At the running back position, we're used to seeing a handful of guys in the "who's out" section below. In Week 18, a bigger discussion is around "who won't play long". For now, Saquon Barkley and Leonard Fournette are firmly on that list, and I wouldn't be surprised if Barkely moves to the "out" list before we get to Sunday. But they aren't the only backs to be concerned about.
Dalvin Cook and Austin Ekeler are older backs with little to play for. They should rest some, if not all of this week. And with Christian Mccaffrey's injury history and the current state of the Arizona Cardinals active roster, we may not see much of him either. Latavius Murray and Cordarrelle Patterson are other veterans who could cede playing time to youngsters in Week 18. And this list will only grow.
Keep an eye on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Sunday morning as there will be many surprise inactives in Week 18.
Now let's get to the rest of the Week 18 RB Preview:
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Week 18 RB Preview
The following players are not being projected to play in Week 18 at this time. Here's what it means:
James Conner RB
ARI Arizona • #6
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
There will be a big role for Corey Clement or Keaontay Ingram if Conner is out.
Marlon Mack RB
DEN Denver • #37
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Latavius Murray and Chase Edmonds will carry the full load for the Broncos.
Numbers to know
- 55 –-
Carries for Tyler Allgeier since the Falcons' Week 14 bye. That's 24 more than Cordarralle Patterson and he's accumulated at least 95 scrimmage yards in each of those three games.
- 155.3 -- Derrick Henry has averaged 155.3 rushing yards per game in his last three contests versus the Jaguars. He's also scored six touchdowns in those games.
- 241 -- Combined rushing yards for Cam Akers over the last two games. It's been a rollercoaster season for Akers, but he's restoring Fantasy faith for 2023.
- 22 -- Zonovan Knight played just 22% of the Jets snaps in Week 17.
- 49 -- Damien Harris played 49% of the Patriots snaps in his return from injury. Three of the five snaps came inside the 10-yard line while Rhamondre Stevenson saw 56% of the total snaps.
Matchups that matter
MIA Miami • #31
Age: 30 • Experience: 9 yrs.
DEN Denver • #28
Age: 33 • Experience: 11 year
Waiver Wire Targets
TB Tampa Bay • #21
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Tampa Bay has said they aren't resting their starters, but to me that just means they'll play a drive or two. A majority of this game I would expect Vaughn to be the lead back for the Buccaneers against a suspect Falcons defense.
ARI Arizona • #31
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Clement dominated touches and snaps after James Conner went down in Week 17. Assuming Conner is out, we'd expect Clement to lead the backfield, but it is a terrible matchup.
Harris has at least 22 touches in each of Pittsburgh's last three games and faces a Browns defense that has consistently been one of thew worst in football against running backs.
Expect a third consecutive game over 100 yards for Cam Akers in Week 18. He's working his way into the Round 3 conversation in 2023 if the Rams don't make a significant acquisition at running back.