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What to do with Andre Brown?
Welcome to the Week 10 edition of our weekly look at fantasy running back committees. In this space, we’ll look at recent performances and attempt to read the backfield tea leaves to help you with lineup decisions. We’ll post this article each Tuesday, and offer updates in our fantasy coverage throughout the week, including in the Friday morning edition of the FOX Sports Fantasy Buzz Blog!
As usual, this series will focus mainly on the more volatile and/or 50-50 situations, but there are a few non-committee and injury notes as well. If you have any questions, the FOXSports.com fantasy staff is always happy to help. The best ways to reach me are via Facebook or Twitter.
Week 10 Byes: Cardinals, Browns, Packers, Redskins
LaRod Stephens-Howling (17 carries) again made William Powell disappear in Week 9, and the Cards are off this week. On Monday, head coach Ken Whisenhunt said that Beanie Wells is on target to return in Week 12, so it’s time to stash him.
Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller each got 11 touches against the Texans, and while Spiller (102 yards from scrimmage) was more effective, I’m pretty sure I’ll have these guys right next to each other as RB2s every week until one of them gets hurt or takes over. They’ve got a tough matchup at New England coming up.
DeMarco Murray is apparently unlikely to return on Sunday against the Eagles. Start Murray if he happens to be active, but if he isn’t, you’ll want to avoid the Felix Jones/Lance Dunbar timeshare that surfaced on Sunday night in Atlanta. The Cowboys don’t run well enough to support a committee.
Why did Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell both get 16 touches against the Jaguars? Probably because the Lions had a 21-0 halftime lead, and wanted to rest Leshoure a bit. I don’t mind Bell as a flex play in PPR leagues, but this isn’t a timeshare just yet.
As noted in my Tuesday blog entry, this situation appears to have morphed into a situational timeshare between Alex Green and James Starks. I’m not sure how it will shake out in Week 11 against the Lions, but I’d worry about starting either guy as an RB2, which is where we’ve had Green for a few weeks.
Ben Tate (hamstring) appears unlikely to return in Week 10, meaning that Arian Foster will carry the load against the Bears in Soldier Field. Would it surprise you to know that the Bears are tied for 20th with 4.3 yards per carry allowed? I thought so.
Donald Brown (knee) exited Sunday’s game early, leaving Vick Ballard to carry most of the load. With a Thursday game at Jacksonville on the docket, the quick turnaround may render Brown unavailable for Week 10. Delone Carter’s eight carries for 31 yards against the Dolphins shouldn’t sway you into a pickup unless you’re desperate.
Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) has been ruled out for Thursday’s game, so Rashad Jennings will once again lead the way for the Jags. Jennings will be a solid RB2 against the Colts’ 25th-ranked run defense.
Jamaal Charles had 15 touches before leaving last Thursday’s game with a neck injury. Charles will have a tough matchup against the Steelers, but he still probably qualifies as an RB2. This isn’t a committee, but a note for all the people who are asking, “What the %$#@! should I do with Jamaal Charles???”
Daniel Thomas got 62 yards from scrimmage on eight touches against the Colts, meaning that he and Reggie Bush had a 40-60 split. That sounds about right, and means you can again start Thomas in some situations this week against the porous, 30th-ranked Titans’ rushing defense.
Oh, come on! With Darren Sproles set to be sidelines for a few weeks due to a hand injury, the Saints used a committee approach against the Eagles, giving Chris Ivory 11 touches (50 yards), with Mark Ingram getting nine (67 yards) and Pierre Thomas eight (70 yards). I have no clue which of these guys, if any, will produce for fantasy owners this week against the Falcons. If you insist, I’ll rank them Thomas-Ivory-Ingram, but bench all three unless you have no alternatives.
Andre Brown has 15 carries for 58 yards over his last three games … with a one-yard touchdown run in each outing. Can you start a guy when your only real hope for fantasy production is for his team to get inside the five-yard line and give him the ball? I’m gonna say no.
Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson both suffered ankle sprains against the Bucs in Week 9, and they’re very iffy for Sunday’s game at Baltimore. Unless the Raiders sign a back off the street, their main options figure to be Taiwan Jones (small, speedy, fumbling issues) and Marcel Reece (stocky fullback, good receiver). I think I’d lean toward Jones over Reece if you need to grab one, but don’t put much stock in either for Week 10. My colleague, Mike Harmon, said on this week’s Fantasy 15 podcast that he prefers Reece, as he’s a “more complete” player.
It’s Tuesday, so we don’t yet have any real injury updates for Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Jonathan Dwyer (quad). With Isaac Redman barreling through the Giants for 147 yards and a score in Week 9, this situation just became a mess. Any insight, Mike Tomlin? Since you play against the Chiefs on Monday, we’ll take anyone you want to give us. If the situation is still murky on Sunday morning, fantasy owners should stay away.
This isn’t really a timeshare, but the annoying, part-time use of Ronnie Brown and Jackie Battle is getting really annoying to this Ryan Mathews owner. Mathews should be a weekly fantasy start, but Norv Turner is killing his star potential.
When we last left the Rams, Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson were pretty much sharing the workload. Since Jackson didn’t get traded before the deadline, look for more of the same against the tough 49ers in Week 10. Figure that Jackson is a low-end RB2, with Richardson a bit lower on the fantasy totem pole.
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