The heart of bye season is upon us. Packers, Raiders, Seahawks and Steelers are all on bye this week. Chargers, Cowboys, Falcons, and Titans next week. Melvin Gordon owners, next week might be your opportunity to pick up your handcuff– Austin Ekeler. Your league-mates are scrambling to plug in holes and valuable assets are hitting the wire. I’ll keep my soap box brief this week since I wrote about this previously, just keep an eye on your leagues transaction report to see if you can find any loot.
I promised you names and we have plenty to give you for week 7. Enjoy!
***I am leaving for vacation this week and finished this weeks report early on Thursday. Below I update you on the most recent RB injury news as of Wednesday/Thursday morning. Keep an eye on the practice reports this week, a lot can change from Wednesday to Friday. Also, follow me on twitter, I will keep you up to date on any important injury news to your running backs.***
- Ito Smith- Yes, Ito is now a real thing. Devonta Freeman was placed on IR and will be out at least 8 weeks. Ito out touched Tevin Coleman 13 to 11 and had a nice 14-yard TD run in week 6. Last week, I highlighted Tevins inability to be effective with the starting job in plus matchups. Ito shows pop and the ability to gain yards after contact. Below, James Koh, highlights very telling stats about the two Atlanta backs. Ito is inline for an increased work load moving forward. I know you have been following my reports since the beginning of the season and already had Ito on your roster before this weeks waiver frenzy, right? I like Ito as a cheap DFS play this weekend too. Only $3,800 on Draftkings.
The #NextGenStats for Ito Smith paint an extremely promising picture. Smith currently ranks as the 6th-most elusive RB based on a stat called Yards Gained After Close. Meanwhile Tevin Coleman ranks as the 3rd worst in this metric. #Falcons #InBrotherhood (thread) pic.twitter.com/CUv9ZZH9uY
— James Koh (@JamesDKoh) October 17, 2018
- Latavius Murray- It happened, the Vikings run game showed us life even without Dalvin Cook. Latavius ripped off 158 total yards and 1TD on 25 touches. I warned about getting ahead of this in my week 5 report when owners were giving up on Murray and the Vikings run game. Keep in mind, the Cardinals were a plus matchup and Cook is nearing return but hammys like to linger, man. Dalvin Cook was a full participant on Wednesday but I still recommend keeping Murray on your roster. Another great opportunity for Cook owners to add your handcuff if non-Cook owners drop him. Before I hit submit on this article, I have read conflicting reports on Cooks’ Thursday practice. He did not practice, left in the middle, and practiced in full. I repeat, keep Murray in cuffs!
- Bilal Powell- Isaiah Crowell was out touched again by Powell in week 5, barely. In a game where the Jets racked up points neither back found the end zone. Sure, we might see Crowell spike again in future weeks but it will be hard to predict and for him to replicate another week 5 performance. Unless our beautiful mind, Rudy Gamble, can tell us otherwise. Crowell missed practice on Wednesday and is dealing with a foot injury. We will see how things shake out here but I like Powell as a bye week sub, in PPR formats.
- Nick Chubb- As a Hyde owner, I am getting nervous about Chubb time on the horizon. He will be in cuffs permanently for indecent exposure if he continues to average over 10ypc on the season. Hyde owners, get ahead of this before his name becomes the hottest on the wire. Hyde is only averaging 3.2ypc this season. Hyde will continue to get lead back duties but come fantasy playoff time, Chubb could be in the driver seat. We are talking about the Browns and they have a history of poor coaching decisions. We will see how long it takes for them to figure this one out.
- Alfred Morris and Kyle Jusczcyk- As much as I like to remind you of when I have been ahead on a player, I have no problem owning when I missed. Both Morris and Jusczcyk were complete duds against Green Bay. Yes, we faded Morris last week but I did not imagine a 0 point game from him. I will release Morris from cuffs if this usage continues. Jusczcyk was targeted 3 times but put the pigskin on the ground. I was suprised Breida suited up but I am keeping Jusczcyk on our watchlist if Breida’s slew of injuries eventually keep him out.
- Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis- Chris Carson remains the back to own in Seattle. I was surprised to see Penny out touch Mike after two solid weeks. This is becoming a headache but for handcuff purposes worth discussing. If Carson goes down again, both have upside in a rush first offense. Tough to roster either coming off of their week 6 performances but worth a stash in deeper leagues.
- Quick Hits- The Texans backfield might be the Titans 2.0. Is either back worthy of our bench? I am starting to worry about the Texans offense as a whole. Let us revisit them after this weekend. Sit Lamar Miller and I am okay with dropping Alfred Blue, for now. Do we consider TJ Yeldon a handcuff anymore? Not as long as Leonard Fournette is missing games. Yeldon is a RB2/Flex with Fournette out. I gave my thoughts on Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood last week after the TNF week 6 game, please read here. Alex Collins finally threw us a bone and Javorius Allen was a non-factor. Do not drop Allen in PPR league, yet. Nyhiem Hines took a backseat after Marlon Mack returned and looked good (93 yards on 13 touches). Mack will assume lead duties but the lack of offensive weapons in Indianapolis makes Hines worth a bench stash in PPR leagues.
- Jalen Richard- It is hard for me to recommend you anyone on the Raiders offense but this might be the key to Richards value. The Raiders are “concerned” about Marshawn Lynch’s groin injury. If he is sidelined, Richard is an interesting add for Lynch owners. Some would argue Doug Martin is the handcuff to own. I expect the Raiders to play from behind in a lot of games this season. This favors Richard over Martin. He is the preferred passing down back. Keep an eye on the injury report for updates on Lynch. Look elsewhere if you can.
- Jamaal Charles- On the ‘Wanted List’ last week, Jamaal Charles finds himself detained in handcuffs for now. TJ Yeldon has been fighting his own injuries this season and sat out practice early this week due to foot/ankle injuries. Keep a close eye on this situation. Doug Marone said he is hopeful of Fournette returning from his hammy injury this week. If Yeldon and Fournette both end up out, Charles is the only back left to play in JAX. Do not rush to add Charles until more comes out on the availability of Yeldon and Fournette. Hopefully you have other options to consider here.
- Tre’Quan Smith (WR)- The Saints placed Ted Ginn Jr. on IR Thursday. Smith becomes the #2 WR in a Drew Brees lead offense. This is a great rest of season play. Risky to fire him up against the Ravens but I like his stock for the rest of the season. Enough said, add him now.
That is all for this week my brothers and sisters. Follow me on twitter to stay updated on RB injury news. @ me with your questions and comments. Good luck and see you all next week.