Fantasy Football – Running Back
Boom: Tevin Coleman, SF vs. ARI
Aside from Coleman’s 37.8-point outburst in Week 8 where he went for four touchdowns, he hasn’t exactly been a world-beater. Against the Seahawks, Coleman saw only nine carries but was utilized enough through the air to appease owners. With Matt Breida now expected to miss some time with an ankle injury suffered on Monday night, Coleman could be in for a bigger line of work.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan is good at rotating players in 49ers’ backfield to keep his guys fresh, but Coleman should still see plenty of touches against Arizona to post worthwhile numbers. While the Cardinals rank as a top-12 defense against RBs on the season, they’ve been far from impressive against the position lately, most recently allowing Ronald Jones his best fantasy output of the season (22.6 points).
Boom: Damien Williams, KC @ LAC
With Patrick Mahomes back in the fold and LeSean McCoy deemed a healthy inactive last week, it’s officially time to trust Williams again. Against the Titans, Williams saw 19 carries – by far the most he’s gotten in 2019. In Week 9, there were murmurs that Kansas City’s coach staff wanted the 27-year-old to lead their backfield, and his recent workload has backed that notion. He was heavily involved through the air too, catching five passes for 32 yards.
With Mahomes, this offense is back to being one of the most high-octane attacks in the league. The Chargers are nothing special against opposing tailbacks, yielding 26.8 FPPG (eighth-most in the NFL). L.A. has had a particularly tough time finding answers for dual-threat backs like Williams. Assuming he hangs on to the starting gig, he could be one of the biggest second-half bloomers in fantasy this season.
Honorable Mention: Austin Ekeler (LAC vs. KC), Brian Hill (ATL vs. CAR)
Bust: David Johnson, ARI @ SF
My, oh, my how things can change over the course of four games. In Weeks 1-6, Johnson was doing plenty to warrant his lofty first-round draft stock, sitting as the overall RB5 in PPR formats (20.2 FPPG). An ankle injury and a trade for Kenyan Drake later, it appears Johnson is on the outside looking in. In his first game back since Week 7, DJ played second-fiddle to Drake, garnering just six total touches – one in which he fumbled – finishing with 0 points.
It’s clear that he’s still being hampered by his ankle issue, which isn’t exactly ideal heading into a matchup with the 49ers. San Francisco has been a nightmare matchup for RBs all year, allowing just 16.8 FPPG. This defense is going to be amped up to prove they’re still one of the best in the business after the Seahawks got the best of them last week. Owners should leave Johnson on their bench until he begins to show signs of life again.
Bust: Carlos Hyde, HOU @ BAL
Playing on the Deshaun Watson-led Texans offense has rejuvenated Hyde’s career this season, having his best statistical game of 2019 prior to Week 10’s bye, trampling his way to 160 rushing yards against the Jags. Much like Sony Michel, however, much of his value has been tied to scoring touchdowns without any real role in the passing-game. When he doesn’t reach pay-dirt, he’s often posted uninspiring fantasy scores.
While he’s flourished in the right matchups, this isn’t one of those. Baltimore comes into this game having allowed 18 or fewer rushing yards to opposing teams’ starting backs in three of their last four home games. On the year, they place in the top-10 fantasy-wise against the position. The Ravens are playing with utmost confidence right now after ripping off four straight wins. All things considered, this is a matchup to avoid if possible.
Dishonorable Mention: Ronald Jones (TB vs. NO), Jordan Howard (PHI vs. NE)
Sleeper: Derrius Guice, WSH vs. NYJ
This game is simply jam-packed full with sleeper potential, especially when it comes to Guice, who will be returning to play in his first game since Week 1. Adrian Peterson has been the lead back for Washington in his absence, but don’t be surprised if it’s Guice who takes on a larger role with Washington’s current “youth movement.” The Redskins will likely want to see what the former second-round pick still has left in the tank.