Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Running Backs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 11
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks:
Dallas, St. Louis

Grab a Helmet

Andre Brown

Andre Brown: The Packers have allowed RBs to top the century mark in two straight games.

Andre Brown v. GB: Boy, ya’ think the G-Men were jonesing for a bona fide running attack? Coach Coughlin acted like one of those Survivor castaways awarded a home-cooked meal last Sunday, devouring the Raiders’ gooey defensive center with the just-returned Brown. The North Carolina St. product, finally returned from an early-season broken leg, logged the leather a whopping 30 times in New York’s 24-20 victory, ultimately tallying 115 yards and a score (to go along with a single 4-yard reception) for a tidy sum of 17.9 fantasy points in standard leagues. Only LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory have garnered more totes in a game this season. Nothing like easing a guy back into action, huh? Brown should get plenty more work against a Green Bay defense that’s given up 100-yard rushers in its last two games and seems to be fading fast. That could probably be said about the whole team, actually. Sigh. Start Brown.

Ben Tate v. OAK: Tate has been rumored to be the next big thing at running back almost since he entered the league back in 2011 out of Auburn. The reason he hasn’t completely emerged thus far, of course, is that he’s been stuck behind one of the league’s most celebrated and productive rock toters, Arian Foster. No longer, at least for the rest of this season. Foster is on IR and will undergo back surgery, a procedure that doesn’t seem to bode well for a productive future. Whether Tate’s plugging for promotion with the team that drafted him or auditioning for a gig elsewhere (Cleveland, anyone?), my guess is he’s going to be highly motivated to produce, as evidenced by his playing through cracked ribs last Sunday. Dude’s got game, dude’s really tough, and he no longer has to worry about that dude who was blocking his path to stardom. Get Tate in your lineups posthaste.

Pierre Thomas v. SF: The Saints won’t have Dallas to kick around this weekend (nobody will, actually) and that could lead to more realistic numbers from their running backs. It would be difficult to top last week, anyway. Thomas rushed for 87 yards on 17 carries, grabbed seven passes for 24 yards, and also scored twice. Yet all anyone wanted to talk about was Darren Sproles (he can still produce!), who notched 76 receiving yards and a score, and Mark Ingram (he’s alive!), who came out of nowhere to rush for 145 yards and a touchdown. Thomas always seems to be the forgotten Saint, but if I were to use one of New Orleans’ backs this weekend, it would absolutely be him. He gets the most touches and the most targets (read: the most overall opportunities) and he does plenty with them (10.2 points/game). Start Pierre.

Grab a Gatorade

Trent Richardson @ TEN or Ray Rice @ CHI: You thought I was gonna go an entire week without recommending a bench spot for the league’s most disappointing meal tickets? Hey, I need to be right about SOMEthing every week, folks. Following up on an eight-carry, 20-yard dud against the Texans in Week 9, Richardson somehow managed to redefine crappiness in the Week 10 embarrassment against the Rams, rushing for exactly TWO yards on five carries. Not to be outdone, Rice plodded his way to a mere 30 yards on 18 carries in the overtime win over Cincinnati, prompting Coach Harbaugh to suggest his star back isn’t healthy and that the Ravens may employ a “hot hand” approach moving forward. You know what that means: Get as far away from this situation as soon as possible. Though I still secretly suspect either guy could have an explosive performance soon, you won’t know when it’s coming, so…nothing to see here.

C.J. Spiller v. NYJ: It’s official: Doug Marrone is my new least favorite coach. The Bills’ rookie head man told us in the off-season Spiller would get the ball “until he throws up.” Fast-forward two and a half months and…the only folks tossing their cookies are the fantasy owners who wasted high draft picks and/or oodles of auction dollars on the Clemson product. Making matters more nauseating, Marrone had this to say when asked about Spiller’s workload after a ridiculous eight-carry game against Pittsburgh in Week 10: “Game plan. How we’re putting those guys in there.” Translation: grunt, grunt, leave me alone. “Game plan,” by the way, is another version of “hot hand” when it comes to running back usage. And they’re both phrases that should freak any fantasy owner completely out. Until Marrone proves he knows what he’s doing (that 3-7 record says otherwise right now), avoid the erratically utilized and terribly underwhelming Spiller.

Steven Jackson @ TB: It’s been a pretty forgettable year for Jackson and his Falcons. The defense has ranked in the bottom third most of the season and has yielded the sixth most points of any unit in the NFL through ten weeks. The offense, meanwhile, stuffed with A-list talent, is producing fewer than 350 yards and only about 20 points per contest, well below expectations. The loss of Julio Jones hurt more than people realize, I’m certain, but Jackson’s failure to produce has been the real head-scratcher to me. The former Ram has just two games of 50-plus yards thus far and has managed a microscopic 17 yards on 23 carries in his other three outings (he missed a month worth of games). Less than a yard per carry for one of the league’s most consistently productive backs the past decade? That just doesn’t compute. It’s time to move on if you haven’t already.

Wide Receivers