RB by committee in Houston could be a big problem for Arian Foster owners

by KFFL Staff on September 11, 2013 @ 10:13:07 PDT

 



Quarterback

QB | Christian Ponder | Minnesota Vikings | Fantasy
Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder is not in danger of losing his job, according to head coach Leslie Frazier.

QB | Geno Smith | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Jets QB Geno Smith (ankle) fully participated in practice Tuesday, Sept. 10.

QB | Brandon Weeden | Cleveland Browns | Fantasy
Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski said QB Brandon Weeden isn't on a short least after tossing three interceptions in their Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Weeden and the team also went just 4 of 13 on third downs. He was hit 16 times and took six sacks in the game, too. "The protection issues were there and that's something you have to contend with," said Chudzinski. "I thought Brandon had some ups and downs. I know there are some throws and some reads he'd like to have back. I think the one thing you saw yesterday, you saw his resiliency and toughness. If anybody had questions about that prior to this game, you look at the game and he's pretty tough and kept bouncing back." Chudzinski acknowledged that Weeden doesn't need to put as much zip on some of his passes, at times. No personnel issues are planned on the offensive line to help with protection, even though OG Oniel Cousins struggled in the opener.

Protection will be key in Norv Turner's offense, which usually takes time to develop down the field. Weeden could be a nice QB2, but if protection issues continue to be a problem, he may never break out. The Browns' Week 2 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens could be another tough one for the passing game.

QB | Tom Brady | New England Patriots | Injury, Fantasy
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is still confident in the players he has around him despite all the injuries. "We've got a lot of good players in the locker room," Brady said. "So when people are injured, that's why you have a deep roster, guys that you've got confidence in, that you've gained trust in. I certainly have that at the skill position." "So we've got a lot of good running backs and lot of good receivers. We're trying to do the best we can this week to go out and win a very challenging game against a very good team."


Running Back

RB | David Wilson | New York Giants | Fantasy
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin called RB David Wilson "a marked man" and said he needs to show that he has a proper ball-carrying technique in practice this week in order to retain the starting running back role. Wilson fumbled twice in the team's Week 1 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. "He's following the technique that he's been taught, and we'll see under pressure if he can continue to do that," Coughlin said. "The problems occur when you try to make a move and the ball leaves your side and the pocket that you've established for it. You have trouble when there's no place to go and other people are surrounding you, you have no choice but to cover it up with both hands." The Giants signed RB Brandon Jacobs Tuesday, Sept. 10, but the indication is that he'll only be used for pass blocking.

The Giants intend to keep Wilson as their main back due to a lack of better options. Expect Wilson to remain in the game plan unless he fumbles again in Week 2. Jacobs doesn't receive a strong endorsement for a waiver wire addition just yet, since he likely won't see that many snaps.

RB | Reggie Bush | Detroit Lions | Injury, Fantasy
Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (groin, thumb) was participating during the media-access portion of practice Wednesday, Sept. 11.

RB | Montee Ball | Denver Broncos | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball, Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman will share time again in Week 2.

RB | Le'Veon Bell | Pittsburgh Steelers | Injury, Fantasy
Updating previous reports, Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's (foot) injury is now being classified as a Lisfranc sprain, according to a source. The team is now hoping he returns in a month.

Well, so much for those Week 3 hopes. The team has a bye in Week 5, and they'll play the New York Jets in Week 6. Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Felix Jones will continue to share the work, with Redman the starter. Try to hold onto Bell for a few more weeks, but understand these things could eventually mean a lost season.

RB | DeMarco Murray | Dallas Cowboys | Fantasy
The Dallas Cowboys ran 51 pass plays and just 21 running plays despite never trailing in the Week 1 game against the New York Giants. Head coach Jason Garrett said the team would like to be more balanced going forward, which might be even better news for RB DeMarco Murray. He still posted 86 yards on 20 carries, including five runs for 32 yards in the fourth quarter. "You want to be balanced, attack them downhill, attack them different ways and have it all work together," Garrett said.

The Week 1 workload translated to 29 percent rushes, and 71 percent passes. Last season, the Cowboys ran the ball 34 percent of the time, posting the second-fewest rushing attempts in the league. More balance will help the fantasy appeal of Murray going forward.

RB | Benny Cunningham | St. Louis Rams | Fantasy
St. Louis Rams RBs Benny Cunningham and Chase Reynolds are in a "tie" for the fourth spot on the depth chart behind RBs Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and Zac Stacy. Cunningham was third while Pead was serving a one-game suspension.

RB | Ryan Williams | Arizona Cardinals | Fantasy
Arizona Cardinals RB Ryan Williams is now listed fifth on the running back depth chart behind (in order) RBs Rashard Mendenhall, Alfonso Smith, Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington. Ellington is listed fourth despite having eight offensive snaps to Taylor's zero in Week 1 against the St. Louis Rams.

RB | Fred Jackson | Buffalo Bills | Fantasy
Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson was the team's best offensive weapon in their Week 1 loss to the New England Patriots, and he still feels that he's physically capable of being productive, even with RB C.J. Spiller expected to be the featured back. "I still feel like I can play. I've said it all along, I wouldn't be in there if I didn't feel like I can still compete and play at this level. Yesterday was just a good way to hit the ground running and show I can still compete," Jackson said. Spiller didn't seem right against the Pats, though, and Jackson took advantage of his opportunity. With the no-huddle offense being used, it will be a lot to ask of Spiller to stay in over a full drive.

OK, so, F-Jax proved a point in Week 1: that he hasn't disappeared and can still be a very productive fantasy back in this offense alongside Spiller. Spiller won't always take a back seat to Jackson, though, but he might not have an overwhelmingly large workload over Jackson, like some may have guessed.

RB | Vick Ballard | Indianapolis Colts | Fantasy
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was happy with RB Vick Ballard's pass protection in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders. Ballard was 6-for-6 in pass-blocking situations last weekend.

RB | Ben Tate | Houston Texans | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said the team will continue to split carries between RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate, and they want to use Tate more. "I wish it would have come out a little more closer to even; I think I said that after the game," Kubiak said of their split Monday night in San Diego. "Obviously, it was Arian's first time out this year. He didn't play any in the preseason. I think Ben's had an excellent preseason. I want to keep it somewhat close right now and watch them working to (see) what's going on." Foster had 18 carries for 57 yards and Tate had nine carries for 55 yards against the Chargers.

This is what we feared would drop Foster's value this year as the Texans find ways to limit his workload and keep him healthy. Foster's best chance at staying productive is through this method, though. Tate remains a valuable back to own, especially in tandem with Foster.

RB | Stevan Ridley | New England Patriots | Injury, Fantasy
New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (shoulder) fully participated in practice Thursday, Sept. 10.

RB | Shane Vereen | New England Patriots | Injury, Transaction, Fantasy
The New England Patriots placed RB Shane Vereen (wrist) on the Injured Reserve/Designated to Return list Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Vereen will be able to return after Week 9, but with the team on a bye in Week 10, the first game he will be eligible to return to will be in Week 11. Depending on the depth of your league, you'll have to consider letting Vereen go now.

RB | Trent Richardson | Cleveland Browns | Fantasy
Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski defended getting away from the running game in the team's Week 1 game. "You can always second-guess everything when you don't win," said Chudzinski. "We had some things we liked. Some of them came up, some didn't quite as well. And they tightened up a little bit against the run when we got into the third quarter." Chudzinski also talked about how it is important to keep RB Trent Richardson fresh throughout the game. "We want to make sure that he stays fresh as well and that's part of the plan," said Chudzinski.

Even with a mediocre outing in Week 1, Richardson is still a must start running back in every format.


Wide Receiver

WR | T.Y. Hilton | Indianapolis Colts | Fantasy
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said the offense needs to get more touches for WR T.Y. Hilton moving forward. Hilton was on the field for only 24 snaps in the team's Week 1 game.

Hilton had a pretty quiet week with only 20 yards but should be more involved in the offense this week if Pagano gets his way. Hilton should be in the starting lineup because his targets should increase.

WR | Julian Edelman | New England Patriots | Injury, , Fantasy
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman might benefit greatly in terms of targets in Week 2 against the New York Jets Thursday, Sept. 12, if WR Danny Amendola (groin) is inactive.

Edelman is worth adding in all fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams if he is available off the waiver wire. He could be a valuable WR3/4 or flex fantasy option.

WR | Ramses Barden | Free Agent | Injury, Fantasy
The New York Giants terminated the contract of WR Ramses Barden (knee) Tuesday, Sept. 10, reaching an injury settlement.

WR | Santonio Holmes | New York Jets | Fantasy
New York Jets WR Santonio Holmes voiced his displeasure about playing in only 45 snaps in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "I was frustrated for myself, and respecting the coaching staff and the decision that they made that I understood from the beginning, that I had to play a certain amount of plays because it was my first game back," Holmes said. "I wanted to play more myself, but I had to understand what they had planned for me." He caught only one pass for 13 yards on three targets in the game.

In Gang Green's defense, Holmes' foot wasn't 100 percent, and he was going up against Darrelle Revis. As he gets healthier, expect his snap count to go up, but don't expect it to be a whole lot different this Thursday against the New England Patriots on a short week. Holmes had much better chemistry with Mark Sanchez, too, so until we see Geno Smith develop some trust with him, consider him a weak play.

WR | Keenan Allen | San Diego Chargers | Fantasy
San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen wasn't targeted once in Week 1 against the Houston Texans, and head coach Mike McCoy said Allen was fully healthy.

WR | Josh Boyce | New England Patriots | Injury, Fantasy
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman is expected to be the top receiver in Week 2 against the New York Jets with WR Danny Amendola (groin) not expected to play. Edelman played in 83 of the team's 94 offensive snaps in Week 1. WR Kenbrell Thompkins will line up on the outside opposite of Edelman. WR Josh Boyce didn't register a catch on two targets last week, but his role will increase with Amendola out. Boyce can excel in short-area routes because of his speed and pass-catching skills. WR Aaron Dobson (hamstring) is limited with a hamstring ailment.

Edelman should be the top waiver priority for those looking for another receiver this week. He should get plenty of looks from Tom Brady without Amendola around. Thompkins could be a solid flex play in deeper leagues, too.

WR | Greg Little | Cleveland Browns | Fantasy
Cleveland Browns WR Greg Little dropped two of six catchable passes in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins. "You know Greg has worked extremely hard on catching," said head coach Rob Chudzinski. "There's nobody who works harder. He's (working on) the JUGS machine and all those things. Couple of those were high, they were tough catches. I know Greg has set high standards for himself and he expects to catch those."

This is a broken record so far in Little's career. He's a maddeningly frustrating fantasy football play until he can correct those issues. With Josh Gordon coming back in Week 3, too, Little remains a very unexciting fantasy play.

WR | A.J. Green | Cincinnati Bengals | Injury, Fantasy
Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (finger) tweaked a finger on his left hand in Week 1 and had it taped in the second quarter of the team's loss.

Green had a monster day, and his finger injury didn't slow him at all. You shouldn't be concerned.

WR | Jeremy Kerley | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Jets WR Jeremy Kerley (concussion) missed practice again Tuesday, Sept. 10, and is unlikely to play in Week 2 against the New England Patriots Thursday, Sept. 12.

This boosts the values of Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill and Kellen Winslow. However, all the Jets receiving options remain weak plays in an offense led by rookie Geno Smith.


Tight End

TE | Dwayne Allen | Indianapolis Colts | Injury, Fantasy
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said TE Dwayne Allen (hip) is considered day-to-day at this point.

TE | Kellen Winslow | New York Jets | Injury, Fantasy
New York Jets TE Jeff Cumberland (chin), DT Kenrick Ellis (back), C Nick Mangold (elbow), DT Sheldon Richardson (shoulder) and TE Kellen Winslow (knee) all were limited in practice Tuesday, Sept. 10.

TE | Zach Sudfeld | New England Patriots | Injury, Fantasy
New England Patriots RB Brandon Bolden (knee), WR Aaron Dobson (hamstring), S Nate Ebner (ankle), S Duron Harmon (hamstring), WR Matt Slater (knee), TE Zach Sudfeld (hamstring), T Will Svitek (knee) and RB Leon Washington (thigh) all were limited in practice Tuesday, Sept. 10.

TE | Rob Gronkowski | New England Patriots | Injury, Fantasy
New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (back, forearm) was limited in practice Tuesday, Sept. 10.

TE | Heath Miller | Pittsburgh Steelers | Injury, Fantasy
Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell (foot) and TE Heath Miller (knee) are unlikely to return in Week 2 to face the Cincinnati Bengals. Miller will return to practice this week, but it's believed that he's still dealing with swelling in his knee some days. Head coach Mike Tomlin has yet to update Bell's status.

Miller can be left to the waiver wire in most leagues until he returns. Once he does and if he's fully healthy, he could make for nice TE depth. Bell needs to be held onto, as he could return as early as Week 3 and take over as the main ball carrier.

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