Bye Weeks: Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Washington
With Matt Forte out, Bilal Powell (25 touches)
saw a 2-1 ratio in touches over Elijah McGuire.
Grab a Helmet
Powell @ CLE: There have been some surprising developments
through the first quarter of the season?New England is struggling,
the Rams arenít?but the most shocking from where I sit is that
there are four winless teams left and the Jets arenít one of them.
They arenít even close, actually, after a five-quarter W over
Jacksonville evened them up at 2-2, the same record the Pats sport.
Powell, taking over lead back duties for the injured Matt Forte,
was a huge part of that effort. Even if you discount his fluky
75-yard TD scamper (Google it if you didnít catch it), he had
a very productive day against the Jagsí up-and-coming defense
(88 yards on his other 20 carries and 27 more receiving). Forte
is struggling with turf toe, an injury that tends to linger, so
itís likely the Louisville product gets another shot to carry
the load in Cleveland.
Johnson v. NY Jets: The Browns have been toxic for
fantasy GMs this season and Iíve officially added Hue Jackson
to my (ever growing) list of coaches we canít trust. Clevelandís
head man promised more work for Isaiah Crowell back this year,
but his supposed lead back has only garnered 46 carries through
four games, two fewer than the aforementioned Powell and the same
as Samaje Perrine, whoís played one less game. Maybe Jackson was
trying to shine the spotlight away from his true No.1 back? The
Duke doesnít do much ball-carrying these days (just 10 carries),
but heís been targeted in the passing game a bunch of times and
has turned those targets into 207 receiving yards, third most
at the position and most for his team. Receiver-like totals at
the RB position arenít always desirable, but they can come in
handy in full PPR leagues. Start Johnson.
Lacy @ LAR: This oneís gonna require a leap of faith,
but not so large a leap as it would take to roll with Thomas Rawls,
whoís accumulated exactly four yards on five total carries this
year. Somebody has to lead the muddled Seattle backfield against
the Rams now that Chris Carsonís on IR and Lacy or Rawls (or both)
are the most likely candidates. The former actually looked pretty
solid last Sunday night (52 yards on 11 carries), briefly flashing
his old Green Bay form and showing fans what the Hawks might have
seen in him this past off-season. Itís not difficult to envision
him duplicating that performance and maybe adding a score against
Los Angelesí shaky run-stopping unit. The Rams are allowing a
league worst 28.9 points to opposing RBs, so even a timeshare
might be opportunity enough for Lacy to make some serious hay.
Grab a Gatorade
Blount v. ARZ: Doug Pedersonís puzzling usage of free
agent acquisition Blount has frustrated fantasy owners this year,
but it was nice to see the big guy rumbling through the (other)
Los Angeles secondary last Sunday. Had he finished his Beast Mode-esque
68-yard run in the end zone, or followed up with the easy punch-in
on one of FOUR successive carries, his output would have gone
from merely very good to great. Blountís owners are probably eager
to plug him back in their lineups after such an outing but this
owner will be pretty hesitant. The Cardinals, unlike the Chargers,
are built to take away bruisers like him (stout up the middle)
and Pederson has already proven to us heíll zag when defenses
zig. The former Duck (GO DUCKS!!!) gets more than one touch, for
sure, but a slow start could lead to a quick hook. Be very leery.
Henry @ MIA: If youíre inclined to use Henry, you have
to be fairly confident Tennessee is going to emerge victorious.
In 18 career games, the former Heisman winner has averaged 9.2
points/game in Titan wins and a paltry 2.4 in Titan losses. Such
is the life of a backup running back who adds little to no value
as a third down pass-catching option. The matchup with Miami looks
good on the surface but there are some serious warning signs.
First, Marcus Mariota is no sure thing to suit up on Sunday and
that could make life difficult for both Henry and his running
mate, DeMarco Murray. Second, if the Fish are doing one thing
well through the first several weeks of the season, itís defending
the run (77.7 yards/game and 3.1/rush). Henryís an iffy start
most weeks but especially against a stingy front seven minus his
Howard v. MIN (Mon): The Bears turn to Mitch Trubisky
in hopes of diversifying a stagnant offense that was quickly becoming
way too easy to defend. There’s only so much you can do
with Mike Glennon under center and precious few weapons on the
perimeter, after all. Unfortunately, there’s been no such
infusion of youth/talent at the receiver position, meaning the
Bears, until Trubisky gains his sea legs, is probably still too
one-dimensional. Don’t’ think for a second the Vikes
won’t sell out to take away that dimension, Jordan Howard,
on Monday night. Minnesota’s yielding barely 70 rushing
yards per contest and only 11 fantasy points per to opposing backs.
That doesn’t bode well for Howard or his dynamic running
mate, Tarik Cohen. We can probably still justify starting Cohen,
a dangerous pass-catching weapon, but Howard seems to be a riskier
proposition. Be careful with both Chicago backs Monday.