If you are one of the lucky ones that have Ricky Williams, he got the post-Ronnie Brown era of the season started with the week’s best running-back performance. He had about 140 total yards, two rushing TDs, and one reception touchdown. Mind you, the Monday night game has has not occurred yet, and Chris Johnson could blow that up in the first half. Regardless, Kronik Ricky could be your smokin’ best bud down the stretch, or he could simply bogart space in your line-up. His remaining playoff schedule is not RB friendly, with match-ups against New England and Tennessee, but he does get to face Houston, Buffalo, and Jacksonville in there as well. You may have to play him based on match-up.
I posted last week’s column so early, that Cedric Benson was still considered likely to play. Bonehead that I am, I made him my Start of the Week. Yeah. So, how bout them Bungles? Even without Benson they should have steamrolled the Oakland Raiders. Benson’s back up, Bernard Scott, managed 151 total yards.
In other fill-in news, Jason Snelling had no problem putting up Michael Turner type numbers, with 89 yards and two scores.
For the Seattle Seahawks the Justin Forsett era began. He mauled his way to a staggering nine yards on nine carries, but he did score a TD. Of course, he was facing the Minnesota Vikings oppressive rush defense, and he did manage eight receptions for 80 yards receiving. But seriously, one yard per carry?
The one guy who should have had a big day was Ladell Betts, but an injury forced him out early and Rock Cartwright toted the rock, all afternoon for 140 total yards including seven receptions. This week Clinton Portis is still out. So Rock should get the rock again. Betts' season is over with a torn ACL/MCL.
Oddly, given how many high-scoring affairs there were this weekend, RBs weren’t a big part of the fantasy windfall. Even Adrian Peterson managed to miss the endzone. Big yards never connected with TDs. Other than Ricky, the three guys with two TDs, Snelling, Mike Bell, and Laurence Maroney all averaged 76 yards. Of the six guys besides Ricky who rushed for over 100 yards, only Ryan Grant and Steven Jackson scored once each. Again, Chris Johnson could change all that tonight.
So on to…
Week 12 – RB Start of the Week – Ricky Williams, MIA
Ricky, best RB two weeks in a row? Well there are a couple of other guys with really sweet match-ups, like Cedric Benson and Michael Turner, but who knows if they’ll play this week. And other guys with nice match-ups aren’t consistent enough. So that makes Williams versus the Bills run defense my pick. Over their last four games they’re still giving up over 100 yards and almost two TDs per game.
A Few More Fantasy Studs Who Should Rumble to the Endzone in Week 12
|Michael Turner, ATL vs. TBB||Michael Turner should be back this week, but if he’s not, Jason Snelling has shown his ability to get the job done. Tampa has been awful against the run over the last few weeks. I expect 80-plus yards and two TDs for whichever back gets to start.|
|Justin Forsett, SEA vs. STL||No team has been worse against the rush the last few weeks than the Rams. This is the team that made Julius Jones look good in Week One. Expect at least 100 yards and a score.|
|Cedric Benson, CIN vs. CLE||If Benson’s back, he has another nice match-up. If he’s not, like Snelling above, Bernard Scott is a worthy replacement against this porous rush defense. Hopefully this week Carson Palmer allows his RB to run the ball in. One hundred-plus total yards and a score are there for the taking.|
|Ryan Grant, GB vs. DET||Ryan Grant had a solid week against the 49ers in Week 11. This week he gets an even sweeter match-up against the Detroit Lions. Those no reason to think he can’t hit the century mark and score.|
|Marion Barber, DAL vs. OAK||This is a tough one, because all three RBs for Dallas have the chance for a huge day, but I’m betting when the redzone is within sniffing distance, Barber gets the call. Against the Oakland Raiders, that could be often, especially at home.|
|Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX vs. SF||Over the last three weeks the 49ers have been eighth worst against the run, and that’s including a game where they gave the Colt’s Joseph Addai nothing. MJD should garner 100 yards and at least one score.|
|Ladainian Tomlinson, SD vs. KC||L.T. didn’t do much against the Chiefs in their previous match-up, and while I’m still not expecting big yardage, I’m confident he’ll score at least once this week. Each week he’s gotten his old pep back, and this is a weak match-up on the ground.|
|Thomas Jones, NYJ vs. CAR||Over the last three weeks only the Rams have been worse against the rush than the Panthers. Jones should get 70-plus yards and a score.|
|DeAngelo Williams, CAR vs. NYJ||The Jets gave up two TDs last week to Boney Maroney, and Williams has been getting about 90 yards a week. This week, I think he gets at least one score too. Though Jonathon Stewart could ruin everyone’s day.|
|Adrian Peterson, MIN vs. CHI||You have to go back to last season to find back to back weeks without a score from A.P. His last two games against the Bears, 252 yards rushing and three TDs.|
A few guys you have to play with regardless of Match-ups
|Ray Rice, BAL vs. PIT||The Steelers are still best in the league against the run. Rice is a guy who defies the odds, but it’s not an optimal match.|
|Frank Gore, SF vs. JAX||What? Yeah, that right. Over the last three weeks, Jacksonville has been second against the run, wedged in between the Steelers and the Vikings|
|Beanie Wells, ARI vs. TEN||Beanie’s been solid lately, but so has the Titans' rush defense. With Warner testing their weak pass defense, Wells could be a poor play.|
|Pierre Thomas, NOS vs. NEP||The RBBC in New Orleans is killing all their value, but this week is a tough match up for Thomas, Mike Bell, and Reggie Bush.|
|Rashard Mendenhall, PIT vs. BAL||This game looks to be a defense battle, and both teams are stout against the run. You have to play him, but…|
|Chris Johnson, TEN vs. ARI||The Titans are likely to be behind early, forcing an air game. This could hurt Johnson’s fantasy value this week. However, CJ has been very effective as a pass receiver in 2009, so I think he’ll have a solid day regardless.|
|Steven Jackson, STL vs. SEA||This is actually a fairly decent match-up for S-Jax. He should have a decent day, but without Marc Bulger at QB, it’s hard to say how the offense will do overall.|
|LeSean McCoy, PHI vs. WAS||On paper this is a good match-up for the rookie, but I still don’t entirely trust him, and Weaver is still in the picture.|
|Joseph Addai, IND vs. HOU||Addai is always sort of hit or miss. He has a good opportunity here, though.|
|Laurence Maroney, NEP vs. NOS||The Saints have struggled lately against the run. This is a decent opportunity for him to show he can be reliable.|
|Matt Forte, CHI vs. MIN||Forte has struggled all season and he faces one of the league’s toughest rush defenses this week, but Forte’s forte this year has been as a pass catcher, and he could do well.|
Week 12 – RB Sit of the Week – Kevin Smith
|Hard to imagine Smith as a sit any week, but he hasn’t been putting up monster numbers lately, and this week he faces a brutal Green Bay run defense. Over the last three games the Packers defense is limiting opposing runners to a 55 yard average. In Week 11, GB held 49ers RB, Frank Gore to 59 yards rushing. Smith is a similar back to Gore on a lesser team.|
–This Week’s Coin Flip Kids–
Jamaal Charles, KC vs. SD – Surprisingly the Chargers have been solid against the run lately, but Charles is still an unknown quantity, just ask the Steelers. Heads
Justin Fargas/Michael Bush/Darren McFadden, OAK vs. DAL – Nuff said. Tails
Brandon Jacobs, NYG vs. DEN – Over the last four weeks the Denver rush defense has disappeared, but Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are both battling injuries, making them both questionable. Tails
Knowshon Moreno, DEN vs. NYG – Not a great match-up, but Moreno could get 60 yards and maybe a score. Heads
Steve Slaton, HOU vs. IND – The last time these two faced off Slaton scored once and that was it. His role is really sketchy right now. Tails
Marshawn Lynch, BUF vs. MIA – Not a great match-up and he’s hurt. Hard to say how he’ll fair this week. Tails
Jamal Lewis, CLE vs. CIN – Stick a fork in him, career over. Tails
Cadillac Williams, TB vs. ATL – Great opportunity, he just hasn’t been getting it done even against poor rush defenses like the Falcons. Heads
Rock Cartwright, WAS vs. PHI – The last man standing in Washington. Something tells me he’ll have a decent day. Heads