Week 11 Rushing Matchups

by Justin Howe, Devin Knotts, and Keith Roberts, Exclusive to Footballguys.com

Jump to Passing Matchups

Great Matchups: [KC] [NYG]
Good Matchups: [BUF] [DEN] [LAC] [MIA] [NE] [OAK] [SEA] [TB]
Neutral Matchups: [CHI] [DET] [GB] [PHI]
Tough Matchups: [ARI] [ATL] [BAL] [CIN] [HOU] [MIN] [NO] [PIT] [TEN]
Bad Matchups: [CLE] [DAL] [JAX] [LAR] [WAS]


PLEASE NOTE: This does NOT replace the Cheatsheet ranking. The Cheatsheet rankings are the final say on where we see a player for that week. The Matchup Breakdowns are simply one more tool in the box when it comes to helping choose your lineup.

Also note, just because a player has a "bad" matchup, it does NOT mean he's not a starter in your league. If Tom Brady is playing the toughest pass defense in the league, that just means he's got a tough matchup that week. He's also your starter unless you're loaded at QB. In the same way, if the worst QB on your roster has a "great" matchup that week, it doesn't necessarily mean he's your starter. It means we think he'll fare better than normal that week.

Bottom line is that the cheatsheets are the final say.


Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Offense at New York Giants Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

The Chiefs rushing game has stagnated as Kareem Hunt who got off to a tremendous start this season, has not scored a rushing touchdown in six weeks. Hunt is also averaging just 47 yards per game over his last four games so it is clear that this offense is not in sync as it was early in the season. Hunt’s production this season has been predicated by the big play which he had a 50 yard or longer run in each of his first three games this season.

While this Giants team has largely given up in the secondary, this defensive line is still putting an effort as Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson have both been terrific on the season against the run. The problem is that once a running back gets past the defensive line, the linebackers or safeties are not coming up to make tackles. We saw last week where Carlos Hyde had two 20 yard runs and Matt Breida had a 33-yard run. This has been a problem for most of the season as the Giants are allowing the third most rushing yards to opponents on the season with 133 yards per game. This could be a game where there are a lot of no gain plays for Hunt especially up the middle against Tomlinson and Harrison, but he has the opportunity to break several long-runs.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New York Giants Rushing Offense vs Kansas City Chiefs Rushing Defense (Great Matchup)

For as bad as the defensive effort has been over the last few weeks, the offense of the Giants has a lot to still prove. Orleans Darkwa is a big part of this as the running back is taking advantage of the opportunity given to him due to the injury and ineffectiveness of Paul Perkins. Darkwa over his last two games going up is averaging 4.7 yards per carry. However, it is to be noted that both of these were very good matchups for Darkwa as he faced two of the worst run defenses in football in the 49ers and Rams who are both in the bottom ten against the run this season.

The Chiefs rushing defense has really struggled this season as they are allowing 131 yards per game rushing to opponents this season and are allowing 155 yards per game over their last three contest. The Chiefs did cut Roy Miller after an off-the-field issue and will promote Rakeem Nunez-Sanchez who has also struggled this season at defensive end. Reggie Ragland at linebacker and Daniel Sorensen have both been defensive liabilities for this team.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Buffalo Bills Rushing Offense at Los Angeles Chargers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

LeSean McCoy has remained a fantasy RB1, but it’s been far closer to the “skin of teeth” pole than to last year’s dominance. Here in 2017, McCoy has really only been fantasy-usable on pure rushing numbers three times thus far; he’s depended heavily on his hefty receiving numbers to even sniff the RB1 numbers expected of him. He’s been held under 50 yards in 4 full games, and he’s only topped 70 in 4 others. He does appear to be on a bit of an upswing: he’s averaged 4.51 yards per rush over his last 4 games, compared to just 3.21 to open the year. It’s only fair to allow time to gel with the new blocking schemes put in place by coordinator Rick Dennison. Still, McCoy simply hasn’t shown more than flashes of major rushing greatness, and we have to keep expecting some week-to-week volatility regardless of matchup. It’s also concerning just how often the Bills opt to spell him in short yardage – Tyrod Taylor and No. 2 back Mike Tolbert have taken 38% of the Bills’ rushes with 1-2 yards needed for a first down or touchdown, and they’ve converted at a much better rate (30%) than McCoy has (13%).

Earlier in the season, the Chargers served as arguably the optimal matchup to target with opposing backs on most given weeks. And at this moment they’ve allowed more yards per game than any other team (second-most to running backs). But they’ve tightened a bit in recent weeks and held Leonard Fournette to just 33 yards on 17 attempts in Week 10. In fact, they haven’t allowed an opposing back to top 63 yards since Week 5. Still, it makes more sense to expect a return to their turnstile days of the early season. Most of this recent stretch has been aided by matchup and game script, and lead backs are still finding success, so this unit looks exceptionally vulnerable to committed rushing attacks. LeSean McCoy’s outlook is better this week than most.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Denver Broncos Rushing Offense vs Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

C.J. Anderson and his backfield mates looked sharp in Week 10, cutting through the Patriots’ Swiss cheese run defense for 116 yards on 24 rushes. It ultimately meant little in a blowout loss, but it’s comforting to know that Anderson and Jamaal Charles can still exploit a hole and that Brock Osweiler’s poor play doesn’t necessarily doom the backfield’s value. That said, we have to take any performance against New England with a grain of salt: they’re allowing more yards per carry than anyone. And as a pair, Anderson and Charles had averaged just 66.3 yards per game and 3.90 per rush over the previous 4 weeks, and backfield partner Devontae Booker hasn’t provided much of a spark. Even with the offensive line playing so well, without real signs of life from the passing game, we’ll likely need great, Patriots-esque matchups to be able to trust this unit in fantasy.

The Bengals run defense continues to look more and more like a liability. They’ve been generally strong from an efficiency standpoint, allowing a decent 3.94 yards per rush, but have been bled senseless by relentless, volume-heavy running games. With shaky run support from the linebackers – Vontaze Burfict can’t literally be everywhere – and the secondary, the Bengals’ stout front line play often goes for naught. They tightened up a bit in Week 10, but gave up several chunk runs (3 runs of 20+ yards, all by different Titans), ultimately allowing a third game of 149+ ground yards over a 4-week span. This isn’t the juiciest of matchups by any means, but it’s one that C.J. Anderson and/or Jamaal Charles can exploit with strong second-level running.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Los Angeles Chargers Rushing Offense vs Buffalo Bills Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Melvin Gordon’s hit-or-miss NFL career has continued unabated into his third season. To be sure: Gordon hasn’t been hit-or-miss as an overall fantasy producer. He’s a three-down bell cow and a goal-line dynamo, and with 14 touchdowns over 21 full games as a starter, he’s a studly RB1 choice on any given week. What’s fluctuating is his game-by-game efficiency; Gordon has averaged just 3.75 yards over his 585 career rushes, finishing under 4.00 in a whopping 20 of those 35 full games. Much of the blame for that can be placed on his line, which was atrocious last year and improving marginally in 2017. Gordon consistently breaks away for chunk runs, so we know he’s capable of true excellence when the blocking is there. He’s just not a strong weekly stab at an efficient, 25-for-125 type of line. Here in 2017, Gordon has produced 4 games of 79+ yards and 4 more under 40. You absolutely want Gordon, just not for his pure rushing production.

The Bills run defense, a dominant unit and a primary team strength to open the season, has been flat-out eviscerated in its last two games. After allowing just 80.1 yards per game over the first 7 games, the Bills have since given up 194 to the Jets and a staggering 298 to the Saints. New Orleans actually compiled 300 yards, thanks to 100-yard days from both Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, before a pair of game-ending kneel-downs. It’s hard to pinpoint the root cause of these two blowups; Marcell Dareus’ trade has had some impact, though he was only seeing 29% of Buffalo snaps before he was dealt. It’s more likely a byproduct of the team’s talent-deprived linebacker corps being so frequently washed out of plays. Middle man Preston Brown in particular has often been invisible on interior runs and in pursuit. We can still believe somewhat in this unit, which had been truly dominant early on, albeit against weaker competition. But at the moment they look completely out of sorts, so Melvin Gordon boasts arguably Week 11’s best Xs-and-Os matchup.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Miami Dolphins Rushing Offense vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Typically, when a backup quarterback steps under center for multiple games, the team goes somewhat underwater with a high-risk, low-reward passer. With Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, the Buccaneers don’t project to the bottom of that barrel, but they’ll be highly volatile. Fitzpatrick tends to vacillate from solid to devastatingly bad; he can win or sink fantasy weeks on his own. He was a borderline QB1 for much of 2015 with the Jets, and he threw for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns in garbage-fueled relief in Week 6 of this year. But neither of those situations are relevant to our evaluation of him for Week 11, and he looked quite bad (187 yards and 1 touchdown on 34 attempts, with 1 interception) in last week’s start. As a result, it’s hard to outright expect anything strong. He’ll get a nice boost from Mike Evans’ return, and given the team’s firepower, there’s a nice ceiling in play here. But for Fitzpatrick, like most backup passers, the bottom falling out projects to be horrendous.

The Dolphins’ flailing pass defense couldn’t be happier to see Ryan Fitzpatrick come to town. Miami has struggled all season to rush the passer or cover on the boundaries, and as a result they’re allowing the 11th-most net yards per attempt. Cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley have allowed numerous splash plays; opponents have thrown touchdowns of 29+ yards in 5 straight games. There’s a chance they’ll get a bit of a “breather” with aging scattershot Fitzpatrick under center this week, but this remains a targetable unit that hemorrhages big plays. Fitzpatrick should be able to maximize whatever he can muster for Week 11.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New England Patriots Rushing Offense at Oakland Raiders Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Patriots’ backfield carousel might actually be slowing – or even stopping. With plodding Mike Gillislee out of the rotation entirely, the Patriots are now piecing together their running game with fewer moving parts. Dion Lewis has looked tremendous of late, racking up 277 yards and 2 touchdowns (plus a score on a kickoff return) over the past 5 weeks. He’s clearly the default lead man of this group, and he consistently projects to 55-80 yards and a coin flip shot at a touchdown, but his value is eaten into by the depth of the backfield. Rex Burkhead spells Lewis often, while third down back James White also chimes in a few generally effective carries each week. Still, Lewis himself looks like the lead dog in a dynamic offense, one that consistently puts him near the goal line, so he deserves plenty of RB3/flex attention while bye weeks are rampant. Just don’t expect many fireworks, apart from perhaps a touchdown-heavy day when game script cooperates fully.

The Raiders run defense remains relatively porous and easy to compile chunk runs against. They tend to allow grinding, gradually efficient days always one long run or short touchdown from week-winning lines. On the season, they’ve given up an average of 4.63 yards per carry and 92.6 per game to opposing lead backs, along with plenty of peripheral production from committee runners. Simply put, this is a unit to target heavily with opposing bell cows, though it’s hard to parse the value opportunity for the Patriots’ muddied, pass-based arsenal. We can project Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead to strong efficiency, though, if not monstrous overall rushing lines.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Oakland Raiders Rushing Offense vs New England Patriots Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Marshawn Lynch showed signs of life in Week 10, picking up 57 yards on 14 carries, but it’s discouraging to note that it was just the third time all season he’d averaged 4.00+ yards in a full game. Sitting at just 3.76 on the year, Lynch doesn’t currently look capable of getting much more than what’s created by his elite offensive line; in fact, many NFL runners would probably outdo him handily. Latavius Murray bested that over his 2 seasons as lead dog in Oakland, and current committee partner Jalen Richard (4.29 per rush) has shown far more dynamism. Lynch’s best bet for fantasy fireworks lies in his touchdown potential,

While the Patriots have tightened up somewhat in terms of pass defense, their run-stuffing unit remains an absolute sieve. They’re allowing 4.95 yards per rush, by far the most in the league, and opposing running backs are posting the seventh-most PPR points per game. (That’s a mark made even more shocking when we note how often Patriots opponents are forced to abandon the run early.) They’ve allowed massive efficiency to most of the lead backs they’ve faced, including recent dates with Devonta Freeman (12 carries for 72 yards), Melvin Gordon (14 for 132 and 1 touchdown), and C.J. Anderson (10 for 54). The trick, of course, is to identify the weeks in which the Patriots will be held close by their opponent. Anytime we can project that lead back to 15+ attempts, he’s generally a wise play.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Seattle Seahawks Rushing Offense vs Atlanta Falcons Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

The Seahawks struggled yet again on the ground last week, amassing just 75 yards on 23 carries behind more bad offensive line play as newly added left tackle Duane Brown went down with an ankle injury and did not return. Thomas Rawls led the way with 10 carries but only 27 yards despite his big opportunity for early-down work with Eddie Lacy sidelined. CJ Prosise had just returned to the mix from a right ankle injury when he went down again last week with what is now a left ankle injury, leaving only J.D. McKissic to back up Rawls if both Lacy and Prosise miss this week. Russell Wilson continues to be a big factor in the Seahawks ground game, but he just amassed 19 rushing yards last week. If Duane Brown misses time, look for Wilson to again put on the burners as he has to carry this Seahawks rushing offense.

The Falcons had a tough time containing a Cowboys rushing offense that was missing both their star running back and left tackle last week. While they only allowed 107 yards, the Cowboys only had 21 rush attempts, meaning they gained over five yards per carry. The Falcons have done a good job at limiting scoring from opposing running backs as they have only allowed three rushing touchdowns to the position this season (just one in their last seven games), but they haven’t been a very efficient unit as they are giving up 4.3 yards per carry. Dak Prescott ran wild for 42 yards and a touchdown last week. This comes just one week after Cam Newton posted 86 rushing yards and a touchdown of his own against the Falcons. Russell Wilson has to be licking his chops this week, as Wilson has shown to be one of the most dynamic mobile quarterbacks in the league. While the Seahawks offensive line will struggle with this defensive front with or without Duane Brown, Russell Wilson should find room to run as he always does.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rushing Offense at Miami Dolphins Rushing Defense (Good Matchup)

Doug Martin – and the Buccaneers running game as a whole – continues to look wholly ordinary. As a former first-round pick, Martin carries the reputation of a dynamic athlete always on the brink of a breakout, but that simply doesn’t seem to be the case. Over his last 13 full games, Martin has averaged a pitiful 3.06 yards per carry and just 54.1 per game. He didn’t boost it any last week, totaling just 51 yards on 20 attempts. He’s not a factor on the goal line, the main reason he’s scored just 5 touchdowns over those 13 games, and he hasn’t found the end zone in any of his last 4. At this point, Martin is only playable in the most extreme of cherry matchups, and this isn’t one of those. Jacquizz Rodgers and third down back Charles Sims work their way into the picture at times, but only situationally – neither poses any real threat to Martin’s workload. It’s fair to expect more mediocrity going forward, with Martin wheezing to whatever’s blocked for him and the Tampa Bay offense remaining one-dimensional.

The Dolphins run defense opened 2017 strongly, even with new inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons mysteriously AWOL to start the year. They allowed just 82.3 yards per game over their first 6, thoroughly shutting down Melvin Gordon as well as the running games of New Orleans, Tennessee, and Atlanta. But they’ve suffered a massive nosedive of late, with the Ravens (174 yards) and Panthers (294) both snapping out of mediocrity to shred them badly. Last week was particularly egregious: the Dolphins watched as Jonathan Stewart, Cam Newton, Cameron Artis-Payne, and Christian McCaffrey, ineffective on the ground all season, literally took turns gashing them up and down the field. With shaky, aging play at linebacker and tackling issues all over the formation, not even the brilliant play of tackle Ndamukong Suh looks sufficient to stem the bleeding. This is fast becoming a thoroughly targetable unit.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Chicago Bears Rushing Offense vs Detroit Lions Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Bears rushing offense could not find a rhythm last week against the Packers as Jordan Howard put up a horrible fantasy stat line with 15 carries for just 54 yards and no touchdowns. Howard has shown extreme inconsistency this season despite his very encouraging workload. He has averaged less than 3.7 yards per carry with 65 and 54 yards, no touchdowns, and no use in the passing game in two of his last four games. In those other two games, Howard rushed for 162 and 102 yards with at least one reception as well. Considering he has not scored a touchdown since Week 4, Howard’s floor should be considered extremely low on a weekly basis.

The Lions are one of only three teams to have allowed 10 or more rushing touchdowns on the season, but opposing offenses are only averaging just over 100 rushing yards per game against them as they have done a good job at limiting efficiency on the ground. Last week, however, this was an entirely different story as they were gashed by the Browns for 201 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Three players had over 50 rushing yards here as both running backs averaged over five yards per carry while DeShone Kizer racked up 57 yards himself. Not counting the last two weeks, the Lions had allowed a net of zero rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks, including holding Cam Newton to no rushing yards. In their last two games, they have allowed 22 and 57 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of the young quarterbacks they have faced. While Mitchell Trubisky didn’t show much on the ground last week, he is an athletic quarterback with the ability to run—so look for him to take a few chances this week. The Lions have allowed a couple of 100+ yard rushers this season and nearly let Crowell get there last week. With the volume normally allotted to Jordan Howard, this could be a bounce-back opportunity for him—but the Lions still have some talent up front, such as Anthony Zettel and and Tahir Whitehead, to be reckoned with. This should be a boom or bust matchup for Howard considering his inability to find the end zone compared to the Lions’ touchdown generosity to opposing running backs.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Detroit Lions Rushing Offense at Chicago Bears Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Lions had a good showing on the ground last week as Ameer Abdullah rushed 11 times for 52 yards and a touchdown, including a 20-yard run in the first quarter followed by an 8-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that accounted for most of his productivity. Considering the fact that the Lions were not playing from behind and both Theo Riddick’s and Dwayne Washington’s snap percentages went down this week, Abdullah’s usage was a big letdown after a season-high 21 carries the week prior against the Packers. Riddick saw four carries here and looked great as he busted one for 21 yards to finish with 35 yards overall. The Lions offensive line had been struggling this season, but they activated both Taylor Decker and Corey Robinson last week, both of whom had decent games. If T.J. Lang can return from the concussion protocol this week, this offensive line will be back to full strength.

The Bears defense really struggled against a multitude of Packers runners last week as they allowed a combined 160 rushing yards on 37 attempts with the Packers leaning hard on their ground game to salt away the win. This was the biggest game an opposing rushing offense has had against the Bears this season as they looked sloppy with their tackling all day. Akiem Hicks looked great, but outside of that, the Bears front seven underwhelmed here. Their defensive line is a talented bunch, but the Bears linebackers are stretched thin due to injuries throughout the season. If the Lions actually trust their ground game here, they could put up some numbers—but much of that will also depend on the health of their offensive line if T.J. Lang can return.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Green Bay Packers Rushing Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Packers backfield is certainly in flux right now as both Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery got banked up last week. Montgomery re-injured his ribs that have kept him either out or limited in the Packers’ last four games, and he is questionable coming into this week. Jones has already been ruled out for this week as he is expected to miss anywhere from three to six weeks with a sprained MCL. If Montgomery is out, that will leave the duo of Jamaal Williams and Devonte Mays holding down the Packers backfield. Williams got 20 carries last week in relief of Jones, so he is the lead candidate for feature back duties with Mays likely to back him up. Williams played hard last week with some bruising runs behind the Packers underwhelming offensive line, gaining over 50 yards after contact based on sheer grit. His fresh legs should be helpful to this offense that has been banged up all season.

The Ravens played very well against the run in their last game as they held Titans running backs to just 2.6 yards per attempt and one rushing touchdown. This was the Ravens’ second game in a row to hold opposing running backs to under 50 total rushing yards, this coming after back to back weeks allowing over 150 rushing yards per game to the position. On a yards per game basis, the Ravens rank fifth worst in the league with 125.9 rushing yards allowed on average. However, they can be smothering to an opposing backfield on any given week as most of the yards allowed have come from three big games. The Packers offensive line should struggle in this matchup as Brian Bulaga’s replacement Justin McCray has not played well at all, and the Ravens should be able to put plenty in the box to defend against the run while containing Brett Hundley.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Offense at Dallas Cowboys Rushing Defense (Neutral Matchup)

The Eagles rushing offense has had many faces this season with five running backs having received eight or more carries in a game this season. Their last game added that fifth face as the newly acquired Jay Ajayi had a great debut with 77 rushing yards and a touchdown. Ajayi was relatively limited in his snap count with only 17, but he still carried eight times. Corey Clement led the Eagles in snaps and carries while he scored a couple rushing touchdowns himself. LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood also still remain involved here as the Eagles have openly committed to taking the committee approach at running back this season. It is obviously working, and while Ajayi should look to be more involved after the bye week, this backfield should still be relatively split.

The Cowboys run defense was thrust into a bad game script last week as the Falcons amassed 132 rushing yards on 34 carries in their victory. We have seen solid outings from this Cowboys front seven against the run, including holding Kareem Hunt to only 37 rushing yards in the game prior. Maliek Collins has been a weak spot on that defensive line, but the rest their starters have all played very well in run defense. Sean Lee being back at linebacker had been a massive help, but Lee went down with a hamstring injury in the first quarter and would not return. Lee now finds himself back on the injury report for the second time this season and is expected to miss a couple of games with this most recent injury. The Cowboys were looking very stout against the run up until last week, but keep in mind that the Falcons have one of the best offensive lines in football. The loss of Sean Lee will be a big one for the Cowboys run defense, but the Eagles have a mid-to-lower tier offensive line, so the rest of the Cowboys front seven should be able to put up a fight.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Arizona Cardinals Rushing Offense at Houston Texans Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Cardinals have been a roller coaster ride with their running game since the acquisition of Adrian Peterson. In the four games since acquiring him, they have had two games where Peterson had 130 or more yards and two games where Peterson had less than 30 yards and averaged less than two yards per carry. One big issue for the Cardinals is not the lack of talent, as they have some very talented guards in Alex Boone and Earl Watford, but the challenge has been production as at times they just do not look like a cohesive unit on the field.

The Texans run defense has been one of the best run defenses in football primarily due to the fact that they have only allowed one rushing touchdown this season to running backs. The Texans are only allowing 77 yards per game to opposing running backs and only 96 yards per game which is the seventh best in football. This is a defensive front that is led by JaDeveon Clowney and D.J. Reader both who have been tremendous against the run this season while rookie Zach Cunningham has shown tremendous growth throughout the season which has greatly benefitted this run defense.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Atlanta Falcons Rushing Offense at Seattle Seahawks Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The big news for the Falcons backfield over the past week is the injury to Devonta Freeman. Freeman suffered his second concussion of the season last week and remains in the league’s concussion protocol. He is not expected to play this week, meaning Tevin Coleman gets a massive upgrade. Coleman had been consistently seeing an average of around 25 snaps per game while Freeman was averaging around 40 snaps. Freeman’s absence leaves a big door open for Coleman to play upwards of 70% of the snaps with the majority of the carries going his way, including goal-line carries as we saw him punch in a touchdown from the one-yard line last week. Coleman is averaging nearly five yards per carry this season, and he has eclipsed 80 yards in both games with double-digit rushing attempts.

The Seahawks front seven had yet another outstanding performance last week as they smothered the Cardinals ground game, allowing just 34 yards on 24 rush attempts. While this extreme performance can be attributed partly to banged up Cardinals offensive line and partly to an overused Adrian Peterson, the Seahawks still looked outstanding against the run. Led by Bobby Wagner as their best run defending linebacker and a solid front four on the defensive line, the Seahawks have been a tough team to run against all season as they are allowing the fifth fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Atlanta has a very good offensive line though, ranked in the top-5 according to Matt Bitonti of Footballguys. While this is certainly a tougher run defense, Atlanta’s line matches up well against them while Tevin Coleman should have every opportunity to prove his worth without sharing much of the workload.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Baltimore Ravens Rushing Offense at Green Bay Packers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Ravens backfield has been a tag team for most of this season, and it looks to get even murkier if Danny Woodhead can make his way back on the field this week after spending most of the season on injured reserve. Collins has out-touched Allen in each of their last four games as he appears to be the clear first and second-down back. However, as we saw in their last game against the Titans, Allen will get the nod when the Ravens are playing from behind as he is definitely their primary pass-catcher since Collins has only three receptions on the season compared to Allen’s 45. A Woodhead return would definitely cut into Allen’s upside significantly though, so keep an eye out for that.

The Packers have been solid against the run in most games this season, ranking eighth using DVOA while allowing just 3.9 yards per rush attempt. From a talent perspective, their defensive front seven is stacked with Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark playing outstanding on the interior while Blake Martinez has clearly been their best run-defending linebacker. The Ravens offensive line is particularly weak at the guard position, so this is a matchup that the strong defensive interior of the Packers should dominate.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Cincinnati Bengals Rushing Offense at Denver Broncos Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Joe Mixon continues to fight desperately for yardage behind a barrel-bottom offensive line, and the results haven’t been pretty. Mixon is showcasing his athleticism when able, but the results just haven’t been there. The ultra-explosive rookie is averaging just 3.07 yards per rush and 39.4 per game over 7 weeks as the lead back. With Jeremy Hill on IR, change-of-pace back Giovani Bernard is the only game in town when it comes to keeping Mixon fresh. But he’s far more valuable to the Bengals than to fantasy owners; this is Mixon’s show, for better or worse, and it does feel as though a monster rushing line is on the horizon. It’s just hard to project one behind such shoddy blocking. While the Broncos run defense has slipped noticeably, they still look stout enough to join the ranks of defenses who swarm the Bengals’ overmanned front line and keep Mixon and Bernard in check.

The Broncos remain a generally tough run defense, but cracks are showing. After allowing just 50.8 yards over the first 4 games, shutting down the likes of Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott, and LeSean McCoy, they’ve given up 120.6 since. Along the way, they’ve been shredded by quick, versatile runners like Orleans Darkwa and Jay Ajayi, and last week Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead easily ground out the Patriots’ win in the second half. The personnel remains mostly stout, though, and it’s mostly game flow killing this unit – the team is finding itself pinned tightly by its woeful offense. As a result, it’s fair to expect them to mostly corral Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard – as long as the game doesn’t get out of hand. If the Bengals jump to a lead, Mixon could enjoy his true NFL breakout on second-half production.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Houston Texans Rushing Offense vs Arizona Cardinals Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Since DeShaun Watson going down to injury earlier this season, the Texans have been forced to abandon the run at times due to falling behind early as Lamar Miller is only averaging 10.5 carries per game since Watson went down. While the offense is still productive, averaging 4.3 yards per carry on the season, it is an offense that needs to stay competitive to keep the volume high as when they are running the ball they do have a very good rushing offense even with the departure of Duane Brown to Seattle.

The Cardinals rush defense on the season have been very tough against the run as they are sixth in terms of the fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs and on the season are allowing just 78 yards to running backs which ranks as the seventh best in football. The Cardinals are a unit that is better as a sum of their parts rather than individuals as while Corey Peters at defensive tackle has been very good this season, the Cardinals have had one of the worst linebacker play in football with Deone Bucannon and Karlos Dansby both struggling. The safety play has led the way in run stopping as they have prevented big plays this season as both Antoine Bethea and Tyvon Branch have been excellent at stopping the run this season.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Minnesota Vikings Rushing Offense vs Los Angeles Rams Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

Latavius Murray continued to see the majority of the looks in this Vikings backfield last week as he out-carried Jerick Mckinnon 17-to-12, rushing for 68 yards and a touchdown. Murray has now out-scored McKinnon in two of the last three games while seeing equal or more carries in every game since Week 5. Murray has not looked great, but he is the lead option for early-down work for the Vikings. McKinnon has really struggled as of late, which is likely why he has seen fewer opportunities. He has averaged just 3.4 yards per rush attempt over the last three games after averaging 5.3 yards per attempt in his first two games as a split-starter. While McKinnon may have the higher ceiling due to his pass-catching upside, Murray clearly has the floor due to his consistent volume of carries and usage on early downs or goal line situations.

The Rams are rolling out one of the best interior defender duos in the game with Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers. Both have been outstanding against the run and pass for this entire season. The Rams have not allowed a rushing touchdown in any of their last three games, holding opposing running backs to the second-fewest fantasy points per game. They showed some vulnerability earlier in the season allowing 130 rushing yards to Leonard Fournette in Week 6, over 160 rushing yards to the Dallas running backs in Week 4, and a staggering 222 rushing yards to a trio of Redskins running backs in Week 2. Outside of those games though, the Rams have been very efficient against opposing running backs. This week they face a weaker Vikings offensive line that is still missing their right tackle while experiencing poor play from the left side of their line.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


New Orleans Saints Rushing Offense vs Washington Redskins Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

This New Orleans rushing offense has become one of the best units in football since the release of Adrian Peterson as they have created an identity with both Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram both who have been tremendous since the trade as Mark Ingram is the number one overall fantasy running back and Alvin Kamara is the number three overall fantasy running back since the team traded Peterson.

