Week 10: RB Roundup
Fred Jackson; C.J. Spiller; Tashard Choice
Current scenario: The Bills have a two headed monster in their backfield. Fred Jackson has been leading the charge this season, handling the ball 15-18 times each game. C.J. Spiller has not been as lucky, only getting 10-15 carries each week. When you factor receptions into the mix, Jackson has almost twice as many for more than three times the yards. Jackson is clearly the better start, but Spiller could be used in a flex position or as a bye week filler.
Future scenario: Buffalo's running backs will face some favorable run defenses in the next few weeks. In fact, next week Buffalo heads to Pittsburgh -- whose run defense ranks 31st in the league, allowing more than 130 yards per game and 12 rushing touchdowns on the season. Buffalo will also see Jacksonville's 32nd ranked run defense and Miami's 21st ranked run defense during fantasy football playoff season.
Lamar Miller; Daniel Thomas; Marcus Thigpen; Mike Gillislee
Current scenario: Miami's run offense is ranked 22nd in the league. As a team Miami's backs are rushing for fewer than 100 yards per game and have scored just five rushing touchdown in eight games. Miller is leading the team with 93 carries for 448 yards, which amounts to a very nice 4.8 yards per attempt. If fantasy owners could count on 20+ carries a game then he could be a nice second back. The big drawback of course is the lack of rushing touchdowns of which Miller has just two all season.
Future scenario: Dolphins backs will be hit or miss the remainder of the season. Miami will face some very tough run defenses and some very soft defenses. Fantasy owners would be wise to sit Miami's backs against the Jets and Panthers, who have the number 1 and 2 ranked pass defenses. On the other hand, starts against Pittsburgh and New England during fantasy playoff season could bring big fantasy points.
New England Patriots
Stevan Ridley; Shane Vareen (wrist); Brandon Bolden; LaGarrette Blount
Current scenario: New England's run offense has been very productive the past few weeks. Leading the charge has been Stevan Ridley, who is averaging 85 yards per game and scored six touchdowns over the last four weeks. Couple Ridley's performance of late with the return of Shane Vareen from his wrist injury and one has to think this backfield is going to be a monster the second half of the season.
Future scenario: The Patriots have a bye in week 10 and when they return to action against the Panthers they'll have another weapon in the backfield. Week one stud Shane Vareen is due back and he will play a big role in the Patriots offense. Even though Ridley has performed well the past few weeks, Vareen will take some opportunities from him. This could easily become a backfield where the hot hand gets the lion's share of the carries week in and week out. This is not something fantasy owners should be looking for heading down the home stretch and into playoff season.
New York Jets
Chris Ivory; Bilal Powell; Tommy Bohanon
Current scenario: A healthy Chris Ivory has changed the way New York has run the ball this season. In two of the last three games Ivory has rushed for more than 100 yards and scored the Jets' only rushing touchdown by a back. Fellow back Bilal Powell has struggled in the run game since putting up 149 yards against the Bills in week 3. In fact, Powell has not rushed for more than 40 yards in the Jets' last fives games. At this point, the starting job belongs to Ivory so long as he is healthy.
Future scenario: Before the season began everyone thought the Jets would be the worst team in the AFC East and possibly the worst team in the league; okay maybe second worst, sorry Jacksonville fans. Heading into their bye, New York has a winning record and some folks believe they could reach the playoffs. For this to happen they'll need to continue to run the ball well to help keep the pressure off quarterback Geno Smith. This could be a tough road to hoe as the Jets face four run defenses ranked 8th or better.