Ugly is the word that comes to my mind when looking over this week's list of running backs after the first 13 options.
Inconsistency, injury and the near death of the bell cow back are reasons to blame for the weak list of running backs we have to choose from in the game today.
One running back I look to who should have a big week, based on the team he’s matched up against is Reggie Bush. After a terrific performance against the Oakland Raiders early in the season, Bush suffered a knee injury and hasn’t posted the numbers his owners hoped for since that time.
Just two weeks ago, Bush appeared as if he might be ready to return to the form we saw early on. With an ankle breaking cut in the red zone that faked out about six defenders at the same time, Bush jogged into the end zone.
Bush did nothing to build off that success as he posted only four carries last week for 21 yards and one reception for eight yards on the day. In his defense, the Dolphins played their worst game of the season and were down early at home, taking them out of the run game. Expect a closer game this week as Bush has a respectable track record playing in Buffalo and has a worthy shot at providing RB2 numbers.
What Did We Learn From Week 10?
Chris Johnson has earned his way back into the trust of fantasy owners after back-to-back RB1 performances against quality run defenses. Most of Johnson’s production against the Chicago Bears came on a long touchdown run after the team was blown out, but last week was a different story.
Tennessee was strong in all three phases of the game and looked dominant on the road as Johnson put together a workman-like 23 carries for 126 yards and a touchdown. I’m sure those of you who watched his touchdown run were reminded of the Johnson of old as he put on a sweet move to break away from would be tacklers.
I’ve been critical of Johnson this offseason and early in the season, but it’s time to believe he’s finally a trust-worthy RB1 option going forward and matchup proof.
Willis McGahee has struggled as of late, and his two fumbles against the Panthers may have cost him a late touchdown as Ronnie Hillman took the field late in the game. McGahee has put together a quality season, but fumbling has been an issue throughout and eventually could cost him more playing time.
We need to keep an eye on this situation through the week, but expect McGahee to receive a long leash as Hillman is just a rookie and still seems to have more to learn in the offense.
Stevan Ridley had a 100-yard performance at one point, but another negative run at the goal line left him without his second touchdown and at 98 yards for the game. While Ridley has a goal-line touchdown run in each of his past two games, he’s compiled a few negative runs in this area of the field throughout the season and could lose more red-zone snaps in the future.
Sean’s Week 11 Watch List
One week good, one week bad. Expect this to be the norm for Michael Turner going forward. To be honest, Turner’s owners should feel fortunate he’s been able to hold off anyone else from taking his job this season. Consider him a RB2 going forward, but he has a chance to put up reasonable numbers this week as the Arizona Cardinals struggled against the run before their bye week.
Just to show you how ugly this week's running back list is, I actually have Felix Jones in the top 20 for non-PPR scoring leagues. Disgusting I know, but give the veteran credit for good effort against the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Lance Dunbar will continue to be a part of the running game, but Jones is the main option as long as DeMarco Murray is out.
Look for the St. Louis Rams to continue to go with a two tight-end personnel that was very effective against the San Francisco 49ers' 3-4 scheme last week in the run game. The New York Jets happen to run a 3-4 scheme as a base defense as well, and I like the Rams to play ball control (can’t believe I just wrote that) in this contest.
|2||Doug Martin||@ Panthers|
|4||Ray Rice||@ Steelers|
|5||Matt Forte||@ 49ers|
|6||Trent Richardson||@ Cowboys|
|8||LeSean McCoy||@ Redskins|
|13||Ryan Mathews||@ Broncos|
|15||Reggie Bush||@ Bills|
|20||BenJarvus Green-Ellis||@ Chiefs|
|21||Shonn Greene||@ Rams|
|22||Alex Green||@ Lions|
|24||Larod Stephens-Howling||@ Falcons|
|25||Vick Ballard||@ Patriots|
|26||Mark Ingram||@ Raiders|
|27||Rashad Jennings||@ Texans|
|30||Chris Ivery||@ Raiders|
|33||Daniel Thomas||@ Bills|
|37||Donald Brown||@ Patriots|
|40||Pierre Thomas||@ Raiders|