Rushing Stats Analysis – Find The Gap: Week 16
A tough week for many fantasy players. And upsets were on the cards in many matchups. But not when it came to the rushing output of the Week 15 selections!
Miami Dolphins – 42 carries, 183 yards and 2TDs
What a day for Duke Johnson. A career day in many aspects. Pushed to the top of the pecking order due to illnesses, Johnson’s two rushing scores saved the Dolphins’ day. And he got signed to the active squad as a result!
San Francisco 49ers – 32 carries, 162 yards and 3TDs
The Falcons were carved up by the dynamic and flexible Niners offense. Both Deebo Samuel and Jeff Wilson ran in for a touchdown, and there was room for Kyle Juszczyk to bag his first rushing TD of the season.
WEEK 16 SELECTIONS
So who to trust this week for rushing selections Thee are a few teams I can point you in the direction of. But, with so many injuries and COVID listing, I would prepare to select supporting players as well as lead backs. There are still outbreaks and strict protocols in many teams. Indeed, this was how Duke Johnson and Craig Reynolds got their breakouts in Week 15!
So who to trust this week for rushing selections?
LOS ANGELES RAMS – at VIKINGS
The Rams passing game has been on form in recent weeks. but the rushing game has two players who can prove to be a handful on the ground.
REASONS TO CONSIDER
- With Cam Akers out for the season, Darrell Henderson has made strides to justify at least a 1B role once the young Running Back returns. But the signing of Sony Michel has made this aim more of a challenge. And Henderson’s injury has allowed Michel headway to claim a strong role this year. The former Patriot has seen 18 attempts or more in the last three games – a lead back’s share – and amassed over 78 yards in each of those appearances. And each game in the last three weeks has included a run of 19 yards or more. Henderson was back this week, but his lack of practice allowed Michel to keep a significant role in Week 15. I would expect more of a share against the Vikings, but Michel has shown he’s still got the ability to rack up the yards.
- Darrell Henderson’s return has, for those who have held onto him, been eagerly awaited. 11 games put the Running Back at 671 yards and 5 touchdowns off 148 carries. The injury has put Michel within touching distance in terms of carries, but yards and, more importantly, touchdowns, are far out in front for the returning back. it speaks volumes that, away from Michel and Henderson, other Running Backs barely get a mention in the stats. It’s certainly a committee of two in the backfield. And now that both of them are back, this allows the Rams offense to keep with two very effective rushing personnel for the whole game.
- The Vikings have had a tendancy to get themselves ahead in games, but slowly let teams back into the game. Often it has come away with defeat, and the Bears barely avoided victory with a spirited fightback in Week 15. But it’s not been uncommon for Minnesota to ship 20 points or more in games. And these have come with very close game scripts, where teams like the Niners and Lions have been able to run the ball. Whether Los Angeles gets ahead or keeps it close, I would expect the rushing pattern to be the same here.
CHICAGO BEARS – at SEAHAWKS
Not a lot has been going right for the Bears. And Matt Nagy teeters on the edge of unemployment. An underwhelming Seahawks gives a chance for Chicago to get it right.
REASONS TO CONSIDER
- My main reason for choosing the Bears this week is how behind-the-pace they seemed in the passing game on Sunday night. The Vikings kept them contained very well in this regard. As a result, the pocket started to crumble under pressure. Then, it was down to Justin Fields to break out some runs and pick up the first downs. I can foresee this happening again, with the rookie scrambling for yards, and potentially bagging a touchdown when it gets to redzone attempts. Fields has already run for 420 yards and two scores in 12 games.
- David Montgomery has wasted no time in putting himself on top of the Bears rushing stats. And that’s with only 10 games under his belt this season. He hasn’t gone over 100 yards in the last six games, but got close against the Cardinals, where he went for 90 yards and a touchdown. Last week’s close game kept Monty on the field for 18 carries, which seemed to point towards Matt Nagy’s move towards the ground game. Now the head coach has his lead back on the field more, this could lead to some more of those big carries. After all, the Running Back has seen a carry of over 10 yards in every game he has played this year!
- The Seahawks have been stuttering all season, and their offensive plan seems to fall apart after the ball is snapped. While its a key game for Matt Nagy, the Seahawks are also feeling this pressure too. Before this year, this would be an easy Seattle win. But we have seen the team collapse to strong defenses, and the Bears have cranked up the pass pressure in recent weeks. With Russell Wilson taken out of the game, this may help Nagy to work some desperate magic on the ground.
Some tough choices made this week. You could opt for Jonathon Taylor rushing the socks of the Cardinals, or the Eagles committee against the dissolving Giants. But both these selections have potential – so keep an eye out for them.