Another week of the NFL season is in the books, and we have a few more developments at the running back position to keep an eye on. There are a few injuries hitting the wire this week, and out in Seattle, a youngster is outplaying some familiar names. Over in Philadelphia, the guy who is supposed to be the lead back barely saw the field…
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Coming into the season, one of the more popular handcuffs was Samaje Perine over in Washington, who was expected to either start the season as the starter or eventually overtake the incumbent Rob Kelley. After Perine was mostly invisible in Week 1, Kelley went down with a rib injury on Sunday, and Perine saw 22 touches (21 carries). If he can produce while Kelley is out, he could retain the lead role when Kelley returns.
Chris Thompson will still be there to catch passes out of the backfield, and he caught two more touchdown passes on Sunday. What is it called when a running back steals touchdowns from the lead back by catching them? It’s not still vulturing, right? We need to call that “seagulling touchdowns” or something. Who’s with me?
Perine and Seattle’s Chris Carson could be two of the more popular waiver wire pickups this week, though they may have already been grabbed in deeper leagues. On Perine’s side, impatient owners may have actually dropped him after his quiet debut in Week 1, while Carson owners or potential owners may have been scared away by the crowded backfield.
The crowded backfield is a pretty real concern, but, in 2017, there are crowded backfields everywhere. Plus, Eddie Lacy was inactive this weekend, so that should tell you all you need to know about how Seattle feels about him. Thomas Rawls is back, but we saw how that went last season, and the Seahawks proved they weren’t ready to just hand him back the job. Plus, here is a chart:
— Matt Franciscovich (@MattFranchise) September 18, 2017
Caveats: this was against the 49ers, C.J. Prosise could steal value in PPR formats, and Rawls could eat into the touches as he gets healthy. Definitely, grab Carson if you have the roster space, but temper expectations until we see some continued success. For now, he is worth a shot as a lottery ticket.
To the charts!
Mike Maher’s Week Three NFL Handcuff Report
- Hamstring injuries, in particular, have a tendency to linger for long periods of time. Anyone who has suffered a hamstring injury, has watched a favorite player struggle to come back from one, or has read up on them knows how difficult they are to come back from because of the uncertainty surrounding the recovery. The problem is that your body feels better before you are fully healthy. You might not feel any pain or soreness after only a few days, but if you start running and get up to full speed you will most likely aggravate the area and set yourself back. That is why so many players come back from a hamstring injury only to land right back on the trainer’s table. Will that be the case with Murray? Remains to be seen, but it is not a good sign that he is once again suffering from a hamstring injury after struggling through the same injury in the preseason.
- I honestly do not understand what the New York Jets are doing, pretty much across the board. The most confusing is probably the running back situation, though. Bilal Powell has proved to be effective for two years now every time he gets a chance, but the Jets seem to go out of their way to not give him touches. Even in a game where they were getting demolished and should have been passing the ball to weapons like Powell. I am not giving up on Powell for this season, but I am benching him until the dang Jets decide to wake up and give my man the rock.
- Another back I am not giving up on is Joe Mixon. The Bengals are awful right now, and they just fired their offensive coordinator. Teflon Marv remains, but the OC is gone. Maybe that means the running back situation gets shaken up a little bit, and they decide to give it to their stud rookie running back and not the same tired backs who have been there. Jeremy Hill still being considered (kind of) the lead back in Cincinnati is almost as confusing as Marvin Lewis keeping his job for this long, but the Mixon era should be upon us soon. I’m probably not starting Mixon this week unless we start to see something positive about the Bengals offense and Mixon’s role through the rest of the week, but I am stashing him and buying him low everywhere.
- Tarik Cohen did not disappoint for fantasy owners who grabbed him heading into Week 2, even if the Bears did disappoint their fans. While he didn’t have much success on the ground, he did catch eight passes and score a touchdown through the air. Hooray for PPR formats. He also out-snapped and out-touched starter Jordan Howard, though Howard came into the game banged up and sat out most of the second half because the Bears were getting trounced. Is it time to sell high on Cohen and see what you can get? Hmmmm.
- Paging LeGarrette Blount. Did you disappear with Lawrence Timmons before Sunday’s game? What do Blount and Timmons have in common? Both had zero rushing attempts on Sunday. Blount barely saw the field for only a handful of snaps after there were rumblings all week out of Philadelphia that his role might be reduced and that undrafted rookie Corey Clement could eat into his touches. While Clement did not emerge, Darren Sproles played most of the game instead of Blount. If Sunday is any indication, Blount has fallen out of favor in Philly. Perhaps it was just a gameplan against a tough and fast Kansas City front, but it was certainly not a good sign for his value. Grab Wendell Smallwood everywhere he is available.
Prefer the above charts as a graphic? We’ve got that, too!
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