Bottom 5 Rushing Matchups Week 10
To view all of our Week 10 Matchup content, please see the links below:
Top 5 Passing Matchups Week 10
Bottom 5 Passing Matchups Week 10
Top 5 Rushing Matchups Week 10
Bottom 5 Rushing Matchups Week 10
Rushing Matchup Chart Week 10
Passing Matchup Chart Week 10
San Francisco at New Orleans
The 49ers offense has been decimated by injuries, and it certainly showed last week as they barely managed 10 points in a blowout loss to the Packers. There is a chance Raheem Mostert could return from Injured Reserve this week, in which case he would be expected to resume lead back duties as he had in his four other healthy starts. Tevin Coleman nearly made his return from injury in Week 8, only to suffer another injury and now remain sidelined, questionable coming into this week. Keep an eye on the practice reports, however, as Mostert has not yet re-joined the team and Coleman’s status remains in doubt as of early in the week. If neither are available, expect more of what is a murky situation between JaMycal Hasty and Jerrick McKinnon. After seeing only six carries over his two previous games, McKinnon led this backfield with 12 carries last week while Hasty saw only four rushing attempts. Regardless of who carries the ball, this still projects to be a relatively dysfunctional offense behind an undermanned offensive line and backup quarterback.
The Saints defense already had great numbers against the run leading into last week, but last week’s performance against the Buccaneers vaulted them to second-best in rushing yards allowed per game (80.3) after they gave up a total of just eight rushing yards to a rattled Tampa Bay offense. While last week certainly is a statistical outlier, this defense has all the pieces to shut down an opposing ground game. Their defensive line is best-in-class with two Pro-Bowl caliber defensive ends and a strong group of interior linemen led by impressive play from David Onyemata. At linebacker, both Demario Davis and Malcolm Jenkins continue to make impressive plays against the run, while these Saints safeties—notable Marcus Williams—have further contributed to why this defense has given up only four rushes of 20 or more yards and a league-low five rushing touchdowns. The 49ers offensive line, missing star left tackle Trent Williams (COVID), will be in trouble trying to make space for whoever leads their backfield this week.
Tennessee vs Indianapolis
Derrick Henry and the Titans rushing offense had their worst showing of the season in a tough matchup with the Bears last week as Henry averaged just 3.2 yards per carry and failed to find the end zone for the first time since Week 2. Despite the poor showing, this Titans offense remains a high-volume rushing attack and you know will continuously feed the ball towards Derrick Henry, who is the undisputed leader of this backfield. New addition Donta Foreman has worked in for five carries per game since joining in Week 8, and he has looked decent in his few snaps, but Henry will remain the top dog barring any injury. The Titans offensive line has responded reasonably in these past few weeks with backup left tackle Ty Sambrailo, but they remain a below-average unit that also just saw their top guard Roger Saffold exit last week’s game early with a shoulder injury. Saffold’s status doesn’t appear to be in question since he returned to practice, but further injuries will certainly not help the case for this offensive line to climb the rankings.
The Colts defense continues to impress against the run after a solid showing against the dynamic Ravens rushing offense, giving up only 110 rushing yards to a team that leads the league averaging 170 rushing yards per game. This unit has faced three of the league’s top-5 rushing offenses (Baltimore, Cleveland, Minnesota) and allowed those opposing running backs to average a mere 79 rushing yards per game. Their front seven have been a tough unit to handle, especially when trying to run between the tackles. DeForest Buckner is a known star at defensive tackle, but Grover Stewart has played particularly well in his fourth season with the Colts, taking a notable step forward in run defense this season. Darius Leonard continues to wreak havoc in the middle of the field, and these defensive backs have notably stepped in against the run, helping limit opposing offenses to only two runs of 20 or more yards and zero big plays of 40 or more yards on the ground. While Derrick Henry is one of the most likely candidates in the league to tarnish a defense’s numbers, his chances will certainly be slimmer this week against this stingy defense.
