by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts
Mack appeared to be breaking out prior to the Colts’ bye week, putting up impressive numbers on the ground over three straight games:
- at New York Jets – 12 carries for 89 yards
- vs. Buffalo – 19 carries for 126 yards and 1 TD
- at Oakland – 25 carries for 132 yards and 2 TD
He added a receiving touchdown against the Bills, so the arrow was clearly pointing up. While he got his touches in Week 10 against the Jaguars (14) he turned them into just 38 yards and failed to find the end zone. Jacksonville has allowed 8th fewest points per week against opposing running backs, so it was a tough matchup. Before we say he’s going to rebound this week keep in mind that the Titans have actually allowed the fewest points per week to opposing running backs (over the past four weeks they’ve allowed just 133 rushing yards and 1 TD).
While the matchup doesn’t eliminate Mack’s value, due to the bye weeks, it does turn him more into a FLEX option.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em (he’s best utilized as a FLEX)
Alex Collins – Baltimore Ravens
The results have been lackluster, as Collins’ season high is 68 rushing yards (and that came back in Week 3). What has saved his value has been his ability to find the end zone, with 4 TD over his past four games and 6 TD overall. He also has continued to get touches, despite averaging 3.7 yards/carry, as he’s had 11+ carries in six of his past seven games (he fell short in Week 10, with 9 carries).
Opportunities + TD is going to equal a value play against a Cincinnati defense that’s been porous to opposing running backs, yielding the second most points per week (courtesy of 8 rushing TD and 5 receiving TD). You also have the potential for Lamar Jackson or Robert Griffin III to be under center (or a banged up Joe Flacco trying to play through injury) adding to the intrigue. It should mean a few more opportunities, as they try to protect whoever the quarterback is, though either replacement could vulture a few goal line touches.
No one is about to expect him to post gaudy numbers on the ground, but there’s enough potential for a TD to make Collins a viable RB2.
Verdict – Start ‘Em (viable RB2)
Jalen Richard – Oakland Raiders
We all know Richard isn’t going to get a lot of carries, but he’s going to play a large role in the offense as a receiver. He’s averaging 5.33 catches per game, and included in that is a 0 catch performance back in Week 2. Against an Arizona defense that would seemingly make him attractive, as they have been susceptible to opposing running backs all season, but most of the damage has come against the run and not the pass:
- Rushing – 1,134 yards and 11 TD
- Receiving – 381 yards and 2 TD
You also have the potential for the Raiders not to be playing from behind, something that has helped him get more chances. It’s not to say he’s unusable, but Richard should be left as a dart throw FLEX option with Doug Martin being the better option.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em (dart throw FLEX)
Josh Adams – Philadelphia Eagles
at New Orleans
The Eagles’ backfield is a bit of a convoluted mess, and that’s not going to change so quickly. That said Adams’ role is set to grow as Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News recently tweeted:
Josh Adams will get more carries going forward, Doug Pederson said.
Over the past two weeks, including a tough matchup against Jacksonville, Adams has 16 carries for 108 yards. Game flow may be the bigger issue this week, as the Eagles travel to New Orleans and will likely be forced to throw the football in order to keep up. Throw in that opposing running backs are averaging just 3.3 yards/carry against the Saints and if he’s only going to get 8-10 carries (maximum) the risk far outweighs the reward.
Verdict – Sit ‘Em (keep him stashed, but this isn’t the week to use him)
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
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Make sure to check out all of our Week 11 rankings: