Top 4 RB Matchups for Week 6
1. Arizona Cardinals RBs vs. Buffalo Bills
A great matchup with near-universally unowned players set to possibly benefit production-wise.
We're starting out with a doozy here, so let's just lay out the facts:
Ryan Williams is done for the season.
Beanie Wells is on IR past a point in time at which you should be rostering him in most every circumstance.
The Cardinals are crazy if they don't trade for an RB or pick up an unsigned veteran runner.
For now, duties will be broken up between William Powell, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith.
Powell looked great in preseason, but I have a feeling Stephens-Howling is the guy to own here if he can come back healthy this week.
Owners facing bad bye-week situations could do much for worse for a matchup-based, high-upside flex play, especially if someone else claimed Powell, who seems like the hotter name on waiver wires.
2. Indianapolis Colts RBs at New York Jets
Only fantasy analysts and Donald Brown owners likely know how dependable Brown has quietly been as a flex play this season (9.55 points a week in standard leagues).
That is a dependable rock in your flex that serves as a low-end RB2 option. If you look at the TD-dependency ratios, you will see that when/if Brown starts scoring touchdowns, look out. This is a week where you want Brown in your lineups.
UPDATE: October 10, 11:35 a.m. CST
Donald Brown underwent surgery Tuesday for a previously unreported torn-cartilage condition in his knee. OC Bruce Arians has put the timetable for return at two to three weeks, which indicates a minor scope. Run, don't walk, to your waiver wires to scoop up Vick Ballard, who will start in his absence.
3. Cleveland Browns RBs vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Welcome to the NFL, Trent Richardson. I was wondering where you had been.
What a great display Richardson put on versus the New York Giants on Sunday, making cuts that look like they should tear the artificial surface right off the ground and breaking tackles.
Richardson also finally got to show off one of his best talents as a pass-catcher, getting targeted seven times and becoming heavily involved in the screen game.
Great matchup at home versus the Bengals. Roll with Richardson and feel good about it.
4. New York Jets RBs vs. Indianapolis Colts
Ugh. These guys. The only thing I hate about being a fantasy writer is having to worry about guys like Bilal Powell and Shonn Greene when I would rather not focus any of my energy on their life-sucking fantasy ineptitude.
But, it is a good matchup, and Shonn Greene did run hard and look like an NFL running back on a few plays to end the nightmare Monday night versus the Houston Texans.
I view Powell as, basically, Shonn Greene.
I don't see that much of a difference in the two backs. However, I have seen Greene show a small bit of burst lately, so I would favor him in this matchup if having to choose between the two.
Powell played one more snap than Greene on Sunday, so the split looks fairly even otherwise.
Worst 4 RB Matchups for Week 6
1. New York Giants RBs at San Francisco 49ers
Ahmad Bradshaw went off for 200 yards and a TD on Sunday against the Browns and looked like an All-Pro doing it.
Fantasy owners then realized, when looking at Bradshaw's Week 6 matchup, that this streak of dominance may be short-lived.
We have seen runners have success against the 49ers like Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch, but I do not put Ahmad Bradshaw in that same category.
However, Roy Helu did have a big game against San Francisco last season when getting heavily involved in the passing game, which Bradshaw can certainly do. That is all wishful thinking. Downgrade expectations, and not from last week's 26-point outlier, either.
From the usual. From 11 points.
2. Washington Redskins RBs vs. Minnesota Vikings
So much for Shanny and his fantasy RB shenanigans.
Alfred Morris has been nothing short of a dream come true for fantasy owners; thus far, a welcomed painkiller for RBBC headaches past in Washington.
Morris is fantasy's sixth-best runner and is rostered in many leagues by owners who picked him up off of waivers or at the tail end of drafts.
I have noticed Morris owners have been among the most active in my re-draft leagues in shopping trades for other high-end talent on rosters.
They have an unexpected RB1 in Morris, whom they rightfully believe in. Now, in this game we play, the correct move is to transfer your bench depth into depth you can use on your starting roster.
Squash the competition as they struggle with bye-week nightmares.
Morris owners should be shipping away guys like DeMarco Murray and Dwayne Bowe in packages for Calvin Johnson and the like.
All that said, I hate this matchup, and I am seriously tempering expectations for Morris this week. I'm a little worried about Robert Griffin III's "mild" concussion and how it will effect his ability/confidence to sell some of the moves that create such space for Morris.
3. St. Louis Rams RBs at Miami Dolphins
Steven Jackson has been terrible this season, but he has at least come through with a few very suspect-looking, yet semi-serviceable fantasy days for his owners.
This should not be one of them.
4. Buffalo Bills RBs at Arizona Cardinals
Fantasy football is brutal, and so is this NFC West.
We all knew the Seahawks were physical and had two 6'4" chess pieces at the corners with nasty safety play. Add Bruce Irvin to the mix; we knew to expect this. We knew exactly what the 49ers would continue to be.
But when looking at schedules in preseason, many fantasy owners figured that in facing the NFC West, at least their fantasy players would get to face Arizona and St. Louis. Two cream puffs.
And yet here we are. Now even these two give opposing fantasy players fits virtually across the board.
It's tough to love C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson in a game in which they will once again travel all the way west to play an NFC West opponent. We saw how that went last week.