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NFL Usage Report for Week 9

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Welcome to the Week 9 Usage Report. This piece is designed to give you a glimpse of both rushing shares and usage rates for running backs, wide receivers, and occasionally tight ends. It will help you understand how often a player is involved in his team’s game plan and if those players are susceptible to being faded or emphasized during various game scripts.

Each section will be broken into three tiers. Tier 1 will cover teams with situations in flux, Tier 2 will highlight teams with situations to monitor, and Tier 3 will list teams with stable situations.

(To see more, check out our Weekly Rushing Share and Usage by Situation pages.)

 

 

Definitions:

tgt_big_lead — Target share when team is leading by 14+ points
tgt_leading — Target share when team is leading by 9-13 points
tgt_one_score — Target share when team is in a one score game
tgt_down — Target share when team is down by 9-13 points
tgt_down_big — Target share when team is down by 14+ points

Weekly Rushing Share

Tier 1 — Teams with Situations in Flux

Baltimore Ravens

Weekly Rushing Share

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There has been no other backfield quite like this one this season. The Ravens continue to trot out anyone and everyone as ball-carriers, but the one constant remains Lamar Jackson. It’s worth noting that Latavius Murray should be back from his ankle injury soon. Until then, a combination of Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman and Jackson will command most of the weekly touches. Ty’Son Williams could also factor in as needed moving forward.

Houston Texans

Weekly Rushing Share

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Veteran running back Mark Ingram was traded to the New Orleans Saints prior to Week 8. He totaled 86 carries in seven games with the Texans. Phillip Lindsay and David Johnson figured to be the primary beneficiaries of Ingram’s departure, but it was Scottie Phillips and Rex Burkhead who saw the most opportunities this past week. This backfield remains a mess. The offense is struggling to move the ball and put up consistent points. Value and fantasy production are here but tough to find.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Weekly Rushing Share

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As of this writing, it sounds like James Robinson avoided serious injury to his foot and is now considered day-to-day. Carlos Hyde would be the next man up and Dare Ogunbowale got some work last week. Robinson has received a large share of opportunity this season and his situation will need to be closely followed in the days and weeks ahead.

Kansas City Chiefs

Weekly Rushing Share

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Almost literally out of nowhere, Derrick Gore received a 40% rushing share opportunity in Week 8 and looked excellent. It remains to be seen how involved he will be moving forward. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has missed three games with a knee injury and has now missed the minimum necessary games for an IR stay. The Chiefs offense has struggled with consistency in recent weeks and both Edwards-Helaire and Gore, (not to mention Darrel Williams) have looked impressive at different times.

New York Giants

Weekly Rushing Share

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Saquon Barkley reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, then he tested negative, and then was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List. He is already working back from a knee injury that he sustained in Week 5. In his stead, Devontae Booker has logged at least 12 carries in four consecutive games and has three scores in that stretch. There is a path for Barkley to see the field this weekend, but it will involve his knee feeling better and another negative test.

Philadelphia Eagles

Weekly Rushing Share

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Incumbent Miles Sanders missed his first game this past weekend due to an ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve. The Eagles responded to his loss by deploying a three-headed committee consisting of Boston Scott, Jordan Howard and Kenneth Gainwell, with Gainwell only getting most of his touches when the game was officially a blowout. It looks like Scott and Howard will operate as a 1-2 punch for the next few weeks.

Tennessee Titans

Weekly Rushing Share

The loss of Derrick Henry for the next 6-10 weeks sent shockwaves around the league. The Titans signed Adrian Peterson, who was a popular waiver wire target this week. Along with Peterson, Jeremy McNichols can provide value out of the backfield, but he’s most often designated as a pass catcher. This offense will look very different without their star player.

Tier 2 — Teams with Situations Worth Monitoring

Arizona Cardinals

Weekly Rushing Share

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The Cardinals have operated one of the most productive split backfields this season. Both James Conner (touchdowns) and Chase Edmonds (receptions) have thrived in their respective roles. It’s worth noting that Edmonds has out-attempted Conner over the last two weeks. This offense is high-powered and can score a lot of points so both backs should continue to have value.

Atlanta Falcons

Weekly Rushing Share

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The biggest impact on this offense will come in the next section, but the trickle down from the Calvin Ridley situation will affect the running backs. Cordarrelle Patterson, a converted wide receiver who has dual eligibility on many fantasy platforms, has been one of the biggest surprises of the season. He could see an increased role in the passing game which could afford Mike Davis more opportunities as a traditional running back.

Carolina Panthers

Weekly Rushing Share

Week 8 signified a unique shift in the Panthers offense. Ameer Abdullah vaulted Royce Freeman in the pecking order behind Chuba Hubbard with 13 opportunities. Christian McCaffrey is aiming for a Week 9 return, but his health and availability need to be closely monitored. In the meantime, Hubbard remains the most valuable piece of this backfield.

Cleveland Browns

Weekly Rushing Share

One week after a career-best performance, D’Ernest Johnson gave way for Nick Chubb to return from his two-game absence. Johnson did find the end zone and should continue to carve out a small role until Kareem Hunt (potentially) returns in a few weeks.

Detroit Lions

Weekly Rushing Share

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Jamaal Williams missed his first game of the year, which paved the way for D’Andre Swift to see an uptick in rushing opportunities. Both Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson earned some work, but Williams is the clear 1B to Swift’s 1A when healthy.

Green Bay Packers

Weekly Rushing Share

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The bombshell news story involving Aaron Rodgers that broke Wednesday regarding his positive COVID-19 test and vaccination status has clear impacts on this offense. Even before this week, AJ Dillon had successfully worked himself into a larger role. It’s possible both he and Aaron Jones receive a massive workload against the Chiefs this weekend.

