Oct 16, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) carries the ball against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we all saw that coming. We all knew the Miami Dolphins were going to smash the Pittsburgh Steelers, and we all knew that they were going to do so by riding Jay Ajayi and his 204 rushing yards and two touchdowns. We all knew that, even with Arian Foster coming back, Ajayi would get 25 carries and, oh, you know, rattle off 8.2 YPC on the day. We all knew Jay Ajayi, sent down from above by his Heavenly father to be the savior of the Dolphins in the fifth round of the NFL draft last year, was going to get more touches than any running back not named Terrance West, Ezekiel Elliott, Lamar Miller, or Melvin Gordon.

And, of course, we all knew that Spencer Ware was going to get 26 touches on 40 snaps to Jamaal Charles’s 11 on 15. This was the first time all year that many Jamaal Charles owners started him, as he was finally considered healthy enough for a full workload. So, of course, Ware dominated the snaps and touches. But we all knew that was going to happen. That’s what makes this so easy!

Now, if you are this far into the article and haven’t been able to detect the sarcasm, please stop reading. We cannot help you here. You have bigger problems than fantasy football, and you will not find the answers here. You will likely only find more questions and a Simpsons referenced forced into here somewhere (this one doesn’t count).

For the rest of you, we have work to do. This was another strange week for running backs, as I so subtly alluded to above, and we have a number of question marks at running back going forward.

And now, to the report…

NOTE: In the tables below, I’ve removed running backs who have been placed on Injured Reserve. If the running back is injured but is not on IR, then he has a + next to his name.

American Football Conference
AFC East Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Patriots LeGarrette Blount Brandon Bolden James White D.J. Foster
Jets Matt Forte Bilal Powell Bilal Powell Troymaine Pope
Dolphins Jay Ajayi Arian Foster Arian Foster Kenyan Drake
Bills LeSean McCoy Mike Gillislee LeSean McCoy Reggie Bush
AFC North Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Bengals Giovani Bernard Jeremy Hill Giovani Bernard Rex Burkhead
Ravens Terrance West Kenneth Dixon Terrance West Javorius Allen
Steelers Le’Veon Bell DeAngelo Williams Le’Veon Bell Fitzgerald Toussaint
Browns Isaiah Crowell Duke Johnson Duke Johnson George Atkinson
AFC South Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Texans Lamar Miller Alfred Blue Lamar Miller Jonathan Grimes
Jaguars Chris Ivory T.J. Yeldon T.J. Yeldon Denard Robinson
Colts Frank Gore Robert Turbin Josh Ferguson Josh Ferguson
Titans DeMarco Murray Derrick Henry DeMarco Murray Antonio Andrews
AFC West Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Chiefs Jamaal Charles Spencer Ware Jamaal Charles Charcandrick West
Broncos C.J. Anderson Devontae Booker Devontae Booker Kapri Bibbs
Raiders Latavius Murray + DeAndre Washington Everyone Jalen Richard
Chargers Melvin Gordon Kenneth Farrow Dexter McCluster Dexter McCluster

As mentioned in the opening rant, two of the bigger stories in the AFC were the performances of Jay Ajayi and Spencer Ware. Both Ajayi and Ware were supposed to see dips in the touches and production with Arian Foster and Jamaal Charles returning, but both instead turned in great games. While we were not expecting much from Foster this week, many owners thought this would finally be the week that they could safely start Charles. And while Charles did end up punching in a touchdown to salvage the day, Ware’s workload is concerning.

For the second week in a row, Isaiah Crowell disappointed and yielded production and touches to Duke Johnson. Crowell had been a surprisingly solid start through the first four weeks, but he seems to have returned to Earth. The Browns do not inspire confidence in anyone, so you can’t really start Crowell against the Bengals next week and feel particularly good about it.

