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Directional rushing update for Week 6

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During the NFL season, we’re going to break down how different offenses are utilizing their running backs. As the year goes on, patterns begin to emerge that will allow us to anticipate and exploit mismatches between a defense and an offense that we’re targeting in fantasy football. 

Bird’s Eye View

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Note: Red is left, gray is middle, blue is right.

I’ve noted, just about every week, that there were some teams that were actively avoiding rushing in certain directions. Those conclusions seem to have been small-sample anomalies … welcome to the NFL! 

Here’s a look at the breakdown for all of the running backs with at least 50 rushes. 

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Rushing – Left

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Nick Chubb is pulling away from the pack in rushes to the left. He’s also seeing a significant share of his team’s rushes to the left with Kareem Hunt only accounting for a half-dozen rushes in this direction. 

Antonio Gibson, Joe Mixon and Chuba Hubbard are an interesting trio for second through fourth on this list. It’s a real “one of these things is not like the other” situation. 

The next chunk of players on this list all find themselves in precarious situations. Melvin Gordon has Javonte Williams breathing down his neck while looking like the more explosive back. Devin Singletary only saw a half-dozen rushes total in last week’s game and had a case of fumble-itis recently. Mike Davis has seen double-digit rushes in all but one game and has yet to break 55 yards this year. 

Rushing – Right

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The Browns have a solid running game, as evidenced by two of their running backs being featured prominently on this leaderboard. Having two running backs on the same team show up this highly on a list like this is a testament to the offensive line, the scheme, and the backs themselves. 

Lamar Jackson is the only QB featured on this list. If you watched Monday’s game (or haven’t lived under a rock for the past few years), you know how dynamic he is as a rusher. Just under 40% of his rushes have gone to the right. 

Rushing – Middle