Week 3 RB Touches Breakdown
Week Three was much needed for the NFL. Scoring was up, and there were a ton of highly competitive, nail-biting games. It was also a week that saw relatively few fantasy injuries, but a zero injury week is basically impossible. Let’s take a look at three backfields, one of which is gaining clarity, and two others that may puzzle owners in the coming weeks. Please enjoy my Week 3 RB touches breakdown.
Joe Mixon (21 touches), Jeremy Hill (8 touches), Giovani Bernard (5 touches)
Joe Mixon, lead-back, has arrived. New coordinator Bill Lazor installed Mixon as the lead back for the Bengals in his first week in charge. Now, owners who have held on to the talented rookie will start to see dividends from here on out. Mixon wasn’t particularly efficient on a per carry basis, but displayed the patience and burst that made him an excellent prospect. If Mixon is an 18+ touch per week player, he can return RB2 value with an even higher ceiling. Personally, I’d like to see him with more than three targets in the passing game given his receiving talents. Either way, Mixon is now on the right track after ceding way more carries to Jeremy Hill than any reasonable person would expect. It’s Mixon’s backfield now.
Lamar Miller (15 touches), D’Onta Foreman (10 touches)
In recent weeks, Foreman has been pushing for more and more touches. Miller is still the lead back. But from his past, we can see that he’s at his best when not asked to touch the ball 20 times a game. This leaves room for Foreman to make his way onto the field and to make plays. This 60-40 split we saw in Week Three is something we can expect moving forward. Perhaps it will increase Miller’s efficiency. It’s also possible it costs him work within valuable sections of the field. Either way, I don’t see Foreman outright overtaking Miller in the next few weeks. But it can’t entirely be ruled out, as Foreman has earned at least a change of pace role.
Wendell Smallwood (13 touches), LeGarrette Blount (12 touches), Corey Clement (6 touches)
First of all, let’s just acknowledge how much it sucks for Darren Sproles to have what is quite likely his last NFL season end in such a manner. He’s a 5’6″, 190-pound dynamo who’s been an offensive weapon for over a decade.
In regards to the Philadelphia backfield, we can expect to see more of Wendell Smallwood in the rough mold of Sproles’ now-vacated role. The Eagles have mentioned bringing in additional running back help, but as of writing this that has yet to materialize. We know what LeGarrette Blount is. He’s a two-down grinder and one who hasn’t really succeeded outside of the prolific New England offense. Many are hyping up Corey Clement as a potential sleeper to take over a role in this backfield, but he was clearly the third option after Sproles went down. For now, I’d say Smallwood is the one most worth rostering, and Clement possesses greater upside than Blount, who is a zero in the passing game.
Thanks for reading the week 3 RB touches breakdown. Check back in next week to read up on more backfields, and their impacts on fantasy owners. Don’t forget to see the WR target report as well!