It feels just like yesterday that I was writing pre-season articles for you. Now, we are facing the last week(s) of the fantasy football regular season. While we are all getting stuffed on side-dishes (because we all know turkey is just taking up space on our plate), we have crucial decisions to make regarding our rosters. What is your favorite thanksgiving dish?
This week, due to the holiday, I’ll keep it brief and get straight to this weeks culprits. We have a few backfield situations worth monitoring…
- Josh Adams- For personal reasons, I hope last weeks Eagles performance was an anomaly but I am not overly optimistic. The silver lining, if you can even call it one, was the usage and production of Josh Adams. As Wendell Smallwood’s touches have declined consistently, Adams’ touches have been on the rise. 6 targets and 7 carries- producing 72 total yards, 1 touchdown, and 16.2 PPR fantasy points last week. The New York Giants rank 25th in PPR fantasy points given up to the running back position this season. We would have seen even more production out of Adams, if the Eagles could have kept the game mildly competitive against the Saints. Josh is a low-end RB2/flex play this weekend.
- Theo Riddick- I can’t decide which game is more of a pillow fight- Chase Daniels vs the Lions or Colt McCoy vs the Cowboys. Marvin Jones Jr. and Kerryon Johnson have been ruled out for Thursday, leaving few options for Matthew Stafford. Riddick garnered 24% target share and 42% of the backfield snaps last week with Johnson on the field. Yes, LeGarrette Blount’s usage will increase but if I am going to roll the dice on this backfield it is on Riddick. The Bears D is stout against the ground game which means the Lions will be inclined to use a receiving back like Riddick over a traditional ground and pound with Blount. Zach Zenner is another name to watch duke it out with Blount, for early down work.
- Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington- Doug Martin left last weeks game with an ankle injury, paving the way for Richard (14 touches) and Washington (12 touches). Also, Gruden came out this week talking about getting Washington more involved in the offense. Given the current state of the Raiders I am not sure who to trust. The Raiders backfield is one to fade this week as they face a stout Ravens run D. Jalen Richard is the only play I trust in PPR formats. He has posted at least 10 PPR points in 7 out of 10 games this season and is averaging 11.63 points over his last 4 games.
- Quick Hits- Mike Davis popped up on the injury report this week and we all know Chris Carsons injury history. Rashaad Penny is a great handcuff stash heading in to the playoffs. I’m okay if you drop Ito Smith for better upside plays but if you are a Tevin Coleman owner- hang on to Smith, he is a pure handcuff play. I view Alfred Blue similar to Ito Smith. Lamar Miller owners should hang on to Blue, safe to drop otherwise. Giovani Bernard is back and his stock, understandably, is in the gutter. Joe Mixon owners, snag up your handcuff heading in to the playoffs. We call these insurance policies.
- Gus Edwards- The man of the week! 53 rushing attempts. Yes, 53 rushing attempts for the Ravens offense last week. Granted, Lamar Jackson accounted for 26 attempts but our boy Gus found 17 carries for 115 yards and 1 Touchdown. I was excited when Alex Collins found his way in to the end zone for the third game in a row, but flabbergasted to see he only had one carry in the second half. Is this due to Gus pairing better with Lamar Jacksons game-style OR the Ravens growing tired of Collins’ uninspiring production? What happens when they incorporate Ty Montgomery? Or was that a wasted trade? A lot of questions and variables impacting this backfield. Paired with an extremely small sample size for both Jackson and Edwards. Does Flacco return if the Ravens win again this weekend? Edwards’ one game production is too good not to pass up. Spend what ever FAAB budget you think is reasonable given your situation. Think back to my nuggets from last week. Do you need to win now to keep your playoff hopes alive? If so, spend away. If you have the RB depth or have a 1st round bye then don’t over spend, be smart about it. Gus did flash on the field and the range of possible outcomes with Lamar Jackson on the turf are enticing.
- Malcolm Brown- Big name alert!!! Some of your league mates that are asleep at the wheel might not of noticed Gurley’s usage fade throughout the game against the Chiefs. Sure, the game flow influenced Gurley touching the ball the least amount of times this season, but it is reported that Gurley suffered a rolled ankle. Luckily, the Rams are on a bye this week. This allows Gurley plenty of time to recover from what we know is a minor ankle injury. Gurley owners, please insure your first round draft pick. What if the Rams lock up the number 1 seed and Gurley has a lingering ankle issue? Do they shut down Gurley week 16? Do not get caught with your pants down.
- Frank Gore- 117 attempts to Kenyan Drakes 81 attempts this season. Gore has been more than a handcuff in Miami. The Dolphins are not a fantasy team to own a lot stock in but some of us are scratching and clawing our way to the finish. I bring light to Gore because Kenyan Drake is listed on the injury report this week. The Dolphins just came off their bye and Drake was sporting a non-contact jersey in practice, which is concerning. We do have a “revenge game” narrative with Gore facing his old team- the Colts. That is if you consider his time in Indy worth “revenging.” I’ve noticed Gore on waivers in a couple of my leagues and he is worth a speculative add. Gore had 102 total yards against the Packers in week 10 and Drake only had 38 yards of offense. I feel bad for Drake owners this season.
To wrap this up, I am thankful for each one of you following along this season. I appreciate the comments, questions, feedback, and tweets. Express your gratitude to the people in your life this holiday season. Wear comfortable-elastic wasted pants, watch a lot of football, nap, and eat extra mashed potatoes + green bean casserole for me. Good luck this weekend!