LA Rams vs Seattle
The committee of Rams running backs throughout this season has been relatively effective as they rank seventh in rushing yards per game (137.8) with 11 rushing touchdowns. Darrel Henderson was banged up before the Week 9 bye, but it is reported he should be good to go for this week’s matchup. Henderson has been the lead running back in most instances, leading the team in carries during five of seven healthy games while seeing nearly twice as many red-zone looks as any other skilled player. Malcolm Brown serves as the 1A though, consistently seeing 40-60% of the snaps while maintaining involvement in the passing game. Expect both to be involved while Cam Akers continues to develop in the wings. The offensive line has remained relatively unscathed throughout the season with the same unit starting since Week 2, ranking as an above-average unit near the upper quartile according to Matt Bitonti of Footballguys.
The Seahawks run defense could pose quite a challenge for this decent Rams rushing offense this week. Seattle has talent up front, including a strong defensive interior and a couple of the best run-defending linebackers in football—K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. While the strength of this front seven will make it tough on Rams running backs, the success of this run defense can almost equally be attributed to the failures of Seattle’s passing defense. Opposing offenses simply have not had to run the ball due to how exploitable this secondary has been. Combine that with an explosive Seahawks offense, and a game script supportive of rushing attempts has been hard to find when squaring off against Seattle.
Carolina vs Tampa Bay
Carolina welcomed Christian McCaffrey back to the field last week, feeding him 28 touches (18 carries, 10 receptions) as he quickly resumed his workhorse role. It was encouraging to see such a resurgence of involvement in his first game back from the ankle injury that sidelined him for nearly two months. However, McCaffrey suffered a shoulder injury late in last week’s game that now has his Week 10 status in doubt. His status will be critical to monitor throughout the week, but if McCaffrey is unable to suit up, expect Mike Davis to once again resume the lead in this backfield. Davis saw only one carry on the ground last week, so it could almost be considered a week of rest if he does have to resume lead-back duties. The offensive line could see a boost this week as left tackle Russell Okung appears close to returning. He practiced in a limited fashion last week but was ruled out on Saturday. Look for a higher chance of Okung returning this week, but still plan to monitor the practice reports.
The Buccaneers have been the league’s top run defense all season long, and they remain atop the league with only 56 rushing yards per game allowed to opposing running backs despite a poor showing against New Orleans last Sunday night. A big issue last week was communication between the secondary and linebackers, which is assuredly something Bruce Arians and Co. will be addressing as that was a very uncharacteristic performance from a normally rock-solid defense. This team remains built to stop the run, especially considering their strong defensive line. William Gholston and Ndamukong Suh continue to anchor the interior, while a rotation of 300+ pound nose tackles Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Steve McLendon plug gaps in the middle. This front will make things tough on the below-average Panthers offensive line, as shown from Week 2 when they limited McCaffrey to just 3.3 yards per rush for 59 yards.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
The Cincinnati rushing attack has been underwhelming for the first half of this season, averaging just over 100 rushing yards per game and a mediocre 3.7 yards per rush attempt. Running back Joe Mixon has been sidelined since Week 7, and despite coming off a bye in Week 9, his status remains in question as of early in the week. If Mixon were to return, it would provide a much-needed jolt of energy as neither Giovani Bernard nor Samaje Perine has been particularly productive in relief. Speculation points to Mixon being ready, but keep an eye on practice reports throughout the week. If Mixon does miss another game, look for Bernard and Perine to share the backfield after a notable uptick in workload for Perine in their last game. The offensive line for Cincinnati should also be in better health this week, but they will remain a below-average unit even if their injured starters return to the field
The Steelers continue to play as one of the top defenses in football and will welcome whichever Bengals running back they face. Such opposing running backs are scoring the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game (non-PPR) when facing this stout Pittsburgh defense. The past couple of weeks have been rough on this run defense given the absence of nose tackle Tyson Alualu, but he has a chance at returning this week pending practice participation. This team still has one of the best defensive lines in football, anchored by a remaining strong interior consisting of Stephon Tuitt and Cameron Heyward. These two will outmatch the Bengals guards, while T.J. Watt is a tough matchup for any offensive tackle in the league. Robert Spillane has played well in replacement of Devin Bush, and Minkah Fitzpatrick continues to dazzle both in coverage and against the run. The Bengals rushing offense, with or without Joe Mixon, will be in for a significant challenge this week.