With many teams heading towards a running back by committee, fantasy owners constantly need to be analyzing the situations and determining who has value and is worth utilizing. Let’s take a look at some of the key situations from yesterday and try to determine who should be used and who should be ignored:
Why won’t they just have him inactive already…
It has to be 100% clear that David Johnson isn’t healthy, as he was once again a complete non-factor. In fact he didn’t have a single touch, as Kenyan Drake was the clear workhorse both running and catching the football:
- Rushing – 16 carries for 67 yards (4.2 YPC)
- Receiving – 6 catches (on 7 targets) for 13 yards
Even when Johnson is healthy, Drake has proven that he needed out of Miami in order to tap into the upside. While he may never be a RB1, depending on the week he’s a valid RB2/FLEX option.
Verdict – Johnson is clearly injured and is bench fodder until further notice
So much for the Brian Hill show…
There was a lot of hype surrounding Hill entering the week, given the injuries to Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith as well as a seemingly favorable matchup against a Carolina defense that had allowed the fourth most points per week to opposing RB. While the workload was there, the production wasn’t:
- Rushing – 15 carries for 30 yards
- Receiving – 1 catch for 8 yards
Freeman is expected to be sidelined for multiple weeks, so Hill should continue to get opportunities. However the schedule isn’t going to do him any favors:
- Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay – Entered the week allowing the 2nd fewest points per week to opposing RB
- Week 13 vs. New Orleans – Entered the week allowing the 4th fewest points per week to opposing RB
While Hill is worth holding, just in case, he’s nothing more than a bench option who could lose touches (as it is Quasre Ollison vultured a short yardage TD).
Verdict – Hill should be viewed as nothing more than a bench stash
Is it officially Devin Singletary’s time…
Frank Gore remained a part of the backfield, but it was once again Singletary who was far more impressive:
- Devin Singletary – 15 carries for 75 yards (5.0 YPC)
- Frank Gore – 11 carries for 27 yards (2.5 YPC)
Gore failed to break a run of more than 6 yards, and his longest run over the past four games has been 8 yards. In fact over the past three games he’s totaled 54 yards on 27 carries (2.0 YPC), so you have to wonder if he’ll see his role reduced dramatically.
Verdict – Singletary is the preferred option moving forward (viable RB2), with Gore droppable for most
Did we get a breakout performance from Bo Scarbrough…
Ty Johnson was active, but instead it was Scarbrough who led the backfield:
- Bo Scarbrough – 14 carries for 55 yards & 1 TD
- J.D. McKissic – 3 carries for 13 yards
- Ty Johnson – 2 carries for 6 yards
McKissic added 3 receptions for 40 yards, making him the better option in PPR formats. Still you have to wonder if this is a sign of things to come, as it’s not like Johnson has been impressive this season (44 carries for 153 yards, good for 3.5 YPC). In fact he hasn’t averaged more than 3.6 YPC in a game since September and has never gotten more than 10 carries. It does go to show what the team thinks of him, and while Scarbrough is no guarantee he’ll be well worth the waiver target.
Verdict – Scarbrough has enough upside to make him worth targeting
With Marlon Mack sidelined, is Jonathan Williams the man…
It was a shame that Mack went down with a broken hand, as he was on the verge of a monster performance. As it is he posted 109 yards and 1 TD on 14 carries, but the Colts didn’t miss a beat once they turned to Williams (13 carries for 116 yards). Of course the team was also without Jordan Wilkins in this one, meaning Williams was among only healthy back left after Mack’s injury (Nyheim Hines was also active, but only had 3 carries and 3 receptions).
The Colts have a quick turnaround, as they take on the Texans on Thursday night. Houston sports a middle of the pack rushing defense, though that was before the Ravens gashed them for 263 rushing yards (led by Gus Edwards, who racked up 112 yards and 1 TD on 8 carries). At the very least Williams should be part of a committee, but there’s a good chance he’s the leader and worth utilizing as a RB2.
Verdict – Grab Williams as a potential RB2 for the coming week at the least
Is there any reason to hold onto Kalen Ballage…
For the second straight week he was the “leader” of the backfield, but it was a disastrous performance:
- Week 10 – 20 carries for 43 yards (2.2 YPC)
- Week 11 – 9 carries for 9 yards & 1 TD (1.0 YPC)
Sure it’s nice that he’s been getting opportunities, but there’s simply no production. He’s keeping the seat warm for Mark Walton’s return, and more chances for Myles Gaskin and Patrick Laird should be expected in the next two weeks.
Verdict – Cut bait on Ballage if you need the roster spot
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Don’t read into Ronald Jones’ disappointing performance…
Game flow obviously had a lot to do with the lack of touches, as Tampa Bay fell behind big early. They therefore were forced to take a pass heavy approach, leaving Jones with just six touches (4 carries and 2 receptions). He was still the favored option (Peyton Barber had 2 receptions), for whatever that’s worth. Don’t read into the situation, and while Jones isn’t a high-level option he’s the name to consider.
Verdict – Continue to view the backfield the same as we have
It shouldn’t be a surprise that we got a committee approach…
If you thought that the Redskins were simply going to hand the lead back duties to Derrius Guice, you were sorely mistaken:
- Adrian Peterson – 9 carries for 25 yards
- Derrius Guice – 7 carries for 24 yards
Guice did have a 45 yard touchdown reception, though that’s not something we can count on every week. There’s a good chance that we continue to see this type of split, and the running room could be hard to find with Dwayne Haskins starting at quarterback. Both are worth owning but need to be left on your bench until someone emerges.
Verdict – Both Guice & Peterson should be viewed as bench options only
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 12 rankings: