Running Back Opportunity Share Report: Week Ten

David Wright

Welcome back to the Running Back Opportunity Share Report, the sixth article in this series examining how teams are utilizing their running backs. Volume is king for running backs in fantasy football. Please refer to week five’s article for a review on the importance of volume for running backs.

What is RB Opportunity Share?

RB opportunity share is calculated by combining a player’s carries and targets and dividing them by the team’s total non-quarterback carries and running back targets.* This provides a single metric to illustrate the percentage of the team running back opportunities a player is receiving.

Bellcow Report

For this series, bellcow running backs will be defined as running backs with an opportunity share greater than or equal to 70 percent.

Blue Chips: James Robinson, Miles Sanders, and D’Andre Swift.

Committee Backfields: Las Vegas Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Washington Football Team, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, and New England Patriots.

Next Man Up: Salvon Ahmed, Kalen Ballage, Giovani Bernard, and Alex Collins.

Medical Tent: Joe Mixon, Devonta Freeman, Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, and Raheem Mostert.

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James Robinson, RB JAC

Robinson entered his matchup against the Packers leading the league with a 79.8 percent opportunity share. His week ten 93.3 percent opportunity share (second) increased his season-long opportunity share to 81.5 percent. He continues to impress in his rookie campaign.

In week ten, Robinson handled 23 rush attempts for 109 rush yards while securing two of his five targets for three yards. He failed to score this week and it contributed to him finished as the RB19.

It’s unfair to poke holes in a running back who eclipsed a hundred yards rushing, but it’s the second consecutive week Robinson underperformed his opportunity. According to Rotoviz’s Expected Points Model, he had 16.0 expected points. His 13.2 PPR points were -2.8 points under expected.

Robinson’s remaining fantasy schedule is difficult. His remaining six opponents’ rush defenses have an average rank of 11 according to Football Outsiders. Robinson is top-five in weighted opportunities (a metric that accounts for the increased fantasy importance of targets) and his 4.3 targets per game will continue to provide a decent floor regardless of his matchup.

Miles Sanders, RB PHI

Fantasy managers breathed a sigh of relief as Sanders returned to their lineups following a two-game absence with a knee injury. Unfortunately, not everything broke right for him in week ten. Boston Scott scored on a long touchdown and Corey Clement vultured a goal-line touchdown on his only carry of the game.

Sanders’ bad luck continued in the passing game. Carson Wentz’s inaccuracy when targeting him persisted as Sanders only caught two of five targets for ten yards. On the season, Sanders is last in catch rate at 47 percent among running backs with at least 20 targets.

This illustrates how the volume and opportunity has been there for Sanders. In week ten, he had an opportunity share of 80.0 percent (fourth) improving his opportunity share on the season to 77.3 percent (third). Sanders rushed for 85 yards on 15 attempts and did convert a two-point attempt.

Sanders finished the week as the fantasy RB19 and is in a three-way tie for thirteenth in running back points per game. Even without capitalizing on his receiving talent and opportunity, he is still performing to expectation. Sanders has 0.4 fantasy points over expected through ten weeks. Not overly impressive, but exemplifies how much he has overcome to date and his tantalizing potential down the stretch if he can realize his opportunity.

D’Andre Swift, RB DET

Swift was declared the starter before his week ten game against Washington. In his new role, Swift rushed for 81 yards on 16 carries and caught all five of his targets for 68 additional yards and a touchdown. This translated to a 77.8 percent opportunity share (fifth) and 17.2 weighted opportunities (eighth). Swift’s performance finally answered the question of how Swift would perform with an increased work-load.

Swift was extremely efficient scoring 10.7 fantasy points over expected which vaulted him to the fantasy RB4 this week. He led all running backs with 2.53 scrimmage yards per play. So far this season, running backs within two touches per game of Swift’s 11.2 touches per game average 0.77 scrimmage yards per play. Meanwhile, Swift is averaging 1.01 scrimmage yards per play and demonstrates who efficient he has been when given the opportunity.

