Rushing Stats Analysis: Find the Gap Week 8
Another week of bye-mageddon passes us by. It was a tough one for many fantasy rosters! But we are into a slightly easier week for our team selection. How did the Week 7 rushing selections fare?
Week 7 Selections
THE PANTHERS – 17 carries, 56 yards (3.3 yards per carry)
It was a considerable risk to pick the Panthers, but the reasoning behind the pick was good. But the panthers looked inept and out of their depth on offense this week. Sam Darnold didn’t carry the ball once in this game. In fact, half of these yards (30) came on the first drive. Darnold got benched in the second half, and things didn’t get much better. After such a good run of form in this article series, it is a shame that it’s the Panthers that stop a solid streak.
THE CARDINALS – 37 carries, 172 yards, 1 touchdown (4.6 yards per carry)
Thankfully, the Cardinals fared far better than the Panthers. With a strong rushing game, Arizona picked the Texans apart. Kyler Murray was the focus of particular attention from the defensive rush. But his Running Backs did the business – Edmonds with the yards, and Conner with the touchdown. And those two backs also put together 6 carries of 10 yards or over. Another example of the Texans not being able to contain those long runs.
WEEK 8 SELECTIONS
Well, without further ado, here are the Week 8 rushing selections!
CINCINATTI BENGALS (at JETS)
The Tiger Kings are on top of the world at the moment. And their Week 8 opponents just can’t seem to get the engine started, let alone running!
REASONS TO CONSIDER
- The Bengals have seen a gradual rise in their three week average. It took a slight dip in the average of Weeks 2 – 4, but the average has continued to rise in the last few weeks. The current reading has the average runs going for 4.64 yards per carry, which is what I classify as an effective run.
- Joe Mixon’s consistent inclusion in the backfield has also helped keeped the rushing game effective. 2020 saw the Running Back lose games through injury. As a result, the Bengals were forced to focus their offensive efforts in the pass game. The plan then became one-dimensional and it was easy to counter. This year, the use of supporting Running Backs, like Samaje Perine and Treyveon Williams, has allowed Mixon to rest on drives. Keeping him fresh is helping to move that offense forward, and provide a great foil to Joe Burrow and the passing attack. He has already put up effective carry averages on 6 out of 7 games so far – and 5 of those games have produced over 15 carries. With three touchdowns in the last four games, he’s a solid lock to continue the proficiency in Week 8.
- The Bengals play the Jets, who have just lost their Quarterback Zach Wilson to injury. While Wilson wasn’t performing to standards, it will nonetheless be a big blow to the offense. Much like Geno Smith’s surprise performance after Russell Wilson left the field, the same happened with Mike White last week. The Patriots defense simply hadn’t prepared for him being in the game. With an entire week of examination, the Bengals defense will no doubt be able to examine the UDFA’s play style and come up with an effective counter. With the Jets already finding it hard to get a consistent offense moving, this could quickly become a positive game script for the Bengals – and lead to a lot of rushing on Mixon’s behalf.
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (at BRONCOS)
The fitness of Antonio Gibson could be very important for this game – and the Broncos may prove to be an ideal bounce back game.
REASONS TO CONSIDER
- Much like the Bengals, the Washington rush averages have been steadily creeping up. Taylor Heinicke has had quite a role to play in this, but the Running Backs have got a sizeable responsibility too. The three-week average has gone up over 1.7 yards per carry since the first recording, and now stands at 5.55 yards per carry – the highest on any NFL team between weeks 5 and 7.
- As mentioned above, fantasy players will be looking at Antonio Gibson’s fitness leading up to the game. But, should he play, the Running Back could be in for a decent amount of action. It has been difficult to slow down Gibson in the last three games, with only three stops at or behind the line of scrimmage in 44 attempts. New Orleans, a decent rushing defence, managed three of those.
- They are also playing the Broncos, who have struggled to stop carries through the offensive line. One particular game came against the Steelers, not ordinarily known for their rush protection this season. Najee Harris ran 23 times for 122 yards (5.3ypc) through channels inside the offensive line. Could this be what we expect from Gibson and the other rushing personnel this week? After all, this is where Gibson is directed on 73% of his carries!
- In addition to this, 35% of the carries the Broncos have faced have gone for between 4 and 7 yards. That’s not a promising sign in slowing down offenses.
BILLS (vs. DOLPHINS)
The Dolphins have underwhelmed all season. The Bills are dominating, and fresh off a bye week. What could possibly go wrong for Buffalo here?
REASONS TO CONSIDER
- The Bills have reigned supreme so far this season (aside from that blip against the Steelers – what was that about?). But it hasn’t just been their offense that have been on top form. The defense has done an incredible job closing out teams. It’s rare to hear of a shut out, but two by one team in a season is something special. They come up against one of those shut out teams again this week. The Dolphins have sputtered and stuttered in all areas this season. And recent performances against fellow strugglers Atlanta and Jacksonville should be worrying Miami fans even more. So, barring any major upset, this could be another opportunity for Buffalo to rack up the points.
- And there seems to be room for rushing no matter the team this year. We’ve had Josh Allen scrambling in closer games like the match against the Chiefs. And we have seen significant carries for both Devin Singletary and Zack Moss in differing circumstances. When it comes to hitting the paydirt, Moss has the most redzone carries of the two, with three touchdown scores inside the 20. And two of those came against the Dolphins in the reverse fixture.
- A particular area of worry for the Dolphins is through the middle of the offensive line. With Josh Allen continuing to tally up the yards, the Miami defense would likely be looking to stifle the Quarterback around the outside. And this may just make the gaps for draw plays and allow all the rushing personnel through the middle of the line. With the Bills averaging 4.14 yards a carry through the centre alone, it could be a long night for the secondary.
Join me next week to see how these three teams got on.
Until next time,