Week 10 Running Back By Committee Report

With the majority of teams utilizing a committee approach to their running back position, it is vital to pay close attention to the usage and workload each running back earns.

Every week, I will be sharing information to help you understand how coaches are using their running backs -- in what type of capacity and with what size of a workload. Are they getting a ton of snaps but few touches? Is the once-presumed starter now splitting more of the workload with a role player? Does a team have the ability to sustain multiple running backs on a weekly basis? All of this and more will be covered each week.

At the end of every article, there will also be a table outlining how each backfield split its workload among its primary running backs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I wanted to see it happen again with Ronald Jones to truly crown him the leader of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers backfield. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and the Bucs went back to their old ways as Jones split the rushing workload evenly with Peyton Barber, each getting 11 carries on Sunday. Neither of them were particularly productive as they both averaged fewer than four yards per carry, but Jones was able to find production elsewhere.

Jones was on the field for nearly twice as many snaps as Barber due to his involvement in the passing game. In the past, what capped Jones' ceiling was his lack of work as a pass-catcher. That changed dramatically on Sunday as Jones caught all eight of his targets for 77 yards, both career-high marks. If Jones can continue to get consistent work as a receiver, he could approach high-end RB2 territory, though Dare Ogunbowale will still maintain his limited role on third downs.

The Buccaneers will face a major test going up against the New Orleans Saints next week, who have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. That said, the Atlanta Falcons just exposed the Saints by accumulating 143 rushing yards on Sunday, the most they've allowed since giving up 180 rushing yards to the Houston Texans in Week 1.

New Orleans Saints

In one of the most stunning upsets of the week, the New Orleans Saints could barely get anything going on offense, much less in the running game. Both Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray struggled to run the ball, though neither were given much of an opportunity as they combined for only nine carries. Facing a negative game script for the majority of the afternoon, Kamara saw nearly 80 percent of the snaps, while Murray was in for just a quarter of the snaps.

Despite a poor day rushing, Kamara maintained his high floor with 8 receptions for 50 yards, doing so on 10 targets (tied for his season-high). Even with missing two games due to injury, Kamara is still second on the team in total targets behind only target-machine Michael Thomas. What's most concerning about Kamara's production is that he failed to score for the sixth game this year.

Though finding the red zone was a difficult endeavor for the Saints on Sunday, Murray was the one to see the lone red zone rush on the day. Even when splitting the load with Mark Ingram in the past, Kamara made his money with red zone rushing volume. So far this year, Kamara is averaging just over one red zone rushing attempt per game, compared to over three attempts per game in 2018. Even with exceptional volume as a receiver, if the touchdowns don't start to fall Kamara's way, he may slide down to low-end RB1 territory.

Cleveland Browns

After serving an eight-game suspension, Kareem Hunt saw the field for the first time all year. Nobody was quite sure how this might impact Nick Chubb's opportunities, but it appears that both may be able to coexist as fantasy-relevant options. While Chubb was dominant as a rusher, Hunt flashed his abilities as a receiver by securing 7 catches for 44 yards.

Digging deeper into Hunt's usage in the passing game sheds light on some interesting trends, though. Of the 38 snaps that Hunt got on Sunday, he spent 14 of them (36 percent) split out as a receiver. For comparison, Chubb has been lined up as a receiver on only 29 snaps all year. The nine total targets that Hunt saw were third on the team behind Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, which is extremely encouraging to see if you've held on to Hunt all year.

Hunt's presence will clearly limit Chubb's upside for the rest of the year if Freddie Kitchens continues to utilize these backs, in the same way, going forward. The Cleveland Browns play a mix of difficult and easy matchups for running backs down the stretch, so using both Hunt and Chubb in the positive matchups could prove fruitful for fantasy owners.

Other Notable Trends

- On a day in which LeSean McCoy was a healthy scratch, Damien Williams took full control of the backfield. Williams' 19 rushing attempts were the second-most attempts in a game in his career and most this season. Despite fumbling in the second quarter, Williams didn't appear to get put in Andy Reid's doghouse as he still got ten carries following his mistake. This is extremely encouraging to see and may indicate that Williams has Reid's full trust now.

- Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams once again split the rushing workload evenly, but Jones was clearly the more efficient back and was the beneficiary of three rushing touchdowns. Although Jones had a productive game on the ground, he was barely used in the passing game for the second straight game. Since Davante Adams returned two weeks ago, Jones has managed only one reception. During the four-game stretch in which Adams missed times, Jones was split out wide quite often and averaged 5.5 catches on nearly 7 targets per game. If this trend continues, Jones' ceiling may be capped once again, especially in a timeshare with Williams.

- In their first game without Mark Walton, the Miami Dolphins trusted Kalen Ballage with a 20-carry workload. That didn't do them much good as he ran for only 43 yards, which amounts to a dreadful 2.2 yards per carry average. Opportunity is king in fantasy football, but Ballage may be the exception to that rule if he's not able to capitalize on it in the coming weeks.

- Speaking of opportunity, Brian Hill will see a big spike in his workload with Devonta Freeman expected to miss about two weeks. After Freeman left Sunday's game against New Orleans with a foot sprain, Hill was given 16 carries to finish the day with a total of 20. He struggled to get much going (3.1 yards per carry average on the day), but Kenjon Barner was the only other back to record a single carry. A workload this significant on an offense that we've seen have the ability to get hot makes Hill a candidate to help any fantasy roster.

- Another injury took place in the Detroit Lions backfield as Ty Johnson left the game late in the first quarter with a concussion and still remains in the protocol. In his absence, J.D. McKissic was the primary beneficiary with ten total carries, but the Lions also chose to get Paul Perkins involved with seven carries. The positive sign for McKissic is that he's clearly the passing-downs back, hauling in 6 catches on 7 targets for 19 yards. If Matthew Stafford is able to return to action this week and move the ball downfield more competently than Jeff Driskel, McKissic could benefit from more work as a receiver, with a negative game script anticipated for the Lions' matchup against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Volume Metrics

Snap data comes from Lineups.