Swift’s opportunity share is only 39.9 percent on the season. But if his opportunity share remains close to his week ten totals, Swift should be in for a special stretch-run in fantasy football.

Alvin Kamara, RB NO

The public was down on Kamara heading into 2020 for several reasons. His six touchdowns in 2019 was a significant factor for fantasy managers fading him. The Saints had a lot of offensive weapons and even though he averaged 15.5 touchdowns the previous two seasons he was an afterthought when considering the top running backs. This was a mistake as Kamara is fantasy football’s RB1 overall on the season and is scoring 27.4 fantasy points per game.

In every game Kamara has played this season, he has finished as the RB10 or better in fantasy scoring. He’s had six weeks as a top-five running back and five weeks as a top-three running back. Week ten was more of the same as he finished as the fantasy RB1 on the week with eight rushes for 15 yards and two touchdowns. Kamara earned a 34.8 percent target share catching seven of eight targets for 83 yards and another touchdown.

In week ten, Kamara had his third-highest opportunity share on the season with 64.0 percent. Looking beyond opportunity share shows just how valuable his volume has been despite being ranked 21st in opportunity share. Kamara leads all running backs in both expected points and weighted opportunities.

His efficiency with his opportunities is also contributing to his dominance in 2020. He’s second in the league with 57.0 fantasy points over expected more than doubling the third-ranked running back and is second in fantasy points per touch (minimum of 50 touches).

No matter how you break down Kamara’s season, he is a weekly difference-maker on fantasy rosters.

Dalvin Cook, RB MIN

Cook fell back to Earth against Chicago’s third-ranked defense according to Football Outsiders after averaging 43.9 fantasy points over his last two games. He still dominated the backfield with a 91.9 percent opportunity share (third) on 30 carries for 96 yards. Cook added four receptions on four targets for 16 yards putting him over 100 scrimmage yards on the day. Surprisingly, this was the first week he didn’t find the end zone.

He finished tied as the fantasy RB-15 but underperformed his opportunity scoring -5.9 fantasy points under expected. Cook still managed a healthy 1.53 scrimmage yards per play in large part because of his 12.5 percent target share.

Fantasy managers should expect much easier matchups over his next three games in which his opponents are ranked 28th, 25th, and 20th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA. Cook’s schedule tightens up significantly for the fantasy playoffs with matchups against the Buccaneers, Bears, and Saints in weeks 13-16.

Derrick Henry, RB TEN

Henry had a season-worst 60.0 percent opportunity share on Thursday Night Football in week ten. He had 19 attempts for 103 yards and caught one of two targets for six yards. It was Henry’s second consecutive game in which he didn’t register a touchdown and he finished the week as the fantasy RB22.

Henry is coming off a difficult stretch after facing the Steelers, Bears, and Colts in three of his four previous contests. He still has the Ravens in week 11 and a rematch against the Colts in week 12 before the juiciest of fantasy playoff schedule.

Over his last three games, Henry has averaged a 66.1 percent opportunity share after averaging an 81.6 percent share through week seven. His expected points have fallen from an average of 20.6 to 12.3 over the same time frame. This could be related to game-script, the difficulty of the opponent, or the Titans attempting to manage his workload over a 16-game schedule. Regardless, Henry remains a must-start option for fantasy managers for the remainder of the season.

Kenyan Drake, RB ARI

Drake returned to primary back duties in Arizona after only missing one game from an ankle injury that originally expected to keep him out for a month or more. Drake had 16 carries for 100 yards and caught his lone target for nine yards. His 60.7 percent opportunity share (14th) this week is the lowest he’s had this season excluding week seven when he left early due to an injury.

Although week ten was a season-low in opportunity share, Drake had his second-best performance from an efficiency standpoint. He had 2.1 fantasy points over expected and 1.49 scrimmage yards per play. His second-best outputs in both of these metrics on the season.

Drake did see a season-low snap share (outside of week seven) at 52.1 percent and his second-worst game in weighted opportunities with only 10.9 weighted opportunities. It’s impossible to speculate if this had to do with Chase Edmonds’ emergence or Drake returning from injury. This is something to be monitored down the stretch.

Ultimately, Drake did have a 100-yard day in his return but was outscored 10.7 to 9.9 by Edmonds. Drake finished as the fantasy RB26 in week ten.

Jerick McKinnon, RB SF

Could McKinnon’s four-game dip in volume could be over? In weeks five through eight McKinnon averaged an 18.8 percent opportunity share. Last week, McKinnon had a 69.6 percent opportunity share and a 70.0 percent share (ninth) in week ten. Unfortunately, he only finished as the fantasy RB36 even though he handled the majority of the running back work for the 49ers.

McKinnon rushed for 33 yards on 18 attempts and converted one of three targets for 13 yards through the air. His 5.6 fantasy points were -9.3 points under expected based on his volume. This could be McKinnon’s last game with the lion’s share of the opportunity after Kyle Shanahan said he’s hopeful Raheem Mostert returns from an ankle injury following their week 11 bye.

Wayne Gallman, RB NYG

Gallman had his second week this season with over a 60 percent opportunity share in week ten. He registered a 64.5 percent opportunity share (eleventh). Gallman also had a season-high 18 carries for 53 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He added one reception for seven yards on two targets. Gallman was the fantasy RB10 after scoring a total of 19.0 fantasy points this week.

Week ten was also his first game since his usage spike in which he performed under expectation. He scored -0.8 points under expected but stayed around his weekly scrimmage average (0.90 scrim yards per play) with 0.85 scrimmage yards per play against the Eagles.

The touchdowns are keeping Gallman fantasy relevant on a poor Giants’ offense. He’s now up to five total touchdowns in his last four games. He’s second in the league with 55.0 rush yards per touchdown and the league average is close to 170.8 rush yards per touchdown through ten weeks. It’s unrealistic to expect Gallman to keep scoring at this rate making him a shaky, touchdown-dependent flex-option for fantasy managers.

Committee Backfields

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I’ve officially given up trying to predict how Bruce Arians will use his running backs. Ronald Jones fumbles in one game and is essentially benched. Then in week ten he fumbles again and goes on to dominate the carries with a 67.6 opportunity share. Leonard Fournette was labeled the “nickel back” a few weeks ago and had seen at least six targets in three consecutive games. In week ten, Fournette caught two of three targets for 11 yards but only out-targeted Jones by a single target. The situation truly is game to game in Tampa Bay.

Jones went off in week ten. He had 23 carries for 192 yards and a touchdown while Fournette was held in check on eight attempts for 19 yards. Jones finished as the fantasy RB5 and should have earned some goodwill from Arians but fantasy managers’ confidence should remain low when starting either player.

Las Vegas Raiders

Josh Jacobs had his fourth game below a 60 percent opportunity share in his previous five contests. Jacobs had a 59.5 percent opportunity share in week ten. However, his 18.5 weighted opportunities are a drastic improvement from his 9.7 weighted opportunities in week nine. Jacobs rushed 21 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns and secured all four of his targets for 24 yards. His 18.2 percent target share and 12.1 fantasy points over expected propelled Jacobs to an overall fantasy RB2 performance on the week.

Usually, when a running back has over 20 carries and clears a 15 percent target share they’re considered a “bellcow back.” This isn’t the case for the Raiders. Devontae Booker carved out a decent-sized opportunity share in week ten of 40.5 percent. He had 81 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries while catching his only target for two yards. Booker was the fantasy RB8 on the week and has averaged 10.3 fantasy points over expected in his last two games.

Jacobs is the premiere option in this backfield but Booker has earned flex-consideration for fantasy managers due to the Raiders averaging 35.5 running back opportunities this season.

Denver Broncos

Melvin Gordon’s opportunity share rebounded from his week nine 33.3 percent share to 59.1 percent in week ten. However, with the Broncos struggling in their last two games Gordon has averaged 7.3 weighted opportunities after averaging 15.6 weighted opportunities in his previous six contests. Gordon had 11 carries for 46 scoreless yards and couldn’t reel in his two targets from Drew Lock. Between off-field incidents, team struggles, competing for opportunity with Phillip Lindsay, and middling efficiency, 2020 is becoming a season to forget for Gordon’s fantasy managers.

The Broncos’ struggles have affected Lindsay’s fantasy performances as well. After a fantasy RB11 finish in week eight, he has put up RB54 and RB63 finishes in weeks nine and ten respectively. Lindsay had a season-low 22.7 percent opportunity share this week on four carries for two yards. Being held without a reception in back to back weeks didn’t help his fantasy managers either.

Things aren’t improving for Gordon and Lindsay with matchups against the Dolphins, Saints, and Chiefs ahead on the schedule. Managers should look hard at other options at running back until further notice.

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Jones led the way in week ten with a 57.6 percent opportunity share. He had 13 attempts for 46 yards but also caught five of six targets for 49 yards through the air. A slightly disappointing performance against a soft Jacksonville defense. He was the fantasy RB17 on the week and scored -0.6 fantasy points under expected. Jones was still solid from an overall efficiency standpoint gaining 1.46 scrimmage yards per play.

Jamaal Williams appeared to be the primary back early in week ten but finished as the clear back-up with a 36.4 percent opportunity share. He carried the ball eight times for 30 yards and secured three of four targets for 25 additional yards.

The Packers have two difficult matchups on the schedule versus the fourth-ranked Colts and fifth-ranked Bears’ run defenses according to Football Outsiders. However, their schedule improves drastically for the fantasy playoffs.

Cleveland Browns

Week ten marked Nick Chubb’s return after he missed the previous four games with a knee injury. Chubb had 19 rushes for 126 yards and a touchdown after voluntarily running out of bounds near the goal-line late in his matchup against the Texans. Chubb couldn’t handle his only target in the passing game. He had a 46.5 percent opportunity share and scored 7.0 fantasy points over expected in his first game back.

Kareem Hunt had a slight edge over Chubb in opportunity share this week with a 53.5 percent share. He rushed for 104 yards on 19 carries and caught three of four targets for 28 yards. Hunt was fairly efficient from an expected points lens and scored 1.7 fantasy points over expected. Hunt was the RB13 while Chubb RB11 for week ten.

Both Hunt and Chubb were efficient from a team standpoint. Hunt had 2.03 scrimmage yards per play and Chubb gained 1.94 scrimmage yards per play. The Browns’ backfield should remain relatively stable moving forward.

Washington Football Team

Washington is proving to be a hot-spot from a fantasy football value perspective. JD McKissic finished week ten as the RB12 in fantasy while Antonio Gibson was the RB7. McKissic led the backfield with a 52.3 percent opportunity share on eight attempts for six yards and a touchdown. He was targeted 15 times and had seven receptions for 43 yards. Gibson had a 38.6 percent opportunity share on 13 carries for 45 yards and two touchdowns. He also snagged all four of his targets for 20 yards through the air.

McKissic wasn’t efficient with his opportunities this week despite the nice fantasy day. He had -13.5 fantasy points under expected dropping a possible touchdown and only catching 47 percent of his targets. Conversely, Gibson had 7.7 fantasy points over expected this week and enjoyed his most efficient game from an expected points standpoint this season.

Both McKissic and Gibson should continue to be valuable fantasy options down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Buffalo Bills

Week ten is a week to forget for fantasy managers rostering Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. After it appeared Moss was emerging from this backfield with a 64.7 percent opportunity share in week nine, Moss and Singeltary both had a 50.0 percent share in week ten. Moss surprisingly had fewer weighted opportunities with 7.2 to Singletary’s 10.3.

