Week 10 Running Back Preview: Jaylen Samuels a must-start again without James Conner

James Conner is out again for the Pittsburgh Steelers which means you should go right back to Jaylen Samuels in your starting limneup. The more interesting decision is what to do with his teammate, Trey Edmunds.

It was a surprise in Week 9 when Edmunds saw 12 carries to Samuels' eight. Outside of a 45-yard run from Edmunds, neither back found much success on the ground, but Edmunds' 73 yards in the box score probably means is role isn't getting smaller. 

Unfortunately for Edmunds he's facing a Rams defense allowing just 3.6 yards per carry. That, together with a negative game script, could mean more passing, and Samuels dominated targets last week, with 13. Edmunds did not receive a target.

Gus Edwards isn't a bad comp for Edmunds' value this week. He could see 10 to 12 touches and you're really hoping he falls into the end zone. Most weeks you don't even consider starting that guy, but with six teams on a bye he's a low-end flex. 

But he's not the best player available on the waiver wire.

Week 10 RB Preview
RB Preview
Who's Out

The following players are not being projected to play Week 10 at this time. Here's what it means:

MIA Miami • #22
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Kalen Ballage is one of the worst backs in the league, but he may get enough volume to be a flex against the Colts.
RB Preview
Numbers to know
  • 20% - Target share for Le'Veon Bell, the highest mark among running backs. If his knee is OK, I'd expect a big game sooner than later.
  • 22.4 - Touches per game for Nick Chubb. Kareem Hunt is back in Week 10 and the Browns plan to use him. I have Chubb projected for 18 touches this week, but we'll watch the split closely.
  • 6.7 - Yards per carry for Devin Singletary. He won't keep that up, but I do expect he'll be one of the more efficient backs in football.
  • 5.2% - Broken tackle rate for David Johnson. Both Chase Edmonds and Kenyan Drake have delivered big games in his absence. It will be interesting to see the touch distribution with Johnson back.
  • 19 - Targets for Jamaal Williams over the past four games. That keeps him flex viable in PPR even after the touchdown luck runs dry.
  • 6 - Snaps for LeSean McCoy in Week 9. The pendulum has swung back in Damien Williams' favor, but I have no confidence it will stay there.
RB Preview
Matchups that matter
Matchups that Matter
Projections powered by Sportsline
CHI Chicago • #32
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs DET CHI -2.5 O/U 42.5
OPP VS RB
30th
PROJ PTS
12.8
RB RNK
24th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
406
REC
18
REYDS
133
TD
5
FPTS/G
11.6
BUF Buffalo • #26
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CLE CLE -2.5 O/U 40.5
OPP VS RB
16th
PROJ PTS
8.8
RB RNK
25th
YTD Stats
RUYDS
267
REC
12
REYDS
103
TD
3
FPTS/G
12.6
LAR L.A. Rams • #30
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ PIT LAR -3.5 O/U 45
OPP VS RB
5th
PROJ PTS
10.5
RB RNK
NR
YTD Stats
RUYDS
355
REC
15
REYDS
81
TD
7
FPTS/G
13.4
RB Preview
Waiver Wire Targets
Week 10 Adds
DET Detroit • #31
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Ownership
47%
Johnson got 12 touches last week and I'd expect him to be more efficient than he was in Week 9, at least in the passing game. If there's any indication at all from the Lions that they want McKissic more involved, I'd move him ahead of Johnson.
DET Detroit • #41
Age: 26 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Ownership
39%
McKissic has been by far the most productive Lions back since Kerryon Johnson's injury, but seven touches seems to be his ceiling so far. He's a fine flex due to all the byes.
MIA Miami • #27
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
60%
Ballage gets a big opportunity with Walton suspended, but it's hard to overstate how bad he's been. He's averaging 2 yards per carry and has only caught 33.3% of the passes thrown his way. Still, I'd expect 15 touches against a fine matchup this week, so he's flex-worthy.
PIT Pittsburgh • #33
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
5%
Edmunds looked like the better running back on Sunday and is not a bad deep-league flex until James Conner returns. I'd still expect Samuels to be much better, especially in PPR.
MIA Miami • #37
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Ownership
14%
As bad as Ballage has been, it's probably not a bad idea to stash the only other healthy back on the Dolphins with the hope that he falls into volume. Gaskin was a seventh-round pick and hasn't seen the field yet, but he did rush for more than 5,000 yards and 57 touchdowns at Washington. He's worth a speculative add in any league deeper than 12 teams.
Stashes
MIN Minnesota • #25
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Ownwership
57%
You know the drill. Mattison is one Dalvin Cook injury away from being a top-10 running back.
WAS Washington • #29
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
57%
Guice is a top stash priority. He's supposed to be back for Week 11, and that's right when the run schedule gets easier for Washington.
DAL Dallas • #20
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Ownership
33%
Much like Mattison, Pollard is just one injury away from a featured role in a very good situation. I prefer Mattison because of Cook's injury history, but both Pollard and Mattison need to be rostered virtually everywhere.
BAL Baltimore • #35
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Ownership
14%
Edwards is looking at 15-20 touches per game with goal-line opportunities if Ingram goes down.
RB Preview
DFS Plays
Top Plays
NO New Orleans • #41
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Week 10 Prices
FanDuel
$8,300
DraftKings
$8,200
What a way to welcome back Kamara, with a home game against the Atlanta Falcons. This is one of the worst defenses in the league, and I expect Kamara to gash them, even if he does share slightly more with Latavius Murray. They finally priced Christian McCaffrey high enough that he's not the top running back play.
Contrarian Plays
ATL Atlanta • #24
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Week 10 Prices
FanDuel
$6,200
DraftKings
$5,100
The Saints run defense is very tough but I'm counting on Freeman to get it done through the air. He's scored at least 14 PPR points in the passing game alone in four of his past five games.
RB Preview
Heath's Projections

