Week 3
September 19, 2017
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Chris Thompson

Washington Redskins

Thompson Flashes


Thompson only had three carries, but two of them went for scores, including a 61-yard scamper. He finished with six touches for 106 yards and two scores. Rob Kelley could miss time with the injury and Thompson is lightening in a bottle.

Fantasy Goo: Thompson is the back to own in PPR leagues, his floor is solid with the passing downs work and he will probably average five carries a game if Kelley (ribs) is out.


09/19/17, 07:08 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: pyromaniac.com


Chris Carson

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Backfield Jumble


Carson was the man at running back for the Seahawks, running the ball 20 times for 93 yards, and he caught one pass for 7 yards to give him 100 total yards on the day. Lacy is a non-factor, and Rawls does not look like he will be able to keep Carson from getting the Lion share of carries going forward.

Fantasy Goo: Carson will probably be the number one waiver add in your league, and if you have the number one pick you NEED to add Carson now.


09/19/17, 07:06 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: pyromaniac.com


D'Onta Foreman

Houston Texans

The Foreman Is On The Job


The Texans want to get Foreman more involved in the offense, and this week he had 12 carries for 40 yards. He is going to be in a 60/40 split with Lamar Miller, but there is upside if Miller goes down. His workload should only increase as the season moves along.

Fantasy Goo: If he’s still available, if you have space on your roster, and if you can wait a few weeks for him to take even more of the role, then this is your guy to grab. Foreman could emerge as the Texans primary back by the end of the year.


09/19/17, 07:03 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: pyromaniac.com


Rashard Higgins

Cleveland Browns

They Call Him "Hollywood"


Browns placed WR Corey Coleman on injured reserve with a broken hand. Coleman underwent surgery on his broken right hand Monday. Higgins played 54-of-71 snaps against the Ravens, 12 more than Kenny Britt. He also turned 11 targets into seven catches for 95 yards. He was just promoted off the practice squad on Saturday, so he could be a one hit wonder.

Fantasy Goo: Normally I would say to just put him on your watch list, but he could emerge into what we thought Kenny Britt would be. Britt is playing like he doesn’t give a crap right now, which is giving Higgins opportunity and with Coleman out for at least eight weeks there might not be anyone else to throw to.


09/19/17, 07:00 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com


Will Fuller

Houston Texans

Strong Out, Fuller In


Will Fuller (collarbone) returned to practice on Monday. It's a potential sign Fuller could return for Week 3. The Houston Chronicle reported in early August that Fuller would likely miss "2-3 months," but Fuller is an elite athlete in optimal condition, and he is capable of beating a lengthy timetable like that. The Texans also placed WR Jaelen Strong on waivers and the Jaguars have claimed him.

Fantasy Goo: It’s too bad the Texans still don’t have a QB. Fuller could add a valuable weapon for Watson, but I don’t see Watson being a productive QB that can maintain two WR’s with weekly fantasy value. Keep Fuller on the watch list just in case Watson proves he can produce or they shift to a free agent QB.


09/19/17, 06:57 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com


A.J. Green

Cincinnati Bengals

Green looking forward to Green Bay


A.J. Green has struggled to get going this season, with 10 receptions for 141 yards and no touchdowns. This week he faces a Packers defense that could be without Mike Daniels and Ahmad Brooks. Julio Jones had 108 yards against the Packers last week, and without the pass rush of Daniels Green should be able to make more plays downfield this week. The Bengals are looking for their first touchdown of the season, and Dalton wants it to be a passing touchdown to A.J.


09/19/17, 06:57 PM CDT by Houdini

Source: www.pro-football-reference.com


Le'Veon Bell

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell looking for a breakthrough against the Bears


Le'Veon has only totaled 138 yards with no scores through the first two weeks. Owners should be feeling good about his matchup this week against the Bears. Chicago is already without LB Jerrell Freeman, and last week lost his replacement Nick Kwiatkowski. The Bears are a mess and Bell should be able to exploit those weaknesses for big gains this week.


