Week 12: RB Roundup
Giovani Bernard; BenJarvus Green-Ellis; Cedric Peerman; Rex Burkhead
Current scenario: The Bengals backfield has been a two headed monster all season. One week Giovani Bernard gets a majority of the carries and the next week it is BenJarvus Green-Ellis with the most touches. Fantasy owners havebeen and will continue to be frustrated by the up and down roller coaster this backfield provides them. The good news is both backs are producing, so there is some value to be had here. The upside is with the rookie Bernard, who is more likely to break a long one and is a better receiver out of the backfield. Owners with these backs in their lineup will need to find a replacement for them this week as the Bengals head off on their bye.
Future scenario: Upon returning from their bye the Bengals face a mixed bag of run defenses. The first two games will be at San Diego and then home against Indianapolis. San Diego's run defense is ranked 16th against the run, while allowing seven rushing touchdowns. The Colts are ranked 28th against the run, but have allowed just eight rushing touchdowns. Bengals backs may find it difficult scoring touchdowns the next two weeks. Following the Colts game, Cincinnati heads to Pittsburgh before coming home to face Minnesota. The Steelers and Vikings have allowed double digit rushing touchdowns this season while ranking 28th and 14th against the run. Against these two defenses, Bernard and Green-Ellis could be money during fantasy playoff season.
Trent Richardson; Donald Brown; Dan Herron
Current Scenario: When Richardson was traded to the Colts many believed he would a solid start for the remainder of the season. Unfortunately just the opposite has been the case, with Richardson continuing to average just three yards per carry. Meanwhile fellow back Donald Brown has been lighting it up, averaging nearly six yards per carry. At this point in the season it would be silly for anyone to believe Richardson is the better play when Brown has continually outplayed him.
Future scenario: The Colts will continue to use both Richardson and Brown out of the backfield. Barring injury, neither back will be a must start week in and week out. At the moment Brown is the better option and until we see a drastic change in Richardson's play, fantasy owners should bench the former Cleveland Brown.
Willis McGahee; Chris Ogbonnaya; Fozzy Whittaker
Current scenario: It would appear the sun has set for Willis McGahee in Cleveland. The 32 year old struggled the past two weeks carrying the ball 27 times for only 44 yards. Last week against the Bengals McGahee saw just six carries while fellow back Chris Ogbonnaya received eight carries. While Ogbonnaya had just two more carries, he outpaced McGahee 44 yards to 13 yards.
Future scenario: Not only did Ogbonnaya lead the team in rushing attempts and yards, but he was second in targets and tied for first in receptions in last week's game against the Bengals. This clearly shows that the Browns' coaching staff is doing what they can to get the ball into Ogbonnaya's hands. With four straight games coming up against run defenses ranked 26th or lower in the league, fantasy owners will want Ogbonnaya in their line up.