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“Stromme the Way,” Running Back Round Up Week 11

Much like your local corner store, many NFL running backs had trouble breaking 100. What an underwhelming week from NFL running backs. There was exactly TWO running backs to surpass 100 rushing yards in Week 10… TWO! And only one of them occurred on Sunday.

Due to the lack of 100+ yard rushers last week, we’re going to count Adrian Peterson as two running backs that crossed the century mark; The man ran for over two bills in the Black Hole! The man is, to quote Ray Lewis, “pissed off for greatness.” Much like in his MVP season in 2012, he’s only getting stronger as the season goes on. He has ran

AP is taking a page out of Ray Lewis' book (Image from healthyhabits.ca)

AP is taking a page out of Ray Lewis’ book (Image from healthyhabits.ca)

for 75/431/2 OVER HIS LAST THREE GAMES! That’s a good half of a season for many running backs. He’s the best running back in fantasy, and he’s doing it at 30-years-old. He’s a superior talent, a once-in-a-generation running back that, despite his age, has a few more seasons left in him. Despite the morality of his 2014 suspension, he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and it’s for runs like these.

The man is a major reason why the Vikings and a healthy portion of those who took a chance on him early in the first round last August will make the playoffs. In a season where we’ve seen Jamaal Charles and Le’Veon Bell go down with injuries, and LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray under-perform, AP has excelled to the best of his ability, and that’s saying something. He only

AP is performing at the same level as his 2012 MVP season.

AP is performing at the same level as his 2012 MVP season.

needs 39 yards to become 2015’s first 1,000 yard rusher.

Speaking of Shady, he was the only other running back to eclipse 100+yards this week. LeSean McCoy is back, and ready to reward patient fantasy players with one hell of a stretch drive. He is… wait for it… the Real McCoy! It was only the second time this season he has passed the century mark in. However, it is the second game in a row he has put up big fantasy numbers. It looks like Shady is (finally) finding his stride. The time to buy low is officially over. That hamstring issue he had in training camp, that clearly lingered into to the start of the season, is clearly a thing of the past; He’s averaged a whopping 6.4  yards per carry since the Bills’ Week 8 bye. Hold on football fans, Shady’s about to really circle the wagons. Three of his final seven games come against the Eagles, Redskins, and Texans, three defenses that rank in the bottom half in terms of rushing yards/game.

Okay, so Chris Ivory didn’t break 100 yards this week, but his 18/99/0 is as close as one can get. After averaging a measly 1.52 yards per carry the previous three weeks, Ivory cranked out a very productive game. Listen, is this guy an every down, bellcow back who will produce week in, week out? History tells me that he isn’t., but he’s a guy who is more than able to exploit a favorable matchup. In three games against the Dolphins, Redskins, and Browns, he has averaged 5.8 yards per carry and scored at least once in each game. His next two games come against the Texans and Dolphins.  Try your best to squeeze him into your lineup.

Rarely do you ever see three running backs on the same team put up relevant fantasy numbers, but that’s exactly what Matt Jones (11/56/0 rushing, 3/131/1 on three targets), Alfred Morris (15/92/0 rushing, 3/14/0 on three

Redskin running backs had themselves a day against the Saints (Image from espn.com)

Redskin running backs had themselves a day against the Saints (Image from espn.com)

targets), and Chris Thompson (2/54/0 rushing, 1/23/0 on one target) did to the Saints in a 47-14 thrashing Sunday afternoon. The three backs accounted for 370 yards from scrimmage. And who said RBBCs were a bad thing? Next to Rhonda Rousey’s unprecedented defeat the night before, this might have been the next biggest beatdown of the weekend. The performance of the three-headed monster the Redskins call a backfield was so spectacular it sent Saints’ defensive coordinator to the unemployment line: something ‘Who Dat’ nation has been anxious to see for quite sometime.

 

Fantasy PSAs

Jaguars’ running back T.J. Yeldon is out of his walking boot and is expected to be “fine” for Thursday night’s game against the Titans despite not participating in practice (per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union). Be sure to monitor his status Thursday night.

The Cowboys have released former Marshawn Lynch heir apparent and October waiver wire darling Christine Michael. Given his lack of success in Dallas (15/51/0) and Darren McFadden taking over the majority of backfield work, this shouldn’t be a shocker to most.

 Ryan Mathews, who left the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins with a concussion, did not practice on Tuesday according to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has not cleared concussion protocol. Mathews owners need to watch his status come Sunday.

The Browns, Saints, Giants,and Steelers all have bye weeks in Week 11.

 

Start ‘Em:

Charcandrick West, Kansas City Chiefs:

Many fantasy prognosticators (such as myself) didn’t expect the rookie out of Abilene Christian to do much against the Denver defense, but he made things happen. The man filling in for Jamaal Charles rushed for 24/69/1 while catching 3/92/1 on five targets. This week, he gets that oh-so-porous San Diego run defense that averages 122.9 yards a game to opposing ball carriers. He has had at least 20 carries in his previous three games and should rack up more than 4 yards a carry.

Chris Ivory, New York Jets:

Like I mentioned earlier, Chris Ivory went from 1.52 yards per carry in his previous three games to 5.5 against a pretty ferocious Bills’ front seven. The stats may not back it up, but that defense has some guys who can penetrate offensive lines with the best of them. Ivory and the Jets played last Thursday, giving them that extra bit of rest. The

Chris Ivory is a great matchups play. (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images)

Chris Ivory is a great matchups play. (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images)

Bengals, on the other hand, are playing on short-rest and are coming off a huge Monday Night Football upset over the previously undefeated Bengals. I suspect that a hangover of sorts is in order for the Texans, and this includes their susceptible run defense that gives up 4.3 yards a carry. You could also see the Jets go to a more run-heavy offense if Geno Smith is named the starter.

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers:

I shouldn’t have to tell you to start a running back that ranks seventh in the NFL in rushing, but here we are. In case you’ve been in a coma for the past month or so, or had real-life stuff to handle over the past month or so, Jonathan Stewart has been nothing but reliable. Ever since the Panthers’ Week 5 bye, Stewart has had at least 20 carries in each of his last five games, averaged a healthy 4.0 yards per carry, and has scored four times. This week, the Panthers get the Redskins at home, a run defense that gives up 5.0 yards per carry (worst in the NFL). He’s probably already penciled in your lineup, but I thought that a friendly reminder of a rather sexy match up was in order.

 

Sit ‘Em:

Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys:

After averaging 111 yards a game over his first three games as the number one back in Dallas, Run DMC put up an abysmal 17/32/0 against Tampa. Don’t expect McFadden to bounce back next week as the Cowboy caravan takes it’s talents to South Beach. Despite a hiccup to the Bills in Week 9 (Buffalo runners averaged 7.4 yards per carry), this Miami run defense, under Interim Head Coach Dan Campbell, held Philadelphia running backs to 2.3 yards per carry, the Patriot backfield could only get 3.7, Houston only managed a measly 2.8, and Tennessee managed 3.5 yards per carry. This Miami Defense is on the rise under Dantallica.

Antonio Andrews, Tennessee Titans:

Who pegged the Jacksonville Jaguars to be a top-ten run defense? If you said yes, good for you, but odds are that you’re in the minority. But yeah, it’s true. The Jaguar run defense has only allowed 3.3 yards per carry to opposing running backs, which equates to an average of 93.7 rushing yards per game. Tomorrow night, Antonio Andrews and the Tennessee Titans come to town. Andrews, who had an absolutely miserable time against the Carolina defense last week (11/8/0), won’t have a much easier task against the Jacksonville run defense. Unless you’re fantasy backfield is Mark Ingram, DeAngelo Williams, Rashad Jennings, and Antonio Andrews, look elsewhere.

Any Redskin Running Back:

Yes, the trio of Alfred Morris, Matt Jones, and Chris Thompson all had a day last week, but the party’s over. Riverboat Ron, Cam, Luke Kuechley, and a vaunted Carolina defense is what these three guys have to go up against this week. Defensively, the Panthers aren’t the Saints. They’re a far-cry from that gaping hole Rob Ryan called a defense. Don’t ride the streak, it ends this Sunday.

Waiver Wire Mining:

Jay Ajayi is a back that I talked up quite a bit in the preseason. He’s recently usurped Jonas Gray as Miami’s power runner and is 11/89/0 over his previous two games. His immediate impact might be limited to deeper formats, but if anything were to happen to Lamar Miller, he would be a must-add. You could be the competition to the punch.

This is a good time to add some handcuffs. Guys like Tevin Coleman, Tre Mason, Jerick McKinnon are excellent stash options heading into the playoffs. If anything happens to Adrian Peterson, Devonta Freeman, or Todd Gurley, you’re set heading into the playoffs. Add Jeremy Langford to that list when Matt Forte comes back.

 

Cheers,

Mike Stromme

@stromme_93 on Twitter.

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Our guests this week are Davin Joseph, Coach Jeff Nelson, and Zak Sauer. Davin is a 2-time Pro-Bowl guard and first round pick in 2006 of the Tampa Bay Bucs. Jeff is a defensive coach from White Hall H.S. in PA. Zak is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com and the co-host of the Tuesday night show Major League Fantasy Football Weekly which airs live from 8-10pm EST every week.
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