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Joseph Hutchins | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

The Shot Caller's Report - Running Backs
Your Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 8
QBs | RBs | WRs

Bye Weeks: Dallas, Baltimore

LeSean McCoy

Grab a Helmet

Ty Johnson v. NYG

Looking for this week’s Chase Edmonds? How about a guy in eerily similar circumstances, an undersized virtual unknown filling in for a dinged-up starter and facing the same defense Edmonds embarrassed to the tune of 150 total yards on 29 touches and three 20+ yard scores in Week 7? I didn’t know much about Johnson (who watches Maryland football?) so I researched his pre-draft scouting reports and pretty quickly landed upon a common theme: he’s really, really fast. Johnson wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine in Indy this year, but reportedly clocked a 4.26 40 at the Terps’ pro day in late March. The best 40 time at the Combine was 4.29 (Ole Miss safety Zedrick Woods). Speed isn’t everything, of course, but opportunity is and it knocks this weekend for Detroit’s other Johnson. If you landed him off waivers, give him some run..

Chase Edmonds @ NO

Of course, there’s no need to look for this week’s Chase Edmonds if you already have last week’s Chase Edmonds. Arizona’s super sub became arguably the most famous Fordham footballer since Vince Lombardi, tormenting a hapless Giants D all day long and, most likely, many fantasy GMs duped into thinking David Johnson was actually active. The competition won’t be as forgiving this coming Sunday and Johnson is presumably a week healthier, but the Cards also signed Alfred Morris on Wednesday, That’s a clear signal Johnson may not be ready to resume his role as Arizona’s primary meal ticket. Even if he is, Edmonds probably secured a sizeable role in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense, either as a complement to DJ or as a pass-catching option (over 25% of his career touches are receptions). I don’t know how I could sit him down after last week’s explosion and I won’t.

LeSean McCoy v. GB

Patty Mahomes’ ill-fated sneak may have altered the AFC power structure and certainly causes mass consternation in fantasy circles, but there might be a silver lining for some. An offense once powered by Mahomes’ golden right arm might now lean more heavily on McCoy’s golden oldie legs. Shady hasn’t been must-start material since being reunited with Andy Reid (RB31 on a FPts/G basis) and reportedly couldn’t be trusted in pass protection, but still leads the Chiefs’ RB corps in touches and has easily been the most productive back, besting ostensible starter Damien Williams on a per-carry basis by almost four yards. That’s tough to type for someone who bought all that Williams hype in the pre-season, but we’re almost halfway through the campaign. It’s time to forget about pre-season projections and focus on the here and now. McCoy’s the Chiefs back to be starting now.

Grab a Gatorade

Adrian Peterson @ MIN (Thu)

The last time Peterson played a game in Minnesota, where he starred for a decade as Purple Jesus earlier this century, he wasn’t wearing purple and could be seen openly chirping at New Orleans coach Sean Payton on the sidelines. Presumably, the future HOF’er felt disrespected in his Saints debut and appears to have spent the two-plus years since trying to prove he’s still a viable NFL running back. Amazingly, and despite what I thought that evening, he very much is. That doesn’t mean I think this second Minneapolis reunion is going to go much better than the first one did. AD will get more carries this time probably, but Washington is in complete disarray and running into a Vikings buzzsaw that’s scored almost 100 points the last three games. Oh, and they’ve only allowed a single TD to opposing backs this season. Reserve Peterson Thursday.

Melvin Gordon @ CHI

Only RedZone junkies and those in attendance at Nissan Stadium likely witnessed the Bolts’ epic goal-line meltdown last Sunday, but here’s a quick recap: Instead of giving it to fantasy’s third most productive back or trusting one of the most reliable QBs in the game, LA instead gave Gordon two chances to score from a yard away and he failed. Miserably so, in fact, as he also managed to fumble away the second opportunity and, with it, the Chargers’ chances of notching a much-needed road W. To be fair, Gordon is bigger and (theoretically) better than Austin Ekeler, but he’s done nothing since ending his holdout to suggest he deserves the kind of payday he’s seeking. He’s averaging an embarrassing 2.3 YPC and now faces a Chicago defense yielding only 3.6 YPC (tied for fourth overall). Don’t press your luck with LA’s disappointing meal ticket.

Derrick Henry v. TB

I talked about the Bucs’ surprisingly stout run defense prior to Week 6 and they did not disappoint in the Tottenham tussle, holding Christian McCaffrey to an astonishing 31 yards on 22 carries. Everything ELSE about the Bucs disappointed that day, yes, but almost halfway through the 2019 campaign, it’s safe to say Tampa’s front seven is a force to be reckoned with. They’re now surrendering fewer than three yards-per-carry (best overall) and have only allowed two opposing backs to score, CMC and Todd Gurley, heading into Week 8. Henry isn’t on par with those two guys and he isn’t the multi-dimensional threat they are, either. Though his floor tends to be higher thanks to consistent volume and lots of goal-line work, he’s only averaging 3.7 YPC (a career low). Moreover, he isn’t typically on the field in third-and-longer situations. Consider using a capable backup.

Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers