NFL Nation Fantasy Fallout: Is Jamaal Williams now Detroit's lead back?

Our NFL Nation reporters answer fantasy football questions every Tuesday during the NFL season. Here's what they had to say following Week 9.

The snaps were even... do you think it's only a matter of time (and health) until Cordarrelle Patterson takes over the bulk of the work in this backfield?

No. The Falcons have enough confidence in an emerging Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley to at least have some sort of rotation at running back. Plus, Atlanta's ideal is to be able to line Patterson up all over the place iin the formation, which would allow for a lot of multi-back sets. Patterson will always have a role and a big one in Atlanta's offense. No question on that. But don't expect him to be the only back the Falcons use every week. -- Michael Rothstein

Should we hold out hope that a Bears running back can hold value or should we move on given the usage of Justin Fields?

The dynamic of Chicago's rushing attack has shifted with the uptick of runs, both designed and scrambles, by Fields. It's not realistic to expect Fields to top the single-game QB rushing record (178 yards) he just reached against Miami, but his double-digit rushing attempts are becoming the norm. Chicago still likes the committee approach it has in its backfield, but the way its running backs are being used isn't resulting in the biggest fantasy output for either rusher. David Montgomery played 70% of snaps in both the Dallas and Miami game while Khalil Herbert was at 28% each of those weeks. Montgomery's usage is higher, but Herbert averaged over 5.0 yards per carry against the Cowboys and Dolphins, respectively. We have a pretty good idea for how the Bears want to utilize both backs nine games in with Montgomery being called on for early downs, short yardage situations and at the goal line while Herbert is the go-to when the Bears execute their two-minute offense. It's tough to see one or the other emerging as a high-value fantasy option, but both can provide in specific situations. -- Courtney Cronin

Short week for Carolina (vs. ATL on Thursday)... should we be starting any Panther in this limited offense?

Yes. Running back D'Onta Foreman. He didn't have a good day on Sunday since the Bengals jumped ahead 35-0 at halftime and the running game was abandoned. But Foreman had consecutive 118-yard rushing performances before that, including one against Atlanta. -- David Newton

Jamaal Williams out-carried D'Andre Swift 24-2. Are we safe to call Williams the lead back in Detroit for the rest of the season?

Yes, it certainly seems that way. When Swift is on the field, there's no denying his talent as the most explosive offensive threat on the roster, averaging a career-best 7.3 yards per carry, but availability is the best ability in football and Swift hasn't been healthy. He's already missed three games this season with shoulder and ankle injuries. Meanwhile, Williams is off to the best start of his career with eight rushing touchdowns through eight games, which are the third-most in the NFL. Williams is the bigger back and he's been more reliable although Swift is the most exciting. "I'm just grateful for what's came so far, and I know there's so much more for me to go get so I'm not satisfied with nothing, but I'm humble at the same time for all the things I've accomplished," Williams told ESPN. -- Eric Woodyard

Should we take anything away from the 0-target effort for Dameon Pierce after he saw five per game for the month prior?

No. Pierce is averaging 20 carries in the last six games while averaging 96 yards. Pierce not getting any targets through the air against the Philadelphia Eagles isn't an issue since he's getting the lion share of the carries. The Texans want to run the offense through him as he's their only offensive consistent threat. Pierce wasn't that much of a factor through the air throughout the season as the Texans gave those passing opportunities to running back Rex Burkhead. But Pierce is still a dynamic fantasy choice since he's the bellcow of the offense. -- DJ Bien-Aime

Justin Herbert has underwhelmed for a month now. What can we expect from him going forward?

Herbert was removed from the official injury report ahead of a Week 6 matchup against the Broncos, but nevertheless, has still been dealing with the effects of playing through fractured rib cartilage. However, coach Brandon Staley said after a Week 9 victory over the Falcons that more play options were available given his continued recovery. "We felt like he was at a good enough point to start activating a little bit more," Staley said. The third-year quarterback also has dealt with a makeshift receivers group most of the season with Keenan Allen missing extended time due to a hamstring injury and Mike Williams sidelined with a high ankle sprain, leaving his go-to options as running back Austin Ekeler and second-year receiver Joshua Palmer. -- Lindsey Thiry

Jeff Wilson Jr. impressed in his debut. Who leads this backfield in fantasy points the rest of the way?

I know it's every fantasy managers least favorite thing to hear, but this will be more of a hot hand approach than anything. Wilson and Raheem Mostert split snaps nearly down the middle Sunday, but Wilson was more effective with his touches. there's room for both players in this backfield, but probably not as anything more than a mid range RB2. No matter who is in the backfield, this is a pass heavy office and that doesn't look like it's changing anytime soon. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Both running backs scored and the snap count was close. Do you think this offense works a way to make James Robinson their guy due to the trade, or is this a committee situation that will be frustrating for fantasy managers?

Prepare for frustration because will be a committee approach in the post-Breece Hall world. Play time will depend on down-and-distance and opponent, but look for even split between Carter and Robinson. Carter will be the outside threat, Robinson inside. One thing to remember about Robinson: He's dealing with knee soreness that almost caused him to miss last week's game. The bye week will help, but they will have to manage his touches to keep him from wearing down. -- Rich Cimini

Miles Sanders had 22 receiving yards in Week 4 but has just seven yards on four targets since. Are his days as a threat in the passing game officially over?

He'll put up decent receiving numbers on occasion, but his opportunities are so limited-- he hasn't been targeted more than three times in a game in over a year -- that production in that area of his game can't be relied upon. The passing game runs through A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert, as it should. Sanders' work will continue to come primarily on the ground. -- Tim McManus