I hope you didn't drop D'Ernest Johnson from your Fantasy football rosters, because he could be back in the spotlight in Week 10. With Nick Chubb out following a positive COVID-19 test and Kareem Hunt still on the IR with his calf injury, Johnson finds himself as the lead back for the Browns matchup with the Patriots on Sunday.
Johnson started in Week 7 against the Broncos and was a star, rushing for 146 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown and adding a pair of catches for 22 yards. He played 69% of the snaps in that game, and with every other member of the Browns RB room on IR or on the reserve list, that could be the floor for Johnson this week.
The Patriots are a great defense, ranking fourth in points allowed per game, but they are more middle-of-the-pack against running backs, ranking 14th in Fantasy points allowed. The Browns will likely make some practice squad additions at running back, but if Chubb and Hunt are both out, the matchup won't matter: Johnson will be a must-start Fantasy running back.
I have Johnson ranked pretty much exactly where I had Chubb in my first run of rankings, at RB15. I don't think Johnson is as good as Chubb, obviously, but he's likely locked into something like a 20-touch role unless Chubb or Hunt returns, so he has to be in your lineup.
That also applies to Mark Ingram with Alvin Kamara sidelined and potentially Rhamondre Stevenson with Damien Harris out. You can read more about those and the rest of the injuries for Week 10 here.
Get your first look at the running back rankings for Week 10 from yours truly. To see the rankings of Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, and Heath Cummings, make sure you head here. We'll be updating this throughout the week with new notes and rankings as we get news and the rankings get tweaked, so make sure you bookmark the page.
Fantasy Football Today Newsletter
Know What Your Friends Don't
Get tips, advice and news to win your league - all from the FFT podcast team.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Week 10 RB Rankings
- Najee Harris vs. DET -- This is a dream matchup for a guy who has one of the most valuable roles in the NFL right now. You'd like to see more than six targets over the last two games, but he's still getting 20-plus carries and dominating red zone work.
- Christian McCaffrey @ARI -- After one game where he played just 49% of the snaps, I'm assuming McCaffrey is back to his normal role. He had 14.6 PPR points in a half-game's worth of snaps.
- Austin Ekeler vs. MIN
- Jonathan Taylor vs. JAX -- Given the matchup and the run Taylor is on, you can make a very strong case for him to be the No. 1 RB right now. I don't think his workload quite justifies that, but we're splitting hairs here.
- D'Andre Swift @PIT -- The Steelers are a tough matchup for running backs, but the only concern for Swift, really, is that the Steelers don't really have the offense to force the Lions into having to chase big point totals, which is when Swift is at his best for Fantasy. That's a minor concern.
- Dalvin Cook @LAC -- Here's a weird fact that probably doesn't mean anything: The Vikings have just three rushing touchdowns this season, one of which came on Kirk Cousins' QB sneak last week.
- Ezekiel Elliott vs. ATL -- Elliott has struggled in two of three games, and it's fair to wonder if the knee injury he has been playing through might not be playing a part in that. It didn't help that the Cowboys offense just wasn't very good in Week 9, with Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, and Amari Cooper all dealing with injuries of their own. Context matters at running back, and the context in Dallas looks temporarily less than ideal.
- Cordarrelle Patterson @DAL -- Patterson has double-digit carries in just two games this season with two rushing touchdowns, which makes his ranking here all the more incredible. He is, for all intents and purposes, Atlanta's No. 2 WR right now.
- Aaron Jones vs. SEA -- Jones has never been a high-volume running back relative to his elite Fantasy peers, so he relies on playing in a very, very good offense to maintain his value. We saw in Week 9 what happens when that offense is no longer elite. Let's hope Aaron Rodgers is healthy for this week.
- Leonard Fournette @WAS
- Darrell Henderson @SF -- Henderson left Sunday's game with an ankle injury, which is, by my count, his fourth or fifth time leaving a game with an injury. I've wondered whether the Rams might not limit his usage moving forward a bit more, though we haven't really seen any evidence of that when he's been healthy.
- James Conner vs. CAR -- One thing you'll often see when a starting running back is the backup coming in and effectively taking on two different roles -- their own role plus the starter's. That's what we saw with Conner when Chase Edmonds went down last week -- though I supposed it's worth acknowledging that Conner isn't a true backup, but a complementary back. It's fair to wonder if they might get Eno Benjamin a bit more involved this week to limit Conner's exposure. Which is to say, maybe don't expect 21 carries and five targets while playing 77% of the snaps again, though I do still expect Conner to be a must-start player with Edmonds expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
- D'Ernest Johnson @NE
- Elijah Mitchell vs. LAR -- Mitchell's season-low eight carries might look like a red flag with Jeff Wilson coming off IR last week, but 49ers backs only got one carry besides Mitchell, so I'll take his five targets as a positive sign, instead.
- James Robinson @IND -- Robinson looks like a game-time decision for this week. If he plays, here's where I'll rank him; if he doesn't, Carlos Hyde would be in the 25-30 range.
- Darrel Williams @LV -- Williams has at least 19 touches in each start. Keep him active until Clyde Edwards-Helaire comes back.
- Mark Ingram @TEN -- We'll see if Kamara's injury keeps him out, but make sure Ingram isn't on waivers in any of your leagues, because he could be a top-24 RB this week if Kamara is out.
- Myles Gaskin vs. BAL -- If you get a chance to sell high on Gaskin, I would take it. He's at the point where pretty much the only thing he has going for him is his role, and roles are only temporary. If Malcolm Brown comes back or the Dolphins decide to see if Salvon Ahmed can give them a spark that Gaskin hasn't, he could be a bench warmer the rest of the way. I'll start him for now.
- Michael Carter vs. BUF -- Week 9 was a pretty big bust for Carter, who was targeted just twice after racking up 23 in the previous two games. Josh Johnson just didn't look his way when Mike White left the game. I'll still give him the benefit of the doubt as a starting-caliber Fantasy option, but this is a really tough matchup.
- Josh Jacobs vs. KC
- Alex Collins @GB -- Chris Carson (neck) is still out, and with Russell Wilson back, this could be a much better situation right now.
- Melvin Gordon vs. PHI
- Javonte Williams vs. PHI
- J.D. McKissic vs. TB -- This could be another good game for McKissic if Washington has throw a ton, and they should.
- Antonio Gibson vs. TB -- Hopefully the bye week gave Gibson the time off he needed to get his lingering shin issue behind him, because Week 8 was an alarming one for him -- he played just 33% of the snaps while rookie Jerat Patterson started to cut into his rushing game workload. If this is a three-man split moving forward, this is going to be way too high for Gibson.
- Devonta Freeman @MIA -- It's a great matchup, but I just have a hard time getting excited about a guy with one game of more than nine carries. If he finds the end zone, he'll be an RB2. If not, he'll probably be pretty fringe-y.
- Rhamondre Stevenson vs. CLE
- Zack Moss @NYJ
- Tony Pollard vs. ATL -- Keep an eye on Elliott's status with his knee injury, because Pollard would probably be a top-12 RB if Elliott had to miss time.
- Kenyan Drake vs. KC -- Josh Jacobs had to miss time in Week 9 with an injury, so keep an eye on his status in practice. I loved seeing Drake get eight targets Sunday, and he could be a viable starter if they make him a key part of the passing game moving forward.
- Nyheim Hines vs. JAX
- Jordan Howard @DEN -- Like Freeman but with a worse matchup. He has three touchdowns in two weeks, and he'll be a fine starter if he gets into the end zone again.
- AJ Dillon vs. SEA
- Adrian Peterson vs. NO -- Peterson sure looked like a 36-year-old street free agent in his first game while splitting carries three ways. Maybe he'll solidify a bigger role moving forward, but I wouldn't want to be relying on him in this matchup.
- Devin Singletary @NYJ
- Mike Davis @DAL -- Davis has four, nine, and nine carries over his past three games, with more than one catch in just one. He's here sort of by default because he's on the field so often that he may stumble into a touchdown or a five-target game in any given week.
- Ty Johnson vs. BUF
- Brandon Bolden vs. CLE
- Jeremy McNichols vs. NO -- Given how tough the Saints are to run against, maybe this is a better set up for McNichols as a pass-catcher. I don't have much faith in him, but it's possible.
- Jamaal Williams @PIT
- Boston Scott @DEN -- One interesting thing I noticed with the Eagles running backs is that, while Scott was on the field for 14 runs, only 10 of them were by him -- Jalen Hurts kept it on the other four. Contrast that with Howard, who got the ball on all 17 run plays he was on the field for. Maybe defenses are keying on Hurts' running ability a bit more when Howard is on the field, which could help explain why he's had a bit more room.
- J.J. Taylor vs. CLE
- Matt Breida @NYJ
- Alexander Mattison @LAC
- Kenneth Gainwell @DEN
- Sony Michel @SF
- Jaret Patterson vs. TB
- Eno Benjamin vs. CAR
2021 NFL jerseys now available
The new NFL season is here! Win or lose, you can shop jerseys, shirts, hats, and much more to support your favorite team. Shop here and show your colors.
We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.