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Week 4 Offenders
Jordan Wilkins / Nyheim Hines
Marlon Mack was initially thought to have been ruled out due to an ankle injury during Sunday’s game against Oakland. Colts head coach Frank Reich clarified that Mack was not medically ruled out. Mack was forced on the sideline due to a negative game script. Marlon Mack will be dealing with an injury designation throughout the course of this week again. Forcing fantasy owners to play chicken with their lineups, but Macks injury isn’t expected to keep him out of his week-5 matchup. Nyheim Hines was the preferred back and catch-up game script favorite playing from behind early in the 1st quarter. Hines finished the game with 35 snaps to Macks 18, and Jordan Wilkins 16. Recording 6 receptions on 6 targets, Hines’ role was solidified as the receiving play back. Unfortunately neither of the 3 IND backs turned in a serviceable fantasy outing. Mack hasn’t played a full 16 games since joining the Colts and has surfaced on the injury report for two injuries 4 weeks into the season (calf/ankle). Mack owners need to consider rostering either Jordan Wilkins or Nyheim Hines, as insurance. Jordan Wilkins is averaging an impressive 8.1 yards per carry and will be the early down/goal line back if Mack were to go down for any period of time.
Making his second appearance on the handcuff report, Jaylen Samuels is on the verge of turning in to a premium handcuff if his usage with Mason Rudolph under center continues. James Conner has nursed a knee injury since his matchup in week 2 against SEA. Negative MRI reslts and an impressive outing on Monday Night Football might have your league mates over-looking Jaylen Samuels’ rising value. Almost carry for carry with Conner on Monday, Samuels was utilized multiple times out of the wildcat formations, in that passing game, and scored a rushing touchdown. On top of the increased usage for Samuels, James Conner did exit early against the Bengals to get his leg checked out by the medical staff. If Conner were to be sidelined for any duration, Samuels is fully capable of performing in this offense. Samuels posted 223 yards, 5.3 yards per carry, and averaged 4 receptions per game when Conner was sidelined in last season. If you are hurting for RB depth Samuels is a must add in PPR formats.
Quick Hits: Darrel Williams remains weekly flex play in Mahomes offense until Damien Williams returns to full health. Darrel led this backfield in snap % on Sunday, recording 36 snaps (51.4%) to McCoys 32 (45.7%) and scoring 2 touchdown in the red zone. Austin Ekeler, ranks 2nd out of all RBs in PPR scoring through 4 weeks and should remain in the RB2/Flex conversation even with Melvin Gordon return. Choo-Choo, this Ronal Jones train is leaving the station. Make sure to check your leagues if he’s still available. Owning in snaps and production last week, we need to see it for one more week before fully trusting HC Bruce Arians. Be weary of either Bucs RB against a Saints defense next week, after limiting Ezekiel Elliot to an embarrassing 1.9 yards per carry. Rashaad Penny is returning from a hamstring injury and should be owned by all Chris Carson owners. Carson avoided the fumble bug he’s been fighting all season but was on the verge of surrendering touches if his fumbling woes continued.
Ryquell Armstead played second fiddled to Leonard Fournette’s record setting 245 yards from scrimmage, but was effective with his 8 carries. Recording 42 yards on the ground for a respectful 5.2 yards per carry, and hauled in his lone red zone target for a touchdown. If Fournette wears down as the season progresses, then Armstead will be the hottest name on waivers. Fournette has missed 11 games over his first two seasons in the NFL. #27 remains a set it and forget it RB2 with weekly RB1 upside based on his weekly usage on the ground and in the air. Ryquell is watch list material or a deeper league bench stash.
Frank Gore should be rostered in all formats, but be mindful of Devin Singletary’s return to full practice and expected return to the lineup in week 5. Gore will still be utilized in this offense, pacing the backfield with 151 snaps. Even with Devin Singletary returning, hamstring injuries have a tendency to linger and re-appear. TJ Yeldon served as the receiving and change of pace back with Singletary sidelined against New England. Yeldon was on the field for 46% percent of the offensive snaps, only trailing Frank Gore’s 54%, and took his 4 receptions for 68 yards (10.8 PPR points). Yeldon doesn’t deserve a waiver claim in 12-team leagues with Singletary back, but has low-end PPR value in deeper leagues or flex consideration if Singletary’s hamstring forces him to miss additional time.
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