Running (Backs) on Empty

Due to a bunch of business and logistical reasons, we switched from DirectTV to Xfinity which meant letting go of my Sunday Ticket in deference to Red Zone. What fun, especially to finish the first cycle of games when the Saints and Chiefs were all choking down the final moments with overtime looming.

Since I had a lot of shares of the Browns defense, I was following that game, too, and though I think it might be tough to account for, it seems points allowed as part of a turnover should not count against the total score of any given game.

In Cleveland, with the Browns down 13-7 and with the ball, QB DeShone Kizer fumbled on his own 15, and Jacksonville ran it back for a score. Suddenly the Browns had allowed 19 points, but 6 of them were caused by the offensive squad on this play. Charging to the defense, who were not on the field, at the time the points were scored seems a little silly.

Now, how to account for said points is an issue, but I am open to hear.  One of the things I really noticed Sunday was the number of running backs who had had very little activity the first part of the season but were suddenly scoring points.

For example, consensus was that Kenyan Drake would move into the top back slot with Jay Ajai off to Philadelphia, especially following last week when Drake picked up a score and 82 yards on seven carries. But it was Damien Williams who was effective with the ball Sunday, for 78 yards on 10 carries.  Either is a question mark, meaning neither may be worth a FAAB acquisition. But each could make an interesting and cheap DFS pick, depending upon the match-up.

Another Williams, Jamaal, had a second week of dependency on a team without a rudder, as the Packers are indeed adrift in the NFL ocean without Aaron Rodgers. Williams got 18 carries following a week where he had 20 touches, all for a total of 124 yards in two games. With both Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery down, Williams seems like the go-to guy, making him a potentially good DFS play. He should be cheap and get plenty of chances. Otherwise, it seems the Packers are poison.

On the other hand, Samaje Perine seems to have a pretty clear path with both Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson now injured. Perine emerged to have a solid game with a horse-like 23 carries for 117 yards and a score. That is a serious sign since Perine had a collective 26 carries since Week 6, meaning pick him up (or back up, as I dropped the guy in several leagues!).

One of my favorite utility backs, Danny Woodhead, is indeed back and active. With just six games on average awaiting each team, Woodhead is suddenly in a great position, if he can remain healthy, to be a serious go-to guy in Baltimore. Coming off a Week 1 injury, Woodhead got a carry and caught five passes his first game, and that load should increase each week. Woodhead is injury prone, but similarly he always has a couple of 25-point games each year, so if they lay ahead, cash in.

Speaking of which, Willie Snead has quietly returned to active play and even caught a pass for 12 yards. Somehow the return of Snead, who was a pretty dependable pass catcher last yea, has been of little note as Snead has been active for a few weeks with just one catch. A lot of that might be due to the killer tandem of Marc Ingram and Alvin Kamara, but Drew Brees is still Drew Brees and that means some passes will be thrown. Snead is not an awful option in the back end of your mind or roster.

He is probably not available in too many leagues, but still Kenny Stills (owned in just 38% of Yahoo! leagues, for example) had a monster Sunday with 180 yards on seven receptions. Stills actually makes a fine foil against Jarvis Landry, and ideally the Fish will keep Matt Moore, who has some chemistry with the team, on the field this coming week against the arch-rival Patriots.

Finally, it is indeed a pretty sure bet that Ricky Seals-Jones a 6-foot-5 rookie tight end out of Texas A&M was on  no rosters (0% on Yahoo!), but Seals-Jones hooked with Blaine Gabbert for his first NFL three receptions, good for 54 yards and a pair of TDs. Can he repeat? Sure. Will he? That is what makes fantasy football so intriguing, aggravating, and satisfying.

Remember to tune into the Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY network, hosted by me, with Justin Mason and featuring Lord Z every Thursday night at 9 PM ET.

Follow me @lawrmichaels.







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