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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


The Shot Caller's Report - Running Backs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 5
10/3/13
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs


Bye Weeks:
Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

Grab a Helmet

Reggie Bush @ GB: The pool of consistent, completely bankable meal tickets seems to dwindle with every passing season and this yearís group may be the shallowest yet. We can count them on one hand, actually, through four weeks: Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, andÖReggie makes five. It wasnít hard to see how Bush would fit into the already dynamic Detroit offense, but heís somehow surpassed even the most optimistic preseason expectations thus far. Despite missing one game and close to half of another, he ranks sixth overall for points at the position and his two 60-minute efforts have been nothing short of sensational (25.1 points in Week 1 and 23.3 in Week 4). This week, Bush draws a middling Packer defense in a game that will almost certainly feature points aplenty. I know Iím preaching to the choir here, but even the choir can stand to be occasionally reminded: Reggie is the truth in 2013.

DeMarco Murray

Cowboys will need a succesful ground game to beat the Broncos.

DeMarco Murray v. DEN: Murray belongs to that next tier of running backs containing guys youíll certainly start every week but who canít necessarily be trusted to produce big numbers. He sandwiched one of the seasonís better efforts Ė a scintillating 26.5-point outing against the Rams in Week 3 Ė between two fairly lackluster ones (7.4 and 9.0 in Weeks 2 and 4, respectively). Frustrating, yes, but youíve gotta roll with him becauseÖwell, I just told you there arenít enough top-notch guys to go around. On the bright side, Murray could deliver big in Week 5 since A) Dallas would be wise to keep the ball away from Denverís insanely prolific offense, and B) the Broncos havenít been terribly successful against opposing ball carriers (yielding 21.3 points/game) despite their wild early success as a team. Plug Murray in per the usual and hope the Cowboys can keep it interesting longer than Denverís other opponents have.

Danny Woodhead @ OAK: Need more proof the running back position has become a week-to-week crapshoot? Behold Exhibit A. If you factor out his Week 1 numbers (still rounding into form after missing most of the preseason), Woodyís averaging a robust 11.9 points per game. Thatís a better mark than all of the following RB1s/RB2s: Alfred Morris, Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, Chris Johnson, andÖRyan Mathews. Thatís my not-so-subtle reminder to all you Mathews owners, by the way, that you may be employing only the second-best Chargers running back this year. I doubt Woodhead is going to give us two scores very often and he likely wonít do it again this season. Nevertheless, his touches/targets are fairly consistent and he averages over 6 yards a pop. Thatís pretty groovy for a guy who doesnít even officially start. Give Diminutive Dan some run against the Raiders in Sunday nightís late, late show.

Grab a Gatorade

C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson @ CLE: The relentless, merciless rains have come early to the Pacific NW this year, but they canít dampen my spirits any further than Spiller already has through the seasonís first four weeks. When you spend a quarter of your auction budget on a single player, itís not unreasonable to expect solid returns on that investment. Save for a 100-yard effort in Week 2, however, the returns have been anything but solid. Making matters worse, Spillerís been constantly banged up and may not be ready to go by game time in Cleveland. Itís probably just as well since the Browns sport, surprisingly, one of the leagueís stingiest run-stopping units (a league-best 2.9 yards yielded per attempt). Regardless who plays and for how long, youíll probably want to sit both Bills backs down on Thursday night.

Chris Johnson v. KC: Johnson provided the following ďpublic service announcementĒ to his Twitter followers this week: ďI can care less about fantasy football. Key word fantasy. As long as we win Iím happy. I rush for 200 n lose yíall happy. U r the head coach n the owner of ur fantasy team so u should be mad at urself. I didnít ask any of u to draft me so if Iím so sorry y start me.Ē I canít be too sure, but I think that may be the first case in history of a player going direct to the fans with his own start/sit recommendation. Letís hope it doesnít catch on or Iíll be out of a job.

DeAngelo Williams @ ARZ: Only LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson are averaging more yards per game than DeAngelo Williams (97.0), a pretty surprising fact when you consider how pointless the pint-sized Panther had become the last couple seasons. And though there’s no reason to suspect he won’t continue producing at a pretty good clip the rest of the way, there are definitely reasons to be concerned this weekend. For starters, even when he’s the only running back on the field, he’s not Carolina’s most explosive running option (Cam Newton is). Second, he hasn’t scored through three games and often bleeds goal-line touches to Mike Tolbert. Finally, he’s facing a Cardinals team that just stoned one of the league’s best, Doug Martin (27 carries for 45 yards), and is giving up only 75 yards per game on the ground. You can do worse most weeks, but you can do much better this week. Find someone else.

Wide Receivers