6.3 76% 80% 93% 73% 76%
Yearly Total 56 27 83 453 5.5 81%
Jonathan Stewart 0 0 0 0 0 0% 8% 0% 7% 0%
Yearly Total 4 0 4 16 4 4%
Wayne Gallman 2 3 5 23 4.6 24% 12% 7% 20% 24%
Yearly Total 10 6 16 59 3.7 16%
New York Jets
Bilal Powell 8 4 12 52 4.3 71% 43% 42% 44% 71%
Yearly Total 39 10 49 270 5.5 48%
Isaiah Crowell 4 1 5 3 0.6 29% 33% 58% 56% 29%
Yearly Total 42 5 47 195 4.1 46%
Trenton Cannon 0 0 0 0 0 0% 23% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 6 1 7 21 3 7%
Oakland Raiders
Jalen Richards 1 3 4 36 9 13% 42% 7% 16% 13%
Yearly Total 8 18 26 177 6.8 20%
Marshawn Lynch 20 3 23 157 6.8 72% 39% 67% 59% 72%
Yearly Total 68 10 78 360 4.6 59%
Doug Martin 5 0 5 11 2.2 16% 18% 27% 24% 16%
Yearly Total 25 3 28 101 3.6 21%
Philadelphia Eagles
Jay Ajay 15 3 18 81 4.5 69% 52% 42% 0% 69%
Yearly Total 37 4 41 170 4.1 39%
Darren Sproles 0 0 0 0 0 0% 31% 0% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 5 4 9 32 3.6 8%
Corey Clement 0 0 0 0 0 0% 17% 58% 59% 0%
Yearly Total 27 8 35 186 5.3 33%
Wendell Smallwood 5 3 8 54 6.8 31% 0% 0% 41% 31%
Yearly Total 15 6 21 145 6.9 20%
Pittsburgh Steelers
James Conner 9 3 12 44 3.7 100% 100% 87% 87% 100%
Yearly Total 63 18 81 396 4.9 100%
Steven Ridley 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 13% 13% 0%
Yearly Total 0 0 0 0 0 0%
San Francisco 49ers
Alfred Morris 4 1 5 18 3.6 29% 50% 53% 48% 29%
Yearly Total 44 3 47 203 4.3 47%
Matt Breida 9 3 12 71 5.9 71% 50% 47% 45% 71%
Yearly Total 41 10 51 398 7.8 51%
Raheem Mostert 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 0% 7% 0%
Yearly Total 1 1 2 8 4 2%
Seattle Seahawks
Rashaad Penny 9 0 9 49 5.4 26% 52% 53% 8% 26%
Yearly Total 29 4 33 127 3.8 30%
Chris Carson 0 0 0 0 0 0% 48% 32% 92% 0%
Yearly Total 45 5 50 227 4.5 45%
C.J. Prosise 0 0 0 0 0 0% 0% 16% 0% 0%
Yearly Total 0 3 3 22 7.3 3%
Mike Davis 21 4 25 124 5 74% 0% 0% 0% 74%
Yearly Total 21 4 25 124 5 23%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Peyton Barber 7 1 8 30 3.8 42% 83% 65% 57% 42%
Yearly Total 50 2 52 161 3.1 63%
Jacquizz Rodgers 0 0 0 0 0 0% 13% 31% 29% 0%
Yearly Total 9 6 15 56 3.7 18%
Shaun Wilson 0 0 0 0 0 0% 4% 4% 14% 0%
Yearly Total 2 2 4 24 6 5%
Ronald Jones 10 1 11 28 2.5 58% 0% 0% 0% 58%
Yearly Total 10 1 11 28 2.5 13%
Tennessee Titans
Dion Lewis 4 9 13 66 5.1 57% 66% 45% 40% 57%
Yearly Total 43 18 61 259 4.2 52%
Derrick Henry 8 2 10 31 3.1 43% 34% 55% 60% 43%
Yearly Total 54 3 57 175 3.1 48%
Washington Redskins
Adrian Peterson BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE 67% 44% 68% BYE
Yearly Total 56 5 61 336 5.5 60%
Chris Thompson BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE 26% 53% 25% BYE
Yearly Total 15 20 35 238 6.8 34%
Rob Kelley BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE 7% 3% 0% BYE
Yearly Total 4 0 4 8 2 4%
Kapri Bibbs BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE BYE 0% 0% 7% BYE
Yearly Total 2 0 2 3 1.5 2%

 
David Johnson Will Be Just Fine

If you own David Johnson, you probably spent a top-five draft pick on him. It’s been well over a year since we saw the Johnson that warranted a top pick. Even though we continue to worry about Johnson, the Cardinals have increased his touch total every single week. Maybe the Cardinals were just easing Johnson back into action?

Since Week 1 when Johnson had 64% of the backfield touches, he has seen the number increase to 70% to 76% and all the way up to 86% in Week 5. If the volume continues to increase and stay well above 80%, he will break out soon. Johnson is still averaging 4.2 yards per carry and as the rust continues to fall off, that should start to climb as well.

If you missed out on an RB1 in the draft or have a ton of injuries, contact the Johnson owner and see if you can work out a deal. You could get him for an RB2 and WR2 and receive a huge upgrade to your team the rest of the season.

 

Should Jordan Howard Owners Panic?

You pop into the live scoring sections of your fantasy football app on Sunday afternoon and see that the Chicago Bears are beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-10. This is great news because you have Jordan Howard and this score screams positive game script and Howard more than likely had a nice workload in a blowout. However, the box score tells a different point of view and now you are screaming at Tarik Cohen through your phone.

How could the Bears do this to us? Their best fantasy performance of the year and Howard touches the ball 11 times for 25 yards. Why was this the game Cohen decided to breakout? Is it a legitimate concern moving forward that Cohen is going to take more and more touches away from Howard?

Cohen had 63% of the touches in Week 4 and on top of that, he had 8.7 yards per touch, which raised his season yards per touch to 7.5 yards. Cohen has not had more than 30% of the touches leading up to Week 4, but Matt Nagy won’t be able to ignore how effective Cohen was last week.

 

What Will Joe Mixon Return To?

Joe Mixon looked poised to take control of the backfield after receiving 92% of the touches in Week 1, but after a procedure on his knee, he missed back to back games. Gio Bernard handled 100% of the touches in Week 4, which was expected, but good to see because Mixon owners are not worried about Bernard. No matter what happens, Bernard will have a role in this offense with Mixon on the field. Unless Bernard sprains his MCL and is out for 2-4 weeks. Now we are looking at a backfield of Mixon and Mark Walton moving forward.

Last week Walton also made his way into the timeshare and was not bad in limited action. Walton had seven touches for 27% of the share and averaged 5.3 yards per touch. This is a limited sample size and we shouldn’t overreact to his efficiency, but if he can perform well behind Mixon while Bernard is out, it could be an interesting situation when all three are healthy. Having three healthy, effective running backs is great for the Bengals, but bad for fantasy owners.

 

Peyton Barber May Have Run Out of Time

After running away with the starting job (no pun intended) in the pre-season, Peyton Barber hasn’t been able to do anything to prove his worth to fantasy football owners. Barber has seen his touch share drop since Week 1 going from 38% to 65% and 57% in Week 3 all the way down to 42% with the activation of Ronald Jones. The time may be now for Jones.

Even if you don’t like Jones, you couldn’t dismiss the fact that the Buccaneers would have to get him on the field this year. They spent a second-round pick on him and after he was deactivated for the first three weeks, it was hard to tell what would happen. Jones finally found the field and 58% of the touches in Week 4. Jones didn’t do much more than Barber, averaging only 2.5 yards per touch, but the fact that Barber hasn’t been productive means the Buccaneers don’t have a reason to stay with him. Someone is going to get the volume but who will be the first to do something with it?

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