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.
At RotoViz it’s kind of popular to think that Adrian Peterson is overrated and perhaps not as good as his numbers. For instance, Shawn Siegele suggested before the 2013 season that Peterson should not be a top-5 pick. As of right now, Peterson is a top-5 RB. Does this mean that Shawn was wrong to say that you should avoid a guy who was the previous year’s rushing leader and who had logged a top-10 positional finish every season of his career? Not really. Look at it this way: If you had drafted AD #1 overall and then traded him for another top-5 RB (Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, or Marshawn Lynch) and a WR2, wouldn’t you be in a much better position than if you had simply kept AD on your team. The ultimate point of Shawn’s article wasn’t “Avoid AD in your draft”—the point was “AD is not much (if any) better than the RBs being drafted around him: Value him accordingly and use this information wisely.” Having said that . . . I wish Adrian Peterson were on all of my fantasy teams.
Reggie Bush: RB2 floor. Top-5 RB ceiling. We tried to tell you he’d be good. We tried here, here, here, and here. Which would you rather have?—Adrian Peterson or Reggie Bush and Josh Gordon? Do you think you could’ve swung that trade before the season started? I do too.
Bobby Rainey has had at least 5 carries in 4 games this year. His median score for those 4 games is 7.55 points, and the mean is 13.18. According to my mathematical expertise, the real Bobby Rainey is a guy who should score between 7.55 and 13.18 points per game. You’re welcome.
Just reminding you that the Ravens cut Bobby Rainey right before the regular season started—but at least they’re not struggling with the run game! By the way, in his final game with the Ravens, Rainey scored 2 TDs. But, hey, it was only the preseason!
“My name is Dennis. I’m barely employed, and I live with my parents.” I’m not saying that George Costanza is a perfect comp for Dennis Johnson, but both are short stocky undrafted dudes who weren’t even invited to the combine. Pretty similar.
Maurice Jones-Drew is the short-and-old version of Le’Veon Bell, except—er, I guess—he might be better.
Le’Veon Bell in 2013 is what Trent Richardson was in 2012—an overhyped volume-dependent big-bodied rookie rusher who can catch the ball out of the backfield. If you’ve been starting him each week, you’re probably slightly disappointed. He’s averaging 11.89 standard points per game played, but he’s just not getting as many goal-line touches as a 244-lb RB probably should.
Regardless of whatever Ryan Mathews does, Danny Woodhead is a consistent producer, good for a minimum of 4 catches per game, and his involvement in the passing game ensures that he’s always a solid flex option. No receiving RB means more to his QB than Woodhead means to Philip Rivers. By the way, when it comes to Rivers, I was right.
Just one week after submitting his worst performance of the year, Jamaal Charles submitted his best. He is the new Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy. You might say that you saw this coming six months ago—but we can prove it.
For the second time this season, Lamar Miller managed to turn double-digit carries into single-digit yards. Watching this running attack is like watching paint dry on your eyeball.
Michael Bush sucks. His Week 12 line of 7 rushes for -5 yards makes Lamar Miller look like . . . not Lamar Miller. Then again, at least Mush scored a TD.
Zac Stacy has had a great run, but if he misses time due to his Week 12 concussion, then rookie Benny Cunningham will probably be an admirable injury fill-in. He was stellar in his injury-shortened senior season (he posted an nQBDR of 78.97%). Months before the season started, Ryan Rouillard predicted that Benny Cunningham could become the best RB in this backfield. I’m not saying that he’s going to Wally Pipp Zac Stacy, but if Cunningham gets a chance to start he could prove Rouillard right.
In all fairness, I should say this: Chris Johnson has been more consistent and scored more points per game than Giovani Bernard—and yet I praise Gio and censure CJ?K. Yes, I used the word “censure.” The difference is that CJ?K entered the season as the clear #1 RB in his backfield and at worst a third-round pick. Gio, in comparison, is a mid-round pick having a borderline RB1 season despite losing snaps to BenJarvus Green-Ellis. That’s the difference. It might not be fair of me to call CJ the Tammy Wynette of RBs, but I’m gonna stand by my shtick and do it anyway.
I’ll put this another way: I bet that the majority of CJ?K owners—without remembering who was selected immediately after CJ?K in their fantasy drafts—would jump at the chance right now to trade him blindly for whatever random player happened to be drafted one pick later. Why? Because the majority of CJ?K owners view him as a useless asset. In this proposition, a CJ?K owner may feel as if (s)he has almost nothing to lose—which isn’t a good thing. Welcome to the apocalypse.
DeMarco Murray sucks less than you think he does. If he got the chance to play against Dallas’ defense two times per year, he’d suck even less.
Starting Andre Brown is like betting repeatedly on one color in roulette. If you’ve won three times in a row, you probably shouldn’t keep betting on the same color. I think. I suck at roulette.
Montario Hardesty was almost as productive in Week 12 as Fozzy Whittaker and Chris Ogbonnaya. What else do they have in common? They all played at colleges whose colors are white and orange. They also all suck.
I said this last week: “When Shane Vereen is healthy, Stevan Ridley fumbles the ball. He must be nervous about losing his job—which will cause him to lose his job.” Any questions? Whenever Brandon Bolden gets substantial touches, I usually like what I see. He could be the next Fred Jackson.
In the last three games, Trent Richardson has been outproduced by Dan Herron. Seriously. 1) OK, that’s false, but you probably didn’t find it hard to believe me. 2) T-Rich has 11.4 pts in that timeframe, and Herron has 9. 3) Herron didn’t touch the ball in one of those games. 4) If T-Rich were better, Herron probably wouldn’t be touching the ball at all. 5) “Two chicks at the same time, man.”
Alfred Morris: the 30-pt. outburst is coming—next season.
Jonathan Stewart’s existence is killing this backfield. He’s like the difference between a bad-ass two-headed golden eagle and the three-headed somnolently-inclined guard dog from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. In real life and mythology, bicephaly in non-humans and non-puppies is kind of awesome. Just look at this two-headed cobra! Oops, wrong picture. But anything with tricephaly is normally just weird and destined to die. I mean, this three-headed dragon isn’t scaring anybody. It doesn’t even look real! Before Stewart came off the PUP, Mike Tolbert was a Waiver Wire Wonder, and DeAngelo Williams was legitimately flexible. Now, this backfield is a polycephalic disaster. It’s the fantasy football equivalent of Fluffy. Scary—but only if you need this creature to do anything useful. Cerberus this backfield is not.
Interested in WRs? Here’s my Week 12 WR Report.