The NFL’s Week 10 slate began with the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans as the league continues to inch closer to the postseason. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging throughout the United States, the NFL has managed to trudge forward — much to the delight of fantasy football owners looking to win a title of their own.
With bye weeks still playing a factor in fantasy football owners’ decision-making processes, the running back position continues to serve as a vital piece of the puzzle regardless of where you are in the standings entering Week 10. However, there are definitely some 4-6, 5-5 and 6-4 teams that absolutely need a win this time around while solid running back play would be a great start.
Running Backs to Start in Week 10
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will enter Week 10 leading the entire NFL in rushing yards. Despite misisng some time due to injury following a brief contract-related hold-out to begin the 2020-21 campaign, Cook has been blazing hot as of late en route to asserting himself as one of the top rushers in the league today. With the rival Chicago Bears up next for Cook and the Vikings, the upcoming NFC North clash on Monday Night Football will be the perfect showcase for the veteran running back to show off in primetime. While running wild against a divisional opponent is always that much sweeter, it doesn’t get better than doing it on Monday Night Football. Cook is obviously a must-start every week at this point regardless of the matchup, but his Week 10 circumstances are just too perfect to overlook.
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
The San Francisco 49ers are absolutely decimated at the moment while it will be hard for the defending NFC Champions to compete against the better teams in the NFL as it stands today. With the surging New Orleans Saints up next for San Francisco, the 49ers are going to need all the help they can get as the ailing NFC West franchise will attempt to slow down future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara. With Brees playing his best football of the season after most recently dismantling the rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9, that only bodes well for Kamara, who remains one of the most versatile players in the NFL. The Saints are going to continue to win and currently own the top seed in the NFC. If the Saints are going to reach the finish line in the same position in the standings, Kamara will need to keep playing a pivotal role on offense — which shouldn’t be a problem, especially against the 49ers.
Duke Johnson, Houston Texans
If you were lucky enough to have Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson on your bench or able to pick him up on the waiver wire this week, you are in luck. With Texans starting running back David Johnson not expected to play against the Cleveland Browns in Week 10, his Johnson counterpart will attempt to fill such a void for Houston. Johnson did just that last week against the rival Jacksonville Jaguars as David Johnson left the game prematurely due to a concussion, which is what will more than likely cause him to miss his team’s Week 10 clash against the aforementioned Browns. Duke Johnson is a threat between the tackles but more importantly a serious option in the passing attack for quarterback Deshaun Watson and company. Because he typically only plays on third down, Johnson’s volume of touches makes it tough for him to be a viable weekly fantasy football option. However, with David Johnson out of the picture this time around, it could very well be a big week for Duke.
Running Backs to Sit in Week 10
Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is injured once again while this time suffering a shoulder injury that is going to cost him at least one week. After previously missing a chunk of the 2020 NFL regular season due to a lingering ankle injury, McCaffrey returned just last week against the Kansas City Chiefs before ultimately being forced from the contest due to that same shoulder injury. In McCaffrey’s initial absence, fellow Panthers running back Mike Davis took over the reins in Carolina — and did quite well in such a role. However, it remains to be seen whether that was simply a fluke as Davis’ production was through the roof and honestly unthinkable at first. Davis will once again need to prove his worth to fantasy football owners, especially with a heated and angry Tampa Bay Buccaneers team up next on the docket for the Panthers. Last week, the Buccaneers were absolutely throttled by the rival New Orleans Saints while future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and company will surely be looking to take out their frustration on the Panthers.
Devonta Freeman, New York Giants
The New York Giants are an absolutely abysmal football team right now — there’s really no two ways about it. With a matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles now looming large as a result of Week 10, it has officially reached the point in the season where losses are much more important for the Giants than wins are. Not that the Giants will be throwing games, but nine weeks of regular season play has shown the team’s true colors as New York will more than likely struggle to win even against a dismal Eagles squad. With that being said, it is hard to trust any single player on the Giants at this point in the 2020 campaign. With running back Devonta Freeman looking to return from an injury in NFL Week 10, the former Atlanta Falcons standout could very well suit up for the Giants against the Eagles.
However, a healthy Freeman behind quarterback Daniel Jones and an unimpressive Giants offensive line is hard to get excited about let alone a hobbled NFL player in the same situation. Adding to the unlimited reasons to stay away from Freeman this week, he recently suffered a minor setback, which has further hindered his recovery. The risk isn’t worth the reward and if you don’t have better options than a banged up Freeman at this point in the year, you are in big trouble anyway.
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are rolling in 2020 with future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams leading the way. However, even after encountering a little bit of injury trouble along the way, Packers running back Aaron Jones has been just as impressive this time around. With Jones returning from some lingering injury trouble just last week against the San Francisco 49ers, the veteran rusher will probably receive a less than heavy workload in NFL Week 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. There is simply no way that Jones will be needed to carry this offense in order for the Packers to defeat the brutally terrible Jaguars.
With an easy win for the Packers more than likely on the horizon, expect Green Bay to rest a few key players as the final stretch of the 2020 NFL regular season approaches. It will be difficult to find many better options than a healthy and productive Jones but garbage time may be on the side of the Jaguars instead of the Packers for this one. If Green Bay jumps out to a commanding and early lead against Jacksonville, Jones may not receive his usual workload for four quarters.