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Week 15 Offenders
With most fantasy leagues entering their Championship Sunday in week 16, we will only focus on running back situations that warrant start consideration. Starting running backs that will enter this Sunday 100% healthy, their traditional handcuff can be dropped to waivers to make better use of bench spots. Blocking your opponent, from adding a better defense or a starting caliber player at the QB and skill position (WR/TE/RB), is a tactic the most competitive and cut-throat players deploy. If your league plays to week 17, you will want to pay extra attention to the names below. Congratulations to everyone that made it to their championship game or are fighting for 2nd/3rd place prize pools.
Unfortunately for Dalvin Cook owners, it looks like Cook will be fighting an uphill battle to find the field for week 16. Dalvin looked to be in tears while laying on the ground after suffering a potentially serious shoulder injury. Season long handcuff Alexander Mattison was ruled out before the game with an ankle injury. It was Mike Boone who led the way for this backfield. Boone was productive and efficient with his carries, 13 touches for 56 yards and two tuddies for a healthy 4.3 yards per carry. It was CJ Ham that handled the bulk of the passing down work, but Ham doesn’t warrant a waiver acquisition for those playing for a championship this weekend. Mattison was unable to practice all last week with his ankle and his practice ability this week needs to be closely monitored. Either way, we won’t know his full status until the end of the week, Mike Boone needs to be a priority in all formats with a favorable matchup next week against the vunerable Packers rush D.
After his Monday Night 24.8 fantasy explosion in week 14, Scott backed it up with his 2nd straight double digit fantasy outing. Scott finished the day with 13.4 PPR points, caught all of his 7 targets and was on the field for 46% percent of the Eagles offensive snaps against Washington. Scott is a low-end flex play after Miles Sanders’ dominating performance, but those suffering injuries to their starting running backs should consider the add. Boston and the Eagles’ playoff hopes are on the line in week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys. The Philly offense is decimated at the wideout position, and have turned to the short passing and screen game during their 2-week winning streak. Boston Scott’s passing usage gives him a safe enough floor to stomach starting a practice squad call up in our championship lineups. Scott is turning himself into a Darren Sproles 2.0, and should be viewed similarly from a fantasy perspective.
Tony Pollard – DAL – An add for leagues that play into week 17. Pollard erupted for 131 yards and a score, on 12 carries, while the Cowboys held a dominate lead on the LA Rams. If the Cowboys are able to win next weekend and lock up the division, the Cowboys will have little to gain playing all of their starters full snaps in week 17. Pollard would be a trust RB1/2 play if Jerry Jones decides to sidelined Zeke in week 17 for hopes of a deep playoff push.
Kerryon Johnson – DET – At this point no one in the Detroit backfield is worth increasing the word count on this article due to the poor state of the Lions run game. DET ranks 8th worst in yards per carry (3.8) and 12th fewest rushing yards per game (98.7). Bo Scarborough was inactive with a rib injury and backup J.D. McKissic was ruled out in the 2nd half with a stinger. Kerryon Johnson returned to Lions practice two weeks ago and has a real chance of being activated for their week 16 matchup against the Denver defense. HC Matt Patricia has little to gain from throwing their feature back out for a meaningless week 16 matchup, but we’ve seen coaches make worse decisions. Keep an eye on the practice report throughout the week. Johnson can find himself leading this backfield in snaps and touches on Sunday with the bevy on injuries to the running back room in Detroit.
Patrick Laird – MIA – His fantasy output from Sunday doesn’t instill confidence for owners heading into championship weekend, but Laird is averaging double digit touches over his previous 4 games. His receiving usage keeps him in the conversation for those decimated at the RB position and are stumbling into your finals with a hole at the running back position. Laird has received 5 targets in each of his previous 3 games. He gets a plus matchup against a Bengals defense that is surrendering the 7th most fantasy points to the running back position.
As always, leave your lineup questions below or you can @ me on twitter. Good luck cashing in your leagues in week 16!