Week 7 Fantasy Football Backfield Report
Another NFL week in the books, and we are now almost halfway through the regular season. This week brought some excitement in the form a few big trades around the league, with Carlos Hyde to the Jags, and Amari Cooper to the Cowboys .
Teams have started to figure out their identities, and data sets and sample sizes are starting to become more reliable.
Back for another review of the backfields across the NFL that do not heavily feature one specific back. We have some changes this week, as the Week 7 bye week teams have been removed (Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks) and the Los Angeles Chargers were removed this week because with Melvin Gordon out with an injury, they used Austin Ekeler as a bellcow.
This weekly piece is here to help fantasy owners see how coaching staffs are deploying their backs in term of volume and high leverage situations.
Let’s dive into the Week 7 data, and as always snap counts and red zone data come from Pro Football Reference.
The table below is sorted by total season touches for each backfield.
|Running Back||Team||W7 Snap %||W7 Touches||Season Snap %||Season Touches||Season RB Touch Share %|
|Tevin Coleman||ATL||37/65 (56.9%)||13||271/475 (57.1%)||97||58.1%|
|Ito Smith||ATL||28/65 (43.1%)||9||130/475 (27.4%)||51||30.5%|
|Devonta Freeman||ATL||DNP||DNP||67/475 (14.1%)||19||11.4%|
|Alex Collins||BAL||28/68 (41.2%)||14||230/544 (42.3%)||99||51.6%|
|Javorius Allen||BAL||30/68 (44.1%)||6||252/544 (46.3%)||65||33.9%|
|LeSean McCoy||BUF||2/56 (3.4%)||2||196/434 (45.2%)||76||42.5%|
|Chris Ivory||BUF||36/56 (64.3%)||19||162/434 (37.3%)||75||41.9%|
|Marcus Murphy||BUF||18/56 (32.1%)||9||80/434 (18.4%)||28||15.6%|
|Jordan Howard||CHI||46/82 (56.1%)||13||259/423 (61.2%)||101||58.4%|
|Tarik Cohen||CHI||42/82 (51.2%)||14||184/423 (43.5%)||67||38.7%|
|Joe Mixon||CIN||45/59 (76.3%)||16||217/450 (48.2%)||100||61.3%|
|Mark Walton||CIN||14/59 (23.7%||4||80/450 (17.8%)||15||9.2%|
|Giovani Bernard||CIN||DNP||DNP||152/450 (33.8%)||48||29.4%|
|Duke Johnson||CLE||35/68 (51.5%)||5||233/531 (43.9%)||38||19.8%|
|Nick Chubb||CLE||45/68 (66.2%)||18||78/531 (14.7%)||34||17.7%|
|Phillip Lindsay||DEN||35/59 (59.3%)||15||173/470 (36.8%)||90||46.4%|
|Royce Freeman||DEN||18/59 (30.5%)||13||163/470 (34.7%)||75||38.7%|
|Devontae Booker||DEN||6/59 (10.2%)||1||137/470 (29.1%)||29||14.9%|
|Kerryon Johnson||DET||38/64 (59.4%)||21||171/400 (42.8%)||84||47.5%|
|LeGarrette Blount||DET||21/64 (32.8%)||10||109/400 (27.3%)||60||33.9%|
|Theo Riddick||DET||DNP||DNP||134/400 (33.5%)||31||17.5%|
|Lamar Miller||HOU||45/64 (70.3%)||23||292/500 (58.4%)||106||57.9%|
|Alfred Blue||HOU||27/64 (42.2%)||8||214/500 (42.8%)||75||40.9%|
|Nyheim Hines||IND||17/66 (25.8%)||6||270/511 (52.8%)||73||39.0%|
|Jordan Wilkins||IND||15/66 (22.7%)||7||151/511 (29.5%)||60||32.1%|
|Marlon Mack||IND||37/66 (56.1%)||21||79/511 (15.5%)||45||24.1%|
|T.J. Yeldon||JAC||56/68 (82.4%)||17||330/467 (70.7%)||109||64.1%|
|Jamaal Charles||JAC||3/68 (4.4%)||2||20/467 (4.3%)||8||4.7%|
|Leonard Fournette||JAC||DNP||DNP||45/467 (9.6%)||24||14.1%|
|Kareem Hunt||KC||46/70 (65.7%)||20||300/461 (65.1%)||133||80.1%|
|Spencer Ware||KC||22/70 (31.4%)||11||103/461 (22.3%)||27||16.3%|
|Kenyan Drake||MIA||36/56 (64.3%)||12||259/413 (62.7%)||83||51.9%|
|Frank Gore||MIA||25/56 (44.6%||11||164/413 (39.7%)||77||48.1%|
|Latavius Murray||MIN||58/69 (84.1%)||17||278/486 (57.2%)||81||52.6%|
|Mike Boone||MIN||8/69 (11.6%)||4||29/486 (5.9%)||10||6.5%|
|Roc Thomas||MIN||3/69 (4.3%)||1||26/486 (5.3%)||8||5.2%|
|Dalvin Cook||MIN||DNP||DNP||125/486 (49.9%)||45||29.2%|
|Sony Michel||NE||6/64 (9.4%)||5||139/476 (29.2%)||99||43.6%|
|James White||NE||45/64 (70.3%)||19||256/476 (53.8%)||85||37.4%|
|Kenjon Barner||NE||17/64 (26.6%)||10||32/476 (6.7%)||16||7.0%|
|Alvin Kamara||NO||39/71 (54.9%)||19||299/416 (71.9%)||119||75.8%|
|Mark Ingram||NO||35/71 (49.3%)||14||71/416 (17.1%)||32||20.4%|
|Bilal Powell||NYJ||14/71 (19.7%)||6||208/448 (46.4%)||91||46.9%|
|Isaiah Crowell||NYJ||33/71 (46.5%)||12||191/448 (42.6%)||90||46.4%|
|Trent Cannon||NYJ||23/71 (32.4%)||6||39/448 (8.7%)||13||6.7%|
|Wendell Smallwood||PHI||35/67 (52.2%)||11||199/507 (39.3%)||65||33.5%|
|Corey Clement||PHI||25/67 (37.3%)||10||142/507 (28.0%)||59||30.4%|
|Josh Adams||PHI||8/67 (11.9%)||4||18/507 (3.6%)||11||5.7%|
|Matt Breida||SF||5/58 (8.6%)||5||167/471(35.5%)||79||37.9%|
|Alfred Morris||SF||20/58 (34.5%)||9||167/471 (35.5%)||77||37.0%|
|Raheem Mostert||SF||22/58 (37.9%)||11||63/471 (13.4%)||31||14.9%|
