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 EastPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
PatriotsLeGarrette BlountBrandon BoldenJames WhiteD.J. Foster
JetsMatt ForteBilal PowellBilal PowellTroymaine Pope
DolphinsJay AjayiArian FosterArian FosterKenyan Drake
BillsLeSean McCoyMike GillisleeLeSean McCoyReggie Bush
AFC NorthPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
BengalsGiovani BernardJeremy HillGiovani BernardRex Burkhead
RavensTerrance WestKenneth DixonTerrance WestJavorius Allen
SteelersLe’Veon BellDeAngelo WilliamsLe’Veon BellFitzgerald Toussaint
BrownsIsaiah CrowellDuke JohnsonDuke JohnsonGeorge Atkinson
AFC SouthPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
TexansLamar MillerAlfred BlueLamar MillerJonathan Grimes
JaguarsChris IvoryT.J. YeldonT.J. YeldonDenard Robinson
ColtsFrank GoreRobert TurbinJosh FergusonJosh Ferguson
TitansDeMarco MurrayDerrick HenryDeMarco MurrayAntonio Andrews
AFC WestPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
ChiefsJamaal CharlesSpencer WareJamaal CharlesCharcandrick West
BroncosC.J. AndersonDevontae BookerDevontae BookerKapri Bibbs
RaidersLatavius Murray +DeAndre WashingtonEveryoneJalen Richard
ChargersMelvin GordonKenneth FarrowDexter McClusterDexter 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 EastPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
GiantsRashad JenningsOrleans DarkwaBobby RaineyPaul Perkins
EaglesRyan MathewsWendell SmallwoodDarren SprolesKenjon Barner
CowboysEzekiel ElliottAlfred MorrisEzekiel ElliottLance Dunbar +
WashingtonMatt JonesChris ThompsonChris ThompsonRobert Kelley
NFC NorthPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
VikingsJerick McKinnonMatt AsiataJerick McKinnonRonnie Hillman
PackersEddie Lacy +James Starks +James Starks +Knile Davis
LionsTheo Riddick +Dwayne Washington +Theo RiddickZach Zenner / Justin Forsett
BearsJeremy Langford +Jordan HowardKa’Deem Carey +Joique Bell
NFC SouthPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
BuccaneersDoug Martin +Jacquizz RodgersJacquizz RodgersPeyton Barber
SaintsMark IngramTim HightowerTravaris CadetTim Hightower
PanthersJonathan StewartCameron Artis-PayneFozzy WhittakerCameron Artis-Payne
FalconsDevonta FreemanTevin ColemanTevin ColemanTerron Ward
NFC WestPrimary BackHandcuffPass-CatcherThird-Stringer
49ersCarlos HydeShaun DraughnCarlos HydeMike Davis
SeahawksChristine MichaelThomas Rawls +C.J. SpillerC.J. Prosise + / Alex Collins
CardinalsDavid JohnsonAndre EllingtonDavid JohnsonStepfan Taylor
RamsTodd GurleyBenny 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
PlayerTeamStartedTotal SnapsOff Snap Pct.
31-D.JohnsonARIYES6787%
30-S.TaylorARINO225%
38-A.EllingtonARINO810%
33-K.WilliamsARINO00%
24-D.FreemanATLYES3654%
26-T.ColemanATLNO3146%
28-T.WestBALYES5160%
30-K.DixonBALNO1012%
37-J.AllenBALNO132%
25-L.McCoyBUFYES4962%
22-R.BushBUFNO114%
31-J.WilliamsBUFNO810%
35-M.GillisleeBUFNO3223%
28-J.StewartCARYES5567%
43-F.WhittakerCARNO3122%
34-C.Artis-PayneCARNO00%
24-J.HowardCHIYES5569%
25-K.CareyCHINO3131%
43-J.BellCHINO90%
33-J.LangfordCHINO00%
25-G.BernardCINYES4566%
32-J.HillCINNO2131%
33-R.BurkheadCINNO174%
34-I.CrowellCLEYES3857%
29-D.JohnsonCLEYES3848%
25-G.AtkinsonCLENO210%
40-D.VitaleCLENO00%
21-E.ElliottDALYES6091%
46-A.MorrisDALNO58%
25-L.DunbarDALNO00%
34-D.JacksonDALNO00%
22-C.AndersonDENYES5878%
23-D.BookerDENNO1520%
35-K.BibbsDENNO200%
34-Z.ZennerDETYES5077%
30-J.ForsettDETNO1219%
25-T.RiddickDETNO00%
36-D.WashingtonDETNO00%
27-E.LacyGBYES3144%
44-J.StarksGBNO00%
26-L.MillerHOUYES5983%
28-A.BlueHOUNO268%
34-T.ErvinHOUNO268%
45-J.ProschHOUNO3818%
41-J.GrimesHOUNO00%
23-F.GoreINDYES4764%
28-J.TodmanINDNO210%
33-R.TurbinINDNO3024%
34-J.FergusonINDNO2112%
24-T.YeldonJACYES3762%
16-D.RobinsonJACNO150%
33-C.IvoryJACNO2440%
30-C.GrantJACNO00%
32-S.WareKCYES4062%
25-J.CharlesKCNO1523%
35-C.WestKCNO1112%
34-K.DavisKCNO00%
30-T.GurleyLARMYES4272%
23-B.CunninghamLARMNO2122%
34-C.ReynoldsLARMNO200%
39-M.BrownLARMNO70%
23-J.AjayiMIAYES4869%
26-D.WilliamsMIANO2617%
