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“Stromme the Way,” Week 6 Running Back Round-Up

Who’s ready to eat some crow? I know I am!

Thomas Rawls and Carlos Hyde, two of my three “Sit ‘Em” running backs from last week, ran for a combined 44/262/2.

This is why we play fantasy football. This is why we watch the NFL. This is why we love sports. You just never know what will happen from week-to-week. The Giants were number one against the run going into Sunday night’s tilt with the 49ers, and Carlos Hyde still managed 4.4 yards per carry: almost a full yard better than the average ball carrier against Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. Similar for Thomas Rawls, the undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan who tore apart the Bengals for 23/169/1. Cincinnati was giving up 85.5 yards per game to opposing offenses before Rawls and his Seahawks came to town.

But, hey! I nailed that Ameer Abdullah call! He went 6/17/0 in a 42-17 whoopin’, courtesy of the Arizona Cardinals. Seriously, this kid baffles me. How can a running back with this much physical ability, stink this much? He really epitomizes this Lions club. They started 0-5 for the first time since 2008, the year they infamously finished 0-16.

On the plus side, I did nail my “Start ‘Ems”! (For the most part.)

Justin Forsett continued his dominance over Cleveland to the tune of 21/121/1. Hell, even his back-up, Javorius “Buck” Allen, averaged 7.3 yards per attempt (8/58/0).

Remember how I told about the success pass-catching running backs had against the Cowboys? Well, Dion Lewis finished with 8/59/1 receiving to go along with his 6/34/0 on rushing attempts. No, he didn’t torch them. But he did reach the end zone and had more than 90 all-purpose yards. I’d say, that’s not bad from your flex.

T.J. Yeldon may have underwhelmed from a yardage standpoint (11/32/0 with 5/31/1), But, he did score. So, there’s that.

See? You can’t be too mad about Thomas Rawls… Right? (Queue the angry mob.)

Anyway, Devonta Freeman is still awesome. Even with Tevin Coleman active, Freeman still ran for 27/153/1 against Washington. Clearly, Kyle Shanahan and Jay Gruden love this guy, and for a damn good reason. For those keeping score at home, he now has 8 touchdowns in four weeks. Just incredible. However, it’s worth noting that he was limited in practice on Monday and Tuesday with a toe issue. Just make sure he’s good to go from a health standpoint before starting him tomorrow night. If he’s healthy, by all means, let ‘er rip.

Over his last two games, Todd Gurley has averaged 152.5 yards per game. He, essentially, is the St. Louis offense right now. After his Rams get off their bye-week, make sure he’s in your lineup. He’s a must-start from this point forward.

Frank Gore looked like his old-self. The vet ran for 21/93/1 last Thursday night against the Texans. Hey, Gore is what he is at this point, this is what you paid for on draft day. The 4.5 yards per carry is a very encouraging sign for fantasy owners.

To put things mildly, Doug Martin had another solid week. The muscle hamster went off for 24/123/2 with 3/35/1

Doug Martin owners are finally reaping the rewards from draft day.

Doug Martin owners are finally reaping the rewards from draft day.

in a barn-burner versus the Buccaneers. Can you here that? If you listen closely, you can hear everyone who drafted Martin collectively telling their league-mates, “I told ya so!”.


Fantasy PSAs:

With Jamaal Charles out, the obligatory reaction would be to blow your FAAB on Knile Davis. Normally, I’d agree with you. But there’s another Chief running back that’s catching the eye of Andy Reid, and his name is Charcandrick West. Based on what Reid told the Kansas City Star, this situation could be more of a two-headed monster than many of us anticipated. Reid told reporters that Knile Davis is “the back you want to go downhill with,” but followed that up saying that West is a little more similar to Charles “as far as the quick moves — you know, the feet and dancing and all of that stuff.” West out carried Davis 7-2 and Alex Smith looked his way twice in the passing game, Davis was not targeted. Take that for what it’s worth.

Man, what a blow that Jamaal Charles injury was… I mean, it was an innocent looking play, he just jerked the wrong way. What a damn shame. And I’m not even a Charles owner.

According to the Seattle Times, Marshawn Lynch is expected to return this week. Pete Carroll essentially told the local publication if he practices this week, expect him out there next Sunday against the Panthers.

The Detroit Lions are ready to join the Dolphins and Browns in the group of porous run defenses you start your running backs against after they gave up 21/194/3 to Cardinal running backs last Sunday. Granted, the Lions were without Haloti Ngata and Tyrunn Walker, but they weren’t doing much to stop the run even when they played. The Lions host the Bears next Sunday.

The Cowboys, Rams, Bucs, and Raiders all have bye-weeks in Week 6.


