Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Running Backs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 2
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks:

Grab a Helmet

DeAngelo Williams

DeAngelo Williams: Remember me?

DeAngelo Williams @ BUF: Remember him? It’s been a quiet half-decade for the guy who once sat atop the fantasy RB heap (283.9 points in 2008) and I’ll admit to having completely written him off a year or so ago when the Panthers allegedly shopped him despite having less-than-reliable alternatives (see Stewart, Jonathan) at the position. They found no takers (which further fueled my belief he’d become irrelevant), kept him around as a change-of-pace guy, and then had no choice but to plug him in as the opening day starter last Sunday when Stewart predictably ended up on the PUP list. Well, you know what? They could do worse. Williams scampered for 76 yards on 16 carries against Seattle’s elite defenders in Week 1, giving him 286 rushing yards in his last two starts dating back to last year. Wait, huh? Was I taking a nap when he ran for 210 big ones in the 2012 finale against the Saints?

Joique Bell @ ARZ: I’ll tell you who I absolutely wasn’t napping on this preseason. While others hyped Ben Tate, Shane Vereen, Bryce Brown, and Bernard Pierce, I couldn’t take my mind off the backup who outperformed every one of them in 2012, and not by an inconsiderable margin. Most felt the acquisition of Reggie Bush would spell the end of Bell’s run as a relevant fantasy option, but it appears the opposite will actually be true. He’s supplanted Mikel Leshoure (healthy scratch in Week 1) as the change-of-pace option AND goal-line back in Detroit and he’s still a vital part of the Lions’ passing game. In other words, he’s not so much a backup as a second option who gets semi-regular work and does plenty with it. Bush outscored him last week, sure, but only two other backs did. That includes ALL RBs, by the way, not just backups.

Stevan Ridley v. NYJ: Ridley’s owners had to be swallowing hard when he dropped the leather on the Orchard Park carpet last Sunday, incurring the wrath of his perfectionist QB and earning an immediate hook from his even less indulgent coach. Hand-wringing and hair-pulling probably ensued when Shane Vereen seized the opportunity and ran literally all over the place with it (14 carries for 101 yards and 58 more receiving yards). Could a quick demotion or, at best, a 50-50 job share be far behind? That’s probably where we were headed, but Ridley fans can rest easy for now. Vereen has been placed on short-term IR and won’t be supplanting/complementing Ridley anytime soon. That’s not to say a guy like Brandon Bolden or LeGarrette Blount couldn’t swoop in and keep the pressure on, but I like Ridley to solve that fumbling problem and re-earn his coach’s trust this weekend.

Grab a Gatorade

David Wilson v. DEN: Did somebody say “fumbling problem?” Oy vey. I don’t typically sympathize with struggling NFL players since they get paid extravagant sums to play football, something this 5’11”, 175-pound desk pilot could only dream of doing. Nevertheless, it was awfully difficult watching Wilson self-destruct on Sunday night. His punishment, a seat on the Giants bench, seemed particularly unfair since Eli Manning was giving away footballs like so many Christmas hams. Such is life in big-time football, however. It’s much easier to find a new running back than replace a franchise QB. The New York brass made that abundantly clear by going out and unearthing/re-signing former Giant, Brandon Jacobs, on Tuesday. If a coach is willing to bring in Jacobs to motivate his first-string meal ticket, he’s probably the kind of guy who’d be willing to use him. Avoid Wilson until further notice.

Lamar Miller @ IND: Another preseason hype-generator bites the dust? Wilson’s Sunday certainly turned out to be a catastrophic one, but Miller’s wasn’t a whole lot better. The only thing that may have saved the young Dolphin in this case was that his backup only slightly outperformed him. And that’s really saying something when you consider that said backup, Daniel Thomas, rushed for only 14 yards on eight carries. How bad was Miller’s day, you’re wondering? At the rate he was gaining, he would have needed 34 carries to net the Fish…a SINGLE FIRST DOWN!!! Yep, the former Hurricane averaged about one foot per carry against the Browns on Sunday, a microscopically small total. We shouldn’t write him off for the long term just yet, but it’s safe to say he’s a really risky play until he produces something relevant. Avoid both Miami running backs this weekend.

Isaac Redman @ CIN: Mike Tomlin was pretty blunt in his assessment of Redman’s Week 1 performance against the Titans: “He played a bad game.” Gotta love a coach who doesn’t blow smoke up skirts, no? Redman tallied just nine yards on eight carries in the Steelers’ humiliating home defeat and also put the ball on the Heinz Stadium turf twice (losing one in very costly fashion). If we’ve learned anything at all through this first week of the regular season, it’s that fumbling is the quickest way to endanger your livelihood as a starting running back in the NFL. Not surprisingly, Pittsburgh’s brain trust followed New York’s lead and immediately reclaimed a former Steeler, Jonathan Dwyer, early this week. Though Tomlin has indicated Redman will get one more chance to start, the leash will be dangerously short with Dwyer back on staff. Look elsewhere this Sunday.

Wide Receivers