Charch's Week 2 Running Back Rankings

RankPlayer
1
CLE @NO

Alvin Kamara has gone over 45 yards through the air in 11 of his last 13 full games and has scored a receiving touchdown in seven of his last 11. Cleveland has allowed at least 50 receiving yards to the running back position in each of their last six games. Concerned he only got eight carries with Ingram on the shelf last week? His season average in his rookie season was also eight per game, and I think he got by just fine. Last season, the Browns allowed an extra half-a-yard per carry on the road than at home, and James Conner just ripped Cleveland for 135 ground yards. - Adam Spinks (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 10.0/10

2
LAC @BUF

Buffalo's offense is inept. In the opener, they averaged 2.7 yards per play, had 10 first downs and did not have a single drive with more than five plays until the second half. You have to expect the opposing team to be in positive game scripts. Baltimore ran 72 offensive plays last week, 61 coming with a lead. That's all good news for Melvin Gordon's outlook. Last season in Week 11, the Chargers torched the Bills by a score of 54-24. Gordon ran 20 times for 80 yards and a touchdown. One surprising note, this was the last time Gordon did not receive a pass. Since then he has been running red hot as a receiver, averaging four and a half receptions and 47 yards receiving per game. - Adam Spinks (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 10.0/10

3
ARI @LAR

The Cardinals were tough on most running backs in 2017. Todd Gurley is not most running backs. While Arizona gave up the fourth-fewest fantasy points and third-fewest rushing yards to the position last season, Gurley averaged a whopping 25 touches and 156 yards in his two encounters with them. The Cards did allow the seventh-most catches to back last season which is big here. But the one event in which TGII should be licking his chops at- Adrian Peterson just chalked up a 52-yard reception against the Cards (his longest in nearly a decade). Fresh off being bludgeoned on the ground and through the air by the Washington duo of AP and Chris Thompson, there is a better chance of Cardi B and Nikki Minaj having a slumber party than Arizona holding Gurley in check in the Rams home opener. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 9.75/10

4
SEA @CHI

The 2017 version of the Seahawks defense that featured Kam Chancellor, Sheldon Richardon, Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman allowed just 3.8 YPC on the road. The 2018 version allowed the household names of Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay to rack up 142 rushing yards on 30 carries. Matt Nagy claimed he wanted to keep Jordan Howard on the field this season and true to his word, he played 71% of the snaps in the opener (a percentage he reached only twice in 2017). Seattle seemed to have no answer for Denver's running game and Howard's expanded role (five receptions!) in Nagy's offense is very promising. Look for Howard to receive at least the 20 touches he got against Green Bay and have success against the tattered remnants of the Legion of Boom. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 9.75/10

5
KC @PIT

The last four times Le'Veon Bell faced the Kansas City Chiefs he rushed for 121, 144, 170, and 179 yards. In the last two meetings Bell touched the ball an insane 64 times. This time, the door is open for a huge game from James Conner. Look for Bell's massive volume numbers to continue for Conner as no other Steelers running back saw the field against the Browns. The Chiefs struggles against the Steelers are even more dumbfounding when you consider they have allowed only one other running back (Ezekiel Elliott) to gain 80 rushing yards against them since the beginning of 2017. - Adam Spinks (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 9.5/10

6
MIN @GB

Dalvin Cook should find more room to run this week at Lambeau Field. The Packers allowed the Bears' running back tandem over five yards per carry in Week One. As the Green Bay defense continues to adjust with a new scheme and Muhammad Wilkerson now in the middle, there is little doubt both Cook and Latavius Murray will be involved in the ground game to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field, but Cook saw 80% of the running back snaps last week. One wrinkle to watch for this week is Cook's continued involvement in the passing game. Cook saw seven targets and six catches in the opener, and Howard and Cohen combined for eight catches in the Green Bay game last week. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 9.25/10

7

The last time the Giants met the Cowboys, Wayne Gallman II put up 99 total yards. Yes, that Wayne Gallman II. The Cowboys allowed 4.3 YPC and 107 rushing yards in home games during the 2017 season.With OBJ back in mid-season form plus the Cowboys lack of depth and inexperience at safety and linebacker, it will be tough for Dallas to give any extra attention to Barkley here. He needs extra attention. Look for Pat Shurmur to exploit the same holes Carolina did to have their running backs average five yards-per-carry last week and for Barkley to build on his impressive start. Also note Randy Gregory's concussion status that could be yet another problem for the Cowboys defense in general. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 9.0/10

8
KC @PIT

The Chiefs have averaged a paltry 14 points in their three games with the Steelers since 2016. In the meeting last year, Hunt was shut down on the ground, gaining 21 yards rushing. His day was saved through the air with 89 yards receiving, second highest for his career. But, Kareem Hunt has a meager 20 yards receiving in his last 140 snaps. [Where did the multi-dimensional back go? The Chiefs interior offensive line struggled last week against a beat up Chargers front. How well can they hold up against a Steelers defense that allowed 3.3 yards per carry to the Browns backfield? The Chiefs have averaged a paltry 14 points in their three games with the Steelers since 2016. - Adam Spinks (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 9./10

[UPDATE: THE PANTHERS ARE NOW MISSING THREE STARTING OFFENSIVE LINEMEN FOR THIS GAME: TRAI TURNER, DARYL WILLIAMS, AND MATT KALIL.] Christian McCaffrey faced these same Falcons just two games ago, Week 17 in Atlanta, and managed just 14 rushing yards and 40 receiving yards on five catches. Meh. He did have season-highs of 15 carries and 66 on the ground at home against the Falcons Week 9, for what it's worth. It is worth noting that McCaffrey was on the field for 57 of 67 snaps in the opener while CJ Anderson saw just 12 plays. There is no evidence to think this trend will change here. Much like last season, an injury to Greg Olsen should assure McCaffrey leads the Panthers in targets and catches going forward. And don't discount the fact the Falcons lost both Keanu Neal and Deion Jones last week. Those injuries could directly benefit McCaffrey in this game. The Falcons allowed the most receptions to running backs in 2017, 2016, and 2015, a remarkable three-year stretch of futility that should benefit McCaffrey greatly. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 9/10

10

Ezekiel Elliott has averaged 24 carries and 106 yards in his last two outings against the G-Men.But he had just 69 yards in the opener, and his offensive line looked absolutely lost. Chew on this fact: Aside from a 9 for 8 puzzler in Denver Week 2 of 2017, the only other time Zeke rushed for less than 80 yards in a game? His career debut against the Giants in 2016 where he still found the end zone twice. Offensive line issues aside, the stats say there are few players with a higher floor than Elliott. And remember, New York somehow made TJ Yeldon actually look competent last week. - Adam Spinks (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 9.0/10

11
BAL @CIN

It's amazing how much impact one week can have on an outlook. We can put to bed the Gio Bernard and Joe Mixon timeshare conjecture. Mixon received 92% of the Bengals running backs touches. His patience, and more importantly, the Bengals run blocking looks to be vastly improved. His elite skillset as a runner and receiver allows him to be a threat in all phases. Despite manhandling the Bills, this is not the 2001 Ravens defense. Ten running backs gained 80 or more total yards against Baltimore last season, and this year's personnel is very similar. Mixon finished 2017 strong against Baltimore with 96 yards rushing, the second-highest total of his young career. - Adam Spinks (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 9.0/10

12

Chris Thompson was stunning last week and showed no ill-effects of his broken leg. He faces an Indianapolis defense that allowed Joe Mixon to roll up 149 total yards including five receptions for 54 yards. Thompson only saw the field on 42% of the Redskins offensive plays last week compared to the 58% of plays in '17 before he was injured. Expect that number to slowly climb as he gains confidence in his leg. I should probably also mention that he averaged five catches and 85 yards per game in his five home outings of 2017. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 9.0/10

13
CAR @ATL

[UPDATE: TEVIN COLEMAN WILL START THE GAME AND GET THE MAJORITY OF THE WORK WITH DEVONTA FREEMAN OUT. HE HAS BEEN UPGRADED SIGNIFICANTLY.] These teams met just two games ago, Week 17, and Tevin Coleman posted a dud with 11 carries and 23 yards. For his career, he has posted four flops and one good game. As mentioned in the Freeman outlook, teams just don't run the ball in volume when playing the Panthers and barring another injury to Freeman, the touches just won't be there. Lifetime, he is averaging just nine per game against Carolina. Probably even more touchdown-dependent than his running mate, Coleman has scored in two of his last three games in this matchup. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 9.0/10

14
ARI @LAR

[UPDATE: MONITOR THE STATUS OF HIS BACK INJURY] Through one game, the Ndamukong Suh rental worked out for the Rams, as no Raider runner topped 41 rushing yards. David Johnson's best prospects come through the air. On Monday night, the Raiders completed a whopping 13 passes to their running backs against the Rams. An interesting note with the departure of Bruce Arians-David Johnson only played 68% of the snaps last week as opposed to the 88% he played in 2016. It could be chalked up to getting readjusted to the game but he was playing late in the fourth quarter. This is something to track. But the biggest concern here is the play of the Cardinals offensive line. Arizona's line was overwhelmed by a Redskins defense that is vastly inferior to the Rams. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 8.75/10

15

Last year, no team faced more rush plays than Indy's defense, so it's no surprise that they were a bottom-five team in rushing yards allowed on the road. Joe Mixon just punished the Colts on the ground and through the air so their defensive prowess against the position appears to be just as bad as last season. Adrian Peterson ran well behind the terrific blocking of Washington's (healthy!) offensive line. Only James Connor had more carries than AP in the opening week and the fact he amassed those 26 carries on just 42 snaps clearly says Jay Gruden has faith in AP's super-human conditioning. Chris Thompson, also a terrific start, will steal plenty of touches, which limits Peterson's upside. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 8.75/10

16
NE @JAC

[UPDATE: IT APPEARS THAT LEO FOURNETTE WILL BE A GAME TIME DECISION, BUT EVEN IF HE IS ACTIVE, IT'S VERY POSSIBLE THAT YELDON WILL LEAD THE RUSHERS IN TOUCHES.] Even if Fournette plays he will not be 100%. The Jaguars have to run the ball to beat the Patriots. That was the game plan the Texans tried to use last week, with Lamar Miller getting 5.0 yards per carry. And it nearly worked for the Jags in the AFC Championship against New England, as they ran 30 times and nearly won the game. The Patriots added a healthy Dont'a Hightower back to the linebacker group. It was a welcome addition as the Patriots were dreadful against running backs in the receiving game last year, allowing six different backs to gain 50 or more yards through the air. TJ Yeldon is the Jaguars' pass-catching specialist, although it's fair to point out that he only had two receptions in the AFC Championship game last January. -
Charch's Rating: 8.75/10

17
OAK @DEN

The explosiveness we witnessed from the early college days of Royce Freeman appears to be back. Over half of his carries resulted in a five-yard gain or more. This was despite seeing an eight-man box on nearly every play. Anticipate the Broncos running off-tackle at a high rate this week against the Raiders. The loss of Khalil Mack was evident last Monday as Todd Gurley continually ripped positive runs aimed at Tank Carradine, Bruce Irvin, and Arden Key. The Raiders have allowed the opposing team to rush for 100 or more yards in four of their last five games. They are generous with all-purpose yards as well allowing 11 running backs to gain 80 or more yards-from-scrimmage in 2017. Phillip Lindsay is a threat to Freeman's total touches, but not at the stripe. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.5/10