Indianapolis Colts

Weekly Rushing Share

Jonathan Taylor saw his largest opportunity share of the season in Week 8 and continues to be one of the best running backs in fantasy. Nyheim Hines has slowly ceded more rushing attempts and Marlon Mack remained with the team past the trade deadline. There are still several talented backs on this team so we will see if Taylor’s 80% share will continue moving forward.

Las Vegas Raiders

Weekly Rushing Share

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Josh Jacobs continues to lead the way, when healthy, and Kenyan Drake saw four consecutive games of increased opportunity in the weeks leading up to the bye week. The first game after a bye can be a good measuring stick for teams, so keep an eye on this backfield this week.

Los Angeles Rams

Weekly Rushing Share

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While Darrell Henderson continues to carry the load, Sony Michel isn’t going away anytime soon. Michel is caught between a deep-league flex option and one of the best pure handcuffs. He’s talented enough to manage a large workload and is involved just enough to be useful each week. Buddy Howell received his first touches of the season last week which means there’s another interesting name to keep an eye on.

Miami Dolphins

Weekly Rushing Share

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Now that Malcolm Brown is on injured reserve, we should have more clarity as to how this backfield will work moving forward. Myles Gaskin has not received consistent opportunities this season but has two straight games of at least 12 carries. Salvon Ahmed has been inefficient with his touches but has seen nine opportunities/game over the last three weeks.

New England Patriots

Weekly Rushing Share

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The Patriots continue to offer one of the most difficult backfields to decipher. Their one constant has been Damien Harris, who has four games with at least 80 yards rushing and now has six rushing scores. Beyond him, it’s been a weekly guessing game with a bag of mixed results. Aside from Harris, no one else warrants a consistent spot in your lineup.

New Orleans Saints

Weekly Rushing Share

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One of the only significant transactions leading up to the trade deadline was the reunion of Mark Ingram and the Saints. Ingram had an incredible run of success with this team from 2014 to 2017, when he was a top-15 RB for four straight seasons. Ingram had eight touches in his first game back with the Saints and figures to be a complementary piece to Alvin Kamara.

Seattle Seahawks

Weekly Rushing Share

It’s not looking like Chris Carson will be back anytime soon. Alex Collins has performed admirably in his stead by racking up double-digit carries in five consecutive contests. Former first-round pick Rashaad Penny continues to see more involvement and now Travis Homer and even DeeJay Dallas are seeing weekly touches. Keep an eye on Penny in the weeks ahead.

Washington Football Team

Weekly Rushing Share

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This backfield is worth monitoring as Antonio Gibson works his way back to full strength due to a shin issue. J.D. McKissic is a standalone flex option due to his pass-catching prowess, and he also sees involvement in the ground game. Rookie Jaret Patterson topped 10 carries for the first time in Week 8 and could factor into a larger role.

Tier 3 — Teams with Stable Situations

Buffalo Bills

Weekly Rushing Share

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Zack Moss and Devin Singletary have clearly defined roles, and we’ve seen enough to know what to expect out of them each week.

Chicago Bears

Weekly Rushing Share

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Until David Montgomery returns, this backfield belongs to Khalil Herbert.

Cincinnati Bengals

Weekly Rushing Share

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Joe Mixon dominated the backfield touches last week. A healthy Samaje Perine was a non-factor.

Dallas Cowboys

Weekly Rushing Share

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Similar to the Bills, we know how Dallas deploys their backfield. Even in a game without Dak Prescott, the usage trends for Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard were similar to their season averages.

Denver Broncos

Weekly Rushing Share

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The Javonte Williams rookie breakout season might not happen. Melvin Gordon remains the 1A despite how well Williams has played.

Los Angeles Chargers

Weekly Rushing Share

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A slight question surrounding Austin Ekeler’s health was the only reason for a change in opportunity this past week. When healthy, this backfield belongs to Ekeler.

Minnesota Vikings

Weekly Rushing Share

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When Dalvin Cook is healthy, he gets all the work. When Cook is not healthy, Alexander Mattison gets all the work. I appreciate the consistency and predictability of this backfield.

New York Jets

Weekly Rushing Share

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It’s been a growing trend, but Michael Carter has cemented himself as the clear-cut starter in recent weeks. There’s no reason to believe that will change.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Weekly Rushing Share

After Derrick Henry, there’s probably no other running back who means as much to his backfield as Najee Harris. The numbers speak for themselves.

San Francisco 49ers

Weekly Rushing Share

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It wasn’t the result many of us expected, but Elijah Mitchell has taken control of this backfield and doesn’t look to be giving it back. Pour one out for everyone who spent significant draft capital on Trey Sermon.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Weekly Rushing Share

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Leonard Fournette is the starter, and Ronald Jones is his backup.

 

 

Usage by Situation

Tier 1 — Teams with Situations in Flux

Atlanta Falcons

Usage by Situation

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The Falcons will be without their No. 1 wide receiver for the foreseeable future. Calvin Ridley is stepping away from the team to take care of his mental health. Tajae Sharpe has totaled nine receptions on 11 targets for 111 yards in the two games Ridley has missed this season. Russell Gage should also see a slight bump in usage.

Cleveland Browns

Usage by Situation

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According to reports, it sounds like Odell Beckham might be away from the team for the foreseeable future. Growing division within the organization has not helped this situation and, with the trade deadline behind us, there’s a chance he doesn’t play. Jarvis Landry has played well in his first two games back from injury and continues to manage his knee issue. He missed practice Wednesday, which is what happened last week before he suited up Sunday.

Green Bay Packers

Usage by Situation