09/19/17, 06:52 PM CDT by Houdini

Source: www.pro-football-reference.com

Carolina Panthers

Carolina In My Mind


Implied Team Totals: Panthers 25, Bills 18
Cam looked rusty last week, he was literally shaking his arm after passes like there was rust in his shoulder joint. Christian McCaffrey out-snapped Jonathan Stewart 70% to 43% in Week 1, but Stewart out-touched McCaffrey 20 to 18, and Stewart scored the backfield’s lone TD on a red-zone reception where McCaffrey served as a decoy. As Carolina is favored by a touchdown at home, this sets up as another positive-script game where Stewart can log a similar if not superior workload to his dynamic rookie counterpart, giving both Panthers backs RB2/flex appeal. I don’t like any of the receivers, Benjamin is only ranked within the startable range because of the implied opportunity and what should be a prime match-up.


09/17/17, 10:30 AM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo @ Carolina


Implied Team Totals: Panthers 25, Bills 18
Tyrod is a solid sit for me on the road against a strong Carolina defense that silenced the 49ers on the road last week. McCoy will get 25 or so carries so I’m starting him in season-long, but his upside is capped so he’s a fade in DFS this week. Charles Clay led Buffalo in targets and caught his eighth TD in 29 games as a Bill. Last year’s Panthers allowed the league’s second-most fantasy points to tight ends, a position to which their Cover-3 zone can be vulnerable.


09/17/17, 10:28 AM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com

New England Patriots

New England @ New Orleans


Implied Team Totals: Patriots 31, Saints 25
Last year the Saints allowed the second-most points (454) and the most passing yards (4380), the Superdome is now known as football’s version of Coors Field for its elevation of offensive output. My top DFS plays are Brady, of course, Cooks in a revenge game, Gronk if you are ok with paying up at TE, and the way to get Gronk in a DK line-up is to play James White at RB2 or flex. White is cheap, and played the most snaps of the RB’s last week, he could have around 5 receptions for around 35-50yds and cross your fingers for a TD.


09/17/17, 10:12 AM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com

New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Hosting New England


Implied Team Totals: Patriots 31, Saints 25
The Saints, and Brees are a different animal at home than the road. Alex Smith shredded the Pats last week and even on short rest (6 days, compared to NE’s 10 days) Brees should see similar numbers. I feel good about starting Michael Thomas or Fleener, they should see the bulk of red-zone targets. The RB situation is in flux so the only RB I’m considering is Alvin Kamara, he’s obviously not a cash game play, but at $3500 he could pay-off in a big way.


09/17/17, 10:09 AM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have alot to do to bounce back to fantasy relevance in week 2


With Blake Bortles playing the role as "game manager" it certainly puts a cap on the Jags offense as a whole,sure Leonard Fournette can be counted on to get the Lions share of work but at the cost of the passing game especially after losing AR15 who is left to count on ?
Blake threw for a meager 125 and a TD in week one's victory over Houston,but went 11 for 21 pass attempts. (21 attempts yoikes)
It seems the lack of faith in Bortles has everyone wondering if you can even start any pass catcher on this team.
The improvement of the defense should help but if history tells us anything it is that the Jags will be playing from behind and will be forced to throw. So again who's catching the ball in Jacksonville week 2?

Allen Hurns caught 3 out of 4 targets for 42 yards in the Jaguars' season opener and should be the one to take on the WR1 duties. He did show some fantasy value two years ago and is most likely to be the receiver with the most upside and is currently WR 49 on pyro rankings.

Marqise Lee was off the marq week 1 and had 4 balls thrown his way and failed to haul in a single catch, but he is in line to be the WR2. Maybe the increased workload and motivation of being more involved in the game plan will be the trick for Lee who's is WR 50 on pyro rankings.

Marcedes Lewis the tight-end failed to make a single reception of his two targets vs.the Texans. He could be called on to make up some of the loss of ARob but I'm not holding my breath. He only had 169 yards and a single touchdown all of last season Lewis is currently holding down TE 47 on the current pyro rankings.

Fantasy Goo: So if your like me the approach in Jacksonville is wait and see what happens Sunday vs Tennessee and hopefully we get the answers we are looking for by end of week three.


09/17/17, 05:13 AM CDT by PK Ripper

Source: pyromaniac.com

Green Bay Packers

Packers @ Falcons


Ty Montgomery played 75 of82 snaps, he’s playing a team that struggles to cover RBs and there’s a high over under. After allowing a league-high 14.5 receiving points per game to opposing backfields in 2016, Atlanta allowed a Week 1 high 23.1 points to the Chicago backfield receiving. Aaron Rodgers has thrown 10 touchdowns with at least three in each game and averaged 29.3 points per game. Randall Cobb accounted for 32 percent of the Green Bay targets Week 1.

Fantasy Goo: Start everyone mentioned above and Jordy. I guess Adams and Bennett are solid plays too, but I usually stay away from them in general, very TD dependent. This should be a shoot-out in Atlanta’s new stadium, and I expect Ty Montgomery to have the best value at $5800 on DK.


09/16/17, 06:28 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com


Akeem Hunt

Houston Texans

Double Hunt in KC


“Chiefs are releasing CJ Spiller again, per sources. This makes room on the 53 for RB Akeem Hunt, who can contribute on lots of special teams.”

Fantasy: Ok, this means absolutely nothing, but if you have that guy in your league that keeps sending annoying trades, you should pick up Akeem and send the guy an offer when you know he’s been drinking. All he’ll see is Hunt KC, if you make the right offer. Ask for someone good, but don’t get greedy.


09/16/17, 06:24 PM CDT by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Michael Crabtree

Oakland Raiders

Crabtree is the WR1 on Oakland yet again


Crabtree is the WR1a for the Raiders against a strong Jets defense in Oakland, but it’s the first home game of the year and they’ve already shown the ability to put up points. This game should end in a blowout which means more red-zone targets for Crabby, something that he didn’t see in Week 1. Look for another seven reception performance for around 100 yards and a touchdown.


09/16/17, 04:56 PM CDT by d-Rx

Source: www.pyomaniac.com


Derek Carr

Oakland Raiders

Great matchup this week


Carr was very efficient against the Titans on the road but will break out in a major way at home against the withering Jets defense. Tyrod Taylor posted 18.7 FF points in Week 1 against NYJ and Carr has better weapons at his disposal. Carr could easily be the top QB this week and will continue to be the steal of the draft.


09/16/17, 04:54 PM CDT by d-Rx

Source: www.pyomaniac.com


Amari Cooper

Oakland Raiders

Cooper scooper


Cooper had the big fantasy day with his 62 yards and a touchdown, but he had only five receptions on 13 targets! Something to be concerned about, but Amari also worked through a small knee injury. Use the eye-test in Week 2 to see if his efficiency improves, otherwise, Crabtree might re-take the WR1 spot on this powerful offense.


09/16/17, 04:54 PM CDT by d-Rx

Source: www.pyomaniac.com


Emmanuel Sanders

Denver Broncos

2 inches short of explosion


Sanders was so close to a massive fantasy day but was overthrown by inches on two red-zone targets on Monday night. Sanders and Demaryius will mimic each other’s stat lines through the season, but ‘Manny usually sees the softer coverage. Over the course of the season, Demaryius will see a larger total FF point sum, but itll be Sanders that wins you the week.


09/16/17, 04:53 PM CDT by d-Rx

Source: www.pyomaniac.com


Demaryius Thomas

Denver Broncos

Solid WR2 in all formats


Thomas will continue to be a solid WR2 especially in PPR leagues. Dallas is a similar test to the Chargers in defending receivers, so temper expectations for a breakout week, but you can definitely expect 6-8 receptions for just under 100 yards.


09/16/17, 04:52 PM CDT by d-Rx

Source: www.pyomaniac.com


C.J. Anderson

Denver Broncos

Anderson has Charles breathing down his neck...


