Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Week 13 kicks off tomorrow with three Thanksgiving Day games so let's get right to the Running Back Hot Zone where we check out all the latest news coming out the position.


Stevan Ridley-LeGarrette Blount-Brandon Bolden-Shane Vereen:  What a mess this whole situation now is in New England.  It had looked like things were settled going into Sunday night with Ridley as the main runner and Vereen the main receiver out of the backfield.  Well a lost fumble first by Ridley (in a season filled with them) and than one by Blount threw everything into chaos.  Enter Brandon Bolden who ran very well in relief of those two which included a touchdown.  Bolden is also a guy who can catch the football a la Vereen.  However the plan going into Week 13 is for the team to employ a super committee where Ridley, Bolden, and Blount will all get carries which in the process destroys the fantasy football value of all involved.  This doesn't include Vereen who will still be deployed more as a receiver which he has excelled at since returning to the lineup.  Vereen remains a very good RB 2 in PPR formats.  However Ridley has clearly taken a step backwards after playing very well in October and the start of November.  Leave Ridley, Blount, and Bolden all on the bench if you can.

Montee Ball-Knowshon Moreno:  Thank goodness the Denver Broncos are not playing on Thanksgiving if you are a Moreno owner as they guy would surely not be able to go due to the deep bone bruise he suffered in his left leg Sunday night.  Moreno claims he will be out there but moles inside the organization say it is doubtful.  Enter the rookie Ball who recently has been deployed as the goal-line runner with much success and also has started catching the football which is a nice bonus.  However Ball got benched Sunday night for losing a fumble which murked up the waters a bit.  Ball is clearly the most talented among all the Broncos backup runners so he should get the starting nod.  The former Wisconsin  back has shown good power since the start of the season and at the very least will be a threat to score form in-close.

Benny Cunningham-Zac Stacy:  As of this writing there has been no update on the concussion status of St. Louis Rams RB Zac Stacy.  Cunningham came in and was terrific in the second half of the team's win over the Chicago Bears last week in running for over 100 yards and a score and he naturally is the handcuff to own.  This one could go right down to the wire. 


Ronnie Brown-Ryan Matthews:  Matthews suffered a hamstring strain in Week 12 which is always worrisome for someone as injury-prone as he is.  The real shame is that Matthews was actually playing very well finally before this latest health woe and so Brown needs to be looked at as the appropriate handcuff.  Brown has not been much of a runner since his early days with the Miami Dolphins but he has good power and can catch the football.

Bilal Powell-Chris Ivory:  More injuries for Ivory who suffered an ankle injury last week just when he was putting together a string of impressive outings.  Re-enter Powell back into the equation who has run hot and cold since the start of the season.  In fact Powell going cold opened the door for Ivory to make the starting job his own.


Lamar Miller-Daniel Thomas:  Generally when a season-ending injury opens the door for a back to be the fulltime runner, this news would be at least in the Level 3 column.  However Miller has been so bad all season that I can't get too worked up over his opportunity.  The Miami Dolphins offensive line is about the worst in the NFL and that as well makes the ceiling on Miller very low to say the least.

Rashad Jennings-Darren McFadden:  McFadden is expected to return on Thanksgiving from his latest hamstring injury but Jennings has played so well in his place that he will be used as the primary ballcarrier.  This means McFadden should be sent to the waiver wire and is just the latest setback in a career filled with them so far.

There you have it.  As always let us hear your thoughts.

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