by Ray Kuhn
We made it through Week 11 (hopefully) with six teams on bye. Things get easier this week as there are just two teams on bye, but the problem is that they are the Rams and Chiefs. Also some roster decisions are going to be a slightly accelerated as there are three games on Thursday. With that being said let’s jump right into this week’s rankings:
- Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Washington
- Saquon Barkley – NY Giants – at Philadelphia
- Melvin Gordon – LA Chargers – vs. Arizona
- James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Denver
- David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – at LA Chargers
- Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
- Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – vs. Seattle
- Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Buffalo
- Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – at Cincinnati
- Sony Michel – New England Patriots – at NY Jets
- Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – vs. Pittsburgh
- Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Miami
- Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – vs. Atlanta
- Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – at Minnesota
- Lamar Miller – Houston Texans – vs. Tennessee
- Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
- James White – New England Patriots – at NY Jets
- Adrian Peterson – Washington Redskins – at Dallas
- Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Green Bay
- Matt Breida – San Francisco 49ers – at Tampa Bay
- Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – at Carolina
- Dion Lewis – Tennessee Titans – at Houston
- Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears – at Detroit
- Kenyan Drake – Miami Dolphins – at Indianapolis
- LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills – vs. Jacksonville
- Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears – at Detroit
- Peyton Barber – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. San Francisco
- Josh Adams – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. NY Giants
- Duke Johnson – Cleveland Browns – at Cincinnati
- Theo Riddick – Detroit Lions – vs. Chicago
- Isaiah Crowell – NY Jets – vs. New England
- Jalen Richard – Oakland Raiders – at Baltimore
- Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Oakland
- Ito Smith – Atlanta Falcons – at New Orleans
- Elijiah McGuire – NY Jets – vs. New England
- Alex Collins – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Oakland
- Royce Freeman – Denver Broncos – vs. Pittsburgh
- Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Cleveland
- Austin Ekeler – LA Chargers – vs. Arizona
- The short week isn’t working in Kerryon Johnson’s favor as he will be sidelined with a knee injury. It appears to be minor enough, but for this week his touches are up for grabs. LeGarrette Blount will continue to handle, or vulture, the goal line and short yardage work but there is nothing to see here. Last week he carried the ball seven times, but the veteran managed just one yard. On the season Blount is averaging 2.3 yards on his 78 carries while scoring three touchdowns and fantasy owners should move onto the next option. While he has just nine carries in eight games, Theo Riddick is going to be the running back on my radar. I still wouldn’t expect to see his carries drastically increase, but even with Johnson in the fold Detroit is looking Riddick’s way quite often in the passing game. With 11 receptions for 90 yards in last two games he has benefited from the departure of Golden Tate, and he should be busy against the Bears.
- I feel like I talk about Seattle every week, but as long as Chris Carson is healthy there is no need to give their backfield any further attention. Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny combined to touch the ball 14 times last week, and it was clearly Carson’s backfield as he picked up 83 yards on 17 carries. He also scored a touchdown against Green Bay, rebounding from an early game fumble to have yet another productive effort. Through eight games Carson is up to 580 rushing yards (4.5 yards per carry) with three 100-plus yard efforts and 3 TD. In PPR leagues his value is limited, just eight catches, but the guaranteed workload on the ground still makes him a valuable commodity.
- Sometimes, especially when you are dealing with running backs, it really doesn’t take much. Entering last week Gus Edwards wasn’t on anyone’s radar and it’s very possible most fantasy owners had no idea who he was. The Baltimore running back is going to be one of the more popular options on waiver wires heading into Week 12. We have been left wanting more all season from Alex Collins, and quite frankly he hasn’t returned much in the way of value. Last week Collins managed just 18 yards on seven carries, and the only thing that saved his day was a seven yard TD run. Through 10 games he is averaging 41.1 yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry, but his 7 TD are enough to keep him on our radars; at least for now if there are no better options. As far as Baltimore is concerned Edwards might be that option. Last week he more than doubled his career output with 17 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown. Previously the rookie had gained just 74 yards on 15 carries, and afterwards the coaching staff appeared to talk up Edwards as offering up a skill set they didn’t have. That kind of success has to warrant some attention although you must take it with a grain of salt, and the fact that Baltimore is facing Oakland this week also works in his favor.
- Peyton Barber hasn’t exactly dazzled this season, but at the same time the Tampa Bay running back job is still his. No one else, we are looking at you Ronald Jones (19 carries for 42 yards and now dealing with a hamstring injury), has done anything to guide the Buccaneers in a different direction either. While Jacquizz Rodgers does have a role in the passing game, he caught eight passes for 102 yards two weeks ago, the same can’t be said for the running game. Rodgers has just 19 carries for 54 yards this season, so as far as the ground game goes it is Barber’s show. In a high scoring game last week he carried the ball 18 times for 106 yards and a TD. While it was just his second touchdown of the season, he came close to a third as he fumbled just prior to crossing the goal line, he does have 543 yards rushing (4.0 yards per carry). This isn’t a truly exciting option, but based on the consistent workload you have to continue looking Barber’s way.
- If you didn’t quite pay attention or care when Adrian Peterson signed with Washington you are forgiven, but the veteran is certainly proving us wrong. For those who grabbed him late in drafts, you have nothing to complain about as you reap the rewards. Rushing wise it was a quiet game for Peterson last week as he gained just 51 yards on 16 carries, but it was still a successful day as he found his way into the end zone twice. That makes it seven rushing touchdowns this season, who also has one receiving touchdown. Peterson’s 4.2 yards per carry doesn’t exactly jump off the page, but thanks to his heavy workload he has 723 yards on the ground. The veteran isn’t going to generate much upside or excitement, but he is still a solid option. It should be noted that with Alex Smith now sidelined for the season the Washington offense is going to be going in a different direction now with Colt McCoy under center. Opposing defenses will cheat in on the run game, but by the same token the Redskins will likely lean on Peterson.
- Sorting out the Philadelphia backfield has been challenging after Jay Ajayi’s injury, but Josh Adams is who I am keeping an eye on. Last week’s match-up against the Saints didn’t exactly work in the Eagles’ favor, and that trickled down to the running backs as it wasn’t a positive game flow. It also wasn’t a positive for the Eagles as they were forced to deal with a difficult New Orleans run defense, but Adams did manage to gain 53 yards on seven carries. That included a 28 yard touchdown run as the rookie also added 19 yards on three catches. At this point I am just waiting for the Eagles to expand his role, as on the season he has succeeded when given the chance (6.1 yards per carry on 34 carries).
** PRE-ORDER ROTOPROFESSOR’S 2019 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE **
Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.75!! Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings: