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RBBC Review: Week 9

Nov 5, 2015

Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson both had strong games Week 8

Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson both had strong games Week 8

The 2015 season has been close to the worst yet for running back by committee (RBBC). There are not too many lead backs who carry the ball 20-30 times a game anymore. Fantasy owners are stuck with running backs who share carries, so they have to gamble each and every week. Injuries, poor performances and the emergence of new backs are the main cause for RBBC, but don’t worry because we’re going to tell you which backs to start, sit, add, and drop to never pick up again. Here is a summary of all RBBC coming into Week 9.

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Arizona Cardinals – Chris Johnson/David Johnson/Andre Ellington
After receiving 30 carries last week against the Browns, it is pretty clear that Chris Johnson is the starting RB in Arizona. Johnson isn’t just getting the touches, he is putting up productive numbers with these touches. He rushed for 109 yards against the Browns, while Andre Ellington and David Johnson recorded only three touches apiece. Chris Johnson should be started in any and every fantasy league.

Cincinnati Bengals – Jeremy Hill/Giovani Bernard
Little bit of surprise this week, Bernard only had one carry to Hill’s 15. Hill had an okay game rushing for 60 yards and catching a pass for eight yards. Bernard had one carry for 12 yards and two catches for 22 yards. It is starting to get hard to predict which one of these backs is going to get the bulk of the carries every week, but you should start to lean towards Hill. I’ve been saying this since the beginning of the season; Hill is a downhill runner, which the OC Hue Jackson really likes in a running back. Bernard is a third-down receiving back and a change of pace back due to his elusiveness. The Bengals face the worst run defense in the NFL tonight in the Cleveland Browns, so I would start both of these running backs if you can. If I had to pick one, I would go with Jeremy Hill to have the bigger workload and more productive night.

Cleveland Browns – Isaiah Crowell/Duke Johnson/Robert Turbin
Safe to say none of these RBs deserve starts in fantasy right now considering McCown out rushed all three of them last week with an 18-yard performance. Crowell had 10 carries for 14 yards and one catch for 12 yards, Johnson had one carry for three yards along with two catches for 68 yards and Turbin had three carries for three yards. Yes, they did play a tough Cardinals’ defense but the numbers these three RBs have been producing have been absolutely disgusting. None of these RBs deserve roster spots right now, unless you’re in a keeper and want to add Duke Johnson for next year. Other then that stay away from the Browns’ RBs.

Dallas Cowboys – Darren McFadden/Christine Michael
We all knew that McFadden could put up productive numbers, the question is can he stay healthy? Last week against the Seahawks McFadden posted 20 carries for 64 yards and caught six passes for 49 yards. McFadden has been playing really well these last few weeks and if the Cowboys continue to give him the ball his production won’t dwindle. After the Cowboys released Joseph Randle, the only RB pushing for McFadden’s starting job is inexperienced Christine Michael. McFadden has RB2 value right now, especially in PPR leagues. McFadden is a good start right now especially with Cassel at QB.

Denver Broncos – Ronnie Hillman/C.J. Anderson
Both of these backs had phenomenal games last week against the Green Bay Packers. Hillman posted 60 rushing yards and two touchdowns off 19 carries and Anderson recorded 101 rushing yards and one touchdown off 14 carries. Hillman will still get the bulk of the touches because he has been playing really well over his last four weeks, but Anderson will get close to 10 touches a game himself. I don’t think you can start Anderson yet because this is his first good game this season, but hold onto him. Hillman and Anderson go up against a very bad Colts’ defense who give up the sixth-most fantasy points to RBs this season.

Detroit Lions – Joique Bell/Ameer Abdullah/Theo Riddick
This backfield has been awful this season, but one RB did not look so bad this week against a tough Chiefs’ defense. Joique Bell had seven carries for 56 yards, which is good for an 8.0 YPC. Bell has been injured most of the year but with him back in the mix you could potentially see a large drop in touches for Ameer Abdullah. He had only one carry and not one reception against the Chiefs on Sunday morning in London. Riddick had five carries for 17 yards and six receptions for 30 yards. I can see Bell being the lead back and best option in fantasy for this Lions’ backfield for the rest of the season. He’s a downhill runner and will get all of the goal line work, and he can also catch some passes out of the backfield. Don’t jump on him right away, but just keep an eye on him coming out of his bye week next week.

