It's tough to trust Patriots RBs but Dion
Lewis has seen double-digit carries in six straight games.
Grab a Helmet
Lewis @ BUF: I know there is a measure of trepidation
when starting any Patriots running back simply because you never
know exactly who might be featured in the game plan. At different
points this year, four different backs for New England have put
up RB2+ numbers, but the real mainstay of the bunch has been Lewis.
After a slow first five weeks of the season, Lewis has seen at
least 11 carries in each of the last six games, and seems to be
the runner the Patriots feature most consistently. The Bills have
an exploitable run defense, and itís always a good idea to establish
the run on the road against a division opponent. Lewis is also
a threat to get a few drives vultured from him, but he should
see a large enough snap share to trust as a RB2 .
Collins vs DET: Although his numbers didnít jump off
the page Monday night against the Texans, Collins is the clear
lead back on this Ravens team. He carried the ball 16 times for
60 yards and a score, and while heíll lose plenty of snaps on
3rd downs to Danny Woodhead, Collins represents the most effective
offensive weapon on a team that simply canít move the ball in
the air. With Flacco and the receivers unable to do anything past
twenty yards, look for a heavy dose of the run game against a
Lions team thatís been eaten up on the ground the past few weeks.
Game script is going to favor the run game in this one, and to
me, Collins has a potential 75+ yard, 1 touchdown floor. This
puts Collins soundly on the RB2 map and a great FLEX play if you
have the depth to use him there.
Perine vs WAS (THU): Letís be honest, if not for the
injuries to Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson, Perine would still
be nothing more than a bench stash. But to give him credit, Perine
has made the most of his lush opportunities, reaching 100 yards
rushing in consecutive games, averaging a stout 4.5 yards per
carry, and tacking on 6 receptions since being forced into the
lead role. The Redskins have force-fed the rookie to the tune
of 47 carries the last two weeks, so the volume alone gives Perine
some of the highest floor potential among backs this week. All
that heís done the last two weeks, combined with the enticing
matchup against a Dallas team that is circling the drain, make
Perine a surprisingly strong RB1/2 play in Week 13.
Grab Some Pine
Seattle Running Backs vs PHI:
I wouldnít wish the starting running back position on the Seahawks
on my worst enemy. Not only has it been a black hole of production
the entire year, but it seems like voodoo dolls made of Seahawk
running backs are the hot item this holiday season. Any time a
new runner steps up into the lead role, a groin, knee, or ankle
seems to snap, break, or sprain. The offensive line has been offensive
all year, and while guys like Mike
Davis and Chris
Carson showed flashes, no one stays healthy long enough to
make a fantasy difference. Seattle will continue to trot out whatís
left of Eddie
Lacy, hope J.D.
McKissic can catch a few passes, and maybe Mike Davis stays
alive long enough to have 10 carries. Nothing about this backfield
exudes confidence so look elsewhere for your fantasy needs. Oh,
and did I mention the match-up is also as brutal as can be as
the Eagles sport the best run stopping unit in all the land? Need
I say more?
Murray vs HOU: Itís truly baffling how long itís taken
the Titans to turn the reigns over to Derrick Henry, but after
Murrays second straight dud last week, and the fact Henry was
the lead dog in several 2nd half clock killing drives, it may
officially be time to move on from Murray as a fantasy starter.
Sure he stole a touchdown and reached 10 fantasy points for the
only the 4th time this year, but he also had a second straight
game of a yards-per-carry average around 1. Injuries and general
wear have sapped him of his explosiveness, and simply isnít giving
the Titans the big plays they desperately need out of the run
game. If the Titans wise up and commit to Henry like I think they
might, Murrayís floor on single digit touches could be devastating
to your chances of winning.
Hunt @ NYJ: Something stinks in Kansas City. The Chiefs,
for the first few weeks of the season, were an unstoppable offensive
juggernaut. They were planning parades for Alex Smith, and Kareem
Hunt was looking like a generational fantasy talent; then the
wheels fell off during a 13-9 loss to the Steelers. Sure, the
offense slightly rebounded a week later in Oakland, but since
that loss to Pittsburgh, Hunt and the offense have gone in reverse,
culminating in an unthinkable 11-17-0 line against Buffalo last
week. The 12 touches and 20 total yards were by far season lows
for the dynamic rookie, and frankly numbers that make no sense
after a blazing hot start to his career. I know there has been
some shifting of personnel on the offensive line, and d-coordinators
have gotten smarter, but something has gone seriously off the
rails with this offense. Hunt has gone from sure thing, to “cross
your fingers” in a matter of weeks, and while you can’t
bench him, you have to hope a rebound comes before it’s
too late for your fantasy squad.