Non-PPR Rank

PPR Rank

RB

FPTs

PPR FPTs

2

1

Alvin Kamara

20.49

26.51

3

2

Dalvin Cook

19.91

24.27

1

3

Christian McCaffrey

21.32

24.04

5

4

Saquon Barkley

17.57

23.08

4

5

Ezekiel Elliott

18.98

22.10

8

6

Aaron Jones

17.10

20.62

6

7

Marlon Mack

17.57

19.44

7

8

Josh Jacobs

17.14

18.66

9

9

Mark Ingram

15.87

18.52

11

10

Chris Carson

14.45

17.31

17

11

Devonta Freeman

12.22

17.14

10

12

Nick Chubb

14.65

16.77

13

13

David Johnson

13.10

16.45

16

14

Le'Veon Bell

12.23

16.07

21

15

Austin Ekeler

11.26

15.64

15

16

Devin Singletary

12.79

15.44

12

17

Tevin Coleman

13.52

15.34

27

18

Jaylen Samuels

9.28

14.72

20

19

Melvin Gordon

11.63

14.55

14

20

Derrick Henry

13.01

14.26

19

21

David Montgomery

11.67

14.00

25

22

Jamaal Williams

9.55

13.84

22

23

Latavius Murray

10.89

13.83

18

24

Ronald Jones

11.68

13.40

23

25

Matt Breida

10.70

12.38

24

26

Todd Gurley

10.25

12.27

26

27

Damien Williams

9.51

11.62

28

28

Ty Johnson

9.03

11.45

29

29

JD McKissic

8.64

11.13

30

30

Joe Mixon

8.41

10.30

38

31

Tarik Cohen

5.17

9.33

32

32

Kenyan Drake

6.68

8.00

35

33

Kalen Ballage

6.35

7.82

33

34

Frank Gore

7

7.17

36

35

Lesean McCoy

5.86

7.11

40

36

Myles Gaskin

4.26

6.82

34

37

Gus Edwards

6.55

6.79

31

38

Trey Edmunds

6.76

6.76

So who should you sit and start this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 10 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

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