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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 RUNNING BACK HOT ZONE: C.J. SPILLER REALLY STINKS

Week 8 in fantasy football is approaching fast so with waivers out of the way, let's take a look at the latest news coming out of the world of the running back.

LEVEL 4

Mike James-Doug Martin:  Depending on who you talk to, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin is either out for the season or out for six weeks with a torn labrum in his shoulder.  Either way he is kaput when it comes to 2013 fantasy football.  This from the consensus number 2 overall pick in drafts this past summer.  Ugh.  Even before the injury truth be told Martin wasn't very good to begin with.  From Week 1 all the way though the injury, Martin looked nothing like the rookie monster he was in 2012 when he combined his excellent running with a PPR delight receiving game.  Well once 2013 got underway, Martin looked indecisive and hesitant and did his best Frank Gore impression in the passing game as far as being a guy who was a great receiver one year and than vanished in that part of the game the next.  Overall Martin scored a grand total of one touchdown and averaged only 3.6 yards per carry.  All for the price of a number 2 pick.  Terrible.  So with Martin on ice up steps rookie Mike James and no not the NBA player.  James looked as mediocre as a rookie would be last week in replacing Martin and he faces a brutal slate of strong defensive teams in the next three weeks which puts a firm cap on his potential.  Yes there are two huge bye weeks coming up where you might need to use James but don't expect much.

LEVEL 3

Steven Jackson-Jacquizz Rodgers-Jason Snelling:  It is starting to look like Steven Jackson will finally be able to return to the Atlanta Falcons this week after missing five games with more leg injuries.  In his place Jacquizz Rodgers seized the starting running back job and didn't do much with it other than picking up some in-close touchdowns.  Jackson's return would be huge for his fantasy football owner, especially the next two weeks with the all the teams that are out of action.  He no doubt will be rusty but for those who play in PPR, Jackson should be a big help since Matt Ryan is looking for any kind of receiver help he can get with Roddy White and Julio Jones hurt.

Alfred Morris-Roy Helu Jr.:  Wow Alfred Morris owners are looking pretty screwed right now.  Despite one of the best rookie rushing seasons we have seen in awhile where Morris showed a propensity for scoring touchdowns, it appears the new plan is for Roy Helu Jr. to handle the goal-line work based on what we witnessed last Sunday.  Helu Jr. was put in the goal-line package not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES and scored a rushing touchdown on all three carries there.  Meanwhile Morris ran well himself but was taken out close to paydirt.  This is a major problem for Morris owners, especially in PPR formats as all his value comes from yards and especially rushing touchdowns.  If Helu Jr. is syphoning off scores than Morris has next to no value. This bears very close watching.  I would start Morris in a standard format for one more week to see how this plays out again but bench him in PPR until further notice.

LEVEL 2

Fred Jackson-C.J. Spiller:  Boy C.J. Spiller is pure garbage right now.  In reality he has been garbage all season.  The newest low point was Spiller rushing for a grand total of 11 yards on only six carries against the Miami Dolphins.  Fred Jackson meanwhile scored yet another touchdown as he survived a knee scare.  Spiller admitted afterwards he was still dealing with soreness in his previously sprained ankle which further cements his status as the number 1 fantasy football bust of the season to this point.  Doug Martin surely is in play there as well but at least he contributed SOME each week even if it didn't exactly blow you away.  The bottom line is what we are seeing now is what I talked about in the summer when I told you not to draft him in Round 1 which was his ADP.  I noted concerns about whether Spiller could hold up physically to the grind of being the number 1 guy every week, especially with his long history of injuries.  I also talked about how the veteran Jackson was still hanging around and is still a very solid player as we have seen.  All of those worries came true and this is what we have.  Leave Spiller chained to the bench right now until any sign of a turnaround or an injury to Jackson.  What a disgrace.

Chris Ivory-Bilal Powell:  Another week and another New York Jets runner steps to the forefront of the committee.  This time it was the rampaging Ivory who ran for over 100 yards Sunday in the win over the New England Patriots as Bilal Powll watched from the sidelines.  Powell did get dinged up a bit but Ivory was running so well that Rex Ryan went with the hot hand there.  This has been a fluid situation for most of the season as Mike Goodson came and went as well.  Both guys are RB 3' who are best used as fill-in options.  Play Powell in PPR formats if you are hurting for help and Ivory in standard.

LEVEL 1

Knowshon Moreno-Montee Ball-Ronnie Hillman:  Now we all know Knowshon Moreno is the clear number 1 back for the Denver Broncos now as he racked up touchdowns at a tremendous clip.  This is just a shout out to those who castigated me in the summer when I reported that Moreno and not the other two would emerge as the lead back in the offense. 

There you have it,  As always let us hear your views.

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