Anderson rushed 20 times for 81 yards but was often replaced near the goal line and in long yardage situations. It was odd to see and may be a legitimate concern with Jamaal Charles in the back-up role. All CJ owners should think about stashing Charles on the bench. Dallas only allowed 9.6 and 3.5 FF points to Giant RBs so we should expect a similar output in Week 2, making CJ a flex candidate.


09/16/17, 04:50 PM CDT by d-Rx

Source: www.pyomaniac.com

Quick hitting fantasy football intel to help you win your league - this is volume 1 of the running backs

Pyro Gold Diggers - FF Outlook Nuggets for Running Backs Vol. 1

Posted by d-Rx on 07/15/17

by   The Archer


@TheArcher


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Since 2012 the Running Back position has been the most volatile position in fantasy football. If we look at the top 12 rushers each season since 2012, only 8 running backs have followed up their season with more yards than the prior year, that’s only 16.7% of the time (not to mention one of those was Adrian Peterson after having to sit out the majority of the 2014 season on the commissioners exempt list). With this volatility and high market price for Running Backs on draft day, we did a deep dive on the position to help you realize market inefficiencies and dominate another fantasy season! Let’s get started:

 

Le'Veon Bell – Based on Avg. Yds. From Scrimmage, had Bell played 16 games he would have had 2,512 well ahead of 2nd. He is as good as advertised.

 

Ezekiel Elliott – Elliott led the league with rushes of 20 yards or more with 14. Always a homerun threat. The cloud of uncertainty still hangs over him. The league has yet to rule out disciplinary action for the 2017, something to keep an eye on.

 

David Johnson - Johnson led all RBs in receptions with 80. This put him in the top 20 including WRs. With reports coming from Cardinals, they plan to use him even more. He could approach 100. Johnson was PFF’s 2016 Receiver of the Year, yeah…WR!

 

LeSean McCoy – McCoy finished the year 4th in total TD’s with 14. This while having 10 vultured by his backups. Mike Gillislee and his 9 has moved on to the Patriots leaving 2017 open for positive regression.

 

Melvin Gordon – Gordon is a member of a shrinking minority in the league, a true bell cow back. He finished the 2016 season with 1,416 combined yards and 12 TD’s. The Chargers let Woodhead go to Baltimore and did not bring in a replacement. Expect these numbers to increase in 2017. The Chargers head coach is Anthony Lynn, please see the Bills 24 RB rushing TDs above.

 

Devonta Freeman – Freeman ended 2016 6th in scrimmage yards with 1,541. 2017 is a contract year and it looks as though the Falcons plan to see how the year unfolds before offering an extension.

 

Jordan Howard – Howard busted onto the scene in 2016 and ended as the second leading rusher with 1,313 yards, he also lost 15 pounds in the offseason. As a bigger back, this has lead other players to continued success, cough cough Le’Veon.

 

Jay Ajayi – Jay-Train last call! Ajayi led the NFL in forced missed tackles with 58 and put up 3.46 yards after contact. Thus Ajayi was had the best elusive rating from PFF. Adam Gase sees it too and said Ajayi could see 350 carries this year. But tread lightly, Ajayi has bone-on-bone in his knee, lets enjoy him while we can.

 

DeMarco Murray – Wait, it’s not an Exotic Smash mouth? Murray was a workhorse in 2016 ranking third in rush attempts and sixth in receptions. They say they’ll get Henry more work, but can they get DeMarco off the field?

 

Lamar Miller – Our Lamar Miller experiment didn’t play out how many saw, he did in fact set career highs with 714 snaps and 268 rushes. So that’s why the Dolphins never gave Miller the big workload, but expect Miller to see a huge increase of work in the passing game as he was literally the only RB to not drop a target in the NFL last year.

 

Leonard Fournette – Fournette’s 2015 season at LSU was rated as the best RB season in the last decade. Why is he so great? At his 235 pound playing weight, Fournette recorded a 22.9 MPH during a game. For comparison purposes, Tyreek Hill’s top speed was recorded at 23.2 MPH, he’s really big and he’s really freaking fast.

