Week 11 running backs
The byes are officially over with. Week 11 is here and now your draft strategies will come into play. The bye weeks helped by potentially allowing you a leg up with the waiver wire pickups and taking advantage of other people’s lack of strategy. Well, I’ve been writing my weekly picks now for going on my third year and I’m ready for a change… to my format at least. If you keep reading my picks I’ll keep writing them as consistently as I can. I don’t get paid very much to post my articles here just pennies per views. That’s not what keeps me writing though, it’s the fact that I have a built in audience. Anyways I’m changing up my format a little and dropping the keepers and sleepers from the title, I know crazy. I’ll include an introduction about my thoughts in general pertaining to fantasy football. Then move onto the recap of the prior week then lay out my top ten overall picks in order I think they are important with an explanation (anybody can list the top ten point guys by going to ESPN). And finally my parting words of wisdom with my email address for you to send your comments to. So enough of the wordy intro let’s move onto the recap.
Week 10 was the final week of byes and the running back position was a little ho-hum quiet with 5 rushers at 100 yards or more. The bright spots were Fred Jackson in the Bills first win of the season with a monster game of 133 rushing followed by Chris Johnson (117), Knowshon Moreno (106), and Mike Goodson and Maurice Jones-Drew at 100 apiece. There were a few things to take away from this week:
• Jahvid Best is in trouble this year (or been in trouble depending on your foresight). I just don’t seem him breaking out of the slump he’s in, trade him if you can.
• Peyton Hillis is the real deal and with Jerome Harrison out of the picture it’s time to start wondering if he’s a top 10 back next year.
• Steven Jackson can play pretty darn good with a broken finger.
• Arian Foster still leads the league in rushing and Brandon Lloyd leads the league in receiving.
• Ahmad Bradshaw is reliable if nothing else = to Chris Johnson in rushing yards on the year.
• And finally, LT is having a quiet but successful comeback season, kudos to those of you who took another chance on him in your draft.
Top Ten Running Backs Week 11
1) Reggie Bush – Bush is my clear cut number one back this week for a few reasons. He should produce some decent yards for fantasy purposes and especially in PPR leagues. But more importantly he instantly upgrades the entire New Orleans team. Even if Pierre Thomas doesn’t return (he should), Bush finally gives Drew Brees an option in the backfield and keeps defenses honest because they know at any moment Bush can take a handoff and turn a 3rd down and 5 into a 20 yard scamper. I think Bush can be used in a flex position or perhaps in place of say Tim Hightower or MarShawn Lynch as a RB2.
2) Felix Jones – Jones is a close number two because of what he helped the Dallas Cowboys accomplish in the week 10 matchup against the Giants (a rival game no less). The Boys may be out of a playoff spot but that doesn’t mean they should roll over and play dead. In fact, I’m betting the opposite, I think the Cowboys have a chip on their shoulder now. They want to send teams a message that 2011 is their year (assuming there is a year). With that being said I think Felix Jones has the heavy burden of being the offensive leader because we all know this is Tony Romo’s team not John Kitnas’. I almost feel sorry for the reeling Detroit Lions who have to make the trip to Dallas to play a fired up offense after their pathetic performance against the Bills. Jones hits a 100+ this game.
3) Frank Gore – The 49ers are still in the hunt for the division title despite having a dismal beginning of the year. They barely eked out a win over the semi-hot St. Louis Cardinals and if they hope to repeat their performance and go on a three game winning streak they are going to need Gore to crack a 100+ yards and drive the team there. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are no pushover and a great story themselves. This game should be excellent with the team wanting it the most and executing the best winning. I think the 49ers stir the pot and walk away victors in a close tough battle with Gore leading the way.
4) Darren McFadden – I was high on Michael Bush during the draft this year and still am somewhat… just not when McFadden is healthy. Slowly having the kind of season Al Davis dreamed of when the Raiders drafted him, he is a must start against a very angry Pittsburgh Steelers team. In a lot of ways this game can define the season for Oakland. This road game won’t be easy but the key to victory rests squarely on McFadden’s shoulders. I’m thinking the Raiders don’t change a thing and ram the ball down the Steelers throats. Whether they win or not is too close for me too call but McFadden will have a good game with both rushing and receiving yards.
5) Peyton Hillis – Jacksonville Jaguars are suddenly hot or more like luke warm as Garrard puts together a pretty impressive season (second highest QB rating behind Mike Vick). The Browns have shown a remarkable amount of moxie this year and in order for them to continue that Peyton Hillis must outrun MJD in the Jags home stadium. ManGenius knows his team and I gained a lot of respect out of him this last three games. I think Hillis has another monster game as the Browns ding the Jags playoffs hopes a little. Look for Hillis to have a monster game with about 120-130 yards and two scores. Oh and if you haven’t yet watched Hillis you should, I haven’t seen a tougher running back to tackle this year.
6) LaDainian Tomlinson – There is an argument that LT is perhaps the most import back to his team. I totally agree with that, I don’t see the Jets being a 7-2 team without him. This truly has been the year LT was envisioning when he was forced to leave San Diego and good for him. He is once again a game changer and is capable of exploding for semi-long runs at any time. Oh and the Jets play the rush defense deficient Houston Texans. The only reason I don’t have LT higher is the danger that Houston shoots ahead and the Jets have to throw. However, I’m confident that Houston is doing its famous late season imploding act. Two scores for LT.
7) Ray Rice – Baltimore lost a tough game to Atlanta this past Thursday and the team needs a win to help its playoff hopes. I’m thinking the Ravens pound the ball against the Panthers and Rice leads the way. The Ray Rice of old is gone but this game he’ll give you some nice fantasy points to reward you for his high draft status. It’s safe to say that Rice is this year’s Matt Forte while Matt Forte is last year’s Rice, if that makes any sense. Rice tears apart the Panthers for 100+ yards and Flacco has a decent game, a near 50/50 split between running and passing in this game.
8) Thomas Jones – Yes Jamaal Charles is the cat’s meow but after an embarrassing lost to the Broncos in a game they clearly could have won, it’s time to get back to basics. Jones will get the ball more in the game against Arizona. Too much is at stake as this division starts to solidify. This is all the more reason to go with the trusted running back that is having a pretty good year considering he is essentially in a platoon with a much younger and more explosive back. Look for Jones to punish the Cardinals with close to 100 yards and a score.
9) KnowShon Moreno – The Broncos goose is cooked, essentially. Despite having a more than capable quarterback and a talented receiving corps the Broncos find themselves at 3-6 with a lot more questions than answers. Moreno had a decent game (finally) since his prolonged absences. The Chargers will be looking to dominate the game through the air and Denver is more than equipped to handle that but I think the most crucial plays will be on the ground and catching out of the backfield. Moreno could be poised to be a showstopper as another Chargers loss would not be good for the team that traditionally relies on a very strong second half.
10) Brandon Jackson – The Vikings are reeling and Favre is wishing he stayed retired. Aaron Rodgers and the Pack need a win. Not a good recipe for Childress or the Vikes. Rodgers will do what Rodgers does, it is Jackson that will make or break this game. A strong game by him will ensure a win while a weak game will doom a promising injury ridden team. I think Jackson unspectacularly gains 100+ yards and a score while Aaron Rodgers laughs hysterically on the inside while shaking hands with the Gray One.
That’s all folks. Not too much of a change but I wanted to drop the keeper/sleeper title as it is hard to search for legit sleepers without reaching for practice squad guys and pretty much everyone knows who a keeper is. So hear is wear I open up for some feedback… Let me know what you think email@example.com. As always thanks for reading and hopefully your week 10 went better than mine!