Washington’s run defense has been struggling recently with the loss of one of the breakout players of the season in Matt Ioannidis, but it looks like he will be potentially returning this week as the team cut Brandon Banks. In the first six weeks of the season, the Redskins allowed only 66 yards rushing per game and since then have allowed 98 yards rushing per game. On the season, the Redskins have held opposing running backs to the ninth-fewest rushing yards at just 80 per game, but in terms of overall rushing they allow 109.6 yards per game allowing 26 yards per game to quarterbacks which is the highest in the league and five yards to wide receivers. Thankfully for the Redskins they are not going to have to defend a running quarterback this week. If Ioannidis plays, this is a big upgrade for the Redskins in this game and it looks like at the moment he is going to.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Offense vs Tennessee Titans Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

LeVeon Bell is, his volume and touchdown production aside, struggling noticeably. His Week 10 letdown wasn’t entirely out of the blue: the Colts have been surprisingly stout against lead backs DeMarco Murray, Chris Ivory, and Joe Mixon in recent weeks. Still, Bell is a different animal than any of those, and he should’ve produced more than 80 ground yards on 26 attempts. His 2017 numbers (3.82 yards per carry, 93.3 per game) are quite strong but below what we’ve come to expect from his 2014-16 brilliance (4.88 and 99.3). The worry for Bell is that some of the factors causing this are beyond his control. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ deep-ball game aren’t frightening defenses much right now, an issue made worse by the banged-up offensive line; Bell simply isn’t getting the same wide creases he’s used to. Of course, a bad Bell week is better than most runners’ great ones. At the moment, Bell remains a fantastic source for consistently great volume. It’s just that his massive rushing lines appear tied almost entirely to game flow. Unless the Steelers jump to a huge lead and lock in 30 carries or so, Bell will likely continue to struggle for 100-yard performances.

The Titans continue to boast one of the league’s stoutest defenses against the run. The Steelers possess a strong front line, but will have their hands full against a talented, disciplined Titans unit. They currently sit fifth in per-carry defense (3.60) and sixth per game (91.9), and they haven’t allowed a rusher to reach 50 yards in 4 straight games. Tackle Jurrell Casey looks sure to be an All-Pro this year, and the linebacking corps, particularly inside man Wesley Woodyard, is performing beyond preseason expectations.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Tennessee Titans Rushing Offense at Pittsburgh Steelers Rushing Defense (Tough Matchup)

The Titans run game seems to have stalled, for the most part, after a dazzling start to the season. Their per-game average has tumbled from 156.3 yards (Weeks 1-3) to just 107.3 since. And when we consider how much of that tends to come from quarterback Marcus Mariota and other sources, we can see how iffy the production has been from their running backs. DeMarco Murray seems stuck in quicksand; since his Week 3 eruption, he’s averaged just 3.36 yards per carry and 41.5 per game. He’s still supplementing those numbers nicely with receiving and touchdown production, but simply isn’t doing much on the ground, so it’s safe to expect the same or even an expanded workload for Derrick Henry going forward. But Henry hasn’t looked much more dependable – apart from his 72-yard garbage-time touchdown in Week 6, he’s posted just 3.48 himself. It appears this duo’s success will continue to hinge on touchdowns, Mariota’s contributions, and the occasional long-gainer, which speaks well of its dynamism but poorly of its consistency.

Another week, another mediocre running game neutralized by the Steelers. On the year, they currently sit 12th in per-game yards allowed, and last week’s shutdown of the Colts backs (just 61 yards on 24 attempts) only helped to cement their reputation. But what’s concerning is what Chicago (222 yards) and Jacksonville (231) were able to do early in the season, and what rotational backs Alex Collins, Chris Ivory, and Joe Mixon (a combined 171 on just 24 rushes) have managed recently. It’s not sensible to knock this defense too much, especially considering that stud lineman Stephon Tuitt missed one of those blowup games. And they haven’t allowed an opposing lead back to top 54 yards for 4 straight games. Still, it’s concerning what a successful running game can do to them, and the Titans are a team committed thoroughly to theirs.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Cleveland Browns Rushing Offense vs Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

Cleveland’s rushing offense appears to be improving after struggling earlier this season. While the team lost Joe Thomas earlier this year to a torn tricep injury, the interior of this offensive line has improved their play tremendously as Kevin Zeitler, J.C. Tretter, and Joel Bitonio have been a significant reason why this rush offense has improved. Isaiah Crowell has three games over his last four where he has gone for 4.8 yards per carry or more, and Duke Johnson continues to be a nice change of pace back as he has 5.4 yards per carry or more in three of his last four games.

