Welcome to the Ultimate Zero RB Watchlist where we follow usage patterns, advanced stats, and injuries to locate RB targets for your teams before anyone else even knows about them.
With the conclusion of Week 10, we are nearing the home stretch of the fantasy season! Hard to believe how quickly the time is flying, but here we are. I posted the rest-of-season rankings for NFC RBs, so take a look and feel free to ask me questions over in the forums.
Alright, let’s get into the player usage from last week!
- Washington has deployed Kapri Bibbs as their stand-in for Chris Thompson. Thompson is still recovering from an injury he sustained back in Week 8 and I’m unsure about when he will return. Although Bibbs lacks Thompson’s big-play ability, he has value as a flex option in deep PPR leagues.
- It’s nice to see Kerryon Johnson finally get some respect around here. Since the bye week, Johnson has led the Lions’ backfield in rush attempts. Additionally, Johnson has seen an uptick in red zone usage and receiving work. Note that Theo Riddick’s seen a healthy amount of usage in the receiving game since he returned. With six teams on bye in Week 11, Riddick’s passing game involvement gives him appeal as a flex play.
- Don’t let Mark Ingram’s gaudy Week 10 stat line fool you. This is still Alvin Kamara’s backfield.Despite trailing Kamara in ruEP and reEP, Ingram was far more efficient with his touches. Ingram’s outsize role was driven primarily by game script, which is something we’ve talked about before. Dwayne Washington also saw some run in mop up duty, which is a fun sentence to type.
- Although Tevin Coleman’s final stat line looks poor, his 20.5 total EP was fourth highest among all NFL RBs for Week 10. Coleman carried the ball four times from inside the five-yard line, but was unfortunately unable to convert any into a TD. The Falcons only attempted 19 rushing attempts against the Browns, which partially explains why Ito Smith saw less rushing work than usual.1 On the bright side, it appears that the Falcons coaches decided to throw to their RBs. Since coming out of their bye week, both Coleman and Smith have seen an increase in their target totals. Hopefully the coaching staff continues to deploy both RBs in the receiving game, which should not only boost their respective floors but also give them a higher ceiling.
- David Johnson’s performance against the Chiefs was his best performance all season. You’ve probably already read what Shawn Siegele had to say, but go read it again. The rest of this blurb isn’t going anywhere. Since Byron Leftwich took over play calling duties, Johnson has seen a spike in his receiving game usage. Make a trip over to the Player Usage App to explore these graphs in more detail.If Johnson continues to receive this type work in the passing game, he should continue to lead the Cardinals in total opportunity for the rest of the season.
- A few weeks ago I was concerned that Amari Cooper’s arrival might’ve heralded the end of Ezekiel Elliott’s outsize usage as a receiver. I’m happy to report that I was wrong.Provided Elliott can continue this type of receiving efficiency, he should be able to post several high-end RB1 finishes in the coming weeks.
- Matt Breida had himself a night last Monday Night Football, and I expect his bell-cow usage will continue when the 49ers exit their bye week. With Raheem Mostert on injured reserve and given Alfred Morris’s inefficiency, Breida should continue to see the bulk of the usage going forward.
- Only four carries (back)