Week 10 Running Back Trends
Welcome to Week 10 Running Back Trends. In this article, I will be breaking down the on-going trends with some of the running backs in the NFL. Finding out which players will be continuing their upward trend could be the key to making the playoffs and winning your league. On the other hand, we want to avoid some of the downward trending backs so we don’t nose dive the season and miss the playoffs altogether. It’s the important time of the season to remain vigilant and not get complacent.
Anyway, without further adieu, let’s break down the Week 10 Running Back Trends!
Adrian Peterson has been in, without a doubt, the weirdest season of his career. His recent upswing in touches has been a relief to those who managed to hang on to him through his stint as a Saint. And to those who managed to grab him as a free agent, or cheaply off the waiver wire, good job. Now the main issue going forward is: Will his success continue with the Cardinals?
AP spent the vast majority of his career being a rhythm runner with the Minnesota Vikings. While playing in purple and gold, AP averaged 19.8 carries per game alone. He wasn’t used much in the pass-catching game but did also bring in about 2 receptions per game on top of his rushing attempts. So, what does this mean for this season? Well, looking at the total yards above it’s pretty clear to see what the issue was in New Orleans: AP wasn’t getting fed the ball enough.
The Arizona Cardinals are still very much in the playoff race, at 4-4. Without Carson Palmer, and also likely without David Johnson based on recent reports, it seems that feeding AP the rock might be their clear path to winning games for the rest of the season. I doubt you can expect 39 touches per game like he just pulled off in week 9, but it should be reasonable to expect around 20 touches per game from here on out.
Below is a plot showing that AP’s YPC typically increases with the more touches he receives. It’s no wonder he wasn’t working in NO with only 8 carries per game.
My per game prediction going forward for Adrian Peterson’s touches would be:
Adrian Peterson: 18-22 rushes, 2-4 receptions
Aaron Jones vs Ty Montgomery
If you want to talk about disappointments, the Packers
run game entire team is looking horrendous under Brett Hundley. Mike McCarthy continues to prove to us that the Packers are a poorly designed paper mache art project, but the teacher always gives it an A+ because the kid’s dad is Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers was like 60% of this team’s talent, if not more. That’s led some people to believe that the team would lean on their run game going forward. With Ty Montgomery injured, rookie Aaron Jones looked the role of an NFL two-down back. He did quite well with his limited opportunity. But now Montgomery is back, and that clearly has caused McCarthy to once again make bad coaching decisions. Let’s take a look at the stats since Aaron Jones joined the picture. (A reminder that the Packers had a week 8 bye)
Things were looking so good for Aaron Jones. Look, I know a lot of people were a fan of Ty Montgomery coming into this season, and I was too. We knew he wasn’t a prototypical running back, but it didn’t matter because he could catch passes. It should be noted that even in the week 9 travesty of a game against the Lions, in which the Packers were down the entire game, Aaron Jones still out touched Montgomery 7-6. Not that those numbers prove much of a victory either way.
McCarthy has now come out to say that Ty Montgomery is the starting running back. The most likely scenario here, however, is that the two backs will be working in a tandem going forward. These two running backs have two different skill sets that can be utilized in combination. That being said, from here on out it’s going to be difficult to predict production for either of them. My gut tells me that Aaron Jones will be the most valuable back of the two going forward. Hopefully, the Packers can stay in a game enough to stick with the run game, as Aaron Jones 5.34 YPC has been quite impressive.
My per game prediction for touches going forward between these two running backs would be:
Aaron Jones: 12-14 rushes, 1-3 receptions
Ty Montgomery: 7-10 rushes, 4-5 receptions
Let’s split Kareem Hunt by his per game averages, last four games vs his first five games.
Any Hunt owner knows that the last four games have been a big letdown when compared to how we began the season. This article won’t typically worry about touchdowns because they are extremely difficult to predict, but Hunt hasn’t hit pay dirt since week 3. That combined with the Chiefs losing games is leading to his fantasy production falling off. In this case, I truly do not believe that Hunt’s last 4 weeks have been indicative of his baseline. If anything, it feels like his floor. In the last four games, two of the matchups have been against stout defenses (Denver and Pittsburgh) while the other two have been offensive bouts in which the Chiefs were required to pass more frequently.
Defenses are also keying in on Hunt as a pivotal piece of this offense and adapting. With that being said, his schedule after the bye (this week, by the way) is about to open wide for him down the stretch. And his playoff schedule is fantastic:
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The 9th ranked defense vs RBs this year is the Dolphins, but with how their offense has been struggling I can’t see any reason why the Chiefs won’t run the score up on them and run down the clock. In fact, all of these teams are ranked 15th or lower in scoring this season. Realistically, Hunt will even out somewhere between his first five games vs his last four. As a fantasy owner, I hope you didn’t sell him off because he is crazy talented and on a good offense with opportunity.
My per game prediction going forward for Kareem Hunt’s touches would be:
Kareem Hunt: 16-18 rushes, 4-6 receptions
So that was Week 10 Running Back Trends, thanks for reading! Keep The Fantasy Authority on your favorites bar, as we have tons of awesome weekly content this season! I’ll be back next week with more stats for you to chew on. You can follow me on Twitter: @CCNP_Kent. Impress your league-mates by grabbing a sleeper a week before he goes off!