RB Watch List Week 11: Prepping for the Playoffs

Week 10 wasn’t particularly newsworthy at the RB position. David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, and Le’Veon Bell once again carried their owners to victory. Todd Gurley again failed in that regard.

Looking Ahead to the Playoffs

I considered looking at “how to get to the playoffs,” but the opportunity to make moves wasn’t really there. The three best Week 11 to Week 13 schedules go to Kansas City, Arizona, and Pittsburgh. You might be able to make a play for Spencer Ware, but you definitely can’t get Johnson or Bell. Check out the Buy Low Machine if you have a specific week you need to attack.

If we jump forward and focus on the playoffs, however, we might be able to take advantage of a few small inefficiencies and stash opportunities.


  • Three of the five best schedules belong to CAR, TB, and OAK. Jonathan Stewart and Latavius Murray fit in the middling RB2 tier and might be available due to their lack of sex appeal. Schedule-obsessed owners have been plying Doug Martin owners for weeks, but if he hasn’t already changed hands in your league, you might toss out an offer. Someone who has owned Martin all season may have soured. These teams also present interesting stash opportunities. Cameron Artis-Payne is inactive when Stewart plays, but forms a committee with Fozzy Whittaker when Stewart misses with injury. If anything happens over the next three weeks, CAP would be a solid RB2 in the playoffs.
  • Peyton Barber handled 12 carries in relief of Martin in their Week 10 blowout. While the Bucs have dream matchups with New Orleans in Weeks 14 and 16, backup duties could be complicated by the return of Jacquizz Rodgers and/or Charles Sims. Dirk Koetter has claimed Sims will return, and Martin’s running mate is eligible to return from IR in Week 13.
  • This is also a good time to add DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard, two players who should be available in quite a few leagues following Oakland’s Week 10 bye.
  • Cincinnati has the No. 4 playoff schedule but the No. 26 schedule over the next three weeks. If you’re in good position for the playoffs but the Jeremy Hill owner is not, you may be able to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement.
  • Houston has the No. 6 schedule, and Lamar Miller has been hampered by nagging injuries. Akeem Hunt managed eight carries and two targets splitting the backup job with Alfred Blue. In an offense desperate for any play making ability, Hunt’s performance adds intrigue. Pro day results are misleading bordering on meaningless, but I find myself pulled in anyway. Hunt is reported to have run a 4.4 forty, while posting a 37-inch vertical and 6.71 three-cone. He wasn’t bad on the gridiron either, managing over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 48 receptions in his final year at Purdue (2014).
  • We also want to look for individual playoff matchups to exploit. Buffalo has Cleveland in Week 15, and LeSean McCoy’s trick hamstring isn’t a great match with his heavy workload. As mentioned before last week’s bye, Mike Gillislee has 111 fewer opportunities than McCoy and yet more fantasy points over expectation (28.3 to 26.4).
  • The 49ers have Atlanta in Week 15. DuJuan Harris looks like their best RB, although I have now released him from most of my squads with Carlos Hyde practicing fully.
  • 14TeamMocker wrote about Kenneth Farrow in this week’s Waiver Wire, and San Diego has Cleveland in Week 16.
  • The Eagles are at their best with Ryan Mathews as the bell cow, but they’ve burned away any trust that might have existed with fantasy owners. Wendell Smallwood has had a handful of really poor plays that have limited his usage, but he’s also appeared on the verge of a breakout several times. He carried 13 times against Atlanta. The Eagles have Washington in Week 14.
  • The four bottom teams in playoff RB SOS are Washington, Miami, Green Bay, and Seattle, and yet opportunities may still exist. Rob Kelley is probably owned in leagues where he has value, but he should deliver solid, grinding performances down the stretch.
  • We’ve written quite a bit about Damien Williams and how well he’s played this year in an under-the-radar capacity. Against the Chargers he added a goal line plunge and an 18-yard TD reception. The fact that Jay Ajayi and Williams are so good1 – and that they used an early pick on Kenyan Drake – makes it even more bizarre and frustrating that Miami found it necessary to sign Arian Foster. Regardless, Williams tends to fly under the radar but is possibly the best handcuff in football right now.
  • Green Bay has Seattle, Chicago, and Minnesota in the playoffs, although I’m less concerned in a situation where opposing defenses will focus on stopping Aaron Rodgers. Chicago and Minnesota are enduring the collapse phase of their seasons, so they may be less daunting opponents at that point anyway. James Starks probably won’t face much of a threat from the newly claimed Christine Michael, but I’m holding Michael in deep leagues where I owned him already.
  • Finally, Seattle has Green Bay, LA, and Arizona, a tough stretch for the returning Thomas Rawls. Competition and schedule could make a C.J. Prosise acquisition possible, if still relatively costly after his star turn against the Patriots. For owners in 16-team leagues, file away the promotion of the Troymaine Pope, a back who starred with the Seahawks in the preseason before being temporarily signed away by the Jets. Alex Collins also moves into a type of quasi-handcuff role with Michael released.

