|1.||Derrick Henry||TEN vs IND|
|2.||Austin Ekeler||LAC @ KC|
|3.||Aaron Jones||GB @ SF|
|4.||Dalvin Cook||MIN vs SEA|
|5.||Alvin Kamara||NO @ NE|
|6.||Nick Chubb||CLE vs CHI|
|7.||Saquon Barkley||NYG vs ATL|
|8.||Najee Harris||PIT vs CIN|
|9.||Jonathan Taylor||IND @ TEN|
|10.||David Montgomery||CHI @ CLE|
|11.||Joe Mixon||CIN @ PIT|
|12.||Chris Carson||SEA @ MIN|
|13.||Antonio Gibson||WAS @ BUF|
|14.||Chase Edmonds||ARI @ JAX|
|15.||Clyde Edwards-Helaire||KC vs LAC|
|16.||Ezekiel Elliot||DAL vs PHI|
|17.||D'Andre Swift||DET vs BAL|
|18.||Damien Harris||NE vs NO|
|19.||Kenyan Drake||LV vs MIA|
|20.||Miles Sanders||PHI @ DAL|
|21.||Melvin Gordon||DEN vs NYJ|
|22.||Javonte Williams||DEN vs NYJ|
|23.||Ty'Son Williams||BAL @ DET|
|24.||James Robinson||JAX vs ARI|
|25.||Myles Gaskin||MIA @ LV|
|26.||Mike Davis||ATL @ NYG|
|27.||Jamaal Williams||DET vs BAL|
|28.||Nyheim Hines||IND @ TEN|
|29.||Tony Pollard||DAL vs PHI|
|30.||Kareem Hunt||CLE vs CHI|
Derrick Henry darn near broke the slate last week, but this is not just an overreaction. Tennessee will try to and should have success running the ball, at home, against the (to-date) league worst run defense with the Colts.
In the (supposed) high scoring affair incoming between the Chargers and Chiefs, it would appear Austin Ekeler would be in prime position on both the ground and through the air. In a weak week for running backs, betting on game environment and volume of opportunity should be front and center, and Ekeler has both.
Dalvin Cook missed practice on Friday and is a game-time decision. Vegas has already hinted at what they think, as the game total has jumped to 56, indicating a high possession game, which would leave one to believe the ground control game Cook would be present in is not in the cards here. If he misses, Alexander Mattison become the starter and would be my RB15 on the week.
There is a solid top eight in terms in both game environment and market share of touches at the running back position. The rest have somethings going for them, and others working against them. I would consider the top eight on one level, then Taylor (RB9) through Harris to be on the next one, and then Drake (RB19) to Mike Davis to the next tier.
One might think I am too hard on Ezekiel Elliott given his snap share compared to backup Tony Pollard. But looking at the actual touches, one sees a more even split. Pollard has looked more dynamic in the touches he has, compared to Elliott. I have Elliott higher in the thought that Dallas will give Zeke the higher leverage touches (aka goal line) but will be watching to see if that actually holds. If not, Zeke may fall completely out of my top 25 week to week.
Another situation to watch is the Denver Broncos, who should have a positive game flow for the running backs this week against the offensively challenged Jets. The game itself should be brutal to watch, but the home team Broncos are 11 point favorites against the Jets, indicating a high run game flow. Melvin Gordon has been the more efficient of the two backs, ranking 11th in defense-adjusted value over average, but rookie Javonte Williams is no slouch at 20th. We will see this week who the Broncos favor more in positive game flow.