Singletary gained 15 yards on four rush attempts but only caught one of five targets for negative five yards receiving. Moss plodded his way to 20 rush yards on seven attempts while catching one of two targets for negative three yards. Both backs finished outside of the top 50 fantasy running backs in scoring for the week and the Bills appear content utilizing Singletary and Moss in a committee approach.

Indianapolis Colts

Nyheim Hines took over the Colts’ backfield in week ten. He had a 48.6 percent opportunity share while Jonathan Taylor and Jordan Wilkins both had a 24.3 percent share. Hines opportunities were more valuable as well. He had 16.5 weighted opportunities while Taylor had 7.2 and Wilkins 6.2 weighted opportunities.

Hines had 12 attempts on the day for 70 yards and a score but also caught five of six targets for 45 yards and another touchdown. He was the fantasy RB3 on the week. While handling a lot of shorty-yardage situations, Taylor only managed twelve yards on seven attempts but looked good catching the ball securing both of his targets for 25 yards. Wilkins’ performance was forgettable rushing 8 times for 28 yards and failed to catch his only target from Philip Rivers.

Hines dominated Taylor and Wilkins from an efficiency perspective as well. He scored 10.8 fantasy points over expected while Taylor had -4.7 points under expected and Wilkins -4.0 points under expected. Hines tripled Wilkins and Taylor in yards from scrimmage gaining 1.64 yards per play in yet another important metric.

It’s difficult to predict how exactly this backfield will play out going forward. Hines has had big weeks in the past only to disappear for long stretches. However, he has two top-five fantasy performances in his last three games and his receiving floor makes him the best fantasy bet going forward.

Los Angeles Rams

Coming off the bye week, Cam Akers led the Rams’ backfield for the first time in 2020 with a 37.0 percent opportunity share. While this is an improvement for Akers and could rekindle his dynasty value, the Rams backfield remains cloudy. Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown both had a 29.6 percent opportunity share.

Akers rushed ten times for 38 yards but wasn’t targeted in the passing game and was kept out of the end zone. Henderson had 7 carries for 28 yards and a score and Brown had six attempts for 33 yards and two scores. Henderson caught his only target for five yards while Brown was targeted twice, catching them both for 18 yards.

Even though Akers led the backfield in opportunity, his touches were the least valuable. He had 7.5 expected points while Henderson had 7.7 and Brown had 9.0 expected points. Akers was the least efficient of the trio scoring -3.7 fantasy points under expected. Henderson managed 2.6 fantasy points over expected while Brown’s touchdowns gave him 10.1 points over expected.

Week to week, there doesn’t seem to be rhyme or reason to which back will be getting the volume or the valuable touches. Henderson and Brown are splitting the goal-line work but Brown does have a slight edge in target share. Adding Akers to the mix only confuses things more. Fantasy managers need to continue to monitor how the Rams allocate their running back touches over the next several games to see if any of them emerge.

New England Patriots

Usually, Damien Harris’ 62.9 percent opportunity share would land him in the “bellcow back” section of this article. However, Harris and Rex Burkhead are essentially splitting the valuable touches for the Patriots and this is why they remain a committee backfield for this series.

Harris had his first 20+ carry game as a professional. He rushed for 121 yards on 22 carries but couldn’t find the end zone against a formidable Ravens defense. Harris had an impressive 2.09 scrimmage yards per play and squeaked out 1.1 fantasy points over expected.

Meanwhile, Burkhead’s versatility makes him the Patriot’s preferred choice in the red zone. He caught four of five targets for 35 yards and two touchdowns but also gained 31 yards on six attempts on the ground. His 31.4 percent opportunity share doesn’t make Burkhead appear to be an attractive flex-option but he leads the Patriots’ backfield, by a wide margin, in expected points with 77.8 this season.

James White doesn’t present much of a fantasy option in New England at this point. He only saw ten snaps in week ten and only touched the ball twice for eight yards. This could have been weather-related but he should remain out of fantasy lineups until he consistently receives more volume which seems unlikely at this point.