The opposite is true of Lamar Miller, who finally showed up and may hopefully being showing signs of life (that’s good). Miller went for 168 total yards and two touchdowns, rewarding the fantasy owners who have stuck with him (though many may not have had a choice). There is, unfortunately, some bad news. This performance was against the awful Indianapolis Colts defense, and the Houston Texans play the Denver Broncos and their much better defense next week (that’s bad).

National Football Conference
NFC East Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Giants Rashad Jennings Orleans Darkwa Bobby Rainey Paul Perkins
Eagles Ryan Mathews Wendell Smallwood Darren Sproles Kenjon Barner
Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott Alfred Morris Ezekiel Elliott Lance Dunbar +
Washington Matt Jones Chris Thompson Chris Thompson Robert Kelley
NFC North Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Vikings Jerick McKinnon Matt Asiata Jerick McKinnon Ronnie Hillman
Packers Eddie Lacy + James Starks + James Starks + Knile Davis
Lions Theo Riddick + Dwayne Washington + Theo Riddick Zach Zenner / Justin Forsett
Bears Jeremy Langford + Jordan Howard Ka’Deem Carey + Joique Bell
NFC South Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
Buccaneers Doug Martin + Jacquizz Rodgers Jacquizz Rodgers Peyton Barber
Saints Mark Ingram Tim Hightower Travaris Cadet Tim Hightower
Panthers Jonathan Stewart Cameron Artis-Payne Fozzy Whittaker Cameron Artis-Payne
Falcons Devonta Freeman Tevin Coleman Tevin Coleman Terron Ward
NFC West Primary Back Handcuff Pass-Catcher Third-Stringer
49ers Carlos Hyde Shaun Draughn Carlos Hyde Mike Davis
Seahawks Christine Michael Thomas Rawls + C.J. Spiller C.J. Prosise + / Alex Collins
Cardinals David Johnson Andre Ellington David Johnson Stepfan Taylor
Rams Todd Gurley Benny Cunningham + Benny Cunningham + Malcolm Brown

With a report coming out that Eddie Lacy may miss Thursday night’s game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, the recently-acquired Knile Davis is about to be instantly thrown into the starting lineup. However, his value is likely limited. Even if Eddie Lacy doesn’t play, Davis is going to lose snaps to Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery, as the Packers will likely rotate their wide receivers into the backfield like they have in the past. Davis will have some packages and designed plays on Thursday night, but he won’t be ready for a significant workload.

Jonathan Stewart returned to the starting lineup for the Carolina Panthers, and Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whittaker returned to irrelevance. Stewart looked like he was back to 100% on Sunday, rushing for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Whittaker rushed one time (and lost a yard) and caught one pass for four yards, while Artis-Payne was not even active. Even with the Panthers struggling, Stewart looks to once again be a reliable option IF he can stay healthy.

The Tevin ColemanDevonta Freeman two-headed monster ran into a Seattle Seahawks defense that was ready for them on Sunday. If you owned one of these backs and were scared away by this matchup, hopefully, you were able to turn to someone like Terrance West, Spencer Ware, or Jay Ajayi. Coleman and Freeman go up against the Chargers next week, and they should have better luck.

