Dec 28,2014

Week 17: Running Back Round Up

Scout-150x150Every week, I examine the most turbulent backfields to determine whether a backup is due for a bigger role and how any possible changes will affect Fantasy relevant stars.

Carolina Panthers
Jonathan Stewart – DeAngelo Williams – Mike Tolbert – Fozzy Whitaker

DeAngelo Williams has sat out more games (9) than he’s started (6) in 2014. His latest injury – a hand ailment – has kept the nine year vet out of pads since Week 14. It’s worth nothing that even when DWill has played he hasn’t been terribly efficient, averaging only 3.5 YPC on the season. While fellow RB Jonathan Stewart isn’t exactly a spring chicken he has flashed throughout the year, generating his best numbers since 2011. This uptick in productivity can certainly be attributed to the increased number of carries that JStew has received while his committee member was sidelined. Proving he’s still got some juice in those 27 year-old legs, Stewart put up double digit fantasy points in five of the eight weeks he received more than ten rushing attempts. Still, head coach Ron Rivera continues to insist that his backfield remain wholly egalitarian. Williams did practice in full this week, but his status for the Panthers-Falcons matchup on Sunday is uncertain as there appears to be some apprehension over the vet’s ability to pass protect. If Williams were to sit, Stewart should have a nice day running on Atlanta’s less than stout rushing defense. With the postseason on the line, however, my guess is that Williams will start and throw off Stewart’s ability to find a rhythm just enough to snatch what could be a big day away from fantasy owners.

San Diego Chargers
Ryan Matthews – Branden Oliver – Ronnie Brown – Donald Brown

Capping off a relatively healthy 2013, hopes were high that Mathews’ durability issues were behind him. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Only able to start six games – the fewest in his five year career – San Diego’s RB1 has been ruled out for the Chargers’ Week 17 tilt at Kansas City…

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