by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
These are not players that I am 100% sitting this week, depending on my alternatives (we will get to those players later on this week in our Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em column). Instead these are guys I am reconsidering having them in my lineup for a variety of reasons:
Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers
Part of it can be attributed to the Denver Broncos getting up big and forcing opponents to pass on them, but they have actually allowed the fewest rushing yards in the league (273) and are yielding just 2.9 yards per carry. Simply, their offense isn’t the sole reason for their success.
They have been susceptible to running backs who can catch the ball out of the backfield, with 321 receiving yards to opposing running backs (fifth most in the league). This season that hasn’t been Gore’s game, with 4 receptions on 6 targets. In fact he’s had under 20 receptions in two of the previous three seasons, so it’s hard to count on him in that regard.
We’ve seen running backs step up and produce in “unlikely” situations before and we know San Francisco is going to try and keep the ball out of Peyton Manning’s hands. If they can do it or not remains to be seen. With the way Denver’s defense has played, Gore certainly has to be downgraded.
New Orleans Saints Running Backs
With Mark Ingram expected to return, the entire situation for the Saints is up in the air. Will it be Ingram claiming lead back duties? Will Khiry Robinson continue to carry the load? How will Pierre Thomas figure in, or is he simply going to operate as a third down back?
There are suddenly a lot of mouths to feed, and we know that Drew Brees is also going to be airing it out. Taking on a Lions’ defense that has fared well against the run, it makes sense to give this situation a week or two to sort itself off (if possible).
Shane Vereen – New England Patriots
He’s been a bitter disappointment thus far in 2014 and it’s hard to expect his usage to increase significantly with the loss of Stevan Ridley. As we’ve discussed those carries will likely go to some combination of Branden Bolden, James White and Jonas Gray, leaving Vereen in the role he’s been in this season.
His current role has yielded 330 total yards and 1 TD, and he’s taking on one of the best defenses against running backs in the league. There’s simply way too much risk to trust him, especially with the Thursday game and the potential for him to out you in a significant hole.
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN
Make sure to check out all of our Week 7 rankings: