The Backfield Report: Week 7, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Michael Cox
Since the season started I’ve done Tuesday rundowns of all the NFL backfield situations. I’m doing the same thing this week. Also, since I’m not omniscient, check out RotoViz’s Buy Low Machine and RB GLSP Projections. Here we go.
When I said in this piece that Jacquizz Rodgers might not be a horrible handcuff, random performances like Rodgers’ 2-TD outbursts in Weeks 5 and 7 are what I had in mind. And when I said that Jason Snelling could be better than just a desperation play, TD-reliant performances like Snelling’s Week 7 . . . well, not really, but you get the idea. As long as Steven Jackson is out and Matt Ryan has to throw short passes, Jacquizz is a startble player in most matchups. He may be only 5’6”—but he can probably kick your ass and definitely mine.
I was quickly becoming a Doug Martin redraft cynic before his Week 7 shoulder injury; now I’m even more dubious about his 2013 chances. But I do think he’ll be a 2014 rebound candidate. Magic Mike James? Show us what you’ve got.
Giovani Bernard looks like “Mini McCoy,” but he’s also got a lot of Danny Woodhead to his game. Some weeks he’ll have 20 points, and others he’ll have 7. It’s frustrating, but with the way RBs have played this season you basically have to start Gio if you have him: Your options are limited by the position. BenJarvus Green-Ellis? I think I’d prefer Rex Burkhead if he ever saw the field. He could be effective as a pro.
You probably drafted Reggie Bush as your RB2, maybe RB3, right? His 9.5 points in Week 7 aren’t great, but they’re good enough. We tried to tell you he’d be good. We tried here, here, here, and here. Some weeks he’ll play like an RB1. Some weeks he’ll play like an RB2/3. All weeks he should be started. Joique Bell? We told you to target him; we told you a couple of times. He’s not always startable, but Bell’s value will skyrocket if Bush suffers an injury. If you’re a Bush skeptic, you probably want to acquire Bell before his next big week.
Fred Jackson: Which is the pattern?—the double-digit performances in Weeks 1-5 and 7?—or the single-digit submission in Week 6? If you have Fred Jackson, you’re probably winning lots of games. If C.J. Spiller, probably not.
Stevan Ridley scored a Week 7 TD, but he didn’t own the backfield. As long as Shane Vereen is on the short-term IR, Brandon Bolden could have some flex appeal (because of his versatility). I admit that I have no idea what’s going on with this backfield, but I know that LeGarrette Blount sucks. If Ridley can become consistent, he has the highest upside of these 3 guys.
It wasn’t enough for Josh Freeman to contribute to the destruction of Doug Martin’s fantasy season. Now he’s doing the same to Adrian Peterson. Who would you rather have right now?—Peterson or Forte? Just saying.
Alfred Morris continues to straddle the line between perfunctory and satisfactory—perhaps even for his own professional team. If you have him, you’re starting him, but you’re never sure what you’ll get. So far, it’s an average of double-digit weekly production, and that’s basically what he did in Week 7. But Roy Helu’s 3 TDs? The Shanahans Shanahaned their own Shanahanigans. Intense.
Based on the round in which you drafted him, you’re probably pleased with DeAngelo Williams. I prefer a healthy Jonathan Stewart—if such a creature exists. And what about Mike Tolbert? After being ignored by his offense in Week 1, the big guy has averaged 8.5 standard points/game. He’s not an RB1, but if you’re looking for cheap flex production then Tolbert may be the Waiver Wire Wonder for you.
If you want to trust Ryan Mathews, I probably can’t stop you. Regardless of what Mathews does, Danny Woodhead is a startable fantasy asset, especially in PPR leagues. We like him. He’s like Shane Vereen, except not injured. He’ll maintain value because he’s useful in the passing game. Speaking of which, for at least Weeks 1-7, I was right.
Through 7 weeks, Frank Gore has 6 double-digit performances. The single-digit performance? At Seattle in Week 2. If you started him that week, that’s on you, not him. He’s the same ol’ old Frank Gore.
Chris Johnson—you’re a smaller version of 2003 Eddie George, except you have fewer carries, catches, and TDs. You’re killing Independent George. You are the quintessential RB2 clothed in an RB1’s legacy.
In dynasty leagues, you should buy Cierre Wood sell me short. Ben Tate has some fractured ribs, and Arian Foster a sore hamstring. Maybe the Texans could start Case Keenum at RB in a pinch—at least then he’d have decent size for his position.
2013: Jamaal Charles. 2003: Priest Holmes. 1993: Marcus Allen. In 10 years, I expect to see another awesome Chiefs RB whose team fails to win a championship. Maybe Barry Sanders Jr. 7-0 is cheap, except in fantasy leagues.
Le’Veon Bell: If you believe, now is the time to trade for him. I believe—big time. His 9.9 points in Week 7 against Baltimore’s DST is pretty good.
Marshawn Lynch: He’s either a buy, a sell, or a hold. You’re welcome.
Knowshon Moreno is the Dr. Evil of RBs.
In my Week 2 report I said this: “I know he’s supposed to be great, but maybe Trent Richardson isn’t that good. Maybe he’s just a bigger-bodied Mark Ingram-esque talent on a team with no other RBs. That’s really what he was last year, despite his top-10 positional finish.” I haven’t seen anything in 2013 to make me think I’m wrong. Have you?
Maurice Jones-Drew: If you know someone who thinks it’s 2007 . . . sell him MJD—and maybe the stock market. After all, the Jags are considering it. Jordan Todman: I believe. I think I believe. All he needs is a chance. Of course, I thought that about someone else too.
For 3 months I’ve said that all Michael Cox needs is a chance—and, hey, at least I predicted way in advance that he would probably get one. But after his opening drive performance of 6 carries for 22 yards, he was outrushed by a guy who just won the Bear Pascoe Lookalike Contest. If street free agent Peyton Hillis outdoes a player in 2013, I’m a little dubious about that guy’s chances of long-term success. I’m not dropping Cox in dynasty leagues, but I’m ready to admit that he won’t be a 2013 Wire Waiver Wonder. Watching Cox faceplant on Monday night made me feel like a Russian teenage lesbian standing in the rain behind a cold chain fence pouring out my soul while people just stare at me blankly. In other words, it hurt. Hard.
Interested in WRs? Here’s my Week 7 WR Report.