Bench Arian Foster this week.
Just kidding. Can you imagine? Foster’s a solid play even when he’s on bye. At least he’d be a better play than DeAngelo Williams was last week. Thankfully Foster’s not on bye this week so he’s obviously starting for every fantasy team that’s fortunate enough to own him. There are plenty of more difficult decisions to make in the running game for week 6.
What do Maurice Jones-Drew, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Matt Forte, Michael Bush, Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, and Darren Sproles all have in common? They’re all on bye this week, so if any of those names look familiar to you and your fantasy teams, you have some choices to make. With most of those players in a committee situation anyway, this could be your chance to catch a few breakout performances elsewhere.
For starters, Rashard Mendenhall is back and ran for 81 yards with a TD in his return. He did that against a difficult Eagles defense too. What does this all mean? It means you start him when he plays The Titans this Thursday. Don’t be surprised if he breaks 100 yards and scores another TD. If he does, I highly recommend selling him while he’s hot, but keep him around this week.
This is also the week to start Donald Brown again. The Jets give up plenty of yards on the ground and Brown has looked solid so far this season with an average of 4 yards per carry. He averaged 4.9 against Green Bay just last week so start him with confidence. He may not get you a score, but he has a good shot at his first 100 yard mark of 2012.
There’s also a very interesting situation in Arizona right now. With both Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams out, LaRod Stephens-Howling and William Powell both have an opportunity to step up. My money is on LaRod for the time being and against The Bills, he’s a solid flex play this week, but keep an eye on both. If you have room on your bench, Powell might be worth stashing away.
Speaking of teams with multiple options at RB, you should probably sit every RB from Buffalo in your fantasy leagues this week. Arizona is solid against the run and with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson dueling for the top spot as it is, it’s difficult to know who you can trust on The Bills anymore. Jackson is your best bet for a score if you have to play one of them, but if you have other choices, use them.
The same can be said for Stevan Ridley. Don’t get me wrong, Ridley has been great this year, but against a tough Seahawks defense that was responsible for DeAngelo Williams’ awful week, Ridley’s more likely to repeat his week 3 performance against Baltimore when he carried the ball 13 times for 37 yards. The Patriots use the RB position better than almost any team in the league, but that doesn’t always make their RBs worthy fantasy plays.
Last but not least, ok…maybe least if we’re talking fantasy points: Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw’s having a great year so far, but so are the 49ers; especially their run defense…again. Bradshaw still has some value thanks to his receiving ability, but he won’t do enough damage on the ground to merit a solid fantasy start.