Shane Falco and Walter Cochran aren’t walking thru that door but Knile Davis, Bobby Rainey, Khiry Robinson and Kirk Cousins did. Injuries were brutal this week and as you’re reading this I’m pretty sure that waivers have passed in 99.99% of leagues but that’s OK. Why? Because what I’m about to give you are the names of the replacements that are just a play away from being this past week’s Davis, Rainey, Robinson and Cousins. Before we get to the names let me point out that you have to have an understanding of player’s roles on their teams. A perfect example is Danny Woodhead. With Ryan Matthews out due to injury it wasn’t Woodhead that saw Matthews’ snaps…no, it was Donald Brown. Just because Woodhead is their “#2” running back doesn’t mean he’s the backup for Matthews. Below is a list of “replacements” that have yet to be called into action but if any of the following running backs go down they’ll get their shot.
|Buffalo||Fred Jackson & CJ Spiller||Bryce Brown|
|Baltimore||Bernard Pierce||Lorenzo Taliaferro|
|Minnesota||Matt Asiata||Jerick McKinnon|
|Philadelphia||LeSean McCoy||Chris Polk|
|Seattle||Marshawn Lynch||Robert Turbin|
I know that Bryce Brown has been inactive each of the past two weeks but that’s because Anthony Dixon is a special teams contributor, not because he’d be the next man up. Let something happen to either Fred Jackson or C.J. Spiller and Brown will be the beneficiary and so will fantasy owners that stashed him away. In Philadelphia, newly acquired Darren Sproles has been electric, both for the Eagles and his fantasy owners. However, should LeSean McCoy go down, Chris Polk would be the one to pickup McCoy’s touches, not Sproles. Any back that gets to eat in Chip Kelly’s offense is one that will be a fantasy factor. Matt Asiata is first man up to replace the Vikings former starting running back but rookie Jerick McKinnon is talented and at some point he’ll be getting added to team’s rosters off the waiver wire
Say Goodbye To 9
Last week I included a chart that showed on average how many RBs remain in the top-24 at their position as the season progresses. Well, after two weeks we know that 15 can stay, but 9 must go. Here are your top-24 running backs and the 9 I see saying goodbye (in red).
|1||Darren Sproles||13||Bobby Rainey|
|2||DeMarco Murray||14||C.J. Spiller|
|3||Le’Veon Bell||15||Knile Davis|
|4||Giovani Bernard||16||Alfred Morris|
|5||Marshawn Lynch||17||Joique Bell|
|6||Ahmad Bradshaw||18||Montee Ball|
|7||Mark Ingram||19||Chris Ivory|
|8||LeSean McCoy||20||Terrance West|
|9||Arian Foster||21||Lamar Miller|
|10||Rashad Jennings||22||Andre Ellington|
|11||Matt Forte||23||Chris Johnson|
|12||Justin Forsett||24||Shane Vereen|
The broken hand that Mark Ingram suffered in week 2 will all but assure he falls out of the top-24 this year. As for Ahmad Bradshaw and Justin Forsett, I see both backs having defined roles for their teams; I just don’t see them touching the ball enough to finish top-24. I will say that I was close to leaving Bradshaw in and taking Alfred Morris out, but the Colts won’t let Trent Richardson go away and that will hurt Bradshaw’s value just enough. Forsett won’t be the primary ball carrier and his role will have him slowly tumbling down this list. Rainey has clearly been the better ball carrier between himself and Doug Martin but fumbles (2 minutes after typing this Rainey just fumbled for the second time against the Falcons) and the Buccaneers woeful offense will be his undoing. Jamaal Charles is already getting back on the practice field so Niles’ time as the lead ball carrier for the Chiefs could be very short lived. Chris Ivory and Terrance West are each in timeshares that should do just enough to push them out of the RB2 range. As for Lamar Miller, Knowshon Moreno will be back at some point and you just know that Miller won’t do anything special enough to ensure he gets the lion’s share of the Dolphins running back touches the entire season.
Steve’s Seven Sleepers
I figured I’d try to do something a little different and each week I’ll give a list of my seven sleepers of the week (one at each fantasy position) that can finish top-24* at their position for the week. To qualify the player can’t rank in the top-36** at their respective position based on the season long rankings in the Huddle IDP Expert League.
*Top-12 for QB & TE. **Top-15 for QB & TE.
There are quite a few “studs” that are available a ways down the ranks so I decided to pass on them to try and give you players you may not have been expecting. As the season progresses there will be less “studs” to pick from.
Net Yards Over Average
What is NYoA? It’s net yardage gained by the team while the player was on the field over a rolling six year League average factoring in field position, down, and distance. Example: for the 2011 season the League average gain for 1st and 10 on the offense’s 20 yard line was 5.99 yards. If the player participated in a play at 1st and 10 on his own 20 that gained 8 yards he’d earn 2.01 net yards over the League average. The defenders on that play would each earn -2.01 net yards over the League average.
Here are some NYoA’s to drink in so that you can watch each player a bit closer this week.
|Ahmad Bradshaw||1.60||5.39||Justin Hunter||1.44||7.32|
|Terrance West||0.50||4.72||Larry Fitzgerald||-0.09||6.35|
|Pierre Thomas||2.01||6.50||Stevie Johnson||1.96||7.57|
|Chris Ivory||2.19||6.12||Torrey Smith||-0.02||5.84|
|Shonn Greene||0.95||4.91||Donnie Avery||-1.70||4.99|
|Trent Richardson||-0.70||3.45||Kendall Wright||0.78||6.75|
|Isaiah Crowell||1.17||5.11||Michael Floyd||-0.59||5.82|
|Khiry Robinson||1.15||5.12||Anquan Boldin||0.30||6.75|
|Chris Johnson||-0.95||3.42||Steve Smith||0.32||6.10|
|Bishop Sankey||-1.66||3.22||Travis Kelce||1.37||7.33|