Week 8 Fantasy Football Backfield Report
We are now officially half way through the NFL regular season, it is absolutely crazy how fast the season moves right along! Week 8 brought us a few exciting games, and could bring more trades with the deadline approaching.
Teams have established their identities, and running back group roles are pretty much defined. This week we have some more changes. Week 8 bye teams were removed (Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, and Los Angeles Chargers), as well as the Cincinnati Bengals (Joe Mixon has worked as a bell-cow with Giovani Bernard out) and Kansas City Chiefs (Kareem Hunt has had the receiving volume of a real workhorse).
This weekly piece is here to help fantasy owners see how teams are using their backs in terms of volume and high leverage situations.
Let's dive into the Week 8 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||W8 Snap %||W8 Touches||Season Snap %||Season Touches||Season RB Touch Share %|
|Alex Collins||BAL||33/68 (48.5%)||13||263/612 (42.9%)||112||53.1%|
|Javorius Allen||BAL||23/68 (33.8%)||3||275/612 (44.9%)||68||32.2%|
|LeSean McCoy||BUF||46/64 (71.9%)||18||242/498 (48.6%)||94||46.1%|
|Chris Ivory||BUF||19/64 (29.7%)||7||181/498 (36.3%)||82||40.2%|
|Marcus Murphy||BUF||1/64 (1.6%)||0||81/498 (16.3%)||28||13.4%|
|Jordan Howard||CHI||38/66 (57.6%)||22||297/489 (60.7%)||123||61.2%|
|Tarik Cohen||CHI||38/66 (57.6%)||6||222/489 (44.9%)||73||36.3%|
|Nick Chubb||CLE||23/64 (35.9%)||20||109/595 (18.3%)||54||25.0%|
|Duke Johnson||CLE||31/64 (48.4%)||4||256/595 (43.0%)||42||19.4%|
|Phillip Lindsay||DEN||41/73 (56.2%)||21||214/543 (39.4%)||111||48.7%|
|Devontae Booker||DEN||32/73 (43.8%)||13||169/543 (31.1%)||42||18.4%|
|Royce Freeman||DEN||DNP||DNP||163/543 (30.0%)||75||32.9%|
|Kerryon Johnson||DET||48/59 (81.4%)||14||219/459 (47.7%)||98||50.0%|
|LeGarrette Blount||DET||7/59 (11.9%)||4||116/459 (25.3%)||64||32.7%|
|Theo Riddick||DET||DNP||DNP||134/459 (29.2%)||31||15.8%|
|Jamaal Williams||GB||13/52 (25.0%)||4||215/486 (44.2%)||71||43.8%|
|Aaron Jones||GB||32/52 (61.5%)||14||119/486 (24.5%)||50||30.9%|
|Ty Montgomery||GB||6/52 (11.5%)||3||150/486 (30.9%)||41||25.3%|
|Lamar Miller||HOU||34/61 (55.7%)||18||326/561 (58.1%)||124||57.1%|
|Alfred Blue||HOU||29/61 (47.5%)||15||243/561 (43.3%)||90||41.5%|
|Tyler Ervin||HOU||35/61 (57.4%)||1||67/561 (11.9%)||3||1.4%|
|Nyheim Hines||IND||28/78 (35.9%)||13||298/589 (50.6%)||86||37.6%|
|Marlon Mack||IND||49/78 (62.8%)||27||128/589 (21.7%)||72||31.4%|
|Jordan Wilkins||IND||3/78 (3.8%)||2||154/589 (26.1%)||62||27.1%|
|T.J. Yeldon||JAC||37/64 (57.8%)||9||367/531 (69.1%)||118||64.1%|
|Carlos Hyde||JAC||28/64 (43.8%)||6||28/531 (5.3%)||6||3.3%|
|Leonard Fournette||JAC||DNP||DNP||45/531 (8.5%)||24||13.0%|
|Kenyan Drake||MIA||37/66 (56.1%)||14||296/479 (61.8%)||97||51.1%|
|Frank Gore||MIA||29/66 (43.9%)||13||193/479 (40.3%)||90||47.4%|
|Latavius Murray||MIN||61/73 (83.4%)||18||339/559 (60.6%)||99||59.3%|
|Mike Boone||MIN||7/73 (9.6%)||3||36/559 (6.4%)||13||7.8%|
|Roc Thomas||MIN||3/73 (4.1%)||2||29/559 (5.2%)||10||5.9%|
|Dalvin Cook||MIN||DNP||DNP||125/559 (22.4%)||45||26.9%|
|James White||NE||61/76 (80.3%)||18||317/552 (57.4%)||103||37.5%|
|Cordarrelle Patterson||NE||13/76 (17.1%)||10||137/552 (24.8%)||28||10.2%|
|Kenjon Barner||NE||7/76 (9.2%)||2||39/552 (7.1%)||18||6.5%|
|Sony Michel||NE||DNP||DNP||139/552 (25.2%)||99||36.0%|
|Alvin Kamara||NO||38/53 (71.7%)||20||337/469 (71.9%)||139||66.8%|
|Mark Ingram||NO||23/53 (43.4%)||16||94/469 (20.0%)||48||23.1%|
|Isaiah Crowell||NYJ||25/54 (46.3%)||14||216/502 (43.0%)||104||47.9%|
|Trent Cannon||NYJ||29/54 (53.7%)||9||68/502 (13.5%)||22||10.1%|
|Jalen Richard||OAK||22/50 (44.0%)||10||172/466 (36.9%)||52||25.6%|
|Doug Martin||OAK||28/50 (56.0%)||15||84/466 (18.0%)||46||22.7%|
|Wendell Smallwood||PHI||31/62 (50.0%)||10||230/569 (40.4%)||75||34.2%|
|Corey Clement||PHI||13/62 (20.9%)||5||155/569 (27.2%)||64||29.2%|
|Josh Adams||PHI||18/62 (29.0%)||10||36/569 (6.3%)||21||9.6%|
|Chris Carson||SEA||42/63 (66.7%)||27||199/466 (42.7%)||111||49.6%|
|Mike Davis||SEA||20/63 (31.7%)||11||133/466 (28.5%)||62||27.7%|
|Rashad Penny||SEA||0/63 (0.00%)||0||84/466 (18.0%)||44||19.6%|
|Matt Breida||SF||31/66 (46.9%)||16||198/538 (35.9%)||95||40.6%|
|Alfred Morris||SF||11/66 (16.7%)||6||178/538 (33.1%)||83||35.5%|
|Raheem Mostert||SF||12/66 (18.2%)||2||76/538 (14.1%)||33||14.1%|
|Peyton Barber||TB||43/88 (48.9%)||19||278/509 (54.6%)||99||65.1%|
|Ronald Jones||TB||11/88 (12.5%)||3||72/509 (14.1%)||25||16.4%|
|Jacquizz Rodgers||TB||33/88 (37.5%)||5||142/509 (27.9%)||24||15.8%|
|Adrian Peterson||WSH||41/68 (60.3%)||27||224/473 (47.4%)||136||63.8%|
|Chris Thompson||WSH||26/68 (38.2%)||5||174/473 (36.8%)||54||25.4%|
|Running Back||Team||W8 RZ Touches||W8 RZ Targets||W8 Total Targets||Season RZ Touches||Season RZ Targets||Season Total Targets|
Lindsay Continues To Be A Bright Spot For Broncos
Who would have ever though that after eight weeks Phillip Lindsay would be leading all rookie running backs in rushing yards (531)? This kid was an undersized undrafted rookie, who has now taken control of the Denver Broncos' backfield.
In Week 8, Lindsay saw his biggest opportunity, as Royce Freeman sat out due to an ankle injury. In his absence, Lindsay showcased, for the first time all year, that he could handle 20-plus touches in a game and be effective with them (5.3 per-carry average).
Where Lindsay picked up the most work with Freeman out was in the red zone, where he handled six touches, including a short touchdown run. While he didn't pick up extra pass game volume, due to Devontae Booker being involved, he still saw three targets and ran only one fewer route than Booker.
The Broncos look like sellers and are not competing for a playoff position, they should be poised to continue to feature their younger players and get them experience. Lindsay has improved each week and has separated himself from the pack.
Green Bay Shifts Towards Jones
In what everyone thought would be a shootout in Los Angeles, we saw the Green Bay Packers run the fewest offensive plays of the season (52). One thing that was clear after the game was that Aaron Jones was the most effective back for them.
He far out-snapped Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery (32-13-6) and more than tripled their touches. One of the most significant takeaways for Jones was his involvement in the pass game. While he only saw two targets, he led the backfield in routes ran by a wide margin, which could point to a breakout game coming shortly.
With all the negativity around Montgomery, and the ineffectiveness of Williams while Jones was out, it seems as if the Packers might be moving toward the direction of featuring Jones. Being involved in a high-scoring offense is always a positive role for a running back, Jones has a chance to help fantasy owners going forward.
Kamara Reestablishes Lead Role For Saints
Over the last two weeks, Kamara has played on 77 snaps, handled 30 carries and seen 10 targets, while Ingram has played 58 snaps, handled 25 carries and seen 5 targets. The key factor in the role differential has been the red zone usage. Kamara has out-touched Ingram 10 to 2 in the red zone over the last two games and has three touchdowns to Ingram's zero.
Kamara is too special of a talent to take a backseat to Ingram, the backfield is shaping up to be similar to last season with a slight lean towards Kamara in high-leverage situations.
Seattle Returning To Rushing Dominance
All offseason we heard new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer say that the Seattle Seahawks were going to establish the run. It has officially come to fruition, as the Seahawks are now averaging 31.7 rushing attempts per game.
The main beneficiary of this rushing approach has been Chris Carson, who has averaged 23.8 touches over the last four Seahawks games. This plan doesn't seem to be leaving anytime soon, as Seattle has gone 3-1 in that span. Carson appears to be more than capable of handling a heavy load, while Mike Davis plays the complementary role behind him.
What stands out the most is the fact that Rashaad Penny, the 27th pick of the 2018 draft, has been active but not played a down in two of the last three games. Seattle seems to like what they have in Carson and Davis, and should look to continue to lean on them heavily.
Resurrection of AP In Washington
Here we are. Peterson is seven games into the season, handling 19.4 touches per game, including 22 or more carries in the last two games. On the season, AP is averaging 4.6 yards per attempt, which is his highest average since 2012. He is also tied for third among all running backs in red zone carries, with 21.
Washington has found a successful recipe, leaning on the run game and defense that has led them to a 5-2 record as they sit atop the NFC East standings.
Peterson is on pace to become the comeback player of the year, which at age 33, would be quite impressive.