|Kyle Juszczyk||SF||34/58 (58.6%)||3||297/471 (63.1%)||21||10.1%|
|Peyton Barber||TB||35/95 (36.8%)||11||235/421 (55.8%)||80||64.0%|
|Ronald Jones||TB||29/95 (30.5%)||7||61/421 (14.5%)||22||17.6%|
|Jacquizz Rodgers||TB||30/95 (31.6%)||4||109/421 (25.9%)||19||15.2%|
|Dion Lewis||TEN||45/71 (63.4%)||19||272/430 (63.3%)||102||53.1%|
|Derrick Henry||TEN||24/71 (33.8%)||14||162/430 (37.7%)||90||46.9%|
|Adrian Peterson||WSH||34/60 (56.7%)||25||183/405 (45.2%)||109||60.2%|
|Kapri Bibbs||WSH||23/60 (38.3%)||6||63/405 (15.6%)||15||8.3%|
|Chris Thompson||WSH||DNP||DNP||148/405 (36.5%)||49||27.1%|
|Running Back||Team||W7 RZ Touches||W7 RZ Targets||W7 Total Targets||Season RZ Touches||Season RZ Targets||Season Total Targets|
Cohen Being Utilized in A Mini Tyreek Hill Role Under Nagy
The season started off quite underwhelming for Tarik Cohen under new offensive-minded head coach Matt Nagy, but things have picked up immensely as he is averaging 15.3 touches over the last three weeks.
Cohen is being used in a mini-Tyreek Hill role, as he is seeing a ton of work in the passing game through screens and other easy routes. He has lined up as a wideout on 29.3% of the offensive snaps he has played on.
It seems as if the Bears have figured out how to make Mitchell Trubisky feel more comfortable, and easy throws to get Cohen into open space has been a big part of the game plan.
Chubb's Role Defined in Cleveland
With the trade of Hyde, it finally forced Hue Jackson to actually give Nick Chubb more work instead of just continuing to talk about it. Chubb immediately stepped right into the Hyde role as he handled 18 touches, including all the red-zone work.
Chubb's role looks to be quite similar to what fellow rookie and former college teammate Sony Michel is seeing in New England. Chubb will primarily handle all of the early-down work and red-zone work with a limited role in the Cleveland Browns' passing attack.
Dating back to college, Chubb has played in 54 games and has only 31 receptions. While he maybe a good receiver, we have never seen it his playing career, and the Browns already have a stud pass-game back in Duke Johnson in that role.
Look for Chubb to be heavily featured as Jackson's teams have been in the top 10 in terms of rush attempts in four of the last six seasons. He could be a better version of Hyde moving forward.
Kerryon Shows He Can Handle a Bigger Workload
The fantasy community has been waiting for the Detroit Lions to give Kerryon Johnson a larger workload, and in Week 7, the Lions were forced to do so without Theo Riddick. Johnson handled 21 total touches in the win. He continues to show off his skills when given the opportunity, and according to Football Outsiders, Johnson ranks first in DVOA at the position as well as first in Effective Yards.
The biggest surprise of Johnson’s performance was the fact that he out touched LeGarrette Blount in the red zone six to three, and all six of those opportunities came from within the 10-yard line. While Johnson did not find the end zone, it was significant change from previous weeks, when Blount had primarily dominated those touches.
It will be interesting to see if the Lions revert to the volumes we have seen in Week 1 through Week 6 when Riddick returns, or if they start to move the needle in Johnson's favor.
Colts Happy to Have Mack Back
Injuries derailed the early part of Marlon Mack's season. While Mack was out, the Indianapolis Colts' backfield was unproductive besides a few weeks in which Nyheim Hines found success in the pass game.
When Mack rejoined the Colts, they were ready to unleash him as he has had lead the Colts' backfield in touches for two straight weeks. His coming out party finally occurred in the dream matchup against the Buffalo Bills as he handled 21 touches for 159 total yards and 2 touchdowns. He commanded 61.7% of the Colts' running back touches in that game.
While Mack has shown he is more than capable in the pass game, Hines has run 13 more pass routes than him in the last two games. Mack should continue to handle most of the early-down work and red-zone duties, and if his receiving opportunities grows, he could be a league-changing waiver wire pick up.
Chiefs Expanding Hunt's Pass-Game Role
Since then, Hunt has seen 18 targets and has caught 3 touchdowns. Over this four-game span (Week 4 to Week 7), Hunt has averaged 20 touches, 148.8 total yards and 1.5 total touchdowns.
With opposing teams having trouble slowing down the Chiefs' offense and Hunt’s expanding role, he has to be one of the most exciting fantasy backs to own going forward.