Start ‘Em:

C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos:

You heard me! Sunday is the day that C.J. Anderson gets off the mat and begins to look like the running back that many fantasy owners took early in their drafts. The Broncos travel to the Dawg Pound in Week 6.  The Browns are giving up 149.4 rushing yards per game (31st in the NFL), and haven’t taken any measures to improve the run game from the league’s worst last year. Yes, Anderson has been a profound disappointment this season. And sure, Ronnie Hillman is taking carries from the 2014 breakout star. But Anderson is still starting games and has out-carried Hillman 54-46. If Anderson doesn’t do it in Week 6, he never will.

LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots

Last week, I had Dion Lewis in this spot. But now it’s LeGarrette Blount’s time.  It’s his time for one reason and one reason only, he’s playing the Colts.

Yes folks! The annual Patriot-Colt thrashing is upon us! Anyone who saw last year’s AFC Championship game, Week 11 last season, or the 2013 Divisional Playoff game, knows what I’m talking about.

2014 AFC Championship: LeGarrette  Blount: 30/148/3

2014 Week 11: Jonas Gray: 37/201/4

2013 Divisional Playoffs: LeGarrette Blount: 24/166/4

LeGarrette Blount has torn apart the Colts twice already, why not a third?

LeGarrette Blount has torn apart the Colts twice already, why not a third?

The Colts know Belichick’s power-run scheme is coming, they just can’t stop it. That’s 11 rushing touchdowns in three games and an average of 171.7 rushing yards a game out of a Patriot power running back in their last three matchups. These Colt-Patriot matchups are the reason why you drafted Blount in the first place, now’s your chance!

Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins

With the likes of Joesph Randle, Doug Martin, Latavius Murray, and Todd Gurley on their bye-week, Lamar Miller might be a sneaky flex option. The Dolphins usher in the Dan Campbell era after letting Joe Philbin go following the embarrassment they displayed in London two weeks ago. Despite never calling a single play in the NFL, the Dolphins anointed him their head coach. This leads me to believe that he’s a “rally the troops, ra-ra” type coach. He also brings a hard-ass mentality with him, which could be the kick in the pants that an under-performing talent such as Lamar Miller needs to turn his season around. That, and he gets a Titans run defense that has given up 4.4 yards per carry to opposing ball carriers this season. Hey, he’s worth a shot.


Sit ‘Em:

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

Morris went off for 25/121/0 in Week 1 against the Dolphins. Since then, he has not had more than 65 rushing yards in a game this season. He also has not scored in 2015. In Week 6, Morris and the Redskins go into the Meadowlands to face a rested Jets defense that has given up only 3.8 yards per attempt to enemy running backs. Oh, and Sheldon Richardson comes back for the Jets this week. It’s just not in the cards for Morris this week.

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints

Dan Quinn’s Falcons have given up 78.4 yards per game to running backs, good for best in the NFL. Ingram’s season-high for yards this season is 77. I just don’t see this one going in the former Heisman-winner’s favor. The only thing you can put in Ingram’s favor is maybe him scoring in a high scoring game. However, Ingram has only reached the end zone twice this season and the Saints pass in the red-zone 56.1 per cent of the time. Don’t bank on Ingram this week.

Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns

With this many quality running backs on bye-week, you might be tempted to start Isaiah Crowell… That is until you see that he has to go up against a Bronco front that gives up only 3.7 yards per attempt to opposing running backs. Crowell has yet to surpass 73 yards in a game this season and is averaging 3.87 yards per attempt. Unless you’re absolutely desperate, look elsewhere.


Waiver Wire Mining:

As I mentioned earlier, Charcandrick West appears to have the edge in the Kansas City Chief running back time share following the Jamaal Charles injury. He’s a must-add in my opinion.

Chris Thompson is an interesting pass-catching running back in Washington. Matt Jones and Alfred Morris

Charcandrick West will be a hot waiver wire pick up this week. (Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

Charcandrick West will be a hot waiver wire pick up this week. (Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

have combined for ten targets in the passing game, and Thompson has proven himself worthy as a target. He’s caught 17/124/1 on 23 targets thus far.

With the complete and total ineptitude shown by Detroit running backs in 2015, it might not be long until Theo Riddick gets his opportunity to expand his role from pass-catching back to featured runner. He already has 30/228/2 receiving on 36 targets on a team that is constantly behind, that alone has value.


That’s all I’ve got this week. Have a good one!

Mike Stromme



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Our guests this week are Davin Joseph, Professor Mark Rush, and Joe Ciccone. Davin is a 2-time Pro Bowl NFL guard and first round pick of the Tampa Bay Bucs in 2006. Joe Ciccone is the chief editor with as well as a writer. Mark is a Professor of politics & law at Washington and Lee University, an author, writer, and a frequent guest on National Public Radio as well as the Arabian News Network. He writes baseball columns and player analysis for Ron Shandler who is a guru in fantasy baseball and was a contributer to prior to Ron closing the site. 
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