Running BackTeamSnap %Rush Att. (3-Week Avg.)Targets (3-Week Avg.)Total Opportunities (3-Week Avg.)
David JohnsonARI(30/70) 43%5 (1.7)1 (0.3)6 (2)
Kenyan DrakeARI(45/70) 64%10 (8.3)7 (3.7)17 (12)
Brian HillATL(40/79) 51%20 (7.7)2 (0.7)22 (8.3)
Devonta FreemanATL(30/79) 38%10 (7.7)4 (4)14 (11.7)
Kenjon BarnerATL(11/79) 14%1 (0.7)0 (0)1 (0.7)
Gus EdwardsBAL(11/47) 23%4 (3.7)0 (0)4 (3.7)
Justice HillBAL(12/47) 26%3 (2)0 (0.3)3 (2.3)
Mark IngramBAL(23/47) 49%9 (8)0 (1)9 (9)
Devin SingletaryBUF(46/69) 67%8 (10.3)7 (5.7)15 (16)
Frank GoreBUF(23/69) 33%5 (8.3)1 (0.3)6 (8.7)
Christian McCaffreyCAR(73/73) 100%20 (19.3)7 (5)27 (24.3)
David MontgomeryCHI(34/57) 60%17 (19.3)0 (3)17 (22.3)
Tarik CohenCHI(30/57) 53%3 (3)4 (4)7 (7)
Giovani BernardCIN(18/75) 24%4 (2.3)1 (1)5 (3.3)
Joe MixonCIN(57/75) 76%30 (15.7)3 (2.3)33 (18)
Dontrell HilliardCLE(8/73) 11%0 (2)0 (2)0 (4)
Nick ChubbCLE(57/71) 81%20 (20)4 (3.3)24 (23.3)
Kareem HuntCLE(38/71) 54% 4 (1.3) 9 (3) 13 (4.3)
Ezekiel ElliottDAL(70/71) 99%20 (14.3)3 (1)23 (15.3)
Tony PollardDAL(3/71) 4%1 (1.3)0 (1)1 (2.3)
JD McKissicDET(58/83) 70%10 (5)7 (4.7)17 (9.7)
Paul PerkinsDET(15/83) 18%7 (4.3)1 (0.3)8 (4.7)
Ty JohnsonDET(12/83) 14%5 (7)1 (2.7)6 (9.7)
Aaron JonesGB(34/68) 50%13 (11.3)0 (4)13 (15.3)
Jamaal WilliamsGB(34/68) 50%13 (7.3)1 (3.3)14 (10.7)
Jordan WilkinsIND(7/70) 10%3 (2)0 (0.7)3 (2.7)
Jonathan WilliamsIND(7/70) 10%2 (0.7)0 (0)2 (0.7)
Marlon MackIND(32/70) 46%19 (19.7)1 (0.7)20 (20.3)
Nyheim HinesIND(30/70) 43%3 (2.7)7 (4.3)10 (7)
Darwin ThompsonKC(5/82) 6%1 (0.3)1 (0.7)2 (1)
Darrel WilliamsKC(17/82) 21%2 (1.7)1 (0.7)3 (2.3)
Damien WilliamsKC(60/82) 73%19 (12.7)5 (2.3)24 (15)
Austin EkelerLAC(35/77) 45%6 (7)2 (3)8 (10)
Melvin GordonLAC(48/77) 62%22 (16.7)1 (2.7)23 (19.3)
Darrell HendersonLAR(8/77) 10%4 (5)0 (1)4 (6)
Malcolm BrownLAR(12/77) 16%5 (1.7)0 (0)5 (1.7)
Todd GurleyLAR(57/77) 74%12 (7.3)4 (1.7)16 (9)
Kalen BallageMIA(54/66) 82%20 (10)4 (2)24 (12)
Patrick LairdMIA(8/66) 12%2 (0.7)2 (0.7)4 (1.3)
Myles GaskinMIA (5/66) 8% 0 (0) 1 (0.3) 1 (0.3)
Ameer AbdullahMIN(6/76) 8%0 (0.3)0 (0.3)0 (0.7)
Alexander MattisonMIN(14/76) 18%8 (8)1 (1.3)9 (9.3)
Dalvin CookMIN(57/76) 75%26 (23.3)7 (6.7)33 (30)
Alvin KamaraNO(54/69) 78%4 (1.3)10 (3.3)14 (4.7)
Latavius MurrayNO(17/69) 25%5 (8.7)2 (4.7)7 (13.3)
Elijhaa PennyNYG(10/72) 14%0 (0.3)0 (0)0 (0.3)
Saquon BarkleyNYG(59/72) 82%13 (15.3)5 (7.7)18 (23)
Wayne GallmanNYG(12/72) 17%1 (0.3)2 (1.3)3 (1.7)
Bilal PowellNYJ(15/65) 23%7 (4.3)0 (0)7 (4.3)
Le'Veon BellNYJ(48/65) 74%18 (14.7)4 (6)22 (20.7)
Ty MontgomeryNYJ(5/65) 8%0 (0)0 (0)0 (0)
Deandre WashingtonOAK(6/58) 10%1 (3)2 (1.3)3 (4.3)
Josh JacobsOAK(30/58) 52%16 (19.7)5 (3)21 (22.7)
Jalen RichardOAK(22/58) 38%2 (1.7)4 (3.7)6 (5.3)
Jaylen SamuelsPIT(41/74) 55%14 (7.3)7 (6.7)21 (14)
Tony Brooks-JamesPIT(10/74) 14%6 (2.3)0 (0)6 (2.3)
Trey EdmundsPIT(21/74) 28%4 (5.7)3 (1)7 (6.7)
Chris CarsonSEA(71/74) 96%25 (20.3)4 (2.3)29 (22.7)
Rashaad PennySEA(3/74) 4%2 (4.7)0 (0.3)2 (5)
Matt BreidaSF(25/88) 28%10 (12)2 (1.7)12 (13.7)
Raheem MostertSF(19/88) 22%6 (5.3)1 (0.3)7 (5.7)
Tevin ColemanSF(44/88) 50%9 (10.7)4 (3.3)13 (14)
Dare OgunbowaleTB(22/85) 26%0 (0.7)3 (2.3)3 (3)
Peyton BarberTB(22/85) 26%11 (8.3)1 (1.3)12 (9.7)
Ronald Jones IITB(40/85) 47%11 (13.3)8 (4.7)19 (18)
Derrick HenryTEN(37/52) 71%23 (17.3)2 (2)25 (19.3)
Dion LewisTEN(15/52) 29%0 (1.3)0 (2)0 (3.3)