AJ Dillon, GB @ MIN. Dillon produced in a workhorse role after Aaron Jones (knee) exited last week. There’s a good chance Jones will be out again, so Dillon should produce big stats in this top-five matchup.
Alvin Kamara, NO @ PHI
Josh Jacobs, LV vs. CIN
Jonathan Taylor, IND @ BUF
Austin Ekeler, LAC vs. PIT
David Montgomery, CHI vs. BAL
Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL vs. NE
Damien Harris, NE @ ATL.
James Robinson, JAX vs. SF
D’Andre Swift, DET @ CLE
Elijah Mitchell, SF @ JAX
Joe Mixon, CIN @ LV
Saquon Barkley, NYG @ TB. If Barkley (knee) returns, he’s in a tough spot against the league’s No. 2 run defense. Still, Barkley is talented enough to produce, especially as a receiver against a Bucs defense allowing over seven RB receptions/game. Antonio Gibson managed to post 78 total yards and two TDs last week against Tampa, so if Barkley gets volume and a couple goal-line chances he should pay off as an RB2.
Michael Carter, NYJ vs. MIA. Carter took advantage of garbage time to post his fourth TD in his past six games and caught at least four passes for the third time in the past four games. He’s clearly the Jets lead back, and against the Dolphins, who have been top 10 in fantasy points per game (FPPG) to RBs virtually all year. This is a good spot for Carter to produce again. Ty Johnson, who’s scored in three of the past five games and had at least five catches in three of the past four, is also a worthwhile flex.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC vs. DAL. In the two games prior to suffering a knee injury, CEH was hitting his stride, posting 100 rushing yards and TDs in both contests. He’s expected back this week against a Cowboys defense that has allowed five RB TDs and two 100-yard rushers in the past five games. This game could see a lot of points, so even if Edwards-Helaire is eased back into action, he’ll be in good position to produce fantasy points. Darrel Williams has a shot to produce flex-worthy stats this week, too.
Myles Gaskin, MIA @ NYJ. Even when Gaskin gets touches, he’s not always productive, so it can be tough to trust him. But the Jets allow the most FPPG to RBs by a wide margin, so if Gaskin gets around the 18.8 touches he’s averaged over the past four games, he should easily be worth a starting spot in both standard and PPR leagues.
Chris Carson, SEA vs. ARI. The Cardinals have been solid against RBs most of the year, but they were torched by Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers last week. We won’t hold that against them too much, but if Carson (neck) returns, he should get the bulk of the touches. In his three full games this year, Carson averaged 76.6 total yards and scored three total TDs, so he should produce RB2/flex-worthy stats.
Antonio Gibson, WAS @ CAR. Gibson wasn’t efficient last week, averaging just 2.7 yards per carry, but he still totaled 78 yards and scored twice. If nothing else, Gibson showed his shin injury isn’t quite as much of a worry going forward. His two best games this year came against the league’s top two run defenses, so don’t be scared off too much by Carolina’s solid run defense. Gibson is somewhat boom-or-bust, but we know he has plenty of upside. J.D. McKissic could always get a bunch of receptions if Washington falls behind, so he still has boom-or-bust flex upside.
Devonta Freeman, BAL @ CHI. We’ll have to see if Latavius Murray (ankle) returns, but even if he does, Freeman could very well lead this backfield. He’s averaged 14 touches and 70.5 total yards the past two games and scored in three of the past four contests. The Bears are an above-average defense against fantasy RBs, so if Murray is back, we’ll drop Freeman in these rankings, but if he’s the Ravens’ main guy, he has flex value.
D’Onta Foreman, TEN vs. HOU. Foreman led the Titans’ backfield last week, carrying the ball 11 times and gaining 30 yards. He also had 48 receiving yards on two catches — one more catch than “receiving back” Jeremy McNichols. Adrian Peterson still might get some goal-line carries, but Foreman looked like the best most explosive RB in this backfield. Houston has been a top-12 defense in terms of most FPPG allowed to RBs all season, so Foreman is in a good spot to produce flex-worthy stats. Peterson has some TD-or-bust flex upside in standard leagues.
Mark Ingram, NO @ PHI
Ty Johnson, NYJ vs. MIA. See Michael Carter.
Kenyan Drake, LV vs. CIN
Darrel Williams, KC vs. DAL. See Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Tony Pollard, DAL @ KC. Pollard has had at least 10 touches in all but three games this year. If he hits that mark this week, he should be a borderline flex against Kansas City’s below-average run defense.
Jordan Howard, PHI vs. NO. Howard has been the Eagles top running back the past three games, and even though he failed to score last week, he set a season high with 83 yards. He’s averaged 14.5 carries and 77 rushing yards the past two weeks. If Miles Sanders (ankle) is out again, Howard will likely lead the way, but Boston Scott will be plenty involved (11 carries). More worrisome is New Orleans’ league-leading run defense. Howard doesn’t catch the ball, so he’s basically touchdown-or-bust this week while being the nominal leader in a committee. That’s barely worth a flex spot.
JD McKissic, WAS @ CAR. See Antonio Gibson.
Zack Moss, BUF vs. IND. Moss hasn’t received more than eight carries in a game since Week 5. He managed a short TD in Week 10, which he’s always capable of, but given the sudden emergence of Matt Breida along with Devin Singletary, it’s tough to trust any of these backs in a brutal matchup against a top run defense.