 

Todd Gurley – New HC, Sean McVay has never coached a team that ranked lower than 11th in rushing. It’s safe to say that Gurley is going to be a much more fun tool to play with than ‘Fat Rob’, Matt Jones and the ghost of Alf Morris.

 

Jonathan Stewart – The Panthers added Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel in the draft so many think J-Stew is on the way out. Think again, since 2015 no player has more broken tackles on runs between the tackles than Stewart. In fact, he is sitting at 96 and the next closest player is down at 78. J-Stew ain't going nowhere.

 

Mark Ingram – The AP signing had us all questioning Ingram’s status in New Orleans. Pump the break, Ingram in 2016 outplayed Peterson in 2015 by trumping his elusive rating by 21 points (6th overall to AP’s 25th) and he averaged 0.8 yards after contact more than Peterson those respective years.

 

Duke Johnson – Isaiah Crowell is getting all of the Brown’s RB hype this off-season, but don’t forget about Duke. He was incredible in 2016 with 21 broken tackles after the catch. This was second to only the other D. Johnson, 2016’s fantasy sweetheart.

 

Mike Gillislee – Gillislee ranks favorable to Blount, if he only carries the ball 75% of what Blount did he should finish the year with 1,281 yards and 17 TDs extrapolated from his incredibly impressive yards per carry in Buffalo.

 

LeGarrette Blount – LGB shocked the fantasy world in 2016 with 18 TDs, in the three years prior Blount totaled 18 TDs. Not to mention the Blount has shown an affinity for getting caught smoking weed in Pennsylvania.

 

Ty Montgomery –With the exception of the game at Chicago, he failed to surpass 100 yards and did not get double digit carries in any of the regular season games. In the playoffs he had 25 attempts and 91 rushing yards over their 3 games.

 

Jalen Richard – Jalen Richard just might be the next big thing for the NFL. We saw David Johnson burst onto the scene in 2015 as he took his first two NFL touches to the house. Jalen Richard’s first touch was a 75-yard Touchdown run. Also, Jalen had the second highest yards after contact (3.6) and rushes per missed tackle (4.1) averages. We’re not saying Richard is going to be the next David Johnson, but he just might be.

 

Isaiah Crowell – Cleveland added some big bodies to their offensive line which earned them PFF’s 2nd rated O-Line heading into 2017. Crowell is not a sure thing to reap the benefits of the line, he had the second lowest Success Rate among RB’s with over 100 carries last season as he finished with just 39% successful plays.

 

Doug Martin – Doug Martin has finished as RB3 twice in his career, in his other three seasons he finished no higher than 45th. What can be extrapolated from this? When he does not play all 16 games, Martin has never surpassed 500 yards rushing. With Martin’s suspension, we know he will not play all 16. Exo-facto draft Martin with caution this year.

 

Christian McCaffrey – McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders collegiate record with 2,659 yards from scrimmage. How did this stat translate to the pros? Barry ran for 1,470 yard and 14 touchdowns and added 282 in the air. If we project this out to 175 rushes vs Sanders 280, CMC is looking at 900 yards and 8 TDs, plus we can all agree that he’s looking at about 40 catches to Barry’s 24.

 

Joe Mixon – The number we are looking at is 4.5. Nope, this wasn’t Mixon’s 40 time, it was Jay Ajayi’s rushes per missed tackle, in which he led the league. Mixon’s college production is favorable to this number, Mixon forced a missed tackle on every 3.9 touches. Don’t be surprised if we see Mixon going for 200 yards in games this year like we saw from Ajayi in 2016.

 

Adrian Peterson – The last time we saw a healthy Peterson he was All-World, after a meniscus tear and with age concerns AP is coming at a discount for the first time since his rookie year. In 2015 Peterson had a production premium of -1.3 which shows that he was less efficient with his work than the norm. Despite this, his normalize fantasy points per game were 3rd in the league when adjusted for his supporting cast. New Orleans is certainly a more efficient offense than Minnesota, we should see this reflected despite projecting a lesser workload.

