It was a huge Week 14 for a couple of running backs named Bell. Le'Veon and Joique both came through bigtime for fantasy owners as they combined for five total touchdowns and 368 yards from scrimmage on Sunday. Le'Veon Bell racked up 41.50 fantasy points in standard leagues while Joique posted a more than respectable 25.30 point total. Let's not forget about C.J. Anderson who for the third straight week put up over 20 fantasy points, this time scoring three rushing touchdowns against the Bills. Surprisingly, Jonathan Stewart also cracked the top 10 fantasy running backs of Week 14 with 155 yards and a touchdown of his own.
But the world of running back committees was a different story on Sunday with some unexpected performances by guys with the last name Williams. So please join me as I break down all of the frustrating goodness of this week's Committee Meetings.
First things first. According to Cardinals' coach Bruce Arians, Andre Ellington is headed to season-ending injured reserve with a hip injury that kept him out of Sunday's game. It's a huge blow for fantasy owners who may have needed him in the playoffs, but if you had been starting him in the last three weeks, his production just hasn't been there. Maybe it's a fantasy blessing in disguise.
At least with Ellington ruled out for Week 14, we got a glimpse into what we can expect from Arizona's backfield in the coming weeks without him.
A few names we were somewhat familiar with heading into the game, Stepfan Taylor and Marion Grice, were the favorites to see the bulk of what was predicted to be a committee approach against the Chiefs. But a running back who hadn't received one carry in the NFL prior to Sunday ended up leading the way with 19 carries for 100 yards as he chipped away at the Chiefs' defense and helped to kill the clock late in the game. Kerwynn Williams, a 23-year-old practice squad player, posted Arizona's first 100-yard rushing performance by a running back since last season. Coach Arians wasn't shy to talk him up after the game, either.
The 23-year-old Williams is owned in zero percent of NFL.com fantasy leagues and will be a hot pickup heading into Week 15. But tread with caution if you're considering picking up Williams because his next three games are against some of the top run defenses in the league as the Cardinals face the Rams, Seahawks and 49ers to close out the season.
You should be used to this by now.
The Browns' backfield is up in the air each and every week. On Sunday against the Colts, Terrance West "started," played on 54 percent of offensive snaps and received 15 carries. Isaiah Crowell played on 46 percent and had 14 rush attempts. West's longest run was 12 yards. Crowell's longest went for 13 yards. Both backs ran for exactly 54 yards in the game. The only difference for fantasy purposes was Crowell's touchdown run which thankfully salvaged his day for fantasy owners who were relying on him.
Next week, the Browns runners couldn't ask for a better matchup. They play the Bengals who have allowed the most fantasy points per game to running backs in the entire NFL this season. They just surrendered 185 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns to Le'Veon Bell in Week 14. When the Browns faced Cincinnati back in Week 10, three different running backs scored rushing touchdowns in the game. Even if the workload is split evenly, both backs need to be considered as flex starters.
Jennings ended up with just three touches the entire game, while rookie Andre Williams exploded for a career best 131 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries which included a 50-yard scoring dash in the third quarter. He added three catches for 16 yards in the blowout.
Looking ahead to Week 15, if you own Jennings you'll really need to monitor his status as the weekend approaches. The limited work on Sunday might have been better for him in the long run, but if there are any reports that he isn't full strength heading into the Giants' matchup with Washington, expect New York to continue to lean on Williams.