Snap Counts, Week 6
Player Team Started Total Snaps Off Snap Pct.
31-D.Johnson ARI YES 67 87%
30-S.Taylor ARI NO 22 5%
38-A.Ellington ARI NO 8 10%
33-K.Williams ARI NO 0 0%
24-D.Freeman ATL YES 36 54%
26-T.Coleman ATL NO 31 46%
28-T.West BAL YES 51 60%
30-K.Dixon BAL NO 10 12%
37-J.Allen BAL NO 13 2%
25-L.McCoy BUF YES 49 62%
22-R.Bush BUF NO 11 4%
31-J.Williams BUF NO 8 10%
35-M.Gillislee BUF NO 32 23%
28-J.Stewart CAR YES 55 67%
43-F.Whittaker CAR NO 31 22%
34-C.Artis-Payne CAR NO 0 0%
24-J.Howard CHI YES 55 69%
25-K.Carey CHI NO 31 31%
43-J.Bell CHI NO 9 0%
33-J.Langford CHI NO 0 0%
25-G.Bernard CIN YES 45 66%
32-J.Hill CIN NO 21 31%
33-R.Burkhead CIN NO 17 4%
34-I.Crowell CLE YES 38 57%
29-D.Johnson CLE YES 38 48%
25-G.Atkinson CLE NO 21 0%
40-D.Vitale CLE NO 0 0%
21-E.Elliott DAL YES 60 91%
46-A.Morris DAL NO 5 8%
25-L.Dunbar DAL NO 0 0%
34-D.Jackson DAL NO 0 0%
22-C.Anderson DEN YES 58 78%
23-D.Booker DEN NO 15 20%
35-K.Bibbs DEN NO 20 0%
34-Z.Zenner DET YES 50 77%
30-J.Forsett DET NO 12 19%
25-T.Riddick DET NO 0 0%
36-D.Washington DET NO 0 0%
27-E.Lacy GB YES 31 44%
44-J.Starks GB NO 0 0%
26-L.Miller HOU YES 59 83%
28-A.Blue HOU NO 26 8%
34-T.Ervin HOU NO 26 8%
45-J.Prosch HOU NO 38 18%
41-J.Grimes HOU NO 0 0%
23-F.Gore IND YES 47 64%
28-J.Todman IND NO 21 0%
33-R.Turbin IND NO 30 24%
34-J.Ferguson IND NO 21 12%
24-T.Yeldon JAC YES 37 62%
16-D.Robinson JAC NO 15 0%
33-C.Ivory JAC NO 24 40%
30-C.Grant JAC NO 0 0%
32-S.Ware KC YES 40 62%
25-J.Charles KC NO 15 23%
35-C.West KC NO 11 12%
34-K.Davis KC NO 0 0%
30-T.Gurley LARM YES 42 72%
23-B.Cunningham LARM NO 21 22%
34-C.Reynolds LARM NO 20 0%
39-M.Brown LARM NO 7 0%
23-J.Ajayi MIA YES 48 69%
26-D.Williams MIA NO 26 17%
29-A.Foster MIA NO 11 16%
32-K.Drake MIA NO 14 1%
29-L.Blount NE YES 25 39%
27-D.Foster NE NO 4 0%
28-J.White NE NO 43 61%
38-B.Bolden NE NO 0 0%
38-T.Cadet NO YES 50 37%
22-M.Ingram NO NO 39 53%
34-T.Hightower NO NO 11 0%
36-D.Lasco NO NO 28 7%
23-M.Murphy NO NO 0 0%
23-R.Jennings NYG YES 32 48%
28-P.Perkins NYG NO 24 10%
43-B.Rainey NYG NO 43 40%
26-O.Darkwa NYG NO 0 0%
22-M.Forte NYJ YES 21 39%
29-B.Powell NYJ NO 44 72%
26-T.Pope NYJ NO 0 0%
33-D.Washington OAK YES 38 58%
22-T.Jones OAK NO 13 2%
30-J.Richard OAK NO 20 25%
28-L.Murray OAK NO 0 0%
24-R.Mathews PHI YES 11 21%
28-W.Smallwood PHI NO 28 19%
34-K.Barner PHI NO 13 15%
43-D.Sproles PHI NO 27 44%
26-L.Bell PIT YES 53 96%
33-F.Toussaint PIT NO 12 0%
34-D.Williams PIT NO 7 13%
27-K.Farrow SD NO 2 3%
28-M.Gordon SD NO 52 79%
33-D.McCluster SD NO 13 14%
32-C.Michael SEA YES 48 73%
28-C.Spiller SEA NO 17 23%
36-A.Collins SEA NO 2 3%
22-C.Prosise SEA NO 0 0%
34-T.Rawls SEA NO 0 0%
28-C.Hyde SF YES 32 52%
22-M.Davis SF NO 40 39%
24-S.Draughn SF NO 19 8%
29-D.Murray TEN YES 59 95%
22-D.Henry TEN NO 9 15%
26-A.Andrews TEN NO 16 0%
31-M.Jones WAS YES 30 41%
25-C.Thompson WAS NO 41 49%
32-R.Kelley WAS NO 17 12%

