Pick 6 - Week 12

The year of the backup RB. Who's on-deck this week?



Each week this column will suggest borderline players that you should start, and borderline players that you should sit. These projections are based on historical match ups, the match up against the current defense, and how the player is performing this year.

Studs

Thomas Rawls  -  In a year where we have seen 9 of the top 13 pre-season RB's go down with injuries or bust (looking at you Jeremy Hill, Eddie Lacy, and CJ Anderson), Rawls vaults into my RB 1 tier for the remainder of the year. No matter the defense he faces, he is a plug and play starter. The Seahawks rely on the run game and have shown their willingness to give the ball to Rawls 20+ times in a game if necessary. Start him with confidence the next 4 weeks while Lynch is out.

Spencer Ware - The Chiefs are a run-heavy and ball control offense that may be without their starting RB Charcandrick West. If West sits, don't let the tough Bills defense scare you away from starting Ware. The Chiefs feed their RB's enough since Alex Smith can't throw, so there is a safe floor of 50 yards and as good a chance for a TD as any RB out there, which is the best you can hope for with all of the injuries at the RB position.

Alfred Blue - If there is ever a week you can start the plodding RB with confidence, this is it. New Orleans is awful against the run, and the Texans are hot after winning two big games against the Jets and Bengals. I like the odds of their offense keeping the momentum going against a terrible defense. Treat Blue as a low end RB2 or flex play this week. He is ahead of the likes of Melvin Gordon if you are looking for a comparisson. 

 Duds

Melvin Gordon - You can't pay me to start him this year. The offense is in a flux with the injuries to the WR corps and the O-line. I'm not down on his prospects long term as he hasn't had much to work with this year, but he has been awful fantasy wise. The only reason he isn't droppable is the unbelieveable amount of RB injuries this year.

Jeremy Maclin - Out of the WR2 conversation and into the WR3/flex talks, I'm sitting Maclin the rest of the year if I own him. Generally you want to give yourself some upside when picking that last player to make the cut on your roster, and Maclin offers no upside. A 100 yard game and a TD (or multiple TD's) are such a stretch. Alex Smith has gotten more conservative as the year has progressed, which has resulted in a 6 target average for Maclin the last three weeks. Maclin should ride the pine for you against a tough Bills defense.

Sammy Watkins  - I don't understand why they don't at least try to get their best playmaker involved more. Last week he was fourth on his team in total targets. Fourth! Can't trust a guy like that, especially when Tyrod Taylor is banged up and is starting to come back to earth after his hot start at the beginning of the year. Watkins is on my bench until further notice.

Waiver Wire Stud
This is the player that I pick each week who is currently a no-namer or unowned in the majority of leagues, but will become one of the top pickups next week. This player is a great speculative add if you have a free roster spot that you can use before you miss out on him next week due to your league’s waiver wire pickup order.

Robert Turbin - Are you willing to bet even a quarter on the idea that Darren McFadden can get 20+ carries per game and make it through the full season without injury? History says no. With Tony Romo's injury, the Cowboys will again become run dependent. Turbin is the clear backup to McFadden, and could be valuable if called on for a spot start during the fantasy playoffs. He is only owned in 9% of ESPN leagues right now, which is surprising since he is in one of the most run friendly environments (good O-line, run dependent team) if called on to take a larger role.

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