The Numbers

PLAYERTeamruATTS Week 10ruFPOE Week 10reTRGS Week 10reFPOE Week 10PPR Week 10ruATTS SeasonruFPOE SeasonreTRGS SeasonreFPOE SeasonPPR Season
David JohnsonARI190.873.327.117521621.9221.3
Andre EllingtonARI2-1.100-0.117-2.860.313.9
Devonta FreemanATL12-1.532.211.1145-12.8397.8153.1
Tevin ColemanATL000005917.62422111.4
Terron WardATL1-0.61-1.5-0.115-1.82-1.59.6
Terrance WestBAL21-4.52-18.7132-11.820-9.588.7
Kenneth DixonBAL60.77-11321-4.313-320.9
Javorius AllenBAL2-0.6000.39-14-0.77.9
Lorenzo TaliaferroBAL000001-0.530.34
LeSean McCoyBUF0000013323.2293.2148.5
Mike GillisleeBUF000004222.895.567.3
Jonathan WilliamsBUF0000013-2.3009.5
Reggie BushBUF000009-1.98-0.317.7
Jonathan StewartCAR13-2.21-1.23.9921.57-2.263.6
Fozzy WhittakerCAR2-0.320.12.4381.1284.260.8
Cameron Artis-PayneCAR00000366.910.428.5
Mike TolbertCAR1-0.400023-8.26-310.7
Jordan HowardCHI152.900101138.4247.6114.3
Jeremy LangfordCHI20.75-1.66.6332.215-4.740
Ka'Deem CareyCHI2-0.910.82.527-25119.2
Jeremy HillCIN153.60010.611920.711-1.1105.2
Giovani BernardCIN7-1.15-3.46.684-4.6437.9113.2
Rex BurkheadCIN0000061.410.55.9
Isaiah CrowellCLE9-1.75-0.78.312014.1287.5128.7
Duke JohnsonCLE2-0.45-2.66.150454-5.1104.3
Ezekiel ElliottDAL2114.1214.240.919747.42212.3203.6
Alfred MorrisDAL4-0.910.22.9571.44-2.735.3
Lance DunbarDAL001-1.3051.170.417.5
C.J. AndersonDEN00000110-4.5243.7102.5
Devontae BookerDEN24-6.72010.8104-9.224-4.880.5
Kapri BibbsDEN7-1.31-12.215-1.3410.521.3
Juwan ThompsonDEN0000012.6006.1
Theo RiddickDET0000075-54613.6122
Justin ForsettDET0000044-7.818-6.532.7
Zach ZennerDET0000036-9.982.629.9
Dwayne WashingtonDET0000028-5.33-1.718.7
Ameer AbdullahDET00000181.857.726.8
Christine MichaelGB5-0.610.13.611713.726-4.7118.5
James StarksGB7044.213.431-10.9141.528.6
Lamar MillerHOU151.2008.3168-5.9282.2124.4
Alfred BlueHOU7-3.4002.346-2.64-5.123.9
Akeem HuntHOU80.92-1.56.380.92-1.56.3
Tyler ErvinHOU000001-0.15-0.25.1
Frank GoreIND000001453.23110.8138.2
Robert TurbinIND0000018317-2.140.6
Josh FergusonIND000008-2.926-1.434.4
T.J. YeldonJAC9-130.78.979-7.3402.892.6
Chris IvoryJAC9-1.33-1.36.167-8.414-644.8
Denard RobinsonJAC000004-0.52-0.33.1
Spencer WareKC13-0.43010.21154.22621.2127.6
Charcandrick WestKC2-0.33-0.8448-8.724-5.145.8
Knile DavisKC000009-36-18.8
Todd GurleyLA21-
Benny CunninghamLA6-1.65-6.37.718-2.118-731.7
