by Ray Kuhn
It’s all a mess… We can’t complain because we have football, but trying to follow the schedule and who is inactive due to COVID-19 has become a full time job. The most important thing to do is stay liquid and have depth along with multiple plans. Let’s jump into how our options rank for the upcoming week (and in case you were wondering, it currently runs through Tuesday with two games on Monday night):
- Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Jacksonville
- Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – vs. Cleveland
- James Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Minnesota
- Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles Chargers – vs. New England
- Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – at Tennessee
- Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Philadelphia
- Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. NY Giants
- David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – vs. Detroit
- Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – vs. LA Rams
- Raheem Mostert – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Buffalo
- Antonio Gibson – Washington Football Team – at Pittsburgh
- Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – at Green Bay
- Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta
- Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at Baltimore
- David Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Indianapolis
- Wayne Gallman – New York Giants – at Seattle
- Jonathan Taylor – Indianapolis Colts – at Houston
- Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins – vs. Cincinnati
- D’Andre Swift – Detroit Lions – at Chicago
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Denver
- Benny Snell – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Washington
- James White – New England Patriots – at LA Chargers
- Todd Gurley – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
- Latavius Murray – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta
- Kareem Hunt – Cleveland Browns – at Tennessee
- J.K. Dobbins – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Dallas
- Damien Harris – New England Patriots – at LA Chargers
- Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis colts – at Houston
- Frank Gore – New York Jets – vs. Las Vegas
- Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos – at Kansas City
- J.D. McKissic – Washington Football Team – at Pittsburgh
- Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – at San Francisco
- Chase Edmonds – Arizona Cardinals – vs. LA Rams
- Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – at Miami
- Zack Moss – Buffalo Bills – at San Francisco
- Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – vs. Philadelphia
- Carlos Hyde – Seattle Seahawks – vs. NY Giants
- Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – at Kansas City
- Duke Johnson – Houston Texans – vs. Indianapolis
- Darrell Henderson – Los Angeles Rams – at Arizona
- Josh Jacobs was limited by an ankle injury last week as he turned what should have been a favorable match-up against Atlanta into a dud, with just seven carries for 27 yards. He is now working on two straight days of not practicing (Wednesday and Thursday) so let’s operate under the assumption we will be without him for this week. The Raiders likely won’t need Jacobs against the Jets, and if he is in the lineup then he should slot right in as a starter. Devontae Booker will likely be the beneficiary of Jacobs’ absence. Booker also struggled against the Falcons and aside from his performance three weeks ago against Denver (16 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns) he hasn’t made much of an impact. With 83 rushing yards on the season Jalen Richard has even made less of an impact, but remember it’s all about possession here.
- Austin Ekeler wasted no time in making his presence felt in his return last week touching the ball 25 times. Granted Justin Herbert was dealing with a tough Buffalo secondary but he made use of his dependable receiving threat out of the backfield. Ekeler caught 11 of his 16 targets for 85 yards while also adding 44 yards on 14 carries. It was the second 11 reception game for Ekeler this season while in his other three games he has a combined six catches. I’m not sure we can bank on all of that activity in the passing game, but it is clear what Ekeler is capable of along with his role in the Los Angeles offense.
- There is nothing to see here with Dalvin Cook. Based on his workload, and more importantly his success, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Minnesota would be limiting his practice load this week. He is dealing with an ankle injury, but there doesn’t appear to be an issues with his status. We want to see Cook in the lineup this week as he is slated to face a Jaguars defense that struggles against the run. The good news is that at least we know that we look Alexander Mattison’s way should Cook be sidelined. Regardless, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Mattison have borderline FLEX value.
- As far as exciting running back options go, Wayne Gallman isn’t it. Over the past four weeks he has taken advantage of multiple injuries in New York’s backfield and it is clear who the job belongs to. Last week the Giants truly leaned on Gallman, who carried the ball 24 times for 94 yards while scoring his sixth touchdown of the season. That marked the fifth straight week he found the end zone as that is clearly a skill set he owns. With Daniel Jones sidelined this week I would expect the Giants to rely on Gallman once again, but his value is limited as he is not much of a receiving threat.
- Sony Michel returned this week in name only as he didn’t log a touch. Damien Harris was the lead back for New England, which is a good thing. It was an off game for Harris as he carried the ball 14 times for just 47 yards. He continued not to be involved in the passing game, as even with Rex Burkhead sidelined that role goes to James White. Ordinarily there would be nothing wrong with that, but it was White who picked up both of the Patriots’ rushing touchdowns in short yardage situations. Between the two White is who I would target, but Harris isn’t that far behind.
- It has become a balancing act as to how far down can I rank Alvin Kamara and still feel comfortable with it while not going to extremes. There is no disputing Kamara’s talent, track record and past success, but if you do happen to have an option you feel comfortable with going in a different direction might not be the worst idea. If you can stomach it that is, because in seasonal leagues I’m not sure that I could. In the last two weeks with Taysom Hill under center for the Saints, Kamara has caught just one pass for negative two yards. As a runner he has moderate value, but it only works when combined with his production in the passing game. Over that stretch Kamara has a combined 24 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown, and he is also dealing with a foot injury.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings: