Week 13: RB Roundup
Matt Forte; Michael Bush
Current scenario: The Bears backfield has consisted of Matt Forte all season with no one else even on the radar. One big reason (other than Forte is a stud) is that Michael Bush has done little to nothing with his opportunities this season. Case in point: last week against St. Louis, Forte suffered a slight knee hyperextension, so Bush received a little more action than normal. With his seven carries, Bush managed to rush for a whopping -5 yards, yet did run one in from a yard out. If Forte has to miss time due to this knee injury, the Bears' backfield could be in big trouble.
Future scenario: One has to wonder if Forte's hyperextended knee played a part in head coach Marc Trestman's decision to continue handing Bush the ball on the goal line instead of bringing in Forte for a shot. Obviously Forte finished off the game, so all signs point to him being available Sunday against the Vikings. The troubling thing is what fantasy owners would do if Forte is forced to miss time. We'd like to think Bush could carry the load, but with a season average of just 1.6 yards per carry one has to wonder if Trestman would give him the start or try and bring in someone new.
St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy; Benny Cunningham; Daryl Richardson; Isaiah Pead
Current scenario: Just as the Rams backfield seemed to have settled down, starter Zac Stacy is removed in the first half of Sunday's game against the Bears due to a concussion. With Daryl Richardson a healthy scratchm, St. Louis turned to rookie Benny Cunningham to lead the charge. The first year man out of Middle Tennessee State performed well -- rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries. This marks the second consecutive game with 90+ all purpose yards for Cunningham.
Future scenario: Obviously Stacy will need to pass the NFL's new concussion tests before returning to the field. This could mean he plays this week or not for the remainder of the year. Rookie Benny Cunningham appears to have overtaken Richardson on the depth chart and will be in line to start should Stacy miss playing time. With up coming games against San Francisco and Arizona, you may want to use Cunningham sparingly. The 49ers' run defense has looked good as of late and the Cardinals' defense is ranked second in the league allowing just over 81 yards per game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bobby Rainey; Brian Leonard
Current scenario: Just one week after rushing for a career high 163 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, Rainey manages just 35 yards on 18 carries against the Lions last Sunday. With the Lions run defense ranked fourth in the league, a performance like this should not be a big surprise to anyone. In fact, fellow back Brian Leonard managed just three yards on his sole carry in the game. Rainey was on the field for 45 of Tampa's 68 offensive plays, making him the obvious play week in and week out.
Future scenario: As we said last week, the run game for Tampa would likely struggle on the road against Detroit and it did. This week is no different as the Bucs head to Carolina, where they'll face the league's second best run defense. The good thing here is that Rainey will likely get 18-20 touches and we all know that it only takes one to make it a good week. If you're in need of a flex start and can risk another three point day on Rainey's 18 or so carries then go for it. We can think of worse options at a flex position.
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