And another crazy week it was. Each week there are going to be situations that are confusing and we might not have all the answers. The best we can do is to make educated decisions while following the information we do have. We want to react to the news, but also trust our gut and what our eyes have told us over the past eight weeks.
We have four teams on bye this week (Falcons, Bengals, Rams, and Saints), so replacements must be found. Let’s jump into how our options rank for the week ahead:
- Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – vs. Tennessee
- Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – at NY Giants
- Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at Kansas City
- Saquon Barkley – NY Giants – vs. Dallas
- Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Tampa Bay
- Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – at Denver
- Leonard Fournette – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Houston
- Le’Veon Bell – NY Jets – at Miami
- Josh Jacobs – Oakland Raiders – vs. Detroit
- John Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Indianapolis
- Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – at LA Chargers
- Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – at Carolina
- Mark Ingram – Baltimore Ravens – vs. New England
- Tevin Coleman – San Francisco 49ers – at Arizona
- Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – at Pittsburgh
- Aaron Ekeler – LA Chargers – vs. Green Bay
- Carlos Hyde – Houston Texans – at Jacksonville
- Sony Michel – New England Patriots – at Baltimore
- Philip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – vs. Cleveland
- James White – New England Patriots – at Baltimore
- LeSean McCoy – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Minnesota
- Jordan Howard – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Chicago
- Ronald Jones – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Seattle
- Adrian Peterson – Washington Redskins – at Buffalo
- Kenyan Drake – Arizona Cardinals – vs. San Francisco
- Mark Walton – Miami Dolphins – vs. NY Jets
- Melvin Gordon – LA Chargers – vs. Green Bay
- Royce Freeman – Denver Broncos – vs. Cleveland
- Jamaal Williams – Green Bay Packers – at LA Chargers
- David Montgomery – Chicago Bears – at Philadelphia
- Chris Thompson – Washington Redskins – at Buffalo
- Frank Gore – Buffalo Bills – vs. Washington
- Duke Johnson – Houston Texans – at Jacksonville
- Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills – vs. Washington
- Miles Sanders – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Chicago
- Peyton Barber – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Seattle
- Rashaad Penny – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Tampa Bay
- Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears – at Philadelphia
- Damien Williams – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Minnesota
- Tra Carson – Detroit Lions – at Oakland
- For better or worse it seems that we have a solid read on the Arizona backfield for this week. With the short turnaround to Thursday’s game David Johnson and Chase Edmonds will be sidelined, so that means there is opportunity to be found and newcomer Kenyan Drake will likely get all the work he can handle against the 49ers. Drake has talent, but he was in a lackluster situation in Miami so he never really got a chance to show what he can do or find much in the way of consistent success. So far this season he has just 174 rushing yards (3.7 yards per carry) and 174 receiving yards and I wouldn’t rush to expecting too many great things from him, but he has to be on your radar. The other problem is going to be game flow, as things likely won’t be going in the favor of Arizona against San Francisco and their strong defense. If he is going to get 20-25 touches, and some of those will come in the passing game, Drake should at least be an RB2. Just give the brakes a little pump.
- The expectation would have been that Le’Veon Bell would have had more than 349 rushing yards through the first seven games of his Jets’ career. Bell’s 32 receptions for 187 yards have helped to save his value, and they are a direct result of the dumpster fire that is the Jets’ offense with their quarterback seeing ghosts. With just three touchdowns fantasy owners have a right to be frustrated with Bell as finding room to run has been problematic. That was the case last week against the Jaguars as he carried the ball nine times for 23 yards. With the Jets facing Miami this week I would resist the urge to overreact to Bell’s struggles as you likely don’t have better options. Plus, this could be the week he eclipses 100 rushing yards.
- At this point Matt Breida hasn’t been officially ruled out for action on Thursday against Arizona, but after exiting early in last week’s game with an ankle injury things aren’t looking too good for him. The rest of San Francisco’s backfield is also banged up, with the exception of Tevin Coleman that is, so at least for one week we could have a clear picture of what to expect. Last week all Coleman needed to send his fantasy owners home happy was 11 carries, as he turned them into 105 yards and 3 TD. He has been banged up this season, but he certainly looked healthy on Sunday. In a game in which the 49ers figure to have control, game flow should work in Coleman’s favor.
- It was all about the big plays for Miles Sanders on Sunday, as the production was there but the workload wasn’t. With just six touches he was efficient as he picked up 118 yards before leaving with a shoulder injury. All indications are that he will be ready to go next week, but the problem is that he has to deal with the Bears and their tough defense. Included in Sanders’ day was a 64 yard touchdown run and three receptions for 44 yards as he showed off what he is capable of. Just be careful not to push too hard in chasing that production until Philadelphia decides to increase his workload.
- I guess we probably should talk about what Aaron Jones did on Sunday night, right? With 67 yards on 13 carries he didn’t do all that much to standout as a ball carrier, but what he did in the passing game is the type of performance that wins you a week. On the heels of losing out to Jamaal Williams after dropping a 33 yard touchdown reception Jones appeared to be the centerpiece of Green Bay’s receiving game. He was targeted eight times and caught seven passes for 159 yards as he brought his touchdown total for the season up to 11. With Davante Adams still battling a toe injury and Jones showing the ability to be a viable receiving option, there’s no reason why this isn’t something that can continue. While it was the Jones Show, Williams was still on the field for 48% of Green Bay’s offensive snaps and also found the end zone twice (in a vulture situation at the goal line and through the air). Williams gained a combined 39 yards on 10 touches, but he has to be considered as a borderline FLEX option moving forward as there is room for both running backs in the Packers’ backfield.
- This is the performance we have been waiting for from David Montgomery. We know that we have to patient with rookie running backs, but that is sometimes easier said than done. Montgomery carried the ball 27 times and picked up 135 yards, which included a 55 yard run, while also finding the end zone. That was the third touchdown of the season for the rookie who added four receptions for 12 yards. He still only has 366 rushing yards for the season, but after last week we should at least take him somewhat seriously. The problem is that things might quickly go back to being a little more difficult this week as he has to deal with a tough Philadelphia defense.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 9 rankings: