The Week 10 fantasy RB rankings are looking up. Alvin Kamara and David Johnson are expected to return, and Le’Veon Bell looks to be on the right side of the availability coin, as well. Things are a bit murkier in Pittsburgh, but James Conner is getting doing his best to return from injury, too. The return of these studs would limit certain running back sleepers, such as Latavius Murray, Bilal Powell, Kenyan Drake, and Jaylen Samuels, and make start ’em, sit ’em decisions a whole lot easier.
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Will Alvin Kamara play in Week 10?
Sean Payton said Thursday that he “fully expects” Kamara to play in Week 10, via the Saints’ Twitter account. New Orleans hosts the Falcons at 1 p.m. ET Sunday. In Kamara’s two missed games before a Week 9 bye, Latavius Murray was the RB starter.
Kamara’s return means he goes right back into every fantasy lineup that he can. What’s more interesting is Murray, who was impressive in Kamara’s absence and could be relied upon slightly more to ease Kamara’s load in his return. Murray is a usable FLEX play in this six-team bye week.
Le’Veon Bell injury update
Bell didn’t practice Wednesday due to what the Jets are listing as a knee and an ankle injury. Bell is expected to be a limited participant in Thursday’s New York practice. Adam Gase had told reporters Wednesday he still expected Bell to play Sunday.
Bell’s expected involvement in Thursday’s practice is a positive sign for his Sunday availability against the Giants. If Bell were to miss out, Bilal Powell would become a low-end RB2 option in the battle of New York.
David Johnson injury update
Johnson told reporters Wednesday that he’s “definitely playing” in Week 10. Chase Edmonds is expected to remain sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Johnson should return to his starting role against the Buccaneers. Kenyan Drake will probably take on a role similar to the one Edmonds had in Weeks 4 through 6, when Edmonds averaged 6.3 carries and 2.0 targets per game. He might get a few more touches than that given his talent and Johnson’s still fragile overall health, but not enough to even make him a FLEX play unless you’re desperate.
Is James Conner playing Week 10?
Conner was a limited participant in Pittsburgh’s Wednesday practice, while both Benny Snell (knee) and Edmunds (ribs) were held out with injuries. Jaylen Samuels would be in line for a start at 4:25 p.m. ET against the Rams on Sunday if Conner was out for another week.
The easiest conclusion here is Conner to be active, making him a fantasy start and everyone else a sit. If Conner is out and so are Snell and Edmunds, Samuels will get every touch he can handle and be a must-start. If one of Snell and Edmunds joins Samuels as active, they would have some low-end FLEX value.