Kansas City Chiefs – Charcandrick West/Knile Davis
Charcandrick West is emerging as the starting RB in Kansas City while Charles is injured. He rushed for 97 yards and one touchdown off 20 carries and caught four passes for 25 yards against the Lions last week. The next closest back to him was Knile Davis with four carries. No other RB in Kansas City is challenging him for carries, so you can start West with confidence.

Miami Dolphins – Lamar Miller/Jonas Gray
This will be the last week I include the Dolphins in this review because ever since Dan Campbell came in as coach Lamar Miller has been an RB1. He only had nine carries against the Patriots last week but that was because they were playing from behind the whole game. He still managed to score a touchdown and save his fantasy night. Start Lamar Miller every week because he is play great right now and no one is pushing him for the starting job.

New England Patriots – LeGarrette Blount/Dion Lewis
This is such a high-powered offense that you can be confident starting both of these RBs every week. Last week against the Dolphins Blount had 17 carries for 72 yards and one catch for two yards and Lewis had five carries for 19 yards and six receptions for 93 yards and one touchdown. Both of these RBs play completely different styles, Blount who is a big powerful downhill runner who gets goal line and short yardage work and Lewis who is an elusive pass-catching running back who’s great in the open field. Lewis is a must start in PPR leagues and Blount is an RB2/FLEX starter in all leagues, but like I said I would start both of these backs ever week due to the offense run by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in New England.

New Orleans Saints – Mark Ingram/C.J. Spiller
Mark Ingram is the only back worth a start in New Orleans. He gets the carries and puts up the numbers, it’s that simple. Even though Spiller gets a few receptions a game, it is not enough for him to have fantasy relevance. Ingram is also the goal line back, so he will be the one scoring most of the touchdowns out of the backfield when the Saints have the ball inside the red zone, especially following the injury to Khiry Robinson. Ingram doesn’t have an easy matchup against the Titans this week, but he is definitely still worth a start.

New York Giants – Rashad Jennings/Andre Williams/Shane Vereen
Stay away from this backfield period. The only RB that had a good week was Shane Vereen and that was because he had eight catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. The Giants also played in a shootout against the Saints this week, so it’s very unlikely that Vereen puts up numbers like this again. Jennings has been getting around 10 carries every game, which is not enough for him to be fantasy relevant. Andre Williams has been nowhere to be found for the past three weeks, logging only five carries on Sunday against the Saints. I would seriously leave all three of these RBs on the bench for the rest of the season, unless one of them has two or three breakout games.

San Diego Chargers – Melvin Gordon/Danny Woodhead
Once again, Melvin Gordon was given the touches, but he still could not produce good numbers. The Chargers gave him 18 carries and he ran for 54 yards (3.0 YPC) and he had five receptions for only seven yards, that’s almost one yard per catch and he still has yet to score a touchdown this year. Neither of these RBs have been consistently good this year. Woodhead has been okay this season, but that is only because of his 39 receptions. I would start Woodhead as a low RB2 or FLEX in PPR leagues and Gordon at FLEX in standard leagues. Hopefully Gordon can score a touchdown this week against a poor Chicago defense.

Tennessee Titans – Antonio Andrews/Dexter McCluster
Interim HC Mike Mularkey said that Antonio Andrews will be the starting RB in Tennessee and will get the bulk of the touches. Finally, a clear starter in the Titans’ backfield. Last week against the Titans, Andrews carried the ball 16 times for 64 yards and caught three passes for 18 yards. McCluster was the only other RB that logged any carries, which is a good thing for Andrews. It seems like Mularkey likes Andrews, but how will David Cobb‘s return impact the situation? I would not start Andrews right away but he could be an okay FLEX option in deeper leagues and could warrant a pick up. Watch him this weekend and see how the Western Kentucky product runs against the Saints.

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Ryan Sura is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Ryan, check out his archive and follow him @RyanSura18.

Correspondent, NFL