18
PHI @TB

Tampa allowed just 3.7 yards per carry at home in 2017 compared to 4.7 in road games, and Tampa held Alvin Kamara to just 3.6 yards per carry last week. However, the Bucs did allow the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs and surrendered five scores to running backs in their final three homes games last season. Fortunately for fantasy owners, in the opener, Jay Ajayi notched his first carries inside the five in more than a year, and scored twice. So even if you may still question his volume, there is precedent here for a trip to the end zone. It may be a stretch to predict he will top 15 carries, but note that Doug Pedersen did mention this week that Ajayi had been nursing a foot injury, and he would be featured more going forward. The Bucs rush defense didn't give us much to go on for this season as the Saints ran the ball just 13 times against them in Week 1. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 8.25/10

19
BAL @CIN

Assuming he's out of the doghouse, expect the touch volume for Alex Collins to return to normal levels after being benched for fumbling in last week's blowout against Buffalo. The Ravens relied on the run game in both matchups against the Bengals last season, rushing for more than 100 yards in both games, including a 42-rush attempt effort in Week 1. Collins saw this Bengal team just two games ago, in Week 17, and gained 96 yards of total offense. Marty Mornhinweg, the Ravens offensive coordinator, has traditionally spread his rushing attack across all gaps. Expect this to continue as he will surely want to avoid too many calls towards Geno Atkins. - Adam Spinks (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.75/10

20
HOU @TEN

The Tennessee Titans allowed 90 or more total yards to running backs only six times last season. Two of those were from Lamar Miller. Miller has a history of success against the Titans dating all the way back to his days in Miami. His previous four games against the Titans have averaged 18 rush attempts, 82 rushing yards, and 31 receiving yards to go along with three touchdowns. He looked significantly more explosive than last season on film and was able to show off his speed on several runs against the Patriots last week resulting in his first 100 total yard performance since 2016. That said, his offensive line, already incredibly thin, suffered a significant loss when right tackle Seantrel Henderson broke his ankle last Sunday. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.5/10

21

Isaiah Crowell's call for more carries has more weight after gaining 100 yards rushing and scoring twice on ten touches. Sam Darnold may get the headlines but the Jets offensive line was the real star, not allowing a single carry to be stopped behind the line of scrimmage. The Dolphins defense can be classified as average. They were 19th in rushing yards allowed and gave up 14 touchdowns on the ground, seventh-most in the league last season. They were particularly poor against rush attempts to the offensive left side, nearly 50% were successful carries. The majority of Crowell's work goes through the middle gaps. It would be nice to see Jeremey Bates scheme towards the weakness for this occasion. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.5/10

22
LAC @BUF

In Week 1, Austin Ekeler was involved in the Chargers offense as a runner (5-39, 7.8 YPC) and as a receiver (5/5 for 87 yards and a score). And there's a very real chance that he'll expand his role in the forthcoming blowout in Buffalo. After losing by 44 points in the opener, the Bills look like the worst team in the league, and the game script will allow for a lot of running, and potentially, some rest for Melvin Gordon. Remember, the Chargers scored 54 points in this matchup last year, and Ekeler scored in that game. Against the Bills last week, the Ravens backups ran 10 more times than Alex Collins. Ekeler is a terrific pass catching back, so even if the Chargers need to continue throwing throughout, Ekeler can find stats. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.25/10

23
SEA @CHI

Seattle's offensive line is still a work in progress as evidenced by Russell Wilson being sacked six times by Denver last week. But they looked better as run blockers. Chris Carson ran for 7.3 yards per carry in Week 1. Fun stat: Chicago did not allow a non-divisional running back to rush for over 75 yards in 2017. In a foolish attempt to punish Carson for a fumble, Pete Carroll allowed struggling rookie Rashaad Penny to equal Carson's carries, which resulted in a disastrous 1.1 yards per carry. Note that Roquan Smith played just eight snaps last week and could start to see more action here. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 8.25/10

