Welcome back to our weekly look at fantasy running back committee situations. The foundation for this recurring piece is workload — mainly snaps and touches. Touchdowns and yards are great, but without the volume, you can’t count on them on a regular basis.
Also of note for RB watchers: This week’s contestants in "Who Gets to Run Over the 49ers?" are Matt Forte and Bilal Powell. Good luck, guys!
Devonta Freeman: 42 snaps; 15 carries, 56 yards, 2 TD; five targets, four receptions, 49 yards
Tevin Coleman: 32 snaps; 12 carries, 49 yards; two targets
Coleman wasn’t a factor in the passing game, but his 12 touches and 43 percent snap share were in line with the rest of his season. He had a few big games early in the year but generally doesn’t get enough work to be more than a flex consideration. Coleman did have four red-zone rushes to Freeman’s five, so his path to fantasy productivity still exists.
If you were worried about Coleman’s return from injury affecting Freeman’s workload, note that Freeman has 31 rushes, six receptions and four rushing touchdowns in two games since Coleman came back from his hamstring issue. All is well for this top-10 RB.
Terrance West: 39 snaps; 10 carries, 50 yards, TD; three targets, three receptions, 18 yards, TD
Kenneth Dixon: 22 snaps; six carries, 56 yards; four targets, four receptions, 21 yards
As the Ravens pulled out to a 24-0 halftime lead over the Dolphins, West had six touches to Dixon’s five and was on the field for 23 snaps to Dixon’s 11. However, since Joe Flacco threw 34 first-half passes, it’s probably unwise to infer too much from this game. Here’s one question: If Dixon is supposed to be the better receiver, why wasn’t he on the field for more of those passing plays?
The Ravens visit the Patriots next Monday night, and we’re going to assume something closer to the even split that we saw from this backfield over the previous few weeks. Don’t fret, Dixon owners.
Devontae Booker: 46 snaps; 18 carries, 35 yards, TD; one target, one reception, two yards
Kapri Bibbs: 30 snaps; five carries, 49 yards
Bibbs was outplaying Booker in Jacksonville before leaving with a high-ankle sprain in the second quarter. High-ankle sprains can take weeks to heal, so Booker’s fantasy owners may have dodged a playing-time bullet.
They haven’t dodged an ineffectiveness bullet, as Booker has run 95 times for 266 yards (2.8 ypc) over his last five games. His workload is hard to ignore, but a matchup with the Titans’ seventh-ranked run defense looms. Booker figures to be on the lower end of the fantasy RB2 range for Week 14.
Theo Riddick: 33 snaps, four carries, two yards; six targets, five receptions, 15 yards, TD
Dwayne Washington: 23 snaps; seven carries, 21 yards; two targets, two receptions, 19 yards
Zach Zenner: 14 snaps; nine carries, 40 yards
Don’t read too much into Zenner’s stats. Washington left Sunday’s game early in the third quarter due to an ankle injury, and Zenner helped to run out the clock with seven fourth-quarter carries. If Washington can’t play in Week 14 and and if the Lions take a big lead over the Bears, then we could see a dozen carries from Zenner. He should be only a blip on your fantasy radar until we hear more about Washington.
Riddick had a six-game streak of double-digit carries a while back but has had four, nine and four over his last three games. He’s still a solid PPR factor after getting five more receptions and a touchdown, but breaking the 20-yard receiving barrier might be nice. Riddick is still on my RB2 radar even in standard leagues, as Sunday was his first single-digit touch game of the season.
Green Bay Packers
Ty Montgomery: 29 snaps; six carries, 40 yards; three targets, two receptions, 16 yards
Christine Michael: 11 snaps; nine carries, 19 yards
James Starks: Seven snaps; four carries, one yard
Just when I wanted to finally trust you, James Starks! DAMMIT!
Mike McCarthy said last week that Montgomery “deserves more opportunities,” and he wasn’t lying. Do you know what to make of this backfield? Starks was terrible on Sunday, Michael wasn’t much better, and Montgomery is back in the mix even though his apparent pass-blocking issues aren’t going away. Against the Seahawks in Week 14, I can see flexing Montgomery as a PPR wide receiver. Beyond that, I think I’m out on the Pack backs.
James White: 29 snaps; three carries, 17 yards; five targets, four receptions, 18 yards
Dion Lewis: 20 snaps; five carries, 27 yards; five targets, four receptions, 11 yards
More of the same here, with White and Lewis cannibalizing each other. Lewis has now touched the ball 27 times in three games since his activation from the PUP list. You can do better, especially in weeks with no byes.
Blount gained just 33 yards on 15 carries after the opening drive against the Rams, but you got your money’s worth out of him. He’ll have a much tougher time against the Ravens’ league-best run defense this week. You’re probably using Blount anyway, but it’s easy to imagine this game script getting pass-heavy for the Pats. As weird as it sounds to say about a guy leading the league in rushing touchdowns, he’s not a must start.
* Jerick McKinnon finally scored a touchdown for the Vikings! He also played 51 snaps to Matt Asiata’s 21! Eh, he still had just 55 yards from scrimmage. Keep these guys on your bench.
* Wendell Smallwood’s fantasy owners were once again thwarted by an early Eagles deficit, as the rookie played 24 snaps to Darren Sproles’ 44 and ran just eight times for 19 yards at Cincinnati. Don’t rule out flexing Smallwood at home against the Redskins (4.6 ypc against) in Week 14.
* Denard Robinson was dominating the Jags’ touches before leaving with a third-quarter ankle injury – he had 17 carries to T.J. Yeldon’s six at the time of his departure. Yeldon finished the game with 17 touches, but unless Robinson and Chris Ivory are both out against the Vikings, don’t expect that to happen again.
* In a game that saw the Saints trail the Lions almost all the way through, both Mark Ingram (who aggravated a toe injury) and Tim Hightower ceded snaps to pass catcher Travaris Cadet. Cadet isn’t a real threat, but Ingram’s toe might be, and for that reason we shouldn’t give up on Hightower. Let’s keep a close eye on Ingram this week.
* Paul Perkins (seven carries, 38 yards) ran pretty well for the Giants, but Rashad Jennings (six carries, 19 yards; six receptions, 34 yards, TD) helped in the passing game and had a 30-23 snap edge over his rookie teammate. Perkins still isn’t startable for fantasy purposes.