Friday - Dec 14, 2018

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START/BENCH: Week 14

RUNNING BACKS

STUDS

OFF THE LIST: Kareem Hunt: I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain why Hunt’s off the list. He’s going to eventually get signed, but it’s going to be well into the 2019 season before he plays another game.

SPOT-START OF THE WEEK

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Detroit (at Arizona)

Per Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Blount said he’s been glad to be able to get into a rhythm with a big workload the past two games.

“As a running back, I think every running back in this league is going to want the rock over the course of a game,” Blount said. “You want to get lathered up, you want to see how they’re playing and how they’re fitting the runs and how they’re playing against certain runs. Whenever you get a chance, an opportunity to get a few in a row, and see how it’s going, it helps a lot.”

Blount had just 61 yards on 16 carries in last week’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams, but it marked the second straight week he’s topped 15 carries in a game. The sledding should be quite a bit easier against an Arizona team that ranks first in the NFL in points per reception (PPR) league fantasy points given up to running backs this year — especially if Detroit can take a lead against Arizona.

ROLL THEM OUT

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Cincinnati)

Ekeler had 18 touches in Week 13, but against a stout Pittsburgh run defense those touches equated to just 43 yards of total offense. The sledding should be much easier against a Cincinnati team that leads the AFC in fantasy points allowed to running backs this season.

Joe Mixon, Cincinnati (at Los Angeles Chargers)

With all the injuries that have swept through the Cincinnati offense, it may seem difficult to trust Mixon in a must-win week. But the touches will be there — so will a matchup with a Chargers team that ranks seventh in fantasy points surrendered to running backs over the last three weeks.

Chris Thompson, Washington (vs. New York Giants)

After a six-game absence, Thompson returned to action last week against Philadelphia. With Mark Sanchez starting at quarterback the rest of the way for Washington, there’s going to be a ton of dumpoff passes to Thompson out of the backfield.

SIT THEM DOWN

Josh Adams, Philadelphia (at Dallas)

Adams has played well for Philadelphia of late, notching 20 0r more carries in each of Philadelphia’s last two games. The undrafted free agent rookie faces the biggest test of his young career this week  against a Dallas defense giving up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to running backs.

Dion Lewis, Tennessee (vs. Jacksonville)

Given their ever-changing carry-share, it was already difficult to trust Lewis or Derrick Henry as more than a fantasy “flex” option. It’s next to impossible against a Jacksonville squad that ranks next to last in fantasy points allowed to running backs.

Spencer Ware, Kansas City (vs. Baltimore)

Ware salvaged a decent fantasy stat line in his first start after Kareem Hunt’s release with a short-yardage score, but he wasn’t especially effective on a per-touch basis. That isn’t going to be any easier against Baltimore’s punishing defense.

About Gary Davenport

A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications. These publications include the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is a both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is a seven-time FSWA Award finalist and two-time winner who was named the organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year for 2017. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. Gary was one of the co-founders of, and Head Writer at, Fantasy Football Oasis before joining Fantasy Sharks as an IDP Senior Staff Writer in 2011. He knows football. Or so he's heard.