Corner Lockdown - Week 10
Nov 7, 2013
More articles from Steve Rudy, Jr.
Running Around the League
Mike James is starting to fill in nicely for the injured Doug Martin . The backup running back came out of nowhere in Week 9 to shred the usually-stout Seattle defense to the tune of 158 rushing yards on 28 carries. He also caught a few passes out of the backfield. Although he didn’t score a touchdown, James ran hard all game and ripped up big chunks of yardage almost every time he touched the ball. Many owners surely wasted this performance because he was benched due to the matchup and his lack of experience, but get him in your lineups for Monday night. James has a great opportunity against a Miami run defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs. He should be viewed as a strong flex option and even a decent RB2 play if you have some players on a bye.
Week 9 may have finally been the week owners of C.J. Spiller and Stevan Ridley were waiting for. Easily two of the biggest fantasy busts of 2013, both running backs channeled their inner 2012 selves and put up their biggest outputs of the season. Spiller, against a very good Kansas City defense, only had 14 touches, but made every one count as he ran for 116 yards on 12 carries. He also had two receptions for another 39 yards. He didn’t find the end zone, but the important thing here is that Spiller said his high ankle sprain is fully healed. Expect 20-plus touches and a whole lot of excitement moving forward. Ridley ran for 115 yards on 26 carries and had two scores in his breakout game. He is out of the doghouse in New England and should see close to 20 carries a game the rest of the way. Both will be high-end RB2s and maybe even low-end RB1s the second half of the season.
Rashad Jennings, RB, Oakland
After Darren McFadden went out in the first half with a hamstring injury, Jennings came in and ran for 102 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown. He also had an impressive seven catches for 74 yards. It has already been announced that McFadden is out for Week 10 so Jennings gets the start against the New York Giants. Be a little wary because he did start about a month ago after McFadden was out and put up a dud of a game and he did most of his damage during garbage time last week, but Jennings should be a nice flex play this weekend. In points per reception leagues he holds more value, but overall expect around 18 touches and a solid performance.
Garrett Graham, TE, Houston
Graham has clearly been a disappointment since he became the starter for the injured Owen Daniels in Week 6, but he is starting to build some chemistry with new starting quarterback Case Keenum . Last week he caught four passes for 46 yards, and even though that doesn’t seem like much, he was involved in the offense a lot more and that will only improve in the coming games. Like most rookie quarterbacks, Keenum will start to use his tight end as a safety valve so grab Graham if you need a tight end this week. Between byes and injuries, the tight end position is scarce. Perhaps the most enticing part about Graham in Week 10 is that he matches up against Arizona’s defense. The Cardinals have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends in 2013. Start him.
Lock of the Week
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona
Ellington had a breakout game in Week 8, running all over the Atlanta defense. He got the start because Rashard Mendenhall was inactive with a toe injury and made the most of it. Ellington ran for 154 yards on just 15 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown run to pad his stats. He also had two receptions to bring his season total to 22. After the bye week last week, Mendenhall is set to return and start, but Ellington is expected to receive more touches and should be started in pretty much all formats. Arizona isn’t ready to give him the full blown starter label, but with his speed and receiving ability he is the back to own and play in the Cardinals' backfield. Expect a nice game against a struggling Houston defense in Week 10.