Jay AjayiMIA19-1.51-0.2912739.515-2.8127.4
Damien WilliamsMIA23.414.2152311.2161167
Kenyan DrakeMIA10.4000.9165.380.524.6
Jerick McKinnonMIN6-0.840.16.381-13.618-6.545.7
Matt AsiataMIN9-6.31-0.18.580-24.1233.775
Ronnie HillmanMIN4-1.7000.216-3.37-1.212.4
LeGarrette BlountNE214.50024.918211.760.1148.9
James WhiteNE2-0.441.77.728-2.34712.991.2
D.J. FosterNE000007-22-1.63.6
Brandon BoldenNE00000104-1.63.9
Mark IngramNO11020.18.31155.43014.3128.8
Tim HightowerNO8-1.722.67.576-16.58-3.647.2
Daniel LascoNO0000011-2.94-2.16.3
Travaris CadetNO0030.94.62-131-9.540.8
Rashad JenningsNYG151.16-2.713.979-15.220-2.456
Shane VereenNYG0000031-3.613-2.536.2
Orleans DarkwaNYG00000302.64-2.226.3
Paul PerkinsNYG9-1.43-3.83.130-5141.731.2
Bobby RaineyNYG0000016-1.8213.536.1
Matt ForteNYJ2003-2.812.9189-0.234-1.4162.1
Bilal PowellNYJ41.97315.5409.548-7.792
C.J. SpillerNYJ1-0.11-1.50.44-0.8100.216.6
Latavius MurrayOAK000008927.224-5.4115.6
DeAndre WashingtonOAK0000061-1.716-1.250.4
Jalen RichardOAK000004412.623-1.864.3
Jamize OlawaleOAK00000154.175.431.9
Ryan MathewsPHI195.722.227.9956.6118.5108
Darren SprolesPHI2110-0.915.661-2.1471.999.2
Wendell SmallwoodPHI13-0.11-1.4744-2.44-2.928.9
Kenjon BarnerPHI00000209.310.323.9
Le'Veon BellPIT17-3.8104.934.4100-6.7563.6136.3
DeAngelo WilliamsPIT00000757.823-1.475.7
Fitzgerald ToussaintPIT000004-0.810.62.9
Melvin GordonSD24-10.98-0.518.2217-94614.4217.4
Kenneth FarrowSD0000015-1.23-37.2
C.J. ProsiseSEA17-7.676.122.326-91613.644.9
Thomas RawlsSEA0000019-6.361.512.6
Alex CollinsSEA1-0.3000.2101.131.413.7
Troymaine PopeSEA000001-0.4000.1
Carlos HydeSF13-4.31-1.51.41228.815-2.699.9
Shaun DraughnSF0000027-3.2143.134.1
DuJuan HarrisSF5-0.8001.426-1.4811.834.3
Mike DavisSF00000192.15-1.716.5
Jacquizz RodgersTB0000088-212-1.860.1
Charles SimsTB0000041-9.2194.348.8
Doug MartinTB16-5.42-0.411.641-8.671.328.5
Peyton BarberTB12-2.2003.8392.45-0.628.4
DeMarco MurrayTEN179.132.628.119127467.4220.4
Derrick HenryTEN9-1003.1620.3114.250.9
Matt JonesWAS00000996.584.979.3
Rob KelleyWAS22-1.41-1.210.5602.24-0.542.6
Chris ThompsonWAS40.630.86.6490.73410.487.4

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  1. Ajayi and Williams are both in the Top 10 of total FPOE.  (back)
By Shawn Siegele | @ff_contrarian | Archive

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