Justin Jackson: The Chargers other running
back may end up being the best fantasy RB in Week 14.
Grab a Helmet
Wilson v. DEN: It seems like every year about this
time, a guy emerges from oblivion to become instantly, shockingly
relevant in some NFL backfield. I should say guys. Three weeks
ago, it was Gus Edwards for the Ravens, who has reeled off three
solid outings to rank just outside the Top 10 (RB11) since Week
11. Two weeks ago and continuing into last week, it was Wilson,
the undrafted FA who scorched the Seahawks for 134 total yards
and 13.4 fantasy points (21.4 PPR) in a blowout loss last Sunday.
We should maintain perspective when evaluating stats accumulated
in blowout losses (empty calories) but I actually watched this
game and Wilson passed the eyeball test. Heís got above-average
vision and is a plus receiver. Couple that basic skill set with
the opportunity created by Matt Breidaís Week 14 absence andÖvoila!
Youíve got yourself a solid RB2/flex play this Sunday.
Jackson v. CIN: Unlike Wilson, I actually watched Jackson
play some in college. Thatís to be expected since we get more
Big 10 games than C-USA games out west and Jackson played in a
LOT of Big 10 games. In fact, thatís one of the reasons NFL scouts
were lukewarm about his prospects (lots of NCAA miles). That workload
may put a natural cap on his professional production, but it doesnít
take away his natural-born talent, which was on full display against
the Steelers last Sunday night. Coach Anthony Lynn was coy about
Melvin Gordonís availability this week, but the Boltsí primary
ball-carrier didnít practice Wednesday. Moreover, Lynn seemed
to indicate Austin Ekeler, Gordonís presumptive replacement and
a special teams ace, is ďwearing down.Ē Could a healthy dose of
the dynamic Jackson be on tap Sunday? I think he touches it no
fewer than 15 times and scores again.
Ingram @ TB: I was recently asked if I think itís a
good idea to ďstackĒ guys like Alvin Kamara and Ingram, dynamic
players who play the same position for the same great teams. If
one is good, two is better, right? NO, IT ISNíT (!!!) and the
egg New Orleans laid in Week 13 should be all the proof you need.
That doesnít mean Ingram canít be a highly useful option, even
if he tends to play second fiddle to his more explosive teammate.
When the Saints are playing from out front against a below-average
stopper unit, heís no worse than a flex option or, in deeper leagues,
a solid RB2. Theyíll be playing from out front this weekend and
Tampa fields one of the worst stopper units (5.0 YPC and 29.6
Pts/G). Donít worry about Ingramís recent swoon and get him back
in your lineups Sunday.
Grab a Gatorade
Edmonds v. DET: Itís easy to get swept off your feet
by the running back du jour (see above), but not all out-of-nowhere
performers deserve start consideration. Take the curious case
of Chase Edmonds, who hadnít scored more than 5 fantasy points
in a game prior to last Sundayís 18.6-point explosion against
the fading Pack. Naturally, heís become a suddenly integral part
of the Arizona offense, right? Before you go adding him to your
lineup, Iíd urge you to consider a couple things. First, heís
never garnered more than eight touches in a game. Second, heís
never played more than 22 offensive snaps in a game. Edmonds looked
explosive in Week 13, sure, but consider the opponent (a disinterested
Green Bay team intent on getting its coach fired) and the fact
he scored two TDs, his first two ever, on five total carries.
Does that sound repeatable to you?
Ware v. BAL: I pegged Kareem Hunt as a likely Top 10
RB dropout way back in August and Iíll end up being right about
that for all the wrong reasons. I suspected back then Huntís production
would tail off in a loaded KC offense with too many mouths to
feed, but he was instead done in by a startling lack of respect
for other human beings. Some people just donít get it and now
Spencer Ware stands to inherit the lionís share of RB carries/glory
for this juggernaut Chiefs offense. Iím pretty fired up about
how productive Ware can be heading into the fantasy playoffs,
but also pretty leery of a brutal Week 14 matchup against the
Ravens. Baltimore is yielding only 12.6 FPts/G to opposing RBs
and have only allowed one of them to post triple-digit yardage.
The volume may be there, but the production may not.
Peterson v. NYG: The only thing more inexplicable than
AD’s 33-year old legs running 90 yards for a score on MNF
was the fact he did it precisely a week after Lamar Miller tallied
a 97-yard house call of his own against the Titans. 90+-yard runs
are exceedingly rare in the NFL and clearly alter fantasy fortunes,
dramatically so when they occur on Monday nights. The part nobody
remembers about Peterson’s age-defying performance? He gained
exactly EIGHT yards on eight other carries. Oh, and Washington
lost another QB in the process. The Giants are a relatively decent
matchup in Week 14, but have looked pretty good of late (three
wins in their last four) and now won’t have to game plan
for competent quarterback play. The Butt Fumbler is back under
center and working with arguably the most motley of wide receiver
crews. Downgrade the ageless one on Sunday.