24

Phillip Lindsay looks to expand on his terrific first start against a lackluster Oakland defense. Lindsay ran for five yards or more on an impressive 46% of his attempts in Week 1. The Broncos should expect similar success, as the Raiders allowed over five yards per carry against the Rams. You can certainly make a case for more volume for Lindsay this week. With the game still up for grabs, it was Lindsay, not Royce Freeman that Denver relied on as he out touched Freeman eight to four in the fourth quarter. Lindsay looked explosive Sunday on his 29-yard touchdown reception. This is an area that Denver can exploit against Oakland. The Raiders allowed five running backs to score through the air in 2017 and continued that trend in Week One with Toddy Gurley's receiving touchdown. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.25/10

25
DET @SF

As with Alfred Morris, if there is a week to stream a 49ers back this is it. The last time the Lions played on the road, they gave up 116 rushing yards and seven catches for 52 yards to...Gurley, Bell, Zeke? Nope. Giovanni Bernard. And if Week 1 is any indication, Detroit is even worse now, as Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell averaged 7.4 yards per carry. Again, we're not talking about Jim Brown here. Seeing how the two backs evenly split the snaps against Minnesota, you never know how Kyle Shanahan will react to Morris coughing up the ball inside the five last week so keep note on how their usage shakes out here. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 8.25/10

26
NE @JAC

[UPDATE: BURKHEAD IN CONCUSSION PROTOCOL. CHECK HIS STATUS CLOSER TO GAME TIME.] The Patriots game plan seems crystal clear for the next three weeks. Run the ball, use play action to get Rob Gronkowski in space, and throw to the running backs. Sounds like a solid plan for Rex Burkhead. Last week's 18 rushing attempts were the second-most in his career. If Sony Michel misses this week, it could lead to similar volume against the Jaguars. Jacksonville looks solid in the front seven again this year; outside of one play they held the Giants rushing attack in check. The Jaguars were able to shut down Rex Burkhead and the Patriots running backs in the AFC Championship last season. Burkhead, Dion Lewis, and James White combined for just 43 rushing yards. With Jeremy Hill on injured reserve, Burkhead is a goal line candidate. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.5/10

27
MIA @NYJ

In the two games against the Jets last season, the Dolphins' run game was nowhere to be found. In the two games, Miami ran 40 times, but managed just 83 yards, 2.1 yards per carry. And the Jets just held the Lions to 2.6 yards per carry in the opener. Good news though, neither game last year had Kenyan Drake leading the backfield. Attacking the Jets through the air could be the opportunity for success that Drake needs. New York allowed eight different running backs to gain 40 or more yards receiving in 2017. Drake's passing game role looks to be established now with three or more receptions in six of the last seven games played. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.0/10

28
LAC @BUF

All jokes aside, the Bills offense should improve this week against the Chargers. How could they not? The Chargers allowed 4.9 yards per carry in 2017, highest in the league, but held Kareem Hunt to a paltry 3.1 yards per carry in the opener. It goes without saying that Buffalo does not possess the big play threats of Kansas City. And Brian Daboll will want to keep the ball out of the hands of his quarterback for as long as possible.. It appears the Chargers will be without their star defensive end, Joey Bosa, for the second straight week. LeSean McCoy had a terrific game last season at Los Angeles, racking up 114 rushing yards and scoring twice, despite the game being a blowout victory for the Chargers. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.25/10

29

On the stat sheet, the Eagles were a monster against the run last season, allowing the fewest yards and second-fewest fantasy points to running backs. The glimmer of hope is that Philly's run defense gave up a full yard more per game on the road in 2017 and allowed Devonta Freeman to pick up 36 yards on 6 carries before his exit last week. Peyton Barber got 73% (48 of 66) of Tampa's snaps in the opener and received 19 carries. On the flip side, he only averaged 3.6 YPC and more disturbing was that he was not targeted once in the passing game. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 8.0/10

30

If there was ever a week to dust off Alfred Morris, this is probably it. Detroit has allowed a rushing touchdown to a running back in each of their last seven road games. The Lions also gave up a robust 4.8 YPC on the road in 2017 and were just shredded by another ͞lethal͟ running attack in Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell. It is true that his offensive line is quickly becoming a MASH unit, Marquise Goodwin's status is still up in the air and the load will be shared with Matt Breida, but anyone who watched Matt Patricia's head coaching debut saw there will be points to be had in this game. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 8.0/10

31
CLE @NO

The Saints defense may be leaking like a sieve but don't expect the Browns to exploit it on the ground. New Orleans played the run fairly well, allowing Tampa Bay's running backs to combine for under 3.5 yards per carry despite allowing 48 points. Carlos Hyde will need high volume and goal-line work to have a productive day. It was third-down receiving backs that caused the Buccaneers the most issues last year. Christian McCaffrey and James White torched Tampa Bay. This could be a Duke Johnson week, especially if Cleveland gets in a hole early. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.0/10

32

The Oakland Raiders offensive line struggled Week One against the Rams. For as much a hype as the Rams defensive line receives, the Broncos probably present a stiffer challenge. Chris Carson ran for 7.3 yards per carry against Denver last week, but last season Denver led the league in yards per carry allowed at 3.3. The front seven is loaded with talent. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are quick off the snap and help funnel rush attempts to the inside. Rookie offensive tackle, Kolton Miller will have his hands full. Last season the Broncos did allow Lynch to have some success as he gained 110 total yards at Mile High Stadium. Last year's biggest problem for Lynch, too few touches, recurred in Week 1 as he only had 11 carries. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.0/10

33
NE @JAC

[UPDATE: WHITE WILL MOVE UP IF REX BURKHEAD DOESN'T GET THROUGH THE CONCUSSION PROTOCOL IN TIME FOR SUNDAY'S GAME.] For the first time since Week 2 of the 2016 season, the New England Patriots are the betting underdog. They face, arguably, the best defense on the road. The Patriots struggled to run in the AFC Championship game last season. If you believe the Vegas line, this could be one of the few times the Patriots play from behind all season. That sets up nicely for James White. He's the back Tom Brady relies on most in difficult situations. It's one area where similar style running backs to White found success against Jacksonville last season. Austin Ekeler and Duke Johnson both had good days through the air. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

34
HOU @TEN

[UPDATE: THE TITANS WILL BE WITHOUT BOTH STARTING TACKLES.] The Titans will undoubtedly get Dion Lewis involved more quickly than last week when he did not receive a carry until the 2nd quarter. But it might not matter. The Dolphins stacked the box against the Titans with eight or more defenders on nearly 90% of Lewis and Derrick Henry's attempts. The Texans have a better run defense than Miami, and they'll use the Texans blueprint to force the Titans to win through the air. Houston held Rex Burkhead and James White to 3.6 yards per carry apiece. Pay attention to Marcus Mariota's availability this week. If Blaine Gabbert is forced to start, it damages the entire offense. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

35

[UPDATE: DARREN SPROLES WILL NOT PLAY, MEANING COREY CLEMENT SHOULD HAVE MORE RECEPTIONS AND TOTAL TOUCHES.] - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

36
CLE @NO

It's a mixed bag of trends for Duke Johnson as he faces the Steelers. The biggest positive is Duke's Week 17 matchup from last year against this defense. He posted 95 total yards and scored a rushing touchdown. He did that with DeShone Kizer at the helm. Now he gets a massive upgrade to Tyrod Taylor. Working against Johnson is that the Steelers were generally very good against receiving runners, allowing a league-best ONE receiving touchdown to runners. Johnson is expected to be used more as a slot receiver this year and that could start this week. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 8.0/10

37

Jamaal Williams didn't shine much in 2017, but the hope was that Aaron Rodgers would create many more opportunities for him in 2018. That didn't happen in a forgettable opening week with just 47 yards and a 3.1 average. Vikings did allow 4.2 yards per carry on the road in 2017 and Williams was held to a pedestrian 58 yards on 15 carries with Brett Hundley behind center against the Vikes in Week 16. Minnesota held Green Bay running backs as a group to 65 yards per game in their two encounters last season. Williams would get any goal line carries, so you're hoping for a touchdown plunge, but the Vikings only allowed rushing touchdowns to five guys all of last year and none last week. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

[UPDATE: FOURNETTE IS LOOKING LIKE A GAME TIME DECISION, BUT EVEN IF HE'S ACTIVE, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW HOW MUCH WORK HE'LL GET. IN A WORST CASE SCENARIO, HE'LL BE ACTIVE BUT SERVE AS TJ YELDON'S BACKUP. CONSIDER HIM A HIGH RISK START.] Practice participation is of the upmost importance for Leonard Fournette this week. If his hamstring heals in time, look for Jacksonville to pound him continuously against the Patriots. This was the game plan in last year's playoff contest, and nearly sent the Jaguars to the Super Bowl. Fournette had a whopping 27 touches and scored a touchdown in the AFC conference championship game. Last week's injury snapped a seven game streak of 20 plus touches for Fournette (including playoffs). New England's defense allowed 4.9 yards per carry against the Texans, with Lamar Miller nearly gaining 100 yards on the ground. - Adam Spinks (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

39
HOU @TEN

[UPDATE: THE TITANS WILL BE WITHOUT BOTH STARTING TACKLES.] The scouting report on Derrick Henry is tried-and-true at this point. He is terrific when given space but he's a below average starting running back without it. Unfortunately for Henry, the Titans offensive line continues to take a step back from what was once thought of as a dominant group. Last week, the only sustained success the Titans were able to achieve was towards the left tackle gap. This is even more bad news for Henry as Taylor Lewan is in the concussion protocol, and may miss this game. I would expect JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney to make a second home in the Titans backfield. The box score would lead you to believe Derrick Henry played well against the Texans in 2017, considering it was one of only two 100-yard efforts. It would fail to point out that he had one untouched 75-yard carry. His other 16 attempts netted 2.5 yards per carry. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 7.75/10

40

The 2017 Jets were an equal opportunity giver allowing eleven different running backs to gain 75 or more total yards against them. They were horrific on the road in 2017, giving up over 126 yards per game. And the 2018 version could be worse with the loss of Muhammad Wilkerson and Demario Davis. Kerryon Johnson needs Detroit to commit to a run game to have success. Jim Bob Cooter's Lions offense have ranked 32nd, 30th, and 32nd in total rushing yards over the last three seasons. The Lions offensive line should be improved with the addition of first-round pick Frank Ragnow. Ragnow takes over at left guard. In 2017 the Lions ran for a dismal 2.8 yards per carry towards the left guard gap. Clouding the waters for Johnson, LeGarrette Blount looms for goal line work and Theo Riddick for receptions. -Adam Spinks (@theRBScout) - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 7.5/10

41

Jordan Wilkins received 66% of the backfield's carries and looks to be the preferred goal-line back. But Nyheim Hines got the receiving work, and Marlon Mack could return for this game, which would further divide the Colts backfield. The Colts have to utilize the left guard gap manned by all-world rookie Quenton Nelson against the Redskins if they hope for any success. Nelson against fellow rookie Da'Ron Payne is elite viewing. David Johnson found no joy against the Redskins rushing for just 37 yards. I would advise against using 2017 numbers when trying to project the Redskins defense. Payne and a healthy Jonathan Allen can wreak havoc against the rest of the Colts offensive line. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 7.5/10

42
SEA @CHI
43
MIA @NYJ
44
IND @WAS
45
NE @JAC
46
47
IND @WAS
48
49
CAR @ATL

Don't be fooled by the year-over-year rushing numbers for Carolina. Excluding Cam Newton gives you a more accurate representation. Last season without Cam, the Panthers gained the 3rd-fewest yards on the ground and averaged under four yards per carry. Jonathan Stewart did have two 100-yard rushing performances last season and many expect C.J. Anderson to pick up his role in the offense. Anderson had a monster game last year against the Cowboys rushing 25 times for 118 yards and a touchdown. Dallas could struggle in the interior defensive line. David Irving once again starts the season on the suspension list and Maliek Collins is recovering from a broken foot. -Adam Spinks (@theRBScout) - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 7.25/10