 

Frank Gore – This may be the biggest question in fantasy football, when will Frank Gore be done? Gore leads the NFL in career touches with 609 more than the next closest player. Fun fact is that he has more than 2x touches than Jamaal Charles. Frank Gore is currently 8th all-time at 13,065 yards, trailing the great Eric Dickerson by 194. The number he is shooting for is 1,037 yards this year as it will put Gore above Curtis Martin and into 4th overall. Can he stay healthy and effective enough to hit that mark? Maybe not, we may have seen the cliff last year without noticing it. Gore dropped from 10th most elusive runner to last among 25 qualified RBs. If Gore can't make people miss the Colts will likely move on from the future HOFer.

 

James Conner – The PIT Panther has one of the most inspiring stories in all of sports as he beat cancer, and still was able to show up for practices during his treatment. He is stepping into De’Angelo William’s role as Le’Veon Bell’s backup. If Bell goes down the Steelers have shown that they will use the backup as a workhorse. James Conner prior to cancer in 2014 had the second most broken tackles over the past 3 years at 88. He automatically becomes a top-12 RB if Bell goes down.

 

Kenneth Dixon – Dixon will miss the first 4 games for violating the PED policy. When he comes back you still might not want to own him, Dixon only faced a stacked front 3.4% of his carries, but on those plays he failed to average positive yards. As for being used in the pass game, remember that the Ravens went out and got receiving specialist Danny Woodhead.

 

Carlos Hyde – Carlos Hyde will be the feature back in a Kyle Shanahan offense, this is a position we hold near and dear to our heart in fantasy football. Shanahan has produced a top 5 rushing offense three times in the past five seasons. This is not an outlier, his father, Mike worked for 26 years in the NFL, 22 of those seasons he had a top 12 rushing offense. Running is in the Shanahan blood, and this year Carlos Hyde will be the main beneficiary.

 

Ameer Abdullah – Ameer is the ultimate risk in fantasy football, Jim Bob Cooter has made Detroit a passing haven that involves RBs in the pass attack more than on the ground. Ameer is in the 98th percentile on his SPARQ-x score which is a measure for explosiveness. With all that explosiveness sometimes we get duds. In fact, Ameer is the most volatile fantasy player on a weekly basis. Due to this, it’s in your best interest to not rely on Abdullah on a week-in-week-out basis.

 

C.J. Anderson – The Broncos have brought new RBs on board in consecutive seasons with Booker and Charles joining Anderson in the back field. Anderson saw 74% of the RB snaps when active in 2016, that good for 7th among RBs. As long as he is healthy the Broncos will feed him the rock. Oh and his fantasy playoff matchup is composed of the Jets, Colts and Redskins, yummy.

 

Jamaal Charles – Jamaal Charles is well known for his NFL record 5.45 yards per carry. Being in Denver now, that number doesn’t matter as he needs to work his way up the depth chart. How is he going to do that? His last healthy season, Jamaal was the 6th most elusive RB with a 55.8 score, the start C.J. Anderson dropped to a career low of 34.2 last year. If Jamaal can make plays like a shell of himself, he will find himself getting work in the Mile High City.

 

Devontae Booker – When Anderson went down last season, the fantasy community was thirsty for some Booker. He fell flat on his face with a Red Zone success rate of 41% that put him at 84th in the NFL. The Broncos clearly showed their frustration with the addition of Jamaal Charles.

 

Samaje Perine – Samaje Perine worked in Joe Mixon’s shadow for much of this year’s draft season, although Mixon got more hype, Perine was actually the starter in Washington. Perine’s only completion in Washington this year is ‘Fat Rob’ Kelley. Somehow people have forgotten that Perine, not Mixon is the single game record holder for rush yards in a single game when we went for 427 against Kansas in 2014. Perine may have the best situation of any rookie RB this season.

