Week 13: RB Roundup
Knowshon Moreno; Montee Ball; C.J. Anderson; Ronnie Hillman
Current scenario: Knowshon Moreno ran for a career high 224 yards on 37 carries in Sunday's loss to the Patriots. After the game Moreno was seen leaving the stadium on crutches while wearing a boot on his right leg. It would appear Moreno suffered a bruised right ankle at some point in the game Sunday. The injury either happened late in the game or wasn't bad enough to cause Moreno to miss playing time, because he didn't miss a series. One has to wonder just how severe of an injury Moreno is dealing with seeing as he was able to stay in the game.
Future scenario: Fantasy owners will need to keep a close eye on this situation as it unfolds this week. One would expect Moreno to play this weekend in Kansas City since he didn't miss playing time on Sunday night, but seeing as he is listed as day-to-day we'll just have to wait and see how this plays out. If Moreno can't go, Denver will turn to rookie Montee Ball to carry the load. Ball had seven carries for 40 yards against the Patriots Sunday night, but lost a fumble in the process. Rest assured if Moreno can't go the Broncos will be hammering ball safety into Ball's head this week. Two weeks ago in Denver the first year man out of Wisconsin had eight carries for 25 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Chiefs. If Moreno can't go, Ball would be next in line and would be a fine start this weekend in Kansas City.
Lamar Miller; Mike Gillislee; Marcus Thigpen
Current scenario: Due to a torn ligament in his left foot, Miami's Daniel Thomas will likely miss the remainder of the season. This means Miami's two headed backfield is now down to one with Lamar Miller now the team's primary back. This is great news for fantasy owners as we head down the stretch and into fantasy playoff season. Miami's backfield has been hit or miss all season, providing little fantasy value. Now that Miami has just one option in the backfield fantasy owners can start Miller knowing he should see 18-20 carries a game.
Future scenario: Before inserting Miller into your line up, take a quick look at the team the Dolphins face next. The New York Jets offense may have looked horrible last Sunday, but their defense was once again solid. The Jets' run defense is currently the best in the league, allowing just over 72 yards a game and they are the only defense holding opposing backs to less than three yards per carry. Miller may be Miami's only back this week, but the matchup against the Jets is not a favorable one. Following this weekend's game against the Jets, Miami faces three run defenses ranked 23rd or worse. If Miller can stay on the field he would be a nice start for fantasy owners during the playoffs.
New York Jets
Chris Ivory; Bilal Powell; Josh Cribbs; Alex Green
Current scenario: Starter Chris Ivory suffered a high/low ankle sprain on his first carry in Sunday's loss to the Ravens. While trying his best to gut it out, Ivory managed nine carries for 35 yards, while fellow back Bilal Powell received 11 carries for 41 yards. Seeing as Ivory has a history of missing time due to injury, it would be a surprise to see him on the field Sunday against Miami. While the possibility of Ivory playing does exist, the likely scenario has Powell starting with Cribbs seeing a more active roll in the backfield.
Future scenario: If Ivory is indeed suffering from a high ankle sprain then we may have seen the last of him for this season. If we use Ivory's past to predict the future, this is a more likely scenario than seeing him on the field again this season. If this becomes the case, New York will turn to third year man Bilal Powell to carry the load down the stretch. This would be good news for fantasy owners if the Jets' offense wasn't so awful. Quarterback Geno Smith needs to turn things around in order for the Jets' run game to succeed. With three of the Jets' next 4 games against run defenses ranked eighth or better, it doesn't look good for New York's run game.
Ben Tate; Dennis Johnson; Deji Karim
Current scenario: The Houston Texans are now the not so proud owners of the longest losing streak of the 2013-14 season after dropping their ninth consecutive game Sunday to the Jaguars. In this game, starting running back Ben Tate was benched after rushing for just one yard on seven carries. Replacing Tate in the backfield was rookie Dennis Johnson, who finished off the game for Houston carrying the ball 13 times for a career high 74 yards. After the game head coach Gary Kubiak said Tate would get the start this coming week against the Patriots and he believed Tate's woes this weekend were not all his fault.
Future scenario: We all know Tate is the better back here, but the Texans are out of the playoff race, so it should come as no surprise to see Kubiak giving some untested guys a shot. Does this mean we'll see more of Johnson and less of Tate the remainder of this year? The possibility is definitely there, so fantasy owners may want to avoid Tate if at all possible. With five games remaining on the schedule (and no shot at the playoffs), one has to wonder if Kubiak and the Texans are trying to position themselves for the number one overall pick in the 2014 draft. If we continue to see Johnson -- and even Karim -- getting more touches than Tate, I think we know the answer to that question.