Week 10 of the fantasy football season is here and for a lot of fantasy football owners, it is an absolute must-win week.
Starting your studs is the easy part of fantasy football. Even in a tough matchup, you are always going to play your stud running backs.
But if your league has a flex spot, that’s where things get interesting and can potentially be the deciding factor in whether or not you win on any given week. And don't forget about bye weeks. In Week 10 that means no Dalvin Cook, Lamar Miller, Phillip Lindsay, Alex Collins, Latavius Murray or Royce Freeman.
So let’s take a look at those running backs here in Week 10 that you should start, and those you are better off leaving on your bench. But first, let's see how the Week 9 advice turned out.
Good Calls for Week 9...
Start Nick Chubb (15 fantasy points) – If you were lucky enough to add Chubb off the waiver wire, you now have a solid RB2 for the rest of the season.
Sit LeSean McCoy (2.9 FP) – It’s sad to see McCoy wasting away on a terrible Bills team.
Bad Calls for Week 9...
Kenyan Drake (3.5 FP) – Drake hardly played as the Dolphins had the lead for the majority of the game against the Jets.
I also warned you against starting Tevin Coleman (27.6 FP), who finally had a decent fantasy game as the Falcons' lead back.
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Minnesota
START THESE RBs...
Marlon Mack, IND (vs. JAC)
The Colts run the 10th-most offensive plays in the NFL at 554 and despite a 64/36 pass/run split, Mack is the choice running back and benefits from Andrew Luck’s 2018 revival. The Colts' offense should also gain momentum heading into a date with the Jaguars thanks to the return of TE Jack Doyle. Indianapolis is favored by three points at home, which bodes well for Mack remaining relevant throughout the game as he goes for a third consecutive 100-yard effort and the Jaguars have allowed 151 rushing yards per game over the last four weeks.
Dion Lewis, TEN (vs. NE)
Lewis is on fire coming into Week 10 in what could be a revenge game after he spent three years with the Patriots from 2015-17. Lewis has seen his touches increase over the last few weeks and had his best fantasy week of the season with 22 PPR points on a season-high 23 total touches against Dallas this past Monday night. Lewis is clearly ahead of Derrick Henry in this backfield split, and he should continue to get plenty of touches against the Patriots. The Patriots have struggled with pass-catching running backs this season, including Nyheim Hines in Week 5, Kareem Hunt in Week 6, Tarik Cohen in Week 7 and LeSean McCoy in Week 8. Lewis has at least three catches in six games this season.
Tevin Coleman, ATL (at CLE)
Coleman finally had that big fantasy game we have all been expecting since Devonta Freeman has been out of the lineup. Last week against Washington Coleman had 13 carries for 88 yards, as well as five catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets. He scored a season-high 31 PPR points, and he's now averaging 19 PPR points in his past three outings. He continues to share touches with Ito Smith, but Coleman has the chance for another big week at Cleveland. The Browns have allowed nine total touchdowns to running backs in their past four games and are giving up the third-most fantasy points to the position for the season.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Matt Breida, SF (vs. NYG, Mon.)
Breida has been banged up all season but is still the ninth-leading rusher in the NFL and is averaging an impressive 5.5 yards per carry. This week he should be as healthy as he’s been all year, as he gets extended rest since the 49ers' played last Thursday night and this game is Monday night. He gets the Giants, who are 10th in terms of fantasy points allowed to running backs. Breida also doesn't have to share touches with Raheem Mostert, who broke his arm in Week 9.
SIT THESE RBs...
Kerryon Johnson, DET (at CHI)
The Lions have stunned (and frustrated) Matthew Stafford owners everywhere by leaning more on the running game as of late, but Johnson’s stock took a hit with the return of Theo Riddick last week. They each played 39 snaps, while LeGarrette Blount was sprinkled in on 11. However, most important is how the Bears' defense has allowed just 3.7 yards per carry and one rushing touchdown thus far to opposing running backs.
Peyton Barber, TB (vs. WAS)
Barber has seen his touches decline over the last few weeks and he’s also playing on just half of the snaps lately compared to Jacquizz Rodgers mixing in around 40 percent of the total. Las Vegas does have the Buccaneers as three-point favorites, but Barber’s averaging just 3.6 yards per carry and 47 rushing yards per game. Washington’s defense is fifth against the run (89.4 ypg), so hopefully you have better options this week than Barber.
Doug Martin, OAK (vs. LAC)
Martin played well last week against the 49ers, considering the Raiders were getting blown out 34-3. He had 11 carries for 49 yards to go with a 20-yard reception, and he now has 24 carries for 121 yards, as well as three catches for 37 yards in the two games without Marshawn Lynch. The Chargers have allowed just one touchdown to a running back since Week 3, and back in Week 5 in their first meeting, Lynch and the other Oakland RBs managed a total of 36 rushing yards on 12 carries along with 63 receiving yards on eight catches. Jalen Richard was responsible for most of this damage. Martin is just a flex option at best.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Adrian Peterson, WAS (at TB)
This isn’t so much about Peterson’s letdown last week, but Washington’s offensive line is in shambles right now. That doesn’t mean we can glaze over Peterson’s poor 46 percent snap count from Week 9, though, even if we give him a mulligan on the results. You should be worried about the state of this running game and it’s worth noting Tampa Bay’s defensive line yields a lowly 3.77 adjusted line yards (fifth lowest) with the second-highest stuffed rate (29.3 percent) in the league according to Football Outsiders.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.