50

As the Vikings lead back, Murray scratched out 69 yards on 21 carries in the mostly unwatchable 2017 Week 16 meeting with an Aaron Rodgers-less Packers club. Your glimmer of hope is that Green Bay allowed both Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to average at least five yards per carry last week. Cook looked fantastic last week and got the vast majority of the snaps. There would seem to be little doubt that John DeFilippo will use both Dalvin Cook and Murray here to try and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field, assuming he plays. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 7.25/10

51

Gio Bernard remains a constant in Cincinnati's backfield. In the last four games of 2017, after Joe Mixon suffered a concussion, Bernard showed he's more than a change-of-pace back. He averaged nearly 14 carries and 5 receptions, which allowed him to finish as a top-30 fantasy running back. His real strength that will be on display against Indianapolis is his pass-catching ability. He's caught at least 39 balls every year. The Colts' linebackers assigned to cover the running back in open space failed last season. They averaged 46 receiving yards-per-game to runners and the team did little to improve that groups. Also, they let their top-ranked run-defender walk in free agency. This does not bode well for a team seeking to improve on its 26th-ranked run defense. This might be Gio's best opportunity of the year. -Josh Stanley (@stanleyjosh) - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 7.0/10

52
MIA @NYJ

Bilal Powell has been misused for over a season now. Instead of giving him the ball on the ground 12 times he should go back to the pass-catching specialist that saw him rack up success in the past. He's had multiple receptions one time in the last nine games. Six of his last eight games have resulted in a yards per carry average under 3.8. The Dolphins allowed barely three yards per carry to Powell in the two 2017 meetings. One bright spot of hope, Miami has allowed 100 or more team rushing yards in six of their last seven games. Isaiah Crowell will almost certainly increase in usage though leaving us in the familiar spot Sunday of thinking "What if?" for Bilal Powell. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 7.0/10

53
OAK @DEN
54
OAK @DEN
55
56
HOU @TEN
57
KC @PIT
58
SEA @CHI

Despite barely averaging one yard per carry, Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson each took 25 snaps last week. Another week of catching up in the offense and a bad fumble by Carson last week could help this trend continue in spite of Carson still looking the part of an NFL starting running back. Chicago is tough against the run, allowing just three backs to top 75 yards against them in 2017 and holding Jamaal Williams to 47 yards and 3.1 YPC a week ago. Most likely, there isn't a huge game here for Penny but the uncertainly of the roles of the Seattle backs going forward is more of the draw here. - Jeff Maas (@manoflamancha)
Charch's Rating: 6.5/10

59

As a member of the running-back-by-committee in Denver, Devontae Booker will face the tattered remains of the Legion of Boom. The proverbial "boom" of this defense has gone missing in recent years, ranking 27th in run stuffed percentage last season, which incorporates all runs stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage. They also struggled on the road, allowing over 100 rushing yards in four of their eight road games. Yet, as a smaller running back, the Broncos have been hesitant to give the diminutive back a full workload, especially near the end zone. In his career, he averages nine rushing attempts per game and has seen a total of 15 attempts inside the ten-yard line. Comparatively, his old backfield partner, C.J. Anderson, who is similar in size to Royce Freeman, averaged 15 carries-per-game and saw 24 attempts inside the ten-yard line over the same time. - Adam Spinx (@theRBScout)
Charch's Rating: 6.0/10

60
CLE @NO
61
LAC @BUF
62
NE @JAC
64
KC @PIT
65
NE @JAC
66
DET @SF
68
IND @WAS
69
ARI @LAR
70
PHI @TB
71
ARI @LAR
73
NYG @DAL
74
MIA @NYJ
75
BAL @CIN
76
CLE @NO
77
NYG @DAL
78
79
SEA @CHI
80
MIN @GB