Additional Thoughts and Observations…

If you picked up Justin Forsett and threw him right into your lineup, I am sorry that I was traveling for a wedding this weekend and was not able to stop you. Forsett rushed for five yards on five carries (see above: that’s bad). He played while the Lions were without both Theo Riddick and Dwayne Washington, but a handful of touches were all he was going to get on short notice. Think of Forsett when you are considering grabbing and starting Knile Davis this week. Don’t do it.

Matt Jones and the other running backs in Washington ran all over a Philadelphia Eagles defense that has now delivered back-to-back poor performances. Washington had 231 rushing yards on the day, and Jones had 135 of them. Jones has been up and down all season, so he is hard to count on every week. And with the other two running backs also having success, this may have been more about the Eagles defense than the Washington offense.

 

 

If you want to talk fantasy football or have players you want Mike to feature, hit him up on Twitter at @mikeMaher or post a comment below!

  1. omar says:
    (link)

    How much better will Gronk be than Olsen ROS in PPR?

    Thinking about offering Gronk & a WR (Diggs or Tyrell Williams) for Olsen and Spencer Ware. Really need RB help. Only options now are Lamar Miller, Kenneth Dixon, and the Lions dumpster fire (Forsett and Washington). Stashing Dion Lewis, and really need an RB2 a holdover until he he’s back. Trying to pull Ajayi and D. Booker off the wire tonight.

    Also thinking about offering Gronk & Lamar Miller for David Johnson and CJ Anderson (or Tevin Coleman). Stashing Eifert and could shore up RB a bit while streaming TE until Eifert is back.

    Thoughts? Giving up too much?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
      (link)

      @omar:

      I don’t know if you could find a more consistent performer at TE the last few years than Olsen, so it isn’t much of a downgrade (if it even is one).

      I think I like the second deal better just because you can get a RB1 and a RB2/Flex, as opposed to a replacement TE and a RB/Flex in Ware. David Johnson is arguably the best RB in football right now.

      • omar says:
        (link)

        @mikeMaher:

        Was also able to nab Hunter Henry from waivers today, so that helps out my TE situation should I trade Gronk.

        How do you feel about this one (PPR):

        Give:
        Gronk
        Ajayi
        Terrence Williams

        Get:
        Zeke Elliott
        James White

        Thanks again.

        • mikeMaher

          mikeMaher says:
          (link)

          @omar:

          I would do that one, too.

          • omar says:
            (link)

            @mikeMaher:

            Correction: Tyrell Williams, not Terrence Williams. I don’t assume that changes anything. What about Diggs in that spot (instead of Williams)? Still a go?

            • mikeMaher

              mikeMaher says:
              (link)

              @omar:

              I actually read it as Tyrell Williams because that is what you had written earlier. And yeah, I think either way it is still a go for me.

  2. Nick says:
    (link)

    Ugh I have terrible options next week with Big Ben going down…Alex Smith or Kaep? Yikes…

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
      (link)

      @Nick:

      Gross. Alex Smith.

  3. Scott Hagen says:
    (link)

    Currently have rbs of
    Elliot, Michael, ware, booker, Dixon
    Wrs
    A brown, kelvin benjamin, fuller, meredith
    Currently in 1st place. This is a keeper league, 2 can be kept. I was offered leveon bell and corey colenan for my 1st Rd pick and fuller. Leveon could be a 3rd Rd keeper but I won’t have a 1st or 2nd Rd pick next year. Think my wrs and rb are good enough to win it or should I pull the trigger on the trade?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
      (link)

      @Scott Hagen:

      Assuming you can start 2 RB and a RB at flex, that is a pretty potent lineup. Plus you would have three elite keepers. I would have a hard time saying no to that.

      • CMUTimmah says:
        (link)

        @mikeMaher: You play to win the game. That trade helps you win a title this year.

        If you are going into the draft with AB, Bell, and Elliot as your first second and third picks, you’re doing better than the rest of the league next year two. Next season those guys could likely be 3 of the first 4 picks.

        • mikeMaher

          mikeMaher says:
          (link)

          @CMUTimmah:

          Yup.

          • Scott Hagen says:
            (link)

            @mikeMaher: can’t keep 1st Rd picks. I jumped ship last year and got amother 1st Rd pick. Got brown and elliot there. My keepers (we get 2) would likely be bell 2nd then possibly ware 6th, c Michael 11th, booker 15th or kelvin 12th

            • Scott Hagen says:
              (link)

              @Scott Hagen: any downgrade significant enough to not want bell after the Big Ben news?

              • mikeMaher

                mikeMaher says:
                (link)

                @Scott Hagen:

                Hmm, that does make it a bit more complicated. I think Bell will be fine even without Ben, and Ben will be back for the playoffs. I think I still make the move.

  4. Blake says:
    (link)

    ok – 14 team ppr league with small bench. I was wondering if I should add T Montgomery?

    QB: T Taylor
    WR: J Jones
    WR: J Nelson
    RB: D Johnson JR
    RB: G Bernard
    TE: C Brate
    Flex: C Merideth
    B: G Olsen
    B: J Ajajyi
    B: T Benjamin

    I would really hate to give up Benjamin as there are no other people really left on SD

    thoughts?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
      (link)

      @Blake:

      Yeah, I don’t know if it’s worth dropping one of them for Montgomery at this point.

  5. sh says:
    (link)

    Love the read Mike. I am in a 12 team PPR,head to head 8 keeper league has to include 1 IDP. You start QB,RB, RB, WR,WR,WR, TE , SUPER FLEX.
    I have QB’s Dalton and Ryan, RB’s D.Johnson,Mccoy and Howard. WR. Maclin, Robinson, Jeffery, Matthews and Pryor TE’s I have D.Walker and Z.Miller. I am currently in first with a 11-1 record 2 games a week. My issue is week 9 I have 5 players out.Dalton,D.J, Jeffery, Miller and Howard. I need a filler RB. the options are D.Williams,Dixon, J.White K.Davis, D.Lewis,J.Rogers or someone I am missing was going to pick up Booker but his was just taken. Also would you drop Pryor for R.Woods or T. Montgomery.?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
      (link)

      @sh:

      Thanks!

      RB is kind of hard to predict since your bye is three weeks away. Davis is the pick IF Lacy will be out, but we don’t know that for sure yet. But since you have a few weeks to play around, maybe grab Davis now and see was Lacy’s status is. It sounds like it might be more serious than first though, but who knows.

      And no, I wouldn’t drop Pryor for them.

  6. Barry says:
    (link)

    Defensive quandary: I own Phillidelphia and the bye week for Panthers. Are the Panthers worth keeping for the playoffs? Should I drop one of these this week for Tenn, Oakland, or Washington. Or should I just start the Eagles?
    Also.please would you start Wallace or Baldwin this week? Keep up the great work…. Thanks ahead of time if you can get to this.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
      (link)

      @Barry:

      Thanks.

      I would just start the Eagles this week and see if the Panthers ever turn it around.

      And I would start Wallace.

  7. Mickey Maloney says:
    (link)

    Would you trade Cobb for Ware in a 12 team PPR with Flex? Current RB are Riddick, Howard, Hill, Booker and Travis. WR are Julio, ODB, Cobb, Tate, Meredith and Kersey.

    Thanks!

  8. Brian says:
    (link)

    16 team PPR dynasty. Next week I play against a team that had Fitzmagic as his starter. We only start 1 QB. His other QBs will be on bye. The only 2 available on the wire right now are Geno and Landry Jones (who has a bye next week as well). Do I drop a D (we start one but I’ve been rotating between the Titans and PHI the last few weeks and kind of like this set up going forward) to pick up Geno simply to hold him for 2 weeks to keep him away from my opponent? Or is the short term gain not worth the potential long term cost of dropping a solid D in a league in which only the bottom 6 or so team defenses are available on the wire?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
      (link)

      @Brian:

      I like it. Be ruthless and drop the D to pick up a QB.

      • Mickey Maloney says:
        (link)

        @mikeMaher: @mikeMaher: thanks. Does your opinion change if the RB is Christine Michel?

        • mikeMaher

          mikeMaher says:
          (link)

          @Mickey Maloney:

          That would tilt the needle closer to 50/50 for me. Is it 2 WR and a flex or 3 WR and a flex?

          • Mickey Maloney says:
            (link)

            @mikeMaher: Three WR plus Flex. Problem is that I barely have two RB to start. If Riddick is healthy, I’m fine, but Howard really the only decent RB on a weeekly basis.

            • mikeMaher

              mikeMaher says:
              (link)

              @Mickey Maloney:

              Yeah, I see what you mean. I guess, yeah, I pull the trigger on that deal. Does make you thinner at WR, but you need the RB more. Then when Riddick comes back you should be fine for the flex spot with bye weeks.

  9. Timmay tooth says:
    (link)

    Hey man I like this post!

    .5 ppr league my RBs are David Johnson, Melvin Gordon, Jordan Howard, Derrick Henry, Jamaal Charles, andre Ellington & I just added this AM knile davis.

    Q; yes I added knile Davis but upside wise/depth on my bench,etc who would you rather own my knile Davis or drop knile for either Mike Davis , Peyton barber (no sims & Martin had a setback), don Jackson (was just added to ESPN he clears waivers tomorrow AM), sproles clears waivers tomorrow, Smallwood, alex Collins, CJ proise, rawls, Shaun draughn is also there too.

    I aquired Charles a couple days ago by trading my cam Meredith

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
      (link)

      @Timmay tooth:

      Man, that is a nice stable of running backs. At first glance, I think I hold onto Davis or any of them, at least for a couple weeks.

      • Timmay tooth says:
        (link)

        @mikeMaher:

        Hold onto Knile & don’t add Mike (Davis) lol a lot of davis’. Just for depth /bye weeks anyways. I’m planning ahead for week 9 gonna be tough I have DJ, Howard, andre Ellington , Hopkins &. Fuller on byes

        • mikeMaher

          mikeMaher says:
          (link)

          @Timmay tooth:

          Haha, sorry about that. Meant Knile Davis. And yeah, I see what your saying. The hard thing about that is predicting the health of players two weeks away. Difficult to know who is going to be back by then. It looks like Lacy MIGHT have the most severe injury of all the injured running backs.

  10. Arya Asgarian says:
    (link)

    Hey,

    Lineup for the week in a 10-man standard league:
    QB: Russell Wilson
    HB: Lesean McCoy
    HB: Le’Veon Bell
    WR: Odell Beckham
    WR: Nelson
    TE: Henry
    Flex: Amari Cooper
    Defense: Bengals D
    Kicker: Justin Tucker

    Bench:
    Todd Gurley
    Carson Palmer
    Jamaal Charles
    Golden Tate
    Titans D
    Travis Kelce
    Mike Gillislee

    Questions: With McCoy ruled out for Sunday, should we start Gillislee or Charles/Gurley? Also is this the most optimal lineup? Thanks! *Side note* Yes, this is a legit team, we didn’t rig the league or anything. Just smart trading and drafting

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
      (link)

      @Arya Asgarian:

      I would go Gurley. Lineup looks good.

Comments are closed.