 

Darren McFadden – The Dallas offense runs through Zeke Elliott, but Jerry Jones will always have an affinity for DMC as he is a Razorback. That being said, the Cowboys run the most plays on the ground, hitting an extraordinary 499 in 2016. With a top tier offensive line and DMC clocking in the 98th percentile on his Speed Score, he has the ability to step in and produce RB1 numbers if Zeke is suspended or injured. Remember there was concern with Zeke and his hamstring injury prior to 2016, soft tissue injuries seem to never go away.

 

Joe Williams – Kyle Shanahan banging his hands on the table to draft Joe Williams is the story that resonates in everyone’s mind. Williams had some good, tape but the numbers that really stand out are 7 and 5. Williams fumbled the ball 7 times last year, and added 5 drops on catchable balls. Rookies don’t get many opportunities in the NFL, and if Williams doesn’t avoid these mistakes in the NFL the 49ers fans will be banging the tables for Matt Breida.

 

Jamaal Williams – Jamaal Williams reminds me of a player in a similar situation, a high potent offense with a glaring hole at RB. The 2010 Patriots were a high octane offense with a 33-year-old QB (cough cough Aaron) and an uninspiring running game. The Lawfirm, BenJarvis Green Ellis toted 509 carries without recording a fumble. Jamaal Williams is of the same fabric, Williams was PFF’s top pass blocking RB in the draft class and his big frame and large hands led to only two fumbles over 786 carries. He won’t blow you away, but if he gets the job you can plug him in as a safe RB2.

 

Theo Riddick – Theo Riddick if playing in average situations was RB8 last year on a points per game basis, however from Week 8 on Riddick consistently saw his touches drop from 19 to an average of 10 in weeks 11-13. Riddick will also be fighting for playing time with Ameer Abdullah back healthy. To keep the trend of 8’s going, the Lions had 8 Fourth Quarter comeback. Riddick saw a lot of opportunities in those games whereas he is not as valuable if you flip the game script.

 

Eddie Lacy – We have gotten to a point with Lacy where we assume if he is not overweight that he is going to be able to provide fantasy value. However, Lacy had a production premium grade of -26.1 which compares Lacy to the other RBs and measures efficiency and smooths out garbage time and other non-standard situations. This makes Lacy the #76 RB in smoothed efficiency. Lacy was healthy in 2015 but he failed to break into the positives that year as well finishing as the #54 RB. C.J. Prosise on the other hand was #4 in the NFL with a score of +37.1. Prosise may just beat out Lacy as the rushing downs back and passing.

 

Dalvin Cook – Dalvin Cook fell to Minnesota in the second round of this year’s rookie draft due to off-the field concerns as many advanced metrics supported Cook being the best back in the draft class. Cook finished second in the nation with 4.6 yards after contact and first in the nation with 88 forced missed tackles. Unfortunately, he is going to the third worst rushing team in the NFL as the Vikings were only able to create 0.93 yards before contact. Even if Cook gets the lion share of work, it’ll be tough to get in space and make guys miss when he’s constantly being met in the backfield.

 

Matt Forte – This will more than likely be Forte’s final season in the NFL as he has gone on record multiple times stating that his goal has always been to play 10 years in the NFL. When we think of players who get more effective when their workload lessens, we likely think of the smaller backs like Lamar Miller who are more impacted by the grind of being an NFL running back. Interestingly Matt Forte sees a significant inverted increase in effectiveness when his carries drop. Actually looking at it, each season Forte’s snaps decrease his PFF grade increases. Without a doubt we expect the 31-year-old back to see less work, but he still will provide value in his limited work.

 

Derrick Henry – The word on the street is that DeMarco Murray will remain as the workhorse back in Tennessee and Henry will have to sit back and wait his turn. We talk about Murray’s receiving skills as a main reason why he won’t come off the field, however Derrick Henry excelled in the pass game. Henry had the third highest pass blocking efficiency allowing only one total pressure last season. Henry will see more action in his sophomore season, and his value will sky rocket if Murray suffers an injury.

