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If you judge from the reaction in the fantasy football community, you would think Kapri Bibbs is the new starter in the Broncos backfield. That's not the case yet. Devontae Booker has not been impressive in his two starts since taking over for the injured C.J. Anderson. The rookie had 19 carries for 54 yards (2.8 yards per carry) with a touchdown and five catches for 30 yards against the Texans in Week 8 and followed it up with ten carries for 22 yards (2.2 ypc) and an eight-yard catch against the Raiders last week. Meanwhile, Bibbs scored on an impressive 69-yard reception late in the game. Booker out snapped Bibbs, 45-8 and had 11 touches to three for Bibbs. Coach Gary Kubiak said Bibbs deserved more opportunities to touch the football and bring some big plays to an offense that is lacking them. This doesn't mean Booker is going to get fewer touches than Bibbs. Expect a 70-30/60-40 split in favor of Booker or a hot hand approach. Against the Saints in Week 10, Booker is a good start and Bibbs could be used as a flex. The Saints have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs, including 11 rushing touchdowns and three receiving.
Many people have been anxiously waiting for Kenneth Dixon to get more involved in the offense after beginning the season sidelined with a knee injury. After nine touches in his first three games, Dixon was given more touches in Week 9 as coach John Harbaugh said would happen after the bye. Dixon didn't do much with the touches, though, rushing for 13 yards on nine carries and catching two passes for no yards as the Ravens offensive line struggled. West wasn't much better with 15 carries for 21 yards and one catch for six yards against the Steelers. West played 29 snaps to 20 for Dixon and West led in touches, 16-11. West is the preferred play, but Dixon should be owned and the Ravens are indicating they want to see Dixon seize the job. The Ravens have a great matchup on Thursday night against the Browns that will get the running game going. The Browns rank 31st in rushing yards per game allowed, 28th in rushing touchdowns allowed and 27th in yards per carry. If Dixon is available, add him.
New Orleans Saints
The backfield played out exactly as we thought in Week 9 against the 49ers. Tim Hightower and Mark Ingram were both excellent plays against a porous 49ers run defense that hasn't stopped anyone. Ingram, who was benched in Week 8 after a fumble in the first quarter led to a Seahawks touchdown, played 33 of 86 snaps and was the better back. He rushed for 158 yards on 15 carries (10.5 yards per carry), including a 75-yard touchdown run. He added two catches for 13 yards. Hightower hasn't been very efficient. When he replaced Ingram following the fumble in Week 8, he had 26 carries for 102 yards (3.9 ypc) and was stopped near the goal line several times. Against the 49ers last week, Hightower had 23 carries for 87 yards (3.8 ypc) with a touchdown and caught a 15-yard pass. This will be a timeshare for now. Unfortunately, the Saints don't play the 49ers every week. Both can be used as RB2s this week against the Broncos, who have fallen apart against the run. The Broncos are allowing 128.6 rushing yards per game, which is 29th in the NFL.
The Jaguars running game has been abysmal this season. The Jaguars are 31st in the NFL with 72.6 yards rushing per game and are last in rushing attempts. Chris Ivory was brought in to help create some balance in the offense and improve the red zone offense. He hasn't been used that way. Ivory had an illness to begin the season and when he returned, the Jaguars found themselves playing from behind in a lot of games and the offensive line hasn't been good. Nathaniel Hackett was brought in as the new offensive coordinator after the team was hammered against the Titans in Week 8. Ivory finally looked like the player we saw last year with the Jets. He ran with power and authority. Ivory rushed for 18 carries for 107 yards and lost a fumble at the goal line. T.J. Yeldon played more snaps but had fewer touches with seven carries for 33 yards and five catches for 32 yards with a touchdown. Yeldon will play in passing situations and in a hurry up offense. Against the Texans in Week 10, the Jaguars should be competitive making Ivory a good play. The Texans have allowed at least 104 rushing yards to running backs in five games this season. Look for Ivory to get the ball early and often as Hackett wants to run the ball more.