29-A.FosterMIANO1116%
32-K.DrakeMIANO141%
29-L.BlountNEYES2539%
27-D.FosterNENO40%
28-J.WhiteNENO4361%
38-B.BoldenNENO00%
38-T.CadetNOYES5037%
22-M.IngramNONO3953%
34-T.HightowerNONO110%
36-D.LascoNONO287%
23-M.MurphyNONO00%
23-R.JenningsNYGYES3248%
28-P.PerkinsNYGNO2410%
43-B.RaineyNYGNO4340%
26-O.DarkwaNYGNO00%
22-M.ForteNYJYES2139%
29-B.PowellNYJNO4472%
26-T.PopeNYJNO00%
33-D.WashingtonOAKYES3858%
22-T.JonesOAKNO132%
30-J.RichardOAKNO2025%
28-L.MurrayOAKNO00%
24-R.MathewsPHIYES1121%
28-W.SmallwoodPHINO2819%
34-K.BarnerPHINO1315%
43-D.SprolesPHINO2744%
26-L.BellPITYES5396%
33-F.ToussaintPITNO120%
34-D.WilliamsPITNO713%
27-K.FarrowSDNO23%
28-M.GordonSDNO5279%
33-D.McClusterSDNO1314%
32-C.MichaelSEAYES4873%
28-C.SpillerSEANO1723%
36-A.CollinsSEANO23%
22-C.ProsiseSEANO00%
34-T.RawlsSEANO00%
28-C.HydeSFYES3252%
22-M.DavisSFNO4039%
24-S.DraughnSFNO198%
29-D.MurrayTENYES5995%
22-D.HenryTENNO915%
26-A.AndrewsTENNO160%
31-M.JonesWASYES3041%
25-C.ThompsonWASNO4149%
32-R.KelleyWASNO1712%

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:
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    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:
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      @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:
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        @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:
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          @omar:

          I would do that one, too.

          • omar says:
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            @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:
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              @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:
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    Ugh I have terrible options next week with Big Ben going down…Alex Smith or Kaep? Yikes…

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Nick:

      Gross. Alex Smith.

  3. Scott Hagen says:
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    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:
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      @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:
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        @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:
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          @CMUTimmah:

          Yup.

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

              • mikeMaher

                mikeMaher says:
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                @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:
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    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:
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    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:
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    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:
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    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:
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    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:
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        @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:
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            @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:
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              @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:
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    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:
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      @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:
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        @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.

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