 

Danny Woodhead – A lot of people are buying into Woodhead in Baltimore. I’m not. Woodhead is on the wrong side of 30 as he will turn 33 in January. Woodhead has a career high of 106 rush attempts, and outside that 2013 season he has never topped 100. There have been 66 other instances of 32-year-old RBs with under 100 rush attempts, only 2 of them produced over 10 fantasy points per game in PPR scoring and only 5 have produced over 100 PPR points over the course of the season. In a crowded backfield, it is a good practice to fade 30+ year old running backs with limited upside.

 

Terrance West – T-West has been named Baltimore’s starting RB, partially due to Kenneth Dixon’s suspension. West is being vastly overlooked due to the perception that Dixon will win that job when he returns, however West was a surprisingly strong player. Last season he was the 13th rated RB due to his 12 runs of over 15 yards which was good for eighth in the league. Dixon is perceived as a better pass catcher, however West’s 1.54 yards per route run was good for 0.25 better than the aforementioned Dixon.

 

Paul Perkins – The New York Giants are “all-in” on Perkins this year. But if we look at Ben McAdoo who comes from the Mike McCarthy phylum as he was with the Packers from 2006-2013. Since 2009 with McAdoo a Ryan Grant was the only RB to receive over 50% of the shares of carries. The next highest market share was 47%, pump the breaks on Perkins as there has been a strong influence of RBBC in McAdoo’s offenses.

 

Charles Sims – Sims produced a rushing NEP of -9.9 on his 51 carries in 2016. NEP is a measure of how many expected points a player added or lost on an individual play. This led Sims to just a 27.5% success rate on his runs. He was vastly outperformed by Jacquizz Rodgers with a success rate of 46.5%. Don’t expect to see Sims get a substantial workload especially considering the Doug Martin hype coming out of Tampa Bay this off-season.

 

Kareem Hunt – PFF rated Hunt as the number one overall running back in the draft class, after generating 986 rushing yards after contact over his career and getting the third highest FBS elusive rating of 112.1. Hunt may have trouble supplanting Spencer Ware, but this will depend on Ware’s health. If we see the post-concussion Hunt of last season, the job is Hunt’s to lose.

 

Marlon Mack – Frank Gore and Robert Turbin combined to break off 15 yard runs on only 11% of their carries. Mack on the other hand produced 15+ yard runs on 52% of his carries, fifth highest among this draft class. Mack got the workload to support a consistent fantasy output, but he is the most likely RB to mirror Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington who both averaged over 5 yards per carry backing up Latavius Murray.

 

Thomas Rawls – The Seahawks who we remember being a power running team fueled by Marshawn Lynch couldn’t be further from how they played in 2016. The percentage of power scheme rushing plays that the Seahawks ran in 2016 was dead last at 1.5%. Rawls is a power runner and was since supplanted by Eddie Lacy, Rawls has more obstacles of any starting RB from last year to regain his starting role.

 

Tevin Coleman – Coleman saw the ninth largest increase in play based on PFF’s overall grades among second year players across all positions, he improved in almost every metric as he cut down his fumbles, increased his yards after contact and tripled his rush attempt totals. Coleman really thrived in the passing game as he dropped only 2 passes of his 45 targets and averages 11.2 yards after contact. Coleman led all RBs in yards per route at 2.44 and has claimed his role as Atlanta’s pass catching back. Coleman also could be primed for elite status next year as Devonta Freeman seeks to be paid as an elite RB next year, which Atlanta may not be willing to pay up.

 

Bilal Powell – From Week 10 on last year, Bilal Powell can say one thing that no other man can say. Powell was the only running back to force more missed tackles than Le’Veon Bell with 9 on his 29 catches. In the same time period Powell average 3.24 yards after contact, and despite his limited workload he forced 4 more missed tackles than the Cowboys workhorse Zeke Elliott. He also beat out teammate Matt Forte with the eighth best overall ranking and sixth best running grade compared to Forte’s 22nd and 18th respectively. 

 

 

 

 

By The Hartbeat & Pop's

 

 

 

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