Jacksonville’s run defense has done a complete shift over the last few weeks and the biggest reason why is the change in personnel. The Jaguars acquired Marcel Dareus and while they are slowly integrating him within the defense, he has been a tremendous help against the run as he is being asked to play more of a traditional defensive tackle role instead of being asked to rush the passer like he was at times in Buffalo. Telvin Smith has also greatly improved his play over the most recent weeks. Over the last three games, this Jaguars defense have held opponents to just 55 yards rushing per game.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Dallas Cowboys Rushing Offense vs Philadelphia Eagles Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The big question going into last week is what the Cowboys backfield would look like now that Ezekiel Elliott is officially out of the picture for six weeks. Alfred Morris looks to be the next back in line, as he got the start last week and rushed 11 times for 53 yards. Morris did not look sharp though, as 45 of his yards came from a single drive while he struggled to make much out of his carries outside of those few. Rod Smith received three carries for 14 yards, while Darren McFadden actually had a negative fantasy score with one carry going for negative yards. The Cowboys offensive line noticeably struggled without left tackle Tyron Smith, leading to Dak Prescott taking eight sacks while also forcing him to run more often than usual as Prescott finished with a season-high 43 rushing yards while losing a couple of fumbles in the process. It will be tough to trust this backfield going forward without Elliott.

The Eagles have been the number one team in football against the run this season, allowing a league-low 66.4 rushing yards per game. They have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, but most of that production has come through the air with four receiving touchdowns and a league-high 58 receptions by opposing running backs. Their defensive line is one of the best in football, anchored by Brandon Jernigan and Fletcher Cox on the interior as two of the best run-stopping linemen in football. It doesn’t matter who leads the Cowboys backfield this week—they will be in for a big test against the Eagles.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Jacksonville Jaguars Rushing Offense at Cleveland Browns Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Jaguars abandoned the run after falling behind last week as Leonard Fournette only had 12 carries in this game while the Chargers threw the ball 51 times. This is a complete shift from earlier this season where they were in a run-heavy offense utilizing Leonard Fournette over 20 carries per game. If the Jaguars get out to an early lead, we could see a heavy usage of Fournette as he is averaging 22 carries per game in victories while only 19.5 carries per game in defeats.

The Browns run defense continues to be the top unit in the NFL, but did show some cracks last week particularly on runs outside the tackle box as both Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah both had a 20 yard run last week. On the season, the Browns are still only allowing 3.1 yards per carry on the year as Danny Shelton, Emmanuel Ogbah and Christian Kirksey have played a significant role in shutting down the run. This is a defense that is an elite unit against the run and should not be targeted against heavily.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Los Angeles Rams Rushing Offense at Minnesota Vikings Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

After a stretch of 100+ yard rushing outings in four of five games before the Rams’ bye week, Todd Gurley has had a couple of subpar rushing games (per his standards) of less than 70 yards per week. From a fantasy perspective though, Gurley has still found ways to score points as he had a couple rushing touchdowns in Week nine and six receptions for 68 yards last week. Gurley saw a season-low 11 carries last week due to the Rams passing attack jumping out to a hot start, but took four of those carries for 10 or more yards to help him average more than six yards per attempt. Gurley remains the clear focal point of this backfield and has a healthy, much improved offensive line to run behind.

The Vikings run defense continued their dominance last week against the Redskins, limiting them to just 81 yards on 27 attempts. The Vikings have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season, due largely to the fact that running backs only have two rushing touchdowns against them. Only two running backs have eclipsed 80 rushing yards in a game with not a single back reaching triple-digit rushing yards this season. Needless to say, this is an elite run-defending unit that will present a very tough test even for the high-performing Rams rushing attack.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.


Washington Redskins Rushing Offense at New Orleans Saints Rushing Defense (Bad Matchup)

The Redskins rushing attack took a big blow this week as Rob Kelley was placed on IR and is out for the season. This is a unit that has been decimated with injuries whether it is on the offensive line or now at the running back position. Over the last several games, the Redskins running game even with Kelley looks like it is one of the worst in football as they do not have a running back who has gone over 40 yards since week 3 against the Raiders. This team is averaging 3.8 yards per carry on the season which is 25th in the NFL, but their leading rusher is Samaje Perine with only 210 total yards this season.

The Saints run defense is quietly turning into an elite unit over the last five games as they have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game and are only allowing 78 yards per game while only allowing two touchdowns over that span. This defensive line is playing extremely well led by Sheldon Rankings and Cameron Jordan. A big part of this defense’s success has to do with their own offensive success as they are one of the slowest teams in the NFL this season due to all of the running that they have done which bleeds the clock.

Please refer to the NFL's injury report for the latest injury news regarding your players.