Rushing Stats Analysis: Find the Gap Week 10
Week 9 was a weird week for fantasy. The passing games were all over the place. But, when it came to rushing, our picks did reasonably well. How did the three selections get on?
PITTSBURGH STEELERS – 32 carries, 105 yards and 1 TD (3.3ypc)
The Monday Night football started out well for the Steelers prediction. Najee Harris continued some strong rushing play, and ran in a score early on. And, what do you know? The Steelers ended up using their Wide Receivers on plenty of runs around the outside. 6 carries from the wide men produced 37 yards – a decent return. The Bears kept this game pretty close, with the return of David Montgomery helping them out in the backfield. As a result, the Steelers didn’t get as much chance to stretch their legs in the second half, but I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.
ARIZONA CARDINALS – 39 carries, 163 carries and 3TDs (4.2ypc)
James Conner continued his hot streak in Kyler Murray’s absence. And Chase Edmond’s ankle injury meant that the former Steeler was the very hot hand for this game. 2 rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown added to a huge seasonal haul. And Eno Benjamin also added value with a third rushing score. The Niners found the Cards very difficult to deal with! And, as expected, the Arizona rush attack hammered the middle – 35 of these carries went in that direction.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – 39 carries, 176 yards and 2TDs (4.5ypc)
The Eagles continued to rely on their rushing game, with Jalen Hurts moving quickly with his feet rather than pass that ball. Jordan Howard actually saw some decent volume this week, and bagged a touchdown on the ground. The player he took over from, Kenny Gainwell, saw the Howard-esque inclusion instead. But that obviously included two carries for three yards and a second rushing score.
WEEK 10 SELECTIONS
Tough choices this week. The Bears, Bengals, Texans and Giants are out, and several of these have seen a steady rise in yards per carry. So who are going to be the Week 10 rushing darlings?
DENVER BRONCOS (vs. EAGLES)
I’m loving the tandem team of Williams and Gordon at the moment. Together, Javonte and Melvin can make a big difference in this match.
REASONS TO CONSIDER
- The Broncos stunned their opponents on Sunday with a brilliant defence – and a rushing attack that came from all directions. A major impact of this was that the Broncos were able to pick up some massive gains on the ground. The Cowboys didn’t know where the ball was going to go. This multi-directional approach has been a common feature of all Broncos wins so far this season – and particularly on show in the last two weeks. If this trend continues, we could see big Bronco success on the ground for a third week running.
- One particular area of success for the Broncos ground game are runs through the tackles. The last three weeks have seen very effective carries through these zones. That is, 6.79 yards a carry through the left tackle on 13 carries, and 5.98 yards a carry through the right tackle on 13 carries. The Eagles have shown vulnerability with carries through those areas on occasion.
- Not to mention, the duo of Williams and Gordon have been very close to each other in terms of carry volume. Each of them has seen a similar amount in recent week – so neither could be considered a backup to the other. Add in the bonus of both players avoiding that wear and tear from being overworked. So could this be why they’re both playing with the confidence of two lead backs – and getting the results to match?
BALTIMORE RAVENS (at DOLPHINS)
The Ravens lit up the ground game last week. Lamar Jackson was at the forefront of it. And I can see another week of rushing dominance happening again.
REASONS TO CONSIDER
- Lamar Jackson has shown that he can use the weapons at his disposal. Rashod Bateman has returned, Sammy Watkins is on the mend, and Hollywood Brown has benefitted from both absences to develop chemistry with the Quarterback. Now that Lamar has got his passing options back…it gives defenses something else to think about. Moving defenders away from the line is a huge opportunity for the Ravens run game. Jackson himself ran for 120 yards last week. 48 of those came from Jackson’s 9 scrambles (according to PFF). If the defenders are covering passing outlets, the scrambles will likely follow, and we could see the offense reap the rewards regardless.
- Miami have not faced many Quarterbacks of Jackson’s rushing calibre. And they have found it hard to contain mobile ones recently – particularly on scrambles. So this is another reason why Jackson could strike it right in Week 10.
- Not to forget that Devonta Freeman and Le’Veon Bell also seem to be getting equally involved in the rushing game as well. Both of them seem to be splitting the redzone carries as it stands, so either could be a good consideration for a touchdown this Thursday night!
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (vs. LIONS)
The Steelers – two weeks in a row! Why not, eh?
REASONS TO CONSIDER
- The Lions have conceded a whole lot of yards on the ground in their first 8 weeks – over 1000 yards have been put up against their defense. That’s equivalent to around 125 yards a game, which is already a worrying amount to begin with.
- The Lions have also been vulnerable to runs around the outside of the line, with 46 of 80 carries going for over 4 yards (an effective run). 10 of these have been for over 10 yards. With Pittsburgh showing off wide recievers in those roles, there’s no reason that Chase Claypool or James Washington couldn’t pull them off again in Week 10.
- The Steelers’ match against the Bears was surprisingly close, and kept rushing volume steady. Up until recently, the Lions held games to within a score. However, the Eagles game looked like the team had given up on a respectable standing in 2021. This loss of confidence should allow Pittsburgh to take advantage.
- A positive game script likely beckons against a team who also seem to be lacking ideas on offense as well. The Steelers can stifle a game script and cause Jared Goff all kinds of headaches, even with some injuries dotted about their defensive unit. It shouldn’t be long before the black and gold move ahead.
Join me next week to see if these teams help me continue the revival!