Next Man Up

Kalen Ballage, RB LAC

As the Austin Ekeler watch intensifies, Ballage has posted back-to-back weeks of over 15.0 fantasy points. In week ten, Ballage had a 75.0% opportunity share with Justin Jackson and Troymaine Pope sidelined with injuries. He ran for 68 yards on 18 attempts and flashed his receiving ability catching five of six targets for 34 yards.

Ballage had a respectable fantasy day as the RB15 but underperformed his volume scoring -7.0 fantasy points under expected. He was still top-12 in scrimmage yards per play gaining 1.62 scrimmage yards per play against the Dolphins.

Joshua Kelley only had a 21.9 percent opportunity share and the question now is if Ballage could have worked his way into a substantial role once Ekeler returns. The next week or two will be his audition.

Salvon Ahmed, RB MIA

It only took two weeks of Ahmed being on the active roster for the Dolphins to feel comfortable waiving Jordan Howard. In week ten, Ahmed had a 75.9 percent opportunity share handling 21 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown. He caught his only target for 5 yards.

Ahmed’s efficiency didn’t light the world on fire but he did score 0.6 fantasy points over expected while handling a large volume which is impressive for the young rookie. His 1.55 scrimmage yards per play is another top-12 performance in an important metric for Ahmed. He’s filling in nicely during Myles Gaskin’s absence and he’s made a strong case for a permanent role once Gaskin returns from injury.

Mike Davis, RB CAR

After an impressive start to the season, Davis has cooled off and hasn’t scored double-digit fantasy points since week six. Davis had a 60.0 percent opportunity share in week ten but underwhelmed. He rushed seven times for 32 yards and caught four of five targets but only gained twelve yards. This week was the fifth consecutive week Davis has underperformed his volume and scored -3.0 fantasy points below expectation. Davis is a flex-consideration until Christian McCaffrey returns.

Giovani Bernard, RB CIN

The Bengals’ running backs ran the ball 20 times for 100 yards against a stout Pittsburgh defense in week ten. Bernard only had eight of those carries for thirty yards but saw seven targets, catching four of them for 17 yards. He still had the majority of the opportunity and a 51.7 percent opportunity share with Joe Mixon still sidelined with a foot injury. Bernard finished as the RB28 but he failed to score a touchdown for the first time since week five. Bernard has filled in nicely and is the RB7 in fantasy since Mixon went down.

Alex Collins, RB SEA

With Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde missing week ten, Collins took over the main running back duties from DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer. Collins had a 47.8 percent opportunity share with 11 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown. He also caught one of two targets for four yards in the passing game. Collins was efficient with his opportunity scoring 3.6 fantasy points over expected and finished as the RB22 for the week.

Carson and Hyde both practiced on Wednesday. Hyde is ready to go but it looks like Carson could use another week to get healthy because the Seahawks play tonight on Thursday Night Football. If that’s the case, Collins should be the secondary back behind Hyde in week 11.

Medical Tent

Christian McCaffrey, RB CAR

McCaffrey has been ruled out for week 11 and is considered week-to-week with a shoulder injury.

Devonta Freeman, RB NYG

Freeman was placed on IR after injuring his hamstring last week. Gallman should remain the feature back for at least the rest of the fantasy regular season.

Joe Mixon, RB CIN

Mixon is still considered day-to-day and his status will depend on how practice goes later this week according to head coach Zac Taylor.

This concludes the RB Opportunity Share Report for week ten. The stats used in this article can be found in my free spreadsheet here. Thank you to,, Football Outsiders,, and for the stats and information provided in this article.


*Some sites use only running back carries instead of non-quarterback carries. Due to an increased number of designed wide receiver and tight end runs in today’s NFL non-running back carries presents a more complete picture of a running back’s opportunity. If there was a better and more readily available stat for quarterback-designed runs they would be included as well.

david wright